The Corfu Incident, 1923
August, 1923 - An Italian General and 4 of his are staff assassinated in Greece whilst working for the international boundary commission.
Mussolini demands a full apology and 50 million lira in compensation from the Greek government.
When they refused, he bombarded and occupied the Greek island of Corfu.
Mussolini ordered to withdraw by European powers led by Britain and France.
He did recieve compensation but no apology.
This showed that, whilst Mussolini could bully smaller powers, he was still at the mercy of greater powers.
Mussolini knew the importance of maintaining good relations with Britain and France!
Pact of Rome, 1924
Yugoslavia ceded the city of Fiume to Italy.
The Italian-speaking town had long been a territorial amibition of Italian leaders.
Occupied by D'Annunzio in 1919, and this short-lived regime gave Mussolini many ideas for his Fascist regime before the Liberal governement sent in troops to depose D'Annunzio and his militaristic followers in 1920.
Relations between Italy and Germany
Initially, Mussolini did not like Hitler and, in 1934 when the Austrain Chancellor Dollfus was murdered by Nazi sympathisers, Mussolini sent troops to the Brenner Pass to stop German forces from achieving Anschluss.
Rome-Berlin Axis of 1936 stated that Hitler would not carry out Anschluss provided Mussolini dropped his objection to interference in Austrian politics.
Two powerful right-wing leaders became a united force in Europe, and both sent forces to assist Franco's attempt to overthrow a Republican government in the Spansih Civil War (1936).
Anti-Comintern Pact of 1937 united Germany, Italy and Japan against the threat of Soviet Russia.
Pact of Steel, 1939 - This committed Italy to fight a war alongside Nazi Germany
Mussolini became frustrated that Hitler did not consult him (eg. Anschluss 1938)
Examples of Mussolini's Diplomacy, 1922- 1932
Locarno Treaties, 1925
Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928
Mussolini's Diplomacy in the 1930s
Rome-Berlin Axis, 1936
Pact of Steel, 1939
Anti-French Territorial Claims
Mussolini wanted to gain colonies in order to prove that Italy was a great power like Britain or France. Also, colonial troops would enhance Italy's military might, whilst a successful military victory would increase Mussolini's popularity in Italy.
Abyssinia was the perfect target, and already bordered Italy's other colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea.
Musssolini wanted revenge for Italy's humiliating defeat at Adowa in 1896.
In December 1934, a skirmish took place that left 30 Italian soldiers dead and gave Mussolini an excuse to invade. Mussolini believed that Britain and Franc gave him permission, so attacked in October 1935, using poisonous gas to overcome any distinct opposition forces, against the Geneva Protocol of 1925.
After the occupation, violent guerilla warfare continued against ruthless suppression by the Italian Forces. The victorious campaign was glorified in Italy.
Britain and France were outraged and, with the League of Nations, placed unsuccessful sanctions against Italy.
The March on Rome, 1922
Mussolini planned a coup d'etat whilst he simulatneously negotiated a deal with the Liberals for a number of Fascist cabinet ministers.
27th October 1922 - Fascists seize key buildings throughout Northern Italy
28th October 1992 - PM Facta requests that the King declares martial law
The King agrees but then goes back on his decision and repeals martial law, leading to Facta resigning as PM.
Another Liberal named Salandra attempted to negotiate a coalition deal with Mussolini, hoping he could absorb the Fascists, however Mussolini would accept nothing less than PM.
When Mussolini declined to accept a cabinet position, Salandra advised the King to invite him to form a government.
29th October 1922 - The March on Rome became a Fascist victory parade!
Matteotti Crisis, 1924
Giacomo Matteotti spoke out against Fasicist violence and intimidation during the 1924 General Election.
10th June 1924 - Matteotti abducted in broad daylight by Fascist thugs and brutally murdered
The murder shocked Mussolini's political enemies, as well as his Liberal supporters, who thought he had gone too far.
Mussolini denied all involvement with the murder, but public opinion turned against him.
Aventine Secession - Communists, Socialists and Popolari MPs walked out of Parliament
At this point, Mussolini's position looked very weak!
Announcement of his intentions to form a dictatorship on 3rd January 1925.