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How Successful Was Mussolini's Foreign Policy in the Years to 1939?

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Submitted By mean196
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How successful was Mussolini's foreign policy in the years to 1939?

During the years 1922-39 Mussolini committed to many different foreign policies. Mussolini’s foreign policy aims for Italy were to build national prestige, increase domestic support for the regime, gain dominance over the Mediterranean, and spread fascism abroad to establish his empire. He had to consider factors whilst formulating his foreign policy plans such as trading, alliances (military back-up/defence), resources within the empire and war to ensure that his regime would be a success. In many ways, Mussolini’s foreign policy was a success in the short term. His foreign policies can be judged whether or not to be successful by looking at his aims, as previously stated, and if these aims were achieved.

Mussolini entered the Spanish Civil War in 1936 as part of an anti-Bolshevik campaign and to help spread fascism abroad, one of the clear aims of Mussolini. Italy sent planes and troops to help nationalist General Franco’s revolt against Spain’s socialist government and despite Mussolini expecting a short war it lasted 3 years. Mussolini’s intervention of this war was to achieve dominance over the Mediterranean, to spread fascism abroad, stop French left-wing influence in Spain and to gain an ally in a strategic area. In the battle of Guadalajara, in March 1937, Italian troops were defeated and 400 soldiers were killed and 1,800 wounded, 500 were taken prisoner and 25 artillery pieces, 10 mortars, 85 machine-guns and 67 trucks lost. This shows the extent of Italian losses and how weak the Italian army became from losing troops and resources in order to help Spain therefore making the intervention a severe failure. The Spanish Civil War highlights Mussolini's personal greed for increased power domestically, and he didn't really achieve this. Many Italians, and people within his own party,...

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