Rodolfo Graziani

Rodolfo Graziani

Rodolfo Graziani was an Italian officer, who served for his nation in both world wars. After the First War, Graziani was dispatched to northern Africa, particularly commanding the Italian army, for defending the colonial interests ever ruthlessly over the local population. He so became a colonial governor and eventually the Commander-in-Chief for the entire region, although he eventually was defeated by the British desert forces. Back in Rome, he became Defense Minister of the Italian fascists for the rest of the war, and so he ended up incarcerated by the allied forces in the post-war years.

Early lifeEdit

Rodolfo Graziani was born at Filettino, in the province of Frosinone, Italy.

During World War IEdit

Rodolfo Graziani served in Libya and then in Europe, at the Italian front; he was wounded twice[1], and he became the youngest colonel of the Royal Italian Army.

At LibyaEdit

In 1921, Rodolfo Graziani was dispatched back to Libya, for commanding the Italian forces there. Particularly, he dealt with the Senussi rebel faction; by Graziani's Italian forces, the prisoners were reportedly kept in inhuman internment, where tens of thousand perished. Thus, Graziani was also known either as the pacifier of Libya by the Italians or as the butcher of Fezzan by the local Muslims.

Rodolfo Graziani became an authority of the Italian Cyrenaica, first as its Vice-Governor (1926-1930), then as its Governor (1930-1934).

At the Italian Somaliland and EthiopiaEdit

Then, Rodolfo Graziani was appointed Governor-General of the Italian Somaliland (1935-1936).

Early[1] during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War (1935-1936), Graziani was promoted to become a Maresciallo d'Italia (Italian Marshal), while he was commanding the southern front; his forces invaded Ethiopia, and he commanded the whole Italian Army in the battles of Genale Doria and Ogaden.

Consequently, Graziani was subsequently appointed Viceroy and Governor General of Ethiopia (1936-1937). After an assassination attempt (1937), he ferociously repressed the local population, and so Graziani was once again known as the butcher of Ethiopia. Disregarding, for the fascist Italy, Graziani was the most renowned figure of Northern Africa.[1]

From 1939 to 1941, Graziani was designated Chief of Staff of the Italian Royal Army.[1]

During the World War IIEdit

After the World War II began, in 1940 Rodolfo Graziani was appointed Commander-in-Chief for the entire northern Africa and also Libyan Governor again.

Then, the Italian fascist regime commanded Graziani, so he should invade Egypt with the Tenth Army, for the deadline of August 8. Graziani then hesitated to comply with his largely afoot forces, about facing the British tanks, but he eventually proceeded on September 9; Graziani's forces gained some terrain, enough to mount a series of fortifications, but they were crushed during the Operation Compass. Thus, in March, 1941, Graziani renounced to his military command, then being recalled to the Italian peninsula.[1]

Graziani also was the sole Marshal remaining loyally to the original authorities of the Italian fascism after the coup of the Grand Council of Fascism. With the start of the Italian Social Republic, in 1943 Graziani was appointed Defence Minister of the Nazi-puppet new Fascist regime, and so he supervised the development of the Italo-German Army Group Liguria.

At the post-warEdit

Judged by high treason with the Nazis and imprisoned after the war in 1945, Rodolfo Graziani stayed for some days at the prison of San Vittore Olona, at Milan, but the authorities started fearing some possible assassination or lynching; thus, Graziani was then brought to Northern Africa, by the Anglo-American forces. More safely in 1946, Graziani was definitively brought back to Italy, into the prison of Procida.

In 1950, Graziani was sentenced by another military court, to nineteen further years of prison, on his collaboration with the Nazis; disregarding, only some months were accomplished, before Graziani was released.

Disregarding, then Graziani actively joined those surviving political forces, which still were pro-fascism.[1]

Death & legacyEdit

Rodolfo Graziani passed away in Rome, 1955.

In Lion of the Desert (1981), the role Graziani was incarnated by Oliver Reed.


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