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Unformatted text preview: The reader should be aware of a few significant dates. On June 6, 1944, called "D-day," Allied forces, including the United States, entered a massive invasion of western France. The Allies were already in southern Italy, as referred to in the novel, and had captured Rome. On August 25, 1944, the Allies liberated Paris. On May 8, 1945, a few months after the end of the novel, the Allies declared victory in Europe (VE-day). So most of the novel takes place during approximately the last year of the war in Europe. Italy had entered World War II in June 1940, on the side of Nazi Germany; the two countries formed a union known as the Axis (later joined by Japan). Benito Mussolini ( Il Duce, "the leader") was head of the Italian Fascist Party and the country's dictator. His military preparations were inept, however, and King Victor Emmanuel dismissed Mussolini on July 25, 1943, aligning the official government...
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- Fall '11