World of Coins

Modern European coins except the euro => Central and Eastern Europe => South-East Europe => Topic started by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 03:33:19 PM

Title: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 03:33:19 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=86561;image)

King Zog



Albania emerged from its time under the Ottoman Empire as a backward, agrarian country, with no great sense of itself as a nation-state. King Zog became monarch in 1928, but Italy under Mussolini turned Albania into a virtual protectorate by controlling and restricting vital aspects of its economy.

See also: Albania: Coins of the 1920s (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,11352.0.html).
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 03:44:47 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=84786;image)

Mussolini



In 1939 Adolf Hitler dismembered Czechoslovakia as a country, without giving prior notice to Mussolini, his Fascist ally. Mussolini was furious, and partly out of envy of Hitler, he decided that Italy should now also expand its empire.



From Wikipedia:

On 25 March 1939, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini gave Albanian King Zog I an ultimatum demanding the acceptance of an Italian military protectorate over Albania. When Zog refused to accept, the Italians invaded on 7 April, and deposed him. Zog subsequently fled the country. Afterwards, the Italians re-established the Albanian state as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy.

On 11 April, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Galeazzo Ciano arranged for a group of well-known Albanians to "request" the formation of the Albanian Fascist Party. By the end of April, the government of Italy approved of its creation. On 23 April, Italian Fascist Party secretary Achille Starace, accompanied by two Italian warships, arrived in Albania to officially announce the establishment of the Albanian Fascist Party, which was founded on 2 June.

The Albanian Fascist Party enacted laws that prevented Jews from joining it and excluded them from professions such as education. Composed of ethnic Albanians and Italians residing in Albania, the party existed as a branch of the Italian Fascist Party (Italian: Partito Nazionale Fascista, or PNF), and members were required to swear an oath of loyalty to Mussolini. All Albanians serving the Italian occupiers were required to join it, and it became the only legal political party in the country.



Below you see the flag of Italian-occupied Albania. It includes the fasces, which flank Albania's traditional double-headed eagle.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 03:49:58 PM
Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy was now also King of Albania. Below you see some Albanian stamps showing portrait, including one commemorating the April 1939 invasion of Albania.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 03:55:41 PM
From Wikipedia:

A new series of coins in was issued in 1939, in denominations 0.20, 0.50, 1 lek and 2 lek in stainless steel, and silver 5 and 10 lek, with the silver coins only issued that year.



The steel coins were issued for the years 1939, 1940 and 1941.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 03:59:09 PM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=86567;image)

The King of Italy wearing a military helmet.



The 0.20 lek coin showed the King of Italy in his military helmet. An image of an eagle appeared on the front of the King's helmet.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:03:19 PM
The reverse of the 0.20 lek coin showed Albania's new coat of arms. The traditional double-headed eagle is flanked by fasces. In addition to the usual Christian era year, the year according to the so called Fascist era (which began in 1922) is shown on the right hand side.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:05:40 PM
The king's portrait on the 0.50 lek coin faced in the opposite direction.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:07:48 PM
The reverse of the 0.50 coin was similar to the reverse of the 0.20 coin. Here you see an official prova (trial) version of the coin. It differs from the issued design only in that the word "PROVA" appears at the bottom left.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:19:00 PM
The 1 lek design was similar to the 0.20 lek design.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:21:21 PM
Here you see an official prova version of the 2 lek coin.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:24:19 PM
The silver 5 lek coin showed the King bare-headed. The eagle now took up more space on the reverse.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:26:29 PM
The 10 lek coin was very similar to the 5 lek, except that the bust of the King was reversed and slightly different, in that it extended further into the exergue.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:30:33 PM
Aluminium-bronze 0.05 and 0.10 lek coins were introduced in 1940 and were also issued in 1941.

The 0.05 lek showed the King bareheaded, and the reverse featured oak leaves with an acorn.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:32:29 PM
The king's portrait was slightly different and reversed on the 0.10 lek coin. A sprig of olive leaves appeared on the reverse.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:41:28 PM
From Wikipedia:

Albania was important culturally and historically to the nationalist aims of the Italian Fascists, as the territory of Albania had long been part of the Roman Empire, even prior to the annexation of northern Italy by the Romans. Later, during the High Middle Ages some coastal areas (like Durazzo) had been influenced and owned by Italian powers, chiefly the Kingdom of Naples and the Republic of Venice for many years (cf. Albania Veneta).

The Italian Fascist regime legitimized its claim to Albania through studies proclaiming the racial affinity of Albanians and Italians, especially as opposed to the Slavic Yugoslavs. Italian Fascists claimed that Albanians were linked through ethnic heritage to Italians due to links with the prehistoric Italiotes, Illyrian and Roman populations, and that the major influence exhibited by the Roman and Venetian empires over Albania justified Italy's right to possess it.

Italy also attempted to legitimize and win public support for its rule over Albania by supporting Albanian irredentism, directed against the predominantly Albanian-populated Kosovo in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Epirus in Greece. Despite the efforts of the Italian vicegerent, Francesco Jacomoni, to stir up insurrections in Greece and create a fifth column, and the favourable reports he sent to the Italian foreign minister Count Ciano, events proved that there was little enthusiasm among the Albanians themselves: after the Italian invasion of Greece, most Albanians either deserted or defected.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:46:23 PM
From Wikipedia:

In October 1940, Albania served as a staging ground for an unsuccessful Italian invasion of Greece. A counterattack resulted in a sizable portion of southern Albania coming under Greek military control until April 1941 when Greece capitulated during the German invasion.

After the fall of Yugoslavia and Greece in April 1941, the Italian government began negotiations with Germany, Bulgaria, and the newly established client state, the Independent State of Croatia, on defining their borders. In April Mussolini called for the borders of Albania to be expanded – including annexing Montenegro into Albania that would have an autonomous government within Albania, and expanding Albania's border eastwards, though not as far as the Vardar river as some had proposed – citing that Ohrid should be left to the Slavic Macedonians, regardless of whether Vardar Macedonia would become an independent state or be annexed by Bulgaria.

In April 1941, territories of Yugoslavia with substantial Albanian population were annexed to Albania inclusively western Macedonia, a strip of eastern Montenegro, the town of Tutin in central Serbia and most of Kosovo. However the Italian government changed its positions on the border throughout April, later supporting the annexation of Ohrid while giving the territory lying directly outside of Ochrid (including the sacred birthplace of Saint Clement) to the Slavic Macedonians. After a period of negotiations Italy's new Balkan borders – including Albania's new borders, were declared by royal decree on 7 June 1941.


Below are two maps that make the situation clearer.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:52:33 PM
From Wikipedia:

After the Italian capitulation in September 1943, the country was occupied by the Germans until the end of the war. Germans started to occupy the country in September 1943. They subsequently announced that they would recognize the independence of a neutral Albania and set about organizing a new government, military and law enforcement. Balli Kombëtar, a nationalist movement which had fought against Italy, formed a neutral government and side by side with the Germans fought against the communist-led National Liberation Movement of Albania.

During the last years of the war, the country fell into a civil war-like state between the communists and nationalists. The communist however defeated the last anti-communist forces in the south in 1944. Before the end of November, the main German troops had withdrawn from Tirana, and the communists took control by attacking it. The partisans entirely liberated the country from German occupation on 29 November 1944. A provisional government, which the communists had formed at Berat in October, administered Albania with Enver Hoxha as the head of government.
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 27, 2018, 04:53:29 PM
See also: The Coinage of Fascist Italy (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,43513.0.html).
Title: Re: Coinage of Albania under Italian occupation
Post by: <k> on November 28, 2018, 02:15:05 PM
It was difficult to find any clear pictures of how Albanian officials looked, under the Fascist regime. Here, however, is a photo of some Albanian militia members in 1940.