Albania (1914-1939, Royalty)

list of awards | list of persons

Albania received its independence in 1912 and became a Principality with as head of state Wilhelm Friedrich Heinrich Prinz zu Wied, Prince of Albania. The same year was forced to leave the country due to a pan-Islamic uprising.
The country was occupied by Austria-Hungary (the North) and Bulgaria (the East) in 1916. After the First World War, Albania regained her independence in 1925, after Italian forces had left the country in 1922. In 1925 Albania first became a Republic. In 1928 it became a Kingdom, which it would remain unil 1939. During the 30's of the 20th Century, the country became more and more dependant from Italy. On March 25th, 1939, Mussolini send an ultimatum to the Albanian King Zog I, demanding the country to enter a total union with Italy. The Albanian King refused any cooperation.

Italian Invasion.
Italian Troops under the command of General Alfredo Guzzoni, then invaded the country on April 7th, 1939. The only 15,000 strong forces of Albania were no match to the over 100,000 strong Italian Forces and King Zog fled to Greece on April 9th. April 12th the short war was over. In common the Italian annexation of Albania can be seen as an effort from Mussolini to strengthen his prestige as an answer to the German annexation of Austria and the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Heads of State:
Wilhelm Friedrich Heinrich Prinz zu Wied (March 26th, 1876 – April 18th, 1945): Prince of Albanië (February 21st, 1914 – September 3rd, 1914);
Achmet Bey Zogu (October 8th, 1895 – April 9th, 1961): President (January 1925 – September 1st, 1928) And King Zog I Scanderbeg III King of Albania (September 1st, 1928 – April 12th, 1939; resigned from the throne on January 2nd, 1946).
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