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The Allies and the Italian Social Republic (1943-1945)

Anglo-American Relations with, Perceptions of, and Judgments on the RSI during the Italian Civil War

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Oreste Foppiani

Italy’s change of camp during World War II marked a turning point in the lives of all Italians, causing the «death of the fatherland» and the collapse of a two-decade long, dictatorial régime. Also, this switch triggered a bloody civil war, which increasingly divided an already fragmented country into two separate territories: the Salò Republic (RSI), occupied and controlled by the Germans, and the Southern Kingdom, occupied and administered by the Anglo-Americans.
This book is about the British and American relations with, perceptions of, and judgments on the RSI. The period examined runs from September 1943 through April 1945 with some incursions into the immediate post-war period, when the Allied Control Commission and, after the fall of 1944, the Allied Commission and the Advisory Council for Italy, were still functioning. During this time frame Anglo-American troops were still occupying Italian soil, and some republican fascists remained in hiding, waiting to appear again on the political scene as turncoats, diehard fascists or «gladiators». While the first part of the monograph deals specifically with the relations between the latter and the Allies, the second deals with American and British journalists and/or intellectuals who wrote about or worked for the RSI. The last section is dedicated to the different categories of post-9/8 Prisoners of War.

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PART I - The Allies and the Italian Social Republic: Uncle Sam, John Bull, and Ben 23

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23 PART I The Allies and the Italian Social Republic: Uncle Sam, John Bull, and Ben Ike said it was a “crooked deal” and that the document would not become public possibly for ten years after the war 1. United States and United Kingdom: A War Marriage of Convenience The opening quotation of the first part of this work is a hint that the so- called “special relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States was in reality a war marriage of convenience.18 The Brit- ish, after successfully dragging the Americans into the war,19 realised at their expense that their modus operandi often differed from that of their ally. In fact, the Anglo-American alliance did not entail at all that the two allies had the same views; the armistice with Italy and the behaviour adopted by Americans and British toward their former enemy, is a good example of it. Harry C. Butcher, My Three Years with Eisenhower (New York: Simon & Schus- ter, 1946), p. 405. 18 James E. Miller, The United States and Italy, 1940-1950: The Politics and Diplo- macy of Stabilization (Chapel Hill, NC, and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1986), pp. 86-87, and pp. 110-11. 19 Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British covert operations in the United States, 1939-44 (Washington, DC, and London: Brassey’s, 1998), passim; Christo- pher M. Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush (New York: Harper & Collins Publishers, 1995), pp. 22-25. See also...

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