18 thoughts on “Again Italian war in Libya, after Mussolini and Berlusconi?

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  3. On August 4, 1940, Italian forces launched attacks against British troops in Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) and British Somaliland as the struggle among the European imperialists to divide the globe spread to the northeastern quadrant of the African continent.

    It was the first major military action by Italy in the Second World War. Previously, Italian forces had seized small pieces of territory on the border with France after the armies of its German ally had done the major work of smashing the French Army in the north. Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini anticipated that Britain would, like France, quickly collapse under an invasion by Hitler’s military forces, thus opening up an opportunity for the Italian bourgeoisie to grab British colonies in Africa.

    Mussolini hoped to add Egypt, Sudan, British Somaliland and Kenya to Italy’s disconnected colonial possessions of Libya and Ethiopia, consolidating all of northeast Africa under Italian control. Besides resources, these new colonies would offer Italy control over the strategic navigation route to the Far East through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. It also would lock the British Navy out of the Mediterranean and limit its points of attack against Germany to the Atlantic. Mussolini had the promise of Hitler that German forces would be committed to the North African campaign once Italy had reached the strategic point of Mersa Matruh on the Egyptian coast, bringing the Nile delta within reach.

    The half-million-strong Italian Army dwarfed the British forces in Africa, which totaled only 50,000. But due to Mussolini’s shortsightedness the army was ill-equipped for the desert war, especially in terms of mechanized units. For the first month the Italian forces moved slowly through Cyrenaica, not even reaching the frontier with Egypt. In British Somaliland the Italians managed after four days of difficult fighting to force an inferior British garrison to evacuate by sea.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/03/twih-a03.html

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