The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire from September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy captured the Ottoman Tripolitania Vilayet, of which the main sub-provinces were Fezzan and Tripoli itself; these territories together formed. During the conflict, Italian forces occupied the Dodecanese islands in the Aegean Sea. Italy had agreed to return the Dodecanese to the Ottoman Empire in the Treaty of Ouchy in 1912. However, the vagueness of the text allowed a provisional Italian administration of the islands, Turkey renounced all claims on these islands in Article 15 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. Although minor, the war was a significant precursor of the First World War as it sparked nationalism in the Balkan states. Seeing how the Italians had defeated the weakened Ottomans, the members of the Balkan League attacked the Ottoman Empire starting the First Balkan War before the war with Italy had ended; the Italo-Turkish War saw numerous technological changes, notably the airplane.
On October 23, 1911, an Italian pilot, Captain Carlo Piazza, flew over Turkish lines on the world's first aerial reconnaissance mission, on November 1, the first aerial bomb was dropped by Sottotenente Giulio Gavotti, on Turkish troops in Libya, from an early model of Etrich Taube aircraft. The Turks, lacking anti-aircraft weapons, were the first to shoot down an aeroplane by rifle fire; the claims of Italy over Libya dated back to Turkey's defeat by Russia in the war of 1877–1878 and subsequent discussions after the Congress of Berlin in 1878, in which France and Great Britain had agreed to the occupation of Tunisia and Cyprus both parts of the declining Ottoman Empire. When Italian diplomats hinted about possible opposition by their government, the French replied that Tripoli would have been a counterpart for Italy. Italy made a secret agreement with Great Britain in February 1887 by an exchange of notes, it provided that Italy would support Great Britain and its role in Egypt while the Italians would receive British support in Libya.
In 1902, Italy and France had signed a secret treaty which accorded freedom of intervention in Tripolitania and Morocco. The agreement negotiated by Italian foreign minister Giulio Prinetti and French ambassador Camille Barrère was an endpoint in the historical rivalry between the two nations for control of northern Africa. In 1902, Great Britain promised that "any alteration in the status of Libya would be in conformity with Italian interests." These measures were intended to loosen Italian commitment to the Triple Alliance, thereby weaken Germany, which France and Britain viewed as their main rival on the continent. Following the Anglo-Russian Convention and the establishment of the Triple Entente, Tsar Nicholas II and King Victor Emmanuel III made the 1909 Racconigi Bargain in which Russia acknowledged Italy's interest in Tripoli and Cyrenaica in return for Italian support for Russian control of the Bosphorus. However, the Italian government did little to realize the opportunity and knowledge of Libyan territory and resources remained scarce in the following years.
The removal of diplomatic obstacles coincided with increasing colonial fervor. In 1908, the Italian Colonial Office was upgraded to a Central Directorate of Colonial Affairs. Nationalist Enrico Corradini led the public call for action in Libya, joined by the nationalist newspaper L'Idea Nazionale in 1911, demanded an invasion; the Italian press began a large-scale lobbying campaign in favour of an invasion of Libya at the end of March 1911. It was fancifully depicted as rich in minerals, well-watered, defended by only 4,000 Ottoman troops; the population was described as hostile to the Ottoman Empire and friendly to the Italians: the future invasion was going to be little more than a "military walk", according to them. Italy's government remained committed into 1911 to the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire, a close friend of their German ally. Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti rejected nationalist calls for conflict over Ottoman Albania, seen as a possible colonial project, as late as the summer of 1911.
However, the Agadir Crisis, in which French military action in Morocco in April 1911 would lead to the establishment of a French protectorate, changed the political calculations. At this point, the Italian leadership decided that it could safely accede to public demands for a colonial project; the Triple Entente powers were supportive. British foreign secretary Edward Grey stated to the Italian ambassador on 28 July that they would support Italy and would not support the Turks. Meanwhile, the Russian government urged Italy to act in a "prompt and resolute manner." In contrast to their engagement with the Entente powers, Italy ignored its military allies in the Triple Alliance. Giolitti and foreign minister Antonino Paternò Castello agreed on 14 September to launch a military campaign "before the Austrian and German governments of it." At the time, Germany was attempting to mediate between Rome and Constantinople, while Austrian foreign minister Alois Lexa von Aehrenthal warned Italy that military action in Libya would threaten the integrity of the Ottoman Empire and create a crisis in the Eastern Question, thereby destabilizing the Balkan peninsula and the continent's balance of power.
Italy foresaw this result: Paternò Castello, in a July report to
Ernesto Mombelli was an Italian general. He was the governor of Cyrenaica from mid-1924 to December 1926. Fought in the Italo-Turkish War during the First World War, he led the Italian expeditionary force in the Macedonian Front. During the occupation of Constantinople by the Allies following the war he was the commander of the Italian forces. For his service in Macedonia, his representation of his home country in the inter-allied military mission to Hungary, he was awarded the US army's distinguished service medal by US president. Monastir Offensive Vardar Offensive
Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was Foreign Minister of Fascist Italy from 1936 until 1943 and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. On 11 January 1944, Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, under pressure from Nazi Germany. Ciano wrote and left behind a diary, used as a source by several historians, including William Shirer in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and in the four-hour HBO documentary-drama Mussolini and I. Gian Galeazzo Ciano was born in Livorno, Italy, in 1903, he was the son of his wife Carolina Pini. The elder Ciano, nicknamed Ganascia, was a founding member of the National Fascist Party and re-organizer of the Italian merchant navy in the 1920s. Costanzo Ciano was not above extracting private profit from his public office, he would use his influence to depress the stock of a company, after which he would buy a controlling interest increase his wealth after its value rebounded. Among other holdings, Costanzo Ciano owned a newspaper, farmland in Tuscany and other properties worth huge sums of money.
As a result, his son Galeazzo was accustomed to living a high-profile and glamorous life, which he maintained until the end of his life. Father and son both took part in Mussolini's 1922 March on Rome. After studying Philosophy of Law at the University of Rome, Galeazzo Ciano worked as a journalist before choosing a diplomatic career. On 24 April 1930, when he was 27 years old, he married Benito Mussolini's daughter Edda Mussolini, they had three children, though he was known to have had several affairs while married. Soon after their marriage, Ciano left for Shanghai to serve as Italian consul. On his return to Italy in 1935, he became the minister of press and propaganda in the government of his father-in-law. Ciano volunteered for action in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia as a bomber squadron commander, he reached the rank of captain. His future opponent Alessandro Pavolini served in the same squadron as a lieutenant. Upon his trumpeted return from the war as a "hero" in 1936, he was appointed by Mussolini as replacement Foreign Minister.
Ciano began to keep a diary a short time after his appointment and kept it active up to his 1943 dismissal as foreign minister. In 1937, he was involved in planning the murder of the brothers Carlo and Nello Rosselli, two exiled anti-fascist activists killed in the French spa town of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne on 9 June. In 1937, prior to the Italian annexation in 1939, Count Gian Galeazzo Ciano was named an Honorary Citizen of Tirana, Albania. Before World War II, Mussolini may have been preparing Ciano to succeed him as Duce. At the start of the war in 1939, Ciano did not agree with Mussolini's plans and knew that Italy's armed forces were ill-prepared for a major war; when Mussolini formally declared war on France in 1940, he wrote in his diary, "I am sad sad. The adventure begins. May God help Italy!" After 1939, Ciano became disenchanted with Nazi Germany and the course of World War II, although when the Italian regime embarked on an ill-advised "parallel war" alongside Germany, he went along, despite the terribly-executed Italian invasion of Greece and its subsequent setbacks.
Prior to the German campaign in France in 1940, Count Ciano leaked a warning of imminent invasion to neutral Belgium. In late 1942 and early 1943, following the Axis defeat in North Africa, other major setbacks on the Eastern Front, with an Anglo-American assault on Sicily looming, Ciano turned against the doomed war and pushed for Italy's exit from the conflict, he was silenced by being removed from his post as foreign minister. The rest of the cabinet was removed as well on 5 February 1943, he was offered the post of ambassador to the Holy See, presented his credentials to Pope Pius XII on 1 March. In this role he remained in Rome, watched by Mussolini; the regime's position had become more unstable by the coming summer and court circles were probing the Allied commands for some sort of agreement. On the afternoon of 24 July 1943, Mussolini summoned the Fascist Grand Council to its first meeting since 1939, prompted by the Allied invasion of Sicily. At that meeting, Mussolini announced; this led Count Dino Grandi to launch a blistering attack on his longtime comrade.
Grandi put on the table a resolution asking King Victor Emmanuel III to resume his full constitutional powers – in effect, a vote leading to Mussolini's ousting from leadership. The motion won by 19-8, with Ciano voting in favor. Mussolini's replacement was an Italian general in both World Wars. Mussolini did not think that the vote had any real value, showed up at work the next morning like any other day; that afternoon, the king dismissed him from office. Upon leaving the villa, Mussolini was arrested. For the next two months he was moved from place to place to hide him and prevent his rescue by the Germans. Mussolini was sent to Gran Sasso, a mountain resort in Abruzzo, he was kept in complete isolation until rescued by German paratroopers on 12 September 1943. Mussolini set up a puppet government in the area of northern Italy still under German occupation called the Italian Social Republic. Ciano was dismissed from his post by the new government of Italy put in place
Italo Balbo was an Italian Blackshirt leader who served as Italy's Marshal of the Air Force, Governor-General of Libya, Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa, the "heir apparent" to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. After serving in World War I, Balbo became the leading Fascist organizer in his home region of Ferrara, he was one of the four principal architects of the March on Rome that brought Mussolini and the Fascists to power in 1922, along with Michele Bianchi, Emilio De Bono and Cesare Maria De Vecchi. In 1926, he began the task of building the Italian Royal Air Force and took a leading role in popularizing aviation in Italy, promoting Italian aviation to the world. In 1933 to relieve tensions surrounding him in Italy, he was given the government of Italian Libya, where he resided for the remainder of his life. Balbo, hostile to anti-semitism, was the only leading Fascist to oppose Mussolini's alliance with Nazi Germany. Early in World War II, he was accidentally killed by friendly fire when his plane was shot down over Tobruk by Italian anti-aircraft guns who misidentified his plane.
In 1896, Balbo was born in Quartesana in the Kingdom of Italy. Balbo was politically active from an early age. At only 14 years of age, he attempted to join in a revolt in Albania under Ricciotti Garibaldi, Giuseppe Garibaldi's son; as World War I broke out and Italy declared its neutrality, Balbo supported joining the war on the side of the Allies. He joined in several pro-war rallies. Once Italy entered the war in 1915, Balbo joined the Italian Royal Army as an officer candidate and served in the Alpini Battalion "Val Fella" before volunteering for flight training on 16 October 1917. A few days the Austro-Hungarian and German armies broke the Italian lines in the Battle of Caporetto, Balbo returned to the front, now assigned to the Alpini battalion "Pieve di Cadore", where he took command of an assault platoon. At the end of the war, Balbo had earned one bronze and two silver medals for military valour and reached the rank of Captain due to courage under fire. After the war, Balbo completed the studies he had begun in Florence in 1914–15.
He obtained a degree in Social Sciences. His final thesis was written on "the economic and social thought of Giuseppe Mazzini", he researched under the supervision of the patriotic historian Niccolò Rodolico. Balbo was a Republican, but he hated Socialists and the unions and cooperatives associated with them. Balbo returned to his home town to work as a bank clerk. In 1921, Balbo joined the newly created National Fascist Party and soon became a secretary of the Ferrara Fascist organization, he began to organize Fascist gangs and formed his own group nicknamed Celibano, after their favorite drink. They broke strikes for local landowners and attacked communists and socialists in Portomaggiore, Ravenna and Bologna; the group once raided the Estense Castle in Ferrara. Italo Balbo had become one of the "Ras", adopted from an Ethiopian title somewhat equivalent to a duke, of the Fascist hierarchy by 1922, establishing his local leadership in the party; the "Ras" wished for a more decentralized Fascist Italian state to be formed, against Mussolini's wishes.
At 26 years of age, Balbo was the youngest of the "Quadrumvirs": the four main planners of the "March on Rome." The "Quadrumvirs" were Michele Bianchi, Cesare Maria De Vecchi, Emilio De Bono, Balbo. Mussolini himself would not participate in the risky operation that brought Italy under Fascist rule. In 1923, as one of the "Quadrumvirs," Balbo became a founding member of the Grand Council of Fascism; this same year, he was charged with the murder of anti-Fascist parish priest Giovanni Minzoni in Argenta. He fled to Rome and in 1924 became General Commander of the Fascist militia and undersecretary for National Economy in 1925. On 6 November 1926, though he had only a little experience in aviation, Balbo was appointed Secretary of State for Air, he began building the Italian Royal Air Force. On 19 August 1928, he became General of the Air Force and on 12 September 1929 Minister of the Air Force. In Italy, this was a time of great interest in aviation. In 1925, Francesco de Pinedo flew a seaplane from Italy to Australia to Japan and back again to Italy.
Mario De Bernardi raced seaplanes internationally. In 1928, Arctic explorer Umberto Nobile piloted the airship Italia on a polar expedition. Balbo himself led some transatlantic flights; the first was the 1930 flight of twelve Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flying boats from Orbetello Airfield, Italy to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between 17 December 1930 and 15 January 1931. The Crociera del Decennale featured the so-called "Italian Air Armada." From 1 July to 12 August 1933, twenty-four seaplanes flew round-trip from Rome to the Century of Progress in Chicago, Illinois. The flight had eight legs: Orbetello – Amsterdam – Derry – Reykjavík – Cartwright – Shediac – Montreal ending on Lake Michigan near Burnham Park and New York City. In honor of this feat, Mussolini donated a column from Ostia to the city of Chicago: the Balbo Monument, it can still be seen along a little south of Soldier Field. Chicago staged a great parade in his honor; the Newfoundland Post Office overprinted one of their 75-cent airmail stamps, issued just two months for the event: General Balbo Flight, The Land of Gold.
Vittorio Menzingher was an Italian politician. He was a governor of Tripolitania, he was its first civil governor after a series of military ones. He had been an acting mayor of Pisa, Naples
Attilio Teruzzi was an Italian soldier, colonial administrator, Fascist politician. Born in Milan, Teruzzi completed military studies, was promoted colonel in the Italian Army at the unusual age of 28. In 1911, he served in Libya during the Italo-Turkish War – taking part in the victory at Misrata, he captured Nalut, was wounded in the battle over Fezzan – being awarded the Silver Medal of Military Valor. After service in World War I, Teruzzi took leave from the army in 1920, in order to engage in Fascist politics, he was an enthusiastic adherent to Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party, the party's deputy-secretary in 1921 – the year he took part in the March on Rome, as a commander of Blackshirt squads from Emilia-Romagna. After the Fascist takeover, Teruzzi was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1924, gained successive terms. An undersecretary in the Ministry of the Interior in 1925–26, Teruzzi was governor of Cyrenaica in 1926–28, before returning to the military, he was Chief of Staff for the MVSN from 1935.
During the Spanish Civil War, Teruzzi was promoted to Lieutenant General and appointed Inspector General of the Blackshirts. After Mussolini's ousting and Italy's exit from the World War II Axis Powers – through the armistice in Cassibile at the end of July 1943, Teruzzi followed Il Duce in his Nazi-backed refuge in Northern Italy, helped found the Fascist Italian Social Republic, he was one of its most prestigious military leaders. In 1945, as the regime crumbled, rumors circulated that he had died – they allowed him to escape the vigilance of the partisans, he was able to retreat to a low-profile life in the southern countryside, dying in Procida. Teruzzi married a wealthy polish Jew, in 1926, touring Europe. Antendees of the wedding include Benito Mussolini; the couple divorced in 1929. Liliana kept her title and last name. Newspaper clippings about Attilio Teruzzi in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
Raffaele Borea Ricci D'Olmo
Raffaele Borea Ricci d'Olmo was an Italian naval officer with the rank of Counter Admiral. He was the first Italian governor of Tripolitania, although he de facto ruled only the city of Tripoli, during the first days of the Italian invasion of the colony from October 5 to 13, 1911