Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 11
written, and as it was only intended for their own representatives and not for the consumption of the world at large, it could be considered perfectly accurate. It only served to confirm my opinions that we were hopelessly underestimating out task, and that the attack on March 18th had never stood any chance of succeeding.
In the afternoon I went out to the Races, and there found a mixed crowd, composed of all the warring nations. The majority of those present were far too busy discussing politics, the European situation generally, and the probable attitude of Italy. I found the Italian opinion much divided. The upper classes were largely intermarried with Austrians and Germans, and seemed to be pro-German, but the Middle classes and the lower are heart and soul with the Allies, and are howling for intervention.
There is terrible distress in Italy, and the people feel that their lot will be improved rather than rendered worse by taking part in the War. The useless occupation of Tripoli has exhausted the resources of the country, and the Italians wont be able even to mobilise, unless the Allies finance them. This is the first time I have been in Rome, or in Italy since 1911, and my name is still hated by the Italians, because I showed up the awful massacre in the oasis which took place in the early occupation. I met a good many people I knew, at the Races, including my old friend the Austrian Attache, Count Palliaichwitch, whom I had last seen at Bucharest in the summer of 1913. I had a long discussion on the situation with him, and we agreed that it was a great pity that England and Austria should be at war with one another. The next person I ran across