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First Marshal of the Empire
Primo Maresciallo dell'Impero
Sleeve insignia
Country Kingdom of Italy
Formation2 April 1938
Abolished1946 (de facto)
22 December 2008 (de jure)
Next lower rankMarshal of Italy
Mussolini (right) in 1941; his "First Marshal of the Empire" insignia is visible at the end of his sleeve.

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.


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. This gave Mussolini a mortgage on the high command of the Italian military, a power of the King under the provisions of the Albertine Statute. The King considered vetoing the law that created such rank and requested to be advised by Professor Santi Romano, President of the Council of State, who analyzed the law and found it to comply with the Statute; Victor Emmanuel vehemently protested against Romano's opinion, but eventually signed the law and had it promulgated on the Gazzetta Ufficiale.[1]


Following the death of Mussolini (1945) and Victor Emmanuel (1947), the rank was never awarded again. It was formally suppressed on 22 December 2008 by the Fourth Berlusconi Cabinet, even though it had already de facto ceased to exist after World War II.[2]

See also



  1. ^ Avv. Andrea Saccone ha detto (2010-08-22). "Il Consiglio di Stato alle prese con la spinosa questione del "primo maresciallato dell'Impero"". weblog (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  2. ^ "LEGGE 18 febbraio 2009, n. 9 - Normattiva". Retrieved 2022-04-09.