How did the Corfu incident affect the outbreak of World War II?

Essay by Keir January 2006

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The Corfu incident was an event that took place from August to September 1923. On August 27, an Italian general Enrico Tellini and his four staff members were assassinated at the Greek-Albanian frontier while attempting to delimit the frontier border. The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini sent a harsh ultimatum to Greece that demanded the Greek government to pay reparation for the casualties and execute the assassins that were unknown and were unable to locate, but the Greek government failed to accomplish the two demands, especially the second one. Mussolini used Greek's failure to accomplish his demands as a pretext and sent Italian navies to invade and conquer Corfu, an island between Greece and Albania, on August 31,1923. Greece asked the League of Nations to judge the case; the League used its mighty power of condemnation to condemn Italy's actions after Greece promised to pay the League some reparations that was for Italy after the assassins were discovered, but Mussolini completely ignored the pointless condemns and continued Italy's occupation in Corfu.

After the failure of condemnation, the main powers of the League had a conference for the case and came up with an conclusion of making Greece promise to apologize and pay Italy 50,000,000 lira worth of reparation for general Tellini and his four staff's death - Italy's men evacuate from Corfu under the League's pressure on September 27 1923 after Greece's apology and reparation.

The Corfu incident described above was considered as a success for the League of Nations; it was a conflict they prevented from amplifying into a war, it was a success made by the League from the peacekeeping point of view. But this incident also revealed one of the League's greatest weakness- the League is weak and useless against aggressive actions made by strong countries or countries...