America at war! (1941–) – Part 5

Cubs blank Pirates, take loop lead

Wyse allows one hit winning 6-0 shutout – Butcher pounded hard

Win in ninth, 4-3 –
Dodgers topple Giants into second place

Experts brings post-war plane down to earth

Aviation can’t live up to startling claims
By Max B. Cook, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Poll: Test faced by Democrats in 1946 voting

Congress control to be at stake
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion


  1. The German Commander-in-Chief Southwest hereby surrenders unconditionally all the forces under his command or control on land, at sea and in the air and places himself and these forces unconditionally at the disposal of the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations.

  2. All armed forces under the command or control of the German Commander-in-Chief Southwest will cease all hostilities on land, at sea and in the air at 1200 hours (Greenwich mean time) on 2 May 1945. The German Commander-in-Chief Southwest undertakes to arrange accordingly.

  3. The German Commander-in-Chief Southwest undertakes to carry out the orders set out in Appendices A, B and C and any further orders of the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Disobedience of such orders or failure to comply with them will be dealt with in accordance with the accepted laws and usages of war.

  4. This instrument will enter into force immediately on signature and the orders in Appendices A, B and C will become effective on the date and at the time specified in paragraph 2 above.

  5. This instrument and accompanying orders are drawn up in the English and German languages. The English version is the authentic text. If any doubt as to meaning or interpretation arises, the decision of the Supreme Allied Commander is final.

  6. This instrument is independent of, without prejudice to, and shall be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.

Lieutenant Colonel in the General Staff of Army Group C,
Commander-in-Chief Southwest and Commander-in-Chief of Army Group C.

SS-Sturmbannführer and Major in the Waffen-SS,
for SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS WOLFF,
Supreme Commander of SS and Police and plenipotentiary General of the German Wehrmacht in Italy.

Lieutenant General, Chief of Staff,
for Field Marshal The Honourable Sir Harold R. L. G. ALEXANDER,
Supreme Allied Commander of the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations

Signed at CASERTA, Italy.
29th April 1945
1400 Hours



  1. The term “German Land Forces” wherever used in these orders shall be deemed to include all German and Italian Republican military or pare military forces or organizations, under the command or control of the German Commander-in-Chief Southwest, who is hereafter referred to as “the German Authority.”

  2. The Term “Supreme Allied Commander” will be deemed to include all subordinate Allied Commanders.

  3. The German Authority will send to HQ 15 Army Group, as soon as possible after the signing of the instrument of surrender, senior representatives with full executive powers to carry out the following orders and such further orders as the Commanding General, 15 Army Group, may issue for compliance by the German Land Forces.

‘Stay-out’ order

  1. All formations, units and sub-units of the German Land Forces, wherever they may be, will remain in their present positions and in their existing formations pending further orders from the Supreme Allied Commander. Only such local movement is permitted as is essential for the transmission of orders, the supply of food, water, forage and petrol and the treatment of sick and wounded. (See also paragraph 7.)

  2. In particular, all large-scale road and rail movement between ITALY and any point outside ITALY is absolutely prohibited. Any movement east of the ISONZO River will be liable to air attack without warning.

Disarmament of German Land Forces

  1. All German Land Forces will be completely disarmed. They will hand over their arms, ammunition, equipment and all war-like stores at places and times and in a manner to be further ordered by the Commanding General, 15 Army Group, or any of his subordinate Commanders.

Maintenance of German Land Forces

  1. The German Authority will, pending further orders from the Supreme Allied Commander, maintain its own forces from its own resources. Purchase or requisition from local sources is forbidden.

Status of surrendered personnel

  1. All personnel of the German Armed Forces shall be subject to such conditions and directions as may be prescribed by the Supreme Allied Commander. At the Supreme Allied Commander’s discretion, some or all of such personnel may be declared to be prisoners of war.

Prohibition of destruction and damage

  1. The German Authority will prevent the removal, destruction of or damage to, and will safeguard in good condition at the disposal of the Supreme Allied Commander:

    a. All arms, ammunition, explosives and war-like stores, equipment, vehicles, material of all kinds, fuel and oil stocks, and any items of supply used by or for members of the German land forces.

    b. All military installations and establishments, including permanent and temporary land fortifications, fortresses and fortified areas together with all plans and drawings of the same.

    c. All transportation and communications facilities and equipment, including all ports and port facilities and equipment, roads, railways, waterways, bridges, tunnels and telecommunications systems.

    d. All civil and industrial factories, installations and plant workshops, laboratories, experimental stations, stores, equipment, supplies, raw materials and finished products, buildings and civil property.

    e. All cryptographic methods and equipment, cyphers, codes and callsign systems, whether military, diplomatic or civilian.

    f. All military, pare military and civil documents, records and archives.

Provision of information and facilities

  1. The German Authority will forthwith furnish to the Supreme Allied Commander:

    a. Complete information regarding the German Land Forces and in particular such details as the Supreme Allied Commander may require concerning the numbers, locations, dispositions, stores and equipment of the German Land Forces wherever located.

    b. Complete information concerning mines, minefields and other obstacles to movement and the safety lanes in connection therewith.

    c. Such military, pare military and civil documents, records and archives as the Supreme Allied Commander may require.

  2. The German Authority will:

    a. Maintain in operation all public utility and essential civilian services.

    b. Clearly mark and maintain safety lanes through all minefields and other obstacles to movement.

    c. Remove or render safe all demolition charges and all booby-traps.

    d. Make available for the Supreme Allied Commander such military personnel with the necessary equipment, as: he may require, for the clearance of mines, minefields and other obstacles to movement; and such labour as he may require for any purpose.

Disposal of prisoners of war and of persons in custody

  1. The German Authority will release in accordance with the instructions of the Supreme Allied Commander all prisoners of war (naval, military or air) at present in their power and will furnish forthwith complete lists of these persons with the places of their detention. Pending release of such prisoners of war, the German Authority will continue to protect them in their persons and property, and accord them such treatment and facilities as are prescribed under the Geneva Convention.

  2. The provisions of paragraph 12 preceding will be applied by the German Authority equally to all other persons who are confined, interned or otherwise under restraint for political reasons or as the result of any action, law or regulation originating from discrimination on grounds of nationality, race, colour, creed or political belief. Such persons as are not entitled to treatment in accordance with the Geneva Convention will be afforded comparable rights and amenities in accordance with their rank or official position.

  3. Without prejudice to any other provisions in these orders, the German Authority will hand over to the Supreme Allied Commander the control of all places of detention.

Radio and telecommunications

  1. The use of military and civil radio and land line communication systems is permitted with the provisos that:

    a. All messages and signals will be made in clear.

    b. All forms of scrambling and secrecy equipment will be disconnected and safeguarded intact.

Maintenance of discipline

  1. The German Authority will remain responsible for the maintenance of discipline throughout the German Land Forces as defined in paragraph 1 above.*

Treatment of Allied liaison officers and Italian Government Forces in German-occupied Italy

  1. Italian Government Forces in Northern Italy comprise all partisan formations and organisations owing allegiance to the CLNAI, which is the recognised delegate in German-occupied Italy of the Italian Government. Immediate control of these groups is exercised through Allied and Co-belligerent officers operating in conjunction with these forces in the field. Such officers are being instructed immediately to get in touch with local German commanders.

  2. The German Commander-in-Chief Southwest and all German subordinate commanders will receive and afford all facilities to these Allied or Co-belligerent officers together with representatives of the CLNAI for the purpose of establishing and maintaining pending arrival of Allied forces, liaison with the following objects:

    a. The general maintenance of law and order.

    b. The maintenance of all essential civilian services.

    c. The provision of communications and transport which may be necessary for the adequate distribution of supplies and the continuance of local administration.

  3. For the execution of the above functions all Allied Liaison officers will be considered as the representatives of the Supreme Allied Commander. They will be afforded complete freedom of communication by any means.

*Until such time as this responsibility is taken over by Allied troops, e.g., until German troops become prisoners of war, German commissioned officers and military police (Felder gendarmerie and Geheim feld polizei) will retain their hand weapons.



  1. a. The term “German Naval Forces” wherever used in these orders will be deemed to include all German and Italian Republican naval or pare naval forces or organizations under the command or control of the German Naval Commander South or the German Commander-in-Chief Southwest.

    b. The term “German Authority” wherever used in these orders will mean the German Naval Commander South and the German Commander-in-Chief Southwest, both severally and jointly.

  2. The term “Supreme Allied Commander” will be deemed to include all his subordinate commanders.

  3. The German Authority will cause:

    a. All such surface warships, auxiliaries and merchant vessels as are under his command or control, at sea at the time and date of surrender, wherever they may be, to return to their normal port or base. Armaments of these ships are to be trained fore and aft.

    b. All ocean-going U-boats at sea to surface and fly a black flag or black pendant by day and to remain undarkened by night and show navigation lights. All ocean-going U-boats at sea to be ordered to proceed to Gibraltar, reporting on 500 Kilocycles to the nearest Allied Wireless Station their estimated time of arrival at Europa point. Small enemy submarines at sea in the Adriatic or Ligurian Seas are to be ordered to return to Pola or Genoa respectively.

    c. All such warships, including submarines of all types, auxiliaries, and merchant vessels as are under his command or control, which are in harbour, to remain there.

    d. All ships and vessels of the United Nations, whether or not title has been transferred as the result of prize court or other proceedings, which are at the disposal of or under German control at the time of surrender, to proceed at the dates and to the ports or bases specified by the Supreme Allied Commander’s representatives.

  4. The German Authority will at once cause all such warships, surface or submarine, auxiliaries, merchant ships and other craft in harbour, as are under his command or control, to comply with the following orders:

    a. No ship, vessel or craft of any description including harbour craft, whether afloat, under repair or construction, built or building, is to be damaged or scuttled, nor is any damage to be done to its hull, machinery or equipment.

    b. Ammunition is to be retained on board until further orders.

    c. Armaments are to be rendered inoperative by removal of essential portions of the firing mechanisms, but such mechanisms, and the armament in general are not to be damaged or destroyed. Fire control equipment is to be maintained on board fully efficient. All weapons are to be trained fore and aft.

    d. All small arms are to be landed, and safeguarded.

    e. Ships are to remain undarkened by night.

    f. Colours are to be struck and not rehoisted.

    g. With the exception of minesweepers and harbour tugs and vessels, all warships, surface and submarine, and auxiliaries, are to be reduced to 20~ of their complement of officers and men, except such ships or craft as are required to remain in operation to comply with the instructions in paragraph 7h (1). The officers and men removed are to be placed in shore barracks where they are to remain under naval discipline. The crews of merchant vessels are to remain on board their ships.

    h. Minesweepers are to be subjected to the degree of disarmament prescribed in sub pare c above, but are to be prepared immediately for minesweeping service under the orders of the Supreme Allied Commander’s representatives, and are to be complete with fuel.

    i. Wireless transmitting apparatus is to be rendered inoperative by removal of essential parts, but no wireless apparatus is to be damaged or destroyed.

    j. All callsign, code and cypher systems, including books, documents, files and cryptographic machinery, are to be removed from ships and placed under guard ashore. International code and callsigns are to be retained on board.

  5. The German Authority will cause all such warships, surface or submarine, auxiliaries, merchant ships and other craft at sea as are under his command or control to be instructed to comply with the orders in paragraph 4 above immediately on return to harbour.

  6. The German Authority will immediately ensure that German naval aircraft under his command or control:

    a. Do not leave the ground or base or ship until further orders are received from the Supreme Allied Commander’s representatives.

    b. Already in the air, land or alight forthwith.

  7. The German Authority will immediately take action to ensure compliance with the following orders:

    a. No demolitions are to be carried out to harbour or port facilities of whatever nature; to naval establishments ashore; to scientific or experimental centres or laboratories; to telecommunication and radar stations; to power and water installations; to stores and industrial equipment; to documents records and archives of naval interest; which are to be preserved and kept free from damage or destruction pending receipt of further orders from the Supreme Allied Commander’s representatives. All necessary steps are to be taken, and orders issued, to prohibit any act of sabotage, scuttling or contamination of fuels.

    b. All boom defences at all ports and harbours are to be opened and kept open at all times. Where possible, they are to be removed.

    c. All controlled minefields at all ports and harbours are to be disconnected and rendered ineffective.

    d. All demolition charges in all ports and harbour works are to be removed or rendered ineffective, and their presence indicated by appropriate signs.

    e. The existing wartime system of navigational lighting is to be maintained except that all dimmed lights are to be shown at full brilliancy, and lights shown only by special arrangement are to be exhibited continuously. Navigational lights which have been extinguished are to be exhibited as soon as possible with their former characteristics if possible.

    f. All pilotage services are to continue to operate and all pilots are to be held at their normal stations ready for service and equipped with charts.

    g. All small arms, explosives, and war-like stores, in naval barracks and shore establishments, are to be placed in magazines, under guard.

    h. (1) German naval and other personnel concerned in the operation of ports and administrative services in ports are to remain at their stations and to continue to carry out their routine duties.

    (2) German and German controlled naval personnel employed on seaward defence are to comply with the instructions given by the Supreme A1lied Commander.

    (3) A general order is to be given to all German and German controlled naval and pare naval personnel that they are to carry out all orders and instructions given them by the Supreme Allied Commander. All personnel are to be unarmed at all times.

    i. A certificate that the action required under subparagraphs c, d, and e above has been carried out, is to be rendered by the German Authority to the Supreme Allied Commander’s representatives.

  8. a. Sufficient information is required immediately to enable rapid entry to be made into the ports of Venice and Chioggia. This information is to be delivered by the German Authority to the Allied Naval Authorities at the date and time at which the surrender becomes effective and by means which will be decided at the meeting held prior to the signing of the Instrument of Surrender.

    b. For each of the above ports the following details are therefore required:

    (1) Limits, types and laid depths of all minefields in the approaches, and the positions, types and laid depths of all mines in the harbours themselves.

    (2) Positions of obstructions dangerous to navigation inside the harbours and in their approaches.

    (3) The safe routes, if any, leading into these harbours. If no safe routes exist to the harbours themselves, then details of the routes to the nearest suitable beach in each case are required.

  9. The German Authority is forthwith to furnish the Allied Naval Commander-in-Chief with certain information in respect of the undermentioned two special areas and subsequently of the whole of the Mediterranean and the Straits of Gibraltar. This information is to be delivered to the Allied Naval Authorities by means which will be decided at the meeting held prior to the signing of the Instrument of Surrender. The two special areas concerned are:

    Ligurian Sea – Area bounded on the west by meridian of 8°E. South by parallel of 43°30’ N. East and north by the coast of Italy.

    Adriatic Sea – Area bounded on the north, east-and west by the coast of Italy, Istria and Jugoslavia. On the south by parallel of 44°N.

    The information concerned is:

    a. Positions of all minefields, both moored and ground mines, independent and controlled, laid by the Italians or Germans, by all types of minelaying craft including aircraft.

    Details of each mine of group of mines laid is to include:
    (1) Type of mine.
    (2) Number of mines laid.
    (3) Spaces between mines.
    (4) Depth setting.
    (5) Date laid.
    (6) Number and type of anti-sweeping devices laid.
    (7) Types of anti-sweeping devices, if any, including chain moorings, fitted to the mines themselves.
    (8) If snag lines have been fitted to mines.
    (9) Polarity, delay, and number of actuations set on all ground mines.
    (10) Details of the mines themselves, including drawings and photographs of all types of mines and minefittings.

    b. Details of convoy routes, searched channels and approach channels.

    c. Details of,
    (1) Navigational lights which have been destroyed.
    (2) Navigational lights which are in operation, giving details of operation, and by whom controlled.
    (3) Navigational lights which can be put into operation at short notice and their characteristics.

    d. Details of buoys, indicating:
    (1) Buoys remaining in place. If light buoys whether light is working and its characteristics.
    (2) Additional buoys laid, with reason for laying and details including lights, if any.
    (3) Buoys removed.

    e. Details of booms and obstructions, including wrecks dangerous to navigation.

    f. Details of all radio and radar navigational aids including all shore radar stations which could be used for this purpose.

    g. A complete and up-to-date set of charts corrected to the latest information available, and showing all minefields, convoy routes, searched channels, approach channels, buoys, lights, navigational aids, booms, wrecks, obstructions and radar stations.

    h. A complete and up-to-date set of navigational publications corrected to the latest information available.

  10. Pilots equipped as in paragraph 7f, and in addition, provided with the information required by paragraph 85, are to be stationed at suitable rendezvous, at the time and date at which surrender becomes effective, in readiness to meet and lead-in Allied warships to the ports of Trieste, Venice, and Pola. These rendezvous are to be communicated to the Allied Naval Authorities by means which will be decided at the meeting held prior to the signing of the Instrument of Surrender.

  11. The German Authority is to send to the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, at Caserta, forthwith upon the surrender becoming effective, a Senior German Naval Officer from his staff. This officer is to be granted full executive powers by the German Authority to act on his behalf in conformity with any orders and instructions given him by the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, or his representatives.

    The route and method by which this officer is to present himself at the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, will be notified to the German Authority at the meeting held prior to the signing of the Instrument of Surrender.

  12. The German Authority is to furnish forthwith, exact information with regard to the disposition of German and German controlled naval formations and units under his command. Such information is to include the following:

    a. Present locations of all Naval Staffs and Headquarters.

    b. Full details of organisation of German Naval Command in the Mediterranean.

    c. Disposition, state of readiness, and crew lists of all warships, auxiliaries and merchant shipping.

    d. Details of defense plans, including plans and drawings of all naval fortifications, installations and establishments.

    e. Detailed lists of fuel stocks including furnace, diesel, petrol and coal.

  13. The German Authority will cause all Naval Shore Wireless Stations under his command to comply with the following orders:

    a. All wireless transmitting apparatus is to be rendered inoperative by removal of essential parts, but no wireless apparatus or shore station equipment is to be damaged or destroyed.

    b. All callsign, code and cypher systems, including books, documents, files and cryptographic machinery, are to be safely stored and guarded.

  14. Detailed directions as to how and where the information required by the foregoing paragraphs 8, 9, and 10 is to be delivered to the Allied Naval Authorities will be notified separately to the German Authority.

  15. The German Authority will, pending further orders from the Supreme Allied Commander, maintain his own forces from his own resources.



  1. The German Commander-in-Chief Southwest, hereinafter referred to as the “German Authority,” is hereby held responsible for the execution of the following orders.

  2. The German Authority will forthwith cause all aircraft of any kind or nationality whether military, naval, or civil, under the control of the German Authority, or operating in or over the area he controls, to alight at once and remain on the ground, on the water, or aboard ship pending further instructions from the Supreme Allied Commander. The term aircraft includes gliders and balloons.

  3. All German or German-controlled aircraft in the air will be treated as hostile.

  4. The German Authority will prevent sabotage or destruction of any equipment or installations, and will maintain all airfields in readiness for instant use by the Allied Air Forces.

  5. All aircraft will be cleared off runways and parked in recognised dispersal areas.

  6. All aircraft will be disarmed and all wireless equipment rendered inoperative without damage. The guns, bombs, pyrotechnics, ammunition and wireless equipment will be stored under guard in the appropriate storehouses or hangars.

  7. All aircraft will be immobilized by removing the elevators, disconnecting the fuel and oil supply (to each engine, in the case of twin or multiengined aircraft) and draining all fuel and oil tanks into suitable containers.

  8. All aircraft together with the removed elevators, fuel and oil, spare parts, hangars, storehouses, airfield administrative and living accommodation, general airfield equipment, including lighting installations will be safeguarded intact.

  9. The German Authority will send forthwith upon the surrender becoming effective, to the Headquarters of the Air Commander in Chief, MAAF, at Caserta, a Senior German Air Force officer from his staff. This officer will be granted full executive powers by the German Authority to act on his behalf in conformity with any orders and instructions given him by the Air Commander in Chief, MAAF, or his representatives.

    The route and method by which this officer is to present himself at the Headquarters of the Air Commander in Chief, MAAF, is to be notified to the German Authority at the meeting held prior to the signing of the Instrument of Surrender.

  10. The German Authority will forthwith furnish to the Supreme Allied Commander complete information regarding German and German-controlled Air Forces and in particular such details as the Supreme Allied Commander may require concerning the numbers, units, locations, dispositions, stores and equipment of the German and German controlled Air Forces wherever located.

  11. Balloons
    All balloons will be hauled down, deflated, packed and safeguarded intact. Fuel pumps and carburetors will be removed from all winch motors and safeguarded.

  12. Explosives
    Information concerning all booby-traps, mines and other explosive devices on and in the vicinity of the airfields will be furnished immediately on demand to the responsible local Allied authorities. All explosives, including bombs, will be rendered safe by the removal of fuzes and detonators.

  13. All self-destroying devices, whether in aircraft, signals equipment or in any Luftwaffe equipment or installation will be removed.

  14. Personnel
    All personnel of the Luftwaffe and associated air forces will be disarmed and will remain in their camps or at assigned sites until directed otherwise by the representatives of the local Allied Commander. The orders or instructions of any representative of the local Allied Commander will be obeyed.

  15. Motor transport
    All transport tracked or wheeled will be collected together and maintained in good condition in recognised MT parking areas under guard.

  16. Fuel and oil
    Fuel and oil supplies and installations of all types will be safeguarded and handed over to the local Allied Authorities without contamination.

  17. Anti-aircraft
    All anti-aircraft guns, heavy and light, under control of the Luftwaffe will be rendered inoperative by the removal of an essential part of the firing mechanism. The whole equipment will be safeguarded intact.

  18. All parts removed from AA under paragraph 17 above, will be properly prepared for storage, labelled with the number of the appropriate gun, segregated from guns, and safeguarded intact.

    Any spare parts for AA guns held at Luftwaffe units will be segregated from guns and safeguarded intact.

  19. Fire control equipment
    Instruments, directors and computers including radar and all fire control equipment will be concentrated and stored intact.

  20. Searchlights
    All carbon rods will be removed from the projectors. The fuel pumps will be removed from the generators. The carbon and fuel pumps together with all carbon and fuel pump spares will be stored and safeguarded intact.

  21. Small arms
    All small arms will be collected and safeguarded intact.

  22. Gas bombs and equipment
    Normal precautions will be taken against leakage of gas from any gas bombs.

    All gas equipment and decontamination material will be preserved and handed over to the Allied representatives on demand.

    Gas spray containers will be collected and guarded, and where such containers are filled with gas, the normal precautions will be taken against leakage.

  23. Flying bombs
    All stocks of flying bombs will be immobilized by the removal of fuses, detonators, and fuel pumps. The items so removed will be segregated from flying bombs, concentrated and safeguarded intact, and all flying bombs and their equipment, spares and launching sites and facilities will be safeguarded intact.

  24. Rocket-propelled weapons
    All weapons and projectiles propelled by rockets or similar devices will be immobilized by the removal and segregation of essential parts of the mechanism. The parts so removed will be segregated from such weapons and projectiles, concentrated, and guarded, and the weapons and projectiles, their equipment, spares, launching sites and facilities will be safeguarded intact.

  25. Signals equipment

    a. In addition to the requirements of paragraph 6 above, all communications equipment used for code, voice, teletype or other electrical transmission will be rendered inoperative without damage and safeguarded.

    b. All ground and airborne electronic transmitters and receivers of whatever nature or design, whether used for air warning, tracking, identification or flying control will be rendered inoperative without damage and safeguarded.

  26. Call and code signs
    All call and code signs systems used by Germany and/or her Allies in operating Luftwaffe telecommunication systems will be withdrawn from use, and all documents and/or associated coding devices will be stored and safeguarded intact.

  27. Code and cyphers
    All code and cyphers systems, including books, documents and cypher machinery, employed by the Luftwaffe will be withdrawn from use, stored and safeguarded intact.

  28. Secrecy equipment
    All forms of scrambling and secrecy equipment in use on any Luftwaffe telecommunication system will be disconnected and safeguarded intact.

  29. All other Luftwaffe equipment, including that in experimental stations and laboratories, military or civilian, photographic equipment, furniture, will be preserved intact and maintained in good condition. Special care will be taken to ensure the preservation of all documents, including technical manuals, files, plans, maps, card indices, identity documents.

  30. Maintenance of Luftwaffe
    The German Authority will, pending further orders from the Supreme Allied Commander, maintain its own forces from its own resources.

L’Unità (April 30, 1945)

L’esecuzione di Mussolini

Abbiamo avuto la ventura di parlare con l’esecutore della condanna a morte di Mussolini. Egli ci ha narrato seccamente, con poche parole, la fine ingloriosa di un uomo che ha lasciato alla storia ancora le sue parole vili, la sua paura e il suo povero attaccamento alla vita, a costo di qualsiasi vergogna.

Il Comando della 52a Brigata «Luigi Clerici», conscio dell’importanze dei prigionieri catturati, aveva diviso questi ultimi in tre gruppi. Mussolini era stato sistemato con la Petacci in località Giulino di Mezzegre (Tremezzina), provincia di Como, in una casetta di contadini a mezza costa, in una camera senza finestra, guardata da due partigiani.

Entrai con il mitra spianato. Mussolini era in piedi vicino al letto: indossava un soprabito nocciola, il berretto della GNR senza fregio, gli stivaloni rotti di dietro. Lo sguardo era sperduto, gli occhi fuori dell’orbita, il labbro inferiore tremolante: un uomo terrificati. Le prime paro le che pronunciò furono:

– Che casa c’è?

Avevo progettato di eseguire la sentenza in un luogo poco distante dalla casa. Per portarlo fin là dovetti ricorrere a uno stratagemma. Risposi: – Sono venuto a «liberarti».

– Davvero?

– Presto, presto, bisogna fare presto! … C’è poco tempo da perdere…

– Dove sì va?

– Sei armato? – con il tono di offrirgli un’arma.

Rispose: – No, io non ho armi – con il tono di avere compreso la domanda.

Mussolini fece l’atto di uscire. Io lo fermai:

– Prima lei. – La Petacci non riusciva a rendersi conto di che cosa avvenisse, si affrettò affannosamente a cercare i suoi oggetti personali.

– Fa presto, sbrigati…

A questo punto Mussolini fece l’atto di uscire perché non stava più nella pelle. E in realtà uscì prima della Petacci. Uscito all’aperto, Mussolini si trasfigurò, e, voltandosi verso di me, mi disse:

– To offrirò un imperio. – Eravamo ancora sulla soglia della camera. Invece di rispondere a lui dissi alla Petacci.

– Avanti, avanti – e la tirai fuori per un bracciò. La Petacci si affiancò a Mussolini seguiti da me e fecero la mulattiera che scende dalla mezza costa sino al punto in cui era ferma la macchina. Durante il tragitto Mussolini si voltò una volta sola con lo sguardo riconoscente. A questo punto gli sussurrai:

– Ho «liberato» anche tuo figlio Vittorio – (volevo comprendere dalla risposta che avrebbe dato dove poteva trovarsi Vittorio).

– Grazie di cuore, E Zerbino e Mezzasoma dove sono? – domandò.

Risposi: – Stiamo «liberando» anche loro. – Ah! … – e non si voltò più!

Giunti alla è macchina, Mussolini sembrava convinto di essere un uomo libero. Fece il gesto di dare la precedenza alla Petacci, ma io gli dissi:

– Vai tu là. Sei più coperto. Ma con quel berretto di fascista è un po’ una grana…

Mussolini se lo tolse e, battendosi la mano sulla «pelata», disse: – E questa qui? …

– Calcati malto la visiera sugli occhi, allora…

Sì partì. Giunti al posto precedentemente da me scelto (curva della strada la destra e rientro del muricciolo a sinistra, una specie di piazzetta) feci fermare la macchina, facendo segno a Mussolini con la mano di non parlare. E sottovoce, accostandomi allo sportello, gli sussurrai:

– Ho sentito del rumore… Vado a vedere…

Scesi dal, parafango e mi portai fino alla curva. Poi tornai e dissi ancora pianamente:

– Svelti, mettetevi in quell’angolo.

Mussolini, pur obbedendo celermente, non apparve più sicuro, ma tuttavia obbediente, si mise con la schiena al muro al posto indicato, con la Petacci al fianco destro. Silenzio.

Improvviso, pronuncio la sentenza di condanna contro il criminale di guerra:

Per ordine del Comando generale del Corpo volontari della libertà sono incaricato di rendere giustizia al popolo italiano.

Mussolini appare annientato. La Petacci gli butta le braccia sulle spalle e dice:

– Non deve morire.

– Mettiti al tuo posto se non vuoi morire anche tu.

La donna torna con un salto al suo posto. Da una distanza di tre passi, feci partire cinque colpi contro Mussolini, che si accasciò sulle ginocchia con la testa leggermente reclinata sul netto. Poi fu la volta della Petacci.

Giustizia era fatta.

Domani pubblicheremo: «Come sono stati giustiziati i complici di Mussolini».

Innsbrucker Nachrichten (April 30, 1945)

Viele Worte um Nebensachen

In San Franzisko streitet man sich um Vorrechte der Großen und Kleinen

Die neu entstandenen großen deutschen Widerstandslinien

Der Kampf um die Reichshauptstadt tobt weiter

Berlin, 29. April – Durch das Zusammentreffen sowjetischer und anglo-amerikanischer Kräfte im Raume Meißen find nunmehr zwei große deutsche Widerstandslinien entstanden. Die eine erstreckt sich vom Dollart durch Bremen und Hamburg sowie längs der Elbe nach Vorpommern und entlang der Oker bis zum Stettiner Haff. Die andere verläuft am Bodensee durch die nördlichen Ausläufer der Alpen über Augsburg und Regensburg längs der Donau bis in den Raum von Passau. Diese südliche Linie setzt sich nach Norden über den Bayrischen und den Böhmerwald sowie das Sächsische Erzgebirge und den Nordrand der Sudeten bis zur Mährischen Senke fort und verläuft dann durch die Beskiden und die Weißen Karpaten über Brünn bis an den Ostrand der Alpen.

Diesen Hauptwiderstandslinien find im Norden unserer Verteidigungsräume die Niederlande, der Bereich der Danziger Bucht und Kurland noch als Kampffelder vorgelagert.

Das deutsche Volk verfolgt mit atemloser Spannung das Ringen um die Reichshauptstadt. Nie zuvor in der Geschichte des Reiches hat Berlin so lehr im Mittelpunkt des Denkens und Fühlens aller Deutschen gestanden wie in diesen Stunden. Das Ringen in und bei Berlin nahm an Härte noch zu. Der am Adolf-Hitler-Platz, in Charlottenburg und am Alexanderplatz abgeschlagene Feind verlagerte die Schwerpunkte feines Angriffs nach der Potsdamer Straße und dem Belle-Alliance-Platz, wo in den Schuttbergen in dem von anglo-amerikanischen Terrorbomben feit langem zerstörten Stadtgebiet gekämpft wird. Von Nordwesten her trieben die Sowjets ihre Panzerkeile vor, meist zerbrachen sie an zäh verteidigten Sperren. Ein Panzerrudel konnte sich durch die Trümmer der zerstörten Stadtteile in Richtung auf die Spree heranarbeiten. In Gegenstößen drängten unsere Besatzungen die Sowjets immer wieder zurück. Trotz feiner Übermacht und pausenlosem Artilleriefeuer gelang es dem Feind nicht, die Verteidigung aufzusplittern.

Die Anstrengungen der deutschen Luftwaffe, die die Verteidiger Berlins mit Nachschub und Munition versorgt, find ohne Beispiel. Die Piloten der deutschen Flugzeuge, die den Hexenkessel der feindlichen Flakstellungen und die Jagdabwehr der Bolschewisten zu durchbrechen suchen, stellen immer wieder ihr unerhörtes Können und ihren beispiellosen Mut unter Beweis.

Im südlichen Kampfabschnitt griffen unsere Divisionen nach Osten an. Unter stärkster feindlicher Gegenwehr gewannen sie bei Brandenburg und Treuenbrietzen Boden. Unter Abwehr bolschewistischer Angriffe stürmten sie Beelitz, durchbrachen bei Werder feindliche Abschnitte und entlasteten bisher erfolgreich verteidigte Stellungen bei Potsdam. Bei diesen Vorstößen, durch die in Potsdam, Brandenburg und Wittenberge ein keilförmiger Vorsprung entstanden ist, wurden zahlreiche Sowjetpanzer vernichtet.

Zwischen der Havel und dem Stettiner Haff führten die Bolschewisten schwächere vergebliche Vorstöße im Raum von Rathenow, aber schwere Stöße mit teils neu herangeführten Kräften in der Uckermark. Die in breiter Front am Hohenzollernkanal und der Odermündung anstürmenden Sowjets drängten unsere Verbände bei Templin und bei Neu-Brandenburg und auf die Peene bei Anklam zurück.

In Süddeutschland und in der Ostmark steigerten sich die Kämpfe unter Artilleriefeuer zwischen Bodensee und Ammersee. Während zwischen Iller und Lech im Allgäu die Amerikaner mit Teilkräften nach Osten und im Raum von Palau feindliche Panzerspitzen nach Südosten vordringen, blieben die Bolschewisten bei St. Pölten weiter gefesselt. Auch südlich der Alpen stehen unsere Truppen in beweglich geführten Abwehrkämpfen. Nördlich des Ligurischen Apennin und nördlich des unteren Po versuchten die Anglo-Amerikaner, unseren abfetzenden Verbänden die Flanken abzugewinnen und die Marschstraßen zu besetzen. Obwohl die Anglo-Amerikaner dabei von Banden unterstützt wurden, gelang es unseren Truppen, ihre Marschbewegung fortzufegen und für den Gegner kriegswichtige Anlagen rechtzeitig zu zerstören. Zwischen dem Etschknie bei Verona und im Vorfeld bei Venedig verwickelten unsere Truppen den nachdrängenden Feind in schwere Kämpfe und fingen ihn an vorbereiteten Widerstandslinien auf.

Tschungking wird ausgeplündert

Führer HQ (April 30, 1945)

Kommuniqué des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht

Das heroische Ringen um die Reichshauptstadt hält mit unverminderter Heftigkeit an. In erbittertem Häuser- und Straßenkampf halten Truppen aller Wehrmachtteile, Hitler-Jugend und Volkssturm den Stadtkern. Ein Sinnbild deutschen Heldentums! Der am Anhalter Bahnhof entlang der Potsdamer Straße und in Schöneberg eingebrochene Feind wurde von den tapferen Verteidigern zum Stehen gebracht. Fliegerverbände warfen unter aufopferungsvollem Einsatz der Besatzung erneut Munition über der Stadt ab.

Südlich von Berlin stehen unsere zum Entsatz der Reichshauptstad angetretenen Divisionen im Kampfe mit starken bolschewistischen Verbänden, die unter hohen blutigen Verlusten ab gewiesen wurden.

Zwischen Berlin und der Ostsee hat sich die Front in der Linie Neu-Strelitz-Neubrandenburg-Anklam zusammengeschlossen.

In Nordwestdeutschland brachen alle Anstrengungen des Gegners, seinen Brückenkopf bei Leer zu erweitern, zusammen. Auch westlich Oldenburg und nordwestlich Delmenhorst wurden die Briten abgewiesen.

Südwestlich Hamburg warfen die Engländer weitere Kräfte in den Kampf. Ihre Versuche, aus dem Brückenkopf Lauenburg in Richtung Lübeck vorzustoßen, wurden verhindert.

In Niederbayern konnte der Feind zwischen Isar und Donau weiter nach Süden Raum gewinnen. Panzerspitzen stehen nördlich Landshuts sowie zwischen Weiden und Dachau.

In Oberschwaben gingen Augsburg und Kempten verloren. Um die Gebirgseingänge beiderseits des Gardasees und nordwestlich Verona sowie östlich von Brescia sind schwere Kämpfe im Gang.

Die Besatzung von Fiume vereidigt sich tapfer gegen konzentrierte Angriffe von Land und See her. Im Südabschnitt der Ostfront hat sich die Lage gefestigt.

Im Raume um Brünn stellten die Bolschewisten infolge ihrer schweren Verluste ihre Angriffe ein. Nordwestlich Mährisch-Ostrau scheiterten Durchbruchsversuche der Sowjets nach geringem Geländegewinn in heftigen Kämpfen. Die tapfere Besatzung von Breslau hielt auch gestern dem Ansturm bolschewistischer Verbände gegen ihre Westfront stand.

Im sächsischen Raume wurde westlich Bautzens eine feindliche Kampfgruppe umschlossen und vernichtet. Auf der Frischen Nehrung dauern wechselvolle Kämpfe an.

Am gestrigen Tage beschränkte sich die anglo-amerikanische Fliegertätigkeit auf vereinzelte Bomben- und Bordwaffenangriffe über dem Reich.

Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force (April 30, 1945)


PRD, Communique Section

301100B April


(16) CMHQ (Pass to RCAF & RCN)


Communiqué No. 387

UNCLASSIFIED: Allied forces crossed the Leda River near its junction with the Ems River and occupied most of Leer. Good advances were made in the area northwest of Rotenburg where the enemy salient between Bremen and Zeven is being reduced.

Farther east we are mopping up in Lauenburg after crossing the Elbe River upstream from Hamburg against moderate resistance.

Enemy positions southeast of Hamburg and near Lauenberg, and road and rail transport between Lauenburg and Ludwigslust and east of Schwerin, were attacked by fighter-bombers and rocket-firing fighters. Thirteen enemy aircraft were shot down over our Elbe bridgehead.

In Czechoslovakia, our forces captured an airfield one mile northeast of Eger (Cheb) which was strongly defended by 1,000 enemy troops. Three hundred and fifty prisoners were taken.

Northeast of Straubing, in Germany, our troops captured Lam.

Southeast of Regensburg, our armor captured Plattling, entered Haader and advanced eight miles southeast of the town.

Our infantry elements cleared Straubing and reached the vicinity of Fierlbrunn. Other units captured Malmersdorf, entered Schatzhofen and reached the vicinity of Moosburg.

At Moosburg, a POW camp of 27,000 British and American troops was liberated.

Farther west our infantry reached the vicinity of Hirschbach, 22 miles north of Munich.

Our forces captured and cleared the concentration camp near Dachau. Approximately 32,000 persons were liberated. Three hundred SS guards at the camp were quickly overcome.

Our armor entered the outskirts of Munich.

We reached the northern end of the Ammersee. Armored spearheads swung around its southern tip and pushed five miles northward along the eastern shore to Herrsching.

To the south, other armor reached Spatzenhausen. We captured Saulgrub and drove southward into the Bavarian Alps to Oberammergau.

South of Fuessen, we expanded our hold in Austria and advanced to the vicinity of Rossschlaeg.

In the area north of the eastern end of the Constance Lake, our units pushed southeast along a front of nearly 25 miles. Advances of up to 15 miles brought our forces to Leutkirch and Weingarten.

From the Munich area to the Iller Canal, we took 35,890 prisoners, and between the Iller Canal and the Rhine, 3,500, including two generals.

Allied forces in the west captured 74,986 prisoners 28 April.

Several large road convoys mainly moving southward in the area east and south of Pilsen, and a large number of railcars, many of them loaded with motor transport, in the same area were attacked by fighter-bombers, throughout the day more than 900 road vehicles and rail cars were destroyed or damaged.

Enemy strongpoints west of Munich, at Hattenhofen, Mammendorf and Fuerstenfeldbruck, scattered road and rail traffic moving southward from Munich and airfields in the area east and southeast of the city were bombed by other fighter-bombers. Many enemy aircraft were destroyed or damaged on the ground.

Yesterday afternoon, unescorted heavy bombers dropped over 600 tons of food supplies for the Dutch population in enemy-occupied Holland.

In the day’s operations, 17 enemy aircraft were shot down including those destroyed in the Elbe bridgehead area. Nine of our fighters are missing.



“P” - Others

PRD, Communique Section

D. R. JORDAN, Lt Col FA4655


U.S. Navy Department (April 30, 1945)

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 348

Machinato Airfield on Okinawa was captured by troops of the 27th Infantry Division on April 29 (East Longitude Date). Behind aerial bombing, Naval gunfire and heavy artillery preparation, troops of the 96th Infantry Division in the center were advancing southward over hill terrain. Seventh Division infantrymen were driving toward the ridges southeast of Kochi Village.

On April 29, several groups of enemy aircraft attacked our forces in the area of Okinawa. A total of 29 planes were shot down by our fighters and by ship and shore anti-aircraft fire. In addition, combat air patrols of the Fast Carrier Task Forces shot down 21 planes near our surface units on April 29 and four more on April 30.

Carrier aircraft from the Pacific Fleet attacked landing craft, a coastal ship, fuel dumps, barracks and airfield installations on Tokuno, Amami and Kikai Islands, in the Ryukyus on April 29 and 30. Five enemy aircraft were burned on the ground.

Search aircraft of Fleet Air Wing One bombed two small cargo ships in the Ryukyus Area on April 29 leaving one in sinking condition and an­other burning badly. On the same date, planes of the same Wing set three small cargo ships afire in the East China Sea.

Search planes of FlAirWing One on April 30 destroyed a small cargo ship and damaged drydock installations, a coastal vessel, a patrol craft and a number of small craft in the area of Kyushu. Aircraft of the same Wing sank three small cargo ships near Kozu Island south of Tokyo and a number of fishing craft off the south coast of Honshu. On the same date search aircraft of the same Wing sank a number of small craft in Truk Harbor in the Carolines and destroyed six barges at Woleai.

Buildings, gun emplacements and radar installations on Minami Cape, Shumushu in the Northern Kurils, were attacked with rockets and machine gun fire by search aircraft of FlAirWing Four on April 29.

Helldiver bombers of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing made neutralizing raids on enemy bases in the Marshalls on April 29. Aircraft of the same Wing attacked targets in the Palaus on the following day.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 30, 1945)

Nazis to bow to demands, British believe

Reply to Allied terms reported en route

LONDON, England (UP) – A neutral intermediary was reported en route back to Stockholm today with Heinrich Himmler’s reply to Allied demands that Germany surrender to Russia as well as to the United States and Britain.

Most sources believed that if Himmler has sent a reply, it will be a decision to surrender Germany unconditionally to all three countries.

They contended that he would not have made the surrender offer to the United States and Britain alone if he had not been convinced of the utter hopelessness of Germany’s position.

Churchill returns

The Evening News political correspondent said Prime Minister Churchill was understood to have returned to London from the country early today.

Prime Minister Churchill and his colleagues were closeted in a regular meeting of the cabinet late today and the authoritative British Press Association said the “peace position was fully discussed.” Military leaders attended the meeting as usual.

Stockholm dispatches said the intermediary, Count Folke Bernadotte, director of the Swedish Red Cross, met Himmler Sunday in Denmark. He was expected to leave Copenhagen for Stockholm today.

With Germany tottering on the brink of total collapse, rumors of developments within the shaken country came thick and fast from continental sources.

Conflicting rumors

All unconfirmed and many of them conflicting, they included:

  • Adolf Hitler is mad, dying or already dead.

  • German anti-Nazi partisans kidnapped Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.

  • German sailors mutinied at the Baltic port of Rostock and are engaged in fierce fighting with SS troops.

  • A representative of Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Himmler’s deputy for Bavaria and Austria, is meeting with Swiss officials at Vaduz, capital of neutral Liechtenstein. The negotiations may involve the surrender of further portions of Germany or Austria.

  • German Army and Nazi leaders in Denmark are ready to capitulate and withdraw their troops

  • The Quisling government in Norway resigned.

Early end predicted

London newspapers predicted the end of the European war was only days away The London Daily Mail said it may end at any hour.

Much of the situation was expected to be clarified by Mr. Churchill in Commons this week, perhaps Tuesday, He met with his cabinet as usual yesterday.

Count Bernadotte presumably gave Himmler – Gestapo chief, Interior Minister and possible acting Fuehrer of Germany – the Anglo-American refusal to make a separate peace with Germany at their purported meeting in Denmark Sunday.

The diplomatic correspondent of the London Times said that British official quarters believed Himmler’s reply would not pe long delayed. He predicted that it would be a reiteration of Germany’s willingness to surrender, this time to Russia as well as to the United States and Britain.

A Stockholm dispatch to the London Daily Express said Himmler’s original offer made last Tuesday, called for the surrender of Hitler – dead or alive – along with himself and other high Nazis to the Western Allies.

Under other provisions of the offer, the Express said, German troops on the Western Front would way down their arms, those on the Eastern Front would “come to a standstill” and others in Norway and Denmark would retire five miles from the coast and surrender to patriot authorities.

No immunity for Himmler

All London newspapers emphasized that capitulation should not earn immunity for Himmler, possibly the most wanted of all Nazi war criminals next to Hitler, as he was probably hoping.

Suggestions that Hitler may already be dead were bolstered somewhat by two developments. One was the report that Himmler had offered to surrender him “dead or alive” and the other, that the German radio ceased its repetitious claims that the Fuehrer was directing the defense of Berlin.

Only William “Lord Haw Haw” Joyce, the English traitor who broadcasts over the North German radio, still referred to Hitler as being in Berlin.

Death Sunday reported

Some Stockholm dispatches said Hitler died at noon Sunday in his underground headquarters in the Tiergarten with Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels at his side.

The clandestine Radio Atlantic said an announcement of Hitler’s death while “defending Berlin” had been drawn up by the Nazi Party propaganda department, though it was not known when it would be released.

Another Stockholm report said Hitler died “as result of a stroke” last Tuesday. From Switzerland came word that he had been shot dead last week in Berlin.

Washington waits surrender news

WASHINGTON (UP) – The capital awaited further news on the reported German surrender bid today.

Since Saturday night’s premature peace celebration, there had been no sign that any big developments were imminent.

White House Press Secretary Jonathan Daniels said today: “When anything can be said with authority, it will be properly released.”

Proclamation prepared

He said, too, that when there is confirmed official news of a German surrender, “the President will take proper notice of it.” This was in reference to a proclamation which President Truman has prepared and which he will read on the air if and when there is an actual surrender.

Routine activity was reported Sunday at the State War and Navy Departments. There was a mild flurry of excitement when President Truman visited the White House after attending services at Foundry Methodist Church.

Truman at White House

However, the President spent only 25 minutes at the White House, and it has not been made known whether there was any significance in his visit.

There has been no word of any kind here on Stockholm reports that a Swedish Red Cross official, Count Folke Bernadotte, was in contact with Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler for the second time in connection with Nazi attempts to negotiate surrender.

Reports from many quarters, including the official Soviet news agency, TASS, indicated that negotiations were taking place between the Allies and someone in Germany.

Mussolini’s body strung up in Milan, kicked, spat upon by hysterical Italians

Duce, mistress, 16 aides slain
By James E. Roper, United Press staff writer

mussolinidead.up (1)
The last of Mussolini is displayed in a Milan square after execution of the Italian dictator. Armed Partisans try to restrain the crowds. Mussolini’s body lies in a center foreground, with that of his mistress, Clara Petacci, who was also shot, just to the left. The Duce was later hung up feet first at a gas station.

MILAN, Italy – The broken body of Benito Mussolini lay unclaimed beside his slain mistress in the Milan morgue today, dishonored in death by the people he led to empire and ruin.

The fallen Duce died badly in the sight of the Partisan executioners who killed him and his mistress, Clara Petacci, in their hideout on Lake Como last Saturday.

And the people he ruled for two decades paid him their last tribute by hanging his remains head down from the rafters of a gasoline station in Milan’s Loreto Square.

Shot in back

There, for a night and day, they spat upon their fallen leader, shot his body in the back, and kicked his face into a toothless, pulpy mass.

For hours after the body of the executed dictator was brought to Milan with that of his mistress and 16 other slain Fascist leaders. Mussolini lay in a filthy pile of dirt in the center of the square. Then the mob tied wire about the ankles of Il Duce and Clara Petacci and suspended them upside down from the roof of the gasoline station.

Hysterical men and women closed in screaming about the dangling corpses and beat and kicked the dictator’s face into an unrecognizable pulp. His teeth were knocked out and the famed jutting jaw fell over his upper lip.

Dumped into trunk

His mistress skirt was torn off and people spat upon both bodies.

When the mob tired of its ghastly sport, the bodies were taken down and dumped into an open truck. They were carted to the city morgue and the pair were placed on a metal slab in the morgue courtyard.

Someone tilted the death slab upward so the bodies were visible to hundreds of persons still milling about the morgue, peering over the stone and plaster wall.

In contrast to Mussolini’s disfigured features, his mistress’ face remained youthful and beautiful even in death. Her even, white teeth, now splotched with blood, were visible through her parted lips and her dark-brown, curly hair still hung in tidy ringlets.

16 others executed

Her slim torso was covered with an old pair of men’s trousers tossed carelessly over her body. A pink silk garter belt and frilly blue underclothes were exposed.

By the time Mussolini’s body reached the morgue, his jacket had been torn away, revealing his barrel chest encased in a short-sleeved undershirt.

Sharing the morgue with Il Duce and Clara were the bodies of 16 of his henchmen, executed like them by Italian patriots after a “people’s trial.”

Ironically, it was revealed by the Partisan prefect of Milan Province that an order staying Mussolini’s execution pending a more formal trial and forbidding the execution of his mistress was en route to Como at the moment they faced the firing squad.

The prefect said he believed Clara Petacci’s shooting was illegal unless it could be proved she was carrying arms.

Died badly

“Mussolini died badly,” said Edouardo, leader of the 10-man firing squad which sent the dictator to his death.

When he was sentenced to death, the man who had ruined his career through illusions of empire ironically cried, “let me save my life, and I will give you an empire.”

“No, no,” were the last words from Il Duce, who had said “yes, yes” so many times to his Axis partner, Adolf Hitler, He cried his “no’s” as the men of the firing squad raised their rifles to their shoulders.

The execution took place at 4:20 p.m. Saturday near the town of Dongo, on Lake Como. Mussolini was killed at the villa where he had been living since his arrest last Friday with Clara, the Rome doctor’s daughter who wanted to be a movie star.

Tried to escape

Mussolini, the “jackal” to the last, was caught as he attempted to flee to Switzerland in a 30-car convoy, his bulky frame cloaked in a German military overcoat to escape detection.

Edouardo, who commands all the Partisan forces south of the Po, said:

I heard Mussolini was arrested and taken to a villa near Dongo.

None of us wanted Mussolini to be freed or escape to Switzerland so I sent 10 men with an officer to Dongo.

Mussolini was in the cottage on the hill with Signorina Petacci. When he saw Italian officers coming to him, he thought they had come to free him and he embraced his sweetheart.

When he understood he was going to be tried he was shocked. But our men gave them both a trial and condemned them to death.

Offers empire

Then it was that Mussolini, who had dealt death to so many others, offered the empire he didn’t have in exchange for his life. But the firing squad – men from the 52nd Garibaldi Brigade – went ahead with the execution, there at the villa on the hill.

Mussolini did not wear a blindfold. As the squad raised their rifles, he cried “No, no.” A second later he fell from a bullet that entered his left forehead and passed entirely through his head, tearing out part of the skull behind his right ear.

Bodies piled

Edouardo said the 16 others were examined later and shot in the town square at Dongo. They included the brother of Signorina Petacci, who tried to escape. He was shot down as he ran.

“These men died well,” said Edouardo. “Mussolini died badly.”

The others, whose bodies were piled here with Mussolini’s, included:

  • Alessandro Pavolini, former propaganda minister and secretary of state in Mussolini’s Fascist puppet government.

  • Francesco Maria Barracu, undersecretary to the premier.

  • Dr. Paolo Zerbino, minister of the interior.

  • Fernando Messazoma, minister of popular culture.

  • Ruggero Romano, minister of public works.

  • Augusto Liverani, undersecretary of state for communications.

  • Goffredo Coppola, rector of the University of Bologna.

  • Paolo Porta, a Fascist Party inspector.

  • Luigi Gatti, a prefect.

  • Ernesto Daquanno, editor of Stefani News Agency.

  • Mario Nudi, president of the Fascist Agricultural Association.

  • Nicola Bombacci, former Communist.

Rome dispatches said the following were also killed: former Fascist Party secretary Roberto Farinacci, Achile Starace (another former party secretary), movie stars Osvaldo Valenti and Louisa Feriza, former Minister of Interior Guido Buffarini Guidi.

Vito Casalnuova, a colonel in the National Republican Guard, and Pietro Salustri, Mussolini’s personal pilot.

‘Do not hit the medal’

Barracu wore Italy’s highest decoration, the gold medal, and asked the firing squad, “Do not hit the medal.”

Pavolini’s last words were “Viva Italia.”

Edouardo said all the bodies were thrown into a big, closed truck like a moving van and brought to Milan late Saturday. On the way Partisan guards repeatedly stopped the truck and demanded identification papers from the drivers. At one point, overcautious Partisans made the men from Milan get out and stand against a wall. They were going to shoot them before an hour’s argument convinced the suspicious sentries that all was in order.

Duce’s family under guard

By Paul Ghali

COMO, Italy (April 29, delayed) – Mussolini’s wife, Donna Rachele, and his two daughters are under police guard, but have been allowed by Partisans to stay with friends here.

Donna Rachele was carrying $200,000 worth of jewels when the family was captured.

Mussolini’s son, Vittorio, is believed to have fled with the Germans.

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