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Italy's a major nation primarily located in the Italian peninsula. It contains territory in Zara (on the Dalmatian coast)and the Dodecanese (Aegean sea), with African colonies in Libya, Eritrea and Somalia. Its terrain is mainly made of hills, with the Alps located in the north. Its location in the center of the Mediterranean causes Italy to be a dominant force in the region. In game the country has a modest to respectable military, with the navy being its strongest asset. Both branches have immediate adversaries to face, as the French to the west are a constant threat, while the British also vie for control of the Mediterranean Sea, and both powers maintain rival colonies abroad.
Italy was a member of the victorious Entente when World War 1 ended in 1918. In exchange for promises of significant territorial expansion, Italy had sided with the French and British. With the war's end, Italy had anticipated its promised reward would be commensurate with Italian losses in the Alps. But at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference the three pre-eminent powers (the US, the UK and France) largely broke with their promises to lesser allies: Italy gained only the provinces of South Tyrol and Trieste, while the British and French divided the colonial world between them. Regions Italy had long considered as Italian, such as Corsica and Tunisia, remained under French control, while what German colonies there were went mostly to the British.
Italy conquered ( Ethiopia and Albania) prior to its entry into World War II. Despite the Pact of Steel with Germany, Italy did not join in the war until June 1940, planning to get a share of Allied territory with the defeat of France. Italy's war effort went beyond poorly, With Italy suffering a humiliating defeat in Greece. Later, Italy invaded British-controlled Egypt but the attack was beat back hardly and the Italian army was pushed back into Libya and expelled from Africa completely shortly after. The Allies launched a naval invasion of Italy in the summer of 1943 and Mussolini's government collapsed.
The new royal government of Marshal Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice with the allies, but most of the country was quickly occupied by the Germans who established a puppet government under Mussolini's leadership, the Italian Social Republic, in Northern Italy. Badoglio and the king escaped to Brindisi without giving any order to the army. The royal government remained in control of the south, declared war on Germany, and declared itself as the government of all of Italy shortly before the end of the war in the spring of 1945. Significant partisan actions took place in northern Italy. Italy would eventually recover from the war and, along with France, Germany and the low countries, would become one of the founding members of the European Union. However it lost the region of Istria and the Dalmatian city of Zadar to Yugoslavia, and all its colonies.
- Main article: Italian events
- Main article: Italian national focus tree
Italy has an interesting national focus tree with five different branches:
- Ethiopian War Logistics
- A smaller tree which focuses on industrial build up.
- Army Primacy
- Strengthens your army research.
- Mare Nostrum
- The big naval strengthening tree.
- Light Ship Focus
- Destroyer & Submarine benefits.
- Triumph in Africa
- The big political and diplomatic tree, where you have lots of different choices on who to befriend and conquer.
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.3.
Italy starts with four research slots and can gain one from its focus tree.
|Army Technology||Naval Technology||Air Technology||Electronics & Industry|
- Acceptance of Communist Diplomacy: −10
- Acceptance of Democratic Diplomacy: −10
- Acceptance of Fascist Diplomacy: +10
- AI Modifier: Focus on Offense: +50%
- Justify war goal time: −5%
Italy starts at war with Ethiopia, which is something they will be focusing on for the first months of the game. The Italian technological superiority pretty much guarantees that they will win the war. The new transportation mechanics makes it less of a hassle to strengthen this theatre, and less of a hassle to move back troops afterwards. At the 1936 start date, Italy has no alliances, but is guaranteeing Albania.
The political parties in Italy and their popularity remain the same in both the 1936 and 1939 scenario with Benito Mussolini's Partito Nazionale Fascista ruling with overwhelming support, followed by the democratic Partito Popolare Italiano with significant popularity. Besides Benito Mussolini, all the other Italian political party leaders have randomized names.
|Conscription Law||Economy Law||Trade Law|
| Limited Conscription
|| Partial Mobilization
|| Limited Exports
Italy's industry is quite modest compared to other major powers. The country's limited production and construction power will seriously undermine its war effort if not dealt with swiftly.
19 Military Factories
11 Naval Dockyard
20 Civilian Factories
These numbers represent the available resources, depending on trade law a certain amount may be traded away.
Italy has 39 divisions in 1936. Of these:
- Two are Raggruppamenti Celere with 4x cavalry and no support.
- Five are Divisione Alpina with 6x mountaineers, engineers and support artillery.
- Five are Divisione Coloniale with 6x infantry, no support, and low reinforcement priority.
- Three are Divisione Celere with 4x cavalry, 2x motorized infantry, and 1x light tank.
- The remaining 24 are Divisione di Fanteria with 6x infantry and engineers.
The land borders of Italy's core territory (France, Switzerland, Austria - later German Reich - and Yugoslavia) are all mountains or hills (except for the city of Nice), so more mountaineer divisions are recommended.
In terms of technology, Italy's support weapons, armour and artillery are outdated, the only special forces available are mountain infantry, and the only support companies available are engineers. Modernization and research will be needed.
|1936||SPA Dovunque 41||Motorized I|
|1941||Fiat 665NM protetto||Mechanized I|
|1943||Breda 61||Mechanized II|
|1945||SPA Dovunque 35 protetto||Mechanized III|
|Name||Type||Techyear||Tank Destroyer / SP-Artillery / Armored AA Variants|
|Great War Tank||1918||None|
|L3||Light Tank I||1934||None|
|L6||Light Tank II||1936||None|
|L8||Light Tank III||1941||None|
|M15||Medium Tank I||1939||M.43 105/25 (TD) / M15/42 Carro Contraereo (AAA)|
|M16||Medium Tank II||1941||None|
|M20/43||Medium Tank III||1943||None|
|P75||Heavy Tank I||1934||None|
|P26||Heavy Tank II||1941||None|
|P43||Heavy Tank III||1943||None|
|Il Duce||Super Heavy Tank||1943||None|
Examples of alternative division template names for Italy include:
- Mountaineers - Divisione Alpina
- Marines - Divisione Marine
- Paratroopers - Divisione Paracadutisti
- Motorized - Divisione Motorizzata
- Mechanized - Divisione Meccanizzata
- Armor - Divisione Corazzata
The Regia Marina is rather sizable, it is however not very modern. The exception is the two battleships in production in 1936, which would be wise to continue as battleships will most likely comprise the majority of Italy's naval power. Italy also has several ships under construction. 2 Caio Duilio Class battleships that are about 20% finished. A Montecuccoli class light cruiser that is almost finished along with two Maestrale Class destroyers and a Sirena Class submarine.
|Soldati Class||Destroyer II||1936|
|Ciclone Class||Destroyer III||1940|
|Medaglie d'Oro Class||Destroyer IV||1944|
||Light Cruiser I||1922|
|Duca degli Abruzzi Class||Light Cruiser II||1936|
|Capitani Romani Class||Light Cruiser III||1940|
|San Marco Class||Light Cruiser IV||1944|
||Heavy Cruiser I||1922|
|San Giorgio Class||Heavy Cruiser II||1936|
|Pisa Class||Heavy Cruiser III||1940|
|Garibaldi Class||Heavy Cruiser IV||1944|
|Caracciolo Class||Battlecruiser I||1922|
|Principe Amadeo Class||Battlecruiser II||1940|
|Conte Di Cavour Class||Battleship I||1922|
|Caio Duilio Class||Battleship II||1936|
|Littorio Class||Battleship III||1940|
|Impero Class||Battleship IV||1944|
|Regina Margherita Class||Super Heavy Battleship I||1936|
|Regina Elena Class||Super Heavy Battleship II||1944|
|Giusseppe Miraglia Class||Carrier I||1922|
|Falco Class||Carrier II||1936|
|Aquila Class||Carrier III||1940|
|Sparviero Class||Carrier IV||1944|
|Perla Class||Submarine II||1936|
|Marconi Class||Submarine III||1940|
|Pietro Calvi Class||Submarine IV||1944|
48 Close Air Support
72 Naval Bombers
288 Tactical Bombers
Upgrading the interwar fighters and bombers to at least 1936 level is a priority for the air force, as is simply expanding the country's contingent of fighters to a size that can achieve air superiority over the home land and sea regions to fend off strategic bombing and port strike missions.(The Allies (AI) can easily send over 1000 bombers and fighters respectively to Italy.) If carriers are to be built, naval variants of fighters, naval bombers, and perhaps close air support will also be needed as a priority, otherwise the carriers are useless.
|Name||Type||Tech year||Carrier variant|
|Fiat CR.32||Interwar Fighter||1933|
|Macchi C.200 Saetta||Fighter I||1936||Macci IC.200 Saetta|
|Macchi C.202 Folgore||Fighter II||1940||Macchi IC.202|
|Fiat G.55 Centauro||Fighter III||1944||Fiat G.55S Centauro|
|Reggiane Re.2007||Jet Fighter I||1945|
|Reggiane Re.2008||Jet Fighter II||1950|
|Breda Ba.65||CAS I||1936||Breda Ba.65bis|
|Breda Ba.88 Lince||CAS II||1940||Reggiane Re.2001G/H Falco II|
|Breda Ba.201||CAS III||1944||Breda Ba.201bis|
|Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero||Naval Bomber I||1936||Savoia-Marchetti SM.79-II Sparviero|
|Savoia-Marchetti SM.84||Naval Bomber II||1940||Savoia-Marchetti SM.84-II|
|Savoia-Marchetti SM.89||Naval Bomber III||1944||Savoia-Marchetti SM.89-II|
|Caproni Ca.101||Interwar Bomber||1933|
|Fiat BR.20 Cicogna||Tactical Bomber I||1936|
|Cant Z.1007bis Alcione||Tactical Bomber II||1940|
|Cant Z.1080 Leone||Tactical Bomber III||1944|
|(No name)||Jet Tactical Bomber I||1945|
|(No name)||Jet Tactical Bomber II||1950|
|IMAM Ro.57||Heavy Fighter I||1936|
|IMAM Ro.58||Heavy Fighter II||1940|
|Savoia-Marchetti SM.92||Heavy Fighter III||1944|
|Piaggio P.50||Stategic Bomber I||1936|
|Piaggio P.108||Strategic Bomber II||1940|
|Piaggio P.133||Stategic Bomber III||1944|
|(No name)||Jet Stategic Bomber I||1950|
Strategies and Guides
Italy First Opening
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.0.
For historical AI, it can make sense to forego the extra research slot for a little bit. With correct timing, the player can make Italy into an incredibly strong fascist power. The basic idea is to time National Focuses so that Italy can invade Greece a few days before 25% tension (Japanese invasion of China) and fight Greece with Bulgaria and Yugoslavia as allies. When the war is finished, Italy will also have Turkey in its faction, with Romania and Spain later on in the process. Why Greece and not Yugoslavia or Turkey? Greece has much better resources and factories than Yugoslavia and Turkey. Invading either Greece or Turkey is a necessity, but generally faction allies are better than territory unless the country needs the resources because core territory provides better manpower than occupied / conquered territory.(Yugoslavia especially has a respectable manpower pool to field quite a sizable army, which can help Italy later on, provided it is well supported through lend-lease.)
The extra research slot can be taken after Greece is conquered. Eventually Italy will want the focus for war with the UK or France so it can enter the war at leisure. (A little later is better, so Germany can wear them down first.)
- Finish the Ethiopian war before the Spanish civil war starts. This takes some luck as it can sometimes start even in January 1936.
- Send volunteers to support nationalist Spain. The best choice is three tank divisions, since Spain has no armour and veteran divisions will be very helpful later. Italy wants the nationalists to win the war, but not before finishing the "Support Nationalist Spain" focus to unlock the Spanish alliance in the tech tree - it cannot be bypassed. With Italy's starting forces only two volunteer divisions can be sent, so it may make sense to deploy some divisions while still in training. Besides, inexperienced divisions can be brought up to regular level anytime through exercises, but you cannot win the Spanish Civil War anytime you want.
- After the Albanian occupation, set up for the Greek invasion.
- Invite Yugoslavia to the Novus Imperium Romanum when "Italy First" completes. Bulgaria joins automatically.
- If it's desired to have Romania in Italy's faction, "Befriend Romania" should probably be taken pretty quickly after "War with Greece", maybe before "Befriend Turkey". Do not wait too long, or they may turn Democratic - if so, it will be difficult to turn them fascist before Hungary declares war on them.
- Spending political power to support fascism in the USA will turn the USA fascist at around late 1939 to early 1940, effectively knocking them out of the game and opening up the possibility of allying with them.
- Before the Greek war, don't worry about building tanks. Build artillery and mountaineers. Other than a slight tungsten shortage, your early game resources are well suited to building these and the outdated Italian tanks will be worthless in the Greek mountains anyway. A suggested template is 7 mountaineer + 2 towed artillery + support artillery and support engineers. This division's soft attack will be gigantic and will cut through Greece like butter. Research the 1936 light tanks and build them after the war. With the tungsten from Greece, leaning more heavily into towed artillery is very viable leading into the start of the World War.
- The three tank divisions should be sent to help Japan in China after Greece. Try to get the volunteer limit up to 4. Four tanks in the terrain of China can guarantee Japan a quick win before they burn through all of their manpower, especially since there will be only 1-2 tank divisions in the entire war (volunteer divisions from the Soviets). Keep buffing the tank divisions (make sure to get the 1936 light tank). Italy should be in a position to enter the World War with four really beefy veteran 1936 light tank divisions. A suggested template for them is 6 motorized battalions, 4 light tank battalions (tanks ideally upgraded to +2,+2,+2,+2), engineers, recon, artillery, and anti-tank. (The AT isn't super necessary, but nice if you run into those Soviet tanks.)
- Not specific to Italy First but in 1.0 you need to spam the 1936 fighters before entering the war. One full production line by '38 is bare minimum. Lend-leasing them to Japan will generate a small amount of air experience.
- Be careful about the party popularity in your allies' countries, as it can create civil wars that will only cause trouble. It is most favourable to have Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Greece (whichever country you want to be part of your faction) to turn fascist before joining your faction. If they joined your faction with a Non-aligned government, it is best not to meddle with the party popularity, as it may create civil wars in those countries. You don't want to fight a war against faction-less fascists in your backyard while you are busy taking on the USSR or the Allies, nor do you want to lose a ton of expeditionary divisions because the rebels are not in your faction.
- Optional changes for joining the Axis. Do not befriend Yugoslavia. Germany will just attack it. You can do a double attack vs both Yugoslavia and Greece. Take Claims on Yugoslavia. At 20 days into Pact of Steel, Justify War goal vs Yugoslavia. As long as world tensions is below 25% England will not be able to guarantee independence. Note, when Germany offer join axis a few days after completing Pact of Steel, do not take it if world tensions is 22% or higher. In single player you will need to pause to declare war on both before England can guarantee.
- Before 20 May 1936: Conquer Ethiopia
- By Spanish Civil War: Be at 41 divisions, two new divisions, to allow 3 volunteers.
- After "Support Nationalist Spain": Can end Spanish Civil War
- After 22 September 1937: Declare war on Greece
- By 31 December 1937: Get Romanian Fascist party elected (>34% ?)
- A Treasure Trove of Chromium: Italy could always strike eastward, and conquer Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey, and annex them all. Successfully doing so could allow Italy to gain control of roughly 27% of the global Chromium production. This wealth of resources can be used for both personal consumption as well as for trade to gain some extra civilian factories. Just remember to conquer the aforementioned nations before Germany starts meddling with them, as per the "Demand Slovenia" National focus in the German focus tree.