10
Jun
09

Iron Hulls Iron Hearts – Mussolini’s Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa

In March 1935, Hitler renounced the disarmament clauses of the Treaty
of Versailles and revealed the reconstruction of German military power. The European powers, including Italy, met soon afterwards at Stresa to formally condemn Germany; hut they took no practical action. This weak response was further undermined by the British, who were prepared to appease Germany to avoid another war: in June 1935 they signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, which declared British acceptance of German rearmament and effectively shattered the post-war consensus. They did so without consulting the French or Italians, and so broke the Stresa Agreement before the ink was dry. The instability created by these events presaged the effective abandonment of the post-war system; it also encouraged the Italians to resurrect their own expansionist ambitions, and their covetous gaze quickly tell on Ethiopia.

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