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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

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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June 1940, the Invasion of France

Italian soldiers in occupied France

The Italian invasion of France allows us to see how the Axis was actually very far from the propaganda’s representation of a “Pact of Steel.”

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Italian Military Map Symbols

This manual explains and illustrates the Italian military map symbols used during World War Two.

Guide to NARA Italian Microfilm Records Series T-821

These NARA files contain a wide variety of documents covering the Italian Armed Force from 1939-43.

Italian Infantry Squad Tactics

This file currently contains the translation of the Parte Seconda [Second Part] of volume II of the manual which covers the tactical training of the squad (Chapter II). The basic construct of the Italian Army’s tactical operation/schema is explained in Parte Prima of volume II and helps one understand the terms and ideas expressed in the translation.