The Unconditional Surrender of Italy

  • John Wheeler-Bennett
  • Anthony Nicholls


Discussion of the armistice terms to be imposed on beaten foes had more than academic significance in 1943. Neither of the Allies’ major enemies was even approaching collapse, but martial feeling in Rome was very much more tremulous than in Tokyo or Berlin. The Italians had been led into the war on the mistaken impulse of their erratic dictator. Many of the more intelligent Fascist leaders had regarded this rash action with alarm, for they knew that Italy was not equipped for such a struggle. By the end of 1942 their worst fears had been realized. The American and British armies in North Africa were threatening to link arms. Mussolini had to face the prospect of invasion. He could have little confidence in his ability to repel it. Morale in Italy was sagging. Constant military reverses, the absence of some of their best soldiers on the Russian front, the ill-concealed contempt of the Germans and the new terror of Allied air-raids made it unlikely that there would be any very heroic resistance to a determined Anglo-American assault.


Political Adviser British Prime Minister British Army Ally Force Fascist Regime 
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  1. Documents on American Foreign Relations, ed. L. M. Goodrich and M. J. Carroll (Boston, 1944) vol. v, p. 170.Google Scholar
  2. 13.
    F. W. Deakin, The Brutal Friendship (London, 1962 ), pp. 501 - 2.Google Scholar

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© Sir John Wheeler-Bennett and Anthony Nicholls 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Wheeler-Bennett
  • Anthony Nicholls

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