(1883–1945), Italian Fascist statesman, prime minister 1922–43; known as Il Duce (‘the leader’); full name Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini. He founded the Italian Fascist Party in 1921. He annexed Abyssinia in 1936 and entered the Second World War on Germany’s side in 1940. Forced to resign after the Allied invasion of Sicily, he was rescued from imprisonment by German paratroopers, but was captured and executed by Italian communist partisans.
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