Vittorio Emanuele III
|Born||11 Nov 1869|
|Died||28 Dec 1947|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseBorn to King Umberto I of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele III became the King of Italy on 29 Jul 1900. His name was anglicized as Victor Emmanuel III. Although he devoted his early career as monarch to his own form of democracy, his 1922 appointment of Benito Mussolini to the position of prime minister sabotaged most of his own efforts. Mussolini transformed the Italian government to a totalitarian leadership. His supporters claimed that the king appointed the fascist to a position of power because it, at the time, was the best for the welfare of the Italian people. Considering the years of political instability in Italy, some argued that Vittorio Emanuele was a favorable short-term alternative. The rise of Mussolini, however, also effectively ended the king's actual authority over his country, rendering Vittorio Emanuele into a puppet figure.
ww2dbaseOn 5 May 1935, Mussolini succeeded in conquering the Empire of Abyssinia, and four days later he crowned his puppet king as the Emperor of Abyssinia, though not all nations in the world acknowledged this title. On 5 May 1941, Vittorio Emanuele renounced this title after Abyssinia was liberated by British troops. Similarly, he was crowned King of Albania in 1939, but many governments challenged the legitimacy of the title. Despite Vittorio Emanuele's popularity early during WW2, his popular support slowly waned as Italy's position in the war turned for the worse. His lack of opposition for Mussolini's anti-Semitic laws caused him to lose support among Jewish military officers and many citizens, while fleeing Rome in 1943 in the face of Allied advance marked the end of any kind of popular support for him.
ww2dbaseAfter the war ended for Italy, Vittorio Emanuele was well aware of the lack of support for his reign; as a result, he yielded his authority to Crown Prince Umberto by granting him the title of Lieutenant General of the Realm. On 9 May 1946, he abdicated the throne, and crowned Prince Umberto as King Umberto II, who would become the last king of Italy. Vittorio Emanuele was widely criticized for Italian monarchists for his failure in the handling of the Fascist downfall, which led to the end of monarchy in Italy as the form of government.
ww2dbaseVittorio Emanuele passed away in 1947.
Last Major Revision: Dec 2005
Vittorio Emanuele III Timeline
|11 Nov 1869||Vittorio Emanuele III was born.|
|8 Aug 1943||King Vittorio Emanuele III decreed that Italy was under a state of siege.|
|12 Apr 1944||Realizing his earlier support of Mussolini's government was viewed with suspicion by the Allies, King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy transferred most of his power to Crown Prince Umberto, though he held on to the throne.|
|28 Dec 1947||Vittorio Emanuele III passed away.|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945