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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


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 II - American and British Journalists, Intellectuals, and the RSI 181


181 PART II American and British Journalists, Intellectuals, and the RSI The “Republican Fascist Party” is trying to steal the communist thunder by a plan for the socialisation of industries and this causes revolt among the employers with- out having any effect on the workers† 12. War Press: The Mockery of Mussolini’s Republic or the Acknowledgment of Its Good Functioning and Ideas In this chapter I analyse the way the Allied press covered the political phenomenon of the RSI.470 In a few words, I see if the Italian Social Re- public was a topic of interest in the main, daily newspapers published in the United Kingdom and in the United States: the Times and the New York Times. In addition, I skim through the editorials published in weekly magazines such as the British Spectator and New Statesman, and the American New Republic and Time. After reading hundreds of articles, I may state that Mussolini’s new political creature and his multi-faceted organisation471 were not subjects † Anne O’Hare McCormick, “The Two Italys and the Royal Navy,” New York Times (from now on NYT), March 6, 1944. 470 The acronym RSI is commonly used to identify Mussolini’s republic. However, it should be called National Fascist Republican Government from the first, official meeting of the PM Cabinet at Rocca delle Caminate (Forlì) on September 28 until December 1st, 1943, when the official name RSI was adopted. 471 For a detailed analysis of the functioning and complex structures and superstruc- tures of the RSI, see...

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