Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.
military point of view is
therefore both interesting for understanding the dynamics of Fascist ideology
and its centrality to the development of Fascist foreign policy. In order to assess
it, it is particularly interesting to analyse the reports of Italian militaryattachés
in London, mid-ranking officers who enjoyed a direct contact with British military culture. As we will see, they also had a remarkable influence on the higher
ranks of Italian military and political elite.
Before the Great War, British martial aptitude was widely admired. The Italian attaché in London
detected not only in the Italian press of the 1930s, but also
in the words of the military and political elites, as well as of military experts
like the militaryattachés in London. The worsening of relations between the
two countries, beginning with the Ethiopian War, contributed to the idea that
Fascist Italy’s primacy was not only moral and political but also had military
implications. As (misplaced) trust in Italian military might increase with victory in the wars in Ethiopia and Spain, the actual issues experienced at the time
by the British Army were overrated, to
British leaders. In order to do so, the chapter addresses the reports of
the Italian militaryattachés in Britain from the late 1920s to 1939 (which I have
researched in the Foreign Affairs Ministry Historical Archive as well as the Archive of the Historical Office of the Chief of Staff, both in Rome) examining the
progressive change in the perception of Britain in the eyes of military experts,
who were not ideologues and had instead close contact with British reality. The
chapter investigates whether the attachés had absorbed the equivalence that Fascist ideology
. 17 The Israel–Turkey rapprochement is thus just one thread in a thick web of Turkish interests. Furthermore, while Israel endeavors to play down Turkish sensitivities over Greco-Israeli relations (and Ankara’s effective veto of elements thereof – see later), Israel must come to terms with Turkey’s other spheres of interest.
Turkey has its own shock-absorbers in relation to Israel: when the Refah Partisi was declared illegal in January 1998, the Speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, told a group of foreign militaryattachés