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Italy

Please take the time to enjoy a small selection of the artifacts that we have on display at the Museum of World War II. Every artifact in our collection has its own history, and ties to human lives. Each artifact has a small section of its story told here.

You can use this map to jump to any section of the Museum of World War 2 to view a selection of the artifacts displayed there.

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This section contains artifacts specifically about Italy and its role in World War 2. The role of Italian propaganda in promoting  Benito Mussolini and his alliance with Adolf Hitler is prominent in the various artifacts, including a tapestry commemorating Hitler's visit to Rome. Propaganda leaflets fired over Allied troops are particularly graphic and Mussolini's letters very colorful in content. Letters of Eisenhower and Rommel concern the Allied invasion of Sicily and are exhibited with the original invasion plans. The collection also includes George Patton's draft of his demands for the surrender of Palermo and the original carbon copy of the "Conditions of Armistice," signed by the Italians and the Americans.

PLEASE NOTE: All firearms displayed at the Museum of World War II have been rendered inoperable.

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Il Duce on horseback Mussolini on horseback The role of Italian propaganda in promoting  Benito Mussolini and his alliance with Adolf Hitler is prominent in the various artifacts, including a tapestry commemorating Hitler's visit to Rome. Propaganda leaflets fired over Allied troops are particularly graphic and Mussolini's letters very colorful in content. Letters of Eisenhower and Rommel concern the Allied invasion of Sicily and are exhibited with the original invasion plans. The collection also includes George Patton's draft of his demands for the surrender of Palermo and the original carbon copy of the "Conditions of Armistice," signed by the Italians and the Americans.
 

BENITO MUSSOLINI

Mussolini, 1908. The debt-ridden and unemployed future dictator writes: "Life in this semi-wild village of my birth is beginning to weigh on me, and to get away from it I got an idea...."
 
Mussolini, autograph manuscript, May 29, 1937. On the eve of the Second World War, Mussolini belligerently reviews Italy's military strength and discusses a proposed armament conference with Roosevelt. Mussolini's ration card while a prisoner on the island of Ponza in 1943. Il Duce had been arrested on July 26 and was immediately taken to Ponza for one week, then moved to other locations. He was rescued by Hitler's commandos on September 12.
 
Three months after his rescue by German commandos, and his installation as head of a puppet government,  Mussolini writes to his Minister of War discussing at length his opinion of uniform decorations. December, 20, 1943: "Better little and unmistakable than much and ambiguous."
 
Tapestry commemorating the visit to Italy of Adolf Hitler, 1937 Uniforms worn by an Italian soldier
 
Italian War Posters
 
General George S. Patton's operational map for the invasion of Sicily. Allied plans for the invasion of Sicily
 
Gen. George S. Patton's first draft of his demands for the surrender of Palermo: "...Failure on your part to accept this demand immediately will result in the attack by ground and sea by my superior forces and the destruction of Palermo..."
 
Gen. Eisenhower to his wife, August 8, 1943: "Yesterday we polished off Sicily.  I wish we could have taken a bit less time at the job--but it was a fine feat of soldierly accomplishment, nevertheless."
 
Signed copy of Italy's "Conditions of Armistice" Sicily, September 3, 1943
 
Pen used by King Victor Emmanuel to sign Italy's armistice with the Allies.
 
German propaganda to Allied soldiers
 
Allied propaganda to Italian soldiers