|About the Book|
The fact that during WW2 several units of foreign soldiers and combatants fighted against the Allies alongside the Italian Army - both before and after the fall of Mussolini on July 25th and the later constitution of the Italian Social Republic allied to the Germans - shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone.Some historian has even written about a Mussolini’s “foreign legion”. In fact there was the (failed) attempt to give life to an Indian legion, made up of hindu nationalists, mainly enlisted within the ranks of the British troops taken prisoner in North Africa and to do the same with Arab nationalists. Rather more consistently thousands of anticommunist volunteers where organized in bands (and subsequently in battalions) in Dalmatia, in Slovenia and mainly in Serbia during the campaign against Yugoslavia. They were precious allies against Tito’s partisan bands.But there were others less known cases that no one seems to remember.One of the most particular and at the same time most absorbing of them is that concerning those young French citizens of Italian origin who - after the Italian sudden change of side decided by the King and the government of General Badoglio and announced to the world on September 8th 1943 - decided in a first time to reopen the Houses of Fascio in the different French towns and then to enroll with the Italian Army, to fight against the Allies. After several vicissitudes they found themselves integrated in one of the most glorious and formidable units of the Army of the Italian Social Republic: The X Flotilla MAS, lead by Commandant Borghese, one of the decorated heroes of the submarine war fighted by the Italians in the Mediterranean Sea. Organized as the third company within the Fulmine Battalion, under the name of “Volunteers of France” they battled through North Italy, from Piemonte to the gloomy forest of Tarnova in the Venezia Giulia region, where they contributed to significantly delay the advance on the city of Gorizia of the communist partisan troops of the IX Slovenian Korpus, at a high cost in sufferings and human lives. Without any rhetoric nor damnation, this is their story told through the written recollections and the living memories of those who survived.