Corfu Crisis of 1923

What was the nature of the crisis?

On August 27, 1923, Enrico Tellini, an Italian general, and his team, were killed by unknown assailants on Greek territory. They were sent by the League of Nations to investigate a border dispute between Greece and Albania. The Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, blamed Greece and invaded the island of Corfu.

The victims of the crisis included, Tellini, Major Luigi Corti, Lieutenant Mario Bonacini, Albanian interpreter Thanas Gheziri and the chauffeur Remigio Farnetti.

Who was involved?

  • Greece

  • Italy

  • The League of Nations

  • The Conference of Ambassadors (after rejection of the League’s decision

How was the situation resolved?

Mussolini was furious and blamed the Greeks and ordered soldiers to occupy Corfu until Greece apologised and paid compensation.

However, The League condemned Italy as the aggressor and Mussolini refused to listen. As a result, he asked the Conference of Ambassadors to resolve the Corfu Crisis and Britain and France gave into his demand to resolve the issue outside of the League.

The Greeks were forced to give in, and they apologised to Italy and paid direct compensation to them.

How far did the situation result from the Peace Conference?

Italy had been not given as much land as it was supposed to be given by the Allies. This is because Italy had not contributed to war much, as they had hindered the attack on Austria-Hungary, and had not patrolled the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas as asked, and constantly asked for resources from other Allies which it kept for itself. This meant that the Allies were not willing to give land such as South Slav territory and Dalmatia, as it was decided to be given to Yugoslavia, as there was not an Italian majority population in these regions. This led to the Italian government losing control and Mussolini taking control of Italy, making it into a fascist state. Mussolini wanted to make Italy into an empire, similar to the former Roman empire, therefore, he caused crisis in order to gain territory and money such as during the Corfu Crisis.