“[T]hose who think they know World War II history will be pleasantly surprised to learn an incredible array of new details about the entire scope of that conflict, and not just as it related to Italy. And I guarantee that Mussolini’s War will completely change general, preconceived notions of the Second World War.” —Lt. Col. FORREST P. PATTON, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Ret.)
Among the great misconceptions of modern times is the assumption that Benito Mussolini was Adolf Hitler’s junior partner, who made no significant contributions to the Axis effort in World War II. That conclusion originated with Allied propagandists determined to boost Anglo-American morale, while undermining Axis cooperation.
The Duce’s failings, real or imagined, were inflated and ridiculed, his successes pointedly demeaned or ignored. Italy’s allegedly “bungling navy, ineffectual army—as cowardly as it was ill-equipped —and air force of antiquated biplanes were handily dealt with by the Western Allies,” so the hackneyed, completely false mainstream story goes. So effective was this disinformation campaign that it became postwar history, and is still generally taken for granted, even by otherwise well-informed scholars and students of World War II—even by many Italians themselves!
But a closer examination by historian and author Frank Joseph of original, often neglected, recently disclosed materials presents an entirely different picture. They shine new light, for example, on Italy’s submarine service, the world’s greatest in terms of tonnage, its boats sinking nearly three-quarters of a million tons of Allied shipping in three years’ time.
By mid-1942, Mussolini’s navy had fought its way back from crushing defeats to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Sea. Contrary to popular belief, Mussolini’s Fiat biplanes gave as good as they got in the Battle of Britain, and Italy’s Savoia-Marchetti Sparrowhawk bombers accounted for 72 Allied warships and 196 freighters sunk.
On June 7, 1942, infantry of the Italian X Corps saved Rommel’s 15th Brigade near Gazala, in North Africa, from otherwise certain annihilation. These and numerous other disclosures combine to debunk lingering propaganda stereotypes of the inept, ineffectual Italian armed forces and their allegedly inept commanders and supreme leader. That dated portrayal is rendered obsolete by a true-to-life account of the men and weapons of Mussolini’s War: Volume 1—The Triumphant Years.
This book is sure to become a TBR Revisionist classic—and, better yet, it is designed and published solely by THE BARNES REVIEW and available nowhere else! Get your copy today—every purchase helps TBR survive. Softcover, 275 pages.