But he calculated that this position, too, must be carried in the first rush, so that he could reach without delay the great ridge of the Stol (6,467 ft.), which stood athwart a further direct advance.
For this attack he detailed the 22nd Schiitzen Div., followed immediately by a Kaiserjager and a Kaiserschiitzen batt., which were to go straight for the Stol, and by six battalions of the 3rd (Edelweiss) Div., which were to make for the Val Fella by way of the Val d'Ucosa.
When evening fell the position was still in the hands of the Italians, but the battle had gone badly for the defenders further south, and a retreat to the Stol became necessary.
Saga had to be abandoned owing to the break farther S., and the 50th Div., or what was left of it, retired into the Val d'Uccea and on to the ridge of the Stol, which was reached later by the remnants of the 43rd, who had held their own bravely, but were in great part cut off when they attempted to come back across the Isonzo.
The occupation of Caporetto threatened to open another route nearly as short, but the possession of Monte Maggiore and the Stol, together with Monte Matajur, gave good hope that the advance of the enemy might be quickly brought to a halt when it had outrun the protecting fire of its own guns.
Krauss was pressing upon the Stol, and finding a weak resistance; the Potenza brigade was falling back from Creda; Monte Matajur had fallen, practically undefended.
Krauss himself admits that if the Italians had held the Stol in strength his own move would have been frustrated.
Corps had been close at hand, on the Stol and higher up the Natisone valley, the inrush of the enemy might have been stemmed.
Cadorna ordered the Carnia force to occupy Monte Maggiore and block the Val d'Uccea " at all costs," and sent up a division to support the troops on the Stol.