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To what extent was Mussolini responsible?

Discussion in 'North Africa and the Mediterranean' started by Artem, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Artem

    Artem Member

    Jul 19, 2010
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    Often when looking at the war progress of any power during ww2, leaders are perceived as critical to what happened. There's plenty of discussion of say, Hitler's, Stalin's, or Churchill's influence on events, but Italy is hardly looked upon. Usually when Italy is discussed, all that's pointed out are their inventories or command.

    Mussolini was however, single handedly responsible for involving himself in ww2. Which brings me to my question in the topic title. Did Mussolini play a role in Italy's turn of events , similarly to the other leaders.
  2. RD3

    RD3 Member

    Jul 28, 2011
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    Mussolini was in power since 1922 and I have the opinion that Italy would never been involved in WW2 with another leader, not on the axis side and not on the allied side. From the start, his goal was to create the empire of the Mediterranean with a powerful navy and occupied land around the whole Mediterranean Sea. Therefore he invaded North Africa, Greece and Albania. Another goal was to have colonies like the other great powers of that time (GB, France). That was the reason of his invasion of Ethiopia and other regions in Africa.
    His role in Italy's turn of events is therefore very similar to other dictators.
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Jun 6, 2006
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    I agree, his magalomania threw his nation into a war it could not afford and that a part of its population did not want either. Italy was an ally during WWI, its siding witht he Axis in WW2 was perceived as a stab in the back by its former allies and made a large part of its people feel ill at ease . It is often said Italians "switched sides" in 1943, in fact they returned to their initial alliance to go away form a position that had never really suited them. it was utter relief for many of them .
    Hitler's race to weapons was partly triggered by his "competition" with Mussolini. so even there Musso had his responsibility.
  4. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Dec 23, 2002
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    Albania and Greece...He had a hand in his own and others downfall...He certainly wanted wished and attempted.

    He was no idle bystander.
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Mussolini had several requests for the pact of steel 1939, like the fact Germany would have to negotiate things first with Italy and also that there would be no war until 1942-43. Hitler totally used Mussolini to his own purposes. Thus Mussolini should have said good-bye to Hitler for being such a lousy ally already in 1939 , however Mussolini was hungry to get more power and the "leftovers" from Hitler, and his greediness lead him to many wrong decisions, but he was totally guilty of it all and 100% responsible.
    Skipper likes this.
  6. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Sep 14, 2008
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    99.9% of the responsability for the 1940 DoW lies with Mussolini the man, and a lot of the blame for the unpreparedness should also be laid at his door. If not for him Italy woul probably have sat out ww2, and in that case there well may have been no true ww2 as it could have stayed a European affair as Germany had no world wide reach. On the other hand I think he is personally less to blame over Greece than is commonly held (besides that as the boss he was also responsible for his subordinates), and Greek "neutrality" was somewhat questionable.

    He was no nazi lover, we must not forget his key role in stopping them in Austria in 1934 and that he was the only one European leader ready to go to war over Tchecoslovachia in 1938. Had he not been isolated following the Ethiopia campaign the steel pact would never have happened.

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