Italy Invades Albania
On April 7 Mussolini's troops invaded Albania.
The operation was led by General Alfredo Guzzoni. The invasion force was divided into three groups, which were to land successively. The most important was the first group, which was divided in four columns, each assigned to a landing area at a harbor and an inland target on which to advance. Despite some stubborn resistance by some patriots, especially at Durrës, the Italians made short work of the Albanians. Durrës was captured on April 7, Tirana the following day, Shkodër and Gjirokastër on April 9, and almost the entire country by April 10.
Unwilling to become an Italian puppet, King Zog, his wife, Queen Geraldine Apponyi, and their infant son Leka fled to Greece and eventually to London. On April 12, the Albanian parliament voted to depose Zog and unite the nation with Italy "in personal union" by offering the Albanian crown to Victor Emmanuel III. The parliament elected Albania's largest landowner, Shefqet Bej Verlaci, as Prime Minister. Verlaci additionally served as head of state for five days until Victor Emmanuel III formally accepted the Albanian crown in a ceremony at the Quirinale palace in Rome. Victor Emmanuel III appointed Francesco Jacomoni di San Savino, a former ambassador to Albania, to represent him in Albania as "Lieutenant-General of the King" (effectively a viceroy).
Zog's rule ended on April 7, 1939, when Italy, Albania's sole foreign support, simultaneously declared the kingdom a protectorate and invaded (Italian Fascist forces shelled towns and occupied Albania, which was annexed by Italy), forcing Zog to flee into exile.