Comment by the Churchill Centre: Many would say Churchill did the right thing, in view of Mussolini’s value to the Allied war effort. As Churchill said when Hitler escaped his bomb in July 1944: “…certainly it would be most unfortunate if the Allies were to be deprived, in the closing phases of the struggle, of that form of warlike genius by which Corporal Schicklgruber has so notably contributed to our victory.”
©Times of India
Saturday, 13 March 2010
LONDON: 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 documents added the 617 Squadron was “manned by experts and is kept for special ventures of this kind”.
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