Benito Mussolini The Leader Of A Facist Italy

1739 words - 7 pages

Benito Mussolini (“II Duce”) was the leader of a fascist Italy, coming into power during 1923 and up till his defeat in the Italian parliament during 1943. In May of 1940, Italy sided with Germany, as Mussolini’s interest were similar to those Hitler had. Later, he was deposed after losing the vote from the Grand Council of Fascism and was to be arrested by the king and partisans in July of 1943 and imprisoned. Soon after he was rescued by an SS raid (“Gran Sasso Raid”) and restored by Hitler. However, in 1945 he was again captured by partisans, when Mussolini realized that defeat was looming and was attempting to flee north. Captured again Mussolini was quickly executed near Lake Como by the Italian partisans. From 1940 to 1945 Mussolini’s actions both globally and locally, had significant and damaging impact on the war efforts of both Nazi Germany and Italy, contributing to the Allied victory in May 1945. [2] [3]
North African Campaign (Italy’s invasion)
Mussolini’s North African campaign was first of his two major military failures. In June 1940, Mussolini began the invasion of North Africa, brought on by his desire to bring back the Roman Empire. However, Mussolini went into this invasion unannounced to his ally Hitler, who at first had little interest in the goings on in North Africa. But due to Italy’s troops having a lack of training and limited supplies the campaign had many of the Italians surrendering and captured. This would have the Germans coming into the campaign in an effort to help the Italians. Only now did Hitler begin to realize the importance of capturing North Africa. However Germany’s involvement in the campaign made no difference, as the Allies managed to drive out all of the Axis forces and successfully defend North Africa. [1] [5]
There were many minor battles fought throughout the North African campaign, all of which resulted in an Allied victory. Noteworthy battles were: Operation Compass, Western Desert Campaign, Operation Torch, and the Tunisian Campaign. As a result of all of these battles, the entire Italian 10th Army was wiped out, most being captured. This loss was a clear indication of how unprepared Italy really was. [1] [5]
The effect of the North African campaign saw not only the loss of the entire 10th Italian army, but the thinning of the German forces. However, many of the Axis small victories during the campaign were made only by the Germans, further demonstrating the ineffectiveness the Italians had. On the other hand, one of the main downfalls contributing to the defeat was due to the lack of supplies both Axis forces received. Because in 1941, during the African campaign, Hitler had begun the invasion of Russia. And so with many fronts being fought at the same time, the German war machine was stretched too thin to support the increasing needs of the German armed forces. Nor could the Italians help as the seas were riddled with Allied naval ships, and the fact that they did not possess enough supplies...

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