Attributed in "Duce (1922-42)" in TIME magazine (2 August 1943)
Also quoted by Generale Armando Diaz in "Il pensiero dei leoni" in Il Carroccio. The Italian review (1922) attributed to graffiti by an unknown soldier https://archive.org/stream/ilcarroccioitali15newyuoft#page/14/mode/2up
Though not precisely a repetition of any of them, this is somewhat resembles far earlier remarks attributed to others:
An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.
Attributed to Alexander the Great, in The British Battle Fleet : Its Inception and Growth Throughout the Centuries to the Present Day (1915) by Frederick Thomas Jane
To live like a lion for a day is far better than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.
Tipu Sultan, as quoted in Encyclopedia of Asian History (1988) Vol. 4, p. 104
It is far better to live like a tiger for a day than to live like a jackal for a hundred years.
Tipu Sultan, as quoted in Tipu Sultan : A Study in Diplomacy and Confrontation (1982) by B. Sheikh Ali, p. 329
I should prefer an army of stags led by a lion, to an army of lions led by a stag.
Chabrias, as quoted in A Treatise on the Defence of Fortified Places (1814) by Lazare Carnot, p. 50
He has been frequently heard to say, that in this world he would rather live two days like a tiger, than two hundred years like a sheep.
Tipu Sultan, as quoted in A View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with Tippoo Sultaun; Comprising a Narrative of the Operations of the Army under the Command of Lieutenant-General George Harris, and of the Siege of Seringapatam (London, G. and W. Nicol, 1800) by Alexander Beatson, pp. 153-154. http://oudl.osmania.ac.in/bitstream/handle/OUDL/7905/212261_Origin_And_Conduct_Of_The_War_With_Tipoo_Sultaun.pdf https://indianhistorybooks3.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/99999990039373-view-of-the-origin-and-conduct-of-the-war-with-tipoo-sultan.pdf