On this day, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini dismissed three military chiefs and two cabinet ministers, all of whom had been considered pro-German.
The dismissed military chiefs were General Alberto Pariani, Chief of the General Staff; General Giuseppe Valle, Chief of the Air Force; and Admiral Luigi Russo, Chief of the Navy. The dismissed cabinet ministers were Achille Starace, Secretary of the Fascist Party; and Dino Alfieri, Minister of Popular Culture.
Mussolini’s dismissal of the pro-German military chiefs and cabinet members was a sign that he was becoming increasingly wary of Nazi Germany. Italy and Germany were allies, but Mussolini was concerned that Germany was becoming too powerful and that Italy could be drawn into a war that it did not want.
Mussolini did not given any specific reasons for the dismissals, but he had said that he was looking for “new men” who are more loyal to him and to the Fascist regime.