Core: Mussolini will try to re-create the glory of the Roman Empire and will fail. In fact, he will kill many people and lose his own life in the process.
On March 23, 1919, but four months after the ceasefire ended the Great War – 100 formidable youths, former Italian Army veterans, former socialist politicians, and journalists met at the Piazza San Sepolchro in Milan’s northern industrial industry to form a new political party. In the fall of 1922, the Fascists numbered more than 300,000 members.
Unsatisfied with the territorial gains derived from the participation of Italian Liberals in the Allied war during 1915-1918, these angry young men, marked by 39-year-old Benito Mussolini, formed Fasci di Combattimento, led by their leader [Il Duce] himself defined as “The Bundles of Battle.” He refers to the symbol of the ancient Roman Empire from an ax surrounded by a stick tied together, as a symbol of the authority and power of the past and present.
Mussolini had served in World War I as a combat-injured bersaglieri, a member of one of the most elite formations in Italy. Other members of the new Fascist Party included Alpini, the mountain army, and also the more famous Arditi, the invading army, who mimic the famous German cyclone in 1918.
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The Italian version of this shock force, however, is far more colorful than their German cousins, reportedly went to battle armed with daggers in teeth and clenched grenades in both hands at artillery heels, thus taking unsuspecting Austro. – Hungarian enemies with total surprises. More than half of Arditi’s members are tough peasant boys, while the meaning of the word Ardito is “brave man.”
Formed in June 1917 as special forces, they ran in a campaign rather than marching, and one of their commanders declared, “You are the first, the best … future owner of Italy … a new generation of Italians, fearless and brilliant “You will prepare for Italy’s great future! That beautiful Italian woman’s smile is your gift!”
This was quite intoxicating for the young soldiers of that era. Arditi wore a fearsome skull and crossbones on their hats, saluted Roman with a stiff weapon with an unshielded dagger, and shouted, “For us!” Not only Mussolini, also the fiery newspaper editor Il Popolo d’Italia (Italian people), adopted all of these war traps for his new Fascists, but 25 Arditi soldiers guarded his office in Milan, and four times they burned the rival Socialist papers Avanti! (Advance!).
Concerned that these soldiers, traditionally, Liberal Italians, had disbanded Arditi in December 1918, within a month of the end of the war, but Mussolini immediately reorganized them into Fascist forces, surrounding a group of men wearing black shirts and pants and red fur hats, who terrorizing their political opponents throughout Italy with physical violence.
Replying to “Mutilated Victory” Italy
They share their sadness with what was defined by poet, war pilot, and political activist Gabriele D’Annunzio as a “mutilated victory” by Italian Liberals in World War I who denied it as the fruit of victory. One of them is the port city of Adriatic Fiume in the new state of Yugoslavia, which according to all Italians should be the spoils of victorious Italians.
On September 12, 1919, D’Annunzio led the small army of former Arditi in the rapid occupation of Fiume in opposition to the Italian government of King Victor Emmanuel III, who had ascended the throne since the murder of his father in 1900.
Secretly, both the king and the Italian Army used to like the occupation, but also put them in direct confrontation with their fellow Allied winners in World War I – France, Great Britain and the United States. “Where Arditi is,” the occupant boasted, “there is a flag. No enemies will pass by. Arditi is the real pioneer of the nation,” they declared.
However, it is very important that the king, who is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, was dubbed insulting as the “Little Sword,” reaffirming his authority, because among the Arditi and other Fascists many republics did not want anything. better than seeing the ruling 900-year-old House of Savoy wiped out because in the end elections were held after World War II. The king’s most eager supporters were the Italian Army royalist officers, but even many of them had Fascist sympathies.
Benito Mussolini: From Socialists to Fascists
Initially, the former Socialist Mussolini was one of these fiery republicans, stating, “The king is nothing more than a useless citizen,” and in 1912 he even made an anti-nationalist proclamation, “The Italian flag is only suitable for a pile of dirt! “He also opposed the Italian Liberal imperialist war of aggression in Libya against Turkey in 1911 which witnessed the first use of aircraft in modern warfare.
What caused Mussolini’s politics to turn from left to right was the arrival of World War I in 1914, when Italy refused to join its first allies, the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and instead chose neutrality.
This was also the position of Mussolini Socialist, who was then an editor Avanti! His critics later accused that it was French gold received in bribes that caused Mussolini to leave in 1915 for Italian intervention in the Allied war instead. Enraged, the Socialists expelled Mussolini from his party, and Corporal Bersaglieri Mussolini was injured in the front when a mortar shell exploded. In particular, he was visited twice at the hospital by the king and was hailed as a political celebrity among enlisted men and their officers. He later arrived on the national scene as a war veteran.
Lessons from the Fiume Work
During the occupation of Fiume D’Annunzio, he and Duce, who united all Fascists around his people under the editorial spell of the oratory and inflammatory newspapers, discussed several times the possibility of a joint march in Rome to seize political power by simply taking capital by force and kicking the Party cabinet. Old Liberals. The main questions are: What will the king, the army and the Carabinieri (military police) do?
Mussolini also has other urgent concerns. First, he was afraid that D’Anunzio would line up without him and thus frustrate him for the second time, as he had done before at Fiume. He was also worried that his younger Fascist lieutenant, the red-haired “Iron Bear” Italo Balbo, might move on his own.
Then came lightning on Bloody Christmas Eve, December 24, 1920, when the king ordered the Italian Army and Navy to destroy Arditi’s army at Fiume. On January 5, 1921, D’Annunzio’s work ended. This disaster marked the end of Arditi’s support for the colorful poet warriors and the beginning of their great swing towards Mussolini and his Fascists.
Mussolini, a quiet, wise, cunning and revolutionary political planner, drew some conclusions from the Fiume disaster: The police often ignored Fascist neglect to attack their traditional leftist enemies, the Socialists. Police will also fire on opponents of the monarchy. More importantly, Duce observed, as did the military. Therefore, he realized that he had to win over the king, the police, and the armed forces through a clever blend of public chaos and behind the scenes, old-fashioned political maneuvers to reach the office appointed or elective by legal means.
“To Rome! To Rome!”
In the May 1921 national election, Duce himself was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in Rome to occupy one of the 35 Fascist Party seats. Although he rarely attends sessions because he insults the room, Deputy Mussolini still appreciates the free train tickets that accompany the state railroad system, which he then reforms and also he is legally immune from prosecution while in office.
In 1921, his party was posted in the middle of a list of deputies. Ahead of the Fascists there were 159 Liberal Democrats, 146 Socialists, and 104 members of the Popular Party; while behind him were 26 Agrarians, 11 Communists, 10 Republicans, and 12 members of the German-Italian and Slavic-Italian splinter groups. Obviously, to be appointed prime minister – Mussolini’s initial goal – the Fascist Party where Duce was fourth had to enter government in a coalition cabinet with other parliamentary parties and their leaders.
But Mussolini also faced a problem that was unique to him. His party is the only one that organizes and sometimes even armed groups of hard-fought adventurers who are dedicated to venting killings and chaos throughout the country to seize power. His greatest fear, once again, is that his plan for success will gradually be defeated by both the activities of these groups and other events and that he will be forced to seize Rome. That is precisely what happened.
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