§ 3
Enlarged Photograph (48kB)

Italy's position

Italy heads for the war (March-June 1940)
Political and military evaluationsThe blow of 15 August 1940
The plan against Greece
The Italian ultimatum of 28 October 1940

Political and military evaluations

The Greek alarm originated from substantiated suspicions that Italy was determined to use all her military forces in Albania against Greece. Although during July 1940 the Italian dictator was absorbed in his plans for an attack on Egypt and the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, in August his attention was directed at Greece. To this contributed the repeated accounts and memoranda from the Italian Governor of the Dodecanese, Cesare Maria de Vecchi, regarding the alleged use of Greek ports and military camps by British forces.

Whether such accounts were exaggerated (and the existing evidence shows that they were), this was the first time that the Greek policy of rapprochement with Britain caused serious complications to Greek foreign policy. The Metaxas government continued to reassure Italy that it remained loyal to the policy of neutrality, but the Italian expansionist plans had already by then targeted Greece in the context of Mussolini's overall strategy of a double blow to British interests in the Mediterranean (apart from Greece, also in Egypt).

Home Page of ΙΜΕ
Home PagePhotographsBibliographyCreative Team
International treaties and Greek foreign policy before 1936 The foreign policy of Ioannis Metaxas The beginning of the Second World War The war of the Axis against Greece The period of Occupation (1941-44) The war and the liberation The postwar reality Home Page