- Tomislav II of Croatia, 4th Duke of Aosta
Tomislav II of Croatia (born "Prince Aimone of Savoy";
9 March 1900 Torino, Italy; died 29 January 1948 Buenos Aires, Argentina) was recognised by the Axis powersduring World War IIas King of the Nazi-puppet [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-1413183/Independent-State-of-Croatia Independent State of Croatia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia ] ] [ [http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005456 USHMMabout Independent State of Croatia] ] Independent State of Croatia. Accepting the crown on May 18, 1941he reigned until 31 July, 1943when he abdicated. Born a prince of the House of Savoyhe succeeded to the title Duke of Aostaon 3 March 1942.
Aimone d'Aosta was born in
Turin. He was the second son of Prince Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta(son of Amadeus I of Spainand Princess Maria Vittoria) and Princess Hélène (daughter of Prince Philippe of Orléans and the Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans). His great grandfather was King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, making him a member of the House of Savoy.
22 September 1904he was given the title Duke of Spoletofor life. [ [http://www.thepeerage.com/p10402.htm#i104020 The Peerage] ]
In 1929, twenty years after his uncle the Duke of the Abruzzi had attempted to climb
K2in Karakorum, Prince Aimone lead an expedition to Karakorum. A member of the expedition was Ardito Desio. Due to the failure to climb K2 twenty years earlier, Prince Aimone's expedition concentrated solely on scientific work. [ [http://www.jerberyd.com/climbing/stories/k2/ K2 - The Savage Mountain] ] [ [http://www.k2climb.net/story/stories/K22004-50yarslatrApr182004.shtml K2 2004 - 50 years later] ]
After being linked with
Infanta Beatriz of Spainthe daughter of King Alfonso XIII, [Citation| title =Milestones| newspaper =Time Magazine| year =1930| date =April 21, 1930| url =http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,739128,00.html] he married on July 1, 1939in Florence, Princess Irene of Greece the daughter of King Constantine I and Princess Sophie of Prussia. They had a son, Prince Amedeo, on 27 September 1943. [ [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/italy.html Online Gotha] ]
King of Croatia
18 May 1941a ceremony took place at the Quirinal Palacewere Ante Pavelićwho led a delegation of Croats asked King Victor Emmanuel III to name a member of the House of Savoy, King of Croatia. Aimone was then officially named King by his cousin Victor Emmanuel III. [cite book| last =Packard| first =Reynolds| title =Balcony Empire: Fascist Italy at War| publisher =Kessinger Publishing| date =2005| pages =190| isbn =1417985283 ] The Independent State of Croatiaas it was officially known covered most of present day states of Croatiaand Bosnia and Herzegovina. On assuming the Crown of Zvonimirhe took the regnal nameTomislav II in memory of Tomislav Ithe first Croatian king. [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Croatia.html Worldstatesmen] ] Originally on learning that he had been named King of Croatia he told close colleagues that he thought his nomination was a bad joke by his cousin King Victor Emmanuel III though he accepted the crown out of a sense of duty.cite book| last =Petacco| first =Arrigo| title =A Tragedy Revealed: The Story of the Italian Population of Istria, Dalmatia, and Venezia Giulia| publisher =University of Toronto Press| date =2005| pages =26, 27| isbn =0802039219 ] The Italian Foreign Minister and Benito Mussolini's son in law Count Ciano's informants said of Aimone "The Duke doesn't give a damn about Croatia and wants only money, money and more money."
He was due to be crowned in
Tomislavgrad, in modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovinabut he refused to go to Croatia due to the " Dalmatian question" which arose due to Italy taking some of Dalmatia's coastal territory. Aimone felt that Dalmatia "was a land that could never be Italianized" and was an obstacle to Italian-Croatian reconciliation. [cite book| last =Rodogno| first =Davide| title =Fascism's European Empire: Italian Occupation During the Second World War| publisher =Cambridge University Press| date =2006| location =| pages =95| isbn =0521845157 ] Another reason for never setting foot in Croatia was that his safety could not be guaranteed.cite book | last = Tomasevich | first = Jozo | title = War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: Occupation and Collaboration | publisher = Stanford University Press | date = 2001 | pages = 138 | isbn = 0804736154 ] He never held any real authority throughout his reign as the Ustašegovernment had deprived the monarchy of most powers and reduced the status of the king to that of a figurehead. In spite of this he did have some symbolic powers such as the ability to grant noble titles. [ [http://balkanroyalty.tripod.com/id15.html Balkan royalty] ]
Following the dismissal of Mussolini on
25 July 1943he abdicated on 31 Julyon the orders of Victor Emmanuel III. With the Italian capitulation on 8 September, he formally renounced on October 12his rights to the title shortly after the birth of his son who was given Zvonimir as one of his names. [Citation| title =Royal House of Italy| newspaper = European royal houses|url =http://www.chivalricorders.org/royalty/gotha/italygen.htm] His full title as King was "King of Croatia, Prince of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Voivode of Dalmatia, Tuzla and Knin, Duke of Aosta (from 1942), Prince of Cisterna and of Belriguardo, Marquess of Voghera, and Count of Ponderano."
Duke of Aosta
Prince Aimone became 4th Duke of Aosta on
3 March 1942, following the death of his elder brother Prince Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta, in a British Prisoner of Warcamp in Tanganyika.
In the late months of
World War IIhe became the commander of the Italian Naval Base of Tarantobut he was sacked from his post for his criticism of the judges that had found General Mario Roattaguilty. [Citation| title =A Duke Departs| newspaper = Time Magazine| year =1945| date =April 23 1945| url =http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,855148,00.html]
During his naval career he reached the rank of
Ammiraglio di Squadra.
He died in
Buenos Airesin 1948.
Orders and decorations
name_decoration=Knight of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
complete_order=Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
name_decoration=Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus
complete_order=Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
name_decoration=Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy
complete_order=Order of the Crown of Italy
name_decoration=Knight of the Civil Order of the Royal House of Savoy
complete_order=Civil Order of Savoy
name_decoration=Knight of the Order of Merit pro Merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta
complete_order=Order pro merito Melitensi
name_decoration=Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Italy
complete_order=Military Order of Italy
name_decoration=Silver Medal of Military Valor
complete_order=Silver Medal of Military Valor
name_decoration= 2 Bronze Medal of Military Valor
complete_order=Bronze Medal of Military Valor
name_decoration=Military Valour War Cross of Italy
complete_order=List of military decorations
name_decoration=Commemorative Victory Medal (1918)
complete_order=Victory Medal (United Kingdom)
name_decoration=Medal of Honour for Long-time Maritime Navigation (20 years)
complete_order=Military Honour Maritime Medal of Italy
title=Crown of Zvonimir
Duke of Aosta
3 March 1942– 29 January 1948
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