it was propaganda / urban myth.
the actual story is thus:
In 1922, to the dismay of the average Italian, there was a General Strike in Italy. Mussolini, addressing a crowd of 40,000 Fascists in Naples declared that unless the Government put an end to it, the fascists would do it for them.
"Either the Government will be given to us" he roared " or we will seize it by marching on Rome!!" The crowd started chanting "Roma!Roma!Roma!.
Four days later, the famous March on Rome indeed began, headed by four leading Fascisti known as the Quadrumviri. Mussolini was not one of them. It took place without him goose-stepping at its head. He was back home in Milan, quaking in his jackboots. (Or as the Encyclopaedia Britannica more politely puts it 'still hoping for a political compromise')
The King, however, agreed to the fascists' demands in principle and sent a telegram to Benito saying that, if he were to catch a train to Rome (and provided he didn't wear the silly uniform) the King would appoint him Prime Minister.
Mussolini then called the Mayor of Milan and told him urgently: 'It is VITAL that my train arrives on time!!'. The Mayor called the station master in a panic who called everyone else and yelled at them, and in due course the train arrived promptly.
We can therefore say, without fear of contradiction, that Mussolini made one of the trains run on time...
· 1 decade ago