Benito Mussolini Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1883 -1945 *** Full Name: Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini *** Nickname: Il Duce *** Occupation: Italian Politian and leader of the National Fascist Party and Prime Minister of Italy *** Date of Birth: Benito Mussolini was born on July 29th 1883 *** Place of Birth: Benito Mussolini was born in Dovia di Predappio in the province of Forli in Romagna, Italy *** Family background: His father was Alessandro Mussolini and his mother was Rosa Maltoni *** Education: Benito Mussolini attended a boarding school run by Salesian monks and he would eventually qualify as an elementary schoolmaster *** Death of Benito Mussolini - April 28, 1945.
Benito Mussolini Fact 1: Benito Mussolini was born on July 29th 1883. His parents were Alessandro Mussolini, a blacksmith and socialist, and his mother was Rosa Maltoni, a devout Catholic schoolteacher. Benito Mussolini grew up with two younger siblings and often helped his father in his smithy
Benito Mussolini Fact 2: When he was nineteen he emigrated to Switzerland to avoid national service.
Benito Mussolini Fact 3: While he was in Switzerland he found work as a stonemason but the job was only temporary.
Benito Mussolini Fact 4: He also joined the Italian socialist movement while he was in Switzerland.
Benito Mussolini Fact 5: Having been arrested in Switzerland he was deported back to Italy where he had been convicted in absentia for desertion. He managed to flee to Switzerland only returning to Italy during an amnesty for deserters. The condition for the pardon was two years to be served in the military.
Benito Mussolini Fact 6: By 1911 Benito Mussolini had become one of Italyís most noticeable socialist.
Benito Mussolini Fact 7: When World War I broke out several socialist parties agreed with the conflict until anti-militarist protesters were killed which resulted in a strike named Red Week.
Benito Mussolini Fact 8: By 1917 Benito Mussolini had been kicked out of the Socialist Party for supporting Italian intervention and he made a drastic decision to support revolutionary nationalism instead.
Benito Mussolini Fact 9: By the time he had returned from the war he was convinced socialism was a failure and proceeded to become the creator of fascism by turning the Milan fascio into the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento. Fascism is a highly aggressive form of nationalism and anti-communist political movement by which the nation is more important than the individual.
Benito Mussolini Fact 10: Benito Mussolini came to believe that Italy was destined to achieve the glory of the old Roman Empire and advocated the conquest of other countries to achieve his goals.
Benito Mussolini Fact 11: He would eventually oust Prime Minister Liugi Facta and become Prime Minister himself in 1922 and was given full power by King Victor Emmanuel III. What the King had not foreseen was the peril of a totalitarian progression.
Benito Mussolini Fact 12: Fascist symbols played a highly significant role during the dictatorship of Mussolini and the rise of fascism. Benito Mussolini reflected the might of the Roman Empire by using the eagle and the 'fasces' as a symbol for fascists in Italy. Italian Fascism utilized the color black as a symbol of their movement and Benito Mussolini was supported by uniformed militia known as the 'Blackshirts'.
Benito Mussolini Fact 13: During 1925 and 1927 Benito Mussolini took apart all constitutional and conventional restraints on his power and created a police state.
Benito Mussolini Fact 14: 1926 saw the first failed assassination attempt on the life of Benito Mussolini. The attempt was made by Violet Gibson, the daughter of Lord Ashbourne, she was immediately deported. The next assassination attempt on Benito Mussolini came later that same year by a fifteen year old boy who was hanged on the spot. Other assassination attempts on Benito Mussolini all failed.
Benito Mussolini Fact 15: His ultimate dream was to rebuild the Roman Empire but not all aspects of his plan were plausible. Italy was in too weak a state to begin with so Benito Mussolini sought the support of Adolf Hitler and the fascists in Germany.
Benito Mussolini Fact 16: Benito Mussolini became convinced during the latter part of the 1930ís that France and England were of no consequence and that Italy and Germany would ultimately rule over Europe, based purely on his ideal of demographic strength achieved by conquests.
Benito Mussolini Fact 17: As he saw the situation, Germany was a far stronger country to align with than France or England and the leaders held the common bond in the doctrine of Fascism.
Benito Mussolini Fact 18: World War II began in 1939 and Mussolini declared war on France and Britain and allied Italy with Germany. In late 1941, Italian East Africa was lost. In 1942, Italian Libya was lost. Before the end of 1943, the last Italian forces in Tunisia had surrendered and Sicily had been taken by the Allies.
Benito Mussolini Fact 19: Having suffered so serious set-backs in North Africa and Greece, Mussolini needed a victory and so he offered Hitler assistance on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union. However the Italian themselves felt this was not their battle and losses were very high. Early in 1943, the ten divisions of the "Italian Army in Russia" were crushed and defeated in the Battle of Stalingrad. Before the end of 1943, the last Italian forces in Tunisia had surrendered and Sicily was taken by the Allies. The credibility of Benito Mussolini was severely damaged and the Italian people began to turn against him and the ideals of Fascism.
Benito Mussolini Fact 20: As the situation outside of Italy became desperate, so did the situation within her borders. Italyís factories, running short or raw materials, were ceasing production and Mussolini's propaganda mechanism was falling apart as more and more Italian nationals were listening to either Radio London or the Vatican Radio and realizing the dangers of fascism. The Allied invasion of Sicily saw WW2 arrive on the doorstep of Italy. However, the majority of Italian people who saw the Allies as liberators and not invaders.
Benito Mussolini Fact 21: By 1943 Mussolini was seeing his government splinter as the Allies were pushing ever closer to the Italian peninsula and Hitler was not able to assist him. His army was on the verge of breakdown and several of his very prominent government ministers were losing faith in him. To top all of these events the Allies bombed Rome on July 19, 1943.
Benito Mussolini Fact 22: Dino Grandi was the leading politician to oppose the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini and at this point requested that the King of Italy assumed his full constitutional powers in a vote of no confidence in Mussolini. Benito Mussolini Fact 23: The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, had Mussolini arrested and installed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as premier.
Benito Mussolini Fact 24: On September 8, 1943, King Victor Emmanuel publicly announced an armistice with the Allies. (His son, King Umberto II, became the last King of Italy, reigning for just over a month, from 9 May 1946 to 12 June 1946. He abdicated and Italy became a republic).
Benito Mussolini Fact 25: Mussolini escaped from Italy and was taken to Hitler, but by then he had no fight left in him. The reinstated government out-manoeuvred Hitlerís plan of restoring Mussolini to full power but Mussolini was re-located to northern Italy where he set up a new Fascist state called the Italian Social Republic.
Benito Mussolini Fact 26: On May 2, 1945 the German and the Italian RSI forces in Italy surrendered. Germany finally surrendered ending WW2 in Europe on May 8, 1945. Whilst attempting to flee to Switzerland, Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were halted by communist partisans and held overnight.
Benito Mussolini Fact 27: The following day April 28, 1945 Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci and other members of their party made up of officials and ministers were shot in the village of Guilino di Mezzegra. The bodies of Mussolini and Clara Petacci were taken to Milan and displayed in a suburban square, the Piazzale Loreto. The bodies of Benito Mussolini and Clara Petacci were then hung upside down from a metal girder above a service station on the square.
Benito Mussolini Fact 28: The body of Benito Mussolini was buried in an unmarked grave but, in 1946, it was dug up and stolen by fascist supporters. His body was recovered by the authorities who kept it hidden for the next 11 years. In 1957, his remains were allowed to be interred in the Mussolini family crypt in his home town of Predappio.
Influence & Legacy: Although early on in his leadership areas like the economy of Italy were lifted by his introduction of a transportation system coving water air and land meant goods were easily transported which help lift the economy. Economically he could rarely be faulted in his actions but eventually his lust for power and indeed dominance over other nations would be his ruination. The tomb of Benito Mussolini has become a place of pilgrimage for neo-fascists and the anniversary of his death is marked by neo-fascist rallies.