ITALY: Pax Romana

For 20 years Benito Mussolini roared grandiose nonsense from his balcony. He rubbed snow on his bare chest for photographers. To his superstitious peasants he proclaimed that war was the natural state of a healthy nation. Last week, in a small voice. Il Duce urged his people: "Tener Duro" ("Hold firm").

Louder in the ears of the Italians was the ominous roar and rattle of the Allied military machine in North Africa. Virtually splitting their eardrums were the scream and crump of "blockbuster" bombs devastating the great industrial cities of Turin, Genoa, Milan.

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