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Benito Mussolini

Fascist dictator of Italy from 1922 until 1943, Benito Mussolini rose to power as the prime minister of Italy following the March on Rome. By 1925, he became virtual dictator of Italy and chose a political course that would lead to an alliance with Nazi Germany, known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. Mussolini sought to restore the glory of the Roman Empire to Italy and plunged his nation into World War II with disastrous results. Italian Fascist forces were defeated by the Allies, and after Mussolini’s ouster in 1943 the nation formally switched sides. German forces occupied much of the country and fought a long and costly campaign against the British and Americans that lasted until the conclusion of the war in Europe in 1945. Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were captured and executed by communist partisans in April 1945.

France’s Maginot Line

France’s Maginot Line

Although the Maginot Line did not prevent a German invasion, it forced Adolf Hitler’s generals to rethink their plans for conquest.   More »



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Action off Santa Cruz: Last Stand of the USS Hornet

Action off Santa Cruz: Last Stand of the USS Hornet

A tactical Japanese naval victory off Santa Cruz actually hastened the defeat of the empire.

Clash of the Ironclads

Clash of the Ironclads

A “barracks roof” and a “cheese box” met in March 1862 at Hampton Roads. The pioneer ironclads pounded each other with their heavy guns.

Hot Air “Fire Balloons”: Japan’s Project Fugo

Hot Air “Fire Balloons”: Japan’s Project Fugo

In late 1944, Japan began the massive production of ‘fire balloons’ capable of attacking American soil from their homeland. How did they make this work? And why did they stop?

Under 8 Flags: The Boxer Rebellion’s Unlikely Alliance

Under 8 Flags: The Boxer Rebellion’s Unlikely Alliance

This unlikely alliance saved the besieged foreign legations at Peking in 1900 during the brutal Boxer Rebellion.

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