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Encyclopedia > Military history of Italy during World War II

During the era of World War II (1939 - 1945), Italy had a very varied and tumultuous military history. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Military history is composed of the events in the history of humanity that fall within the category of conflict. ...

The Italian empire in 1940
The Italian empire in 1940
Italian biggest control of mediterranean areas (within green line & dots) in 1942. Within red the British control.
Italian biggest control of mediterranean areas (within green line & dots) in 1942. Within red the British control.

Contents

Image File history File links Italian_empire_1940. ... Image File history File links Italian_empire_1940. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 402 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,254 × 630 pixels, file size: 319 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 402 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,254 × 630 pixels, file size: 319 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ...

The start of World War II

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, but Italy remained neutral for the following ten months. is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Mussolini's Under-Secretary for War Production, Carlo Favagrossa, had estimated that Italy could not possibly be prepared for such a war until at least October 1942. Although a major power, the Italian industry was relatively weak compared to other European major powers. One might not consider Italian industry to have equalled more than 15% of that of France or of Britain should one compare the number of automobiles in Italy (~372,000) to those of Britain and France (~2,500,000). The lack of a stronger automotive industry made it difficult for Italy to mechanize its military. Italy had also given large number of weapons and supplies to the Spanish forces fighting under Franco in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 - 1939. Carlo Favagrossa, during the World War II-era, was the Italian Under-Secretary for War Production. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... “Car” and “Cars” redirect here. ... Mechanization is the use of machines to replace manual labour or animals and can also refer to the use of powered machinery to help a human operator in some task. ... “Franco” redirects here. ... Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ...


The Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) remained comparatively weak. The Italian tanks were of poor quality. Italian radios were small in numbers. Much of the Italian artillery dated from World War I. The Regia Aeronautica's primary fighter was the Fiat CR-42, biplane, although roughly comparable to some fighters still wielded by Britain and France. The Regia Marina had no aircraft carriers. Bierman and Smith[1] state that the Italian regular army could field only about 200,000 troops at the start of World War II. They estimate the Regia Aeronautica could field approximately 1,760 aircraft, only 900 of them considered as "front-line machines". Coat of Arms of the Italian Army Dardo IFV on exercise in Campo Teulada Italian Soldiers on Parade The Italian Army (Esercito Italiano) is the ground defense force of the Italian Republic. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Insignia applied with a decal on the tail of the Règia Aeronautica aircraft (reconstruction). ... The Fiat CR.42 Falco (Falcon) was a biplane which, at the outbreak of World War II, was used as the primary fighter of Italys Regia Aeronautica. ... Reproduction of a Sopwith Camel biplane flown by Lt. ... The Italian Regia Marina (literally: Royal Navy) dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification. ... Four aircraft carriers, (bottom-to-top) Principe de Asturias, amphibious assault carrier USS Wasp, USS Forrestal and light V/STOL carrier HMS Invincible, showing size differences of late 20th century carriers An aircraft carrier is a warship designed to deploy and in most cases recover aircraft, acting as a sea... Insignia applied with a decal on the tail of the Règia Aeronautica aircraft (reconstruction). ...


Following the German conquest of Poland, Mussolini would change his mind repeatedly as to whether he intended to enter the war. The British commander in Africa, General Wavell, correctly predicted that Mussolini's pride would ultimately cause him to enter the war. Wavell would compare Mussolini's situation to that of someone at the top of a diving board: "I think he must do something. If he cannot make a graceful dive, he will at least have to jump in somehow; he can hardly put on his "dressing-gown" and walk down the stairs again." Mussolini redirects here. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (May 5, 1883 _ May 24, 1950) was a British General and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War II. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the German army. ... For other uses, see Dive. ...


Some historians believe that Mussolini was induced to enter the war against the Allies by secret negotiations with Churchill, with whom he had an active mail correspondence between September 1939 and June 1940 [2]. The journalist Luciano Garibaldi wrote that "in those (disappeared at lake Como in 1945) letters Churchill may have exorted Mussolini to enter the war to mitigate Hitler's demands and dissuade him from continuing hostilities against Great Britain as France was inexorabily moving toward defeat. In light of this, Mussolini could urge Hitler turn against the USSR, the common enemy of both Churchill and Mussolini". Benito Mussolini created a fascist state through the use of propaganda, total control of the media and disassembly of the working democratic government. ... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Churchill redirects here. ...


Italy enters the war: June 1940

On June 10, 1940, as the French government fled to Bordeaux before the German invasion, declaring Paris an open city, Mussolini felt the conflict would soon end and declared war on Britain and France. As he said to the Army's Chief-of-Staff, Marshal Badoglio, "I only need a few thousand dead so that I can sit at the peace conference as a man who has fought." Mussolini had the immediate war aim of expanding the Italian colonies in North Africa by taking land from the British and French colonies. is the 161st day of the year (162nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Bordeaux (disambiguation). ... Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... This article is about the capital of France. ... In war, in the event of the imminent capture of a city, the government/military structure of the country that owns the city will sometimes declare it an open city, thus announcing that they have abandoned all defensive efforts. ... Pietro Badoglio (September 28, 1871 - November 1, 1956) was an Italian soldier and politician. ...


Of Italy's declaration of war, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, said: "On this tenth day of June 1940, the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor." Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States, the longest-serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice, was one of the central figures of 20th century history. ...


Italian forces in France: 1940 - 1943

In June 1940, after initial success the Italian offensive into southern France stalled at the fortified Alpine Line. On June 25, 1940, France surrendered to Germany. Italy occupied some areas of French territory along the Franco-Italian border. During this operation, Italian casualties were 1,247 men dead or missing and 2,631 wounded. A further 2,151 Italians were hospitalized due to frostbite. Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Maginot Line fortification, 2002 The Maginot Line was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defenses which France constructed along her borders with Germany and with Italy in the wake of World War I. Generally the term describes either the entire system or just the... is the 176th day of the year (177th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about a medical condition. ...


In November 1942, the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) participated in invading south-eastern Vichy France and Corsica as part of what was known as Case Anton. From December 1942 Italian military government of French departments east of the Rhône River was established and continued until September 1943. (This had the effect of providing a de facto temporary haven for French Jews fleeing the Holocaust.) Coat of Arms of the Italian Army Dardo IFV on exercise in Campo Teulada Italian Soldiers on Parade The Italian Army (Esercito Italiano) is the ground defense force of the Italian Republic. ... Motto Travail, famille, patrie French: Unoccupied zone of Vichy France (until November 1942) Capital Vichy Capital-in-exile Sigmaringen (1944-1945) Language(s) French Religion Roman Catholic Government Dictatorship Chief of state  - 1940 — 1944 Philippe Pétain President of the Council  - 1940 — 1942 Philippe Pétain  - 1942 — 1944 Pierre Laval... For other uses, see Corsica (disambiguation). ... Case (or operation) Anton was the code-name for the Nazi-German occupation of Vichy France during World War II. Anton was invoked at Hitlers order after the allied landings in French Morocco (Operation Torch) in November 1942. ... The Rhône River, or the Rhône (French Rhône, Arpitan Rôno, Occitan Ròse, standard German Rhone, Valais German Rotten), is one of the major rivers of Europe, running through Switzerland and France. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... “Shoah” redirects here. ...


Battle of Britain: 1940 - 1941

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini insisted on providing an element of the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) to assist his German ally during the Battle of Britain. Mussolini's expeditionary air force was called the Italian Air Corps (Corpo Aereo Italiano, or CAI). The CAI went to Belgium on 10 September 1940 and first saw action in late October 1940. The Italian aircraft took part in the latter stages of the battle. The Italian equipment, which included biplane fighters, did not compare favorably with the aircraft of the British Royal Air Force or of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). As a result, the CAI achieved limited to no success. The aircraft of the CAI were redeployed in early 1941. The last Italian fighters were redeployed by mid-April. Mussolini redirects here. ... Insignia applied with a decal on the tail of the Règia Aeronautica aircraft (reconstruction). ... This article is about military history. ... The Corpo Aereo Italiano (C.A.I.) was an Italian expeditionary force participating in the Battle of Britain during the final months of 1940. ... is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... RAF redirects here. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ...


Hostilities commence in North Africa: 1940

Mussolini ordered Marshal Graziani, commander of the Italian Tenth Army in Libya, to launch an attack into Egypt. Graziani complained to Mussolini that his forces were not properly equipped for such an operation. He further complained that an attack into Egypt could not possibly succeed. Mussolini ordered Graziani to attack anyway. Rodolfo Graziani, Marchese di Neghelli (August 11, 1882—January 11, 1955), was an Italian military officer who led expeditions in Africa before and during World War II and a war criminal responsible for thousands of Libyan and Ethiopian civilian deaths. ... The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ...


Within a week of Italy's declaration of war on 10 June 1940, the British 11th Hussars had seized Fort Capuzzo in Libya. In an ambush east of Bardia, the British captured the Italian Tenth Army's Engineer-in-Chief, General Lastucci. is the 161st day of the year (162nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 11th Hussars (Prince Alberts Own) was a British Army cavalry regiment. ... Fort Capuzzo, at the beginning of World War II, was an Italian fort in Libya, Africa. ... Bardia is a geographic region in the Kingdom of Nepal. ... The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ...


On 13 September, elements of the Italian Tenth Army re-took Fort Capuzzo, crossed the border between Libya and Egypt, and advanced to Sidi Barrani in Egypt. Sidi Barrani was about 100 kilometers inside Egypt from the Libyan border. The Italians then stopped and began to entrench themselves. is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Italian Tenth Army consisted of ten divisions when it attacked Egypt on September 13, 1940. ... Sidi Barrani is a village in Egypt, ~95km from the border with Libya, and ~240km from Tobruk. ... Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defense. ...


At this time, the United Kingdom had only 30,000 troops available to defend Egypt against 250,000 Italian troops, though the Italians had not concentrated their troops in one place — rather they remained spread out from the Tunisian border in western Libya to Sidi Barrani in Egypt. Graziani, not knowing the British lack of strength, chose to stockpile fuel and ammunition, a task which the British Royal Navy forces operating in the Mediterranean tried to obstruct by attacking Italian supply-ships. At this stage Italian losses remained minimal, but the efficiency of the British Royal Navy would improve as the war went on. Petrol redirects here. ... Ammunition, often referred to as ammo, is a generic term meaning (the assembly of) a projectile and its propellant. ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ...


In addition, Graziani lacked faith in the strength of the Italian military, one of his officers wrote: "We're trying to fight this...as though it were a colonial war...this is a European war...fought with European weapons against a European enemy. We take too little account of this in building our stone forts...We are not fighting the Abyssinians now." (This was a reference to the Second Italo-Abyssinian War where Italian forces had fought against a relatively poorly equipped opponent.) This article needs cleanup. ... Combatants Kingdom of Italy Ethiopian Empire Commanders Benito Mussolini Emilio De Bono Pietro Badoglio Rodolfo Graziani Haile Selassie Ras Imru Strength 800,000 combatants (only ~330,000 mobilized) ~250,000 combatants Casualties 10,000 killed1 (est. ...


Campaigns in East Africa: 1940 - 1941

In addition to the well-known campaigns in the western desert during 1940, the Italians opened an additional front in June 1940 from their East African colonies of Ethiopia, Italian Somaliland, and Eritrea. Combatants United Kingdom Anglo-Egyptian Sudan British Somaliland British East Africa British India Gold Coast Nigeria N. Rhodesia S. Rhodesia Union of S. Africa Belgium Belgian Congo Free France Ethiopian irregulars Italy Italian East Africa German Motorized Company Commanders Archibald Wavell William Platt Alan Cunningham Duke of Aosta Guglielmo Nasi... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...  Eastern Africa (UN subregion)  East African Community  Central African Federation (defunct)  geographic, including above East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easternmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. ... This article is about a type of political territory. ... Italian Somaliland was an Italian colony that lasted, apart from a brief interlude of British rule, from the late 19th century until 1960 in the territory of the modern-day East African nation of Somalia. ...


As in Egypt, the Italian forces with ~70,000 Italian soldiers and ~180,000 native troops outnumbered their British opponents. But Italian East Africa was isolated and far away from the Italian mainland. The Italian forces in East Africa were thus cut off from re-supply. This severely limited the operations that they could seriously undertake. Map of Italian East Africa Italian East Africa or Empire of Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana, AOI) was a short-lived (1936-1941) Italian colony in Africa consisting of Ethiopia (recently occupied after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War) and the colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. ...  Eastern Africa (UN subregion)  East African Community  Central African Federation (defunct)  geographic, including above East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easternmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. ...


The initial Italian attacks in East Africa took two different directions, one into the Sudan and the other into Kenya. Then, in August 1940, the Italians advanced into British Somaliland. After suffering and inflicting few casualties, the British and Commonwealth garrison was evacuated from Somaliland by sea to Aden.  Eastern Africa (UN subregion)  East African Community  Central African Federation (defunct)  geographic, including above East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easternmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Flag Capital Aden Religion Islam Political structure Protectorate History  - Established 1884  - Independence June 26, 1960  - Somaliland established 18 May, 1991 Currency British pound British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the north part of the Horn of Africa, and later part of Somalia and presently the unrecognized Republic of Somaliland. ... Port of Aden (around 1910). ...


The Italian conquest of British Somaliland was one of the only successful Italian campaigns of World War II accomplished without German support. In the Sudan and Kenya, Italy captured small territories around several border villages. After doing so, the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) in East Africa adopted a defensive posture against an expected British counter-attack. Combatants United Kingdom British India British Somaliland N. Rhodesia British East Africa Italy Italian East Africa Commanders Alfred Godwin-Austen Arthur Chater Guglielmo Nasi Carlo De Simone Strength 4,000 24,000 Casualties 38 killed[1] 71 wounded[1] 49 missing[1] Total:205[2] Destroyed British convoy near Berbera... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...  Eastern Africa (UN subregion)  East African Community  Central African Federation (defunct)  geographic, including above East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easternmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. ...


The Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) maintained a small squadron in the Italian East Africa area. The Italian "Red Sea Flotilla" was based at the port of Massawa in Eritrea. It consisted of seven destroyers and eight submarines. Despite a severe shortage of fuel, the Red Sea Flotilla posed a threat to British convoys traversing the Red Sea. Unfortunately, Italian attempts to attack British convoys resulted in the loss of four submarines and one destroyer. The Italian Regia Marina (literally: Royal Navy) dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification. ... Map of Italian East Africa Italian East Africa or Empire of Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana, AOI) was a short-lived (1936-1941) Italian colony in Africa consisting of Ethiopia (recently occupied after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War) and the colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. ... The Italian Red Sea Flotilla was a naval force based in Massawa, Eritria, during the early stages of World War II. The Red Sea Flotilla was active from 10 June 1940 to the fall of Massawa on 8 April 1941. ... Massawa in the 19th century Massawa or Mitsiwa (15° 36′ 33″ N 39° 26′ 43″ E) is a port on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. ... USS McFaul underway in the Atlantic Ocean. ... For other uses, see Submarine (disambiguation). ... Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ...


On 19 January 1941, the expected British counter-attack arrived in the shape of the Indian 4th and Indian 5th Infantry Divisions, which made a thrust from the Sudan. A supporting attack was made from Kenya by the South African 1st Division, the 11th African Division, and the 12th African Division. Finally, the British launched an amphibious assault to re-take British Somaliland. is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Fourth Indian division during world war two served first in egypt where with western desert force it fought the italians who had decided to invaded egypt. ... Indian 5th Infantry Division fought in several theatres of World War II and more than earned its nickname the Ball of Fire. Lord Louis Mountbatten said: When the Division came under my command in South-East Asia towards the end of 1943, it had already had three years hard fighting... The South African 1st Infantry Division was an infantry division of the South African Army during World War II. // The division was formed on 13 August 1940 in South Africa with its HQ at the South African Military College. ... The 1st (African) Division was formed on 24 July 1940 in East Africa. ... The 2nd (African) Division was a British colonial unit that fought in the East African Campaign during World War II. On 24 July 1940 , the 2nd (African) Division was formed in Kenya. ...


From February to March, the outcome of Battle of Keren determined the fate of Italian East Africa. In early April, after Keren fell, Asmara and Massawa followed. The Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa also fell in April 1941. The Viceroy of Ethiopia, Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, surrendered at the stronghold of Amba Alagi in May. He received full military honors. The Italians in East Africa made a final stand around the town of Gondar in November 1941. Combatants United Kingdom Italy Commanders Lt. ... Map of Italian East Africa Italian East Africa or Empire of Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana, AOI) was a short-lived (1936-1941) Italian colony in Africa consisting of Ethiopia (recently occupied after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War) and the colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. ... Asmara (English) (Geez: አሥመራ Asmera, formerly known as Asmera, or in Arabic: Asmaraa) is the capital city and largest settlement in Eritrea, home to a population of around 579,000 people. ... Massawa in the 19th century Massawa or Mitsiwa (15° 36′ 33″ N 39° 26′ 43″ E) is a port on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. ... For the long-distance runner, see Addis Abebe. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Prince Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta Prince Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta (October 21, 1898 - March 3, 1942) was the third Duke of Aosta and a cousin of the Italian king, Victor Emmanuel III. His baptismal name was Amedeo Umberto Isabella Luigi Filippo Maria Giuseppe Giovanni di Savoia. ... Overview of the city with Fasilides castle in the center. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ...


When the port of Massawa fell to the British, the remaining destroyers were ordered on a suicide attack in the Red Sea. At the same time, the last four submarines made an epic voyage around the Cape of Good Hope to Bordeaux in France. Massawa in the 19th century Massawa or Mitsiwa (15° 36′ 33″ N 39° 26′ 43″ E) is a port on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. ... For other uses, see Cape of Good Hope (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Bordeaux (disambiguation). ...


The Italians, after their defeat, did a guerrilla war mainly in Eritrea and Ethiopia, that lasted until summer 1943. Italian Propaganda Poster (1942): We will return! (to the italian African colonies) When the italian army surrendered in Gondar in november 1941, many Italians decided to start a guerrilla warfare in the mountains and deserts of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. ...


Italian forces in the Balkans: 1940 - 1943

Main articles: Greco-Italian War, Axis Occupation of Greece, and Yugoslavian Front (WWII)

On 28 October 1940, Italy started the Greco-Italian War by launching an invasion of Greece from the Italian colony of Albania. In part, the Italians attacked Greece because of the growing influence of Germany in the Balkans. Both Yugoslavia and Greece had governments friendly to Germany. Mussolini launched the invasion of Greece in haste after Romania allied itself with Germany. Combatants Italy Albania Greece United Kingdom Commanders Sebastiano Visconti Prasca Ubaldo Soddu Ugo Cavallero Giovanni Messe Alexander Papagos Strength 529,000 men Under 300,000 men Casualties 13,755 dead, 50,874 wounded, 25,067 missing, 12,368 incapacitated by frostbites, ca. ... German soldiers raising the Swastika over the Acropolis. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Italy Albania Greece United Kingdom Commanders Sebastiano Visconti Prasca Ubaldo Soddu Ugo Cavallero Giovanni Messe Alexander Papagos Strength 529,000 men Under 300,000 men Casualties 13,755 dead, 50,874 wounded, 25,067 missing, 12,368 incapacitated by frostbites, ca. ...


However, the Greco-Italian War went badly for the Italians. After an initial Italian offensive, the Greeks launched a counter-offensive and drove the Italians back into Albania. The Italians remained on the defensive during much of this war. An Italian "Spring Offensive" amounted to little. The Italian Army was still bogged down in Albania when the Germans invaded Greece. Combatants Italy Albania Greece United Kingdom Commanders Sebastiano Visconti Prasca Ubaldo Soddu Ugo Cavallero Giovanni Messe Alexander Papagos Strength 529,000 men Under 300,000 men Casualties 13,755 dead, 50,874 wounded, 25,067 missing, 12,368 incapacitated by frostbites, ca. ...


After British troops arrived in Greece in March 1941 British bombers operating from Greek bases could reach the Romanian oil fields, vital to the German war effort. Hitler decided that he had to help the Italians and committed German troops to invade Greece via Yugoslavia (where a coup had deposed the German-friendly government). Yugoslavia (Jugoslavija in the Latin alphabet, Југославија in Cyrillic; English: South Slavia, or literary The Land of South Slavs) describes three political entities that existed one at a time on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe, during most of the 20th century. ...


On 6 April 1941, the Wehrmacht invasions of Yugoslavia (Operation 25) and Greece (Operation Marita) both started, while the Italians attacked Yugoslavia in Dalmatia and pushed the Greeks finally out of Albania. On 17 April, Yugoslavia surrendered to the Germans and the Italians. On 30 April, Greece too surrendered to the Germans and Italians, and was divided into German, Italian and Bulgarian sectors. The invasions ended with a complete Axis victory in May when Crete fell. On May 3, during the triumphal parade in Athens to celebrate the Axis victory, Mussolini started to boast of an Italian Mare Nostrum in the Mediterranean sea. is the 96th day of the year (97th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... “April War” redirects here. ... During World War II, Operation Marita was the German invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ... Benito Mussolini created a fascist state through the use of propaganda, total control of the media and disassembly of the working democratic government. ... Greatest extent of Italian control of the Mediterranean littoral and seas (within green line & dots) in summer/fall 1942. ...


Some 28 Italian divisions participated in the Balkan invasions. The coast of Yugoslavia was occupied by the Italian Army, while the rest of the country was divided between the Axis forces (an Italian puppet State of Croatia was created, under the sovereign of an Italian Savoia). The Italians assumed control of most of Greece, while the Germans and the Bulgarians occupied other areas. Italian troops would occupy parts of Greece and Yugoslavia until the Italian armistice with the Allies in September 1943. The House of Savoy was a dynasty of nobles who traditionally had their domain in Savoy, a region between Piedmont, Italy, France and French-speaking Switzerland. ... German soldiers raising the Reich War Flag over the Acropolis. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


In spring 1941 Italy created the a Montenegro client state and annexed most of the Dalmatian coast as Governatorato di Dalmazia. Yugoslavian partisans fought a guerrilla war against the occupying forces until 1945. Flag Capital Cetinje Language(s) Serbian Political structure Client state High Commissioner  - 1941 Serafino Mazzolini  - 1941 - 1943 Alessandro Pirzio Biroli  - 1943 Curio Barbasetti di Prun  - 1943 - 1944 Theodor Geib  - 1944 Wilhelm Keiper Historical era World War II  - Invasion of Yugoslavia 1941  - Disestablished 1944 Currency Italian lira Montenegro existed as the... Dalmatia, highlighted, on a map of Croatia. ... Yugoslav Partisan Flag The Partisans (lat. ... Belligerent military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory belonging to a state passes to a hostile army. ...


The Italian Navy in the Mediterranean: 1940 - 1943

The Regia Marina (Italian Navy) could not match the overall strength of the British Royal Navy in the Mediterranean Sea in 1940, and (after some initial setbacks) declined to engage in a confrontation of capital ships. Since the British navy had as a principal task the supply and protection of convoys supplying her outposts in the Mediterranean, the mere continued existence of the Italian fleet (the so called Fleet in being) caused problems to Britain, which had to utilise warships sorely needed elsewhere to protect Mediterranean convoys. Combatants Allied Nations Axis Powers The Naval Battle of the Mediterranean was waged during World War II, to attack and keep open the respective supply lines of Allied and Axis armies, and to destroy the opposing sides ability to wage war at sea. ... The Italian Regia Marina (literally: Royal Navy) dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification. ... Mediterranean redirects here. ... In naval warfare, a fleet in being is a naval force that extends a controlling influence without ever leaving port. ... For other uses, see Convoy (disambiguation). ...


On November 11, 1940, Britain launched the first carrier strike of the war, using a squadron of Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers. This raid at Taranto left three Italian battleships crippled or destroyed for the loss of two British aircraft shot down. Some claim that the success of the raid on a fellow Axis-member led the Japanese to plan the Pearl Harbor attack of 7 December 1941, while others claim that the Japanese had at least considered this very operation earlier. In any case, Japanese military planners studied the attack on Taranto with great care. is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Four aircraft carriers, (bottom-to-top) Principe de Asturias, amphibious assault carrier USS Wasp, USS Forrestal and light V/STOL carrier HMS Invincible, showing size differences of late 20th century carriers An aircraft carrier is a warship designed to deploy and in most cases recover aircraft, acting as a sea... A Squadron is a small unit or formation of cavalry, aircraft (including balloons), or naval vessels. ... Fairey Swordfish The Fairey Swordfish was a torpedo bomber built by the Fairey Aviation Company and used by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy during World War II. Affectionately known as the Stringbag by its crews, it was outdated by 1939, but achieved some spectacular successes during the... This article is about the 1940 battle. ... For other uses, see Battleship (disambiguation). ... Flying machine redirects here. ... This article is about the actual attack. ... is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ...


The Regia Marina found other ways to attack the British. The most successful involved the use of frogmen and riding manned torpedoes to attack ships in harbour. The 10th Light Flotilla, which carried out these attacks, sank or damaged 28 ships from September 1940 to the end of 1942. These included the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant (sunk in the Harbor of Alexandria on 18 December 1941), and 111,527 tons of merchant shipping. For the Wizard of Oz series character, see Frogman (Oz character). ... CGI image of two frogmen with Siebe Gorman CDBA rebreathers riding a human torpedo. ... The Tenth Light Flotilla, during World War II, was part of the Italian navy. ... HMS Queen Elizabeth was the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of Dreadnought battleships, named in honour of Elizabeth I of England. ... HMS Valiant was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship of the Royal Navy built at the Fairfield shipyards in Glasgow and launched in November 1914. ... This article is about the city in Egypt. ... is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ...


Following the sinking of these two battleships, an Italian-dominated Mediterranean Sea appeared much more possible to achieve. The battle of mid-June 1942, when one British convoy to help besieged Malta was nearly totally destroyed, is the turning point of Italian naval fortunes in the Mediterranean Sea [3].


Italy in North Africa: 1940 - 1943

On December 8, 1940 the British Operation Compass began. Planned as an extended raid (see Battle of the Marmarica), it resulted in a force of British, Indian and Australian troops cutting off the Italian troops. Pressing the British advantage home, General Richard O'Connor pressed the attack forward and succeeded in reaching El Agheila (an advance of 500 miles) and capturing tens of thousands of enemies. The Allies nearly destroyed the Italian army in North Africa, and seemed on the point of sweeping the Italians out of Libya. However, Winston Churchill directed the advance be stopped, initially because of supply problems, and ordered troops dispatched to defend Greece. Weeks later the first troops of the German Afrika Korps started to arrive in North Africa (February 1941) to reinforce the Italians. The Western Desert Campaign was the primary early theatre of the North African Campaign of World War II. It is sometimes referred to as the Egypt-Libya Campaign. ... is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Western Desert Force Italian Tenth Army Commanders Richard OConnor Rodolfo Graziani Pietro Maletti † Strength 50,000 soldiers 120 guns 275 tanks 100,000 soldiers 1,600 guns 600 light tanks Casualties 494 dead 1,225 wounded 3,000 dead 115,000 captured 400 tanks 1,292 guns Operation... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Operation Crusader November 18, 1941 - December 31, 1941 El Agheila is on the lower left (Click to enlarge) El Agheila is a coastal city on the Gulf of Sidra in far southwestern Cyrenaica, Libya. ... Churchill redirects here. ... The seal of the Deutsches Afrikakorps. ...


German General Erwin Rommel now became the Axis commander in North Africa, however the bulk of his forces consisted of Italian troops. Under Rommel's direction the Axis troops pushed the British and Commonwealth troops back into Egypt, with their victory of Tobruk. The Axis in spring 1942 seemed on the verge of sweeping the British out of Egypt, however at the First Battle of El Alamein (July 1942) General Claude Auchinleck halted Rommel's advance and the Allies assumed the offensive with the Second Battle of Alamein (October/November 1942) under General Bernard Montgomery. After the Operation Torch landings in the Vichy French territories of Morocco and Algeria (November 1942) brought the arrival of American forces, the Allies defeated the Axis armies in North Africa by May 1943. Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most famous German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he... Tobruk is on the Mediterranean Sea in northeastern Libya. ... The word axis has several meanings: In mathematics, axis can mean: A straight line around which a geometric figure can be rotated. ... Combatants Allies (mostly British Empire forces) Axis Commanders Claude Auchinleck Erwin Rommel Strength 150,000 troops in 3 army corps, 7 infantry and 3 armoured divisions 1,114 tanks, over 1,000 artillery and over 1,500 planes 96,000 troops (including 56,000 Italians) 8 infantry and 4 armoured... Field Marshal Sir Claude John Eyre Auchinleck, GCB, GCIE, CSI, DSO, OBE (June 21, 1884 - March 23, 1981), nicknamed The Auk, was a British army commander during World War II. // Born in Aldershot, he grew up in impoverished circumstances, but was able through hard work and scholarships to graduate from... The Battle of Alamein, or more correctly the Second Battle of El Alamein, marked a significant turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II and was the first major victory by an Allied force over the Wehrmacht. ... Bernard Law Montgomery Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (November 17, 1887 - March 24, 1976) was a British military officer during World War II often referred to as Monty. ... Combatants United States United Kingdom Free French Forces Vichy France Commanders Dwight Eisenhower Andrew Cunningham François Darlan Strength 73,500 60,000 Casualties 479+ dead 720 wounded 1,346+ dead 1,997 wounded Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in... Motto Travail, famille, patrie French: Unoccupied zone of Vichy France (until November 1942) Capital Vichy Capital-in-exile Sigmaringen (1944-1945) Language(s) French Religion Roman Catholic Government Dictatorship Chief of state  - 1940 — 1944 Philippe Pétain President of the Council  - 1940 — 1942 Philippe Pétain  - 1942 — 1944 Pierre Laval...


Italian troops on the Eastern Front: 1941 - 1943

Main article: Italian war in Soviet Union, 1941-1943

In July 1941 some 62,000 Italian troops left for the Eastern Front to aid in the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa). In July 1942 the Regio Esercito expanded this expeditionary corps to a full army (200,000 men), which took part in the outskirts of the Battle of Stalingrad (August 1942 - February 1943), where it suffered heavy losses (some 20,000 dead and 64,000 captured). By the summer of 1943 Rome had withdrawn the remnants of these troops to Italy. Many of the Italian POWs captured in the Soviet Union died in captivity due to the unfavourable conditions in the Soviet prison camps. The Italian campaign in the Soviet Union started on 14 July 1941, when Benito Mussolini joined Operation Barbarossa by ordering the preparation of an Italian military contingent destined for the Eastern Front. ... Combatants Soviet Union,[1] Poland, Tannu Tuva (until 1944 incorporation with USSR), Mongolia Germany,[2] Italy (to 1943), Romania (to 1944), Finland (to 1944), Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain (to 1943, unofficial) Commanders Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov, Ivan Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Kirill Meretskov, Ivan Petrov, Alexander Rodimtsev, Konstantin Rokossovsky... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Iosef Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor Kuznetsov... Combatants  Germany Romania Italy Hungary  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Friedrich Paulus # Erich von Manstein Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Italo Garibaldi Gusztav Jany Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Georgiy Zhukov Semyon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossovskiy Rodion Malinovskiy Andrei Yeremenko Strength Army Group B: German Sixth Army # German Fourth Panzer Army Romanian Third... Almost all the Italian military captured on the Russian front were taken during the decisive Soviet Operation little Saturn offensive: (December 1942), which annihilated the ARMIR (Italian Army in Russia, about 235,000 men strong), between December 1942 and February 1943. ...


"The soft underbelly": 1943 - 1945

On 10 July 1943, a combined force of American and British Commonwealth troops invaded Sicily in Operation Husky. German generals again took the lead in the defence and, although they lost the island, they succeeded in ferrying large numbers of German and Italian forces safely off Sicily to the Italian mainland. On 19 July an Allied air raid on Rome destroyed both military and collateral civil installations. With these two events, popular support for the war diminished in Italy. On 25 July 1943, the Grand Council of Fascism ousted Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and a new Italian government, led by General Pietro Badoglio and King Victor Emmanuel III, took over in Italy. The new Italian government immediately began secret negotiations with the Allies to end the fighting and to come over to the Allied side. On 3 September, a secret armistice was signed with the Allies at Fairfield Camp in Sicily. The armistice was announced on 8 September. By then, the Allies were on the Italian mainland. Combatants  United Kingdom Indian Empire  United States Poland  Brazil  New Zealand  Canada  Free French  South Africa Italy  (after September 8th) Italian Resistance  Germany Italy  (until 8 September 1943) RSI  (until 25 April 1945) Commanders C-in-C AFHQ: Dwight D. Eisenhower (until January 1944) Henry Maitland Wilson (Jan to Dec... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Husky was also the codename of Australian military support to Sierra Leone ending in February 2003. ... is the 200th day of the year (201st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The bombing of Rome in World War II took place on several occasions in 1943 and 1944, by both Allied and Axis aircraft, before the city was freed from Axis occupation by the Allies on June 4, 1944. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Grand Council of Fascism (Italian: ) was the main body of Mussolinis Fascist government in Italy. ... Mussolini redirects here. ... Pietro Badoglio (September 28, 1871 - November 1, 1956) was an Italian soldier and politician. ... Victor Emmanuel III (Italian: ; 11 November 1869 – 28 December 1947) was King of Italy (29 July 1900 – 9 May 1946), Emperor of Ethiopia (1936–43) and King of Albania (1939–43). ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Armistice with Italy is an armistice that occurred on September 8, 1943, during World War II. It was signed by Italy and the Allied armed forces, who were occupying the southern half of the country at the time. ... is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


3 September 1943, British troops crossed the short distance from Sicily to the 'toe' of Italy in Operation Baytown. Two more Allied landings took place on 9 September at Salerno (Operation Avalanche) and at Taranto (Operation Slapstick). The Italian surrender meant that the Allied landings at Taranto took place unopposed. The troops simply disembarked from warships at the docks rather than assaulting the coastline. is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article covers the invasion of mainland Italy by the World War II Allies in September 1943 during the Italian Campaign. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Salerno is a town in Campania, south-western Italy, the capital of the province of the same name. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, southern Italy. ... Operation Slapstick was a part of the Allied invasion of Italy during World War II on 9 September 1943. ...


German troops, once they had discovered that the Italians had signed an armistice, moved quickly to disarm the Italian forces and to take over critical defensive positions (Operation Achse). These included Italian-occupied south-eastern France and the Italian-controlled areas in the Balkans.


On 9 September, a German Fritz X guided bomb sank the Italian battleship Roma off the coast of Sardinia. is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Fritz X was a German air-launched anti-ship missile, deployed during World War II. Fritz X was an allied code-name; alternate names include Ruhrstahl SD 1400 X. History Development began in 1938. ... Roma was an Italian Vittorio Veneto class battleship that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was built in 1940. ... For the place in the United States, see Sardinia, Ohio. ...


In Cephallonia after the surrender on 8 September 1943 General Antonio Gandin, commander of the 12,000-strong Italian Italian 33 Infantry Division Acqui, requested clarifications from the commander of the Italian 11th Army in Greece, General Carlo Vecchiarelli, on how to act following the surrender and was told to surrender all arms to the German forces on the island in return for safe passage to Italy. While he and his staff were considering their options two ships with German reinforcements arrived to the island and the Italians attacked them with artillery, sinking one of them. The Italians were then attacked by elements of German 1st Mountain Division with support from Stukas, and forced to surrender on September 22, after suffering some 1,300 casualties. The Germans began executing the Italians who had surrended and did not stop until over 4,500 Italians had been shot. The ca. 4,000 survivors were put aboard ships for the mainland, but some of them sunk after hitting mines in the Ionian Sea, where another 3,000 were lost.[4] The Cephallonia massacre serves as the background for the novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin.[5][6] Kefalonia also known as Cephalonia, Kefallinia, or Cefalonia (Ancient Greek: Κεφαλλήνια Modern Greek: Κεφαλλονιά), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. ... Mountain Brigade 1. ... Junkers Ju 87 Dive-Bombers The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was the most famous Sturzkampfflugzeug (German dive bomber) in World War II, instantly recognisable by its inverted gull-wings and fixed undercarriage. ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Ionian Sea. ... Captain Corellis Mandolin, a 1993 novel written by Louis de Bernières, is a story about an Italian captain (Antonio Corelli) and the daughter (Pelagia) of the local physician (Dr. Iannis) on the island of Kefalonia set against the background of the Italian/German occupation of the island during...


About two months after he was stripped of power, Benito Mussolini was rescued by the Germans in Operation Oak (Unternehmen Eiche). This was a spectacular raid planned by German General Kurt Student and carried out by Senior Storm Unit Leader (Obersturmbannführer) Otto Skorzeny. The Germans re-located Mussolini to northern Italy where he set up a new Fascist state, the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana or RSI). The daring rescue of Benito Mussolini by German special forces in World War II. ... Kurt Student Kurt Student (May 12, 1890-July 1, 1978) was a German Luftwaffe General who fought as a pilot on the Eastern Front during the First World War and as the commander of the German parachute troops during the Second World War. ... SS-Obersturmbannführer Rank Patch SA-Obersturmbannführer Rank Patch Obersturmbannführer was a paramilitary Nazi Party rank which was used by both the SA and the SS. The title was first created as an SA rank in 1932 after an expansion of the SA created the need for an... Otto Skorzeny (June 12, 1908 – July 6, 1975[1]) was a Standartenführer[2] in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. After fighting on the Eastern Front, he is known as the commando leader who rescued Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from imprisonment after his overthrow. ... Anthem Giovinezza (The Youth)¹ Capital Salò Language(s) Italian Religion Roman Catholicism Government Republic Head of State Benito Mussolini Historical era World War II  - Established September 23, 1943  - Disestablished April 25, 1945 ¹ External link The Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana or RSI) was a Nazi puppet state led by...


The Allied armies continued to advance through Italy despite increasing opposition from the Germans. The Allies soon controlled most of southern Italy. The Allies organized some Italian troops in the south into what were known as "co-belligerent" or "royalist" forces. In time, there was a co-belligerent army (Italian Co-Belligerent Army), navy (Italian Co-Belligerent Navy), and air force (Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force). These Italian forces fought alongside the Allies for the rest of the war. Other Italian troops, loyal to Mussolini and his RSI, continued to fight alongside the Germans. From this point on, a large Italian resistance movement located in northern Italy fought a guerrilla war against the German and RSI forces. The Italian Co-Belligerent Army was the army of the Italian royalist forces fighting on the side of the Allies in southerm Italy after the Allied armistice with Italy in September 1943. ... The Italian Co-Belligerent Navy was the navy of the Italian royalist forces fighting on the side of the Allies in southerm Italy after the Allied armistice with Italy in September 1943. ... The Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force was an air force formed in 1943 in Southern Italy, whose pilots flew with the Allies after the Italian Armistice. ... Partisans parading in Milan The Italian resistance movement was a partisan force during World War II. // After Italys capitulation on 8 September 1943, the Italian resistance movement became massive. ... “Guerrilla” redirects here. ...


Winston Churchill had long regarded southern Europe as the military weak spot of the continent (in World War I he had advocated the Dardanelles operation and during World War II he favored the Balkans as an area of operations, for example in Greece in 1940 and so on). [1][2][3][4] Calling Italy the "soft underbelly" of the Axis, Churchill therefore advocated this invasion instead of a cross-channel invasion of occupied France. But Italy itself proved anything but a soft target: the mountainous terrain gave Axis forces excellent defensive positions and it also partly negated the Allied advantage in motorized and mechanized units. The final Allied victory over the Axis in Italy would not come until the spring offensive of 1945, after Allied troops had breached the Gothic Line, leading to the surrender of German forces in Italy shortly before Germany finally surrendered ending World War II. Map of the Dardanelles The Dardanelles (Turkish: Çanakkale BoÄŸazı, Greek: Δαρδανέλλια, Dardanellia), formerly known as the Hellespont (Greek: Eλλήσποντος, Hellespontos), is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. ... Motorized forces or military units are those that have trucks, or other wheeled, un-armoured transport as an integral part of their organization. ... Combatants  United Kingdom United States Poland New Zealand India South Africa Brazil and others Germany Commanders Mark Clark Richard McCreery Lucian Truscott Heinrich von Vietinghoff Traugott Herr Joachim Lemelsen Strength U.S. 5th Army British 8th Army German 10th Army German 14th Army The Spring 1945 offensive in Italy was... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... German defensive positions in Northern Italy 1944 370th Infantry Regiment walking toward the mountains at north of Prato - April 1945 The Gothic Line, also known as Linea Gotica, formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselrings last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits...


References

  1. ^ Bierman, John; Smith, Colin (2002). The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II. Viking Books, pp13-14. ISBN 0670030406. 
  2. ^ Garibaldi, Luciano; foreword by Blitzer, Wolf. Century of War. Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. pag.142
  3. ^ Garibaldi, Luciano; foreword by Blitzer, Wolf. Century of War. Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. pag.151
  4. ^ Chronik des Seekrieges 1939-1945, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Section "War Crimes", entry on "23.9.— 19.10.1943"
  5. ^ Axis History Factbook
  6. ^ Reproduced articles from The Times and The Guardian

Bibliography

  • Bierman, John; Smith, Colin. The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II. Viking Books, 2002. ISBN 0670030406.
  • Garibaldi, Luciano; foreword by Blitzer, Wolf Century of War. Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. New York, 2001 ISBN 1-58663-342-2

See also

This page lists equipment used by the Italian Army during World War II. // Beretta M1934 pistols Beretta Model 38/42 submachine guns Carcano rifles Breda machine guns: Breda 30 6. ... Insignia applied with a decal on the tail of the Règia Aeronautica aircraft (reconstruction). ... Coat of Arms of the Italian Army Dardo IFV on exercise in Campo Teulada Italian Soldiers on Parade The Italian Army (Esercito Italiano) is the ground defense force of the Italian Republic. ... The Italian Regia Marina (literally: Royal Navy) dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification. ... Combatants  United Kingdom Indian Empire  United States Poland  Brazil  New Zealand  Canada  Free French  South Africa Italy  (after September 8th) Italian Resistance  Germany Italy  (until 8 September 1943) RSI  (until 25 April 1945) Commanders C-in-C AFHQ: Dwight D. Eisenhower (until January 1944) Henry Maitland Wilson (Jan to Dec... Combatants United Kingdom British India British Somaliland N. Rhodesia British East Africa Italy Italian East Africa Commanders Alfred Godwin-Austen Arthur Chater Guglielmo Nasi Carlo De Simone Strength 4,000 24,000 Casualties 38 killed[1] 71 wounded[1] 49 missing[1] Total:205[2] Destroyed British convoy near Berbera... Greatest extent of Italian control of the Mediterranean littoral and seas (within green line & dots) in summer/fall 1942. ... Italian Propaganda Poster (1942): We will return! (to the italian African colonies) When the italian army surrendered in Gondar in november 1941, many Italians decided to start a guerrilla warfare in the mountains and deserts of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For the University of Nebraska–Lincoln football teams defense, see Blackshirts (football). ... For the 1970 film see Black Brigade (film) Black Brigades (Italian: Brigate Nere) were one of the fascist paramilitary groups operating in the Italian Social Republic (in northern Italy), during the final years of World War II, and after the signing of the Italian Armistice in 1943. ... ARIETE Armoured Division was formed in MILAN on February 1939; marked by No. ... Combatants Panzer Army Afrika Italian Army Eighth Army Commanders Erwin Rommel Claude Auchinleck Neil Ritchie Strength 80,000 390 tanks 175,000 949 tanks Casualties 32,000 dead, wounded, or captured 114 tanks destroyed 98,000 dead, wounded, or captured 540 tanks destroyed The Battle of Gazala was an important... German soldiers raising the Reich War Flag over the Acropolis. ... The Decima Flottiglia MAS (Decima Flottiglia Mezzi dAssalto, also known as La Decima or Xª MAS) (Italian for 10th Assault Vehicle Flotilla) was an Italian commando frogman unit created during the Fascist government. ... Partisans parading in Milan The Italian resistance movement was a partisan force during World War II. // After Italys capitulation on 8 September 1943, the Italian resistance movement became massive. ...

External links

  • "Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia" (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia, or CSIR), by Shawn Bohannon.
  • "Italian Army in Russia" (Armata Italiana in Russia, or ARMIR), by Shawn Bohannon.

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