Archive for April 28th, 2008

April 28, 1945 marks the death of Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini.  Il Duce had taken the reigns of Italy in 1922 and had served as its leader until his removal from office and subsequent arrest in July of 1943, when the Allied invasion of Italy began.

For two months he had been constantly moved around, as his captors sought to keep him from the Germans.  But just two months later, a German special ops team, led by Otto Skorzeny, rescued Mussolini and promptly took him to northern Italy, which was still under German control.  There Mussolini set up yet another Facist state that he headed until 1945 when the Allied forces closed in from the south.

And then began Benito’s flight to freedom.  Dressed as a German soldier, he retreated further north with the troops and was heading for Switzerland to escape to Spain when, on April 27, 1945, he and his mistress were captured by communist partisans.  They were moved to Mezzegra, a small town on the Italian-Swiss border, where they were both shot the next day.

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