Occupation Duty In The Dysfunctional Coalition:The Italian Second Army And Its Allies In The Balkans,1941–43

Nicolas Virtue


The Axis in the Second World War has been dubbed a “dysfunctional coalition.” Its members failed to develop unified political objectives, joint planning, or a coherent grand strategy for the conduct of the war. As Richard DiNardo demonstrates, the lion’s share of the blame must fall on Germany’s shoulders; Hitler’s ideological ambitions left little room for others, the Germans balked at supplying their allies with much-needed technology, and German liaison officers frequently came across as arrogant. While historical studies of the Axis coalition tend to focus on strategy and frontline operations, the Axis partners also came into contact with one another in occupied territories throughout Europe. Here, well away from the main fighting, coalition relations were even worse.  This article will examine the Axis coalition in occupied Europe from the perspective of the Italian Second Army in Yugoslavia.

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