It happened today - May 23, 2015
Exactly 100 years ago today, Italy entered the First World War by declaring war on Austria-Hungary and in doing so opened one of the most dismal fronts in that dismal conflict, in every sense.
For the next three and a half years, under conditions even more dreadful than the trenches of the Western front, Italians and Austro-Hungarians with French, British and German assistance slaughtered one another by the hundreds of thousands to no moral or even strategic purpose.
Austria-Hungary wasn’t worth defending. Italy entered the war for territory not to defend neutral Belgium against wanton aggression. The battles in the Alps had neither strategic nor tactical significance, and the killing only stopped because the war was eventually won elsewhere.
It’s sobering, if you live in the Anglosphere, whose major wars however dreadful were fought for liberty and without exception successfully since 1066, to reflect on how much history elsewhere in the world is not redeemed even by success, let alone by moral soundness.