World War II (1939–1945)

by: History SparkNotes

North Africa and the Invasion of Italy

Italy’s Role in the War

In sum, Italy’s participation in World War II provided little strategic benefit for Germany; in fact, it actually hindered the German war effort by diverting German forces from more important tasks. All of Italy’s actions were undertaken at the whim of its dictator, Mussolini, whose decisions became so erratic and potentially costly that his own underlings eventually decided to overthrow him. Indeed, the battles that resulted from Italy’s initially frivolous and aimless campaigns became increasingly devastating. The campaign in North Africa ballooned into a huge endeavor that cost tens of thousands of lives, and the battles on the Italian mainland between Allied and German forces proved even more devastating.

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