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Title: Anglo-Italian relations during the First World War
Author: Marcuzzi, Stefano
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 7820
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines how the newly-born Anglo-Italian alliance operated during World War I, and how it influenced each of Britain's and Italy's strategies. It argues that Britain was Italy's main partner in the conflict: Rome sought to make Britain the guarantor of the London treaty, which had brought Italy into the war on the side of the Allies, as well as its main naval and financial partner within the Entente. London, for its part, used its special partnership with Italy to reach three main objectives. The first was to have Rome increasingly involved in the Entente's global war, thus going beyond the national dimension of the 'fourth war of independence' against Austria-Hungary. Britain aimed in particular to complete the blockade of the Central Powers by securing the Mediterranean. This result was achieved slowly - Italy declared war on Turkey in autumn 1915 and on Germany in summer 1916 - and not without contradictions, such as Italy's persistently self-reliant trade policy. The second British goal was to keep Italy in the war when the Caporetto crisis hit: British financial, commercial and military support was crucial to restore Italian forces and morale, and allow Rome to pursue to fight. Finally, in a wider geo-political sense, Britain took advantage of its good relations with Italy to balance French influence in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. London acted as a mediator in the controversies between Rome, Petrograd and Paris, taking upon it the task of keeping the alliance together. Anglo-Italian relations worsened in 1918. Britain's leadership within the Entente declined and was gradually replaced by American leadership. President Wilson's 'politics of nationalities' produced a significant revision of the London pact: Italy felt betrayed by its main partner, Britain, and this caused a long-lasting resentment towards London which had far-reaching consequences in the post-war period.
Supervisor: Strachan, Hew ; Johnson, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: World War ; 1914-1918--Italy ; Italy--Foreign relations--Great Britain ; Great Britain--Foreign relations--Italy ; Diplomacy--History--20th century