"You know, I laugh every time I see Mussolini in the newsreels. He is such a stiff-armed clown. But they'd like to resurrect the days of Imperial Rome, and that is not such a funny thought."
―British milkman[src]

Benito Mussolini (also known as "Il Duce") was the former Prime Minister and Fascist dictator of Italy.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Founding the fascist movement in 1919, Benito Mussolini became prime minister in 1922 and began establishing a fascist state the following year. He dissolved parliament in 1928 and enforced with his Blackshirts, a forerunner and inspiration for Adolf Hitler's Brownshirts.

In 1929, Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty with the Holy See, creating the Vatican City state inside Rome. Ethiopia was invaded by Italy in 1935 and took Addis Ababa in 1936. In 1938, Mussolini was one of the signatories of the Munich Pact giving Hitler's Germany control of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. Italy invaded Albania in 1939 and also signed the Pact of Steel with Germany. After the outbreak of World War II, Italy declared war on Great Britain and France on June 10, 1940.

In 1941, Mussolini met with Pope Pius XII in Vatican City while a disguised Indiana Jones was present looking to search the Vatican's library. The archaeologist's command of Italian and German languages allowed him to overhear a telephone conversation taken between Mussolini and Hitler which ended in the Italian leader getting berated over the phone.

Mussolini was forced to resign as leader on July 25, 1943 and in September, Italy became the first of the Axis powers to fall, surrendering immediately after Allied invasion. Mussolini was killed two years later, executed by Italian partisans on April 28, 1945.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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