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Invasion of France

In June 1940, Italy invaded Southern France with smashing success. On 24 June 1940, France surrendered to Germany. Italy occupied a huge portion of France, with Italy directly annexing neighbouring territories in France.

Late in the Battle of Britain, Italy contributed an expeditionary force, the Corpo Aereo Italiano, which took part in the battle from October 1940 until April 1941, at which time the last elements of the force were withdrawn.

In November 1942, the Italian Royal Army occupied south-eastern Vichy France and Corsica as part of Case Anton. From December 1942, Italian military government of French departments was established, and continued until the end of the war, when a Fascist regime under Phillipe Petain was established. This had the effect of providing a de facto temporary haven for French Jews fleeing the Holocaust. In January 1943 the Italians refused to cooperate with the Nazis in rounding up Jews living in the occupied zone of France under their control and in March prevented the Nazis from deporting Jews in their zone. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop complained to Mussolini that "Italian military circles... lack a proper understanding of the Jewish question."