World War II
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was the fascist prime minister of Italy, with dictatorial powers, from 1922 until he was overthrown in 1943.
In May 1938, Mussolini promised to fight alongside Adolf Hitler in any war against the democracies of the world. His armies, however, poorly led and ill-prepared for war, were defeated quickly by Allied forces. Italian resistance to his dictatorship ultimately led to his fall from power and to his death; Mussolini was overthrown in 1943, and in April 1945, Italian insurgents captured the ex-dictator, murdered him, and mutilated his body—a disgraceful end for a man who considered himself to be the savior of the Italian nation.