Italy's Goals in the War

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
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Phil D.
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Italy's Goals in the War

Post by Phil D. » 30 Nov 2003 05:18

Hi! I was wondering if anybody can tell me of the territorial goals that Italy had in mind throughout facist rule, and if possible, any maps. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Phil

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Phil D.
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Post by Phil D. » 01 Dec 2003 23:05

:? Come on, somebody must know something....or anything about what Mussolini wanted. Egypt? Greece? Tunisia? Anything else? I'd appreciate it!

Phil

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 01 Dec 2003 23:07

Phil,

Please wait a few days before "bumping" a thread to the top, thanks.

/Marcus

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freefrench
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Post by freefrench » 26 Oct 2006 19:36

bump

Wargames
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Post by Wargames » 14 Nov 2006 09:13

Four years and this post has no answer. The reason for that is simple. There is no easy answer. I can explain two of three of Italy's conquests. Italy wanted its rights to colonize Africa recognized by France and Britain and Mussollini was an opportunist. When he saw Germany about to defeat France he invaded France also in order to have a "right at the peace table". He obtained the concessions he wanted from France but not from Britain. When Germany luanched its "London blitz" on Britain, Mussollini invaded Egypt, once again for the right to be at the peace table when Britain "surrendered".

Why Italy invaded Greece is clear as mud. The only reason I can see Mussolini moving east would be for oil and, if that was his goal, he had a long ways "east" to go.

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Post by Jon G. » 15 Nov 2006 11:18

Wargames wrote:...Mussollini was an opportunist. When he saw Germany about to defeat France he invaded France also in order to have a "right at the peace table". He obtained the concessions he wanted from France but not from Britain.
Mussolini certainly did not get what he wanted from the French defeat. He had to negotiate his own armistice with the French - there was no carte blance to the French treasury, and Corsica and Tunis remained on French hands. All Mussolini got for his troubles was a stretch of the Riviera as an occupation zone.
... Why Italy invaded Greece is clear as mud. The only reason I can see Mussolini moving east would be for oil and, if that was his goal, he had a long ways "east" to go.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=109358

Mussolini had had designs on various Greek territories since he came to power. Also, as Romania's allegiance was changing to the Axis camp it became clear that 'Axis' in context meant German, which in turn meant that Mussolini was left out in the cold while Germany secured Romania's oil for her own uses while quietly dismembering Romania in alliance with the Soviet Union.

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 15 Nov 2006 11:36

Basicaly , Mussolini goal was to substitute Italy to England in all its possession in Middle East and also to have ports directly into Atlantic Ocean (French Senegal ) .
Also taking over of british colonies in East Africa was considered as a must to ensure protection and enlargement of Italan East Africa Empire .
Also there were other lands wished for , as Corsica , Tuinisia , northern area of Greece , Dalamtia and other areas in Yugoslavia , Montenegro , etc .....

Big dreams is all what they were

Yours

GLADIVM

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Post by Potsdamerplatz » 14 Dec 2006 15:40

Italy's sphere of interest in Yugoslavia included Maribor and Ljubljana (roughly the area of the present-day nation of Slovenia)

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Armor Man
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Post by Armor Man » 12 Jan 2007 18:38

[quote="Phil D."]:? Come on, somebody must know something....or anything about what Mussolini wanted. Egypt? Greece? Tunisia? Anything else? I'd appreciate it!

What were Mussolini's goals? Answering this question requires some background, for unlike Hitler Mussolini was not a total dictator. He was followed as long as he was able to please several powerful groups in Italy. The Military, the Upper-Class, and the Powerful Industrialists.

The military thinking in Italy, before Mussolini took over, was that Italy was the friend of England, and should always be so. But that was not the case with France. France was blocking Italy's desire to be viewed as one of the major nations of Europe, so the Italians view France as an enemy. Perhaps this was the result of the Versailles Treaty, in which Italy was denied the rewards they felt they had earned in the Great War.

Another enemy was Austria. At one time Austria owed parts of modern Italy, and despite several efforts the Italians had failed to drive them out. (It must be remembered that Austria was the most powerful European nation in the 1700's and remained strong into the 1800's. Napoleon had awakened the spirit of revolution again in Italy. (Remember Napoleon fought, and defeated the Austrians in Italy early in his career.)

It was into this thinking that Mussolini began his leadership of Italy. The Italian military saw the value of tanks in the Great War (WW I) and soon after developed an armored vehicle of their own -- the CV-33 (sometimes labeled CV-133). In truth it was a "tankette." A small, lightly armored, two-man, two machine-gun vehicle. Looking at it one might think the Italians weren't very smart, but remember the Italians were thinking that they would be fighting their enemy -- Austria. The Italians wanted, but had been denied the land north-east of the Adriatic Sea and the harbor of Trieste. The mountains in that area were not like the Alps, rather they were "rolling hills" in which the CV-33 would do well. Mussolini adopted this goal as his own.

In 1869 the Suez Canal was completed by the French, and by 1879 the British took control of the canal. While the Italians view England as a friend, at the same time they felt a desire to compete with them. They saw at the base of the Red Sea, in the "Horn of Africa," it was possible to control shipping through the Suez Canal if you controlled the "choke point" through which ships must pass to reach the Arabian Sea. In the Italians invaded Eritrea (modern Somaliland) and took possession of that coastal area. That invasion went well, so they then decided to invade Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia). But the poorly armed natives of that land threw them out in 1895. This led to another of Mussolini's goals -- to remove the shame of defeat by invading and conquering Abyssinia. Using the CV-33's, artillery, bombers, machine-guns and poison gas the Italian invasion of 1935-36 was successful. Mussolini had restored Italy's honor.

In 1933 a little known leader -- Adolf Hitler -- took control of Germany. By the early 1930's Mussolini had been in power for 11 years. By that time Mussolini was recognized as an important European leader. He had brought unity to Italy, restored their pride, had made friends with the Catholic Church, had made the trains run on time, had added land, and had built an impressive navy. It is not well recognized, but Hitler too was one of "Il Duce's" admirers. Think about it for a moment. "Il Duce" is Italian for "The Leader." The Italian salute went back to the time of the Romans, when the soldiers extended their straight arm into the sky, saying "Ave Caesar" (Hail the leader). Hitler was known as "Der Führer," meaning The Leader, and the Nazi salute and cry of Heil Hitler was a copy of the salute used by Mussolini.

Hitler tried to expand in 1934 by creating confusion in Austria with the murder of its leader Engelbert Dollfuss. Mussolini had created peace between Italy and Austria by becoming a friend of Dollfuss. His murder angered Mussolini, and he sent the Italian Army to the border of Austria, threatening to invade if the Germans tried to enter Austria. By maintaining peace in Europe Mussolini was recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize in that year. Hitler recognized that if he was ever to take Austria he must first become the friend of the more powerful Mussolini. In this he was successful. (Remember Hitler had only been in power about a year, Germany was still weak at that time.)

Mussolini did not work on one goal at a time, he had many goals, some of which I have discussed. But Mussolini's major goal was to create a Second Roman Empire. To do this he needed to build up the pride of the Italian people. He pointed out the glory of Rome, and had many projects that pointed out that glory. Ancient Roman ruins were restored, such as at Pompeii. Mussolini reminded his people that the Romans that created such beauty, had such power and glory -- were their ancestors. The modern Italians were the descendants of those powerful Romans. Mussolini displayed a large map of the old Roman Empire. Still he recognized that in the modern, industrial world, Italy was still weak.

By 1936 Germany was a power in Europe. When a civil war broke out in Spain Italy and Germany sent men and weapons to support General Franco. This was the beginning of a bonding between Italy and Germany. In 1938 Hitler again created confusion in Austria, creating the opportunity for a "peaceful invasion" of that nation. By this time Mussolini had to recognize the Germans were his military superiors and did nothing. By this time Mussolini was admiring Hitler. Thus Italy's destiny was tied to Germany's.
That bond was evident in 1940 when Germany quickly defeated the French nation. Mussolini quickly invaded southern France.

In the early part of his reign Mussolini had sent military forces to conquer Libya. He then sent Italian colonists there to improve the area. (Under the Romans Libya had been the "bread basket" of the Roman Empire.) Proper farming methods could return that area to its past use, giving land to the poor Italian farmers, and food to the rest of Italy. Following the fall of France Hitler prepared to invade England, the famous Battle of Britain was on. England was in a desperate position, too desperate to protect her colonies. Mussolini saw an opportunity to fulfill his major goal, to create a Second Roman Empire, he would invade Egypt. As you know his invasion resulted in a huge failure. Demonstrating the bond that existed between Italy and Germany, Hitler sent Rommel to Africa to aid the Italians.

Mussolini had seen Hitler's successes, the acquisition of: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. This caused Mussolini to look for an easy victory, to restore the moral of the Italians. Italy had already conquered Albania, so an attack on Greece should be reasonably easy as well. This invasion turned out to be another mis-calculation. The Greeks defeated the Italian invasion. Again Hitler came to the aid of his friend and gained control over the whole of the Balkans.

From this point on Mussolini's goals were those of Germany, soon to be the invasion of Russia, a land not part of the Roman Empire, and in which victory would mean nothing to the Italian people. Mussolini had lost his leadership of Italy. The Allied invasion was the final blow, to be followed by arrest, and finally his death.

I hope I have not bored you with so much information.

Armor Man
(John Reynolds)

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Davide Pastore
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Re:

Post by Davide Pastore » 17 Feb 2008 20:16

Armor Man wrote:What were Mussolini's goals?
Well, I can tell you what were them in summer 1940, shortly after the fall of France.
While searching through the navy archives, I casually found some interesting papers about the proposed partition of Africa and Middle East. As you can see, the guy who wrote that stuff was not timid :lol:

[P.S. I hope linking a thread from another forum is not against AHF rules! Re-writing it all here is so tiring...]

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Re: Re:

Post by Jon G. » 17 Feb 2008 20:24

Davide Pastore wrote:...[P.S. I hope linking a thread from another forum is not against AHF rules! Re-writing it all here is so tiring...]
It's definitely not against any AHF rules to link to relevant discussions on other forums.

After all, given the relative narrow scope, various WW2-based forums are likely to cover similar subjects in a semi-incestuous fashion, since many people with a WW2 interest are members on several forums.

There's no harm in pointing to similar subjects elsewhere, rather than reinventing the wheel.

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