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Withdrawal of Italian troops from Albania. Albania
Albania
gains territorial independence.

Territorial changes All territory (except Saseno
Saseno
island) under Italian control in Albania was relinquished to the Albanian state.

Belligerents

Kingdom of Italy

Commanders and leaders

Qazim Koculi Ahmet Lepenica Selam Musai
Selam Musai
 † Giovanni Giolitti Settimo Piacentini Enrico Gotti  †

Strength

2,500 in the city,[1] 10,000 in the region 20,000 infantry[2]

Casualties and losses

1,000 dead 4,000-5,000 dead[3]

The Vlora
Vlora
War or the War of 1920 (Albanian: Lufta e Vlorës or Lufta e Njëzetës; Italian: Guerra di Valona) was a series of battles between Italian forces garrisoned throughout the Vlorë
Vlorë
region and Albanian nationalists divided into small groups of fighters. The war lasted three months and had great impact in the struggle of Albania
Albania
for the safeguard of its territories at a time when Albanian borders and future were discussed in the Paris Peace Conference. The Vlora
Vlora
War is seen as a turning point in the establishment of the Albanian independence.[4]

Contents

1 Background 2 Course of war 3 Albanian resistance

3.1 Vatra Band

4 Orders of Battle

4.1 Albanian order of battle 4.2 Italian order of battle

5 Peace Treaty 6 References 7 Further reading

Background[edit] Before entering the First World War as an ally of Triple Entente
Triple Entente
the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
had signed the Secret Treaty of London in which Italy promised to declare war against Germany and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
within a month, in exchange of some territorial gains at the end of the war. In this treaty the promised territories of Albania
Albania
to Italy
Italy
were treated in articles 6 and 7:[5]

Article 6 Italy
Italy
shall receive full sovereignty over Valona, the island of Saseno
Saseno
and surrounding territory... Article 7 Having obtained the Trentino and Istria by Article 4, Dalmatia and the Adriatic islands by Article 5, and also the gulf of Valona, Italy
Italy
undertakes, in the event a small, autonomous, and neutralized state being formed in Albania
Albania
Italy
Italy
not to oppose the possible desire of France, Great Britain, and Russia to repartition the northern and the southern districts of Albania
Albania
between Montenegro, Serbia, and Greece. The southern coast of Albania, from the frontier of the Italian territory of Valona to Cape Stilos, is to be neutrazied. The Italy
Italy
will be conceded the right of concluding the foreign relations of Albania; in any case, Italy
Italy
will be bound to secure for Albania
Albania
a territory sufficiently extensive to enable its frontiers to join those of Greece and Serbia to the west of Lake Ochrida ..

In 1920 in the Paris Peace Conference the allies had still reached no decision on Albania's future, but Italy's claims to sovereignty over Vlorë
Vlorë
had never been seriously challenged. Italian Prime Minister Nitti had also hoped to obtain a mandate over the rest of the country according to the Secret Treaty of London.[6] Course of war[edit] The war started on June 4, after the Italian general Settimo Piacentini refused to hand over the Vlora
Vlora
district to the Albanian government. Albanian volunteers were organized by the National Defense Committee under the political leadership of Qazim Koculi and they reached the number of 10,000, while Ahmet Lepenica was appointed their commander in chief. In the meantime, Italy
Italy
had 20,000 well-armed soldiers in the area. The advance of the Albanian troops, and the revolutionary movements in Italy
Italy
made the reinforcements basically impossible.[7] On August 2, 1920 the Albanian-Italian protocol was signed, upon which Italy
Italy
would retreat from Albania. This gave an end to Italian claims for Vlora
Vlora
and a mandate over Albania, rescuing the territory of the Albanian state from further partition. A cease-fire was announced on August 5, ending all Italo-Albanian hostilities. Albanian resistance[edit] Vatra Band[edit] The Albanian resistance even had their own military band, called Banda e Vatrës formed in the United States. This band travelled 23 days by boat to go from the States to Durrës, to join the armed struggle.[8] Orders of Battle[edit] Albanian order of battle[edit]

Albanian order of battle

Forces from Shullëri Commander Kalo Telhai

Forces from Kutë Commander Rrapo Çelo and Halim Rakipi

Forces from Dukat Commander Sheme Sadiku and Hodo Zeqiri

Forces from Lumi i Vlorës Commander Sali Vranishti

Forces from Fëngu Commander Muço Aliu

Forces from Kanina Commander Beqir Velo

Forces from Salari Commander Selam Musai

Forces from Kurvelesh Commander Riza Runa

Forces from Fterra Commander Xhaferr Shehu

Forces from Mallakastër Commander Bektash Çakrani and Halim Hamiti

Forces from Skrapar Commander Riza Kodheli

Forces from Berat Commander Seit Toptani and Izedin Vrioni

Forces from Peqini Commander Adem Gjinishi

Forces from Gjirokastër Commander Javer Hurshiti
Javer Hurshiti
and Xhevdet Picari

Forces from Çamëria Commander Alush Seit Taka and Muharrem Rushiti

Forces from Korça Captain Ferit Frashëri and Tosun Selenica

Forces from Tirana Captain Ismail Haki Kuçi

Albanian-American
Albanian-American
Volunteers Captain Aqif Përmeti and Kareiman Tatzani

Italian order of battle[edit]

Italian order of battle

Area Military Strength Commander

Vlorë-Kaninë area Center of High Command of 36th division forces Commander: General Settimo Piacentini. Division commander - General Emanuele Pugliese and his aid General De Luca.

Kotë Road, food and hospital center. 4th command of mixed artillery. Alpine battalion, 72nd battalion of Infantry. Command of Carabinieri forces. Commander General Enrico Gotti, Commander of the garrison Cavallo Michele.

Gjorm Center of a machine gun company Commander Captain Bergamaschi

Matohasanaj Castle 72 infantry battalion, infantry regiment, 182nd mountain artillery section 70 mm. Commander major

Tepelenë
Tepelenë
Castle Infantry battalion, 157th artillery section, carabinieri forces. Commander major Bronzini.

Llogara Pass Part of 35th battalion of 35th regiment of bersaglieri, 105th repart. Commander Captain Boansea

Himarë Center of command of 35th regiment of bersaglieri. Commander general Rossi, Colonel Manganeli.

Selenicë

Commander major Guadalupi

Vlora
Vlora
Gulf Battleships "San Mario", "Bruceti", "Dulio", Alkina" Orion, torpedinier "Arcione"

Ujë i Ftohtë region (outskirt south of Vlorë) Aviation forces

Panaja Central magazines of the Italian army

Vajzë - hospital and post command.

Ç’është kështu që dëgjojmë vaj medet o Vlora
Vlora
jonë italianët po zbarkojnë me pampor e me ballonë jo mor jo nuk e durojmë. Ngrihi shokë të sulmojmë Vlorën tonë ta çlirojmë. — Njerëzit e Vlorës, [2]

What is this that we hear Alas, oh our Vlora, The Italians are landing With ships and parachutes, Not taken, no we won't endure it. Stand up friends, to attack To liberate our Vlora. — People of Vlora, [3]

Peace Treaty[edit]

Italian cannons captured by Albanian irregulars during one of the battles

After three months of warfare an armistice treaty was signed between Italian and Albanian government. The substance of the Agreement was as follows:

The Italian Government completely acknowledged the independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of Albania, within the frontiers defined in 1913 by the Conference of Ambassadors in London. The Italian government relinquished its protectorate proclaimed in 1917 and the occupation and administration of Vlorë
Vlorë
and its hinterland, and renounced all claims against Albania
Albania
and all interference in Albanian political affairs, and abandoned the idea of a mandate over the country The Italian government agreed to withdraw its war materials from Vlorë
Vlorë
and its hinterland, to evacuate all its holdings on the Albanian mainland, and to repatriate at an early date the Italian troops actually stationed in Vlorë
Vlorë
and on the littoral, and all its forces still remaining in other parts of Albanian territory with the exception of the garrison on the island of Sazan at the entrance of the Vlorë
Vlorë
bay; Italy
Italy
retained the permanent possession only of the island of Sazan, but remained in temporary occupation of Cape Linguetta and cape Treporti, both dominating Vlorë
Vlorë
bay, with the right to fortify them; the detachment of troops at Shkodër was also to remain in that town. There would take place an exchange of prisoners, the liberation of arrested persons under a general mutual amnesty, and the settlement of outstanding questions concerning the private interests of Albanian and Italian subjects.

This treaty was the first diplomatic pact between Albania
Albania
and a foreign power. Albania
Albania
had used all its influence to obtain full and unreserved recognition by the Western Powers of the independence of Albania
Albania
within 1913 frontier.[9] References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vlora
Vlora
War.

^ Albanian identities: myth and history Authors Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bernd Jürgen Fischer Editors Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bernd Jürgen Fischer Edition illustrated Publisher C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002 ISBN 1-85065-572-3, ISBN 978-1-85065-572-5 ^ Albanian identities: myth and history Authors Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bernd Jürgen Fischer Editors Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bernd Jürgen Fischer Edition illustrated Publisher C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002 ISBN 1-85065-572-3, ISBN 978-1-85065-572-5 ^ Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, editor, Burke's Royal Families of the World, Volume 1: Europe & Latin America (London, UK: Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1977), page 106 ^ Albanian identities: myth and history Authors Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bernd Jürgen Fischer Editors Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Bernd Jürgen Fischer Edition illustrated Publisher C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002 ISBN 1-85065-572-3, ISBN 978-1-85065-572-5 ^ Southern Albania, 1912-1923 Publisher Stanford University Press ISBN 0-8047-6171-X, 9780804761710 p.61 ^ Italy
Italy
from liberalism to fascism, 1870-1925 Author Christopher Seton-Watson Edition illustrated Publisher Taylor & Francis, 1967 ISBN 0-416-18940-7, ISBN 978-0-416-18940-7 p. 578 ^ "Gli Italiani si ritirano dall'Albania". digilander.libero.it. Retrieved 21 March 2018.  ^ "BANDA DHE VULLNETARËT E VATRËS NË LUFTËN E VLORËS DHE NË KONFLIKTIN ME GREKËT NË KUFIJTË JUGORË". gazetadielli.com. Retrieved 21 March 2018.  ^ Albania
Albania
and King Zog: independence, republic and monarchy 1908-1939 Volume 1 of Albania
Albania
in the twentieth century, Owen Pearson Volume 1 of Albania
Albania
and King Zog, Owen Pearson Author Owen Pearson Edition illustrated Publisher I.B.Tauris, 2004 ISBN 1-84511-013-7, ISBN 978-1-84511-013-0 page 151 [1]

Further reading[edit]

Akademia e Shkencave e RPSSH "Fjalori Enciklopedik Shqiptar", Tirana, 1985. Jacques, Edwin. Shqiptarët: Historia e popullit shqiptar nga lashtësia deri në ditët e sotme. Trans. Edi Seferi. Tirana: Mcfarland, 1995. Pearson, Owen. Albania
Albania
in the Twentieth Century: A History. Volume One. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006 (ISBN 1-84511-013-7).

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