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Mussolini's Fateful Alliance With Germany

            Benito Mussolini was a dictator and the leader of the Italian Fascist movement. Mussolini's reign of terror, as he referred to it, failed because numerous mistakes were made on his part during his career. One of these mistakes was his agreement to form an alliance with Adolf Hitler and the German Third Reich. In essence, Italy was a historical follower; the government jumped onto the Allied bandwagon when it was clear they would win World War I and later switched sides in order to join the Axis Powers when World War II began. The division of war reparations and territorial gains at the culmination of World War I improved the conditions of three of the four Allies to include England, France, and the United States. Italy, however, was not integrated into these benefits, which were outlined under the Treaty of Versailles. Because of this, the Italian population and their representatives at Versailles felt cheated. This feeling, Mussolini's power-hungry attitude, and his belief that Italy should be a superpower in Europe, are what supported his decision to ally with Hitler in what would become one of the biggest mistakes of his reign as a dictator. Dennis Mack Smith, author of Mussolini, reminds us that Mussolini believed Italy and Germany should develop as the "axis- around which the rest of Europe would collectively revolve. .
             It was by the fall of 1937 that Mussolini had visited Germany, and in spite of several nagging doubts, had nearly made of his mind to address the issue of formalizing the pact between Germany and Italy. Hitler put on such a display of military grandeur that Mussolini became convinced that Germany was rising in both power and prestige throughout Europe. He felt certain that Hitler was his most advantageous choice with whom to form an ally. How could the Nazis ever fail, with their efficient military skills and professional organization? Subsequently, Nazi and Fascist leaders met to discuss and "harmonize plans- in "preparation for war.

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