Death of Benito Mussolini
The death of Benito Mussolini, the deposed Italian fascist dictator, occurred on 28 April 1945. He was summarily executed by an Italian partisan in the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra in northern Italy. The circumstances of Mussolini’s death have been subjects of continuing confusion, dispute and controversy in Italy.
About Death of Benito Mussolini in brief
The death of Benito Mussolini, the deposed Italian fascist dictator, occurred on 28 April 1945. He was summarily executed by an Italian partisan in the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra in northern Italy. Since the end of the war, the circumstances of Mussolini’s death have been subjects of continuing confusion, dispute and controversy in Italy. The generally accepted version of events is that Mussolini was shot by Walter Audisio, a communist partisan who used the nom de guerre of ‘Colonel Valerio’ At least twelve different individuals have, at various times, been claimed to be the killer. His remains were allowed to be interred in the Mussolini family crypt in his home town of Predappio. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for neo-fascists and the anniversary of his death is marked by neo-fascist rallies. He had been Italy’s fascist leader since 1922, first as prime minister and, following his seizure of dictatorial powers in 1925, with the title Il Duce. In 1940, Mussolini took his country into World War II on the side of Nazi Germany but soon was met with military failure. By the autumn of 1943, he was reduced to being the leader of a German puppet state in northern and central Italy and was faced with the Allied advance from the south and an increasingly violent internal conflict with the partisans. On 25 April he fled Milan, where he had been based, and tried to escape to the Swiss border. He and his mistress, Claretta Petacci, were captured on 27 April by local partisans near the village of Dongo on Lake Como.
Mussolini and Petacci were executed the following afternoon, two days before Adolf Hitler’s suicide. His body was buried in an unmarked grave but, in 1946, his body was dug up and stolen by fascist supporters. Four months later it was recovered by the authorities who then kept it hidden for the next eleven years. Some writers believe that the death was part of a British special forces operation with the supposed aim of retrieving compromising \”secret agreements\” and correspondence with Winston Churchill. However, the \”official\” explanation remains the most credible narrative. However, there are a number of theories and speculation as to how Mussolini died and who was responsible for his death, including that of Luigi Longo and Sandro Pertini who subsequently became general secretary of the Italian Communist Party and President of Italy respectively. In the post-war years, the official story has been questioned in Italy in a way that has drawn comparison with the John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. It came in a brutal internal conflict that was to become known as the Italian civil war. By 1944, the Italian anti-fascist partisans had become the main leadership of the main opposition to the German army’s Gothic Line. With the final defeat for the Sal�ò Republic and the collapse of its German protectors, Italia declared itself a general uprising in mid-April 1945.
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