When assessing Italy’s role in World War II, fake historians and real historians both agree on one thing: the adventures of Benito Mussolini cost Germany dearly. We’ll review the blunders and how they weighed on Germany shortly; but first, a piece of data which we just recently discovered at establishmentarian ForeignPolicy.com. The item, dated October 14, 2009, was titled Benito Mussolini: British Secret Agent. An excerpt:
“It is fall 1917 in Italy. World War I rages; in late October the German army gasses the Italians to defeat in the Battle of Caporetto. Hyperinflation and food shortages cripple the economy, and suddenly a large number of Italians don’t see the point of fighting anymore. At the same time, Lenin and the Bolsheviks seize St. Petersburg and the allies see that soon they will lose a key partner in the war. …. no more Russian-British alliance. And now Britain is looking at losing another ally, Italy.
Enter Sir Samuel Hoare, the man in Rome for British counter-intelligence. He is charged with keeping the Italian front fighting, and he quickly finds an ambitious newspaper editor to help him with the task, Benito Mussolini. This is the story Cambridge historian Peter Martland tells after uncovering documents proving the relationship.
Yes, MI5 paid Il Duce *£100 a week to keep the fighting spirit alive and well in Italy.
*Editor’s Note: Mamma Mia! That’s $8,000 weekly in today’s US Dollars, and that’s based on phony inflation numbers. So it’s probably about $20,000 weekly!
He did this through his newspaper as well as through his gang of armed thugs who bludgeoned peace protesters into staying home. …. Mussolini, 34 at the time, received the exorbitant salary for at least a year, according to Martland.
“I suspect that Mussolini, who was a noted womanizer, also spent a good deal of the money on his mistresses,” Martland said.
After Mussolini’s brief stint as a British agent, he rose to power and became the dictator of Italy. He met Hoare again when the two signed the Hoare-Laval pact that gave Italy control of present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea.” (emphasis added)
* Editor’s Note: The British government soon withdrew the plan, and Hoare resigned. In early 1936 Italy began a new, larger advance into Ethiopia, using poison gas. In his memoirs, Hoare noted the killing of the Hoare–Laval Pact, pushed Italy closer to Germany.
So then, the post-World War I rise and rise of the young, ambitious Mussolini from womanizing 34-year-old newspaper editor working for British war aims, to appointed Prime Minister at age 39, to supreme dictator dubbed “Il Duce” (1925) at just 42, was “made in London.” Interesting, and frankly, borderline treasonous because it means that he worked to keep Italy in the war for Britain’s interests, even if he himself somehow believed he was acting in Italy’s. And what’s really astonishing is that this bit of data was not unearthed until 2009, only 3 years before your favorite historian here (who knew nothing about this until now!) had penned the first draft manuscript of The Bad War, in which Mussolini’s costly misadventures in WW 2 were reviewed.
Now, let’s fast forward to World War II and review how Mussolini’s blunders severely hindered Hitler’s war efforts and may have cost Germany an opportunity to win the war in 1941 or 1942, before the Soviets (with massive US weapons aid) could regroup and rebuild, and before the Americans could arrive and deploy to save the day for the ALL LIES.
TIMELINE OF KEY EVENTS
May 1940: Neutral Italy, via its Ambassador to the UK, offers to broker a peace deal between Germany and the UK. Some in the British War Cabinet are interested in hearing a proposal. But Churchill, who surely must know that Mussolini had been made by British Intel, will have none of it.
June 5 – June 8, 1940: The Germans have already completed the heavy lifting of winning the land-based war in the West. The retreating British are high-tailing it out of Europe from Dunkirk. And France, much to Churchill’s consternation, is poised to negotiate a surrender as Marshal Phillipe Petain prepares to take power in France.
June 10, 1940: After having remained neutral, and just weeks after cordially dealing with the British, Mussolini — acting on his own initiative and independent of the German campaign — declares war on France and Great Britain. This stab-in-the-back invasion at the Alps (which pissed away the lives of 1,000 Italian soldiers just to conquer 13 small villages!) causes tremendous resentment among the already-defeated French. North Africa now opens up as a theater of war as Italy and Britain both have a presence there (as does defeated France).
July 3, 1940: The British attack the French naval base at Mers El Kébir — killing 1,300 French sailors and damaging / destroying 3 battleships and 2 destroyers. Churchill then claims that the pretext for this dastardly deed was to stop the victorious Germans from seizing the vessels of French navy.
Summer, 1940: The Italians struggle against the superior British in North Africa. Mussolini appeals to Hitler for help and that’s how Germany’s costly involvement with the Africa Korps under the leadership of Erwin Rommel began in 1941.
* Editor’s Note: In the alternative news & history community, Hitler is often criticized for having graciously allowed 300,000 British troops to safely evacuate from the shores of Dunkirk. The Germans would later have to fight these very same men in North Africa. In Hitler’s defense, he had no way of knowing that Mussolini, just one week after the end of the Dunkirk boat-lift, would suddenly and dishonorably abandon his neutrality and declare war against the already defeatedAllies — and then proceed to make such a mess in North Africa.
October, 1940: Against Hitler’s wishes, Mussolini, having already inflamed Africa and now occupying Albania, invades Greece in what will bog down into an even more disastrous military campaign. Mussolini’s war will cost the Italians 14,000 killed and 25,000 missing. In his private diary, one of his own generals recorded his disgust with Il Duce’s recklessness (here). Churchill uses this event as a pretext to offer military assistance to the Greeks — which would entail a renewed British presence on the European mainland via “the soft underbelly of Europe.”
* Editor’s Note: Mussolini had been wrongly informed that bribes paid to key Greek politicians and generals to not resist the Italian invasion would be enough to assure an easy conquest. Was British Intel feeding him the same “cakewalk” lie fled to aggressor Poland in 1939?
April, 1941: To block the British from setting up military action in Europe, Hitler — who had earlier sought to mediate a peace between Italy and Greece — has no choice but to bailout his Italian “ally” (again) and thus thwart the British advance by subduing Greece. As is the ongoing case in North Africa, valuable manpower and resources are thus diverted and valuable time is lost because Hitler’s preemptive invasion of the Soviet Union has to be postponed by two months. The lost months could have been enough to finish off the Soviet Union in 1941, before the winter pause arrived.
* Editor’s Note: The Germans were also forced to invade Yugoslavia at this time because British Intel had engineered a coup which installed an anti-German government.
June 22, 1941: Having lost two months and being spread thin in North Africa and southern Europe, Hitler launches the necessary invasion of the Soviet Union just in the nick of time. Operation Barbarossa is a stunning success for the Germans, but the lost time and resources enabled Stalin to barely hang on until the brutal winter of 1941 set in and stalled the advance. That allowed the Soviets to regroup and, with US help, rearm in 1942. Oh what have been had the Germans not lost all that time and all that firepower in 1941!
November, 1942: The Joint American & British Operation Torch launches in November 1942. Stalin now has the “Second Front” that he had been openly pleading for to relieve pressure on the Red Army by diverting German forces to North Africa. After a slow start by the allies, General George Patton is brought in to win North Africa. Now the Germans really have problems! Half the German transport planes that were needed to supply the encircled Axis forces at Stalingrad will eventually be tied up supplying the German and Italian armies in North Africa. And it was all because Mussolini picked a fight he couldn’t win against Britain in Africa.
Summer, 1943: After winning Africa, it was a short hop to Sicily and then onto the Italian mainland for the ALL LIES. It was through Italy, not Normandy (1944), that the Allies will establish their first true presence on the European mainland — through which they began tightening the noose on Germany from the South (and later, the West) — all while diverting German power away from the Russian front. Again, none of this happens if Mussolini had not declared war on France & Britain AFTER Germany had already secured Western Europe.
No doubt about it, Italian debacles in Africa and Greece came at a heavy cost for Germany to fix. In addition to the damage caused to the German war effort overtly, certain events that might have happened didn’t happen because of Mussolini. By abandoning Italy’s neutrality and attaching himself to Hitler’s hip the way he did, it made it politically impossible for Petain’s France (which was really done dirty by Mussolini) to join Germany in protecting Northern Europe from Allied invasion. Whatever French resentment the anti-communist French had toward Britain for its treacherous attack at Mers El Kébir, was offset by Italy’s stab-in-the-back just one month earlier. Hitler’s idea of rallying the North Africans and Arabs against the British colonialists could have worked as well, but not with poison gas man of Ethiopia attached to him. Oh what might have been if not for blundering Benito!
The disillusioning (for me) 2009 discovery of Mussolini having served as a paid agent of the British during World War I not only tells us A LOT about his ambition and his flawed character; but it leads us to this very logical and rational question: With this bit of dirt hanging over his head — this old skeleton hiding in his closet — might British Intelligence — partly with a carrot and partly with a stick — have reactivated the ambitious egoist which they made into “Il Duce?” Following is a plausible THEORY — for which there is no hard evidence (at this time) but for which proof may surface from the bowels of some dusty archive one day — just like the amazing find of 2009.
Hitler controls the continent and the British are worried that Germany may invade their island if they refuse to make peace. Mussolini, through his ambassador to the UK, conveys a peace offer from Hitler, which Churchill will kill. The British then reactivate their old asset.
The Island of Britain needs a land presence somewhere in order to confront the Germans directly, and, more importantly, secure a staging ground for the inevitable entry of the United States into the war, and an invasion into the southern “soft underbelly of Europe.” To that end, the ego-maniac Mussolini (who was always jealous of Hitler and talked behind his back) is once again bought — not with money this time — but with the promise an expanded African Empire (paired with a disclosure of the bribes he accepted during World War I!).
This is very similar to how Tsarist Russia was induced into the pre-WWI British-French Alliance in 1907 — with the secretive empty promise of Constantinople (Istanbul) being returned to eastern Christendom’s control….or, more recently, how the mad Marshal Edvard Rydz Smigly of expansionist-minded Poland was manipulated into picking a fight with Germany in 1939. Standard British foreign policy for centuries!
The British know that a stab-in-the-back of France by Mussolini will make a French-German alliance impossible. His opening of hostilities against Britain in Africa is a fake war with real casualties on both sides; but what would the lives of enlisted men ever mean to men like Churchill and Mussolini anyway? They die for the cause of Italian Empire. The trap works and the Germans are drawn into the quicksand of Africa.
An Italian invasion of Greece is also needed to provide a pretext for diverting more German resources and manpower there; and to finally give the British a Europe-based land opening. “Benny, our dear old friend. Thanks for your help in Africa. As a show of our appreciation, we’ll let you take Greece and control the Mediterranean Sea. Our sources us tell us that the pathetic Greeks won’t even put up a fight, as long as you bribe them. You’ll be the second coming of Julius Caeser!” Mussolini — who is expecting a “cakewalk” in Greece (as Rydz Smigly had been led to believe with respect to attacking Germany in 1939) takes the bait and reaps the whirlwind.
And what about the subsequent British crippling of the Italian fleet at Taranto, later that same year; and the savage Allied bombardment and invasion of Italy; and the eventual toppling (July 1943); and brutal “dead-men-tell-no-tales” killing (1945) of Mussolini and his mistress by Allied-controlled “partisans?” Well, that’s the same type of “double cross” that the Brits did to the Tsar after they reneged on taking Constantinople; and the same “double cross” that they did to Rydz Smigly when they refused to help after he was tricked into starting the war in 1939, and then invaded by Germany from the West and the Soviet Union from the east. Standard British foreign policy — and there wasn’t a darn thing the already compromised fool could ever have done about it. British Intel had their ambitious ex-Italian newspaper man by “i cuglione” (the balls) all along.
Far fetched? Before learning that newspaper man Mussolini accepted BIG MONEY from British Intel to propagandize his war weary countrymen into remaining immersed in the WW1 bloodbath (1.1 million dead Italians, military & civilian), I would probably not have entertained this idea. But in light of this new data, anything is possible. Legendary historian Edward Gibbon taught us: “History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.” — And indeed it is. In any event, both for his acceptance of British bribes and his stupendous “blundering” in World War II — we can no longer honor Il Duce, in spite of his anti-communism and other laudable domestic achievements.
Oh if only I could get unlimited access to the secret archives of British Intel!