Want to learn more about the role of axis forces in Italy in WW2? Read on for a historical overview of Italy in WW2 and how it sided with the axis forces during the course of the war…
Italy entered World War II under the leadership of Mussolini on 11 June 1940. During the course of the war Italy sided with the axis powers at the side of Germany. The sole purpose for entering the World War II was not to aid Germany in becoming the next superpower of the world. Rather, the Italians wanted to expand their Mediterranean empire by driving out the British and regaining their former Roman Empire glory.
Mussolini decided to enter the war after observing how Germany was being able to crush the French as well as the allied forces in all of Western Europe. Hence the Italian dictator Mussolini decided to declare war against the Allies so that the country could gain possession of some easy war spoils. As the Italians decided to support the axis forces, Germany lent its full support to its newfound ally. The country sent over reinforcement troops that would help Italy make its way through France.
However, Mussolini was hasty in making his decisions and decided on invading France from the Southern side. What was expected to be an easy victory for the Italians turned out to be a rude awakening as they were faced with fierce resistance from the French army. However, the French were stopped short of a full-fledged offensive because of the capitulation of the French along with the coming of the new Vichy government, which hindered the Allied forces aims to annihilate Italy.
Mussolini was most definitely disappointed with his performance in the battle. However, he was still adamant on proving to the world that the historical Roman Empire was going to resurface. It was in pursuit of this dream that the leader of Italy ordered his troops to invade Egypt from Tripoli. The Italian forces were advancing well during the initial period of the attack. However, the British Allied forces sent in their reinforcement because of which the Italians were greatly outnumbered and hence their advances came to a full stop. Rather than being able to gain any territory, the Italians were now going to face a full onslaught offensive at the hands of the British Allied forces. The British forces successfully managed to regain all of the land that they had lost and were on the verge of invading into Italian territory. It was at this time that Hitler aided Italy with his forces and sent over Rommel at the head of DAK to defend the axis forces.
Although Italy could never achieve its dream of regaining the former glory of the Roman Empire and failed miserably in its attempt to become the next world power, the country barely managed to survive the British offensive. The fact of the matter is that the Italian army was neither capable nor willing to act upon the all too eager orders of its supreme leader.
Italy was always in need of support from the axis forces during World War II and although Hitler did aid them with reinforcements, this support was not enough to overcome the opposition of the Allied forces.