World War I Podcast

Mutilated Victory: Italy in WWI



Arriving in Paris in 1919 for the Peace Conference, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson made it clear that he believed Italy entered World War I in a Machiavellian spirit of “cold-blooded calculation.” Italy’s leaders disagreed – arguing that their participation in the war was about liberation and self-determination. Regardless of the argument, like most of the combatants, Italy’s decision to go to war lay somewhere between practical and opportunistic. A member of the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany when the war started, Italy renounced this alliance in 1915 and joined the Entente Powers on the battlefield. Italy emerged as one of the victors in November 1918, but it’s complicated road to war, devastating casualties on the Italian front, and the disappointments of the Treaty of Versailles would lead the Italian’s to label the victory the “mutilated victory.”