Pages 45, 87-88. Malta! Japan reacted with shock and outrage to the news of the surrender of Italy to the Allied forces in September 1943. Italian industry did not equal more than 15% of that of France or of Britain in militarily critical areas such as automobile production: the number of automobiles in Italy before the war was around 374,000, in comparison to around 2,500,000 in Britain and France. [nb 1][nb 2][44][45] Almost 40% of the 1939 budget was allocated for military spending. Relations date from the 16th century to the present day. Updated studies (2010) by the Ufficio dell'Albo d'Oro of the Italian Ministry of Defence have however revised the military deaths to 319,207: Civilian losses were 153,147 (123,119 post armistice) including 61,432 (42,613 post armistice) in air attacks. Hitler decided that a British presence in Greece presented a threat to Germany's rear and committed German troops to invade Greece via Yugoslavia (where a coup had deposed the German-friendly government). The two countries were allied in both World Wars. [6] Although it was not among his publicly proclaimed aims, Mussolini wished to challenge the supremacy of Britain and France in the Mediterranean Sea, which was considered strategically vital, since the Mediterranean was Italy's only conduit to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. [36] On 2 February 1940, however, Mussolini approved a draft contract with the Royal Air Force to provide 400 Caproni aircraft; yet he scrapped the deal on 8 February. The Germans re-located him to northern Italy where he set up a new Fascist state, the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana or RSI). Their military contribution was so vast, that it played a decisive role in the victory of the rebel forces led by Francisco Franco. By then, the Allies were on the Italian mainland. Tunisia! General Caroni, who was tasked with defending Rome, was given duplicitous orders to have his troops abandon Rome (something he did not want to do), and essentially to provide rear guard protection to the King and his entourage so they could flee to the Abruzzi hills, and later out to sea. Some Italians, after their defeat, waged a guerilla war mainly in Eritrea and Ethiopia, that lasted until fall 1943. Notable among them was Amedeo Guillet. These were Albania; Tunisia; Corsica, an integral part of France; the Ticino, a canton of Switzerland; and all "French territory east of the River Var", including Nice, but not Savoy. In spring 1941, Italy created a Montenegrin client state and annexed most of the Dalmatian coast as the Governorship of Dalmatia (Governatorato di Dalmazia). A Front of the war I have very little knowledge about. 1969, O'Hara & Cernuschi (2009), pp.52–55; O'Hara (2009), pp.XV,91–98,136–137; Bierman & Smith (2002), p.14; Johnston (2000), p.13; Steinberg (1990), p.208; Zabecki (1999), p. 1578; Wilmot (1944), p.8,46; Rommel & Pimlott (1994), p. 128, Jon E. Lewis (1999), The Mammoth Book of True War Stories, p. 318, Weinberg, 2011, Some Myths of World War II, p.707. In January 1943 the Italians refused to cooperate with the Nazis in rounding up Jews living in the occupied zone of France under their control and in March prevented the Nazis from deporting Jews in their zone. [104] Included in the losses are also 64,000 victims of Nazi reprisals and genocide including 30,000 POWs and 8,500 Jews[105] Russian sources list the deaths of 28,000 of the 49,000 Italian prisoners of war in the Soviet Union (1942–1954). [77], On 8 December 1940, the British launched Operation Compass. [111][112] The propaganda from this Italian collapse, which was designed to boost British morale during a bleak period of the war, left a lasting impression. Only when the Italians were able to establish numerical parity was the Greek offensive stopped. After reorganising and re-grouping the Allies launched Operation Crusader in November 1941 which resulted in the Axis front line being pushed back once more to El Agheila by the end of the year. ", Gooch, John. [59] In any event, a critical lack of fuel kept naval activities to a minimum.[60]. In July 1942, the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) expanded the CSIR to a full army of about 200,000 men named the Italian Army in Russia (Armata Italiana in Russia, ARMIR). The Italian concession of Tientsin was occupied by Japanese troops after resistance from its garrison. The machine guns of the British armoured cars pepper them with bullets which easily pierce their armour. These Italian forces fought alongside the Allies for the rest of the war. Their 75/46 fixed AA/AT gun, 75/32 gun, 90/53 AA/AT gun (an equally deadly but less famous peer of the German 88/55), 47/32 AT gun, and the 20 mm AA autocannon were effective, modern weapons. Other examples: Bishop and Warner (2001) – "It was Germany's misfortune to be allied to Italy.....the performance of most Italian infantry units risable.....could be relied on to fold like a house of cards.....dash and elan but no endurance"; The phrase "prisoner in the Mediterranean" had been used in parliament as early as 30 March 1925, by the naval minister Admiral. After the Operation Torch landings in the Vichy French territories of Morocco and Algeria (November 1942) British, American and French forces advanced east to engage the German-Italian forces in the Tunisia Campaign.
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