Why did the Italians want Libya?

Sep 2010
9,988
Bahrain
#1
As you might know , in the 20th century, the Italians conquered Libya. But why ? I mean, there was no oil discovery back then (I assume), and besides offering a coastline and some ports, I see no extra points as to why they'd even be there ?

Couple that with Libyan resistance...
 

Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,558
Sweden
#2
Because Mussolini was supposed to be recreating the great Roman Empire and he felt jealous that the other European countries had such big empires whilst Italy had virtually no colonies. There might be some other reason as well.
 
Nov 2009
3,887
Outer world
#4
1)Mainly for prestige reasons: Libya was the unique region still free(except for Ethiopia which defeated Italy at Adua) and because French "stole" us Tunisia inspite of the presence of thousands of italians over there.
2)It was tought to be a "rich" region, instead we had to build everything (nowadays the railways and road system is based on italian buildings).
3)It was a strategic place anyway(though less than Tunisia) basing on the fact it allowed Italy to control the access to Sicily Channel.
4) It was thought as "quarta sponda" ("fourth shore") a place where italian immigrants could go in, instead of emigratin in USA,UK,France or Australian where they were discriminated and treated very bad like lynching or murdering.
 
Feb 2011
1,006
British Empire
#5
Because Mussolini was supposed to be recreating the great Roman Empire and he felt jealous that the other European countries had such big empires whilst Italy had virtually no colonies. There might be some other reason as well.
Yes, I agree!
 
Aug 2011
4,213
Gaillimh (Ireland)
#6
Italy, came late in the scramble for Africa but was eager to prove its strenght and carve a colony in order to avoid a bad impression with the other European nations that already had territories in Africa and Lybia was one on the few left without European presence.
Italy obtained French and British political support for the campaign and its propaganda worked to obtain the favour of the people and of the politicians(Mussolini was against the intervention) by saying that Lybia was full of rich minerals, a nice place of vacation and things like that.
The italians thought that a war against an already dying enemy would have been a matter of month, instead it lasted more than a year.
At the end of the war Italy gained Lybia(nothing but a desert) and the Dodecanese Islands(that proved useful as a naval base).Italy spent millions of Lire to modernize Lybia by creating aqueducts,hospitals,electric plants but recieve practically nothing in exchange.
This war was more important in the military field because saw the first combats with airplanes and dirigibles
 
Nov 2009
3,887
Outer world
#7
Because Mussolini was supposed to be recreating the great Roman Empire and he felt jealous that the other European countries had such big empires whilst Italy had virtually no colonies. There might be some other reason as well.
Lybia conquest broke out in 1911-1912...Mussolini came to power in 1922-1924, twelve years later.
And hence, they invaded a helpless country like Libya...
Lybia didn't exist as a country, it was part of Ottoman Empire.
Lybians fought a guerrilla war on behalf of Ottoman Empire and of "Islam", though they were merely suppressed because they have no hopes of winning.
 
Aug 2011
4,213
Gaillimh (Ireland)
#8
Because Mussolini was supposed to be recreating the great Roman Empire
That thing came to Mussolini's mind only before the conquest of Ethiopia, during the military operations in Lybia Mussolini was against the war and was a member of the socialist party, while the prime minister was Giolitti of the liberal party
 

Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,558
Sweden
#9
Lybia conquest broke out in 1911-1912...Mussolini came to power in 1922-1924, twelve years later.

Lybia didn't exist as a country, it was part of Ottoman Empire.
Lybians fought a guerrilla war on behalf of Ottoman Empire and of "Islam", though they were merely suppressed because they have no hopes of winning.
I stand corrected. Apologies. Though regarding Albania and Ethiopia it is still true that Mussolini invaded them for prestige reasons.

On a separate case i am interested to know though that do Libyans speak Italian as a second language like Algerians and Tunisians do with French. Did Italy leave any permanent legacy on Libya?