The 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 region and Albanian nationalists divided into small groups of fighters. The war lasted three months and had great impact in the struggle of Albania for the safeguard of its territories at a time when Albanian borders and future were discussed in the Paris Peace Conference. The Vlora War is seen as a turning point in the establishment of the Albanian independence.
Before entering the First World War as an ally of Triple Entente the Kingdom of Italy had signed the Secret Treaty of London in which Italy promised to declare war against Germany and 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 to Italy were treated in articles 6 and 7:
Article 6 Italy shall receive full sovereignty over Valona, the island of 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 undertakes, in the event a small, autonomous, and neutralized state being formed in Albania Italy not to oppose the possible desire of France, Great Britain, and Russia to repartition the northern and the southern districts of 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 will be conceded the right of concluding the foreign relations of Albania; in any case, Italy will be bound to secure for 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 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.
The war started on June 4, after the Italian general Settimo Piacentini refused to hand over the 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 had 20,000 well-armed soldiers in the area.
The advance of the Albanian troops, and the revolutionary movements in Italy made the reinforcements basically impossible. On August 2, 1920 the Albanian-Italian protocol was signed, upon which Italy would retreat from Albania. This gave an end to Italian claims for 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.
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.
|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 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 Volunteers||Captain Aqif Përmeti and Kareiman Tatzani|
|Italian order of battle|
|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 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 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 jonëVlorën tonë ta çlirojmë.
italianët po zbarkojnë
me pampor e me ballonë
jo mor jo nuk e durojmë.
Ngrihi shokë të sulmojmë— Njerëzit e Vlorës, 
What is this that we hear
Alas, oh our Vlora,To liberate our Vlora.
The Italians are landing
With ships and parachutes,
Not taken, no we won't endure it.
Stand up friends, to attack— People of Vlora, 
After three months of warfare an armistice treaty was signed between Italian and Albanian government.
The substance of the Agreement was as follows:
This treaty was the first diplomatic pact between Albania and a foreign power. Albania had used all its influence to obtain full and unreserved recognition by the Western Powers of the independence of Albania within 1913 frontier.
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