In the decades preceding the Great War, industrial development and the ambitions of the great powers generated an exponential growth of the armed forces and the arms industry. The arms race caused a situation of growing tension, which led to the outbreak of war.
At the outbreak of the war in 1914, Italy found itself in a situation of uncertainty. Since 1882, the country had been linked to Germany and Austria-Hungary via the Triple Alliance. This purely defensive pact was renewed in 1912, but did not in any way bind Italy to go to war alongside the central empires. For this reason and because no evident advantages could be seen from entering into the war on the side of the allies, neutrality prevailed.