when did italy join ww1

“In honor of those who served in the world war. In the years that led up to World War One, Italy had sided with Germany and Austria-Hungary in the Triple Alliance. A postcard honors the memory of Captain Giuseppe Tagliamonte, commander of the 10th Infantry Company at the battle of Selz along the Italian/Austro-Hungarian frontier in northeastern Italy during the 2nd Isonzo Offensive. Prime Minister Antonio Salandra took office in March 1914, had little experience in foreign affairs, and had no talent or taste for statecraft. [11], A major hindrance to Italy's decision on what to do about the war was the political instability throughout Italy in 1914. Public opinion was divided and Sonnino used that to mislead the cabinet. Italy, Austria and Serbia were all contending for control of Albania. Italy's relations with France remained tense: France still felt betrayed by Italy's refusal to help in the Franco-Prussian War back in 1870. However, a strong sentiment existed within the general population and political factions to go to war against Austria-Hungary, Italy’s historical enemy. London and Paris insisted and Russia, by April 1915, abandoned its support for most of Serbia's claims and accepted terms for Italy's entry into the war, which would limit the Russian strategic presence in the postwar Adriatic. Long-time nationalists Gabriele D'Annunzio and Luigi Federzoni and a Marxist journalist once praised by Lenin, now a new convert to nationalist sentiment, Benito Mussolini, demanded that Italy join the war. Freemasonry was an influential semi-secret force in Italian politics with a strong presence among professionals and the middle class across Italy, as well as among the leadership in parliament, public administration, and the army. ", Renzi, William A. maybe the 2 last WW wars? For the liberals, the war presented Italy a long-awaited opportunity to use an alliance with the Entente to gain territories from Austria-Hungary, which had long been part of Italian patriotic aims since unification. [26], A Bidding war: bargaining with both sides, Paul Du Quenoy, "With allies like these, who needs enemies? ", Fulvio Conti, "From Universalism to Nationalism: Italian Freemasonry and the Great War.". Despite Italy's official alliance to Germany and membership in the Triple Alliance, it remained neutral, claiming that the Triple Alliance was only for defensive purposes.[14]. War and Nation in the Italian Historiography of the First World War", Pryce, Roy. However, the country gave a fundamental contribution to the victory of the conflict as one of the "Big Four" top Allied powers. The pact ensured Italy the right to attain all Italian-populated lands it wanted from Austria-Hungary, as well as concessions in the Balkan Peninsula and suitable compensation for any territory gained by the Allies from Germany in Africa. Many elements of the left including syndicalists, republicans and anarchists protested against this and the Italian Socialist Party declared a general strike in Italy. 2 Apr 1915: Second Battle of Ypres: Poison gas was used for the first time during this battle. Roy Pryce summarized the bitter experience: The Italian leadership was inexperienced, unfamiliar with international affairs, and often quite ill. While being a member of the Triple Alliance which consisted of Italy, Austria-Hungary and Germany, Italy did not declare war in August 1914, arguing that the Triple Alliance was defensive in nature and therefore Austria-Hungary's aggression did not obligate Italy to take part. The record states that Zanussi served with good conduct and faithful service. Under the Peace Treaties of Saint-Germain, Rapallo and Rome, Italy gained a permanent seat in the League of Nations's executive council and obtained most of the promised territories, but not Dalmatia (except Zara), allowing nationalists to redefine the result as a "Mutilated victory"; that angry sentiment helped to the rise of the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini in 1922.[4]. At first he expected the Central Powers to win, but the war looked more like a long one, so it was not necessary to hurry and join in. All of the leaders distrusted Austria, and were eager to take control of the Austrian province of Trentino-Alto-Adige in the Alps, and the Austrian city of Trieste. Militarist nationalists and anti-militarist leftists fought on the streets until the Italian Royal Army forcefully restored calm after having used thousands of men to put down the various protesting forces. However, a strong sentiment existed within the general population and political factions to go to war against Austria-Hungary, Italy’s historical enemy. Austria had too little to offer and was showing its military weakness. On May 3, Italy resigned from the Triple Alliance and later declared war against Austria-Hungary at midnight on May 23. Why did Italy betray its allies? However, Russia had its own pro-Slavic interest in that region, and complicated negotiations. It led to the fall of four great imperial dynasties and, in its destabilization of European society, laid the groundwork for World War II. In 1915, Italy entered the war joining the Triple Entente (i.e. Likewise intellectuals and foreign policy experts, as well as nationalistic pressure groups, were ignored. Before WW1 Italy was part of an alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, yet it didn't join them when the war started and it even joined the Allied side later during the war. He ignored the poor state of the Italian military, expecting that Britain and France would do all the fighting that was necessary. Hamilton, Richard F. and Holger H. Herwig, eds. ", Renzi, William A. Moreover, the Triple Alliance recognized that both Italy and Austria-Hungary were interested in the Balkans and required both to consult each other before changing the status quo and to provide compensation for whatever advantage in that area: Austria-Hungary did consult Germany but not Italy before issuing the ultimatum to Serbia, and refused any compensation before the end of the war. ", Stevenson, David. At the same time, the left became more repulsed by the government after the killing of three anti-militarist demonstrators in June. Giordano Merlicco, "Italy and the Austro‐Serbian crisis of July 1914", in VVAA, C.J. In March 1915 Sonnino began serious negotiations with London and France . On April 26, 1915, Italy negotiated the secret Pact of London by which Great Britain and France promised to support Italy annexing the frontier lands in return for entering the war on the Entente side. Italy joined the Allies in WWI (even though it had previously had a treaty with the Central Powers) for one reason—it wanted territory.

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