Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Mussolini: Commander in Chief (June 1940-January 1943)

Written by: on February 20, 2021




dreaming only of seeing Fascist

glory on the battlefield.


Outdated military,

scant troops and supplies,

accurate information withheld from

Il Duce out of fear of punishment-

Italy struggled at war’s onset.


Intertwined and tangled


with Germany,

the love affair with Hitler endured

despite Italy’s military defeats.

Positional survival

now dependent upon

the illusion of control.


Germany moved into Italy.

Desperately tired,

physically ill,

slowly deteriorating,

Mussolini becomes a

political puppet.


Two years into war

Mussolini was but walking dead:

eyes sunken, skin sagging,

movement laborious,

a zombie man.[1]


Food supplies decreased,

stomachs rumbled,

hatred of Germans,

of Fascists,

of war



Heels dug in,

Mussolini blamed

everyone and everything

for Italy’s failures.

Pride trumps

asking for help.

Attempts at public

deception increased.


In time, smoke dissipated

and mirrors shattered



incompetence of

the Fascist government,

the Italian military,

the once god-like

man Mussolini.


The war,

the pain,

the mounting defeats

pronounced and prolonged.

The fall of Il Duce




[1] Christopher Hibbett. Mussolini: The Rise and Fall of Il Duce. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 1962, 2008) 127-143.

[2] Ibid., 146-159.

About the Author

Darcy Hansen

5 responses to “Mussolini: Commander in Chief (June 1940-January 1943)”

  1. John McLarty says:

    This is a powerful reflection. It’s a poor comparison, but your post called to my mind the pride of my home state and what happens when we’re vulnerable because of that pride. When our maverick sense of independence, our “we’re Texas” mindset, our belief either that nothing bad will ever happen here or if something bad happens, we’ll just beat it back causes us to neglect proper maintenance and snicker at preventative preparation as “sissy stuff,” only to see the catastrophe play out, and learn later how much worse it almost was, it seems like a good time to humble ourselves, admit our failures and weakness, and begin to work together. Sadly, I fear we’ll double-down on the blame and the conspiracies, and the mistrust will divide us even further. Our problems aren’t the result of the failed leadership of one person, but we all bear some responsibility for our idolatrous sense of superiority and invulnerability. That the state of Oklahoma endured colder temps and greater amounts of snow, yet never had to resort to rolling blackouts last week should be all the motivation any Texan should need to recognize our need for repentance!

    • Darcy Hansen says:

      John, thanks for taking time to read and respond to my late post. It has been a long week in both our states. I’m wondering if the above is part of your Sunday sermon this week? I think that would be a tough one to preach amongst all that TX hubris. How do you begin to awaken those around you to the prideful arrogance and entitlement that surfaced so distinctly this past week? Personally, I heard it in my aunt’s comments, as she lives in Austin, TX. Her level of frustration with state and local leadership was exceedingly high. When I asked her about her emergency preparedness, she was mostly silent. In OR, emergency preparedness is always on the radar. We are highly encouraged to have supplies and equipment on hand (2 weeks-1 month worth) in the event of an emergency. This past year has given us many opportunities to shore up those resources. It is way easier to pass blame than to take responsibility. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be adding to my emergency kit so next time we are better prepared. I hope Texans will do the same, and while doing it, maybe they will do as you suggest, take time to repent from their prideful, idoloterous ways. Actually, it seems Americans in general need to do that- myself included.

  2. Greg Reich says:

    I am reminded of times in my life I pushed away wisdom and pressed into my own desires. It always started out smooth but it soon became a dungeon. A place of chaos and darkness, that eventually brought me to my knees longing for it to be over. Eventually I came to the end of myself and the Spirit of God would enter in. As you said in your blog, the smoke clears, the mirror is shattered and reality is what’s left. Thank God for Jesus!

  3. Shawn Cramer says:

    Only you, Darcy, could pull something like this off. Your line, “smoke dissipated and mirrors shattered” gives me hope that truth does prevail over time. How long, O Lord?

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