Yet Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine adventure is such a flop precisely because he is failing to ignite the kind of hatred and self-
The Italian empire had a population of some 56 million in the 1930s compared with modern Russia’s 140 million, yet Mussolini’s 20,000 Blackshirt storm troops quickly expanded to 115,000 in 1935-1936 for the Ethiopian campaign
which signed up voluntarily for much longer service terms than those decreed for ordinary soldiers. Both Hitler and Mussolini had to compromise,
keeping the numbers of Waffen SS and the combat-ready Blackshirts down and placing them under regular military commanders in the field.