Italy's Role in World War II: Background information when reading Villa Triste

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Villa Triste

by Lucretia Grindle

Villa Triste
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    Jan 2013, 640 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
Italy's Role in World War II

Italy's role during WWII can seem puzzling, as the country gave the appearance of switching allegiances more than once during the course of the conflict, at times ostensibly siding with the Axis powers, at others supporting the Allies. This contradiction, though, can be seen as a reflection of a volatile period in Italy's history, as various political factions sought to gain control.

King Victor Emmanuel III King Victor Emmanuel III (1869 – 1947) ascended the throne of Italy on 29 July 1900. Reforms were already well underway to convert the country to a constitutional monarchy with the king as head of the government. Most governing decisions were reached via consensus between the two chambers of parliament – an appointed Senate and an elected Chamber of Deputies, both of which were presided over by a prime minister appointed by the King. The country underwent a substantial economic depression after WWI, and the Fascist party took advantage of the population's unrest to gain influence, with ...

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