Benito Mussolini declared war on Britain and France 1940 Soldiers, sailors, and aviators! Black shirts of the revolution and of the [Fascist] legions! Men and women of Italy, of the Empire, and of the kingdom of Albania! Pay heed! An hour appointed by destiny has struck in the heavens of our fatherland. (Very lively cheers). The declaration of war has already been delivered (cheers, very loud cries of "War! War!") to the ambassadors of Great Britain and France. We go to battle against the plutocratic and reactionary democracies of the west who, at every moment have hindered the advance and have often endangered the very existence of the Italian people. Recent historical events can be summarized in the following phrases: promises, threats, blackmail, and finally to crown the edifice, the ignoble seige by the fifty-two states of the League of Nations. Our consience is absolutely tranquil. (Applause). With you the entire world is witness that Fascist Italy has done all that is humanly possible to avoit the torment which is throwing Europe into turmoil; but all was in vain. It would have suffieced to revise the treaties to bring them up to date with the changing needs of the life of nations and not consider them untouchable for eternity; it would have sufficed not to have begun the stupid policy of guarantees, which has shown itself particularly lethal for those who accepted them; it would have sufficed not to reject the proposal [for peace] that the Fuhrer made on 6 October ...


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