Libyan resistance movement

Libyan resistance movement


The Libyan resistance movement was lead by King Idris and his Senussi tribe in the provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania against the Italian occupation after 1929, when Italy changed its political promises of moderate "protectorate" to the Senussi (done in 1911) and - because of Mussolini - started to take complete colonial control of Libya.

Resistance was crushed by General Graziani in the 1930s and the country was fully controlled by the Italians with the help of Arab fascists, at the point that many Libyan colonial troops fought on the side of Italy between 1940 and 1943. In 1940 the Libyans in the coastal areas were granted Italian citizenship as part of the fascist efforts to create the Greater Italia in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. This fact reduced the appeal of the Libyan resistance movement to few Arab/Berbers populations of the Fezzan area only, but this was practically inexistent until the arrival of French troops in the area in 1942. At the close of World War 2 the British and French decided to make King Idris the Emir of an independent Libya in 1951.


It was also a widely held story that Colonel Gadaffi's tribe crushed an Italian garrison in the south of Fezzan, near the border with the T'Chad, which is implausible, since the tribe were in fact operating on the Tripolitania/Fezzan border through out the war. The Fezzan was occupied by the Free French in 1943.

ee also

* Italy's 'Fourth Shore'
* World War 2
* Libya
* The concept of Italia irredenta
* The Italian Mare Nostrum
* Greater Italia



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