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11-08-2015, 18:50

The Italian Empire

Italy was the least fortunate of the three winning countries. Mussolini was greedy. During the war itself he claimed operations in the Mediterranean basin as his private domain in which to direct his 'parallel war' as he thought fit. He reiterated his territorial claims at every possible opportunity. They included Nice, Corsica, Tunisia, Djibouti, the Sudan, part of Algeria, Epirus, Dalmatia. The Italians' weakness, however,- was soon apparent. It seriously impaired the Duce's pretentions and undermined his authority. Italian troops managed to occupy a few slopes of the French Alps before 1942 and afterwards extended their domination to Corsica and the territory between the Rhone and the Alps. They held a few toeholds on the Dalmation coast and in British Somaliland. Croatia was theoretically an Italian dependency. But there was little profit in such meagre conquests. Although the secret police, O.V.R. A., were brutal, the sympathies ol the military duels were more royalist than fascist and they tended to be lenient. In Nice they even refused to enforce the' Vichy government's anti-semitic laws. By 1943 Italy had lost everything — the empire which she had conquered before the war and all the territories she had won during the war.