Graziani, Rodolfo rōdôl´fō grätsēä´nē [key], 1882–1955, Italian soldier and colonial administrator. After serving in World War I and in Libya (1921–33), he was made (1935) governor of Italian Somaliland. For his part in the Italo-Ethiopian War, he was promoted to marshal and served (1936–37) as viceroy of Ethiopia. Graziani was made chief of staff of the Italian army (1939) and became governor of Libya (1940). In World War II, Graziani's army was completely routed (winter 1940–41) by the British in the Libyan campaign, and he resigned his command. Arrested in 1945, Graziani was indicted for high treason for his collaboration with the Germans in N Italy after the Italian armistice with the Allies in 1943. After two trials he was convicted (1950) by a military court and sentenced to 19 years in prison. However, he was released from custody a few months later and became active in the neofascist party.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian History: Biographies