The famous island of Rhodes (Rodos) was attacked on this day in 1912 by the Italian Army. This island is located only about 20 kilometers off the coast of present-day Turkey.
On this day in 1912, the deployment of the Italian army on the island of Rhodes (Rodos), which at that time belonged to the Ottoman Empire (Turkish Empire), began. This island is located about 20 kilometers off the coast of present day Turkey. The island is mainly inhabited by Greeks, and is known back from antiquity, especially for the Colossus of Rhodes, which is often listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Why was Italy trying to conquer an island of the Ottoman Empire with a Greek population? The even took place during the Italo-Turkish War (1911-1912), in which the fighting was led mostly over Libya.
The war is known by the fact that aircraft were used for a military purpose for the first time in history, and for the first aerial bombardment in world history. In order to cut off the communications between Turkey and Libya, Italy occupied the islands between Greece and Turkey, which have an important strategic position (the so-called Dodecanese Islands).
Italy indeed defeated the Ottoman Empire in that war and occupied Libya, which became its colony. The Italians also successfully captured the island of Rhodes and other neighboring islands (a total of 13 large islands and many small islands and reefs). They organized the area under the name Isole Italiane dell’Egeo (Italian Islands in the Aegean Sea). Rhodes was by far the largest of these islands, with an area of 1,412 square kilometers. The Italians kept these islands until 1947, when they became part of Greece.