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Italian Social Republic

Repubblica Sociale Italiana
1943–1945
Flag of Italy
War Flag
Coat of arms of Italy
Coat of arms
Anthem: Giovinezza
"Youth"
From the Gustav Line to the Gothic Line
From the Gustav Line to the Gothic Line
Status Puppet state of Nazi Germany
Capital Salò (de facto)
Rome (claimed)
Common languages Italian
Government Various
Duce  
• 1943–1945
Benito Mussolini
Plenipotentiary  
• 1943–1945
Rudolf Rahn
Historical era World War II
• Gran Sasso raid
September 12, 1943
• Mussolini's Restoration
September 23 1943
April 25 1945
Currency Republican Lira (de jure)
Italian lira (de facto)
ISO 3166 code IT
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)

The Italian Social Republic informally known as the Republic of Salò, was a puppet state with limited recognition that was created during the later part of World War II, existing from the beginning of German occupation of Italy in September 1943 until surrender of German troops in Italy in May 1945.

The Italian Social Republic was the second and last incarnation of the Italian Fascist state and was led by Duce Benito Mussolini and his reformed anti-monarchist Republican Fascist Party which tried to modernise and revise fascist doctrine into a more moderate and sophisticated direction. The Italian Social Republic exercised nominal sovereignty in Northern and Central Italy, but was largely dependent on German troops to maintain control.

In July 1943, after the Allies had pushed Italy out of North Africa and subsequently invaded Sicily, the Grand Fascist Council—with the support of King Victor Emmanuel III—overthrew and arrested Mussolini. The new government began secret peace negotiations with the Allied powers.

Italian social republic map
Italian social republic map

When the Armistice of Cassibile was announced 8 September, Germany was prepared and quickly intervened. Germany seized control of the northern half of Italy, freed Mussolini and brought him to the German-occupied area to establish a satellite regime. The Italian Social Republic was proclaimed on 23 September 1943. The RSI received diplomatic recognition from only Germany, Japan and their puppet states.

Around 25 April 1945, Mussolini's fascist republic collapsed. In Italy, this day is known as Liberation Day (festa della liberazione). On this day a general partisan uprising, alongside the efforts of Allied forces during their final offensive in Italy, managed to oust the Germans from Italy almost entirely.

At the point of its demise, the Italian Social Republic had existed for slightly more than nineteen months. On 27 April, partisans caught Mussolini, several RSI ministers and several other Italian Fascists while they were attempting to flee. On 28 April, the partisans shot Mussolini and most of the other captives. The RSI Minister of Defense Rodolfo Graziani surrendered what was left of the Italian Social Republic on 1 May, one day before that the German forces in Italy capitulated—this put a definitive end to the Italian Social Republic.

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