Europe 1940: Mussolini’s Offensives
9–18 Sep 1940 Italian invasion of Egypt▲
Italian Army Marshal Rudolfo Graziani ordered his troops in Libya to cross into Egypt, with the invasion force spearheaded by the Italian 10th Army under General Mario Berti and focused on capturing the Suez Canal. At dusk on 16 September they took Sidi Barrani, 90km from the border, where their advance came to a halt due to supply problems.
27 Sep 1940 Tripartite Pact▲
Joachim von Ribbentrop of Nazi Germany, Galeazzo Ciano of the Kingdom of Italy, and Saburō Kurusu of the Empire of Japan signed the Tripartite Pact in Berlin, capital of Germany. The 10 year Pact recognized the right of Germany and Italy to establish a new order in Europe while Japan did so in Greater East Asia; it also compelled the contracting Powers to come to the aid of any one of them should they be attacked by a Power not presently involved in either World War II in Europe or the Sino-Japanese War (implicitly making it a defensive pact against the United States and the Soviet Union).
28 Oct–8 Nov 1940 Italian invasion of Greece▲
After Greek Prime Minister and dictator Ioannis Metaxas rejected Italy’s ultimatum to be allowed to station troops in his country, 85,000 Italian troops crossed the border from Albania into Greece. The invasion force was met by the 30,000-strong Greek army and a pledge of support from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Despite their numerical advantage, the Italians were slowed in the Pindus and Epirus Mountains and soon forced to pull back after Greek counterattacks.