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This new learn re-examines the debatable debate on Fascist Italy's street to foreign clash that has raged for 6 many years. The author's privileged entry to earlier unseen archival fabrics permits him to evaluate the ideological, geopolitical, household and strategic issues that formed Mussolini's alliance with Hitler, and his next selection to salary struggle opposed to nice Britain and France in June 1940.
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Extra resources for Mussolini and the origins of the Second World War, 1933-1940
In truth, the Eden mission was doomed to failure even before it took place. 33 Mussolini’s mood barely improved during the discussions that ensued. He criticised British policy over the naval armaments issue, and maintained that if the British government had been determined to formulate policy on the basis discussed at Stresa, they should have negotiated with Paris and Rome ¢rst, before reaching any agreement with Berlin. Had they done so, ‘the outcome would probably have been exactly the same’.
By the close of 1931 the dictator’s objective of attacking Yugoslavia and Albania had become more precisely focused. He had already laid out his aggressive intentions against Belgrade to Pietro Ga'zzera, 20 MUSSOLINI AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR his minister for war the previous year. Yugoslavia, Mussolini explained, had to be ‘liquidated’, because it was a country that would always be hostile to Italy. He had initiated moves to encircle the Yugoslavs and their Albanian neighbours, by forging alignments with Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria, he added.
Noting that Britain’s Mediterranean Fleet alone constituted a major threat to Italy, Vannutelli warned that the British would invariably strengthen the theatre considerably in the event of war with Italy. 17 If Mussolini, and, subsequently, the leadership of the Italian navy, expected French backing for any Mediterranean and Red Sea war against Britain, they were, as events were to prove, seriously mistaken. 18 Paris would never back any Italian war with Britain. Moreover, shortly after Stresa Mussolini discovered that shipments of arms destined for Ethiopia, originally impounded by the authorities in French Somaliland, had been released and accordingly arrived safely in Addis Ababa.