The Italian Involvement in World War II










The Italian Involvement in
World War II. 

 

 

World War II (1939-1945) was even more massive than
the First World War in terms of destructiveness and scope. While loss of human
lives and other assets was stunningly high in WW1, it was even more so the
second time around. Perhaps 10 million men died in the first war and 30 million
were wounded, some of them so severly that they would have better been dead.
The 10 million lost lives were not just individuals, they were 10 million
generations that never came into existence. Those who were wonded were
uncertain about their future and those who survived suffered from post-war
trauma and mental agony.  Italy had lost
more than 500,000 men and what it needed the least was another war. But another
World War was just around the corner, this time bringing with it much more
horror and suffering, taking away with it millions of lives and dreams and
hopes.

 

For Italy participation WW2 can
be traced back to 1935 when it brutally invaded Ethiopia and conquered the poor
state, somehow redeeming the defeat it had suffered at Adowa in 1895. The glory
of this victory went to Mussolini who had introduced a new form of government
in 1922 when he was invited to take over Italy’s adminitration by the then
Emperor King Victor Emmanuel II. The League of Nations couldn’t stop the war
and more or less was unable to do anything to help Ethiopia. The League however
did impose sanctions on Italy, which turned Italians against it even more
vehemently.

 

Mussolini and the Fascisti did
much to help Italy through the post-World War I upheavals that affected Europe
and the rest of the world. Italy was not struck down by the world stock market
crash of 1929 and the following depression. The Fascisti weren\'t the only
reason, but they were in a position to claim all the credit, as any party in
power would.

 

But to Mossilini also goes the
horrible destruction and loss that Italy was made to suffer during the Second
World War. One of Mussolini\'s desires for Italy was for it to regain the
greatness it had during the Roman Empire. In pursuit of these roots his government
funded many archeological excavations, restorations of ancient buildings and
new construction in the pseudo-classical style. Mussolini also strove to build
a colonial empire in Africa. That was why Italy had invaded Ethiopia. After the
attack on Ethiopia, Western Europe turned unfriendly to Italy. In their
intelligence reports and their public media the Western great powers began
linking Mussolini to Hitler.

 

Mussolini had fought against the
Germans in the First World War. Mussolini did not trust German imperialism. One
thing his foreign policy had continually worked for was a treaty with France,
and if possible Britain, to guarantee Austrian independence from Germany. When
France broke with Italy over Ethiopia, Mussolini had to find another way to
protect Italy from Germany. He opened a dialogue with the Nazis. Mussolini\'s
first meeting with Hitler was a reluctant one Hitler staged a triumphal welcome
for his hero. Mussolini was very impressed. He still didn\'t like Hitler, though
this changed a bit over the years to come. Mussolini knew he had to make his
own deals for the good of his country. The Axis treaty was signed in November
1937.

 

The Axis Treaty:

Axis Treaty was a pact between
the two countries, Italy and Germany, promising all sort of copperation. This
treaty was later reinforced by a German-Itlaian military pact in 1939. Japan
soon joined the pact in 1940 followed by Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia
and Croatia. Germany, Italy and Japan were the three main countries that fought
against the Allies in the Second World War.

 

Three-power Pact of 1940:

The governments of Germany, Italy
and Japan signed a pact in 1940 deciding to stand by and co-operate with one
another in regard to their efforts in greater East Asia and regions of Europe
respectively and to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples
concerned.

 

Obsolete military material of the Italian Army:

On September 1, 1939 Germany
invaded Poland. Poland\'s Western allies France and Britain declared war on
Germany and moved troops into position along the western front. It was not
until June 1940 that Germany attacked in the west. The Allied French and British
armies were rolled back and the Germans advanced on Paris. Mussolini did not
enter the war until late in the Battle of France. By his orders the Italian
troops attacked in the Alps, trying to invade France from the south. Though
there was serious fighting the meager