Rodolfo Graziani: Story of an Italian General

Author(s): Alessandro Cova, Translated by James Cetrullo

ISBN: 9781781558515
$28.00 $40.00
The remarkable and controversial life of Rodolfo Graziani, Mussolini’s favourite military general who sparked fear and respect in his enemies.

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  • An exhaustive work of comprehensive research and study in various files and paperwork

  • Beautifully illustrated with many rare and unpublished photographs

  • A must-have for military historians, enthusiasts, modellers, video/tabletop gamers and those interested in the Second World War

‘An enemy forgiven is more dangerous than a thousand foes.’

Rodolfo Graziani, marshal of Italy, viceroy of Ethiopia, and one of Mussolini’s most valued generals, remains to this day a divisive figure in his homeland.

Revered by some Italians as a patriot and vilified by others a murderer, his reputation abroad endures as one of infamy. To the people of Libya, he is the man who hanged Omar al-Mukhtar; in Ethiopia, the one behind the poison gas bombings; to the British, he is the buffoon-like Italian general whose troops surrendered en masse.

But what is the true story of Rodolfo Graziani? This rigorously researched biography draws on private letters and secret communications to reveal a fascinating portrait of fascist Italy’s most notorious military leader.

What emerges is a man of glaring contradictions: a doting family man and a violent soldier. Graziani was a key figure of Italy’s momentous 1930s, enjoying widespread popularity during the height of Mussolini’s dictatorship, his exploits in Libya and Ethiopia captured the public’s imagination.

After his death, he was largely forgotten but in 2012, the mausoleum erected in his honour has sparked fresh controversy.


BOOK ISBN 9781781558515
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 256 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 January 2022
ILLUSTRATIONS 86 black-and-white photographs



Alessandro Cova was born in 1930 in the Cadore region of northern Italy into an old Piedmontese family. He has been a professional journalist since 1955, working for a long list of prestigious Italian newspapers. As well as working for RAI, Italy’s national broadcasting company, Cova also taught history of journalism at the LUISS University. His book on Rodolfo Graziani was the first biography on one of Italy’s most noteworthy protagonists of the Second World War. In 1995, he also wrote Eva e il Fuhrer, a biography on Eva Braun. He resides in Rome.