January 3: Italian citizens are riled up at the prospect of claiming Italian land, spurred on by the government. Austria-Hungary uses Italy's aggression to its advantage, and launches a propaganda campaign among the various ethnic groups, calling for unity against a foreign attacker.
February 1: despite attempts by Germany to diffuse the situation, demanding they must stand united and not fight amongst themselves, the deadline arrives and Italy declares war in the evening. Italian King Emanuel III vows to free those Italians under Austrian rule. Meanwhile, Austria-Hungary's propaganda pays off, many decide to put aside the ethnic conflicts for the time being.
February 5: Great Britain and France declare neutrality in the conflict, all too happy to watch the Triple Alliance tear itself apart. By this time, both Italy and Austria-Hungary have partially mobilized their forces, and the armies begin marching to the border.
March 18: both sides continue to pour fresh units into the front, hoping and praying for a quick breakthrough. But a combination of terrain and devastating new weapons like machine guns, slow down the advances.