World War II: Italy--Casualties

Figure 1.--

Mussolini under Fascism glorified war. Despite nearly two decades of Fascist rulle, Mussolini never suceeded in inculcating the blood lust among his soldiers that Hitle and the Japanese militarists achieved. Italy began the military engagements leading up to World War II in Europe by invading Ethiopia (1935), but casualties were limited because Ethiopia did not have a modern army. Casualties were also limited in Spain when Mussolini intervened to support Franco's Nationalists (1936-39). There was little resisance when Mussolini invaded Albania (1939). This changed when Mussolini joined Hitler in World War II (June 1940). Te French although essentially already defeated by the Germans fought the Italaians. Significant casualtes began when Mussolini rdred an invasion of Greece just before the onset of winter weather (October 1940). Fighting in the moutaneous area between Albania and Greece resultd in substantial casualties for the first time. More csualties were suffered when the Italians invaded British held Egypt (Sepember 1040). This began a desprat struggle in the Western Desert. The Italians fared poorly and Mussolini had to ask for German support. Large numbers of Italians finally surrendered in Tunisia (May 1943). Casualties were limited by th fact tht theItalians wre prone to sundring eather than figting a pitched battle, esecially when not operating with German units. gnifant losses were sustained in the soviet Union as a result of the Stalingrad fighting. The despirited Itlian Army offered little resistance when the Allies invded Sicily (July 1943). After the Italins surrendered to the Alies, the Germans interned most of the Italiam Army (September 1943). While the talian Army did not suffer significan casualties in the fighting for Italy, the Resistance did sustain casualties and there were substantial civilian csualties. Military cualties totaled about 0.3 million. Civilian casulties were under 0.2 million, mostly occuring as the Allies fought the Germans up the Italian Peninsula (1943-45).


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Created: 7:13 PM 7/25/2014
Last updated: 7:13 PM 7/25/2014