Regime collapse

1943

25 July

The enterprise of Albania and the entry alongside the Germans into the war against France in June 1940 mark the final parable of an intrinsically bellicistic and imperialist dimension of fascism. After three years of conflict and harsh military defeats in the Balkans, In Africa, Greece and the Soviet Union, the political-military situation in Italy is deteriorating. A few days after the landing in Sicily, on July 19, 1943 Rome suffered a heavy bombardment by the Anglo-American air force. The station and the freight yard of the San Lorenzo district, real military targets, will not suffer great damage. But there must be over 4,000 casualties from that air raid. On July 25, 1943 fascism fell: outvoted by the Grand Council of Fascism, Mussolini was dismissed by order of King Vittorio Emanuele III who gave Marshal Pietro Badoglio the task of forming a new government.

Throughout the country, manifestations of joy explode in the conviction that the end of the war is now imminent, that soon the men left for the front will return home, that the country will be able to rise from misery, hunger, the economic disaster into which it has precipitated. In the streets of Rome, the former capital of the Empire, the crowd breaks into the headquarters of the Fascist National Party and destroys the symbols of the regime. Yet the Badoglio government announces that the «war continues» alongside the Germans, allies of Italy in the Axis war.