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10 June 1940 Mussolini Speech Declaring War

by Jim H

At 6:00 PM on 10 June 1940, a crowd gathered at Palazzo Venezia to hear Benito Mussolini declare war on Great Britain and France. This fateful Benito Mussolini speech is translated below into English and also in its original Italian. The accompanying video also provides a synchronized English translation for your convenience.

Mussolini Speech Declaring War Translated into English

Translators Note: Some English word choices were subjective. I tried to find the right word for what I believe Mussolini was trying to convey. Any errors or suggestions are appreciated.

Combatants of the land, sea, and air. Black Shirts of the revolution and the legions! Men and women of Italy, of the Empire, and the Kingdom of Albania. Pay heed.

The hour of destiny has struck the skies of our fatherland. It is the hour of irrevocable decisions. The declaration of war has already been delivered to the ambassadors of Great Britain and France. We are going into battle against the plutocratic and reactionary democracies of the west who have always blocked the march and often undermined the very existence of the Italian people.

Several decades in recent history can be summarized in these words: phrases, promises, threats, blackmail, and finally to crown the edifice, the ignoble siege by the fifty-two states of the League of Nations.

If we today are resolute to face the risks and sacrifices of war, it is because of honor, the interests, the future. Ironically impose it, since a great people, is truly such, that it considers sacred its duty, and does not avoid the supreme trials
that determine the course of history.

We are taking up arms to resolve the problems on our continental borders. The problems on our maritime borders. We want to break the territorial and military chains that confine us in our sea. Because a country of 45,000,000 souls is not truly
free if it does not free access to the ocean.

Italy, proletarian and fascist, is for the third time on its feet. Strong, proud, and compact like never before. The verbal order is just one word. Categorically and obligatory to everyone. It already spreads and ignites the hearts from the Alps to the Indian Ocean. Victory!

And we will win! To finally provide a long period of peace and justice, for Italy, for Europe, for the World.

Citizens of Italy! Run to your weapons and show your tenacity, your courage, your valor!

Related: Benito Mussolini: Rise and Fall of the Italian Dictator

Mussolini Speech Declaring War in original Italian

The original Italian speech pulled from historicalresources.org.

Combattenti di terra, di mare e dell’aria! Camicie Nere della rivoluzione e delle legioni! Uomini e donne d’Italia, dell’impero e del regno d’Albania! Ascoltate!

Un’ora segnata dal destino batte nel cielo della nostra patria. L’ora delle decisioni irrevocabili. La dichiarazione di guerra è già stata consegnata agli ambasciatori di Gran Bretagna e di Francia. Scendiamo in campo contro le democrazie plutocratiche e reazionarie dell’Occidente che, in ogni tempo, hanno ostacolato la marcia, e spesso insidiato l’esistenza medesima del popolo italiano.

Alcuni lustri della storia più recente si possono riassumere in queste parole: frasi: promesse, minacce, ricatti e, alla fine, quale coronamento dell’edificio, l’ignobile assedio societario di cinquantadue stati.

Se poi oggi siamo decisi ad affrontare i rischi e i sacrifici di una guerra, gli è che l’onore, gli interessi, l’avvenire ferramente lo impongono, poichè un grande popolo è veramente tale se considera sacri i suoi impegni e se non evade dalle prove supreme che determinano il corso della storia.

Noi impugnamo le armi per risolvere, dopo il problema risolto delle nostre frontiere continentali, il problema delle nostre frontiere marittime; noi vogliamo spezzare le catene di ordine territoriale che ci soffocano nel nostro mare, poichè un popolo di quarantacinque milioni di anime non è veramente libero se non ha libero accesso all’oceano.

L’Italia proletaria e fascista, è per la terza volta in piedi, forte, fiera e compatta come non mai.  La parola d’ordine è una sola, categorica e impegnativa per tutti. Essa già trasvola e accende i cuori dalle Alpi all’Oceano indiano. Vincere!

E vinceremo, per dare finalmente un lungo periodo di pace con la giustizia all’Italia, all’Europa, al mondo.

Popolo Italiano! Corri alle armi, e dimostra la tua tenacia, il tuo coraggio, il tuo valore!

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