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Italian Roundel

Italian symbol

Italian soldiers

Italian prisoners in Operation Compass.

The Italian Army are the armed branch of the Kingdom of Italy, founded in 1860 when Italy was unified. The army was commanded by Pietro Badoglio during most of World War II, and then by Rodolfo Graziani after September 1943 when the Salo Republic was created.

History Edit

Pre-WWII Edit

The Italian Army were created in 1860 when the Kingdom of Italy was created by Victor Emmanuel II. Their first major war was the Invasion of Ethiopia in the 1870s, where they were defeated by King Menelik, and they also performed badly in World War I, relying on British, American, and French soldiers to defend Northern Italy from the Austrian Army after 1916.

The Italian Army were reformed in 1923 after Benito Mussolini's takeover of power in Italy, and they fought in the Invasion of Ethiopia in 1936 and the Invasion of Albania in 1939. The two countries were quickly overrun by Italian soldiers, but it was because the two invaded nations were poorly-equipped, while the Italians were no match for other global powers; the Italian army were also poorly-equipped, poorly-trained, poorly-led, and located far from home, so without a doubt, they were demoralized.

World War II Edit

Italy entered World War II on June 10, 1940, and their soldiers invaded France, beginning the Battle of the Alps. 800,000 Italian troops participated in the advance through the Alpes-Maritimes region, but thousands were killed or wounded with only a handful of French casualties. The Italian Army's only major victory was the conquest of British Somaliland, but the British, Indians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, and Egyptians took over all of Italian East Africa, Italian Somaliland, and Italian Kenya.

From 1940 until 1943, the Italians fought in few battles, save for the Italian 8th Army serving on the Eastern Front in Russia. In September 1943, the Allies invaded Sicily and took the province over, and the Italians offered heavy resistance while they could, since they were defending their homeland for the first time. Their resistance was futile, since Chief-of-Staff Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice with the Allies and Italy became one of the Allied Powers, and their army was disbanded, with many of them being captured by Yugoslavian Resistance, or fighting as minor Allied units.

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