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Was there ever a designated successor to Mussolini as Duce?

Sid Guttridge

New Member
Did Mussolini have a designated successor at any stage?

Was there any post ressembling a "Sub-Duce"?

Was there any legal apparatus to govern any possible succession?

Many thanks,



New Member
No, Sid.
Maybe, in the eventuality in which Mussolini had died and the Fascism was still on command, I think that, as often in Italy, the fact had open a crisis between the majors of the party.



Active Member
The High Council of Fascism had the task of keeping a list of possible successors to Mussolini, which had to be submitted to the King for advising him for his choice of a new Head of the Government. The King retained the right to appoint anybody of his choice.

Anyway, after the attempted murder of Mussolini by Zamboni on 31 October 1926, the Duce appointed adm. Costanzo Ciano, his future in-law, as his successor in case of sudden death. After Ciano's death on 26 July 1939 no further successors were chosen.


Staff member
I have read in several English works that Balbo was consider a successor after Ciano. Of course, I don't trust English works, hence my question. ;)



Active Member
There was nothing explicit about any successor after the death of Costanzo Ciano. The King allegedly told Balbo to accept gladly the task of governor of Libya because a colony is like a small country and provides to its governor the experience for the same tasks in the fatherland. Probably Galeazzo Ciano's interest in Albania was caused by a similar attitude, because it provided him the chance to show his ability as a governor, albeit through the Lieutnant of the King, Francesco Jacomoni di San Savino, who was an officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.