First Marshal of the Empire (Italian: primo maresciallo dell'impero) was a military rank established by the Italian parliament on March 30, 1938. The highest rank in the Italian military, it was only granted to King Victor Emmanuel III and Duce Benito Mussolini. The rank was abolished following World War II.
Mussolini's decision to create for himself and the king a new military rank created a crisis between himself and Victor Emmanuel III. For the first time in the history of the House of Savoy, the Prime Minister of Italy bore a rank equal with that of the head of the royal house giving him a mortgage on the high command of the Italian armed forces, a power of the king under the provisions of Statuto Albertino.
- Montanelli, Cervi Storia d'Italia 1935/1943
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