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Duration 3:15

‘il Cammino degli eroi der marsch der helden’ – The way of the heroes – Part 3

This clip opens with Italian troops in action and then moves swiftly to show flight crews loading aircraft with bombs. We see Italian troops and African allies using modern artillery to bombard a position and officers observing through field glasses. This is followed by Italian troops advancing across rugged terrain. Next we see film shot from the air and bombs being dropped. Soldiers then advance through ruined villages.

Context

Benito Mussolini was the leader of Italy. He was head of the Fascist party, similar in views to the Nazis in Germany. Mussolini’s great aim was to try and rebuild the great glories of the Roman Empire by establishing an Italian empire in Africa. In 1935 he provoked disputes with Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) and in 1936 his modern armies invaded the country and defeated its emperor Haile Selassie. This action provoked international outrage but no military action was taken against Mussolini.

Interesting or important points about the film

This film contains some interesting puzzles for the historian. It is clearly designed to show the effectiveness and efficiency of Italian forces. However, cameras from the time made it almost impossible to film action scenes so we have no real idea what the enemy was doing. The shots of destroyed enemy positions and villages may have been the result of accurate bombing but they may not.

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