The Italian occupation of Aegean Islands

Two soldiers who are drinking together. This kind of studio photograph is not unusual, but when I’ve found this picture, I was puzzled by some details: the carpet on the table and the bottle, with some characters which didn’t seem Italian. And I was right: this postcard was sent from Simi (Symi), a Greek island. Indeed, you maybe don’t know the story of the Italian Dodecanese, formally known as the Italian Aegean Islands: they were a group of twelve major islands in the Aegean Sea, off the southwest coast of Turkey, which belonged to the Kingdom of Italy from 1912 to… 1947.

As these soldiers belonged to the 34th Reggimento fanteria “Livorno”, it’s possible to suggest some dates for this photograph, based on the presence of this unit in this region: it may have been taken in 1912 during the Turkish-Italian war or in 1919/1920 at the latest.



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