Main article: Military history of Italy during World War II
Italy had completed conquests (Ethiopia and Albania) prior to its entry into World War II. After the initially successful campaigns of Nazi Germany, Italy joined in the war in June 1940, planning to get a share of Allied territory with the defeat of France.
Italy's war effort went poorly, resulting in defeats in Greece and North Africa. The Allies started to invade 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 in the north, the Italian Social Republic (also known as the Salò Republic, from its headquarters). Badoglio and King Victor Emmanuel III escaped to Brindisi without giving any order to the army, which was left in chaos and without leadership: some divisions surrendered to the Germans, other fought back on their own.
The royal government remained in control of the south and declared war on Germany; the military forces it still controlled joined the Allies in a position of co-belligerence. It was eventually re-established as the government of all of Italy shortly before the end of the war in the spring of 1945, when partisan uprisings liberated northern Italy. Italy would become a member of NATO after the war, but lost the region of Istria and the Dalmatian city of Zadar to Yugoslavia, and all its colonies excluding Somalia.
Military Equipment on Balkan and Russian Fronts