Technology and Terror in Fascist Italy’s Counterinsurgency Operations: Ethiopia and Yugoslavia, 1936–1943
Focusing on the Italian model, Virtue makes a case for including the aestheticization of technology as a component of fascist warfare. Italian Fascism fetishized military technology as a destructive and revolutionary force, capable of terrorizing opponents while transforming Italians into ‘new men’. Virtue’s chapter highlights the Royal Italian Army’s shared obsession with technology for its ‘moral effect’, especially in the context of terror-based counter-insurgency campaigns involving indiscriminate use of airpower and artillery. The chapter examines the development of doctrine and practices during the occupation of Ethiopia and Yugoslavia. While the Italian army’s reliance on technology and terror was quintessentially fascist, Virtue traces its origins primarily to technocratic considerations, institutional culture and immediate circumstances. The Western military ethos converged with ideological concepts of fascist warfare.