The Climax of Italian Psychological Warfare
In his memoirs, Tullio Marchetti employed a number of vivid metaphors to describe the disintegrating Habsburg Empire, including that of a tree assaulted by rotten plants. In this vein he wrote that until the battle of the Piave ‘the decomposing seeds scattered with our propaganda had germinated quite well though with irregularity’, but that the events of June 1918 were ‘the best manure for beginning a luxuriant and uniform vegetation’.1 Marchetti and the other Intelligence officers felt after the battle that their campaign ought to be intensified in order to prepare the ground for the time when Italy launched a final offensive. This could not be too early. For although Intelligence sources suggested that cracks in the enemy structure were steadily widening, there were equally signs, as Finzi noted in mid-July, that the tree still had ‘a solid bark’.2
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