Corfiot Italians - Italian Occupations of Corfu - Corfu Incident of 1923

Corfu Incident of 1923

For more details on this topic, see Corfu incident.

At the end of December 1915, Italy sent a military force to Corfu under the command of General Marro. They established Post Offices with the French occupation troops there. In 1915-1919, the Italian and French forces (as well as Serbian forces) remained on the island. The Italians did not have any intention of pulliung out, but the British and the French government forced them to displace.

In 1923, the Italians tried to occupy Corfu again, but, on the morning of 27 August 1923, unknown persons murdered General Enrico Tellini and three officers of the Italian border commission on the Greek–Albanian border.

Italy made an announcement asking within 24 hours the following demands: an official apology of the Greek government; the commemoration of the dead in the Catholic Church of Athens, with all the members of the Greek government to participate; the rendering of honors to the Italian flag and the Italian naval squadron anchored in Faliro; an investigation of the Greek authorities, with the participation of the Italian officer Perone di San Martino, which should end within 5 days; the death penalty for those found guilty; the payment of 50 million Italian lire within 5 days by the Greek government as indemnity; and finally, that the dead should be honored with military honors in Preveza.

The Greek government responded accepting only the first three and the last demands. Consequently, using this as a pretext, the Italian Army suddenly attacked Corfu on 31 August 1923. Commander Antony Foschini asked the prefect of Corfu to surrender the island. The prefect refused and he informed the government. Foschini warned him that the Italian forces would attack at 17:00 and the Corfiots refused to raise the white flag in the fortress. Seven thousand refugees, 300 orphans plus the military hospital were lodged in the Old Fortress, as well as the School of Police in the New Fortress. At 17:05 the Italians bombarded Corfu for 20 minutes. There were victims among the refugees of the old Fortress and the Prefect ordered the raising of the white flag. The Italians besieged the island and set the forces ashore. From the beginning of their possession, they started to inflict hard penalties on the people who had guns, and the officers declared that their possession was permanent. There were daily requisitions of houses and they censored the newspapers. Greece asked for the intervention of the League of Nations, of which both Greece and Italy were members, and demanded the solution of the problem through arbitration. The Italian government of Benito Mussolini refused, declaring that Corfu would remain occupied until the acceptance of the Italian terms. On 7 September 1923, the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris ended with the evacuation of the Italian forces from Corfu, which finally began on 20 September 1923 and ended on the 27th of the same month.

Read more about this topic:  Corfiot Italians, Italian Occupations of Corfu

Famous quotes containing the word incident:

    I teazed him with fanciful apprehensions of unhappiness. A moth having fluttered round the candle, and burnt itself, he laid hold of this little incident to admonish me; saying, with a sly look, and in a solemn but quiet tone, “That creature was its own tormentor, and I believe its name was BOSWELL.”
    James Boswell (1740–1795)