Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and Italo-German relations :1933-1938



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From 1933 to 1938 relations between Italy and Germany underwent a significant change. This was due in no small part to the significant change in the balance of power in western Europe during this period of time. In 1933 and 1934 Mussolini was Hitler’s Equal, and he even forced the German leader to back down in Austria in July 1934. In the next two years Italo-German relations and the whole relationship between the two Fascist leaders changed dramatically. Italian involvement in Ethiopia and later in the Spanish Civil War isolated Italy from Great Britain and France, and forced Mussolini to turn to Hitler for Diplomatic support. Hitler skillfully used Mussolini’s weak political position in 1936 to seek a rapprochement with the Italian Leader on his own terms. The temporary settlement of the difficult Austrian problem in July 1936 ended the last major obstacle to Italo-German friendship, and in late 1936 the Rome-Berlin Axis was created. From the beginning of the Axis the German dictator dominated Mussolini, and by the end of the Munich Conference in October 1938 the Duce and Italian foreign policy had become subservient to Hitler. Ironically Mussolini gave the new relationship its name, but from the very beginning Hitler was its leader.



Relation between Italy and Germany, Balance of power in Western Europe, Rome-Berlin Axis