Prelude to war: The diplomacy behind the fascist Italian invasion in Greece, October 1940

WW2, WW2 in Greece

By Pierre Kosmidis


The Italian invasion in Greece, which proved to be a pure…”fiasco” started on October 28th, 1940.

Just two weeks after the fascist Italians started their attack, the Greek counter offensive stopped the Italian attack in its tracks and threw the “rooster feathers”, as the Italians were mockingly called by the Greeks, (because they had rooster feathers on their helmets and hats), back to their starting lines in Albania.


The harsh winter conditions and the ferocity of the battles caused many casualties, both Greek and Italian and the renewed Italian offensive in March 1941 was yet another majestic… “fiasco” for the Italians, embarrassing Mussolini who went to witness first-hand his legions in action.

On April 6th 1941, nazi Germany invaded Greece from the northern borders (Yugoslavia and Bulgaria), promptly overcoming the defences and marching in Athens in late April.

Before the Greco-italian war started, there was a “behind the scenes” diplomatic war, between the two countries, which is vividly demonstrated in this first edition, dated 1940.

Italy invaded Albania in 1939, demonstrating her real objectives. Greece chose to remain neutral and tried to keep a balanced attitude towards Italian aggression.


For the first time, right after the declaration of war between the two countries, this book features all the diplomatic moves, as well as photos from the torpedoes that the italian submarine Delfino launched against the Greek light cruiser “Ellli” in Tinos Island on August 15, 1940, on the day of the biggest religious celebration of Orthodox Greeks.