|Born||10 Dec 1883|
|Died||18 Dec 1968|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseGiovanni Messe was born near Brindisi. A veteran of WW1, in the next great war he led Italian troops in Ethiopia, Albania, and Greece. From 17 Jul 1941 to 9 Jul 1942, he led a corps of Italian soldiers (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in RĂ¹ssia) in the Eastern Front. During the fighting in Russia, he received the Knight's Cross on 23 Jan 1942. In 1943, he was placed in command of the beleaguered First Italian Army in North Africa. He scored a few tactical victories, but ultimately he was unable to change the tide of the war. He surrendered to the Allies alongside of his German allies on 13 May 1943, a day after his promotion to the rank of Field Marshal.
ww2dbaseAfter Italy exited WW2 in Sep 1943, Messe acted as the chief of staff of the Royal Italian Army until 1945. He retired from the military in 1947 and entered politics, serving as a senator from 1953 to 1955 and then the president of the Italian Veteran Association.
ww2dbaseHe passed away in Rome at the age of 85.
Last Major Revision: Aug 2005
Giovanni Messe Timeline
|10 Dec 1883||Giovanni Messe was born.|
|2 Feb 1943||Ettore Bastico stepped down as the Governor-General of Italian Libya, succeeded by Giovanni Messe.|
|18 Dec 1968||Giovanni Messe passed away.|
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944