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Enlarged Photograph (48kB)

Italy's position

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

The plan against Greece

The plan involved the occupation of Epirus (north-west Greece), of western Macedonia and of the Ionian Islands (Eptanisa), with the total occupation of the Greek mainland as the final objective of the operation. The preparation of the Italian attack took place hastily, based on exaggerated estimations of the fighting power of the Italian airforce and on equally underestimated predictions about the strength of the Greek armed forces. The operational plan was kept secret from the German government, given the latter's negative reaction to any aggressive initiative in the Balkans.

Especially after the sudden entry of German troops in Rumania (October 1940), Mussolini became extremely irritated and disillusioned with the German strategy of faits accomplis without consulting her ally (as was stated in the Pact of Steel, which the two countries had signed in May 1939). Thus, he decided to move swiftly with the attack on Greece as a response to the Nazi arbitrary policies. The launching of the operation was scheduled for 26 October 1940, but was postponed for the 28th in order to allow for the better preparation of the Italian troops.

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