This site is to set the record straight about the Royal Italian Army (Regio Esercito), its Royal Navy (Regia Marina) and its Royal Air-force (Regia Aeronautica) during World War Two — “royal” because the supreme commander of all the armed forces was the King of Italy, His Majesty King Vittorio Emanuele III even though most day to day responsibilities were handled by the Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini and his Fascist Council of Ministers.
Hitler and Mussolini: the secret meetings by Santi Corvaja
Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts by Ian W Walker
Mussolini l’alleato by Dr Renzo de Felice (Note: only available in Italian)
Mussolini’s War: Fascist Italy’s Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935-45 (2010) by Frank Joseph.
Regio Esercito: the Italian Royal Army in Mussolini’s Wars 1935-1943 by Patrick Cloutier
River Wide, Ocean Deep by Fred Leander (Note: more to do with ‘Operation Sealion’ – the proposed German invasion of Great Britain).
Sacrifice on the Steppe: the Italian Alpine Corps in the Stalingrad campaign 1942-43 by Hope Hamilton
The War Diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano 1939-1943 by Count Galeazzo Ciano (Note: please read with caution as his diaries have been worked over and corrupted by British intelligence).
Anglo-American bias and the Italo-Greek War of 1940-1941 in The Journal of Military History 58.4 (Oct 1994): 617 by Dr James Sadkovich
German Military Incompetence Through Italian Eyes in War In History 1994 1: 39 by Dr. James J. Sadkovich
Italian Morale during the Italo-Greek War of 1940-1941 in War and Society, Volume 12, Number 1 (May 1994), by Dr James Sadkovich
Neutrality and War in Italian Policy 1939-40 in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Jul., 1974), pp. 171-190 by Dr Harry Cliadakis
Of Myths and Men: Rommel and the Italians in North Africa 1940-42 in International History Review, May 1991, Vol.13, No.2, pp. 284 -313 by Dr James Sadkovich
The Dysfunctional Coalition: The Axis Powers and the Eastern Front in World War in The Journal of Military History 60 (October 1996): 711-30 by Dr R.L DiNardo
War and peace: Mussolini’s road to Munich in Diplomacy & Statecraft, 19 Oct 2007. pp 160-190 by Dr Bruce Strang
Highly Recommended Reading of the Year
We can not recommend too highly the acclaimed war historian, Patrick Cloutier. As well as his outstanding work, Regio Esercito: the Italian Royal Army in Mussolini’s Wars 1935-1943 cited above, Mr Cloutier has written incredibly detailed and informative day to day accounts of Italy’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War and the Russian campaign from first-hand sources. Without Italian intervention, Franco and his Nationalist forces may very well have lost the war in Spain. In Russia, the Italians proved, time and again, how valuable and effective they were to the Germans, protecting their flanks and coming to their aid on a number of occasions. It is a total myth to believe that the Italian armed forces played no decisive role in either campaign – they did!
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http://www.storicissimo.com (in Italian)
Frank Joseph Presents the Real Benito Mussolini of WWII, Part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbXWqnhD0WA
Frank Joseph Presents the Real Benito Mussolini of WWII, Part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0WaMWPkrxA
If you would like to contribute an interesting article about the Italian war effort, please let us know. Email us at: email@example.com. We would love to hear from you. Thanks.