Italo-Turkish War

Imperial Europe

Europe 1912.0517

Italo-Turkish War

Imperial Europe (17 May 1912)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

In October 1911, Italy invaded the Ottoman Turkish provinces in North Africa. The Italians quickly conquered the coastal cities but found it harder to defeat the Arab and Turkish forces in the interior, despite the first use of airplanes in warfare. In May 1912, they occupied the Dodecanese in an attempt to force the Turks to accept defeat.

Main Events

Italo-Turkish War

Capitalizing on a 1902 secret treaty with France, Italy declared war on the Ottoman Empire in order to seize control of its non-contiguous Vilayet of Tripolitania (Libya).

Italian troops land in Tripolitania

On 10 October 1911, 19,000 Italian and 1,000 Somali troops landed in central Libya. Outnumbered by the combined force of local Arabs and Turks, the Italians expanded their force to 100,000 and called in air support for the first time in military history.

Treaty of Fez

After years of competing interests between European colonial powers, Sultan Abd ah-Hhafid of Morocco signed the Treaty of Fez, making his country a protectorate of France. Ten days later, he abdicated and went into exile in Tangier.

Third Home Rule Bill

British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith introduced the Third Home Rule Bill, paving the way for self-government in Ireland but triggering crisis in Ulster.

Italian invasion of the Dodecanese

Forces of the Kingdom of Italy landed in the Dodecanese Islands, part of the Ottoman Empire. The main battle took place on Rhodes, where around 10,000 Italian troops landed on 4 May, forcing the surrender of the Ottoman garrison on 16 May and ending 390 years of Ottoman rule.

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