Monday, May 25, 2015
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015
There they stayed until 1912 when the Kingdom of Italy gained the Dodecanese Islands after defeating the Turks in the Italo-Turkish War. The Italian government invested more in improvements and the infrastructure of the islands than anyone ever had. Obviously, the Allies at the Paris Peace Conference did not hand back the islands to the previous owner, otherwise they would have been given to the Turks as the Ottoman Empire had been the last to possess the islands before the Kingdom of Italy. How is it then that they were given to Greece? It doesn't seem to make much sense from a legal point of view. The islands had never belonged to Greece. At the time of Greek independence they were not included in the new Greek state but were retained by Turkey. The Greek element they possessed, in terms of the population, came from the era of the Byzantine Empire. Yet, that was an empire that was the "Eastern Roman Empire" and based all of its territorial claims on those of the original, undivided, Roman Empire of Rome, Italy. Moreover, the Italians had returned with the forces of Venice and Genoa and had held the islands for no small amount of time. Even after the Turks had taken control of most of the region, Italian control was maintained at times over various parts of the islands for a very long time.
Given all of that, it would be difficult to see how any country could have a better and more long-standing claim to the Dodecanese Islands than Italy.
Friday, April 17, 2015
|The King & Queen depart for Sicily|
The Hapsburgs did not recognize the treaty, the Treaty of Utrecht, by which the Savoy gained the Kingdom of Sicily and so, being just across the straights in Naples, King Vittorio Amedeo II placed priority on improving the coastal defenses of Sicily and raising a new army which consisted of two regiments of volunteers and a unit of royal guards. When King George I came to the British throne and the Royal Navy was withdrawn from the Mediterranean, King Vittorio Amedeo II also took care to expand the Sicilian navy to pick up the slack. The King, of course, ultimately had to return to Turin but left behind a Viceroy to rule in his place. The Viceroys had plenty of problems to deal with as, despite the renunciation of Felipe V, the Spanish maintained agents on the island who spread pro-Spanish and anti-Savoy propaganda and encourage resistance. The reconciliation between France and Austria also posed a potential threat. There was also a ridiculous and frustrating dispute with the Holy See over Savoy rule of the island.
|King Vittorio Amedeo II|
The era of Savoy rule over Sicily started to come to an end in 1717 when the Spanish attacked Sardinia which was then ruled by the Hapsburgs. This set off the War of the Quadruple Alliance with Spain on one side and the British, French, Dutch, House of Hapsburg and House of Savoy on the other. The following year the Spanish also invaded Sicily. The British navy won a victory that stranded the Spanish forces and the Austrians sent troops in from Naples. Spain was finally forced to concede defeat but Savoy rule over Sicily would not be restored. Instead, the allied powers essentially forced King Vittorio Amedeo II to take the Kingdom of Sardinia in exchange for Sicily. Although his forces had held no control over the island since 1718, the official hand-over did not occur until 1720 and the King did not relinquish his title as ‘King of Sicily’ until 1723 and was still seeking compensation for the loss as late as the autumn of 1729. Of course, the Crown of Savoy did eventually return to Sicily in 1860/61 with the Expedition of the Thousand under Giuseppe Garibaldi in the name of King Vittorio Emanuele II.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
|Flag of the Republic of Venice|
|Empress Maria of Antioch|
|The death of Andronikos I|
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
|Mussolini announcing the declaration of war|
|The Duke of Aosta|
|Marshal Rodolfo Graziani|
|Italian offensive, north Africa|
|Generale Valentino Babini|
|Rommel and Marshal Bastico|
|Decima Flottiglia MAS at work|
|Struggle on the Greek frontier|
|Savoia cavalry charge|
|Messe and his men in Russia|