Pietro Badoglio was born on September 29, 1871 in Grazzano Monferrato by a family of farmers: his mother, Antonietta Pittarelli, is a wealthy bourgeois, while his father, Mario, is a landowner of modest conditions. After joining the Military Academy of Turin, he was nominated artillery lieutenant on 16 November 1890, and two years later he was promoted to lieutenant. He moved to Florence at the 19th from the countryside, remained in Tuscany until the beginning of 1896, when he was sent to Eritrea together with General Baldissera.
The protagonist of the episode on Adigrat organized to free the Major Prestinari from the siege, once the hostilities with Ethiopia ended, remains in Adi Caieh, in garrison on the plateau, for two years. Back in Italy in 1898, he distinguished himself from the School of War for the tenacity and intelligence that characterize his studies. Five years later he was promoted to captain and transferred to Capua, on the 12th of the country. After having commanded the army corps of Bari, he took part in the war of Libya, decorated with military valor with the merit of having organized the sortie of Ain Zara.
Once repatriated, he moves to the command of the 4th division with the beginning of the First World War. The sector is dominated by Mount Sabotino, completely bleak and fortified by the Austrians: for this reason, considered impregnable. Pietro Badoglio's intuition is to resort to the parallels to conquer it: after months and months of excavation work and the strengthening of the trenches, the brigade he commanded conquers the mountain on August 6, 1916. Meanwhile he, named General for war merits, he took command of the Cuneo brigade, and then of the II Corps of the Army, just a few days before the beginning of the 10th battle on the river Isonzo.
His men conquered Mount Kuk, considered until then virtually impossible. In spite of the promotion to the lieutenant general, Badoglio on October 24, 1917 has to deal with the defeat of Caporetto by the Austro-Germans. Badoglio's main error is that of neglecting his left flank, that is to say the right bank of the river, in the area between Caporetto and the Austrian bridgehead at Tolmin. It is a long line not many kilometers that represents the boundary between the area attributed to Cavaciocchi and his corps and the area that belongs to Badoglio and his corps. Although all the events seem to indicate the directress of the Austrian attack along this line, Badoglio leaves the right bank unencumbered, making the majority of the men of the brigade Naples and of the 19th division on the mountains above. And so, the Italian troops at altitude, accomplices the rain and fog, do not realize that the Germans are passing under the roof, and that within four hours will arrive in peace in Caporetto, after climbing the shore, catching surprise the IV Corps of Cavaciocchi.
In spite of this serious strategic error, strong point of the Supreme Command together with the general Garden, Pietro Badoglio is transformed in the alter ego of Armando Diaz, favoring the negotiations to reach the armistice signed on November 4, 1918. After the war , is nominated Senator, and therefore Extraordinary Commissioner of the Government for Venezia Giulia.
After a mission in the river occupied by Gabriele D'Annunzio, he returns to Rome and abandons the post of Chief of Staff to enter the Army Council. Sent by Benito Mussolini as ambassador to Brazil in 1923, he returned two years later and was promoted to Marshal of Italy. He remains in his homeland, however, for a short time, seeing that in January 1929 he was called to govern Libya. During its management, the territory is pacified, and a considerable program of public works is put in place.
The African experience lasts four years: in 1933 Badoglio returns to Italy, only to leave it again two years later, when he is sent as Supreme Commander in Eritrea. After the triumph of May 5, 1936 in Addis Ababa, he returns home, where he is received among honors and honors, including the title of Duke of Addis Ababa. Maintaining the position of Chief of Staff even when the Duce chooses to support Germany in war, he is considered a scapegoat for the first painful and unexpected defeats suffered by Italy in Greece and in North Africa.
Resigned even given the accusations of incompetence from different parts, Badoglio in 1943 is approached by Orlando, Bonomi and other anti-fascist exponents, expressing their willingness to become President of the Council ending the war. He, therefore, became prime minister on 25 July 1943, and from then on he managed the armistice. Once Rome is abandoned, it moves to Brindisi, the new capital, together with the king: it will remain President of the Council until Rome is liberated. In fact, on June 8, 1944, he gave his job to Ivanoe Bonomi, who had already held office more than twenty years earlier.
At the beginning of the summer of 1944 he retired to Campania, to Cava de 'Tirreni, while his son Mario Badoglio, deported to Germany, is in the concentration camps of Dachau. In 1946 the former military loses the office of senator, according to a decision of the High Court of Justice: a sentence that however is canceled two years later by the Court of Cassation, which reinstates the marshal in the parliamentary functions. In that same year, however, his name was entered by the Ethiopian government into a list of ten war criminals sent to the UN, found guilty of bombing Red Cross hospitals and using gas during the campaign of 1935 and 1936. The name of Badoglio, however, is no longer present when the Italian Commission of Inquiry starts the work.
The former Prime Minister, therefore, falls in Grazzano, where he makes his home become a kindergarten to accommodate children in the country for free. Pietro Badoglio died in his native country on 1 November 1956 due to an attack of cardiac asthma.