Among the great misconceptions of modern times is the assumption that Benito Mussolini was Hitler's junior partner, who made no significant contributions to the Second World War. That conclusion originated with Allied propagandists determined to boost Anglo-American morale, while undermining the importance of Italy's co-operation. The Duce's failings, real or imagined, were inflated and ridiculed; his successes pointedly demeaned or ignored. So effective was this disinformation campaign that it became post-war history. However, Frank Joseph's closer examination of original, recently disclosed source materials presents an entirely different picture. Joseph shines new light, for example, on Italy's submarine service, with its boats sinking nearly three-quarters of a million tons of Allied shipping in just three years. During a single operation, Italian 'human torpedoes' attacked and severely damaged the battleships HMS Valiant and Queen Elizabeth, plus an eight-thousand-ton tanker, at their home anchorage in Alexandria, Egypt. By mid-1942, Mussolini's navy had fought its way back from crushing defeats to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Sea.
As influential as this was, more potentially decisive was Mussolini's planned aggression against the USA. Postponed at the last moment when its conventional explosives were slated for substitution by a nuclear device, New York City escaped an atomic attack by margins more narrow than previously believed. These and numerous other disclosures combine to debunk lingering propaganda stereotypes of the inept, ineffectual Italian armed forces. About the Author Frank Joseph's military history articles have appeared in military magazines, journals and other periodicals since 1986, publishing over 20 books including Unearthing Ancient America.
Frank Joseph's military history articles have appeared in FlyPast (UK), Aviation Classics (UK), Command (US), Aviation Heritage (US) and other periodicals since 1986. Beginning in 1994, he published with the U.S. Departments of Defense, Navy and Air Force, featuring interviews with veteran airmen, such as World War Two aceA" and early jet test pilot, Chuck Yeager. Joseph's Last of the Red Devils, The Story of Edward Lindsey, the Last Surviving Pilot of America's First Bomber Squadron in World War One (Galde Press, Inc., US) was enthusiastically reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Harold E, Raugh, Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.) for Military Heritage magazine after its release in 2003. His twenty other published books, released in as many foreign editions, include Unearthing Ancient America, Discovering the Mysteries of Ancient America, (both with New Pages Books, US, 2008 and 2005, respectively), and Advanced Civilizations of Prehistoric America (Bear and Company, US, 2010). He served as the editor-in-chief of Ancient American, a popular archaeology magazine, from its inception in 1993 until 2006. Frank Joseph was born in Chicago (US), and educated at Southern Illinois University's School of Journalism. He lives today with his wife, Laura, near the banks of the Mississippi River, in the midwestern United States.