Mussolini was well aware that Chancellor Dollfuss was murdered by Nazi operatives. He then made two bold steps. He ordered Italian troops mobilized on the Austrian border and sent a wire telegram to Austria promising Italy’s help in the defense of her independence.
Italy declares war on France and England. Mussolini saw France’s imminent surrender and decided to reap some of the spoils of France. In order to do this, he needed to absorb as much French land as possible. Mussolini had interest in obtaining Nice, Corsica, French Somaliland and Tunisia.
Considered the first real “armored clash” is spawned at Mechili (* see notes below). The Italian Special Armored Brigade destroys 15 British tanks and pursue the the British for an additional 20 kilometers before losing communication with the home base and turning back. They then destroy another 6 tanks from a British counterattack.