Who's Who - Rodolfo Graziani

Rodolfo Graziani Rodolfo Graziani (1882-1955) became Italy's youngest colonel during World War One and enjoyed a prominent post-war military political career up to and during World War Two, after which he was convicted of high treason.

Graziani's First World War service took him first to Libya and then to the Italian Front where he became the army's youngest colonel while twice suffering wounds.

Graziani's post-war career saw him rise to prominence.  After serving in Libya for twelve years from 1921 he was appointed governor of Italian Somaliland in 1935.

Promoted Marshal in the wake of his role in the Italo-Ethiopian War he subsequently served as Ethiopian Viceroy from 1936-37.  Although reputed to be his country's most renowned desert warrior he nevertheless utilised brutal pacification tactics.

In 1939 Graziani was appointed Italian army Chief of Staff and the following year Governor of Libya.  Despite his reputation Graziani's force was thoroughly routed by the British under Sir Archibald Wavell during the Libyan campaign of 1940-41 with the result that he resigned his command following a recall to Italy.

After the Italian armistice of 1943 Graziani was appointed Minister of Defence in Mussolini's German-supported administration.  With the end of the war Graziani was placed on trial in 1945 and charged with high treason for his collaboration with the Nazis post-1943.

Following a second trial he was finally convicted in 1950 by a military court and sentenced to 19 years in prison.  Nevertheless released after only a few months he later became active in the Italian neo-fascist movement.

He died on 11 January 1955 in Rome.

The first zeppelin raid on London was on 31 May 1915.  Earlier raids in January 1915 had avoided London.  The London raid resulted in 28 deaths and 60 injuries.

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