101127 | ITALY & HUNGARY. Benito Mussolini bronze Medal.

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    101127 | ITALY & HUNGARY. Benito Mussolini bronze Medal. Issued 1928/Year VI (of Fascism). The Matthias Corvinus (Hunyadi Mátyás) Society and the Protector of the new Hungary (50mm, 56.76 g, 12h). By L. de Kuzmick at the Royal Italian mint.

     

    Bare head of Mussolini left / LA "MATTIA–CORVINO" / • A • BENITO • MUSSOLINI •, eagle, with head left and wings spread, standing facing atop fasces; two small coats-of-arms on wings; all within wreath. Edge: Plain.

     

    Choice Mint State. Light brown-bronze, matte surfaces; a few light spots on the obverse. Stern representation of 'il Duce' from early in the Fascist period.

     

    Benito Mussolini rose during the later stages of World War I in Italy, playing upon a desire to return the nation to the opulence and expanse of the ancient Roman Empire. He espoused a form of government known as fascism—its name drawing from the fasces, an Etruscan word for a battleaxe surrounded by a bundle of rods. This ideology sought a cohesion of the workforce in which the goal was the advancement of the state, not the individual or the business. It also sought an expansion of the state geographically through conquest, such as in Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia—a paralleling of the growth around the Mediterranean of the Roman Empire. Mussolini became the youngest Prime Minister in Italy at the time in 1922, and began his fascist agenda with an iron fist. His strong man tactics inspired other far-right totalitarians or the interwar period, such as Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco, and played a role in Italy's close ties with Hitler's Germany in the lead-up to and early years of World War II. Stalled campaigns in 1943 left Italy vulnerable, as she had overextended herself during the previous decade. This resulted in colossal damage to Mussolini's stature, with the Grand Council voting a motion of no confidence in him, along with the king removing him from his role as Prime Minister and placing him in custody. He was later freed by German forces, and installed as the head of a short-lived puppet régime in Northern Italy. Just 19 months later, however, this government collapsed—a sign of what would happen for the other axis powers, Germany and Japan, in the coming months. Mussolini was captured, along with his mistress, in Dongo, and they were then executed in Giulino di Mezzegra, with their bodies subsequently hung from their feet so that their downfall could be observed by the nation.

     

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