The article addresses the question of Mussolini's role in the fall of fascism. After Alamein and Stalingrad, in order to save the regime, Mussolini's main concern became how to reach a compromise peace agreement with Soviet Russia. As Hitler remained obdurate, however, the sole option left to the duce was to send stern warnings to Berlin about the precariousness of his domestic position. Mussolini's growing apathy and unusual passivity facing domestic opposition, as well as his demeanour during the Grand Council of Fascism, between 24 and 25 July 1943, which eventually spelled his fate, have often been interpreted as the result of his declining health or of his overconfidence. On the contrary, in his desperate struggle to sway Hitler, Mussolini needed to provide him with a last and unquestionable proof of how awful the situation had become for the regime in Italy and for himself. In Mussolini's twisted calculations, by deliberately provoking the opposition against him, the vote in the Grand Council would have provided that evidence. It proved to be his last political gamble.