A Military History of Italy

A Military History of Italy

by Ciro Paoletti


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This book follows Italy's military history from the late Renaissance through the present day, arguing that its leaders have consistently looked back to the power of Imperial Rome as they sought to bolster Italy's status and influence in the world. As early as the late 15th century, Italian city-states played important roles in European conflicts. After unification in 1861, the military would become the nation's unifying force, the melting pot of the state. Italy's industrial and then colonial expansion brought it into the wars of the 20th century. The rise of fascist movement was the disastrous consequence of Italy's desire for colonial and military power, a history that the nation still confronts as it seeks to play a role in world politics.

Wealthy, urban Italy has always had great political, cultural, and strategic importance for Europe. The leaders of its independent city-states intervened militarily in struggles among the European powers to its north and west but also against the expanding Muslim empires to its south and east. Italian culture supported military innovation, developing (for instance) new fortifications and naval organizations. After centuries of division, which limited Italy's power against the larger, unified European nations, the military played an important role in the nationalist unification of the entire country. Rapid industrialization followed, and along with it Italy's forays into overseas colonialism. Italy became a major power, but its turn to militant fascism during its expansionist era continues to haunt its state and military.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275985059
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/30/2007
Series: Praeger Security International Series
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Ciro Paoletti teaches at the State University La Sapienza of Rome. He is co-author of the Italian Official Histories. He has numerous publications and publications in both English and Italian.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     ix
The Sixteenth Century
Before the Deluge     3
The Italian Wars in the Early Sixteenth Century     8
Between France and the Muslims: 1565-1601     16
The Seventeenth Century
The Thirty Years' War in Italy     23
The Second Half of the Century     30
The League of Augsburg: 1690-1696     38
The Eighteenth Century
The Spanish Succession: 1700-1713     43
The Second Morea War, the Quadruple Alliance, and the Corsican Troubles: 1715-1733     48
The Polish Succession: 1733-1739     51
The War of Austrian Succession: 1740-1748     53
Italy from the Corsican Rebellion to the French Revolution through the First Cold War: 1748-1792     57
The Revolutionary Hurricane: 1792-1799     63
The Nineteenth Century
Napoleon Emperor and King     77
From the Restoration to the First War of Independence: 1816-1847     85
The First War of Independence: 1848-1849     94
From the Peace to the Second War of Independence: 1849-1859     102
Garibaldi in Sicily     110
The New State     115
The Kingdom, Royal Policy, and the Colonies, from Rome to Peking: 1871-1900     122
The TwentiethCentury
Before the Great War: 1900-1912     131
The Great War: 1915-1918     136
From the Great War to the Ethiopian War     151
"Overseas Spain" and "Overseas Tirana": 1936-1939     162
The War with the Germans: 1940-1943     167
The War Against the Germans: 1943-1945     183
Italian Armed Forces from World War II to the End of the Cold War: 1946-1988     192
Italy and NATO until the End of the Cold War     198
From the Cold War to the War on Terror: 1989-2005     205
Notes     215
Bibliography     235
Military Unit Index     247
Name Index     251
Place Index     261

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