Skip to comments.Churchill 'Scrapped' Plan to Kill Mussolini
Posted on 03/12/2010 1:28:17 PM PST by nickcarraway
Britain's wartime flying chief Arthur "Bomber" Harris chalked out a "brilliant" plan to assassinate Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini during World War II, but the then PM Winston Churchill rejected it, de-classified documents have revealed.
According to the documents, Harris, the then head of Royal Air Force bomber command, wanted to use the famous Dam Busters to assassinate Mussolini and sought Churchill 's permission to plan the precision strike in 1943.
In fact, the British flying chief wanted the crack 617 Squadron to swoop low over Rome and bomb Mussolini's office and home simultaneously in an attempt to kill "Il Duce" and crush Italian support for Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. But Churchill vetoed the plan as he feared the bombers would hit historical or civilian targets, the Daily Express newspaper reported.
The documents added the 617 Squadron was "manned by experts and is kept for special ventures of this kind".
Like the one at 10 Downing St?
‘bomber’ Harris has been called many things...but til now ‘brilliant’ wasn’t one of them.
Harris is generally considered to have been barking mad by the end of the war. In 1943? Who knows.
Should of sent the Incorrigible bastards.
I thought the same thing. Churchill probably thought this buffoon would bungle the raid.
Of course Churchill wouldn’t allow it. There has been a very long standing tradition of not targeting enemy leaders. It is expected that not engaging in leadership assassination would be reciprocated. I’m sure its a current policy as well. Dying is only for the peasants, don’t you know?
617 Squadron, if I remember correclty, skipbombed the Roer Dams, and sank the battleship TIRPITZ using “Tall Boy “ bombs. So they had the expertise. But that being said, why would Harris want to kill Mussolini instead of Hitler? Easier to hit Bertschegarten, and the Chancellory, and Hitler was a much more important target than the “Moose”.
Reagan in Libya sorta changed the idea. A certain leader over there still shakes in his boots thinking how close he came to pissing off a real American leader.
Churchill feared that Mussolini would be replaced by someone competent.
Thinking of Slaughter House Five
Harris did not have the security clearance to know about ULTRA, so he didn’t realize how much information the Allies knew about how bombing was effecting the German war effort.
I kinda figure Mussolini was pretty much not worth the time and effort by July of 1943 when this plan was suggested - he had accured so much win by then that the Italians booted him on the 25th.
*Mussolini has been eliminated.*
Roosevelt: gj Patton
Hitler was doing far too good a job making the Germans lose the war faster than they would have done if someone with a less dogmatic strategic mind was in charge.
An SOE plan to assassinate Hitler, called Operation Foxley was abandoned for this very reason....
He wasn’t losing the war any faster than Mussolini, who went into WW II with tanks that needed sandbags and a lot of inferior equipment [and generals and admirals]. And since Germany was the principal British opponent [by ‘43 Mussolini was a sock puppet], going after Benny instead of Adolf makes no sense, assuming an assassination attempt was going to made.
Perhaps they took the view that Italy’s alliance with Nazi Germany was very much Mussloni’s personal policy.
Italy’s alliance with Nazi Germany collapsed very quickly after Mussolini’s downfall. Even if Mussolini was an incompetent boob at running Italy’s war effort, the fact that he was keeping Italy in a war the Italians didn’t want to be fighting made him dangerous enough to be consider taking him out...
He had access to the recon photo’s before and after, not to mention the casualty figures. Even when it become exceedingly clear his strategy was an abysmal failure, he refused to acknowledge it.
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