Pub. Date:
Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy from Triumph to Collapse: 1935-1943

Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy from Triumph to Collapse: 1935-1943

by John Gooch


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, October 27


A remarkable new history evoking the centrality of Italy to World War II, outlining the brief rise and triumph of the Fascists, followed by the disastrous fall of the Italian military campaign.

While staying closely aligned with Hitler, Mussolini remained carefully neutral until the summer of 1940. At that moment, with the wholly unexpected and sudden collapse of the French and British armies, Mussolini declared war on the Allies in the hope of making territorial gains in southern France and Africa. This decision proved a horrifying miscalculation, dooming Italy to its own prolonged and unwinnable war, immense casualties, and an Allied invasion in 1943 that ushered in a terrible new era for the country.

John Gooch's new history is the definitive account of Italy's war experience. Beginning with the invasion of Abyssinia and ending with Mussolini's arrest, Gooch brilliantly portrays the nightmare of a country with too small an industrial sector, too incompetent a leadership and too many fronts on which to fight.

Everywhere—whether in the USSR, the Western Desert, or the Balkans—Italian troops found themselves against either better-equipped or more motivated enemies. The result was a war entirely at odds with the dreams of pre-war Italian planners—a series of desperate improvisations against an allied force who could draw on global resources, and against whom Italy proved helpless.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643135489
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 12/01/2020
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 152,431
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

John Gooch is one of the world's leading writers on Italy and the two world wars. His books include Mussolini and His Generals and The Italian Army and the First World War. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Leeds. In 2010 the President of Italy appointed him Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta' Italiana. John lives in England.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements viii

Dramatis Personae x

Maps xxv

Introduction 1

1 On the March 7

2 The Reluctant Neutral 53

3 First Moves 96

4 Defeat, Disaster, and Success 140

5 Sea, Sand, and Endless Steppes 186

6 Terror in the Balkans 230

7 Year of Destiny 278

8 Overstretched and Overcome 325

9 Endgame 369

Afterword 411

Abbreviations 425

List of Illustrations 427

Notes 429

Bibliography 499

Index 523

Customer Reviews