ITALY: Formidable Juncture

Fascism, in its 21st year, faced its most dreaded hour. In Sicily the Allied armies were overrunning not a colony, not an island outpost, but the second largest of Italy's regioni. In a sense, they were probing the accumulated rot under the Fascist house.

The Party's strong men had striven, ever since the swift collapse of the Axis in Tunisia (TIME, June 21), to sandbag and shore up their structure. On June 24, before an emergency meeting of the Fascist Party Directorate, the aging Duce had spoken privately. Now, almost on the eve of the Allied invasion, Mussolini's words were broadcast...

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