It’s April 27, 1945. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, “Il Duce,” is fleeing for Switzerland with his escort and a unit of German soldiers. The 61-year-old is also joined by his 33-year-old lover, Clara Petacci. The convoy is then halted by Italian partisans, on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como. Despite masquerading as a German soldier, Mussolini is recognized. His grim fate is sealed, as is Petacci’s.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was born in 1883. He began life in the Italian country town of Predappio, south-east of Bologna. The future leader would be the first born of the three children of Alessandro and Rosa. His father, a keen socialist, plied his trade as a blacksmith. His mother was a teacher and devout Catholic.