*THIS IS ONLY FOR COLLEGE PURPOSES*
Memesters spent January obsessed with the idea that everyone and everything in Italy is made of pizza, pasta, and meatballs. It all started with joke about a Google Image search for italian military that just returned images of floating pizzas, and it escalated into the idea that Italy’s planes have pizza wings, their aircraft carriers are pizza peels, and their bombs are meatballs raining from the sky.
This, of course, meshed will with the existing “colorized historical images” meme, and created an alternate history where part of World War II was fought by Italian food. That’s a spicy meme-ball.
Italian Military Jokes are quips aimed at mocking the effectiveness or prowess of the Italian military, often consisting of stereotypes that Italian soldiers are cowardly and depictions of the Italian Navy as floating pizza.
According to a blog post on Strange History, the Italian military became widely mocked among Allied powers in the early 1940s due to the country’s various military failures. In 1943, the World War II historical drama film Five Graves to Cairo was released, which features the music-loving, but ineffective, Italian General Sebastiano.
On January 25th, 2014, the Italian Armyball Facebook page was launched, highlighting depictions of the Italian military as various Polandball-style illustrations. On October 14th, 2014, The New York Times published an op-ed, which commented on the stereotype that “Italian soldiers are spineless.”
Over the last few days, users have been unearthing photos that tell the story of the Mediterranean nation’s participation in the global conflagration, and they show a conflicted country grappling with economic depression brought on by supporting the Francoists in Spain, and an internal conflict between the monarchy and the fascists running the government.
When it comes to the Axis powers of World War 2, everyone knows that Germany conquered all of Europe and Japan subjugated half the Pacific, but what exactly did Italy do?
If you remember your history books, not much at all.