On this day in history: Benito Mussolini was executed

On April 28 1945, former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress were captured and executed at the Swiss Border.

On this day in 1945, “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were shot and killed by Italian partisans while attempting to flee to Switzerland.

The 61-year-old deposed former dictator of Italy was installed by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet government in northern Italy during the German occupation toward the close of the war.

Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler on Review Stand

As the Allies fought their way up the Italian peninsula, defeat of the Axis powers all but certain, Mussolini considered his options. Not wanting to fall into the hands of either the British or the Americans, he fled to a neutral country in disguise.

His disguise failed at the Swiss Border where he tried to slip in with some German soldiers. Mussolini and Petacci were shot and their bodies sent to Milan.


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