Mediterranean-First? Anglo-American Strategic Planning and the Origins of the Allied Occupation of Italy (1939-1943)


Marco Maria Aterrano
Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, Torino



Publisher: FedOA - Federico II University Press. 

Series: Clio. Essays in History, Archaeology and Art History (ISSN: 2532-4608). 

Pages: 285. 

Language: Italian.


Abstract: The arrival of the Allies in Italy in July 1943 was not the result of an impromptu decision, but rather of a prolonged debate that involved both political and military agencies in London and Washington for the first four years of the Second World War. The decision to pursue the defeat of the Axis through the invasion of Sicily had been reached by the Anglo-American leaders at Casablanca, in January 1943. The choice to give precedence to Italy in the framework of the European war was by no means a foregone conclusion, and its importance in the strategic developments of World War II in Europe has often been underestimated. This research seeks to re-evaluate the role that the ​elimination of Italy played in the overall strategy developed by the Allies during the first phase of the Mediterranean conflict. The analysis of the political debates, military planning, and strategic appreciations produced by Anglo-American decision-makers in the 1939-1943 period shows that the Allied wartime interest in Italy, its defeat and the occupation of its territory was the result of a long-term design.


Table of Contents



Parte I. La strategia britannica per l’Italia (1939-1941)

1. La non belligeranza italiana (1939-1940)

2. L’intervento italiano e le prime contromisure inglesi (1940)

3. Lo stallo strategico (1941)


Parte II. Combined Planning: gli Alleati nel Mediterraneo (1942)

4. Arcadia e l’inizio della collaborazione atlantica

5. La cooperazione competitive e l’arrivo alleato nel Mediterraneo

6. La nascita della strategia mediterranea e la ricomparsa dell’Italia


Parte III. La scelta del secondo fronte: l’Italia (1943)

7. Da Casablanca a Trident. La scelta siciliana e il dibattito strategico

8. Diatribe mediterranee. La genesi dell’amministrazione alleata

9. Lo sbarco alleato. Husky e la fine del regime

10. L’Italia e la chiusura della campagna mediterranea



Sigle e abbreviazioni



Indice dei nomi

Author Biography

Marco Maria Aterrano, Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, Torino

Born in Naples in 1986, he received his Ph.D. in History at the Department of Humanities at the University of Naples Federico II, where he is currently conducting research on World War II in the Mediterranean. He has been a post-doctoral fellow at the Einaudi Foundation in Turin and a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He collaborates with research groups on World War II at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, and King's College in London. He also published several articles on Italia Contemporanea, Global War Studies, and other Italian and international journals.

Cover for Mediterranean-First? Anglo-American Strategic Planning and the Origins of the Allied Occupation of Italy (1939-1943)
April 28, 2017

Details about this monograph

ISBN-13 (15)
Date of first publication (11)