Fascist Italy (1922–1943)

All territory ever controlled by Fascist Italy:
Roman Catholic procession in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome, 1931
All territory ever controlled by Fascist Italy:
Mussolini and Vatican delegation prior to signing the Lateran Treaty
Propaganda poster of Mussolini
Mussolini in Milan, 1930
Mussolini giving a speech at the Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin, 1932.
The Italian Empire in 1940
Parade of Libyan colonial troops in Italian Cyrenaica
Depiction of Mussolini in Italian East Africa
Front page of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on 11 November 1938 proclaiming that the new racial laws have been passed
Italy was Nazi Germany's biggest ally for most of the regime's existence.
Adolf Hitler and Mussolini walking in front of saluting military during Hitler's visit to Venice, June 1934
Mussolini inspects the troops in 1934

Governed by the National Fascist Party from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini as prime minister.

- Fascist Italy (1922–1943)

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Axis powers

Military coalition that initiated World War II and fought against the Allies.

Flags of Germany, Japan, and Italy draping the facade of the Embassy of Japan on the Tiergartenstraße in Berlin (September 1940)
Germany's Führer Adolf Hitler (right) beside Italy's Duce Benito Mussolini (left)
Japan's Prime Minister Hideki Tojo (center) with fellow government representatives of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. To the left of Tojo, from left to right: Ba Maw from Burma, Zhang Jinghui, Wang Jingwei from China. To the right of Tojo, from left to right, Wan Waithayakon from Thailand, José P. Laurel from the Philippines, and Subhas Chandra Bose from India
The signing of the Tripartite Pact by Germany, Japan, and Italy on 27 September 1940 in Berlin. Seated from left to right are the Japanese ambassador to Germany Saburō Kurusu, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Galeazzo Ciano, and Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler, Führer and Reich Chancellor of the German People, 1933–1945
Engelbert Dollfuss, Chancellor of Austria, 1932–1934
Hideo Kodama, a wartime cabinet minister in the Empire of Japan
Japanese writer Shūmei Ōkawa, a key exponent of Japanese nationalism
Lt.Gen Hiroshi Ōshima, Japanese ambassador to Germany before and during World War II
German Führer Adolf Hitler along with General Walther von Brauchitsch, during the victory parade in Warsaw after the defeat of Poland, October 1939
German Heinkel He 111 bomber aircraft during the Battle of Britain
German vehicles advancing during the Second Battle of El Alamein in the North African campaign
German soldiers during the Battle of Stalingrad in the Eastern Front campaign
German submarine U-118 under air attack in June 1943
The Duce Benito Mussolini in an official portrait
Italian soldiers in the North African Campaign in 1941
Italian Fiat M13/40 tanks in the North African Campaign in 1941
Italian battleships Vittorio Veneto and Littorio during the war
Italian Macchi C.200 fighter aircraft during the war
Every territory ever controlled by the Italian Empire at some point in time during World War II
IJN super-dreadnought battleships Yamashiro, Fusō, and battlecruiser Haruna, Tokyo Bay, 1930s
IJN Special Naval Landing Forces armed with the Type 11 Light Machine Gun during the Battle of Shanghai
Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter aircraft and other aircraft preparing for takeoff on the aircraft carrier Shōkaku on 7 December 1941, for the attack on Pearl Harbor
The Empire of Japan (darker red) and territories controlled by Japanese puppet states during the war (lighter red). Thailand (darkest red) cooperated with Japan. All are members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
IJA paratroopers are landing during the Battle of Palembang, February 13, 1942.
IJN Yamato-class Battleships Yamato and Musashi moored in Truk Lagoon, in 1943
Japanese Military Attaché, Makoto Onodera, visiting Fjell Fortress in Norway, 1943. Behind him is Lieutenant Colonel Eberhard Freiherr von Zedlitz und Neukrich (C-in-C Luftwaffe Feldregiment 502.), and to the right is Fregattenkapitän doktor Robert Morath (Seekommandant in Bergen). Behind Onoderas hand (raised in salute) is General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst (C-in-C German military forces in Norway).
Japanese officers training young Indonesian recruits, circa 1945
Bulgarian soldiers in Vardar Macedonia during the Balkans campaign
Hungarian Toldi I tank as used during the 1941 Axis invasion of the Soviet Union
Hungarian soldiers in the Carpathian mountains in 1944
MÁVAG Héja fighter aircraft, derived from the Reggiane Re.2000, an Italian fighter design
Adolf Hitler meeting with NDH leader Ante Pavelić
Ion Antonescu and Adolf Hitler at the Führerbau in Munich (June 1941)
A formation of Romanian IAR 80 fighter aircraft
The Romanian Mareșal tank destroyer's design was likely used by the Germans to develop the Hetzer
Romanian soldiers on the outskirts of Stalingrad during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942
Slovakia in 1941
Kingdom of Denmark
Mannerheim with Hitler
Finnish troops passing by the remains of a destroyed Soviet T-34 at the battle of Tali-Ihantala
Manchurian soldiers training in a military exercise
Manchurian pilots of the Manchukuo Air Force
Front row in order from left to right: Karl Wolff, Heinrich Himmler, Francisco Franco and Spain's Foreign Minister Serrano Súñer in Madrid, October 1940
Francisco Franco (centre) and Serrano Súñer (left) meeting with Mussolini (right) in Bordighera, Italy in 1941. At Bordighera, Franco and Mussolini discussed the creation of a Latin Bloc.
Phraya Phahon (far left), Thawan Thamrong (left), and Direk Jayanama (right) with Hideki Tōjō (center) in Tokyo 1942
German and Soviet soldiers during the official transfer of Brest to Soviet control in front of picture of Stalin, in the aftermath of the invasion and partition of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939
France during the war; Occupied and annexed zones by Germany in shades of red, Italian occupation zones in shades of yellow and striped blue, "Free zone" in blue.
Philippe Pétain (left) meeting with Hitler in October 1940
Personal flag of Philippe Pétain, Chief of State of Vichy France
An RAF officer investigates wrecked Iraqi artillery near Habbaniya.
Italian Social Republic
RSI (Repubblica Sociale Italiana) soldiers, March 1944
Greece, 1941–1944
Hitler declaring war on the United States on 11 December 1941
Italian pilots of a Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 long-range cargo aircraft meeting with Japanese officials upon arriving in East Asia in 1942.
German and Japanese direct spheres of influence at their greatest extents in Autumn 1942. Arrows show planned movements to an agreed demarcation line at 70° E, which was, however, never approximated.

Its principal members were Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy, and the Empire of Japan.

Allies of World War II

The Allied leaders of the European theatre (left to right): Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meeting at the Tehran Conference in 1943
The Allied leaders of the Asian and Pacific Theater: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill meeting at the Cairo Conference in 1943
Wartime poster for the United Nations, created in 1941 by the U.S. Office of War Information
Wartime poster for the United Nations, created in 1943 by the U.S. Office of War Information
British Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft (bottom) flying past a German Heinkel He 111 bomber aircraft (top) during the Battle of Britain in 1940
British Crusader tanks during the North African Campaign
British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal under attack from Italian aircraft during the Battle of Cape Spartivento (27 Nov 1940)
British soldiers of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in Elst, Netherlands on 2 March 1945
Free French forces at the Battle of Bir Hakeim, 1942
FAFL Free French GC II/5 "LaFayette" receiving ex-USAAF Curtiss P-40 fighters at Casablanca, French Morocco
The French fleet scuttled itself rather than fall into the hands of the Axis after their invasion of Vichy France on 11 November 1942.
The fall of Damascus to the Allies, late June 1941. A car carrying Free French commanders General Georges Catroux and General Paul Louis Le Gentilhomme enters the city, escorted by French Circassian cavalry (Gardes Tcherkess).
Soviet soldiers and T-34 tanks advancing near Bryansk in 1942
Soviet soldiers fighting in the ruins of Stalingrad during the Battle of Stalingrad
Soviet Il-2 ground attack aircraft attacking German ground forces during the Battle of Kursk, 1943
American Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bomber aircraft attacking the Japanese cruiser Mikuma during the Battle of Midway in June 1942
U.S. Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign in November 1942
American Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft during the bombing of oil refineries in Ploiești, Romania on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal Wave
U.S. soldiers departing landing craft during the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944 known as D-Day
Philippine Scouts at Fort William McKinley firing a 37 mm anti-tank gun in training
Soldiers of the National Revolutionary Army associated with Nationalist China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War
Soldiers of the First Workers' and Peasants' Army associated with Communist China, during the Sino-Japanese War
Victorious Chinese Communist soldiers holding the flag of the Republic of China during the Hundred Regiments Offensive
Members of the Belgian Resistance with a Canadian soldier in Bruges, September 1944 during the Battle of the Scheldt
Norwegian soldiers on the Narvik front, May 1940
Pilots of the No. 303 "Kościuszko" Polish Fighter Squadron during the Battle of Britain
Polish partisan of the Home Army (AK), "Jędrusie" unit, holding a Browning wz.1928 light machine gun
Partisans and Chetniks escorting captured Germans through Užice, autumn 1941
Partisan leader Marshal Josip Broz Tito with Winston Churchill in 1944
Chetniks leader General Mihailovic with members of the U.S. military mission, Operation Halyard, 1944
Romanian soldiers in Transylvania, September–October 1944
The dead bodies of Benito Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci, and several Fascist leaders, hanging for public display after they were executed by Italian partisans in 1945
The first version of the flag of the United Nations, introduced in April 1945
A British poster from 1941, promoting the greater alliance against Germany
U.S. government poster showing a friendly Soviet soldier, 1942

The Allies were an international military coalition formed during the Second World War (1939–1945) to oppose the Axis powers, led by Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy.

Military history of Italy during World War II

Characterized by a complex framework of ideology, politics, and diplomacy, while its military actions were often heavily influenced by external factors.

Italy and its colonies before WWII are shown in red. Pink areas were annexed for various periods between 1940 and 1943 (Tientsin concession in China is not shown)
Ambitions of fascist Italy in Europe in 1936. Legend: Albania, which was a client state, was considered a territory to be annexed.
German coal entering Italy through the Brenner Pass. The issue of Italian coal was prominent in diplomatic circles in the spring of 1940.
Italy and its colonies in 1940, before the start of the Western Desert Campaign.
Occupied France in 1940; the Italian zone is shown in yellow (in striped purple the 1942 occupation).
The Italian invasion and British counter-offensive
General Rodolfo Graziani.
A Libyan Savari, one of the Royal Corps of Colonial Troops
Rommel meets Italian General Italo Gariboldi in Tripoli, February 1941.
Amedeo Guillet with his Gruppo Bande Amhara
Fascist poster calling for revenge against the British takeover of Italian East Africa.
Italian war cemetery in Keren, Eritrea.
The three occupation zones. . The Italian zone was taken over by the Germans in September 1943.
Italian battleships Vittorio Veneto and Littorio.
Submarine Scirè used in the victorious Raid on Alexandria (1941).
Cruiser Raimondo Montecuccoli, used in many successful battles such as the First Battle of Sirte (1941) and Operation Harpoon (1942).
Italian troops in Russia, July 1942.
American soldiers landing on Sicily.
German PzKpfw V "Panther" in Rome, 1944.
Italian soldiers taken prisoner by the Germans in Corfu, September 1943.
Mussolini rescued by German troops from his prison in Campo Imperatore on 12 September 1943.
Insurgents celebrating the liberation of Naples after the Four days of Naples (27–30 September 1943)
Americans entering Bologna, 1945
The 11th-century Abbey of Monte Cassino, almost completely destroyed by Allied bombings in 1944, stands as a powerful symbol of the huge devastation Italy suffered during the war.
Fascist propaganda poster denouncing Allied bombings of Italian cities ("Here are the 'Liberators'!").
Pompeo D'Ambrosio (the second standing in the left of the photo) in 1938 was a pilot of the Italian Air Force, who survived WW2 because discharged, while all the others seven in the photo died in combat

Italy joined the war as one of the Axis Powers in 1940, as the French Third Republic surrendered, with a plan to concentrate Italian forces on a major offensive against the British Empire in Africa and the Middle East, known as the "parallel war", while expecting the collapse of British forces in the European theatre.

Italian resistance movement

Umbrella term for the Italian resistance groups who fought the occupying forces of Nazi Germany and the fascist collaborationists of the Italian Social Republic during the final phase of the Second World War in Italy from 1943 to 1945.

Italians shot by invading Germans in Barletta, 12 September 1943
Map of Italy during the Civil War, focusing on the Italian Social Republic
Carla Capponi, a vice-commander in the Gruppi di Azione Patriottica (GAP)
Partisan monument (Arcevia) with Italian and Yugoslav names
Monument to the fallen at the burial place of partisans killed on April 26, 1945 at Montù Beccaria (2007)
Mussolini - captured and executed by Italian Partisans, along with his mistress Clara Petacci and three other Fascist officials. (Milan, 1945)
The 64th anniversary of the liberation of Italy in Florence, Tuscany (25 April 2009)
A woman executed by public hanging in a street of Rome, early 1944
Three Italian partisans executed by public hanging in Rimini, August 1944
German soldier examining the papers of an Italian civilian outside of Milan (1944)
The Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre memorial relief
Memorial stone in Soragna for two Italian partisans – killed in 1944

As an anti-fascist movement and organisation, La Resistenza opposed Nazi Germany, as well as Nazi Germany's Italian puppet state regime, the Italian Social Republic, which was created by the Germans following the Nazi German invasion and military occupation of Italy by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS from September 1943 until April 1945 (though general underground Italian resistance to the Fascist Italian government began even prior to World War II).

National Fascist Party

Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of Italian Fascism and as a reorganization of the previous Italian Fasces of Combat.

Mussolini during the 1920s
Benito Mussolini with Fascist Blackshirts during the March on Rome
Mussolini in an official portrait
An Italian wartime propaganda poster promising a "return" to Italian East Africa which fell to British and colonial forces in a campaign in January–November 1941
Residents of Fiume cheer the arrival of Gabriele D'Annunzio and his blackshirt-wearing nationalist raiders, as D'Annunzio's actions in Fiume inspired the Italian Fascist movement
From 1925, Mussolini styled himself Il Duce ("the leader")
Fascist rally near the Coliseum in Rome
Mussolini with Adolf Hitler
Eagle clutching a fasces, a common symbol of Italian Fascism, regularly used on uniforms and caps
Flag of the National Fascist Party

The party ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 when Fascists took power with the March on Rome until the fall of the Fascist regime in 1943, when Mussolini was deposed by the Grand Council of Fascism.

Pact of Steel

Galeazzo Ciano, Adolf Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop at the signing of the Pact of Steel in the Reichskanzlei in Berlin

The Pact of Steel (Stahlpakt, Patto d'Acciaio), known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was a military and political alliance between Italy and Germany.

1946 Italian institutional referendum

Held in Italy on 2 June 1946, a key event of Italian contemporary history.

King Victor Emanuel III in his uniform as Marshal of Italy, 1936
King Umberto II, also known as Re di Maggio (May King)
Ballot paper used in the referendum in German-speaking areas.
Results by district showing percentage of support for the republic

However, in 1922 the rise of Benito Mussolini and the creation of the fascist regime, which eventually resulted in engaging Italy in World War II alongside Nazi Germany, considerably weakened the role of the monarchy.

Lateran Treaty

Vatican and Italian delegations prior to signing the treaty
Francesco Pacelli was the right-hand man to Pietro Gasparri during the Lateran Treaty negotiations
Territory of Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Accords
2013 map of Vatican City

The Lateran Treaty (Patti Lateranensi; Pacta Lateranensia) was one component of the Lateran Pacts of 1929, agreements between the Kingdom of Italy under King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and the Holy See under Pope Pius XI to settle the long-standing Roman Question.

World War II

Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930
Adolf Hitler at a German Nazi political rally in Nuremberg, August 1933
Benito Mussolini inspecting troops during the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935
The bombing of Guernica in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, sparked fears abroad in Europe that the next war would be based on bombing of cities with very high civilian casualties.
Japanese Imperial Army soldiers during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Red Army artillery unit during the Battle of Lake Khasan, 1938
Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured just before signing the Munich Agreement, 29 September 1938
German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, after signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, 23 August 1939
Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht tearing down the border crossing into Poland, 1 September 1939
Soldiers of the Polish Army during the defence of Poland, September 1939
Finnish machine gun nest aimed at Soviet Red Army positions during the Winter War, February 1940
German advance into Belgium and Northern France, 10 May-4 June 1940, swept past the Maginot Line (shown in dark red)
London seen from St. Paul's Cathedral after the German Blitz, 29 December 1940
Soldiers of the British Commonwealth forces from the Australian Army's 9th Division during the Siege of Tobruk; North African Campaign, September 1941
German Panzer III of the Afrika Korps advancing across the North African desert, April-May 1941
European theatre of World War II animation map, 1939–1945 – Red: Western Allies and the Soviet Union after 1941; Green: Soviet Union before 1941; Blue: Axis powers
German soldiers during the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Axis powers, 1941
Soviet civilians leaving destroyed houses after a German bombardment during the Battle of Leningrad, 10 December 1942
Japanese soldiers entering Hong Kong, 8 December 1941
The USS Arizona (BB-39) was a total loss in the Japanese surprise air attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Sunday 7 December 1941.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston Churchill seated at the Casablanca Conference, January 1943
Map of Japanese military advances through mid-1942
US Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign, in the Pacific theatre, 1942
Red Army soldiers on the counterattack during the Battle of Stalingrad, February 1943
American 8th Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombing raid on the Focke-Wulf factory in Germany, 9 October 1943
U.S. Navy SBD-5 scout plane flying patrol over USS Washington (BB-56) and USS Lexington (CV-16) during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, 1943
Red Army troops in a counter-offensive on German positions at the Battle of Kursk, July 1943
Ruins of the Benedictine monastery, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, Italian Campaign, May 1944
American troops approaching Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944
German SS soldiers from the Dirlewanger Brigade, tasked with suppressing the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupation, August 1944
General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte, 20 October 1944
Yalta Conference held in February 1945, with Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin
Ruins of the Reichstag in Berlin, 3 June 1945.
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.
Ruins of Warsaw in 1945, after the deliberate destruction of the city by the occupying German forces
Defendants at the Nuremberg trials, where the Allied forces prosecuted prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany for crimes against humanity
Post-war border changes in Central Europe and creation of the Communist Eastern Bloc
David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the Independence Hall, 14 May 1948
World War II deaths
Bodies of Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre in December 1937
Schutzstaffel (SS) female camp guards removing prisoners' bodies from lorries and carrying them to a mass grave, inside the German Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945
Prisoner identity photograph taken by the German SS of a Polish Catholic girl who died in Auschwitz. Approximately 230,000 children were held prisoner and used in forced labour and Nazi medical experiments.
Polish civilians wearing blindfolds photographed just before their execution by German soldiers in Palmiry forest, 1940
Soviet partisans hanged by the German army. The Russian Academy of Sciences reported in 1995 civilian victims in the Soviet Union at German hands totalled 13.7 million dead, twenty percent of the 68 million persons in the occupied Soviet Union.
B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers on the Boeing assembly line in Wichita, Kansas, 1944
A V-2 rocket launched from a fixed site in Peenemünde, 21 June 1943
Nuclear Gadget being raised to the top of the detonation "shot tower", at Alamogordo Bombing Range; Trinity nuclear test, New Mexico, July 1945

From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan (along with other countries later on).

Second Italo-Ethiopian War

Medical supplies for the front in Addis Ababa.
Italian soldiers recruited in 1935 in Montevarchi to fight the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
Map showing the military actions from 1935 to February 1936
Map showing the military actions from February to May 1936
Italian notice, signed by general Emilio De Bono, proclaiming the abolishment of slavery in Tigray in Italian and Amharic. The abolition of slavery was one of the first measures taken by the Italian occupation government in Ethiopia.
Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I
Pietro Badoglio
Italian artillery operated by Somali Ascari troops
Ethiopian prisoner in February 1936
Giuseppe Bottai at the Battle of Amba Aradam
Italian colonial troops advance on Addis Ababa
Italian troops in Addis Ababa, 1936
Death of Antonio Locatelli
Medal commemorating the role of the Italian Eritrean colonial troops in the war
Haile Selassie's resistance to the Italian invasion made him Time Man of the Year 1935.
Haile Selassie passes through Jerusalem on his way to exile in England.
The six provinces of Italian East Africa.
Duke of Aosta
Soldiers of the West African Frontier Force removing Italian frontier markers from the Kenya–Italian Somaliland border, 1941
Haile Selassie
Ras Kassa Haile Darge
Ras Desta Damtew
Imru Haile Selassie
Benito Mussolini
Emilio De Bono
Pietro Badoglio

The Second Italo-Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a war of aggression which was fought between Italy and Ethiopia from October 1935 to February 1937.