THIS WEEK IN WORLD WAR II
ITALY DECLARES WAR
On June 10, 1940, after withholding formal allegiance to either side in the battle between Germany and the Allies, Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, declares war on France and Great Britain.
Why the change of heart? Could it be the occupation of France?
“First they were too cowardly to take part. Now they are in a hurry so that they can share in the spoils,”
“Fascism did not believe in hitting a man when he is down.”
—-Benito Mussolini claimed that he wanted in before the complete French capitulation.
It didn’t take the Allies long to react to Italy’s actions. In London, all Italians who had lived in Britain less than 20 years and who were between the ages of 16 and 70 were immediately interned.
In America, President Roosevelt broadcast on radio the promise of support for Britain and France with “the material resources of this nation.” This would be the Lend-Lease Program.