In June 1938, Galeazzo Ciano, the young, brash, ambitious, but sometimes curiously, even painfully, realistic Italian Foreign Minister, was engaging in that favoured game of Italian Fascist politicians, rhetoric, the spinning words about a future which might or might not come. Listening to him was Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, who had been Giolitti’s negotiator at the Treaty of Lausanne in 1912, Mussolini’s Governor of Tripolitania and Minister of Finance in the 1920s, and who was President of Confindustria, Italy’s big business league, in 1938. He had also, before 1914, been a financier of the royal house of Montenegro and then and later had ‘large financial interests in the Levant’, notably in the Eregli coalfields. To Ciano’s naïve pleasure Volpi guessed without difficulty that Fascism had ‘designs on Albania’. And the President of Italy’s industrialists added a suggestion of his own. When Albania glistened as a jewel in the Fascist Empire what would be needed was ‘a subsequent operation in Anatolia’.1 With Albania as a bridgehead in the Balkans, an Italy ‘on the march’ could not stop until its flags were raised in Asia Minor.