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"Duce" is an Italian word meaning leader.

While the term had a long history of usage before the 20th Century, duce has become synonymous with dictator Benito Mussolini, who used the title in his capacity as leader of Italian fascism beginning in 1921. After he became the head of the Italian government, his full title became "His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism and Founder of the Empire." After Mussolini's ouster in 1943, he briefly became head of state of the Italian Social Republic (the so-called Salo Republic) under the official title of Duce until his overthrow and death in 1945.

This position was the model which other fascist leaders adopted before and during World War II.

Duce in In the Presence of Mine Enemies[]

Benito Mussolini's successors adopted Duce as the title of the head of government of the Italian Empire. While the Empire was still ruled by a monarch, the Duce wielded all actual power.

Other Duci[]

In addition to the foregoing, Mussolini is Duce in Worldwar, the Days of Infamy Series, and The War That Came Early. His fate in Worldwar is ambiguous; in the other two series, he is incumbent at the end of the work.

See Also[]