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British Union of Fascists

The British Union of Fascists (BUF) was a political party of the 1930s in the United Kingdom. It was a union comprised of several small, nationalist parties.

Its leader, Oswald Mosley, modelled himself on other fascist leaders such as Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. He also modeled his party on the lines of fascist movements in other countries.

He instituted a black uniform, gaining the party the nickname, "blackshirts." The BUF was initially anti-Communist and protectionist, claimed a membership as high as 50,000, and the Daily Mail was an early supporter.

Despite the best efforts of the BUF, Fascism in Britain failed to take root, or become a significant political force, as it had in many continental European countries during the 1930s.

However, the party became more violent and strongly anti-Semitic in 1934-35, devolving into little more than a bunch of thugs.

Their main activitiy was instigating anti-Semitic violence and riots in London (such as the famous Battle of Cable Street in October, 1936). Membership was below 8,000 by the end of 1935. The government was sufficiently concerned to pass the Public Order Act of 1936[?], which effectively destroyed the movement. The BUF was completely banned in May 1940, and Mosley and 740 other senior Fascists were interned for much of World War II.

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