A hundred years ago today started negotiations that would eventually bring an end to the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912.
It was not, by any measure, a major war at the time. The Italian victory did have a certain strategic and geopolitical value – what with Italians gaining control of Libya (the repercussions of which we feel to this day) and the Ottoman Empire showing the signs of weakness that would eventually lead to its downfall in the Balkan Wars and World War I. But that’s not why the war is significant to us, or why I chose to write about it in this blog.
It is a war undeservedly forgotten. The Italo-Turkish War was the first real modern war. It was the first European war of the 20th century – and some might say it was the true end of the 19th century. Along with the Second Boer War, it marks a demarcation point between the old and the new ways of waging war, and between the old and new military aesthetics. In literary terms, I dare say it marks the definite boundary between the steampunk and dieselpunk.