Similarities and Differences

Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo
Although Hitler and Mussolini fought in Europe while Tojo led his Imperial Japanese Army in East Asia and the Pacific, there are some similarities, especially between Hitler and Mussolini. We summarized them below. :)
  • Both Hitler and Mussolini were veterans of the First World War.
  • Both Hitler and Mussolini were unwilling to join war at first. Hitler wasn’t willing to fight for Austria and volunteered for Germany. Mussolini went to Switzerland to escape military duty. But when Mussolini ran out of money, he had to serve in The Italian army for two years.
  • Hitler and Mussolini had their political roots formed in WWI.
    • Hitler: Hitler  was desperate and severely depressed when he heard the news of German armistice in the hospital in 1918. He had his ambition to take revenge from there on.
  • Mussolini: after the unfair treatment of the treaty of Versailles, Mussolini concluded that Socialism was not helping Italy. He then moved toward fascism which put the state on top of all others.
  • Both Hitler and Mussolini were wounded in the First World War.
    • Hitler was blinded by British mustard gas attack in 1918.       
    • In 1917, Mussolini was wounded by the accidental explosion of a mortar bomb on the Isonzo section of the Italian Front in World War I.
  • Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo all served as Heads of State in their respective nations. Hitler was the chancellor. Mussolini and Tojo were both appointed prime ministers by the emperor in their respective countries. However, Mussolini and Hitler acted as dictators while Tojo was only a military leader without complete control over Japan.
  •   Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo all earned power legally, without force.           
                    Hitler was the head of the largest party in the Reichstag. He was a lot more popular than the chancellor at that time. In addition, he promised to undo the Versailles Treaty which Germany had to reparation to England and France. He also promised to restore hope and the deal with the depression.
                    Mussolini commanded his forces from a post in Milan and ordered them to seize power in Rome. King Victor Emmanuel, fearing that the March on Rome would lead to a civil war, gave Mussolini the post of Prime Minister in 1922.
                    Tojo did well as an army minister, and after his continuous expansion into China and constant military victories, he was appointed the prime minister by Japan emperor.

  • Both Hitler and Mussolini utilized paramilitary forces before power and during their regimes. (Hitler had the Brownshirts, Mussolini had the Blackshirts). In 1935, Tojo became the head of the Kwatung Army Military Police.
  • Both Mussolini and Hitler were shorter than the average man. (There are some controversies over that. But we know that neither Hitler nor Mussolini was taller than the average man.) Hitler was about 5’8—5’9. Some say that he was only 5’7, but he looked taller with the army boots. Mussolini was a little bit taller than 5 feet since "The King(Vittorio Emanuele III) was physically a small man, barely 5 feet tall. Mussolini, although short himself, was taller than the king and liked to be photographed next to him. " However, Tojo was about 6 feet tall which is a lot taller than the average Japanese.
  • Both Hitler and Mussolini were extraordinary speakers.
    •  Hitler: “Hitler always arrived late which helped to develop tension and a sense of expectation. He took the stage, stood to attention and waited until there was complete silence before he started his speech. By the end of the speech the audience would be in a state of near hysteria and were willing to do whatever Hitler suggested. As soon as his speech finished Hitler would quickly leave the stage and disappear from view. Refusing to be photographed, Hitler's aim was to create an air of mystery about himself.” Hitler was a well-know convincing orator. In some documentary videos, you can see that Hitler was basically yelling to the crowd. He was very enthusiastic.
    • Mussolini: Mussolini was a passionate public speaker. Most of his time was spent on propaganda, whether at home or abroad. When Mussolini gave speeches, he waved his arms hysterically as if he is directing a plane to take off.
  • Mussolini, Hitler and Tojo all enjoyed appearing in military uniforms.This probably stems from their belief in the power of army and violence.
  • Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo all did well in School (at least at first). However, Hitler and Mussolini only did well in primary school. Hitler failed out of his secondary school after his younger brother died. Mussolini’s studious behavior faded in secondary school and he even stabbed his classmate with a knife. But Tojo was different, he graduated at the top of his class in college.
  • Their families had huge influence on their later actions.
    • Hitler: He had a bad relationship with his father. He volunteered for German army but not Austrian army because he wanted to upset his father, who was extremely loyal to the Austrian government.
    • Mussolini: His father was a socialist and a nationalist. Mussolini became a socialist during his early years because of his father.
    • Tojo: Tojo was the son of an army general in the Imperial Japanese Army. And he decided to live a military life when he was young. He went to military college afterwards.
  • Although this similarity is not very historic, we think it will be fun to put it out there------ Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo all had mustache for at least some time in their life!!! Want to see pictures? Click on "Survey " on the left!

A comparison of the aggressors' deaths:
  • Hitler committed suicide with his long-time mistress on April 30th, 1945 when he knew that he and his Third Reich failed. 
  • Mussolini and his mistress were both shot and then hanged by their feet in public. According to Walter Audisio who shot Mussolini, Mussolini asked him to shoot in his chest. However, Mussolini did not die after the first shot. He breathed heavily and was extremely painful.
  • Tojo attempted suicide but failed. Tojo had his doctor mark the center of his heart so that he could kill himself right away. Unfortunate for him, he was brought to life and later  hanged on December 23rd, 1948.
        In conclusion, Hitler was the luckiest in terms of deaths. How would you rank Mussolini and Tojo's deaths? To me, those were both horrible ways of deaths, especially for Tojo whose suicide attemp failed even after he shot himself in the heart. However, their cruel and inhumane actions during WWII contribute and to some degree, justify their deaths.  Below are pictures of their deaths.
Dead Hitler
Tojo's suicide attempt
Tojo on his final death day
Dead Mussolini