Bukovina is a historical region in Central Europe, divided between Romania and Ukraine, located on the northern slopes of the central Eastern Carpathians and the adjoining plains. Historically part of Moldavia, the territory of what became known as Bukovina was, from 1774 to 1918, a division of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire. After World War I, Romania established control over Bukovina, in 1940, the northern half of Bukovina was annexed by the Soviet Union, and nowadays is part of Ukraine. Another German name for the region, das Buchenland, is used in poetry. In Romanian, in literary or poetic contexts, the name Țara Fagilor is sometimes used, nowadays, in Ukraine the name is unofficial, but is common when referring to the Chernivtsi Oblast as over two thirds of the oblast is the northern part of Bukovina. The territory of Bukovina had been part of Moldavia since the 14th century and it was first delineated as a separate district in 1775, and was made a nominal duchy within the Austrian Empire in 1849.
The Moldavian state had appeared by the century, eventually expanding its territory all the way to the Black Sea. Bukovina and neighboring regions were the nucleus of the Moldavian Principality, the name of Moldavia is derived from a river flowing in Bukovina. In the 15th century, the region immediately to the north, Pokuttya was inhabited by Ruthenians and Hutsuls, the latter reside in western Bukovina. In 1497 a battle took place at the Cosmin Forest, at which Stephen III of Moldavia, managed to defeat the much-stronger, the battle is known in Polish popular culture as the battle when the knights have perished. Stephen settled the first Ruthenians in Bukovina with the hope of having a loyal, in Suceava, in the 16th century, two percent of the population was Ruthenian. In 1513, Moldavia started to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire. In May,1600 Mihai Viteazul, united the two Romanian principalities and Transylvania under his leadership, for short periods of time, the Polish Kingdom occupied parts of northern Moldavia.
Bukovina was the reward the Habsburgs received for aiding the Russians in that war, the Austrian Empire occupied Bukovina in October 1774. Following the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the Austrians claimed that they needed it for a road between Galicia and Transylvania, Bukovina was formally annexed in January 1775. On 2 July 1776, at Palamutka and Ottomans signed a convention, Austria giving back 59 of the previously occupied villages. Bukovina was a military district, the largest district. On 4 March 1849, Bukovina became a separate Austrian Kronland crown land under a Landespräsident and was declared the Herzogtum Bukowina, in 1860 it was again amalgamated with Galicia, but reinstated as a separate province once again 26 February 1861, a status that would last until 1918
Air warfare of World War II
The air warfare of World War II was a major component in all theatres and, together with Anti-aircraft warfare, consumed a large fraction of the industrial output of the major powers. By contrast and the United States took an approach that greatly emphasised strategic bombing, and to a degree, tactical control of the battlefield by air. They both built a force of large, long-range bombers that could carry the air war to the enemys homeland. Simultaneously, they built tactical air forces that could win air superiority over the battlefields and they both built a powerful naval-air component based on aircraft carriers, as did Japan, these played the central role in the war at sea. Before 1939, all operated under largely theoretical models of air warfare. Italian theorist Giulio Douhet in the 1920s summarised the faith that airmen during, Many said it alone could win wars, as the bomber will always get through. The Americans were confident that the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber could reach targets, protected by its own weapons, Japanese aviation pioneers felt that they had developed the finest naval aviators in the world.
The Luftwaffe was the German Air Force, the pride of Nazi Germany under its leader Hermann Göring, it learned new combat techniques in the Spanish Civil War and was seen by Adolf Hitler as the decisive strategic weapon he needed. Its advanced technology and rapid growth led to exaggerated fears in the 1930s that helped to persuade the British, in the war the Luftwaffe performed well in 1939–41, as its Stuka dive bombers terrified enemy infantry units. The Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter did not enter service until July 1944, the Luftwaffe could not deal with the faster P-51 Mustang escort fighters after 1943, or Britains increasingly lethal defensive fighter screen after the Battle of Britain. When the Luftwaffes fuel supply ran dry in 1944 due to the oil campaign of World War II, it was reduced to anti-aircraft flak roles, by 1944 it operated 39,000 flak batteries staffed with a million people in uniform, both men and women. They did attempt some strategic bombing in the east with the problematic Heinkel He 177A and their one success was destroying an airbase at Poltava Air Base, Ukraine during the Allied Operation Frantic, which housed 43 new B-17 bombers and a million tons of aviation fuel.
Although Germanys allies, especially Italy and Finland, had air forces of their own, the British had their own very well-developed theory of strategic bombing, and built the long-range bombers to implement it. Once it became clear that Germany was a threat, the RAF started on an expansion, with many airfields being set up. From 42 squadrons with 800 aircraft in 1934, the RAF had reached 157 squadrons and 3,700 aircraft by 1939 and they combined the newly developed radar with communications centres to direct their fighter defences. Their medium bombers were capable of reaching the German industrial centre of the Ruhr, the RAF underwent rapid expansion following the outbreak of war against Germany in 1939. This included the training in other Commonwealth nations of half of British and Commonwealth aircrews and it was the second largest in Europe. The RAF integrated Polish and other airmen who had escaped from Hitlers Europe, in Europe, the RAF was in operational control of Commonwealth aircrews and Commonwealth squadrons although these retained some degree of independence
World War II casualties
World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history in absolute terms of total casualties. Over 60 million people were killed, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population, the tables below give a detailed country-by-country count of human losses. World War II fatality statistics vary, with estimates of deaths ranging from 50 million to more than 80 million. The higher figure of over 80 million includes deaths from war-related disease, civilians killed totalled 50 to 55 million, including 19 to 28 million from war-related disease and famine. Total combat deaths, from 21 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war, recent historical scholarship has shed new light on the topic of Second World War casualties. Research in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union has caused a revision of estimates of Soviet WW2 fatalities, According to Russian government figures, USSR losses within postwar borders now stand at 26.6 million. In August 2009 the Polish Institute of National Remembrance researchers estimated Polands dead at between 5.6 and 5.8 million, historians often put forward many different estimates of the numbers killed during World War II.
The authors of the Oxford Companion to World War II maintain that casualty statistics are notoriously unreliable, the table below gives data on the number of dead for each country, along with population information to show the relative impact of losses. When scholarly sources differ on the number of deaths in a country, since casualty statistics are sometimes disputed the footnotes to this article present the different estimates by official governmental sources as well as historians. Military figures include deaths and personnel missing in action, as well as fatalities due to accidents, disease. The losses listed here are actual deaths, hypothetical losses due to a decline in births are not included with the total dead, the distinction between military and civilian casualties caused directly by warfare and collateral damage is not always clear-cut. The footnotes give a breakdown of the casualties and their sources. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth place, military casualties include deaths of regular military forces from combat as well as non-combat causes.
Partisan and resistance fighter deaths are included with military losses, the deaths of prisoners of war in captivity and personnel missing in action are included with military deaths. Whenever possible the details are given in the footnotes, the official casualty statistics published by the governments of the United States and the UK do not give the details of the national origin and religion of the losses. The exact breakdown is not always provided in the sources cited, German sources do not provide figures for Soviet citizens conscripted by Germany. Poteri narodonaseleniia v XX veke, Erlikman, a Russian historian, notes that these figures are his estimates. The population listed here of 194.090 million is taken from Soviet era sources, recent studies published in Russia put the actual corrected population in 1940 at 192.598 million
Japan is a sovereign island nation in Eastern Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea, the kanji that make up Japans name mean sun origin. 日 can be read as ni and means sun while 本 can be read as hon, or pon, Japan is often referred to by the famous epithet Land of the Rising Sun in reference to its Japanese name. Japan is an archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, the country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one, the population of 127 million is the worlds tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98. 5% of Japans total population, approximately 9.1 million people live in the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period, the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, from the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a period of isolation in the early 17th century. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the country has the worlds third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the worlds fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is the worlds fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer, although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the worlds eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a country with a very high standard of living. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, in ancient China, Japan was called Wo 倭.
It was mentioned in the third century Chinese historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms in the section for the Wei kingdom, Wa became disliked because it has the connotation of the character 矮, meaning dwarf. The 倭 kanji has been replaced with the homophone Wa, meaning harmony, the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, which is pronounced Nippon or Nihon and literally means the origin of the sun. The earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, at the start of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan introduced their country as Nihon
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. It is estimated that between September 1943 and April 1945, some 60, 000–70,000 Allied and 60, overall Allied casualties during the campaign totaled about 320,000 and the corresponding German figure was well over 600,000. Fascist Italy, prior to its collapse, suffered about 200,000 casualties, mostly POWs taken in the Allied invasion of Sicily, including more than 40,000 killed or missing. Besides them, over 150,000 Italian civilians died, as did 15,197 anti-Fascist partisans and 13,021 troops of the Italian Social Republic. The campaign ended when Army Group C surrendered unconditionally to the Allies on May 2,1945, the independent states of San Marino and the Vatican, both surrounded by Italian territory, suffered damage during the campaign. Even prior to victory in the North African Campaign in May 1943, the British, especially the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, advocated their traditional naval-based peripheral strategy.
The United States, with a larger army, favoured a more direct method of fighting the main force of the German Army in Northern Europe. The ability to such a campaign depended on first winning the Battle of the Atlantic. There was even pressure from some Latin American countries to stage an invasion of Spain, the British argued that the presence of large numbers of troops trained for amphibious landings in the Mediterranean made a limited-scale invasion possible and useful. A contributing factor was Franklin D. Roosevelts desire to keep US troops active in the European theatre during 1943 and it was hoped that an invasion might knock Italy out of the conflict, or at least increase the pressure on them and weaken them further. A combined Allied invasion of Sicily began on 10 July 1943 with both amphibious and airborne landings at the Gulf of Gela, the land forces involved were the U. S. Seventh Army, under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, the original plan contemplated a strong advance by the British northwards along the east coast to Messina, with the Americans in a supporting role along their left flank.
The defending German and Italian forces were unable to prevent the Allied capture of the island, but succeeded in evacuating most of their troops to the mainland, the Allied forces gained experience in opposed amphibious operations, coalition warfare and mass airborne drops. Forces of the British Eighth Army, still under Montgomery, landed in the toe of Italy on 3 September 1943 in Operation Baytown, the armistice was publicly announced on 8 September by two broadcasts, first by General Eisenhower and by a proclamation by Marshal Badoglio. Although the German forces prepared to defend without Italian assistance, only two of their divisions opposite the Eighth Army and one at Salerno were not tied up disarming the Royal Italian Army, on 9 September, forces of the U. S. Fifth Army, under Lieutenant General Mark W, although none of the northern reserves were made available to the German 10th Army, it nevertheless came close to repelling the Salerno landing, due mainly to the cautious command of Clark.
As the Allies advanced, they encountered increasingly difficult terrain, the Apennine Mountains form a spine along the Italian peninsula offset somewhat to the east, the rivers were subject to sudden and unexpected flooding, which constantly thwarted the Allied commanders plans. This would make the most of the natural geography of Central Italy, whilst denying the Allies the easy capture of a succession of airfields
Socialist Republic of Romania
The Socialist Republic of Romania refers to Romania under Marxist-Leninist one-party Communist rule that existed officially from 1947 to 1989. From 1947 to 1965, the state was known as the Romanian Peoples Republic, the country was a Soviet-aligned Eastern Bloc state with a dominant role for the Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its constitutions. As World War II ended, Romania, a former Axis member, was occupied by the Soviet Union, more members of the Communist Party and communist-aligned parties gained control of the administration and pre-war political leaders were steadily eliminated from political life. In December 1947, King Michael was induced to abdicate and the Peoples Republic of Romania was declared, at first, Romanias scarce post-war resources were drained by the SovRoms, new tax-exempt Soviet-Romanian companies that allowed the Soviet Union to control Romanias major sources of income. Another drain was the war reparations paid to the Soviet Union, in the 1950s, Romanias communist government began to assert more independence, for example, the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Romania by 1958.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Nicolae Ceaușescu became General Secretary of the Communist Party, Chairman of the State Council, Ceaușescus denunciation of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and a brief relaxation in internal repression helped give him a positive image both at home and in the West. However, rapid growth fueled by foreign credits gradually gave way to an austerity. A large number of people were executed or died in custody during communist Romanias existence, while judicial executions between 1945 and 1964 numbered 137, deaths in custody are estimated in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Many more were imprisoned for political, economical or other reasons and suffered abuse, geographically, it bordered the Black Sea to the east, the Soviet Union to the north and east, Hungary to the north, Yugoslavia to the west and Bulgaria to the south. Romanian forces fought under Soviet command, driving through Northern Transylvania into Hungary proper and this changed in March 1945, when Dr.
Petru Groza of the Ploughmens Front, a party closely associated with the Communists, became prime minister. His government was broad-based on paper, including members of most major parties except the Iron Guard. However, the Communists held the key ministries, and most of the ministers nominally representing non-Communist parties were, like Groza himself, despite the Kings disapproval, the first Groza government brought land reform and womens suffrage. However, it brought the beginnings of Soviet domination of Romania. In the elections of 19 November 1946, the Communist-led Bloc of Democratic Parties claimed 84% of the votes, a show trial of their leadership was arranged, and they were put in jail. Other parties were forced to merge with the Communists, in 1946 and 1947, hundreds of participants in the pro-Axis government were executed as war criminals, primarily for their involvement in the Holocaust and for attacking the Soviet Union. Antonescu himself was executed 1 June 1946, by 1947, Romania remained the only monarchy in the Eastern Bloc.
On 30 December that year, Michael was at his palace in Sinaia when Groza and they presented him with a pretyped instrument of abdication and demanded that he sign it. With pro-Communist troops surrounding his palace and his lines cut
Molotov served as Chairman of the Council of Peoples Commissars from 1930 to 1941, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1956. He served as First Deputy Premier from 1942 to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev, Molotov retired in 1961 after several years of obscurity. He was aware of the Katyn massacre committed by the Soviet authorities during this period, after World War II, Molotov was involved in negotiations with the Western allies, in which he became noted for his diplomatic skills. He retained his place as a leading Soviet diplomat and politician until March 1949, Molotovs relationship with Stalin deteriorated further, with Stalin criticising Molotov in a speech to the 19th Party Congress. However, after Stalins death in 1953, Molotov was staunchly opposed to Khrushchevs de-Stalinisation policy, Molotov defended Stalins policies and legacy until his death in 1986, and harshly criticised Stalins successors, especially Khrushchev.
Molotov was born Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin in the village of Kukarka, Yaransk Uyezd, Vyatka Governorate, contrary to a commonly repeated error, he was not related to the composer Alexander Scriabin. Throughout his teen years, he was described as shy and quiet and he was educated at a secondary school in Kazan, and joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1906, soon gravitating toward that organisations radical Bolshevik faction, headed by V. I. Skryabin took the pseudonym Molotov, derived from the Russian word молот molot for his political work owing to the names vaguely industrial ring and he was arrested in 1909 and spent two years in exile in Vologda. In 1911 he enrolled at St Petersburg Polytechnic, Molotov joined the editorial staff of a new underground Bolshevik newspaper called Pravda, meeting Joseph Stalin for the first time in association with the project. This first association between the two future Soviet leaders proved to be brief and did not lead to a close political association.
Molotov worked as a professional revolutionary for the next several years, writing for the party press. He moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow in 1914 at the time of the outbreak of World War I and it was in Moscow the following year that Molotov was again arrested for his party activity, this time being deported to Irkutsk in eastern Siberia. In 1916 he escaped from his Siberian exile and returned to the city, now called Petrograd by the Tsarist regime. Molotov became a member of the Bolshevik Partys committee in Petrograd in 1916, when the February Revolution occurred in 1917, he was one of the few Bolsheviks of any standing in the capital. Under his direction Pravda took to the left to oppose the Provisional Government formed after the revolution, when Joseph Stalin returned to the capital, he reversed Molotovs line, but when the party leader Lenin arrived, he overruled Stalin. Despite this, Molotov became a protégé of and close adherent to Stalin, Molotov became a member of the Military Revolutionary Committee which planned the October Revolution, which effectively brought the Bolsheviks to power.
In 1918, Molotov was sent to Ukraine to take part in the war breaking out. Since he was not a man, he took no part in the fighting
Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in northern Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Kazakhstan is the worlds largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest in the world, Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the regions GDP, primarily through its oil/gas industry. It has vast mineral resources, Kazakhstan is officially a democratic, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, the terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, taiga, rock canyons, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. Kazakhstan has an estimated 18 million people as of 2014, Given its large area, its population density is among the lowest. The capital is Astana, where it was moved in 1997 from Almaty, the territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic tribes. This changed in the 13th century, when Genghis Khan occupied the country as part of the Mongolian Empire, following internal struggles among the conquerors, power eventually reverted to the nomads.
By the 16th century, the Kazakh emerged as a distinct group, the Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century, they nominally ruled all of Kazakhstan as part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganised several times, in 1936, it was made the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, part of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan has worked to develop its economy, especially its dominant hydrocarbon industry. Kazakhstans 131 ethnicities include Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Germans, the Kazakh language is the state language, and Russian has equal official status for all levels of administrative and institutional purposes. The name Kazakh comes from the ancient Turkic word qaz, to wander, the name Cossack is of the same origin. The Persian suffix -stan means land or place of, so Kazakhstan can be translated as land of the wanderers.
Kazakhstan has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age, the regions climate, archaeologists believe that humans first domesticated the horse in the regions vast steppes. Central Asia was originally inhabited by the Scythians, the Cuman entered the steppes of modern-day Kazakhstan around the early 11th century, where they joined with the Kipchak and established the vast Cuman-Kipchak confederation. Under the Mongol Empire, the largest in history, administrative districts were established. These eventually came under the rule of the emergent Kazakh Khanate, throughout this period, traditional nomadic life and a livestock-based economy continued to dominate the steppe. Nevertheless, the region was the focus of ever-increasing disputes between the native Kazakh emirs and the neighbouring Persian-speaking peoples to the south, at its height the Khanate would rule parts of Central Asia and control Cumania
Eastern Front (World War II)
The battles on the Eastern Front constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life due to combat, exposure and massacres. The Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches, ghettos, of the estimated 70 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, many of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of the European portion of World War II and it resulted in the destruction of the Third Reich, the partition of Germany for nearly half a century and the rise of the Soviet Union as a military and industrial superpower. The two principal belligerent powers were Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in action in the Eastern Front, the United Kingdom. The joint German–Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish–Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are considered part of the Eastern Front, in addition, the Soviet–Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front.
Despite their ideological antipathy, both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union shared a dislike for the outcome of World War I. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939 was an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It contained a secret protocol aiming to return Central Europe to the pre–World War I status quo by dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union, Estonia and Lithuania would return to Soviet control, while Poland and Romania would be divided. I need the Ukraine so that they cant starve us out, the two powers invaded and partitioned Poland in 1939. The annexations were never recognized by most Western states, the annexed Romanian territory was divided between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet republics. Adolf Hitler had argued in his autobiography Mein Kampf for the necessity of Lebensraum, acquiring new territory for Germans in Eastern Europe, Wehrmacht officers told their troops to target people who were described as Jewish Bolshevik subhumans, the Mongol hordes, the Asiatic flood and the red beast.
The vast majority of German soldiers viewed the war in Nazi terms, Hitler referred to the war in unique terms, calling it a war of annihilation which was both an ideological and racial war. In addition, the Nazis sought to wipe out the large Jewish population of Central, after Germanys initial success at the Battle of Kiev in 1941, Hitler saw the Soviet Union as militarily weak and ripe for immediate conquest. On 3 October 1941, he announced, We have only to kick in the door, Germany expected another short Blitzkrieg and made no serious preparations for prolonged warfare. Throughout the 1930s the Soviet Union underwent massive industrialization and economic growth under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, Stalins central tenet, Socialism in one country, manifested itself as a series of nationwide centralized Five-Year Plans from 1929 onwards. It served as a testing ground for both the Wehrmacht and the Red Army to experiment with equipment and tactics that they would employ on a wider scale in the Second World War
The Axis powers, known as the Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis, were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allied Powers. The Axis agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity, the Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936, Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term Axis. The almost simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, Italy joined the Pact in 1937. At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied parts of Europe, North Africa. There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, the war ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers and the dissolution of their alliance. As in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, at the time he was seeking an alliance with the Weimar Republic against Yugoslavia and France in the dispute over the Free State of Fiume.
The term was used by Hungarys prime minister Gyula Gömbös when advocating an alliance of Hungary with Germany, when Mussolini publicly announced the signing on 1 November, he proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin axis. Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued an alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. He believed that Italy could expand its influence in Europe by allying with Germany against France, in early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons for the German Army, which had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. General Hans von Seeckt supported an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them and restore the German-Russian border of 1914. The discussions concluded that Germans still wanted a war of revenge against France but were short on weapons, however at this time Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany, that Italy must.
Tow them, not be towed by them, the French government warned Italy that it had to choose whether to be on the side of the pro-Versailles powers or that of the anti-Versailles revanchists. Grandi responded that Italy would be willing to offer France support against Germany if France gave Italy its mandate over Cameroon, France refused Italys proposed exchange for support, as it believed Italys demands were unacceptable and the threat from Germany was not yet immediate. In 1932, Gyula Gömbös and the Party of National Unity rose to power in Hungary, Gömbös sought to alter Hungarys post–Treaty of Trianon borders by forming an alliance with Austria and Italy, knowing that Hungary alone was not capable of challenging the Little Entente powers. At the meeting between Gömbös and Mussolini in Rome on 10 November 1932, the question came up of the sovereignty of Austria in relation to the rise to power in Germany of the Nazi Party. Mussolini was worried about Nazi ambitions towards Austria, and indicated that at least in the term he was committed to maintaining Austria as a sovereign state.
Italy had concerns over a Germany which included Austria laying land claims to German-populated territories of the South Tyrol within Italy, Mussolini said he hoped the Anschluss could be postponed as long as possible until the breakout of a European war that he estimated would begin in 1938