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Field Marshal Emilio De Bono

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Field Marshal Emilio De Bono

He attempted to achieve an armistice with the Allies and change the Italian position in the war. Without full understanding, Badoglio’s strategy ruined his standing with the anti-fascists that criticized him for not having restored the democratic freedoms and the removal of the regime’s protagonists, and also that of the radical Fascists that accused him of disassembling the Fascists institutional framework that lasted 20 years.

De Bono was one among many Italians, monarchists, republicans, Fascists and anti Fascists, that did not understand the cultural wave gripping Italy.

On 30th of July he wrote: “ I never felt as Fascist as now”. Being afraid of a political communist outcome due to the Italian political difficulties, he took an anti-revolutionary stand. While in Rome on the 9th of September, he presented himself to the Marshal Caviglia, who was trying to control the unraveling situation after the transference of the King and Badoglio to Brindisi. He criticized Badoglio’s decisions during the armistice, calling it “maramaldesco” (“the monarchy is screwed down”).

After the conclusion of the Battle of Rome, De Bono tried to contact Mussolini who had just been released from Gran Sasso on the 12 of September. It appears that he received vague promises of a safe reception. But he decided to join neither the Southern Kingdom nor the Fascist Republic.

He was arrested on 4 of October 1943 and due to his age, transferred to the Civil Ospital of Verona.  De Bono was prosecuted in a special court set up by the Fascist Republican Party’s Congress as a supporter of Grandi’s statement and sentenced to death for treason. In the appeal for grace he highlighted that he could not accept such an infamous accusation. Despite this, he was executed with Ciano, Pareschi, Marinelli etc. on 11 of January 1944.

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