By the 1920's, Mussolini realised that a strong resurgent Germany who
were seeking revenge for Versailles would threaten Britain and France.
This, he hoped, would make them more amenable to Italian demands.
Neither country wanted Italy as an enemy; therefore Mussolini would
have the ability to play off the countries against each other. This
would give Mussolini a great advantage.
It seems likely that Mussolini had funded the Nazi's (along with many
other right-wing, fascist groups in late 1920's Germany) and therefore
should have been happy regarding Hitler's rise to power. However,
early relations between Italy and Germany were turbulent. Mussolini
enjoyed reaping the rewards of what he saw as his creation, fascism.
The fascist regime was spreading throughout Europe; however Mussolini
was slightly apprehensive that Germany could possibly be seen as the
centre of fascism. The truth was that he did not want to be
overshadowed by Hitler's strong personality.
A stronger, more prolific concern was that the new German fascist
regime could possibly take over Austria; this would increase Germany's
power and meaning that Italy would then share an "alpine border" with
the new great Germany. This would in turn, mean that Italy would lose
the security of her northern border which was guaranteed by victory
over Austria-Hungary in 1918, and there was a possibility that Italy
could be pressurised into giving over the German speaking areas in
North Eastern Italy which were obtained at the peace conference.
The danger of an Austro-German union was even more apparent to the
... middle of paper ...
...was aware that to realise his ambitions, war
was inevitable. He believed (and hoped) that he could win a war
against France. He believed Britain would keep out of any conflict and
in February 1939, the duce presented a candid analysis of his foreign
policy aims and made it clear he was prepared for confrontation, even
with Britain if need be.
While preparations were going ahead for the invasion of Albania,
Mussolini received a shock from his German friends. German troops had
invaded Czechoslovakia in March 1939. He was furious and once again,
contemplated changing sides. Once again, his thoughts of this lasted
for a short period. Real fear of Germany was now added to the
admiration of her success. Mussolini felt it was better to be friends
with a dynamic regime rather than pick up the losses of Germany's
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