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Mussolini and his fascist movement will bring about Italy’s darkest hour. Mussolini will eventually betray his country. Mussolini: The Rise of Italian Fascism, 2007
At school he was a violent bully. He was even expelled for stabbing a fellow pupil. He became a schoolteacher, but despite his tough reputation he was sacked for failing to control his class. He volunteered when Italy joined the war in 1915. He fought at the front but was seriously wounded in a training exercise. ibid.
After the humiliation of the First World War Italy was in political turmoil. On March 23rd 1919 Benito Mussolini and two hundred supporters – many disillusioned former soldiers ... formed a new nationalist movement – Fasci Italiani di Combattimento. ibid.
The black shirt became the iconic symbol of fascism. It summed up everything the movement wanted to represent: uniformity, youth, action, glamour, violence and death. ibid.
One in three Italian Jews later joined the Fascist Party. And Mussolini’s mistress was Jewish. ibid.
The black shirts saw themselves as the front line against the Socialist threat. ibid.
Thirty-eight Fascists including Mussolini were elected to parliament. Fascist support was surprisingly widespread. The socialists were beaten, the government was weak, and the army sympathetic. ibid.
The Pope proclaimed that Mussolini was sent from divine providence. ibid.
Once the Allies held Italy the West once again saw communism as a far greater threat than Italian fascism. Senior Judges, civil servants, military leaders and police chiefs who had served under fascism were allowed to slip quietly back into office. And fascism as a political force did not die with Mussolini. Mussolini’s belief in fascism, violence and a desire for empire left Italy with a terrible legacy of death and destruction. And together with Hitler, Mussolini plunged Europe into the most destructive war in history, and changed the world for ever. ibid.
He [Mussolini] was captured and shot. His body with that of his mistress were hung from a lamp-post in a Milan street. World War II: The Complete History: Unconditional Surrender, History 2000
Benito Mussolini had been the first fascist dictator. His success an inspiration to Hitler and the Nazis. But now the Italians had had enough of him. The Nazis: A Warning From History: Fighting to the End, BBC 1998
Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist dictator, was shot dead on 28th April 1945 … What really happened and who behind the assassination? Jamie Theakston’s Forbidden History s4e6: Mussolini’s Death, Yesterday 2017
‘The Italians love conspiracy theories … There is no greater story than the death of Mussolini for attracting conspiracy theories.’ ibid. Guy Walters
End Game: With the Russians almost at Hitler’s door, staff in the bunker receive dramatic news from Italy: Hitler’s ally, dictator Benito Mussolini, and his mistress have been killed by communist partizans. Their mutilated bodies publicly strung up outside a petrol station near Milan. Rise of the Nazis s1e3: The Downfall, BBC 2022