Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Badoglio, Pietro (1871–1956)

Italian army marshal who helped Italy switch allegience from the Axis to the Allied powers in World War II. Born in Grazzano Monferrato (later renamed Grazzano Badoglio), Italy, on 28 September 1871, Pietro Badoglio entered the Italian military in 1890 as an artillery officer and participated in the campaigns in Abyssinia between 1896 and 1897 and Tripolitania (Libya) from 1911 to 1912. A captain at the beginning of World War I, he rose to lieutenant general in August 1917 and commanded XXVII Corps in the October–November 1917 Battle of Caporetto. His deployment and poor handling of his corps opened a gap in the Italian lines and facilitated the Austro-German advance. Some information on this situation was suppressed, and Badoglio's career did not suffer. Indeed, Badoglio became deputy to the chief of staff of the Italian army, General Armando Diaz.

From November 1919 to February 1921, Badoglio was army chief of staff. In 1924 and 1925, the anti-Fascist Badoglio was ambassador to Brazil, but in May 1925, he returned to Italy as chief of the General Staff and was promoted to field marshal in June 1926.

From 1928 to 1933, Badoglio was governor of Italian North Africa, and during that period, he oversaw the suppression of the Senussi Rebellion. In November 1935, he assumed command of Italian forces in Ethiopia, completing the conquest of that country; he was rewarded with the title of duke of Addis Ababa and named viceroy there in May 1936. In November 1939, Badoglio was again chief of staff of the Italian armed forces, a post he held until he was forced to resign on 4 December 1940 following the failure of Italian forces in Greece.

After Benito Mussolini's arrest in July 1943, King Victor Emmanuel III selected Badoglio as head of the Italian government and commander of the armed forces. Badoglio then dissolved the Fascist Party and many of its institutions, released political prisoners, and failed to enforce the anti-Semitic legislation. He also helped engineer Italy's change from the Axis to the Allied side as a cobelligerent, a move carried out secretly on 3 September 1943. When the German army took over much of Italy, Badoglio, the king, and other members of the government managed to flee Rome on the night of 8–9 September and make their way to Brindisi, where they set up a government in cooperation with the Allies. On 29 September 1943, Badoglio formally surrendered Italy, and on 13 October 1943, Italy declared war on Germany. Following the liberation of Rome, Badoglio stepped down, on 5 June 1944. He died at his family home in Grazzano Badoglio on 1 November 1956.

Spencer C. Tucker


Further Reading
Badoglio, Pietro. Italy in the Second World War: Memories and Documents. Trans. Muriel Currey. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1948.; Delzell, Charles. Mussolini's Enemies: The Italian Anti-Fascist Resistance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961.; Mack Smith, Denis. Mussolini's Roman Empire. New York: Viking, 1976.
 

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