America at war! (1941–) – Part 5

Editorial: The bum of bums

In times of war or peace, when it comes to who is history’s No. 1 scoundrel, gangster or phony, as you may choose to call him, you can always start an argument and get a lot of nominations.

To avoid too much debate about this one, and to allow a little latitude, we employ racetrack parlance and assert that Benito Mussolini will always be in the money for win, place or show.

Anyway, in our book, he will at least tie in a photo finish for first in pusillanimity, past, present or future.

His outstanding qualification for that rating is the way he played safe until convinced that Germany had won the war. He believed he was on a cinch when, right after Dunkirk, he stuck the knife into the back of his neighbor. He considered that he was taking no chance, not risking even what Hitler had risked.

Winston Churchill perhaps described him best as the “tattered lackey.”

He was the world’s greatest exhibitionist. He is now being exhibited, but not on a balcony.

So endeth that chapter.

Editorial: Press endangers conference

Editorial: $50,000 worth of ‘honor’

Editorial: Another Yalta violation

Edson: Fumed Oak plan for an UNNOMP at San Francisco

By Peter Edson

Ferguson: Fidelity and feuds

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Background of news –
Cabinet changes

By Bertram Benedict

Millett: Wartime experiences ‘reform’ conversation

‘Scarce as nylons’ gives the idea
By Ruth Millett

Gimbel sales hit all-time high

Net income rises to $5,086,826

G.I. insurance to cost U.S. over $1 billion

95% of servicemen take out policies
By Ned Brooks, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Liquor holiday barred by WPB

Landing at Hong Kong expected by Japs

WITH CHINESE FORCES ON THE WESTERN HUNAN FRONT (UP) – The Japs are preparing for a possible American landing at Hong Kong after the Battle of Okinawa, high American officers said today.

The enemy has stationed at least 350,000 troops along a corridor from Canton to Hong Kong, the officer estimated.

Nearly 100,000 Jap troops have made progress in a drive towards the 14th U.S. Air Force airfield at Chihkiang in Hunan Province. If the Japs knock out Chihkiang, they can keep the Hankow railway repaired for use in moving troops to Hong Kong. The Americans would have to land many more troops at Hong Kong if Chihkiang falls than would be necessary at present.

Duranty: Russian realism

By Walter Duranty

Stokes: Hopeful aspects

By Thomas L. Stokes

Othman: White House OK

By Fred G. Othman

Maj. Williams: Post-war airlines

By Maj. Al Williams

An adventurer’s career ends –
‘About time,’ Romans say of Mussolini

Duce first of modern dictators
By J. Edward Murray, United Press staff writer

ROME, Italy – Il Duce was dead, disgraced, and defiled today, and the Italian people from premier to peasant took the news with satisfaction.

The Vatican reportedly received with coolness the news of Mussolini’s summary trial and execution, but throughout the rest of Rome there was only rejoicing.

Unimpeachable Vatican sources told the United Press the Holy See felt Mussolini should have had a more formal trial. The revilement of his body also displeased church circles. American Monsignor Walter Carroll was due to leave for Milan today to bring back a report on the entire episode.

No regret

No such niceties bothered the Italians who had lived so long under the Dictator’s yoke. The news was first flashed to a huge crowd gathered in the Piazzo Santi Apostoli to celebrate the liberation of North Italy. That is only a block from the Piazza Venezia, where the balcony was now bare of the blackshirt for good.

The excited crowd almost mobbed two news vendors who shouted “Mussolini executed.” A United Press correspondent who circulated through the crowd reported the only regret expressed was because Rome did not have the privilege of trying and executing Mussolini.

Premier Ivanoe Bonomi said:

The career of an adventurer who has been gambling with his life and with the destiny of his country has tragically ended. Fortunately, the country is not dying and will revive.

‘About time’

Mario Luzzi, bank clerk, wanted no grief on his former dictator.

“About time. He already was a stinking corpse,” said Luzzi.

“He deserved execution. It was overdue,” agreed shopkeeper Giuseppe Marni.

It was considered poetic justice that the mortal remains of Mussolini were taken for all to see to Milan, where his Fascism was born 26 years ago.

By that time Mussolini, son of a country village blacksmith, had already had a varied career as a soldier, Socialist, editor and teacher. From his birth on July 29, 1883, at Dovia di Predappio in Romagna, Mussolini pursued a relatively peaceful career until 1904. In that year he was expelled from Switzerland for political activity.

Jailed once

Mussolini returned to Italy and divided his time between school teaching and Socialism. He was jailed once for his part in a farmers’ strike. In 1909, he founded a newspaper called The Class Struggle. Three years later, he became editor of the Socialist daily, Avanti.

When the First World War began, Mussolini abandoned his Socialist and pacifist ideas. He gave up his post on Avanti and founded his own paper, Il Popolo Romano. In 1915, he was arrested for making a speech urging Italy to enter the war on the side of the Allies.

Mussolini joined the army and his war record was a good one. He was wounded several times, mentioned in dispatches frequently, and ended as a sergeant.

Started in 1919

Fascism was born in March of 1919, when Mussolini founded the first “Fasci” and was first called “Il Duce.” By 1922, he had a million followers and was able to declare that the Italian government would “either be given to us or we shall take it.”

That was October 24. Four days later from Milan, where his battered corpse had returned today, began the blackshirt march on Rome, a march in which Mussolini himself did not take part. A frightened King the next day invited Mussolini to form a new cabinet.

Mussolini bullied and beat his way to power. Where his balcony speeches sometimes failed, castor oil or rubber hoses rarely did. the murder of the socialist leader, Giacomo Matteotti, showed the world. But Mussolini went on his colorful swaggering way.

Signed Vatican pact

His first big diplomatic victory was when he healed the historic rift between Italy and the Vatican with the Lateran Treaty in 1929. His next was when he went to war with Ethiopia and got away with it. The League of Nations delayed in applying sanctions until it was too late. Mussolini’s dream of empire was being realized.

He supported Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and his troops took a terrible whipping at Guadalajara.

Invaded Albania

Mussolini, as the first of the modern dictators, at one time treated Adolf Hitler as something of a pupil. But the master was soon outstripped, and when the Axis partnership was formed, Mussolini was the junior member.

Il Duce’s first suggestion in World War II was against Albania in 1939. Then came his “stab in the back” against fallen France in 1940. Those were his last victories. The invasion of Greece was a failure. The Italian armies were beaten in Africa.

When the Allies invaded Sicily, Mussolini was through. His government collapsed on July 25, 1943, and he was imprisoned. On September 12, 1943, he was rescued by German parachutists and taken to Germany, a beaten, broken man. His attempt to form a “new Fascist republic” in Northern Italy was pathetic.

Around him he gathered the old cronies of his Rome days and his mistress, young, pretty, slender Clara Petacci – the same people whose bodies were tossed in the pile with his own yesterday.

Bluster gone

But the old blustering Mussolini was gone. He was a hollow-eyed, tired-looking man. at the height of his career, Mussolini had been built up as a great sportsman. Once for the edification of American newsmen, he played half a set of tennis against opponents who wanted to let him win but couldn’t, and it was announced he had trimmed them.

One wide-eyed chronicler once reported that Mussolini liked Rome, his daughter Edda, children, horses, folk dances, and fortune telling. He disliked cats, rich men, beards, mummies, and old women.

He didn’t dislike young women, and his notorious love affairs did as much as anything to discredit him with his predominantly Catholic countrymen. His last mistress, the one who died with him, he met on a beach and kept in a villa near Rome.

Son-in-law slain

His wife, Rachele, was kept in the background throughout his life. they had five children, Edda, Vittorio, Romano, Anna Maria and Bruno. The latter was killed in a plane crash.

For marrying Edda, Count Galeazzo Ciano was made Italian Foreign Minister. For denying Il Duce after his downfall, he was executed.

Vittorio was reported with his father after his flight from Milan last week, but the dispatches today did not mention his whereabouts. Signora Mussolini tried to cross into Switzerland with Romano and Anna Maria, both in their teens. Edda is already in Switzerland with her longtime lover and newly-taken husband, Count Pucci.

Bucs meet Cards at home tomorrow

Roe, Strincevich snap Cub jinx with double victory in Chicago

Hope for Red Sox –
Ex-soldier wins shutout in major test

Veterans may apply for disability pension

Falstaff ought to write a poem about OPA

Poor guy’s diet all red meat
By Si Steinhauser

Reds ridicule mercy pleas of Pope Pius

Deny intending to destroy Germans