Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist dictator met a gruesome end during the final days of World War II when he and his mistress were executed and hung upside down as a symbol of the end of Fascist rule in Italy. But, his fate had been sealed much earlier.
When Italy's fascist regime aligned with Nazi Germany, Mussolini's grip on power seemed unshakeable. However, as the tides of war turned against him, his leadership faced unprecedented challenges. Military defeats in North Africa and the Balkans weakened his regime, and public support waned as Italians questioned the direction he was taking the country. As the Allies launched a daring invasion of Sicily, the cracks in Mussolini's rule deepened. Fearing complete ruin, King Victor Emmanuel III took a bold step and dismissed Mussolini from his position as Prime Minister in July 1943. But this was only the beginning of the dramatic events that followed.
Unraveling the downfall of one of Europe's most feared dictators is Dr Christian Goeschel, Reader in Modern European History at the esteemed University of Manchester. He and Dan shed light on the interplay between the power, betrayal, and consequences of Europe's wartime authoritarian regimes.
Produced by James Hickmann and edited by Dougal Patmore