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Italian Military of 1940: Facilitator or Victim of Mussolini’s Failed War Strategy?

Meeting Betwen Mussolini, Hitler, Ciano and Von Ribbentrop  Picture Courtesy of WW2Total.com.

The true question when searching to elucidate the performance of the Italian military, one that is scarcely discussed, is if it’s state of disorder was the cause or the effect of the nation’s ruination. In other words, did the uneven military performance cause the collapse of the nation, or was it merely the expression of a society and government that was already teetering on the precipice of implosion?

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Letter from Hitler to Mussolini, August 25, 1939

The relation of Germany to Poland, not through the blame of the Reich, but as a result of the activity of England, has become considerably more unsatisfactory since spring and in the last few weeks the position has become simply unbearable. The reports about the persecution of the Germans in the border areas are not invented press reports but represent only a fraction of the terrible truth.

Letter from Adolf Hitler to Benito Mussolini on Operation Barbarossa

The situation in England itself is bad; the provision of food and raw materials is growing steadily more difficult. The martial spirit to make war, after all, lives only on hopes. These hopes are based solely on two assumptions: Russia and America.

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