The "Black Shirts"
When Mussolini first came into power, he established a voluntary militia for national security, called the "Milizia Volontaria". Mussolini himself was the head of the militia, but strictly gave executive orders, which were then bestowed onto the generals below himself. This militia was more commonly referred to as the "Black Shirts" (the name coming from their black uniforms), and were known around the Kingdom of Italy not for their national security, but instead for the acts of state terrorism that they carried out on behalf of the Fascist party. Heretics or infidels were discovered quickly by the State and were then dealt with in one of a few ways, one way being execution. The Black Shirts carried out countless executions and acts of violence that instilled fear in the people and created an omnipotent presence of the State throughout Italy. Mussolini's posse of state-sponsored terrorists was similar to Napoleon's pack of dogs that remained at his side throughout his reign on Animal Farm. Much like how the Black Shirts protected Mussolini and incited fear in the citizens, Napoleon's dogs were responsible for the protection of their leader, running to his side at merely a whistle. The dogs also carried out mass executions of any animal that had committed treason, showing the ruthlessness and brutality of the pigs just as the Black Shirts demonstrated the brutality and untolerating mentality of the Fascist party.
"Me ne frego" -"I do not give a damn", the motto of the Black Shirts
Brute Force Used in Ethiopia
Mussolini, desiring a new territory to conquer and prove Italy's military prowess and strength to the world and to the Italian people, called for the invasion of Ethiopia on little grounds besides selfish motives of honor and pride. In 1930, Italy built a fortress near the border of Ethiopia, but it was not until 1935 that tensions boiled over and incited what is now known as the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, which was fought between October of 1935 and May of 1936. Italy acted as the aggressors, importing over 600,000 troops that were armed with far better equipment than the poorly-trained Ethiopian army of only 375,000. Italy ultimately won the war and merged Ethiopia with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, yet the casualties of such a small-scale war were tragic, with 20,000 Italians dying and an estimated 7750,000 Ethiopians left dead or severely wounded. Italy was clearly a brutish and aggressive bully towards Ethiopia, and this showed in Emperor Haile Selassie's statement issued after the end of the war: