Armando Diaz

Armando Diaz was an Italian general, a field marshal, and a national hero as he commanded the Italian Army during World War I, winning a decisive victory over the Austrians at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto.

Armando Diaz was born on December 5, 1861, in Naples. After having graduated from the Military Academy of Turin, Diaz began his military career as an artillery officer in 1881. During the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912, he was a colonel commanding the 93rd infantry, and in 1914, major general. At the start of the Great War, he was assigned to the high command as head of the unit’s operations under General Luigi Cadorna. Then in June 1916, Diaz was promoted to 2-star general and assumed the command of the 49th division and later the 23rd army corps.

As the Battle of Caporetto of October 1917 was disastrous to the army, Armando Diaz succeeded Luigi Cadorna on November 8, 1917, and became chief of general staff. Having recovered what remained of the army, he organized the resistance on Mount Grappa and at the Battle of the Piave River. In 1918, with support of some elements from the French and British armies, Armando Diaz launched an offensive at Vittorio Veneto, communicating the rout of the Austrian army and success of the Italians in his famous Victory Address.

After the war Armando Diaz became a senator. In 1921 he was ennobled by King Victor Emmanuel III and given the victory title Duke of Victory. Benito Mussolini named him Minister of War, promoting him to Field Marshal. Upon retirement, in 1924, he was given the honor of Marshal of Italy. He died in 1928. Diaz was buried in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, next to admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel.

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