Badoglio, Pietro

(1871–1956)
   Despite a lengthy military career, Pietro Badoglio is chiefly remembered today for negotiating Italy’s surrender in September 1943. Badoglio’s early battle honors were earned during Italy’s colonial wars. During World War I, he was quickly promoted to the rank of general. He commanded an army corps at the battle of Caporetto, but even though the Austrian breakthrough occurred in his sector, he escaped blame, emerging as second in command to General Armando Diaz. After the war, he was appointed to the Senate in 1919 and served as ambassador to Brazil between 1923 and 1925 before becoming chief of the General Staff. Between 1929 and 1934, he was governor of Italy’s colonies in Libya, where he suppressed the local nationalist movement with some brutality. The same willingness to use massive force was seen during the war in Ethiopia in 1935–1936. Badoglio, in command of the invading Italian forces, used poison gas and indiscriminate bombing to smash the under-equipped troops of Emperor Haile Selassie. Badoglio’s reward was to be made duke of Addis Ababa and viceroy of the new colony. In 1940, Badoglio was reappointed chief of the General Staff and also chaired the committee responsible for organizing Italy’s efforts to achieve autarky. Badoglio, who was a reactionary and a monarchist rather than a convinced Fascist, resigned when the Italian expeditionary force was humiliatingly defeated in Greece in 1941.
   On 25 July 1943, King Victor Emmanuel III turned to Badoglio to replace Benito Mussolini after the Fascist leader’s destitution of power by the Fascist Grand Council. In a radio address, Badoglio warned that Italy would remain in the war and that he would repress any attempts to disturb public order. During the next five days, troops fired upon antiwar protesters throughout Italy, killing and wounding several hundred people. On 27 July, all political parties were outlawed and the Fascist Grand Council, Special Tribunal, and Chamber of Fasci and Corporations were all eliminated, while the Fascist militia was incorporated into the army. Italy’s drastically worsening military and economic situation, however, constrained Badoglio to surrender to the Allies on 3 September 1943. News of the surrender was officially communicated on 8 September, and the following day, Badoglio, the king, and selected courtiers fled from Rome for the safety of Brindisi, already occupied by the Allies. There, they established a governmental seat. Badoglio’s first government endured until April 1944. It declared war on Germany in October 1943, but was unable to persuade even moderate opponents of Fascismto join its ranks while it continued to be so closely associated with the king. When this problem was resolved by the appointment of Prince Umberto as lieutenant of the realm, Badoglio was able to form a second cabinet that included Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI) leaders Palmiro Togliatti and Fausto Gullo. The administration, however, lasted little more than a month. Following the liberation of Rome, it was replaced on 18 June 1944, by a government that was more representative of Italian democratic opinion. Badoglio retired into private life and spent the next 10 years writing his memoirs and defending his military and political reputation. He died in his native Grazzano Monferrato (Piedmont) in 1956.
   See also Salo, Republic of.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Badoglio, Pietro — born Sept. 28, 1871, Grazzano Monferrato, Italy died Nov. 1, 1956, Grazzano Badoglio Italian general and politician. An army officer, he served as chief of the general staff in 1919–21 and again in 1925–28 and was made a field marshal in 1926. He …   Universalium

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  • Badoglio — Pietro Badoglio (* 28. September 1871 in Grazzano Monferrato, heute Grazzano Badoglio, Piemont; † 1. November 1956 ebenda) war ein italienischer Marschall und Politiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Siehe auch 3 Literatur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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