Another success that brought Mussolini a lot of support from the people was the seizure of Corfu in 1941. After an Italian general was assassinated over a border dispute Mussolini took this as an opportunity to take action against a country of which tension had been mounting for a long time. Despite the fact it killed many civilians and outraged Greece and the League of Nations. Italy refused to leave the island without being paid 50 million Lira in compensation even after the British threatened naval action. The public view of this was incredibly positive, showing that Italy could not be pushed around and started to show other European countries that they may be a much stronger ally than in World War One.
Despite trying to be successful military wise, Mussolini also wanted to be seen as a man people listened to and respected. He did this by trying to be a diplomat for Europe, The first evidence of this was when he called together Germany, Britain and France in 1933 to create the Four Power Pact to rival the League of Nations. Due to the fact Italy had little power over international relations in Europe; the treaty came to nothing and was the fist sign that Mussolini in actuality held no power at all in Europe. The reason it was such as failure to his foreign policy was the fact that it was the start of tensions between Italy and the League of Nations and so showed many countries that he, like Hitler was starting to edge away from a united Europe and try to gain more power against organisations like the League of Nations.
Later that decade Mussolini took the decision to send 50,000 Italian Army volunteers to fight in the Spanish Civil war alongside the Fascist rebels. While he was there, he lost a significant number of men, tanks and planes. These divisions, if not sent out to fight, may have saved the Italians in North Africa in 1940-41 and may have made the difference when Britain invaded Sicily. The most significant loss at the battle of Guadalajara in 1937 was incredibly embarrassing for the Italian army and Mussolini, resulting in the death of 400 men against badly equipped communist supporters. The reason this was so detrimental to Mussolini’s foreign policy was that very few people in Italy actually wanted the war the war and felt like it wasn’t there war to fight. On top of this it further strained relationships with Britain and France, as Italy got closer to an German Alliance.
Mussolini was pushed for allies in the run up to World war two and Mussolini had only two options, Spain, (a country still recovering from a debilitating civil war) or Germany, the strong industrialised super power of Europe.
Mussolini had certainly improved Italy’s military presence since the Liberal State, but unlike his foreign policy goals, Italy more often than not was seen as an after thought rather than a big player. As well as this, in terms of his love from the people, it was substantial but a lot of the prestige that he gained after these events mainly came from successful propaganda rather than decisive and strong victories. This meant that his government was standing on a very unstable support. This shows definitively that Mussolini’s foreign policy was a failure due to the fact that however well the propaganda marketed these “victories” to the German people, Mussolini did not have the resources, industry or leadership to become the feared and respected Nation that he and the rest of the country wanted.