Italy joins the war

Draft of a telegram to be sent by the British prime minister H H Asquith to the Italian government, welcoming Italy's decision to enter the war on the Allies' side, 21 May 1915.

Although Italy did not officially declare war on Austria-Hungary until 23 May, it had secretly agreed to do so on 26 April, when it signed the Treaty of London. Negotiations had previously been protracted, as the Italian government sought to discover the territorial inducements offered by either side in return for its military support. The Treaty of London thus promised Italy large amounts of new land, mainly from Austria-Hungary but also from Turkey and Albania.
Catalogue reference: FO 371/2375 (21 May 1915)

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