Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 26 February 1941 (Italian Fiascos): By late 1940, Mussolini (Benito Mussolini)'s invasion of Greece (Greco-Italian War) had become a debacle, with the Greeks instead invading Italian Albania. Meanwhile, Britain devastated the Italian fleet at Taranto (Battle of Taranto) and overran Italian possessions in Africa (Operation Compass). All this worried the Germans, who began sending troops to aid the Italians, and encouraged the Americans, who announced the start of Lend-Lease (Lend-Lease).