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"Italian participation in WW2 - how to explore?" Topic

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redcoat10 Sep 2019 6:29 a.m. PST

Hi all,

A colleague of mine is interested in exploring Italy's participation in WW2 – with an emphasis on popular involvement in / commitment to / views on the war. She is especially interested in events in 1943, with the Allied invasion of Italy (starting with Husky), leading to Italy's eventual switch to the Allied side.

Might anyone please very kindly recommend anything in terms of reading or documentaries?

To emphasise: she's not interested in the minutiae of military ops, specifications of weapons, etc. etc. It's Italy's broader participation in the war, and esp. the public angle, that she wants to explore.

Thanks very much in advance for any suggestions!

HMS Exeter Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 7:01 a.m. PST

As a starting point…

Wikipedia's syllabus on the subject.

Bosworth, R. J. B. Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 19151945 (2007)

De Grazia, Victoria. How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 19221945 (1993)

Tracy Koon, Believe, Obey, Fight: Political Socialization in Fascist Italy 19221943 (U North Carolina Press, 1985),

Morgan, D. Italian Fascism, 19191945 (1995).

Wilhelm, Maria de Blasio. The Other Italy: Italian Resistance in World War II. W. W. Norton, 1988. 272 pp.

Williams, Isobel. Allies and Italians under Occupation:

Sicily and Southern Italy, 1943-45 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). xiv + 308 pp. online review

Willson, Perry. "Empire, Gender and the 'Home Front' in Fascist Italy." Women's History Review 16#4 (2007): 487-500.


Legion 410 Sep 2019 12:06 p.m. PST

thumbs up They were considered the "weak link" in the Axis. Regardless many, many died not only in NA but even more on the Eastern Front. Many never came home …

4th Cuirassier11 Sep 2019 1:33 a.m. PST

It was all about the campanilismo.

Tired Mammal11 Sep 2019 3:48 a.m. PST

James Holland's Italy's sorrow. While detailed and only really deals with 3rd Monte Cassino till the end has a lot of details and personal stories of Civilians, partisans and pro fascists and what motivated them.

Mark 112 Sep 2019 3:00 p.m. PST

I would also suggest the Commando Supremo website:

Don't know if there is much of a general overview, but in terms of "exploring" Italian participation in WW2, it's hard to beat.

(aka: Mk 1)

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