1945: Benito Mussolini Arrested while Trying to Escape from Italy

1945: Benito Mussolini Arrested while Trying to Escape from Italy
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Mussolini and the Quadrumviri during the March on Rome in 1922

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 27 April 1945
  • Mussolini was arrested by Italian communist partisans just a few kilometers before the Swiss border.

On this day, when World War II was drawing to a close, fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was arrested while trying to escape to Switzerland. 

He was arrested by Italian communist partisans, in the town of Dongo on Lake Como, just a few kilometers from the Swiss border. 

Mussolini’s plan was to escape from Italy to Switzerland and from there by plane to Spain. 

When he was arrested, Mussolini was apparently disguised in a German military uniform, but the partisans nevertheless managed to identify him.

With him were his mistress Clara Petacci and about 15 ministers and senior government officials. That was not the first arrest of Mussolini. 

The previous time he had been arrested by the order of the very king of Italy, but German commandos, led by the famous Otto Skorzeny, managed to free him in an impressive guerrilla action. 

This time, however, there was no salvation for Mussolini. The next day partisans killed him and his mistress, as well as the members of his entourage.

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