Italo-Turkish War

The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War (Turkish: Trablusgarp Savaşı, "Tripolitanian War"; also known in Italy as Guerra di Libia, "Libyan War") was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire from September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy captured the Ottoman Tripolitania Vilayet (province), of which the main sub-provinces (sanjaks) were Fezzan, Cyrenaica, and Tripoli itself. These territories together formed what became known as Italian Libya.

During the conflict, Italian forces also occupied the Dodecanese islands in the Aegean Sea. Italy had agreed to return the Dodecanese to the Ottoman Empire in the Treaty of Ouchy[8] in 1912. However, the vagueness of the text allowed a provisional Italian administration of the islands, and Turkey eventually renounced all claims on these islands in Article 15 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.[9]

Although minor, the war was a significant precursor of the First World War as it sparked nationalism in the Balkan states. Seeing how easily the Italians had defeated the weakened Ottomans, the members of the Balkan League attacked the Ottoman Empire starting the First Balkan War before the war with Italy had ended.

The Italo-Turkish War saw numerous technological changes, notably the airplane. On October 23, 1911, an Italian pilot, Captain Carlo Piazza, flew over Turkish lines on the world's first aerial reconnaissance mission,[10] and on November 1, the first ever aerial bomb was dropped by Sottotenente Giulio Gavotti, on Turkish troops in Libya, from an early model of Etrich Taube aircraft.[11] The Turks, lacking anti-aircraft weapons, were the first to shoot down an aeroplane by rifle fire.[12]


The claims of Italy over Libya dated back to Turkey's defeat by Russia in the war of 1877–1878 and subsequent discussions after the Congress of Berlin in 1878, in which France and Great Britain had agreed to the occupation of Tunisia and Cyprus respectively, both parts of the declining Ottoman Empire. When Italian diplomats hinted about possible opposition by their government, the French replied that Tripoli would have been a counterpart for Italy. Italy made a secret agreement with Great Britain in February 1887 by an exchange of notes.[13] It provided that Italy would support Great Britain and its role in Egypt while the Italians would receive British support in Libya.[14] In 1902, Italy and France had signed a secret treaty which accorded freedom of intervention in Tripolitania and Morocco.[15] The agreement negotiated by Italian foreign minister Giulio Prinetti and French ambassador Camille Barrère was an endpoint in the historical rivalry between the two nations for control of northern Africa. Also in 1902, Great Britain promised that "any alteration in the status of Libya would be in conformity with Italian interests." These measures were intended to loosen Italian commitment to the Triple Alliance, and thereby weaken Germany, which France and Britain viewed as their main rival on the continent. Following the Anglo-Russian Convention and the establishment of the Triple Entente, Tsar Nicholas II and King Victor Emmanuel III made the 1909 Racconigi Bargain in which Russia acknowledged Italy's interest in Tripoli and Cyrenaica in return for Italian support for Russian control of the Bosphorus.[16] However, the Italian government did little to realize the opportunity and knowledge of Libyan territory and resources remained scarce in the following years.

The removal of diplomatic obstacles coincided with increasing colonial fervor. In 1908, the Italian Colonial Office was upgraded to a Central Directorate of Colonial Affairs. Nationalist Enrico Corradini led the public call for action in Libya, and joined by the nationalist newspaper L'Idea Nazionale in 1911, demanded an invasion.[17] The Italian press began a large-scale lobbying campaign in favour of an invasion of Libya at the end of March 1911. It was fancifully depicted as rich in minerals, well-watered, and defended by only 4,000 Ottoman troops. Also, the population was described as hostile to the Ottoman Empire and friendly to the Italians: the future invasion was going to be little more than a "military walk", according to them.[18]

Giovanni Giolitti 1905
Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti, 1905

Italy's government remained committed into 1911 to the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire, which was a close friend of their German ally. Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti rejected nationalist calls for conflict over Ottoman Albania, which was seen as a possible colonial project, as late as the summer of 1911. However, the Agadir Crisis, in which French military action in Morocco in April 1911 would lead to the establishment of a French protectorate, changed the political calculations. At this point, the Italian leadership decided that it could safely accede to public demands for a colonial project. The Triple Entente powers were highly supportive. British foreign secretary Edward Grey stated to the Italian ambassador on 28 July that they would support Italy and would not support the Turks; on 19 September, Grey instructed Permanent Under-secretary of State Sir Arthur Nicholson that England and France should not interfere with Italy's designs on Libya. Meanwhile, the Russian government urged Italy to act in a "prompt and resolute manner." [19] In contrast to their engagement with the Entente powers, Italy largely ignored its military allies in the Triple Alliance. Giolitti and foreign minister Antonino Paternò Castello agreed on 14 September to launch a military campaign "before the Austrian and German governments [were aware] of it." At the time, Germany was actively attempting to mediate between Rome and Constantinople, while Austrian foreign minister Alois Lexa von Aehrenthal repeatedly warned Italy that military action in Libya would threaten the integrity of the Ottoman Empire and create a crisis in the Eastern Question, thereby destabilizing the Balkan peninsula and the continent's balance of power. Italy also foresaw this result: Paternò Castello, in a July report to the king and Giolitti, laid out the pros and cons of a military action in Libya and raised the concern that the Balkan revolt that would likely follow an Italian attack against Libya might force Austria to take military action in Balkan areas claimed by Italy.[20]

The Socialist Party had strong influence over public opinion. However, it was in opposition and also divided on the issue. It acted ineffectively against a military intervention. The future fascist leader Benito Mussolini – at this time still a left-wing Socialist – took a prominent anti-war position. A similar opposition was expressed in Parliament by Gaetano Salvemini and Leone Caetani.

An ultimatum was presented to the Ottoman government led by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) party on the night of 26–27 September. Through Austrian intermediation, the Ottomans replied with the proposal of transferring control of Libya without war, maintaining a formal Ottoman suzerainty. This suggestion was comparable to the situation in Egypt, which was under formal Ottoman suzerainty, but was actually controlled by the United Kingdom. Giolitti refused, and war was declared on September 29, 1911.

Military campaign

Opening maneuver

Zeplin orta
Italian dirigibles bomb Turkish positions on Libyan territory. The Italo-Turkish War was the first in history to feature aerial bombardment by airplanes and airships.[21]

Despite the time it had had to prepare the invasion, the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) was largely unprepared when the war broke out. The Italian fleet appeared off Tripoli in the evening of September 28, but only began bombarding the port on October 3. The city was conquered by 1,500 sailors, much to the enthusiasm of the interventionist minority in Italy. Another proposal for a diplomatic settlement was rejected by the Italians, and the Turks determined therefore to defend the province.[22]

The Turks did not have a full army in Tripolitania. Many of the Ottoman officers had to travel there by their own means, often secretly, through Egypt, since the British would not allow Turkish troops to be transported en masse through Egypt. The Ottoman navy was too weak to transport troops by sea. The Turks organized local Arabs and Bedouins for the defence against the Italian invasion.[23]

Italian landing in Libya

Between 1911 and 1912, over 1,000 Somalis from Mogadishu, the then capital of Italian Somaliland, served as combat units along with Eritrean and Italian soldiers in the Italo-Turkish War.[24] Most of the troops stationed never returned home until they were transferred back to Italian Somaliland in preparation for the invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.[25] The first disembarkation of Italian troops occurred on October 10. The city of Tripoli and surroundings -after a destructive bombing of the Turkish fortifications- were quickly conquered by 1,500 Italian sailors, welcomed by the population (mainly the local Jews) who started to collaborate with the Italian authorities[26]. Indeed many of the 14000 Jews living in Tripoli -according to the Alliance Israélite Universelle- supported Italy, and some actively contributed to their war effort (one of the reasons behind their support of Italy were the recurring pogroms the Jews suffered from at the hands of their Muslim neighbors and the wave of anti-Semitism that spread through the Ottoman Empire during the early XX century)[27].

The Italian contingent of 20,000 troops was deemed sufficient to accomplish the conquest at the time. Tobruk, Derna and Khoms were easily conquered, but the same was not true for Benghazi. The first true setback for the Italian troops happened on October 23 at Shar al-Shatt, when poor placement of the troops near Tripoli led them to be almost completely encircled by more mobile Arab cavalry, backed by some Turkish regular units. The attack was portrayed as a simple revolt by the Italian press, but it nearly annihilated much of the small Italian expeditionary corps.

The corps was consequently enlarged to 100,000 men who had to face 20,000 Arabs and 8,000 Turks. The war turned into one of position. Even some of the earliest examples of utilisation in modern warfare of armoured cars[28] and air power by the Italian forces had little effect on the initial outcome.[29] However, the war was notable for the first military use of heavier-than-air craft. Capitano Carlo Piazza flew the first military reconnaissance flight on 23 October 1911. A week later, Sottotenente Giulio Gavotti dropped four grenades on Taguira and Ain Zara in history's first aerial bombing.[30]

Trench phase

16 May 1912: surrender of the Turkish garrison in Rhodes to the Italian general Ameglio near Psithos.
(From Italian weekly La Domenica del Corriere, 26 May – 2 June 1912).

The Arabs and Turks, estimated at 15,000, made frequent attacks by day and night on the strongly entrenched Italian garrison in the southern suburbs of Benghazi. The four Italian regiments of infantry acted on the defensive and were supported by the San Marco and Agordat. The Italians rarely attempted a sortie.[31]

An attack of 20,000 Turkish and local troops was repulsed on November 30 with considerable losses. Shortly after this the garrison was reinforced by the 57th infantry regiment from Italy. The battleship Regina Elena also arrived from Tobruk. During the night of December 14 and 15 the Turks attacked in great force, but were repulsed with aid of the fire from the ships. The Italians lost several field guns.[31]

At Derna the Turks and Arabs were estimated at 3,500, but they were being constantly reinforced and a general assault on the Italian position was expected. The Italian and Turkish forces in Tripoli and Cyrenaica were constantly reinforced. The withdrawal of the Turks into the interior enabled them to reinforce their troops considerably.[31]

The cost of the war was defrayed chiefly by voluntary offerings from Muslims. Turkish officers and men, weapons, ammunition, and all kinds of supplies were constantly sent across the Egyptian and Tunisian frontiers, notwithstanding their neutrality. The Italians occupied Sidi Barrani on the coast between Tobruk and Solum to prevent contraband and troops from entering across the Egyptian frontier, while the naval blockaders guarded the coast and captured several sailing ships with contraband.[31]

Italian troops firing on the Turks in Tripoli, 1911.

Successively Italian troops landed at Tobruk after a brief bombardment on December 4, 1911, occupied the seashore and marched towards the hinterlands facing weak resistance.[32] Small numbers of Turkish soldiers and Libyan volunteers were later organized by Captain Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The small December 22 Battle of Tobruk resulted in Mustafa Kemal's victory.[33] With this achievement, he was assigned to Derna War quarters to coordinate the field on March 6, 1912. The Libyan campaign ground to a stalemate by December 1911.[5]

On 3 March 1912, 1,500 Libyan volunteers attacked Italian troops who were building trenches near Derna. The Italians, who were outnumbered but had superior weaponry, held the line. A lack of coordination between the Italian units sent from Derna as reinforcements and the intervention of Turkish artillery threatened the Italian line, and the Arabs attempted to surround the Italian troops. Further Italian reinforcements, however, were able to stabilise the situation, and the battle ended in the afternoon with an Italian victory.

On September 14, the Italian command sent three columns of infantry to disband the Arab Turkish camp near Derna. The Italian troops occupied a plateau, interrupting Turkish supply lines. Three days later, the Turkish commander, Enver Bey, attacked the Italian positions on the plateau. The larger Italian fire drove back the Turkish soldiers, who were surrounded by a battalion of Alpini and suffered heavy losses. A later Turkish attack had the same outcome. After that, operations in Cyrenaica ceased until the end of the war. Although some elements of the local population collaborated with the Italians, counterattacks by Turkish soldiers with the help of local troops confined the Italian army to the coastal region.[7] In fact, by the end of 1912 the Italians had made little progress in conquering Libya. The Italian soldiers were, in effect, besieged in seven enclaves on the coasts of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.[34] The largest of these, at Tripoli, extended barely 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the town.[34]

Naval warfare

Beirut battle
Italian cruiser bombarding Ottoman vessels in Beirut harbor.

At sea, the Italians enjoyed a clear advantage. The Italian navy had seven times the tonnage of the Ottoman navy and was better trained.[35]

In January 1912, the Italian cruiser Piemonte, with the Soldato class destroyers Artigliere and Garibaldino, sank seven Turkish gunboats (Ayintab, Bafra, Gökcedag, Kastamonu, Muha, Ordu and Refahiye) and a yacht (Sipka) in the Battle of Kunfuda Bay. Successively the Italians blockaded the Red Sea ports of the Ottomans, while actively supplying and supporting the Emirate of Asir which was also concurrently at war with the Ottoman Empire.[1]

Then, on 24 February, in the Battle of Beirut, two Italian armoured cruisers attacked and sank an Ottoman casemate corvette and six lighters, retreated, then returned and sank an Ottoman torpedo boat. Avnillah alone suffered 58 killed and 108 wounded. By contrast the Italian ships not only took no casualties, but no direct hits from the Ottoman warships at all.[36] Italy had feared that the Ottoman naval forces at Beirut could be used to threaten the approach to the Suez Canal. The Ottoman naval presence at Beirut was completely annihilated and casualties on the Ottoman side were heavy. The Italian navy gained complete naval dominance of the southern Mediterranean for the rest of the war.

Although Italy could extend its control to almost all of the 2,000 km of the Libyan coast between April and early August 1912, its ground forces could not venture beyond the protection of the navy's guns and were thus limited to a thin coastal strip. In the summer of 1912, Italy began operations against the Turkish possessions in the Aegean Sea with the approval of the other powers that were eager to end a war that was lasting much longer than expected. Italy occupied twelve islands in the sea, comprising the Ottoman province of Rhodes, which henceforth became known as the Dodecanese, but this raised the discontent of Austria-Hungary, which feared that this could fuel the irredentism of nations such as Serbia and Greece, causing imbalance in the already fragile situation in the Balkan area. The only other relevant military operation of the summer was an attack of five Italian torpedo boats in the Dardanelles on 18 July.

Irregular war and atrocities

Mustafa Kemal (left) with an Ottoman military officer and Libyan mujahideen.

With a decree of November 5, 1911, Italy declared its sovereignty over Libya. Although it controlled the coast, many of the Ottoman troops were not killed in battle and nearly 6,000 remained to face an army of nearly 140,000 Italians. As a result, the Ottomans began using guerrilla tactics. Indeed, some "Young Turk" officers reached Libya and helped organize a guerrilla war with local mujahideens.[37] Many local Arabs joined forces with the Turks because of their common faith against the "Christian invaders" and started a bloody guerrilla warfare: Italian authorities adopted many repressive measures against the rebels, such as public hanging as a retaliation for ambushes.

On October 23, 1911 nearly 500 Italian soldiers were slaughtered by Turkish troops at Sciara Sciatt, on the outskirts of Tripoli.[38] As a consequence, on the next day—during the 1911 Tripoli massacre—Italian troops systematically murdered thousands of civilians by moving through local homes and gardens one by one, including setting fire to a mosque with one hundred refugees inside.[39] Although Italian authorities attempted to keep the news of the massacre from getting out, the incident soon became internationally known.[39] The Italians started to show photos of the massacred Italian soldiers at Sciara Sciat in order to justify their revenge.

Treaty of Lausanne

Rumbeyoglu fahreddin
Rumbeyoglu Fahreddin led the Turkish delegation at Lausanne (1912).
Treaty of Lausanne 1912
Turkish and Italian delegations at Lausanne (1912). From left to right (seating): Pietro Bertolini, Mehmet Nabi Bey, Guido Fusinato, Rumbeyoglu Fahreddin, and Giuseppe Volpi.

Italian diplomats decided to take advantage of the situation to obtain a favourable peace deal. On October 18, 1912, Italy and the Ottoman Empire signed a treaty in Ouchy near Lausanne (the First Treaty of Lausanne).[40][41]

The main provisions of the treaty, often also called Treaty of Ouchy to distinguish it from the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, were as follows:[42]

  • The Ottomans would withdraw all military personnel from Trablus and Benghazi vilayets (Libya) but in return, Italy would return Rhodes and the other Aegean islands it held back to the Turks.
  • Trablus and Benghazi vilayets would have a special status and a naib (regent) and a kadi (judge) would represent the Caliph.
  • Before the appointment of these kadis and naibs, the Ottomans would consult the Italian government.
  • The Ottoman government would be responsible for the expenses of these kadis and naibs.


Italians in Libya
Italian Alpini and Libyan corpses after the attack against "Ridotta Lombardia".

The invasion of Libya was a costly enterprise for Italy. Instead of the 30 million lire a month judged sufficient at its beginning, it reached a cost of 80 million a month for a much longer period than was originally estimated. The war cost Italy 1.3 billion lire, nearly a billion more than Giovanni Giolitti estimated before the war.[43] This ruined ten years of fiscal prudence.[43]

After the withdrawal of the Ottoman army the Italians could easily extend their occupation of the country, seizing East Tripolitania, Ghadames, the Djebel and Fezzan with Murzuk during 1913.[44] The outbreak of the First World War with the necessity to bring back the troops to Italy, the proclamation of the Jihad by the Ottomans and the uprising of the Libyans in Tripolitania forced the Italians to abandon all occupied territory and to entrench themselves in Tripoli, Derna, and on the coast of Cyrenaica.[44] The Italian control over much of the interior of Libya remained ineffective until the late 1920s, when forces under the Generals Pietro Badoglio and Rodolfo Graziani waged bloody pacification campaigns. Resistance petered out only after the execution of the rebel leader Omar Mukhtar on September 15, 1931. The result of the Italian colonisation for the Libyan population was that by the mid-1930s it had been cut in half due to emigration, famine, and war casualties. The Libyan population in 1950 was at the same level as in 1911, approximately 1.5 million.[45]

Europe, the Balkans, and the First World War

In 1924, the Serbian diplomat Miroslav Spalajković could look back on the events that led to the First World War and its aftermath and state of the Italian attack, "all subsequent events are nothing more than the evolution of that first aggression."[46] Unlike British-controlled Egypt and French-influenced Morocco, the Ottoman Tripolitania vilayet that made up modern-day Libya were core territory of the Empire, like that of the Balkans.[47] The coalition that had defended the Ottomans during the Crimean War (1853-1856), minimized Ottoman territorial losses at the Congress of Berlin (1878), and supported the Empire during the Bulgarian Crisis (1885–88) had largely disappeared.[48] The reaction in the Balkans to the Italian declaration of war was immediate. The first draft by Serbia of a military treaty with Bulgaria against Turkey was written by November 1911, with a defensive treaty signed in March 1912, and an offensive treaty signed in May 1912 focused on military action against Ottoman south-east Europe. The series of bilateral treaties between Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro that created the Balkan League was completed in 1912, with the First Balkan War (1912-1913) beginning with a Montenegrin attack on 8 October 1912, ten days before Treaty of Lausanne.[49] The swift and nearly complete victory of the Balkan League astonished contemporary observers.[50] However, the Serbs were unhappy with the division of captured territory and continued to hold areas promised to Bulgaria, resulting in the Second Balkan War (1913), in which Serbia, Greece, the Ottomans, and Romania took almost all of the territory that Bulgaria had captured in the first war.[51] In the wake of this enormous change in the regional balance of power, Russia switched its primary allegiance in the region from Bulgaria to Serbia, guaranteeing Serbian autonomy from any outside military intervention. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by a Serbian nationalist and the resulting Austrian plan for military action against Serbia is the oft-stated precipitating event of World War I (1914-1918).

The Italo-Turkish War illustrated to France and Great Britain that Italy was more valuable to them inside the Triple Alliance, rather than formally allied with the Entente. In January 1912, French diplomat Paul Cambon wrote to Raymond Poincaré that Italy was "more burdensome than useful as an ally. Against Austria she harbours a latent hostility that nothing can disarm."[52] The tensions within the Triple Alliance would eventually lead Italy to sign the 1915 Treaty of London abandoning the Triple Alliance and joining the Entente.

In Italy itself massive funerals for fallen heroes brought the Catholic Church closer to the government from which it had long been alienated. There emerged a cult of patriotic sacrifice, in which the colonial war was celebrated in an aggressive and imperialistic way. The ideology of "crusade" and "martyrdom" characterized the funerals. The result was to consolidate Catholic war culture among devout Italians, which was soon expanded to include the world war (1915-18). The aggressive spirit and was revived by the Fascists in the 1920s to strengthen their popular support.[53]

Fate of the Dodecanese Islands

Because of World War I, the Dodecanese remained under Italian military occupation. According to the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, which was never ratified, Italy was supposed to cede all of the islands except Rhodes to Greece, in exchange for a vast Italian zone of influence in southwest Anatolia. However, the Greek defeat in the Greco–Turkish War and the foundation of modern Turkey created a new situation that made the enforcement of the terms of this treaty impossible. In article 15 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which superseded the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, Turkey formally recognized the Italian annexation of the Dodecanese. The population was largely Greek, and by treaty in 1947 the islands eventually became part of Greece.[54]

See also


  1. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh (25 March 2018). "The Encyclopedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information". The Encyclopedia Britannica Co. Retrieved 25 March 2018 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Italy. Esercito. Corpo di stato maggiore (1914). The Italo-Turkish War (1911–12). Franklin Hudson Publishing Company. p. 13.
  3. ^ a b c The History of the Italian-Turkish War, William Henry Beehler, p.13-36
  4. ^ a b World War I: A Student Encyclopedia, Spencer C. Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts, page 946
  5. ^ a b c Emigrant nation: the making of Italy abroad, Mark I. Choate, Harvard University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-674-02784-1, page 176.
  6. ^ James C. Bradford: International Encyclopedia of Military History, Routledge 2006, page 674
  7. ^ a b Spencer Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts: World War I: A Student Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2005, ISBN 1-85109-879-8, page 946.
  8. ^ "Treaty of Lausanne, October, 1912". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Treaty of Lausanne - World War I Document Archive". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  10. ^ Maksel, Rebecca. "The World's First Warplane". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  11. ^ U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission: Aviation at the Start of the First World War Archived 2012-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ James D. Crabtree: On air defense, ISBN 0275947920, Greenwood Publishing Group, page 9
  13. ^ A.J.P. Taylor (1954). The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848-1918. p. 311.
  14. ^ Andrea Ungari (2014). The Libyan War 1911-1912. p. 117.
  15. ^ "Alliance System / System of alliances". Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  16. ^ Clark, Christopher M. (2012). The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914. London: Allen Lane. p. 244. ISBN 9780713999426. LCCN 2012515665.
  17. ^ Clark, pp. 244-245
  18. ^ Andrea L. Stanton et al eds. (2012). Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia. SAGE. p. 310.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  19. ^ Clark, pp. 245-246
  20. ^ Clark, pp. 246
  21. ^ Biddle, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare, pg.19
  22. ^ 30 September Italy and Trablusgarp (tr) Archived 2012-09-15 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ M. Taylan Sorgun, "Bitmeyen Savas", 1972. Memoirs of Halil Pasa
  24. ^ W. Mitchell. Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Whitehall Yard, Volume 57, Issue 2. p. 997.
  25. ^ William James Makin (1935). War Over Ethiopia. p. 227.
  26. ^ Tripoli inhabitants welcomed the Italians, p. 36-40 (in Italian)
  27. ^ After the Italian conquest, the Jews received official status and were an important religious-ethnic group due to their key role in the Libyan economy
  28. ^ Crow, Encyclopedia of Armored Cars, pg.104.
  29. ^ Biddle, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare, pg.19.
  30. ^ Hallion Strike From the Sky: The History of Battlefield Air Attack, 1910–1945, p. 11.
  31. ^ a b c d William Henry Beehler, The History of the Italian-Turkish War, September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912, Engagements At Benghasi And Derna In December 1911 (p.49)
  32. ^ "1911–1912 Turco-Italian War and Captain Mustafa Kemal". Ministry of Culture of Turkey, edited by Turkish Armed Forces-Division of History and Strategical Studies, pages 62–65, Ankara, 1985.
  33. ^ "1911–1912 Turco-Italian War and Captain Mustafa Kemal". Ministry of Culture of Turkey, edited by Turkish Armed Forces-Division of History and Strategical Studies, pages 62–65, Ankara, 1985.
  34. ^ a b Libya: a modern history", John Wright, Taylor & Francis, 1981, ISBN 0-7099-2727-4, page 28.
  35. ^ Tucker, Roberts, 2005, page 945.
  36. ^ Beehler, William (1913). The history of the Italian-Turkish War, September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912. Annapolis: The Advertiser Republican. p. 58.
  37. ^ "Arab Thoughts on the Italian Colonial Wars in Libya - Small Wars Journal". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  38. ^ Gerwarth, Robert; Manela, Erez (3 July 2014). "Empires at War: 1911-1923". OUP Oxford. Retrieved 25 March 2018 – via Google Books.
  39. ^ a b Geoff Simons (2003). Libya and the West: From Independence to Lockerbie. I.B.Tauris. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-86064-988-2.
  40. ^ Treaty of Peace Between Italy and Turkey The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 7, No. 1, Supplement: Official Documents (Jan., 1913), pp. 58–62 doi:10.2307/2212446
  41. ^ "Treaty of Lausanne, October, 1912". Mount Holyoke College, Program in International Relations.
  42. ^ "Uşi (Ouchy) Antlaşması" [Treaty of Ouchy] (in Turkish). 31 May 2009. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  43. ^ a b Mark I. Choate: Emigrant nation: the making of Italy abroad, Harvard University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-674-02784-1, page 175.
  44. ^ a b Bertarelli (1929), p. 206.
  45. ^ The Libyan Economy: Economic Diversification and International Repositioning, Waniss Otman, Erling Karlberg, page 13
  46. ^ Clark, pp.243-244
  47. ^ Clark, pp.243
  48. ^ Clark, p. 250
  49. ^ Clark, pp. 251-252
  50. ^ Clark, p. 252
  51. ^ Clark, pp. 256-258
  52. ^ Clark, p. 249
  53. ^ Matteo Caponi, "Liturgie funebri e sacrificio patriottico I riti di suffragio per i caduti nella guerra di Libia (1911-1912)."["Funeral Liturgies and Patriotic Sacrifices: The Rites for the Souls of Those Who Fell in the War of Libya (1911-1912)"] Rivista di storia del cristianesimo 10.2 (2013) 437-459
  54. ^ P.J. Carabott, "The Temporary Italian Occupation of the Dodecanese: A Prelude to Permanency," Diplomacy and Statecraft," (1993) 4#2 pp 285–312.

Further reading

  • Askew, William C. Europe and Italy's Acquisition of Libya, 1911–1912 (1942) online
  • Baldry, John (1976). "al-Yaman and the Turkish occupation 1849–1914". Arabica. 23: 156–96.
  • Beehler, William Henry. The history of the Italian-Turkish War, September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912. (1913; reprint: Harvard University Press, 2008)
  • Biddle, Tami Davis, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914–1945. Princeton University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-691-12010-2.
  • Childs, Timothy W. Italo-Turkish Diplomacy and the War Over Libya, 1911–1912. Brill, Leiden, 1990. ISBN 90-04-09025-8.
  • Crow, Duncan, and Icks, Robert J. Encyclopedia of Armored Cars. Chatwell Books, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1976. ISBN 0-89009-058-0.
  • Hallion, Richard P. Strike From the Sky: The History of Battlefield Air Attack, 1910–1945. (second edition) University of Alabama Press, 2010. ISBN 0817356576, 9780817356576.
  • Paris, Michael. Winged Warfare. Manchester University Press, New York, 1992, pp. 106–115.
  • Stevenson, Charles. A Box of Sand: The Italo-Ottoman War 1911–1912: The First Land, Sea and Air War (2014), a major scholarly study
  • Vandervort, Bruce. Wars of imperial conquest in Africa, 1830–1914 (Indiana University Press, 1998)

In other languages

  • Bertarelli, L.V. (1929). Guida d'Italia, Vol. XVII (in Italian). Milano: Consociazione Turistica Italiana.
  • Maltese, Paolo. "L'impresa di Libia", in Storia Illustrata #167, October 1971.
  • "1911–1912 Turco–Italian War and Captain Mustafa Kemal". Ministry of Culture of Turkey, edited by Turkish Armed Forces-Division of History and Strategical Studies, pages 62–65, Ankara, 1985.
  • Schill, Pierre. Réveiller l'archive d'une guerre coloniale. Photographies et écrits de Gaston Chérau, correspondant de guerre lors du conflit italo-turc pour la Libye (1911-1912), éd. Créaphis, 2018. 480 pages and 230 photographs. ISBN 978-2-35428-141-0

Awaken the archive of a colonial war. Photographs and writings of a French war correspondent during the Italo-Turkish war in Libya (1911-1912). With contributions from art historian Caroline Recher, critic Smaranda Olcèse, writer Mathieu Larnaudie and historian Quentin Deluermoz.

  • "Trablusgarp Savaşı Ve 1911–1912 Türk-İtalyan İlişkileri: Tarblusgarp Savaşı'nda Mustafa Kemal Atatürk'le İlgili Bazı Belgeler", Hale Şıvgın, Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 2006, ISBN 978-975-16-0160-5

External links

Media related to Italo-Turkish War at Wikimedia Commons

Battle of Beirut (1912)

The Battle of Beirut was a naval battle off the coast of Beirut during the Italo-Turkish War. Italian fears that the Ottoman naval forces at Beirut could be used to threaten the approach to the Suez canal led the Italian military to order the destruction of the Ottoman naval presence in the area. On 24 February 1912 two Italian armoured cruisers attacked and sank an Ottoman casemate corvette and six lighters, retired, then returned and sank an Ottoman torpedo boat.

As a result of the battle all Ottoman naval forces in the region were annihilated, thus ensuring the approaches to the Suez Canal were open to the Italians. Besides the naval losses, the city of Beirut itself suffered significant damage from the Italian warships.

Battle of Derna (1912)

The Battle of Derna, also known as the Battle of Sidi Abdullah (Arabic: معركة سيدي عبد الله), occurred near Derna in 3 March 1912, within the scope of Italo-Turkish War. The battle took place between the Italians led by Luigi Capello and Ottoman-Senussi Forces led by Enver Pasha and Ahmed Sharif as-Senussi.

Battle of Kunfuda Bay

The Battle of Kunfuda Bay was a naval battle of the Italo-Turkish War between small squadrons of the Italian and Ottoman navies. On 7 January 1912, the Italian protected cruiser Piemonte and the Soldato-class destroyers Artigliere and Garibaldino, cruising the Red Sea, discovered six Ottoman gunboats, a tugboat, and a yacht in the harbor at Kunfuda. The vessels engaged for over three hours and five Ottoman vessels were sunk and four dhows were captured. Three of the gunboats were damaged during the battle and grounded on the beach to prevent them from sinking. The following morning, the Italian vessels returned to destroy the remaining three vessels; the yacht, which had been sunk, was later salvaged and seized by Italy. After the battle, the Italian squadron in the Red Sea was able to proclaim a blockade of Ottoman ports in the Red Sea and frequently bombarded Ottoman positions for the rest of the war.

Battle of Kuwayfia

The Battle of Kuwayfia in Benghazi, was fought on 28 November 1911 as part of the Italo-Turkish War.

Battle of Preveza (1911)

This engagement should not be confused with the Battle of Preveza in 1538.The Battle of Preveza, in September 1911, was the first naval engagement fought during the Italo-Turkish War. Five Italian Soldato-class destroyers encountered five Ottoman ships off the Greek port of Preveza. Over the course of two days, four of the Turkish vessels present were sunk or captured and the city was bombarded.

Battle of Rhodes (1912)

The Battle of Rhodes was fought in May 1912 as part of the Italo-Turkish War. Italian troops under Lieutenant General Giovanni Ameglio landed on the Turkish held island and took control of it after thirteen days of fighting, ending nearly 400 years of Ottoman rule. The battle became the major engagement during the Italian operations in the Aegean Sea.Italian forces numbered about 9,000-10,400 men supported by a fleet of Regia Marina warships. Many of the Italian troops were veterans of the campaigns in Libya, having been shipped from Benghazi and Tobruk. The Regia Marina began operating off the island a few days prior to the invasion, on May 1, the Italian navy cut the communications cable linking Rhodes with the mainland. An unopposed landing in Kalithea Bay began at 4:00 am on May 4 and lasted until 2:00 pm when the Italians began their march north towards the city of Rhodes. Ottoman Army personnel numbered about 1,000 men and officers with a handful of old artillery pieces though another 10,000 militiamen were recruited from the local Muslim civilian population. At first the Italians overestimated the Ottoman garrison on the island at 2,000-5,000, therefore they waited until they gathered enough men for the attack. Rhodes was protected by a castle but it was not utilized by the Turks and played no part in the battle.

The first line of Turkish defenses was at Smith Plateau, where a few hundred men were stationed. Italian troops attacked the position, while eleven Italian ships bombarded the area. The Turks were routed with significant losses though the Italians reported that only seven of their men were wounded. Ottoman forces retreated that night to the mountains around Psithos and the Italians advanced to within two kilometers of Rhodes and stopped at 7:00 pm. When the city was surrendered the following morning at 10:00 am, the Italian army marched in without opposition.Meanwhile, additional unopposed landings took place at Kalavarda and Malona Bay, both about thirty miles south of Rhodes. On May 7, the Wali of Rhodes was captured with over 100 other Turkish officials by the Italian destroyer Ostro. The Turks were trying to flee the islands, but instead ended up going to Taranto on May 11 as prisoners. Lieutenant General Ameglio took the offensive again on May 15 against the enemy forces around Psithos. With the landings at Kalavarda and Malona Bay completed Ameglio and his main force were able to surround the Turkish position on three sides while the battleship Ammiraglio di Saint Bon bombarded troop concentrations from the fourth. After a nine-hour battle the Ottomans were defeated and the battle for Rhodes came to an end when the Turkish commanders surrendered the next day on May 16. Eighty-three Turks were killed at Psithos, twenty-six were wounded and 983 surrendered. The remaining 10,000 militiamen returned to their homes. Four Italians were reported to have been killed in the final engagement and twenty-six men were wounded. After 390 years of Muslim rule, Rhodes was once again controlled by Christian forces.

Battle of Tobruk (1911)

Battle of Tobruk (1911) or Nadura Hill Battle was a small engagement in the Italo-Turkish War. It is mostly known for the involvement and leadership of future Turkish president Mustafa Kemal.

Battle of Zanzur

The Battle of Zanzur or Battle of Janzur, also known as the Battle of Sidi Abdel Jalil (Arabic: معركة سيدي عبد الجليل‎), occurred in Janzour in 1912 on the eighth day of June during the Italo-Turkish War. The battle took place between Italians and Ottoman forces and the Libyan resistance.

Emilio De Bono

Emilio De Bono (19 March 1866 – 11 January 1944) was an Italian General, fascist activist, Marshal, and member of the Fascist Grand Council (Gran Consiglio del Fascismo). De Bono fought in the Italo-Turkish War, World War I, and the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.

Giuseppe Volpi

Giuseppe Volpi, 1st Count of Misurata (19 November 1877 – 16 November 1947) was an Italian businessman and politician.

Count Volpi developed utilities which brought electricity to Venice, northeast Italy, and the Balkans by 1903. In 1911–1912, he acted as a negotiator in ending the Italo-Turkish War. He was the governor of the colony of Tripolitania from 1921 until 1925.

As the Kingdom of Italy's Finance Minister from 1925 until 1928, Volpi successfully negotiated Italy's World War I debt repayment with the United States and with the United Kingdom, and pegged the value of the lira to the value of gold. He was replaced in July 1928 by Antonio Moscini.Volpi also founded the Venice Film Festival. His son was automobile racing manager Giovanni Volpi. His grand daughter is Countess Maria Cicogna, The New York Times describes her as "the first major female Italian film producer" and "one of the most powerful women in European cinema".

Ibrahim Hakki Pasha

Ibrahim Hakki Pasha (Turkish: İbrahim Hakkı Paşa 1862–1918), was an Ottoman statesman, who served as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire between 1910–1911. He served as Ottoman ambassador to Germany and to the Kingdom of Italy.

Hakki Pasha also spent considerable amounts of time in London between February 1913 and the outbreak of World War I, working on negotiations concerning the Berlin-Baghdad Railway and a settlement for the Second Balkan War. During that visit, Hakki Pasha met with King George VI.

List of Ottoman battles in the 20th century

This is a list of 20th-century battles involving the Ottoman Empire prior to World War I; for World War I battles, see List of Ottoman battles in World War I.

Massacres during the Italo-Turkish War

A series of massacres were committed by Ottoman and Italian forces during the Italo-Turkish War. In October 1911, Ottoman forces massacred captured Italian troops at Sciara Sciat. In reprisal, Italian troops massacred several thousand civilians in the Mechiya oasis.

Mehmed V

Mehmed V Reşâd (Ottoman Turkish: محمد خامس Meḥmed-i ẖâmis, Turkish: Beşinci Mehmet Reşat or Reşat Mehmet) (2 November 1844 – 3 July 1918) was the 35th and penultimate Ottoman Sultan. He was the son of Sultan Abdulmejid I. He was succeeded by his half-brother Mehmed VI. His nine-year reign was marked by the cession of the Empire's North African territories and the Dodecanese Islands, including Rhodes, in the Italo-Turkish War, the traumatic loss of almost all of the Empire's European territories west of Constantinople in the First Balkan War, and the entry of the Empire into World War I, which would ultimately lead to the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Ottavio Briccola

Ottavio Briccola was an Italian general. He was the first Italian governor of Cyrenaica after he had participated in the Italo-Turkish War.

At the beginning of World War I he commanded the 8th corps of the Italian fifth army.

Ottoman fleet organisation during the Italo-Turkish War

This list includes fleet organisations of the Ottoman Navy during the Italo-Turkish War.

Ruggiero Santini

Ruggiero Santini (April 16, 1870 – April 4, 1958) was an Italian general. He was the colonial governor of Somaliland. He fought in the First Italo-Ethiopian War and Italo-Turkish War. In World War I he fought against Austria-Hungary.

Vincenzo De Feo

Vincenzo De Feo (Campobasso, September 16, 1876 – Rome, January 17, 1955) was an Italian Admiral. He was even Governor of Italian Eritrea during 1937.

Vittorio Ambrosio

Vittorio Ambrosio (28 July 1879 – 19 November 1958) was an Italian general who served in the Italo-Turkish War, World War I, and World War II. During the last phase of World War II Ambrosio supported the fall of Benito Mussolini and Italy’s eventual renunciation of the German alliance.

Italo-Turkish War
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