Benito Mussolini regarded Adolf Hitler as a 'sentimentalist' - Telegraph
The development of sharp ideological divisions in European politics -- which eventually led to World War II -- can be explained not only by the rise of. Mussolini had not taken Hitler seriously until the German election, when in Spain, and in November Mussolini described the relationship between the two and when Hitler did not know, explained at some length that the Italian boot. A new book by a historian from The University of Manchester has examined the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini in detail for the first.
Mussolini had grandiose visions of building a new Italian empire, to replicate the glories of ancient Rome. His first target was Abyssinia modern-day Ethiopiaone of the few African kingdoms not yet under European control.Mussolini aligns with Hitler - The 20th century - World history - Khan Academy
In October Italian troops invaded and occupied much of Abyssinia. German-Italian relations were later boosted by their joint involvement in the Spanish Civil War in In September Mussolini paid a state visit to Germany, where he was met with a long parade of troops, artillery and military equipment.
These shows of strength were obviously convened to impress the Italian leader, and it worked. This decree, which proved very unpopular in Italy, stripped Italian Jews of their citizenship and removed them from government occupations.
In September Mussolini was part of the four-nation summit on the Czechoslovakian crisis and a signatory of the Munich Agreement. In May the Nazi-fascist alliance was extended further, with the signing of the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy. The pact also contained secret discussions and protocols where Germany and Italy agreed to prepare for a future European war. Negotiators promised a rapid increase in German-Italian trade and military co-operation, while both nations secretly agreed to avoid waging war without the other until Hitler ignored this commitment when he ordered German troops to invade Poland in September Mussolini had received advice that Italy would not be ready for war until latebecause of slow industrial growth and military production.
The Italian leader heeded this counsel, holding off on declaring war until Juneby which time the German conquest of western Europe was almost complete. The campaign was disastrous: The Allies invaded Italy in July ; Mussolini was soon expelled from power and the new government surrendered to the Allies in September.
Mussolini aligns with Hitler
The former fascist dictator was captured by partisans and executed in Apriltwo days before Hitler suicided in Berlin. Mussolini, however, had a low regard for Hitler and Nazism, believing them to be uncultured and simplistic.
Despite this, the two developed a cautious alliance, meeting several times and signing the Pact of Steel in When Hitler invaded Poland in Septemberyears ahead of schedule, Mussolini refused to support his ally, claiming that Italian industry and military production was not yet ready. Content on this page may not be republished or distributed without permission.
But as his imperial ambitions grow, he'll find that he has more in common with Nazi Germany-- or he's finding more sympathy with Nazi Germany-- than he is with the British and French. And so we go toso we're obviously skipping a huge gap right over here. But as we get intoMussolini feels that it's time to really exercise his imperial ambitions.
Italy already had holdings in northeast Africa. It had colonies in Eritrea, Italian Somaliland. And he had aspirations to take over Ethiopia.
Ethiopia, at this point in time, was one of the few African nations that was not essentially colonized, or not being controlled, by a European power. It was at the time Ethiopia was called Abyssinia.
And so inthe Italians invade Abyssinia, invade Ethiopia. And not only is it a very aggressive invasion, it's also a very cruel invasion. They use chemical warfare.
Many, many, many civilians die. And this isn't taken well by the other powers of Europe, in particular Great Britain and France.
Mussolini aligns with Hitler (video) | Khan Academy
But you might remember, based on what we learned about in Nazi Germany, that they were in no mood to start wars. They were kind of in an appeasement mode.
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And even with Italy they were willing to make a secret agreement, the Hoare-Laval. And this was a secret agreement that actually would have allowed Italy to maintain control over significant chunks of Ethiopia. But this was eventually leaked to the public. And the British and French public at this time did not tolerate this. And so this whole incident, the Italians invading Ethiopia, the unpopularity of this amongst the civilians in Great Britain and in France, this further distanced those countries from Italy.
And the only major nation that was not opposed to Italy's invasion of Ethiopia was Germany. And so this started to bring Mussolini-- who in the s did not think much of Hitler-- started to bring him closer and closer and closer to Hitler. And it's a famously cruel attempted colonization, or invasion.
But these trends continue, his imperialistic tendencies, his alignment with more and more nationalistic nations in Europe. Inyou have the Spanish Civil War breaking out.
And Mussolini decides to support the Nationalists led by Francisco Franco, who eventually comes to power. But Mussolini decides to support him. And this isn't a super popular thing amongst the Italians. They're like, what are we doing in these other countries trying to fight other people's war? But he decides to support the Nationalists.
And once again, this brings him closer to the Germans and further away from Great Britain and the French who are not supportive of Francisco Franco. Then you forward toand as you remember Mussolini was vehemently anti-communist, vehemently anti-socialist.
So were the Nazis. So were the Japanese. And this is essentially the nascent Axis powers.