Mussolini Captured & Executed

Wednesday, 25th July 1945

Mussolini was captured near Lake Como (45.8159,9.080) by Italian partisans when he attempted to escape Switzerland. He was summary executed by firing squad immediately after he was captured. His body was then taken to public square, Piazzale Loreto (45.486,9.217), in Milan where his body reviled and spat upon by his countrymen. It was then hosted up and hung upside down at a petrol station for public viewing and to provide confirmation of his death.

One Italian woman fired five shots into Mussolini's body and shouted: "Five shots for my five assassinated sons!". The executions are the first conspicuous demonstration of mob violence carried out by the Italian partisans who until now have been kept under control by their leaders. The partisan commander-in-chief General Raffaele Cadorna said such incidents were regrettable but desirable in this case as a way for the public to vent their anger against the former dictator and his cohorts. Most Italian was very angry at the man who had led the nation to vainglory, shame and disaster.

Coincidently it was in Milan that Mussolini founded Europe's first fascist movement, Fasci di Combattimento, in 1919. Mussolini came to power in 1922 after the so-called March on Rome.

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