1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Capello, Luigi

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Capello, Luigi (1859– ), Italian general, was born April 14 1859. He entered the infantry, and his career till he became a general officer was passed in this branch of the service. During the Italo-Turkish War he served in Cyrenaica, and as a major-general he took part in the operations round Derna, commanding a column in the final action of the war in Oct. 1912. In 1913 he was promoted to lieutenant-general. He commanded the 25th Sardinian Div. during the early attacks upon the Carso in the summer of 1915, and the VI. Corps opposite the southern part of the Sabotino-Podgora bridgehead in Sept. 1915. In Aug. 1916, Capello, whose command had been increased to the strength of six divisions, conducted the attack which stormed the bridgehead and led to the capture of Gorizia. A difference of opinion between Cadorna and Capello led to the latter's transference to the Trentino front, where he commanded successively the XXII. and V. Corps in the Asiago uplands. In March 1917 he returned to the Julian front as commander of the “Gorizia Zone” (VIII., VI. and II. Corps), in which capacity he conducted the first phase of the Italian offensive in the following May. In June Capello was given command of the II. Army, which extended from the Plezzo valley to the Vippacco, and in Aug. he directed the attack on the Bainsizza plateau. There was a difference of opinion between Cadorna and Capello regarding the development of the action after the initial success, and this difference became more serious when Cadorna decided to stand on the defensive in view of the forthcoming enemy attack. Capello wished to go on attacking, and it is difficult to avoid the conviction that his belief in his own method of meeting the coming threat prevented him from coöperating whole-heartedly in the plan of his chief. Capello fell ill shortly before the enemy attack was launched and only returned to his post on the very eve of the battle. He was quite unfit for the strain of command, and had to resign after two days. When sufficiently recovered in health he was given the task of creating the new V. Army out of units broken and disbanded by the retreat. To this task he gave all his energy, and in it he achieved remarkable results, but in the spring of 1918, on the constitution of the Caporetto Inquiry Commission, he was put on half-pay, and in July he was retired. After his retirement Capello wrote two books, a reply to the criticisms of the Inquiry Commission, entitled Per la Verità, and Note di Guerra, a work which deals with the Italian campaign as a whole but especially with those operations in which he played an active part. He also took some part in politics, presiding at various important Nationalist and Fascisti meetings.