ITALY: Temporizing

The Government of Pietro Badoglio squatted on the Italian volcano between the German devil and the deep Allied sea.

The political dictatorship of Benito Mussolini had given way to a military dictatorship propped up by the generals, aristocrats and high clerics. But the people, having broken the bonds of 21 years of artificial national unity, did not want the new regime. From lukewarm collaboration they shifted now to bitter hostility. Italy had reached the opening stage of civil war.

Behind the immediate issue of peace or war pressed a greater issue: who would rule Italy in the future? The Volcano. To...

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