Italian soldiers leave a trench to begin an assault. Italy was neutral for the first year of the war, because of previous links to Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Triple Alliance. However, Italy had a problem: some areas of the country were unredeemed, meaning they had not become part of Italy after the country was unified in 1861. The Italian government wanted to rectify this. In 1915, Italy signed the Treaty of London, joining the Triple Entente (UK, France and Russia) against its former allies, including Germany and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, and was promised various territorial gains as a result. Thus, the war began for Italian soldiers.