Our biographies section offers detailed information on the many men and women who shaped Italian World War Two history. Whether they are politicians, military leaders or scientists, these Italians left their mark in history. For instance, Italo Balbo was considered by many to be Mussolini’s replacement as leader of the Fascist party. Marshal of Italy Giovanni Messe is considered by many to be Italy’s most competent General in WWII. Also of interest is physicist Enrico Fermi, an Italian Jew who escaped from Italy’s racial laws enacted in 1938. Fermi went on to be considered the principal architect of the nuclear age. Browse around and read about these, and many other, historic personas.

Rodolfo Graziani: A Marshal Loved and Hated

By the start of World War Two the Regio Esercito considered Marshal Rodolfo Graziani a war hero. But his defeat in Libya tarnished his reputation as leader.

Pietro Badoglio: Italian General and Politician

Pietro Badoglio joined the Regio Esercito in 1892 and rose through the ranks to Field Marshal. In 1943, he helped overthrow Benito Mussolini from power.

General Ettore Bastico (1876-1972)

General Ettore Bastico was an Italian military officer in World War Two. He had nominal command over Axis forces in North Africa until their defeat in 1943.

Turbulent Reign of King Vittorio Emanuele III

King Vittorio Emanuele III was the king of Italy from 1900-1944. He reigned through two world wars and saw Fascism take control of the Italian government.

Italo Balbo – The Heir Apparent to Benito Mussolini

All assumed Italo Balbo would one day replace Mussolini. He was a Quadrumvir in the March on Rome, modernized the Regia Aeronautica and Governor of Libya.

Emilio De Bono: A Marshal Killed by Firing Squad

Emilio De Bono was a respected Italian General in World War One. As one of the four Quadrumvirs in the March on Rome, he helped establish the Fascist Party.

Mario Arillo: Italian Submarine Commander

Mario Atillo was an Italian WW2 submarine commander on the Ambra. Following a number of successful missions, he joined the Decima Mas after the armistice.

Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia

Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia was the most successful Italian submarine commander in World War Two. He is credited with sinking 90,601 tons of shipping.

Giovanni Messe: Italy’s Best WWII General

Giovanni Messe is considered to be Italy's most respected World War Two General. He fought on many fronts and achieved the rank of Marshal of Italy.

Giulio Douhet: Early Proponent of Air Power

Giulio Douhet was an air power pioneer. He authored "Command of the Air" and his central theory was that control of the air alone could win a war.

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