> Warfare   Home   History   Glossary   Guides   Publishers   Artists   Techniques   Topicals   Blog   Contact

Belligerents and Participants
in World War One:
The Republic of San Marino


Founded in the 4th century, the city-state of San Marino claims to be the oldest constitutional republic in the world. Through careful diplomacy it avoided being swallowed up into the Kingdom of Italy during the years of unification. Despite being completely surrounded by Italy, it has asserted its own foreign policy, which sometimes generated suspicions and conspiracy theories from its larger neighbor. After San Marino placed a tower for radio communications on its territory, Italian officials began to worry that it was being used by Austro-Hungarian spies. When Italian attempts to seize the station failed, they cut off telephone communications with the republic.


After Italy entered World War One in May 1915, San Marino declared its neutrality. Despite this a very small number of volunteers crossed the border where they joined the Italian army as well as the Red Cross to serve as field hospital personnel. Their presence caused Austria-Hungary to suspend diplomatic relations with San Marino but the two never went to war. While this small nation had no postcard industry to speak of, they did become the topic of some cards during the conflict, especially after rumors of them declaring war began to be published in newspapers.

Back  UP  Next

Return to Menu