The deterioration of Nazi-Italian relations in the late 1940s and early 1950s resulted in tensions along the 430 km border between Italy and Nazi Germany. A first serious incident occurred in May, 1948, when 2,000 Jews in Germany's Ostland Province crossed the frontier into Italy, fleeing the execution of Jews. Hitler immediately accused Mussolini of hiding the Jewish population, and led directly to the Nazi-Italian Split.

A skirmish then broke out in the Alps between German and Italian Border Guards. It was a seven-month undeclared conflict that saw the death of 132 Germans and 92 Italians.

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