Italo Balbo


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(b. 6 June 1896, d. 28 June 1940).

Italian Fascist After participating in World War I he became a leader of the Fascist blackshirts. He organized the March on Rome in 1922, and in 1923 was appointed head of the Fascist militia. He became the central innovator of the Italian air force first as Under‐Secretary (1926–9), then as Chief Minister (1929–33). As Governor of Libya from January 1934 he attempted to modernize the colony to turn it into an integral part of Italy. Although opposed to Mussolini's pro‐German and anti‐Semitic policies, he remained loyal to the regime and led the Italian forces in the North African Campaigns in World War II. He died when his aeroplane was shot down accidentally by Italian batteries.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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