Greco-Italian War

Greco-Italian War

Military Conflict
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Greco-Italian War

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The Greco-Italian War ( Ellinoitalikós Pólemos or Πόλεμος του Σαράντα Pólemos tou Saránda, "War of '40", , "War of Greece") was a conflict between Italy and Greece which lasted from 28 October 1940 to 23 April 1941. It marked the beginning of the Balkans Campaign of World War II. From the 6 April 1941 intervention of Nazi Germany onwards, the conflict is known as the Battle of Greece.

Regional politics

By mid-1940, Mussolini had grown jealous of Hitler's conquests and wanted to prove to his Axis partner that he could lead Italy to similar military successes. Italy had occupied Albania in the spring of 1939 and several British strongholds in Africa (Italian conquest of British Somaliland in the summer of 1940), but could not boast victories on the same scale as Nazi Germany. At the same time, Mussolini also wanted to reassert Italy's interests in the Balkans, threatened by Germany (he was piqued that Romania, a Balkan state in the supposed Italian influence zone, had accepted German protection for its Ploieşti oil fields in mid-October) and secure bases from which British eastern Mediterranean outposts could be attacked.

On 28 October 1940, after Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas rejected an Italian ultimatum demanding the occupation of Greek territory, Italian forces invaded Greece. The Hellenic Army counter-attacked and forced the Italians...
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