The Italian view of the 1940-41 War: comparisons and problems

Zacharias N. Tsipranlis

Abstract


The aim of this study is a critical examination of the Italian historical
sources and their comparison with Greek views. The writer
points out that a great many relevant works were published in Italy immediately after the Second World War with the intention of clarifying
the reasons for the war, describing events, and emphasizing
the outcome from the time of the clash between the Greeks and the
Italians in the mountains of Epirus and Albania (October 1940 - April
1941).
The evidence of the Italian writers is arranged and compared with
the Greek views under the following three chronological and thematic
headings: 1) The diplomatic incidents according to the memoirs or
the diaries of Emanuele Grazzi, Luigi Mondini, Galeazzo Giano and
Francesco Jacomoni, and on the basis of the documents published by
the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; 2) The military events as
they are presented in the memoirs of the Italian generals (Pietro Badoglio,
Sebastiano Visconti Prasca, Mario Roatta, Francesco Pricolo,
Quirino Armellini, Ugo Cavaliere ), in the recent three-volume publication
of the history section of the Italian General Staff, in the censored
letters of the ordinary Italian soldier and citizen, and in the
Italian army songs; 3) In journalistic, chronographical, and historical
writings produced after the war, such as the works of Mario Rigoni
Stern, Gian Carlo Fusco, Aldo Lualdi, Carlo Baudino, Mario Cervi,
Jeanne Baghiou, et al.
The writer reaches certain conclusions with regard to the reasons
behind the Italian defeat and the Greek victory, compares the numerical
strength of the opposing forces in terms of men and arms, and
assesses the positions of Italy and Greece in international terms in
October 1940.


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