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Other titles in the Cambridge Military Histories series:

Mussolini and His Generals: The Armed Forces and Fascist Foreign Policy, 1922-1940 (Cambridge Military Histories)


Mussolini and His Generals: The Armed Forces and Fascist Foreign Policy, 1922-1940 (Cambridge Military Histories) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This is the first authoritative study of the Italian armed forces and the relationship between the military and foreign policies of Fascist Italy from Mussolini's rise to power in 1922 to the catastrophic defeat of 1940. Using extensive new research, John Gooch explores the nature and development of the three armed forces, their relationships with Mussolini and the impact of his policies and command, the development of operational and strategic thought, and the deployment and use of force in Libya, Abyssinia and Spain. He emphasizes Mussolini's long-term expansionist goals and explains how he responded to the structural pressures of the international system and the contingent pressures of events. This compelling account shows that while Mussolini bore ultimate responsibility for Italy's fateful entry into the Second World War, his generals and admirals bore a share of the blame for defeat through policies that all too often rested on irrationality and incompetence.

Book News Annotation:

Mussolini is remembered mostly as a second banana to Hitler, a posturing dictator whom the Italians got rid of. In his study of Mussolini's military expertise and the men of the army and navy who worked with him Gooch (international history, University of Leeds) confirms this impression. His chronicle of Il Duce's rise to power and his serious lack of military training would be comic if so many lives hadn't been at stake. Unfortunately, most of Mussolini's generals were equally inadequate to the task of mounting a long-term offensive. Anyone with an interest in the history of Italy in World War II will find this a fascinating read. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Gooch, John
Cambridge University Press
Europe - Italy
Military - General
Mussolini, Benito
Italy Politics and government 1922-1945.
World History-Italy
Cambridge Military Histories
Publication Date:
9.08x6.42x1.84 in. 2.58 lbs.

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Mussolini and His Generals: The Armed Forces and Fascist Foreign Policy, 1922-1940 (Cambridge Military Histories) Used Hardcover
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Product details 651 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521856027 Reviews:
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