Defeat: Reappraising Italy's Role In World War II By James J. Sadkovich

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The article “Understanding Defeat: Reappraising Italy’s Role in World War II” by James J. Sadkovich goes in depth to the events of World War II that directly affected Italy and how they would be shaped after the war. Italy often is over-looked in discussions related to World War II but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t serve an important role. In the beginning of the article Sadkovich explains that he feels the stories of Italian history are often left by the side by English speaking people because of the language gap. He blames historians though as he states “The average English speaker consequently lacks the access to this new, as well as to a lot of old, material” (Sadkovich 28). He goes on to name a few famous Italian works that the great …show more content…
Mussolini was influenced by the success of Hitler to enter the war even though he had known that Italy was currently struggling with a resource shortage and had very little interest in the war from the beginning but he felt they could last longer than the French. So in June of 1940 the Italians join the war and Sadkovich claims that it was a “rational and political” decision to join, claiming that the Italians could contribute but not carry the burden of “major operations”. However this was far from the case as Mussolini’s “trust” in Hitler to assist the Italians was far from what was expected. Hitler did as he pleased, attacking whomever he wished and not communicating his plans with the Italian army. Hitler had pulled troops from the battle at Sealion leaving the Italians out to dry after claiming to assist the Italians. “Throughout the war, the Italians had to make do with grudging German support, a minimum of military co-ordination, and a dearth of raw materials.”(Sadkovich 32) As Sadkovich states the Italians were essentially on their own while lacking the necessary materials to even protect themselves. In hindsight the decision to side with the Germans was bound to fail due to the lack of resources as well as the lack of help from the German troops. Mussolini seemed to have been blinded by his admiration of Hitler to see that they were fighting a losing battle from the get …show more content…
Sadkovich often argues with the claims that historians make about the Italians because he believes that history has been skewed and that lies have been told in order to justify actions of others. It is well known that history is often told by the winners, that is pretty much the claim Sadkovich is making and if Italy and the axis powers had won the war then the story would be much different. As far them being a power, they showed strides by the invasions of Northern Africa, France, Greece and a few others, proving that they were one of the power houses of Europe. As far as incorporating the article to what we have covered in class it is much more in depth. We discussed Italy as a member of the axis powers and a few things about Mussolini and his fascist/dictator style of leadership but not too much of the actual events. Prior to this I hadn’t known that at one point the Italians had beaten the English navy rather handedly or how they had controlled most of the Mediterranean area. Italy has never really been spoken about in great detail in my experience with history

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