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This book explains why the Italian armed forces and Fascist regime were so remarkably ineffectual at an activity-war-that was central to their existence. Italy's economic fragility, Mussolini's strategic-ideological fantasies, and Hitler's failure in the wider war made Italy's ruin inevitable, but did not determine its peculiarly undignified character. Hitler's Italian Allies demonstrates the extent to which Italian military culture-a concept with applications far beyond Fascist Italy-made humiliation inescapable. It offers a striking portrait of a military and industrial establishment largely unable to imagine modern war and of a regime that failed miserably in mobilizing the nation's resources. Above all, it explains why the armed forces, despite the distinguished performance of a few elite units, dissolved prematurely and almost without resistance-in stark contrast to the grim fight to the last cartridge of Hitler's army and the fanatical faithfulness unto death of the troops of Imperial Japan.