This paper aims at offering an analysis of the fate of Italian troops after the Armistice of 8 September 1943. Caught completely by surprise, abandoned by their government and the Italian Supreme Command, they were trapped in a hostile region without being able to repatriate, and had to face the revenge of the Germans and the survival in a poor and hostile territory. Most of the Italian commanders, left without orders and deceived by German promise of an immediate repatriation to Italy, chose to surrender almost immediately. 430,000 men were taken prisoners and either interned in the Balkans or sent to prison camps in Germany and Poland. A few units accepted the offer to continue fighting on the side of the Axis powers and in some areas Italian troops sought to evade capture by joining the local partisans or hiding among the local populace; finally, a smaller number resisted by taking up arms against the Germans, with fateful consequences. Most of the military interned in prison camps in Germany and Poland refused to adhere to the neo-fascist republic. Furthermore, some of these had to suffer also another captivity in the Ussr after their “liberation” by the Red Army.

La difficile scelta degli internati militari italiani

Maria Teresa Giusti
2018

Abstract

This paper aims at offering an analysis of the fate of Italian troops after the Armistice of 8 September 1943. Caught completely by surprise, abandoned by their government and the Italian Supreme Command, they were trapped in a hostile region without being able to repatriate, and had to face the revenge of the Germans and the survival in a poor and hostile territory. Most of the Italian commanders, left without orders and deceived by German promise of an immediate repatriation to Italy, chose to surrender almost immediately. 430,000 men were taken prisoners and either interned in the Balkans or sent to prison camps in Germany and Poland. A few units accepted the offer to continue fighting on the side of the Axis powers and in some areas Italian troops sought to evade capture by joining the local partisans or hiding among the local populace; finally, a smaller number resisted by taking up arms against the Germans, with fateful consequences. Most of the military interned in prison camps in Germany and Poland refused to adhere to the neo-fascist republic. Furthermore, some of these had to suffer also another captivity in the Ussr after their “liberation” by the Red Army.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/698540
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