(b. 28 Sept. 1871, d. 1 Nov. 1956).
Italian general A professional soldier, he fought at Adowa (1896) and in Libya (1911). He led the successful assault on the Austrian stronghold of Monte Sabotino in 1916, but was subsequently at least partly responsible for the disastrous defeat at Caporetto (1917). Nevertheless, he finished World War I as deputy Chief of Staff, and served as army Chief of Staff 1919–21. Assured by his loyalty to the new Fascist state, Mussolini made him chief of the general staff of the armed forces in 1925, and marshal of Italy in 1926. He was made Governor of Libya in 1929, and in 1935 he took charge from De Bono of the struggling army in the Abyssinian War. In realistic appreciation of the current strength of the Italian army he opposed its participation in the Spanish Civil War, and even more so its entry into World War II. He resigned following Italy's invasion of Greece in 1940. After Mussolini's deposition by the Fascist Grand Council he was invited to form a new government on 26 July 1943. He concluded an armistice with the Allies on 3 September 1943, and declared war on Germany the following month. Nevertheless, his government lacked authority because of the CLN's refusal to cooperate with him until April 1944. Unable to overcome its distrust, he resigned in June 1944, following the liberation of Rome, and was replaced by Bonomi.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Second World War.