Royal/Resistance Italian victory
ITALIAN LIBERATION :
ITALIAN SOCIAL REPUBLIC
Germany ITALIAN RESISTANCE
KINGDOM OF ITALY
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
NATIONAL REPUBLICAN ARMY :
ITALIAN CO-BELLIGERENT ARMY :
Italian Social Republic : 520,000–600,000
The ITALIAN CIVIL WAR (Italian : La guerra civile) is the period
between September 8, 1943 (the date of the armistice of Cassibile ),
and May 2, 1945 (the date of the surrender of German forces in
* 1 Terminology
* 2 Factions
* 2.1 Partisans * 2.2 Fascist forces
* 3 Civil war
* 3.1 Prologue * 3.2 Events * 3.3 The end
* 4 Aftermath * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 Bibliography * 9 External links
Claudio Pavone 's book Una guerra civile. Saggio storico sulla moralità della Resistenza (A Civil War. Historical Essay On the Morality Of the Resistance), published in 1991, led the term Italian Civil War to become a widespread term used in Italian and international historiography. Although the term had been used before, in the early 1990s it became accepted.
Map of the Italian Social Republic (1943–1945). Its territory was the theatre of the civil war
The confrontations between the factions resulted in the torture and death of many civilians. During the Italian Campaign , partisans were supplied by the Western Allies with small arms, ammunition and explosives. Allied forces and partisans cooperated on military missions, parachuting or landing personnel behind enemy lines, often including Italian–American members of OSS . Other operations were carried out exclusively by secret service personnel. Where possible, both sides avoided situations in which Italian units of opposite fronts were involved in combat episodes. In rare cases, clashes between Italians involved partisans and fascists of various armed formations.
The first groups of partisans were formed in Boves (
On September 8, hours after the radio communication of the armistice,
several antifascist organizations converged on
The Italian Communist Party was anxious to take the initiative without waiting for the Allies:
(in Italian) ...è necessario agire subito ed il più ampiamente e
decisamente possibile perché solo nella misura in cui il popolo
italiano concorrerà attivamente alla cacciata dei tedeschi
dall'Italia, alla sconfitta del nazismo e del fascismo, potrà
veramente conquistarsi l'indipendenza e la libertà. Noi non possiamo
e non dobbiamo attenderci passivamente la libertà dagli
"... It's necessary to act immediately and as widely and decisively
as possible, because only if the Italian People actively contribute to
push out Germans from
The Allies did not believe in the guerillas' effectiveness, so
General Alexander postponed their attacks against the Nazis. On 16
October the CLN issued its first important political and operational
press release, which rejected the calls for reconciliation launched
by Republican leaders. CLN
In late November, the Communists established task forces called distaccamenti d'assalto Garibaldi which later would become brigades and divisions whose leadership was entrusted to Luigi Longo, under the political direction of Pietro Secchia and Giancarlo Pajetta, Chief of Staff. The first operational order dated 25 November ordered the partisans to:
* attack and annihilate in every way officers, soldiers, material, deposits of Hitler's armed forces; * attack and annihilate in every way people, places, properties of fascists and traitors who collaborate with the occupying Germans; * attack and annihilate in every way war industries, communication systems and everything that might help to war plans of Nazi occupants.
Shortly after the Armistice, the Italian Communist Party, the Gruppi di Azione Patriottica ("Patriotic Action Groups") or simply GAP, established small cells whose main purpose was to unleash urban terror through bomb attacks against fascists, Germans and their supporters. They operated independently in case of arrest or betrayal of individual elements. The success of these attacks led the German and Italian police to believe they were composed of foreign intelligence agents. A public announcement from the PCI in September 1943 stated:
To the tyranny of Nazism, that claims to reduce to slavery through violence and terror, we must respond with violence and terror. — Appeal of PCI to the Italian People, September 1943
The GAP's mission was claimed to be delivering "justice" to Nazi
tyranny and terror, with emphasis on the selection of targets: "the
official, hierarchical collaborators, agents hired to denounce men of
the Resistance and Jews, the Nazi police informants and law
enforcement organizations of CSR", thus differentiating it from the
Nazi terror. However, partisan memoirs discussed the "elimination of
enemies especially heinous", such as torturers, spies and
provocateurs. Some orders from branch command partisans insisted on
protecting the innocent, instead of providing lists of categories to
be hit as individuals deserving of punishment. Part of the Italian
press during the war agreed that murders were carried out of most
moderate Republican fascists, willing to compromise and negotiate,
such as Aldo Resega (it), Igino Ghisellini (it), Eugenio Facchini
(it) and the philosopher
Women also participated in the resistance, mainly procuring supplies, clothing and medicines, anti-fascist propaganda, fundraising, maintenance of communications, partisan relays, participated in strikes and demonstrations against fascism. Some women actively participated in the conflict as combatants.
The first detachment of guerilla fighters rose up in
The fascist republic fought against the partisans to keep control of the territory. The Fascists claimed their armed forces numbered 780,000 men and women. This is disputed and sources indicated that there were no more than 558,000. Partisans and their active supporters numbered 82.000 in June 1944.
In addition to regular units of the Republican Army and the Black Brigades , various special units of fascists were organized, at first spontaneously and afterward from regular units that were part of Salò's armed forces. These formations, often including criminals, adopted brutal methods during counterinsurgency operations, repression and retaliation.
Among the first to form was the banda of the Federal Guido Bardi and
William Pollastrini in Rome, whose methods shocked even the Germans.
In Milan, the Squadra d'azione Ettore Muti (later Autonomous Mobile
Legion Ettore Muti) operated under the orders of the former army
corporal Francesco Colombo (it), already expelled from the PNF for
embezzlement. Considering him dangerous to the public, in November
1943, the Federal (ie fascist provincial leader) Aldo Resega wanted to
depose him, but was killed by an attack of GAP. Colombo remained at
his post, despite complaints and inquiries. On August 10, 1944
Squadrists of Muti together with the GNR perpetrated the massacre of
The chain of command of the
National Republican Army was composed of
Marshall Graziani and his deputies Mischi and Montagna. They
controlled the repression and coordinated anti-partisan actions of the
regular troops, the GNR, the
On July 25, 1943, Mussolini was deposed and arrested and King Victor
Emmanuel III imposed
Pietro Badoglio as Prime Minister. At first, the
new government supported the Axis. Demonstrations celebrating the
change were violently repressed.
Wolff 's proxy for the surrender of Caserta
Fascist units disputed for territory with partisan units, often sustained by German forces. Fascists predominated in cities and plain zones, supported by heavy arms, while small partisan units predominant in mountainous areas with better cover, where large formations could not maneuver effectively.
Many violent episodes followed, sometimes pitting fascists against fascists and partisans against partisans. Well known among these is the Porzûs massacre . Communist partisans of the division Natisone (the SAP brigade 13 martiri di Feletto), attached to the Yugoslavian XI Corpus by orders of Togliatti , after reaching the command of one of the many Osoppo Brigades, massacred 20 partisans and a woman, claiming that they were German spies. Among these was commander Francesco De Gregori and brigade commissioner Gastone Valente.
Fascist forces surrendered on May 2, 1945, before Germany's surrender to the Allies on May 7, 1945.
Following the civil war, many soldiers, executives and sympathizers of the fascist Repubblica Sociale were subjected to show trials and executed. Others were killed without a proper trial. Civilians were also killed. Among them were people wrongly accused of collaboration by others who wanted revenge over private grudges. Minister of Interior Mario Scelba estimated the number killed to be 732, but historians dispute this estimate. German historian Hans Woller claimed some 12,060 were killed in 1945 and 6,027 in 1946. Ferruccio Parri said the fascist casualties were as high as 30,000.
Violence decreased after the so-called Togliatti amnesty in 1946.
* Italian Armistice
Italian Campaign (World War II)
* ^ Despite their name, generally these detachments were not that large, and at their best they counted no more than some hundreds of members. In some cases, there were formations numbering thousands of partisans, until summer 1944 when some joint Italian-German operations would reduce this strength (as in Appendix in De Felice 1997 ).
* ^ Gianni Oliva, I vinti e i liberati: 8 settembre 1943-25 aprile
1945 : storia di due anni, Mondadori, 1994.
* ^ Mussolini l\'alleato: 1940-1945. Einaudi. 1997. ISBN
978-88-06-11806-8 . first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help )
* ^ Gianni Oliva, I vinti e i liberati: 8 settembre 1943-25 aprile
1945 : storia di due anni, Mondadori, 1994.
* ^ Bocca 2001 , p. 493.
* ^ "Le Divisioni Ausiliarie". Associazione Nazionale Combattenti
Forze Armate Regolari Guerra di Liberazione. Retrieved 6 December
* ^ See as examples the opera of historian
* ^ See as examples the following books (in Italian): Guido Crainz
, L'ombra della guerra. Il 1945, l'Italia, Donzelli, 2007 and Hans
Woller , I conti con il fascismo. L'epurazione in Italia 1943 - 1948,
Il Mulino, 2008.
* ^ See as examples
Renzo De Felice and
Gianni Oliva .
* ^ See as examples the interview to French historian Pierre Milza
Corriere della Sera
* (in Italian) Bocca, Giorgio (2001). Storia dell\'Italia partigiana settembre 1943 - maggio 1945 (in Italian). Mondadori. p. 39. * Pavone, Claudio (1991). Una guerra civile. Saggio storico sulla moralità della Resistenza (in Italian). Torino: Bollati Boringhieri. ISBN 88-339-0629-9 . * De Felice, Renzo (1997). Mussolini l'alleato II. La guerra civile 1943-1945 (in Italian). Torino: Einaudi. ISBN 88-06-11806-4 . * De Felice, R. (1999). La resistenza ed il regno del sud, "Nuova storia contemporanea" (resistance and the southern kingdom, "New contemporary history"). 2. pp. 9–24 17. * Stanley G. Payne, Civil War in Europe, 1905-1949, Cambridge University Press, 2011 * Ganapini, Luigi (2010) . Garzanti, ed. La repubblica delle camicie nere. I combattenti, i politici, gli amministratori, i socializzatori (in Italian) (2a ed.). Milano. ISBN 88-11-69417-5 . * (in German) Virgilio Ilari, Das Ende eines Mythos. Interpretationen und politische Praxis des italienischen Widerstands in der Debatte der frühen neunzinger Jahre, in P. Bettelheim and R. Streibl, Tabu und Geschichte. Zur Kultur des kollektiven Erinners, Picus Verlag, Vienna, 1994, pp. 129–174 * Oliva, Gianni (1999). Mondadori, ed. La resa dei conti. Aprile-maggio 1945: foibe, piazzale Loreto e giustizia partigiana (in Italian). Milano. ISBN 88-04-45696-5 . * Aurelio Lepre (1999). Mondadori, ed. La storia della Repubblica di Mussolini. Salò: il tempo dell'odio e della violenza (in Italian). Milano. ISBN 88-04-45898-4 .
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