|Full Name||7 Kingdom of Italy|
|Alliance||Axis - Major Member Nation|
|Entry into WW2||10 Jun 1940|
|Population in 1939||44,394,000|
|Military Deaths in WW2||306,400|
|Civilian Deaths in WW2||153,100|
|- Civ Deaths from Holocaust||8,000|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAlthough Italy emerged victorious from World War 1 and gain territories from the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the country paid a heavy price. Over 600,000 were killed, and the economy and political environments remained unstable. In 1922, Benito Mussolini seized power with the support of King Vittorio Emannuelle III, who feared a revolution. From 1925 on, Mussolini slowly gained more and more power until Italy became a totalitarian state enforced by a secret police organization. His dictatorship influenced fascist leaders who came on the scene later such as Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco. In 1929, Mussolini gained favors with the Vatican by granting it the status of an independent state.
ww2dbaseItaly invaded Abyssinia. The League of Nations imposed totally useless sanctions on Italy as a punishment, depriving Italy items such as aluminum (which was among Italy's chief exports), camels, and mules which she did not need. Britain attempted to threaten Italy with military action, but Mussolini correctly guessed that Britain was not ready for war, and called the bluff. Italy also got away lucky after Britain failed to realize by denying the Italians access to the Suez Canal the Abyssinian campaign could have been made difficult for the Italians, if not ending it. On 9 May 1936, Mussolini declared King Vittorio Emannuelle III the Emperor of Abyssinia.
ww2dbaseIn 1936, Italy and Germany entered into the Pact of Steel. The two nations grew closer together, with Italy supporting Germany's expansion into Central Europe and both nations supporting Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. In Apr 1939, Italy occupied Albania. In Sep 1939, in a move that surprised Hitler slightly, Italy refused to enter the European War due to Italy's ill-preparedness for major military action. Mussolini did, however, declare war on the Western Allies in Jun 1940 after France had essentially fallen to the Germans. In Oct 1940, Italy invaded Greece but her army performed poorly and had to be bailed out by German intervention. Although Germany originally had no plans of an excursion into the Balkans, Hitler thought securing Yugoslavia and the Balkans would protect Axis Romania's oil fields, plus it would secure the southern flank of the upcoming campaign against Russia. Italy's war in North Africa, too, did not go as well as Mussolini had hoped. Once again, Germany had to reinforce Italian forces, most notably with Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps. The Axis forces in North Africa were eventually defeated by the Allies, and from there an invasion of Sicily was launched. The fall of Sicily was so devastating to Italian morale that Mussolini's regime was toppled in Sep 1943. Italy surrendered in Sep 1943. Germany immediately invaded Italy and established a puppet state under Mussolini in the northern part of the country while the Allies invaded and took control of the southern and central parts. Italy remained a bitter battlefield until Apr 1945.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Italy lost some territory to France and Yugoslavia. The monarchy fell in 1946 and a close national referendum established a republic.
Last Major Update: Apr 2007
|508 CM||M11/39||Semovente 75/18|
|AB 41||M13/40||Semovente 75/34|
|AS 42||M14/41||Semovente 90/53|
|Dovunque 35||Semovente 105/25||TL 37|
|Territories, Possessions, and Nations Under the Influence of Italy|
|Italian Eritrea||Italian Somaliland||Libya|
|Foggia Airfield Complex||Air Base|
WW2-Era Weather Data for Italy
Italy in World War II Interactive Map
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Visitor Submitted Comments
17 Feb 2009 02:16:40 PM
Italy should have stayed neutral, that would have been a pain for the allies. Italy was not ready to fight ww2. But Mussolini draged his nation to ruin. And we all know what happened to mussolini. The u.s.Government even asked the "mob" for help, but that's another story.
17 Feb 2009 02:33:12 PM
Every ww2 movie always show the german's, or the japanese, what happened to the italians?only afew movies did I ever see the italians one was "what did you do in the war daddy" and the italians were at a party, next was Von Ryain's Express, the italians were in charge of the p.o.w. camp, and then taken prisoner by the german's, and las Iron Eagle once again the german in his bf-109 and the japanese in his zero. WHERE WAS THE ITALIAN! one last movie titled "a walk in the sun" the italians were surrendering. All for Italia! say they were the first to say "make love not war"
17 Feb 2009 02:47:10 PM
I never met an Italian Soldier,I met NATO soldier's they were: W.German,Dutch,English and from Canada all I remember we would drink together and just wanted to go home, I guess the commies just wanted to do the same. Then I met Korean, Australian and Vietnamese. That was a long time ago, when I was younger, much younger.
25 Feb 2009 11:59:20 AM
If you want to know about italian soldier, go to this link: http://www.navynews.co.uk/articles/2004/0409/0004092401.asp.
One man sunk a english battleship!! And not like japanese with kamikaze, the italian sailor survived at this action.
We have fought a war against the people, and we was disorganized.
Search on google the name "folgore" at el alamein and understand like a few italians soldiers leaves your life in battlefield, with honour and proud.
but we have fought on the wrong side of the history: nazism and fascism was the absolute devil!!
17 Mar 2009 09:02:37 AM
um thanks for letting use this for my history report
25 May 2009 04:38:16 PM
Hey i need to know about canada's contribution in italy druing world war 2 can you help?
23 Feb 2010 08:53:55 AM
Afriend of mine has an Italian dog tag he found several years ago where the battle of El Alamein took place and would like to return this to either the soldier who lost it or to his family members. The dog tag reads as follows:
Tino Di Giro
Lamo Di Murat
Can anyone help and who/where do we contact?
My direct e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
19 Apr 2010 08:57:05 AM
Hi, well i am doing a project for college about world war 2 in Italy, France, Japan and Russia and it has to be in for next friday which is the 30th April 2010. I am finding it hard to find websites and i dont have a library card for my local library so i really need some good websites which tell me about every litte detail about these countries. If you helped me, it would be really good. I am stressing so much about this and i am worrying. Could you please help me, Thanks.
9 Feb 2011 08:51:52 AM
Does anyone know where I can find out what a specific Italian soldier's role was during WWII. All I have is his name.
27 May 2011 07:08:59 AM
i love this website
3 Dec 2012 12:23:14 PM
did the italians play a mojor role in ww2?
16 Jan 2013 07:04:43 AM
Gareth, you left a comment in 2007, but I would like to get in contact with you , my Grandfather aslo fought in North Africa and Italy he was a South African soldier but I need some info about a person in Italy he met and had a child with.
Please let me know at email@example.com
16 Jun 2013 01:23:30 AM
the italians did well in ww2.1942 was the best year of italian victories over the brtish in the central meditreanean sea.the conovoy battles of mid june.
4 Sep 2013 04:43:52 PM
Does anyone remember being on Capri at the Air Corps rest camp in 1944? My mother, now deceased, was a hostess there from May-October 1944. I'd like to know more about what it was like. Thank you.
9 Sep 2013 08:14:15 PM
For those of you who did not live through it, if you want to capture the flavor of wartime Italy and the immediate aftermath, check out these classic Italian films made right after the war (have been dubbed into English):
"The Bicycle Thief"
"General della Rovere"
"Two Women" - Sophia Loren in the most powerful role she ever played (and to some extent lived)
For a real sleeper, but which shows Naples a mere 15 years after almost being bombed into oblivion by BOTH Germans and Allies, and which includes many, many accurate observations: believe it or not, "It Happened in Naples" with Sophia Loren and Clark Gable and an incredible child actor, Marietto. One of my all-time favorite films.
19 Nov 2013 11:45:58 PM
Can someone please lead me to a website that will list my uncle's name , he was lost in the battle of Stalingrad Dec. 1942, served in the Italian army.
11 Nov 2014 03:57:47 PM
WW 2 . My uncle Salvatore Lucia went missing in action, I was told it happened when Italy was fighting with Germany against the Russians. My uncle went missing in Russia. Any comments. Thanks
8 Feb 2015 04:16:10 AM
my father was an italian soldier and pow in metovica, i need to find which camp he was in he spent the last 18 months in a camp, can anyone let me know where to start
20 Apr 2015 02:32:40 AM
Hi I would like to ask about Eritrean Ascari's in East Africa as my grandfather was an Italian soldier. It would be very helpful if someone would provide me with a link in which I could see the names and pictures of the Eritrean Italian soldiers at that time that's if there is one. I only know my grandfather's name and don't have any pictures of him would it even be easy to track him or get a picture of him and if I was to visit Italy and ask about him where can I start with any ideas. Tgankd
23 Apr 2015 02:21:14 AM
Hello, I have been put the task of finding out what or where my Grandfather who after I was named Has been buried/is? ... He was An Italian Black Shirt (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/68578/Blackshirt) My last news was that he was Decapitated by Partisan soldiers at the time that Mussolini hung himself! in the near of Genova Italy, Any help is appreciated, Which side a soldier fought on during the war is Irrelevant! War is not the Answer. Help me find my Grandad Before my Father & Aunts die. Thank you for any info. In God I trust!
12 Aug 2015 11:05:33 AM
I was looking for data about my grandpa
Petraq Toka the manager and shef of restaurant
Bella Venexia located in Albania during WW2.
6 Sep 2015 03:36:37 AM
I would like information on my father luigi proietti who fought in ww11.
10 Dec 2015 06:20:02 AM
helo i am an eritrean, i am looking for military records of my grandfather. he was an askari during ww2 i have only his name now i want his picture and personal informations
19 Dec 2015 12:04:14 PM
I am looking for a Italian soldier that spent some time in the uk Carmelo scarriota or schiariota
3 Mar 2016 06:50:50 AM
Actually Italian military casualties were 319,207, of which 246,432 belonged to the Army, 31,347 to the Navy, 13,210 to the Air Force, 15,197 to the Partisan formations and 13,021 to the armed forces of the Italian Social Republic.
2 Mar 2017 08:45:57 PM
Looking for records of my fathers movement during WW2, he was an Italian soldier, living in Derna North Africa, was drafted in November 1942. Not sure if he fought in Benghazi or Tunisia but was captured by the Moroccan's in 1943. His name is Cristoforo Libro and i believe his military number may have been 2284. Any information you have on my father regarding his movement would be extremely helpful, Thankyou
14 Mar 2017 09:31:51 AM
What country's did Italy go to while in WWII
7 May 2017 04:38:32 PM
My father was Angelo Garbuio , he joined the Italian army in 1940 , any records on where he fought .
9 Aug 2017 02:56:22 PM
were in Tunisia would I search for a relative Italian solder killed there he was killed 1943 but cannot find a contact info on a location ww2 thank you
14 Aug 2017 03:05:01 PM
Looking for a relative who served in the Italian Army in north Africa, reporteldy killed by the British in 1940 or 1941. Family name ANOIA. That's all I have. Thank you.
14 Aug 2017 03:06:07 PM
Looking for a relative who served in the Italian Army in north Africa, reporteldy killed by the British in 1940 or 1941. Family name ANOIA. That's all I have. Thank you.
21 Sep 2017 08:06:50 PM
Looking for information on my father who fought in WW11. His name is Vincenzo Oliviero, came from Melito Irpino (Avellino)
9 Oct 2017 08:11:39 PM
Iâ€™m trying to find out anything I can about my grandfather who was a pilot and was shot down over Normandy (?). His name is Raphael Georeno.
4 Dec 2017 06:53:08 AM
Looking for a relatives who served in the Italian Army in north Africa by the name of Rosario licci and Carmelo gerbino
2 Jan 2018 05:17:20 PM
Looking for ANY information on my grandfather (Francesco Martino) from Calabria San Nicola da Crissa....He survived the war just curious on what he did. I know he might have been sent to Somalia....I would just like to know his position and what might have been his role during the war.
14 Feb 2018 07:21:12 PM
Looking for any information about my grandfather Saverio Treccasi. All I know is that he fought in WWII and spent time in concentration camp in germany.
9 Mar 2018 03:36:50 AM
Looking for information on my great uncle, his name was Rocco Caruso, and all i know is he became a prisoner of war in Germany after the ww2 alliance, and he was used for agriculture work.
17 Apr 2018 07:32:40 AM
Looking For my grandfather's information and picures of him.
19 Apr 2018 11:18:50 PM
Looking for my lost Uncle Domenic Cotela in ww2
27 Apr 2018 04:21:38 PM
Hoping to claim my deceased fathers Italian military pension when he enlisted back in WW2, which has never been claimed to date, but I don't know where to start.
Would greatly appreciate any assistance.
5 May 2018 09:38:06 PM
Looking for my Grandfathers military records
27 Jun 2018 01:57:52 PM
Looking for information about my biological grandfather who disappeared in 1945. Name is Vezio Mario Benini (or Benigni), unsure of spelling. Was supposedly born in or near Pistoia/Lucca. Any help is appreciated.
13 Jul 2018 07:52:10 AM
For those that posted that they are looking for information on their Italian relative/ancestor that served in WWII-you would contact the State Archive of the province inwhich the person lived. For those also looking for information of those who died or were missing in action-you can check the Italian Ministry of War website- Here are the links and a site with additional information on Italian Military records (and how to request them) http://www.archivi.beniculturali.it/index.php/chi-siamo/archivi-di-stato ... https://www.difesa.it/Il_Ministro/CadutiInGuerra/Pagine/default.aspx and http://italygen.com/genealogicalrecords/index.html
13 Jul 2018 02:59:08 PM
My dad Ram Kumar served in Italy in the Second World War from 1939 to 1944 as a British soldier from India. Can I find out where he served and any other details.
28 Oct 2018 03:49:56 PM
Just looking to see if there is any information about my Father Eleuterio Germani served in Italy second world war from Arce Province Frosinone
30 Oct 2018 06:26:36 AM
My uncle, Giuseppe Baldassarre, was in the Royal Italian Army, and was killed in North Africa in 1942 or 1943. Is there a site I can find more information about him?
10 Nov 2018 04:54:02 PM
Looking for records of Gian Maria Del Pizzo, Gianni Del Pizzo, Giuseppe del pizzo. Neither died in the war
9 Dec 2018 01:25:25 PM
looking for information
on an uncle who perished in 1940 or 1941 during ww2 in russia
30 Dec 2018 07:01:52 PM
My uncle Andrea Ragni was killed during ww2. I watched a documentary on TV and saw a grave stone with his name on it. It said he died 10/08/44 and the stone number was 280. I don't9vj know where the cemetary is
31 Jan 2019 10:10:40 AM
My father, Giuseppe Cioffi, served in WWII. He was born in Cervinara, Avellino on June 28, 1924.
Please send any record you have on his service.
It is much appreciated.
Andreana Baldini (nee Cioffi)
22 Aug 2019 07:41:05 AM
My father was a sea bee and served in Italy and Sicily 1943-1945 . He was in Palermo. Trying to trace where he was located.
29 Aug 2019 08:54:17 AM
My father was in the Italian army in world war two. He was captured in the Ukraine, later moved to Siberia, and later escaped back to the same town in the Ukraine. I am trying to get the name of this town. It would be one where the Italian Army fought the Russians. I have been unsuccessful in finding the name of the towns where this happened.
15 Sep 2019 08:05:08 PM
Vincenzo Fetta served in Italian Army during WW2. Any information about his capture as a POW please.
21 Sep 2019 09:04:23 PM
My great grandfather served in ww2. His name was Leonard Bagarozza, a veteran of the Italian Army.Â
23 Jan 2020 04:33:24 PM
hi from nz my father was in north africa in the 2nd world war.he brought home a dixi?tin they used to cook in it and eat out of it he said he got it out of a abandend italian truck it has the name david boscagli etched on the side of it .i have always wonderd who the solider was and what happend to him perhapes he has family cheers peter
18 Mar 2020 03:29:13 AM
Hey, my great grandfather served in the Italian army in ww2. His last name is Primaro, any records for anyone under Primaro?
10 May 2020 08:55:15 AM
Btw Italy's population in 1939 was like the modern population of Ukraine, and since 1939 Italy got 15 million people in population. Also can Vittorio be changed to Victor Emmanuel III plz?
21 Jun 2020 05:03:22 PM
Looking for ANY information on my grandfather (Francesco Martino) from Calabria San Nicola da Crissa....
He survived the war just curious on what he did. I know he might have been sent to Somalia....I would just like to know his position and what might have been his role during the war.
17 Aug 2020 10:31:15 PM
Hi, my grandfather died, we think in a prison in Germany. I would like to visit his grave. How can I find this information?
13 Mar 2021 09:05:49 AM
Looking for where Italian sailors were buried who died off the coast of Greece. Wife of one who died said she received a letter that stated he had been buried near by. Not sure date but between 1940-42. Thank you.
8 Dec 2021 02:49:34 PM
Looking for information in Giacomo Marella. His family came from Colle, Arquata del Tronto, Ascoli Piceno, Marche, Italy. I have been told he was declared missing in action. He was born about 1905, so I would think he was in the italian military during WWII.
Any help would be appreciated.
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9 Aug 2007 12:18:56 PM
Hello, I am looking for help on south african soldiers who fought at El Alamein and in Italy. I am looking for any information regarding my grandfather who won a despatch for bravery from King George V at El Alamein for rescuing coloured soldiers after a retreat from the germans. Also a commendation received in Italy, which it is unknown why he received this award... My grandfather was a Sapper. Please, please help