Benito Mussolini's appetite for building an Italian empire was growing and his forces invaded Albania and faced little resistance. He then turned his attention toward Greece as Germany was defeating France in the west. Italy attacked Greece and encountered a surprisingly tenacious resistance and tough mountainous terrain. The Greeks were able to stop the Italian invasion and counter-attacks pushed them back into Albania. The Italian defeat and the Greek counter-offensive of 1940 have been called the "first Axis setback of the entire war"