War and the fall of Mussolini


Italy's international position in 1939

  • Superficially secure
  • Empire in North Africa
  • prestige for M on the world stage
  • Signing of Pacto fo Steel meant Mussolini was tied to Hitler
  • Mussolini thought WW2 would be like WW1 where there was a huge stale-mate
  • He could come in at the end and claim all the glory
  • Internationally far weaker position than seemed
  • Weaker than Hitler
  • Reason why he let Anchluss happen
  • He couldn't prevent it
  • Ruined key policies to expand Italian influence over Austria
  • Fear of Germany
  • Not yet militarily prepared for war
  • M told H I would not be ready for war untill 1943
  • Sept. 1939: Italy "non-belligerent"
  • No coherent strategy
  • No clear aims
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Reasons for entering the war June 1940

  • Fear
  • what might go wrong
  • missing out
  • loosing popularity
  • Hitler
  • not joining soon enough
  • Joining too late
  • Greed
  • opportunism
  • Break free from British sea power and fulfil ambitions in the Balkans, Mediterranean, Africa
  • M's "shopping list" of territorial demands at the peace settlement at the end of the war
  • No concessions
  • Ideology
  • War to glorify Fascism
  • Italy needed it to stay in the world powers
  • Turn the Italians into hardened Fascists
  • He wanted to do something
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Significance of entering the war 1940

  • momentous
  • Lead to collapse of Fascist regime
  • years of hardship
  • Civil war in Italy
  • M overthrown 1943
  • captured
  • killed
  • anti-fascist partisans
  • 1945
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War effort in Mediterranean and North Africa

  • October 1940
  • parallell war
  • Mediterranean
  • M blamed H for not taking action
  • Africa
  • lack of military power
  • pushed backwards
  • failing badly
  • lost
  • 1941
  • Germany intervened
  • Balkans
  • German military intervention
  • Summer 1943
  • Allies invaded southern Italy
  • people turned against M
  • King dismissed him
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Opposition to Mussolini and removal from power 194

  • bad war effort lead the way for anti-fascist parties to open up
  • Anti-fascist partisans who were against the regime all along
  • the normal Italian nation was also against their leader
  • Bad morale for the war
  • people could work together
  • bring down their fascist leader once and for all
  • four main groups: actionists, communists, socialists, Catholics
  • For the first time in forever; these four groups worked together
  • Allies
  • July 1943, M removed from power by King Victor Emanuel.
  • April 1945, he was arrested by Anti-fascist partisans and then shot.
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Salo republic

  • Italian social republic
  • Salo republic
  • 'puppet state'
  • controlled by Germans
  • small lake side resort, west of Lake Grada, where some Government was based
  • no real authority
  • various government departments scattered throughout the region
  • M lived at Gardone, miles north of Salo
  • Many key sections were in Milan
  • many miles and hours away
  • Germans refused request to be based in Milan
  • fear of bombing raids
  • Germans wanted to prevent M from having sufficient power base
  • only lasted 600 days (nearly 2 years)
  • winter 1944-1945, when the Salo republic was already breaking down.
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Mussolini's capture and death

  • In April 1945, he was arrested by Anti-fascist partisans and then shot
  • 3rd Reich facing final defeat
  • German occupation of Italy coming to an end
  • Mussolini 61 years old
  • fascism lost energy and freshness
  • so had leaders
  • 9 April
  • Allies launched final offensive on Italian front
  • M gave up and left
  • 25 April
  • headed to Lake Como with Clara Pettaci
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Why the Fascist regime Collapsed

  • Main reason
  • 1945
  • Axis defeated
  • German armies retreated
  • Salo republic no longer survived
  • 1943
  • Mussolini dismissed
  • Italian involvement in war gone wrong
  • complex mixture of forein and domestic issues
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inter-relationship of domestic and foreign policy

  • If italy had stayed out, there wouldn't be such a financial strain
  • or political upheavals
  • Italy's 'parralel' war was piointless as they kept on having to be rescued by the Germans
  • Mussolini's unrealistic foreign ambitions damaged the economy more
  • Italy lost popularity because of it's allieance with Germany
  • 45 days from July to September 1943 showed how decisive Mussolini was compared to the king
  • controlled by the Germans in the North
  • Controlled by allies in the South
  • Living conditions poor
  • after the war, the fate of Italy was in foreign hands
  • economic foreign aid
  • influenced by allies
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