Except in the case of documents with numbered paragraphs, when it is obvious from the numbering that material has been omitted, diamonds (♦) are used to indicate the omission of one or more paragraphs.
SACMED and the Partisans - Alliance or Misalliance?
All Allied policy in Italy was influenced by two aims-eliciting of maximum Italian contribution to the war effort, and development of an Italy which would be friendly to the Allies in the years after the war. The New Policy, just reviewed, offered Italians dispensations which prompted both aims but to a large extent it fell short, especially in respect to the more immediate aim. The reason was that, though the New Policy was addressed to all Italy, in fact there were two Italys of which one could derive from this policy no immediate benefit. There was the Italy behind Allied lines, wherein the regular Italian Army helped in proportion to its gradual rehabilitation; there was also the more extensive and populous Italy behind enemy lines, wherein numerous partisan bands helped no less valuably through sabotage and other means. The partisans of the north could be given further incentive only by a different sort of New Deal, and their underground organization sent secret emissaries who specified partisan expectations. They asked not only for more funds but for Allied formal recognition as agent of the Italian Government. The virtual alliance which they sought with SACMED would be mutually beneficial militarily, especially upon invasion of the north, but, in the light of reports that partisan leadership and membership were largely communistic, the proposed alliance posed serious problems politically for the postwar future if not also the present.
Already, in the advance in central Italy, it had been necessary to decide whether order would be better served by disarming the guerrilla fighters as they came within Allied lines, or by incorporating them as units within the Italian Army. The problem was much more difficult, and military and political interests more in conflict, as it became necessary to plan for the occupation of northern Italy. Here it was necessary to choose between the military advantages of co-operating with the strongly organized CLN's to the north and the political dangers of building up forces which might eventually challenge the authority of the Italian Government. AFHQ and combat commanders were concerned with deriving maximum military advantages from the resistance movement while the control commission was intent on minimizing political and social disorders and avoiding any challenge to the Italian Government. Policy therefore wavered: in the earlier stage of deliberations the resistance movement was fostered and encouraged; in a later stage, when enemy collapse appeared imminent, the emphasis was on playing down and controlling the movement.
Clarity and consistency of policy were made difficult not only by the conflicting goals of the Allies but also by the variegated character of the movement itself. The nucleus of the resistance consisted of the old anti-Fascist parties augmented,
after the armistice, by those who were inspired as much by hatred of the Germans as by opposition to Fascism. Included also were remnants of the dispersed army, fugitives from the German labor camps, and Allied prisoners of war including some Yugoslavs and Russians. Besides those who rendered genuine and valuable service to Allied arms there were large numbers of Johnny-Come-Latelies seeking plunder and favors. Political coloration varied, but amongst the most energetic and capable were the Communists who saw in the movement a means of influencing and perhaps controlling postwar Italy. Relatively small groups of guerrilla fighters were encountered south of Rome, but north of the capital the movement was fairly widespread, and its most efficient organization was in the north, in Piedmont, Lombardy, and Venetia.
During the period of the advance on Rome it was the policy of SACMED to encourage the activities of the partisans by appointing liaison officers and dropping supplies and radio transmitters. After the partisan groups were overtaken by the advance they became the responsibility of AMG, which disarmed the guerrillas, furnished them temporary care, and saw that they were given a chance for employment on a priority basis. In an attempt to distinguish genuine partisans who had rendered significant military service from opportunists who had flocked to the colors at the eleventh hour, investigations were conducted and certificates of merits issued to bona fide claimants.
The efforts to civilianize and rehabilitate the partisans were not an unqualified success. Posters and certificates were all right in their way but the men were more interested in food and cigarettes. Many wanted to continue the fight against the enemy. Enlistment of individuals in the Italian Army under the normal conditions of recruitment was allowed, but since the partisans generally preferred to serve in their own units and under their own leaders this policy met with little success. Although there were valid objections to forming special nuclei within the Army, these were overridden and a modified program was adopted whereby one reconnaissance group (of an approximate strength of 500) "comprising their own bands under their own officers" was authorized to operate with each of the five Italian Gruppi.
This modification was made in accordance with the policy of making maximum use of the resistance in liberating the north. In Milan a coalition of resistance parties, the Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale 1'Alta Italia (CLNAI) had been formed. In November 1944 leaders of CLNAI came to Rome to report the exhaustion of their funds and to ask to be recognized as agents of the Italian Government in northern Italy. Although some members of AC feared an independent government might be set up as in Greece, Mr. Macmillan felt that the military advantages of recognition outweighed possible political embarrassments. It was therefore decided that the AC should invite the Italian Government to enter into a tripartite agreement between the Allied authorities, the Italian Government, and CLNAI. Soon after this action was taken, however, a cabinet crisis arose which made a tripartite agreement impossible. AFHQ, believing that the enemy might evacuate northwestern Italy in December, was extremely anxious to utilize the resistance in antiscorch measures. Consequently on 7 December a bipartite agreement was concluded whereby CLNAI agreed to carry out all instructions of the Commander in Chief, Allied Armies in Italy, in exchange for a monthly contribution of 160 million lire. It might be added that financial assistance was nothing new. Since its formation in April 1944, CLNAI had been given aid
by OSS and British Special Operations (SOE) which up to the date of the agreement amounted to a substantial sum. After the formation of a new Italian cabinet a political agreement was signed between CLNAI and the Government.
All these actions were taken on the premise that the partisans would be of primary importance in the liberation of northern Italy. But by the winter of 1945 the German armies in Italy, as elsewhere, appeared on the point of collapse. Reports from the field indicated that organized bands were disregarding the agreements and that the Communists were planning to seize power by force when the Germans were expelled. Furthermore, AFHQ concluded that it was too late to build up a partisan army of major military value. These developments produced a shift whereby the principal consideration became the peaceful and orderly occupation of northern Italy by Allied forces. Military aid to partisans was curtailed and the chief emphasis was put upon such preparations for help and reward as would dispose them to lay down their arms and co-operate with both AMG and the Italian Government. But there could be no assurance that the members of an organization so largely led by Communists and so oriented toward political goals would be satisfied with these limited and purely individual rewards for past services. A not inconsiderable suspense thus prevailed over the outcome as the Allied armies prepared to launch the offensive that was to bring them to the northern areas where the CLN's would be encountered in great numbers.
1. SOMEWHAT PUZZLING COBELLIGERENTS BEHIND ENEMY'S LINES
ITALIAN PATRIOTS: ANTI-FASCISTS WHO FOUGHT AS GUERRILLAS
[Memo, Patriot Bands in Central Italy, by Patriots Branch, ACC, ca. Jul 44, Encl, to Memo, Patriots Branch, 24 Aug 44, ACC files, 10000/105/564]
1. Origin of the Bands
The Patriot Movement does not represent something completely new in Italian life; it can be considered a new and wider development of the struggle carried out during the last twenty years by several underground organizations against the Fascist regime.1 The activities of these underground organizations had a direct influence in creating the conditions which made possible the coup-d'etat of July 25, 1943.
After the coup-d'etat, leaders and members of the underground organizations came out into the open. With the re-establishment of the Fascist regime (25 Sept. 1943), it became imperative for anti-fascists in enemy occupied territory to go into hiding. The same was done by many other people who had not taken part in the antifascist activities before July 25th; and who after that date had shown sympathy for the new regime and for the Allied cause.
As a result of the armistice, most of the Italian Army disbanded. Officers and soldiers went home or tried to reach home hoping that the Allies would soon arrive. When the new Fascist Government was re-established and it became evident that the enemy was going to occupy parts of the country for a certain while, officers and soldiers who did not want to join the new Fascist Army or were afraid of being sent to Germany to work, went into hiding.
Among the hundreds of thousands who went into hiding during the months of September and tions absorbed many of the people willing to engage in anti-fascist and all anti-German activities. In the towns the old anti-fascist organizations absorbed many of the people willing to act against the enemy. New groups were formed mainly by former officers in the Italian Armed Forces. In the rural districts a separation was soon established between members of bands and those who were simply waiting for the arrival of the Allies. Also in the rural districts, members of the former anti-fascist organizations succeeded
in establishing some kind of authority over the bands, except for those bands which were formed by officers and men of the disbanded Italian Army. ♦ ♦ ♦
PARTISANS OF CENTRAL ITALY ARE ALLEGEDLY ORGANIZED MORE FOR FIGHTING THAN FOR
[Capt R. W. Buckley, ACC, Rpt, 30 Jun 44, Considered at Meeting at Advance Headquarters, ACC, 3 July 1944, to Discuss Policy Toward Partisans, ACC files, 10000/105/564]
1 . . . Partisans are of three kinds:
(1) Foreign guerillas, i.e., British POW escaped, Jugo Slavs, Russians who mix freely with Italians and usually lead.
(2) Italian Patriots who have lost homes or families or are prepared to sacrifice themselves mostly non-political.
(3) Mock patriots, i.e., last minute converts, political turn-coats and job seekers. These are most numerous on our side of the line. Their worthlessness in no way minimises the fine work of the first two.
3. (2) Lt. "Monti" 2 is in charge of TAC Partisans Headquarters, reporting direct for operations with G-1 8th Army and working closely with G-2. He organizes the partisans behind the lines and utilizes those in newly acquired territory. . . . He had plenty of material, including captured German Orders showing how important the partisans work had been in harrying the German War Effort. Even while I was talking to him in his headquarters, two partisans brought in a pin pointed location of the enemy battery which was making itself a nuisance in the town (and within two hours it was silenced).
As part of his job is to co-ordinate the work of partisans on both sides of the front, and bring about contacts, both for his "staffette" and organizers, it is highly important that visitors from unliberated Italy should not obtain the impression that partisans are not justly treated once their work is finished. Lieutenant Monti had ... arranged an "intimate tea" at which the CAO's, partisans from both sides of the line and local rich men, could get an insight into the work. He wanted from the first their good will and patience, from the second their devotion and lives, and from the third, money. He insisted that the bulk of partisan activity had been done by Jugoslavs and Russians . . . and that for the most part the movement was military and not political. There were communists and groups of politicals, even monarchists, but they had combined for fighting. Feri, a youthful leader of Rome Central Committee of Liberation, was a partisan from hatred of Germans, who had killed and tortured various members of his family. He said there was no political activity only military; they were organized in five big groups (Florence, Rome, etc.) without any central co-ordination. Their orders were received direct from Allied Command, through Monti, or his staffette. He desired the organization of partisans into battalions for regular or irregular fighting (Ardite) or as labor battalions. ♦ ♦ ♦
PARTISANS OF NORTHERN ITALY HAVE AN ORGAN OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP-THE CLNAI
[Extract from Transl of Pamphlet Issued by the CLNAI, undated, ACC files, 10000/105/641]
♦ ♦ ♦ The Committee of National Liberation for Northern Italy (CLNAI), is the body of united political leadership for the movement of liberation in Northern Italy. This leadership expresses itself, in the military field, through the general headquarters of the Volontari della Liberta Corps and its attached regional and zone headquarters; in the political field, through the regional, provincial, communal CLN's, those of the village, section, factory, and concern. ♦ ♦ ♦
The CLNAI has arisen through the initiative of anti-fascist parties which have incessantly expressed the desire of the Italian people for freedom and independence from fascism. It has sprung from the need and desire to give the movement of liberation and national insurrection a united political leadership. The insurrection is not, nor can it be, the task of a single party or class, but of the entire people struggling for its independence and freedom against the German and his fascist henchmen. ♦ ♦ ♦
The CLNAI has arisen as a collective body formed by the delegates of the five major parties which have fostered and organized in occupied Italy the movement of national liberation and the anti fascist struggle of the masses for the suppression of Mussolini's regime. These are the Communist, the Socialist, the Action, the Christian Democratic and the Liberal Parties. An essential member of the CLNAI is the General Headquarters of the Volontari della Liberta' Corps which maintains liaison with our heroic and gallant fighters and represents their needs, aspirations and desires. In order to insure a more efficacious and democratic leadership for the movement of national liberation, the CLNAI has answered the heed to expand by admitting in
its midst representatives of those people's organizations which have contributed to the struggle for liberation; so that today the representatives of the Fronte della Gioventu' per l'Indipendenza Nazionale e la Liberta' and those of the Gruppi di Difesa della Donna-organizations adhering to and recognized by the CLNAI and which are enrolling and leading tens of thousands of young men and women, participate by right in the activities of the CLNAI.
Moreover, the CLNAI has recognized the national function of the Committees of Agitation which foster and direct the fight of the working class against the occupying force, collaborating bosses, deportations and for the general insurrectional strike; it has insured a close contact with these Committees as well as with the Committees for the Defense of Farmers, through its central bodies and local sections.
Other parties and organizations, besides the original components of the CLNAI or those which participate in it by virtue of their national and united character, have proclaimed their adherence to the principles and discipline of the Committee of Liberation. For example, the Democratic Workers' Party (Partio della Democrazia del Lavoro), the Republican Party, the Catholic Communist Movement, are represented in the regional, provincial and local sections of the CLNAI wherever these parties or movements have organized forces.
The regional, provincial, communal CLN's, those of borough and village, factory or business organization . . . form an integral part of the CLNAI and accept its principles and discipline: such are for example Association of Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers, Magistrates, etc. Thus it is safe to say that all the forces of occupied Italy, all the forces contributing to the fight for liberation, find in the CLNAI their spokesmen and recognize its united leadership. ♦ ♦ ♦
THE ALLIES EXERCISE OPERATIONAL CONTROL WITHOUT FORMAL RECOGNITION
[Patriots Branch, ACC, Report, Internal Organization of the Partisan Movement in Italy, 25 Oct 44, ACC files, 10000/105/564]
5. When it became clear that the CLN in Milan had achieved a real authority over this complex movement, and had in fact been recognized by the Italian Government, it was decided to send a distinguished Italian officer, with an unexceptionable democratic background, as a representative of A.A.I. to the CLN. . . . What follows is based in the main on reports from this officer.
7. The Committee has achieved a creditable degree of co-operation between all the political parties, but it is certain that the Communists are by far the most influential single element. They provide most of the Committee's administrative and liaison personnel, and in passing it is pointed out that where communications consist chiefly of couriers on foot, bicycle, or occasionally motor car, liaison duties assume a very great significance.
8. The lack of communications and the clandestine nature of the organization have made close control of military operations particularly, in the case of distant bands, out of the question. The Committee therefore contents itself with broad operational policy and concentrates mainly on organization. A.A.I. therefore maintain their direct operational control of the bands by means of an increasing network of British, American and Italian liaison officers, and a considerable wireless organization.
9. The CLN has under its direct command the Milan city command and has divided the remainder of enemy occupied Italy into five regional commands. Each of these regional commands has a number of zones, that of Piedmont having the Turin town command in addition. The bands acknowledging the CLN come directly under the respective zones.
The present position is considered to be satisfactory from the point of view of the Allied Armies, in that while the CLN achieves a large measure of political unity and common policy, the control of operations remains with HQ AAI, acting through its British and American operating agencies. .. .
ITALIAN OFFICIAL URGES RECOGNIZING PATRIOTS AS SOLDIERS OF ITALIAN ARMY
[Rpt of an Interv by a PWB Representative With Mario Palermo, USW, Jul 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
♦ ♦ ♦ The project might be summarized as follows: the government would publicly recognize as soldiers of the Italian army all Italians fighting the Germans and Fascists in occupied Italy. The government would appoint a general who would direct and co-ordinate the military efforts of the partisans from this side. .. .
The Italian Government was, Palermo said, most anxious to increase Italy's contribution to the war effort. . . . He felt . . . that it was the duty of the Italian Government directly to encourage in every way possible Italian resistance in Central and Northern Italy. He was passionately interested in the resistance movement and
felt that this movement should be sponsored by the Italian Government. He hoped the Allies would allow the Italian Government to take a direct interest in the movement of resistance, though naturally the final control would rest with the Allies. Although he was a Communist, he did not look at this problem from a Party point of view, but from a national point of view. He believed that at this moment everything should be subordinated to winning the war ♦ ♦ ♦
AN ALLIED OFFICIAL ALSO BELIEVES PATRIOTS NEED A LEAD FROM THE GOVERNMENT
[Col C. D. McCarthy, Dir, Patriots Branch, ACC, Min of Remarks at Conf of Rgnl Cmsrs, 22 Aug 44, ACC files, 10000/105/564]
3. . . . After speaking to a large number of patriots in various corners of the country I personally feel that in the great majority of cases these men have been fighting first to defeat the Germans, second to destroy Fascism and third, in the case of some of them, to build up a new Italy. Most of them have at this stage of the war very little idea of the aims and ambitions of the six political parties in Italy but they are keenly alive to the fact that something drastic must be done about politics in the very near future and, being mostly young and active men, they are keenly susceptible to influence and require a lead from the Italian Government. ♦ ♦ ♦
BUT THE ARMY WANTS TO DIRECT PARTISAN OPERATIONS ITSELF
[Memo, Lt Gen A. F. Harding, CofS, AAI, for Chief Cmsr, ACC, 25 Aug 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
1. From unofficial reports received at this Headquarters it is apparent that the Italian Government are endeavouring to control Patriot activities in enemy occupied Italy. The Commanderin-Chief wishes to make it quite clear that under existing circumstances this cannot be tolerated.
2. The Commander-in-Chief reserves the right exclusively to direct their operations as hitherto in order to further his campaign.
3. Amongst the Partisans in Italy there is no unified command which takes its orders direct from the Commander-in-Chief. Resistance Groups have been built up either around members of the Italian Army who found themselves in Northern Italy at the time of the Armistice or around active members of various political parties.
4. All Resistance Groups have the common desire to hasten the liberation of their country, and the Allies have provided arms, ammunition and equipment that has been available to enable the groups to play an active part.
7. If the Italian Government wish to identify and concern themselves more fully with the Italian Patriots, it is suggested that they concentrate upon the difficult task of moulding the Patriots aspiration into good citizenship so that they may plan an active part in the new Italy. It is suggested that this matter falls within the Province of the Minister of the Interior and not of the Minister for War unless the Patriots are absorbed into the Armed Forces. 3
PWB DECIDES ALLIED PROPAGANDA SHOULD NOW PLAY DOWN PARTISAN SERVICES
[Directive, PWB, I&C Sec, AFHQ, 13 Oct 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
1. The campaign has reached a stage where a reaffirmation of our directive for propaganda on the patriots in Northern Italy is necessary. The purpose of this directive is to put the patriot activities into the proper perspective vis-à-vis the Allied armies in Italy and the Italian Regular Army.
2. It is necessary not only because of the emergence of a new stage in the campaign but also because publicity given the patriots has imperceptibly grown to a point where it is out of proportion to the war effort in Italy not only of the Allies but also the Italian Army.
3. A further reason is that there is evidence that certain elements in Italy are likely to make and indeed already to some extent have been -making political capital out of the activities of the patriots, using as their basis Allied publicity.
7. It is incorrect . . . to speak of the patriots as liberating any particular area; if they are in control of any one place it is because the Germans have withdrawn from that place and are for the moment not taking action. We should remember that it is the Allies who are liberating Italy with the help of the patriots. The patriots are unable to liberate of their own accord.
9. The foregoing is background to the recent directive to play down very gradually the activities of patriots to liberated Italy and to the rest
of the world. It is essential that the qualification "very gradually" should be observed in order that there be no appearance of a new directive to this effect. We are fully aware of the part played by the patriots, for which they should have full credit.
2. LIBERATED PARTISANS PREFER THEIR SWORDS TO PLOWSHARES
PARTISANS WHO Do NOT KNOW AMG DO NOT DEFER TO IT
[Benson, SCAO, AMG, Eighth Army, Rpt, 10 Jun 44, ACC files, 10000/205/564]
4. There has been considerable trouble with partisans. There would appear to be two lots of partisans, one lot (those whom we are meeting now) who have not been officially helped by the Armies in the form of dropping supplies and arms, and the other who have. These latter we have not yet come in contact with. The attitude of the partisans is that they are both military and political. We have met them particularly in Fiuggi, Tivoli, and Anagni. Wherever they have been met we have found that they have set up their own administration and claim that these have been elected by them as representing the people. They have no knowledge of A.M.G. and are usually disinclined to accept its authority. In many cases they have arrested a considerable number of people not always at great discrimination and in some cases these people have only been saved from summary shooting by the arrival of a C.A.O. In Fiuggi they claim that their administration is recognized by the fact that Badoglio in his broadcast about the formation of a new Government asked all the existing administrations in occupied territory to carry on with their work pending formation of new Government. The position about these Partisans is also aggravated in that, owing to the present rate of advance, towns are being left with no military in them at all, and as the partisans are armed it requires great tact on the part of C.A.O.'s to handle them. Instructions have been given from Eighth Army that all these partisans are to be disarmed.
The problem is a novel one and is bound to be met with in further intensity the further north the advance goes. At the present time instructions have been given that these partisans are to be disarmed and to be told that the administration they set up is not valid and that A.M.G. is the ruling authority. They are being told that they have done very good work but that now that the Allies have occupied the country they must lay down their arms in conformity with the Proclamation to this effect, but that their arms will be kept separate and ready in case of need or should it be decided to employ them in the. Italian Army. The question of disarming partisans is strictly speaking not an AMG affair, but owing to lack of troops we have attempted to deal with it and up to date the situation is in hand....
5. It is essential in my opinion that some directive be given on the whole question of political activities of the partisans, but it is more important that this directive be in some way given to them so that in the future as and when they are met they will have some knowledge of the work that AMG performs, and the fact that their political activities are not recognized and their nominees are not necessarily going to be accepted. [See below.] It is suggested that if possible some broadcasts could be made to this effect.
6. Another suggestion I would like to make is that AAI should be asked to provide a body of responsible Italian officers who could be made immediately available to deal with the partisans as they are met, to look after the disarming and generally explain the position to them.
7. It must be borne in mind that with the rapid rate of advance it is impossible for AMG Eighth Army officers to be kept in these towns and with the small number of officers available to the provinces there is a very serious risk of trouble breaking out when the AMG Eighth Army GAO's leave, owing to the inability of the provinces to put CAO's in themselves.
8. I consider that action must be taken to clear up the position of the partisan urgently, both in the interests of preventing trouble once the Army has passed through and also difficulties from the political aspect.
THIS SIDE THE LINE THEY SEEM NUISANCES TO SOME CAO's
[Buckley, Rpt, 30 Jun 44]
7. Lieutenant Simpson, 8th Army CAPO at Perugia thought the partisans nuisances. They interfered with his work (I) by not delivering arms (2) by disobeying other orders (3) by wishing to impose their own authority and
nominees. He had formed the opinion that most of these so-called partisans were glib converts from fascism, when they are not actually communists. As he had to organise rapidly and see his orders carried out, he dealt summarily with any interference-in one case by refusing to listen to an Italian ex-General who was recognized by the locals and G-i as a most valuable partisan leader-leaving FSS and Monti to clean up after him. The patriots feel they deserve some recognition and Monti points out that summary treatment does not make for smooth working in his military machine or good propaganda on the other side of the lines. He had in fact, seen Simpson and asked him to be patient.
8. In general, Major Steele, 6th Armored Division AMG.
Captain Palatte, 8th Army CAO.
Captain [David G.] Erskine, 8th India Division.
Lieutenant Garigue, 8th Army CAO.
Major [T. D.] Bullock, 8th Army Headquarters.
agreed that whereas the partisans had done good work behind the lines, they were now becoming a problem requiring a separate organization to deal with them. Notable in this connection, Group Captain Benson was in favor of having some Italian Officers serving for this purpose. They could sublimate the energies of a few by appointing them as CCRR and, when asked, provide labor gangs, clerks etc. But the greater number remained unabsorbed. They [the CAO's] had the unconfirmed feeling that many were political opportunists, mostly communists, seizing this opportunity for power and authority.
9. Captain Bennett, CAO Region IV had authoritarian views of his own. He forbade the partisans to exert power, where they had set up their own councils, but invited one nominee on his giuntas. In his main town, Foligno, he was receiving the active assistance of the CNL, operating its own office. He issued them a number of passes and created CCRR from their strength to patrol the streets. . . . While using them in this way and with labor and demolition gang, he allowed them no authority and sacked the mayor they had themselves elected in favor of the owner of a printing work. He himself nominated the giunta. (It must be pointed out that as the town was largely evacuated, the partisans made the bulk of the population). Speaking no Italian, not listening to anything the locals have to say, he will probably encounter or make trouble.
10. Captain Godbold, CAPO Region IV Foligno had accepted ready made the giunta and Sindaco set up by the partisans in one of his towns but generally regarded them as people to be ignored if they could not be used. His chief concern was to get their arms from them. ♦ ♦ ♦
PERHAPS A SPECIAL ORGANIZATION CAN HANDLE THEM
[Patriots Branch, ACC, Rpt for Jul 44, ACC files, 10000/125/84]
1.... The Patriots Branch of A.C.C. was formed early in July as a result of an instruction from A.A.I. and is responsible for all dealings with Resistance Groups as soon as the territory in which they have been operating is liberated by our troops.
3. A pool of Italian patriot representatives has been formed to assist Allied officers who are concerned in identifying patriots and in handling patriot problems. Nine pairs of representatives (one each representing the C.L.N. Group and the Military Center Group) have been dispatched to Army areas and further teams are being organized for Regions.
4. It is the task of the Patriots Branch to direct the rehabilitation of all Patriots in liberated territory and to co-ordinate the policy of Headquarter's A.A.I. and A.C.C. with regard to future operations in enemy territory. ♦ ♦ ♦
TACT, POSTERS, AND CERTIFICATES MAY MAKE PATRIOTS GOOD CITIZENS
[ACC Instr for All Concerned on Administration of Patriots in MG Territory, 18 Jul 44, ACC files, 10000/105/564]
4. On liberation of territory patriots must revert from their quasi-military status and become good citizens. To this end a message in poster form signed by General Alexander has been prepared and will be widely published.
5. Patriots come under the aegis of AMG officers whose duty it is to see that the metamorphosis from military to civilian status takes place with the minimum of disillusionment. To this end representatives of patriot organizations have been sent to the Army AMG's and Italian committees with strong patriot representation will be set up in the local governments of liberated territory. It is extremely important that while order is to be maintained and arms have to be surrendered, patriots should be treated with great tact and sympathy in order to avoid antagonism and discouragement which would
become known and have an adverse effect upon patriots still operating against the enemy. Leaders of patriot groups should be thanked by AMG officers for the assistance which they have rendered to the Allies and told to convey to their groups the Allied appreciation of their efforts.
6. While the patriots are not a political organization and must be dissuaded from setting up purely patriot local governments, it must be remembered that by virtue of their military aid they have a right to strong representation in the local government. Italian local government officials must be made to realise and show appreciation of their value and their right to be represented in government.
7. Patriots will be unwilling to hand in arms but the preservation of law and order precludes the existence of irregular armed bands in liberated territory: the law demands their surrender and they must therefore be tactfully told to- obey the law.
8. After months of guerilla warfare it will be hard for patriots to settle down to normal life. To encourage rapid return to their ordinary vocations will be one of the most difficult duties of the local committees who, like AMG officers and Italian officials, must deal with the patriots not as a nuisance but with sympathy and gratitude. It should at all times be remembered that an unemployed patriot is not only a disgrace to the community but a menace.
9. While it is desirable to leave the rehabilitation of patriots to the Italians themselves, in the form of local committees, CAO's and especially Provincial Officers in the later period of occupation, remembering that they have fought for the Allies, should ensure that they are given a square deal.
10. 20,000 posters have been sent to AMG 5 Army and 30,000 to AMG 8 Army. These should be displayed immediately after liberation of territory and the attention of all patriots drawn to them. The contents of the poster will also be broadcast locally by PWB and will be published in Italian newspapers.
11. In order to show appreciation of individual effort certificates of merit have been prepared for issue to every individual patriot vouched for by the local patriot leader. Certificates will be endorsed by the recognised patriot leader and by an Allied officer (e.g., the CAO). ♦ ♦ ♦
SOME ARE RELIABLE PEOPLE
[Doherty, Chief, Public Safety Div, Rpt for Jul 44, ACC files, 10000/143/320]
♦ ♦ ♦ It is of note that in some places Partisans have been met who are reliable people, such as were met in Livorno. They have assisted in the early government of communes and the surrender of arms has been more readily effected. ♦ ♦ ♦
OTHERS ROB AND PLUNDER
[Public Safety Sub-Com, Rpt for Aug 44, ACC files, 10000/143/450]
♦ ♦ ♦ A good deal of the time of Public Safety Officers in forward areas has been occupied in dealing with patriots. The difficulty has been to distinguish between genuine partisans and undesirable characters who seize the opportunity to form themselves into armed bands, robbing and plundering the countryside. By constituting the CCRR as the law enforcing authority and withdrawing weapons from the patriots, the situation has been kept well in hand. ♦ ♦ ♦
LEGAL OFFICER RUNS INTO THORNY PROBLEM
[Memo, Legal Officer, Macerata Province, for LO, Rgn V, AMG, 10 Aug 44, ACC files, 10500/115/178]
1. There have been a large number of processi verbali transmitted to the Procuratore del Regno of Macerata and the Procuratore del Regno of Camerino, involving acts committed by known and unknown patriots against Fascists in the days preceding the occupation of this area by the Allies. I have directed that these cases be temporarily suspended until a ruling is received from higher headquarters. Most of these cases involve assaults, murder of well known Fascists, committed by members of organised bands of Patriots. Public sentiment regards these acts as justifiable under war conditions, and favours the termination of such court proceedings.
2. Request advice as to the procedure to be followed in the disposition of these cases.
THEY MUST LEARN THAT WHAT'S RIGHT ON THAT SIDE OF THE LINE IS WRONG THIS SIDE
[Maj Gen L. Browning, Min of Remarks at Conf of Rgnl Cmsrs, 22 Aug 44, ACC files, 10000/101/443]
b. We wish to encourage the patriots, who are doing valuable work in enemy occupied territory. On the other hand, we cannot countenance the existence, as formed fighting units, of patriot bands who are overpassed by us in our advance. We cannot keep within our lines "private armies" of patriots of diverse political color and aspirations. One thinks of the troubles of Yugoslavia and Greece in this connection. This has obviously a post-war as well as a present aspect, particularly as in the North numbers are said to be large. ♦ ♦ ♦
THEY MUST NOT EXPECT LONG VACATIONS BEFORE STARTING WORK
[Memo, Lt Col Earnest Bye, Patriots Sec, AMG, Fifth Army, for SCAO, AMG, City of Florence, 11 Sep 44, ACC files, 10700/133/43]
10. Immediately the fighting ceased in Florence and prior to the inspection ceremony, the Patriots were told through their leaders that every effort would be made to assist those desiring to work or to return to their homes outside Florence. Very few took advantage of this offer.
11. As an example of their lack of enthusiasm to work-on the 4th September 1944 one hundred men were required urgently to clean out a school earmarked to accommodate refugees. I saw all the Brigade leaders and asked for the men, informing them at the same time that they would be paid and given a midday meal. They consulted together and then they told me that their men had fought in Florence during the past month and that they now needed a month's rest to recuperate. Not one mall presented himself for the work. ♦ ♦ ♦
A FIRMER ATTITUDE MUST BE ADOPTED ON WEAPONS
[Hq AMG, Fifth Army, Directive to CAO's, 2 Oct 44, ACC files, 11100/101/140]
2. Handing in of Arms
Although results vary widely this is in general very unsatisfactory; there are many instances in which the number of weapons handed in is but a small fraction of the quantity which the Partisans themselves admit to possessing. Moreover there is evidence that partisans are being advised by political organisations to retain their arms and the presence of armed hooligans throughout the country is causing grave concern to the Italian Government and Allied Authorities.
For these reasons a firmer attitude must be adopted. All persons who have wilfully concealed weapons will be charged under the terms of Proclamation Number 1....
PARTISAN BRIGADE SURRENDERS ITS ARMS
[Memo CofS, AMG, Fifth Army, for Patriots Branch, ACC, 6 Oct 44, ACC files, 10700/133/42]
♦ ♦ ♦ This Brigade [36 "Garibaldi" Brigade-Alessandro Bianconcini ] originally consisted of 1500 members. 330 of the members, including two women members, came into the lines of the 88th Division, near Castel del Rio, and were disarmed by AMG, and brought to Scarperia, where they have been housed and fed. The SCAO expressed the appreciation and thanks of the Allied Military Government to them, explained why they should surrender their arms, which they readily surrendered, and requested that the officers commanding certify a list of officers and men who had distinguished themselves in fighting the enemy, to whom certificates of merit would have been issued. The officers expressed their great appreciation, but said that such an act would cause bad feeling among the personnel and they preferred that it not be done. The SCAO suggested that one certificate of merit be given the 36 Brigade, and they were very pleased with this and such certificate was issued.
3. PARTISAN UNITS TO BE ACCEPTED IN THE ITALIAN ARMY
ITALIAN OFFICIAL SUGGESTS ALTERNATIVE TO DISARMAMENT
[Transl of Memo (Unsigned) from an Italian Govt Official for Chief Cmsr, AC, 11 Oct 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
♦ ♦ ♦ When carried into effect, the disarmament of the patriots causes great bitterness and resentment among them; they think that their work is neither acknowledged nor appreciated. The true patriots give up their arms reluctantly and the more restless elements hide them.
Great advantage would be derived from keeping the bands going for a certain length of time; their discontent wouldn't be aroused, it would be easier to judge the activity and merits of everyone in particular, and make correct lists of all true patriots, this without mentioning the fundamental advantage of being able to make use of them as an organization for a certain length of time. ♦ ♦ ♦
PATRIOTS HAVE GROUNDS FOR COMPLAINT
[Memo, Rolph, PC, Florence Province, for SCAO, Fifth Army, 12 Oct 44, ACC files, 10700/133/40]
1. The object of this letter is to bring to your attention the treatment of transient and wounded Patriots in Allied areas. By transient is meant those, on this side of the line, waiting to return
to their homes on the other side of the line, or those returning to their homes in Allied territory.
2. At the moment all possible is done to make them comfortable externally. Attempts are made to provide billets, baths, bedding and the like. The crowded conditions of near-front towns do not make this too easy and generally speaking the patriot is just considered a nuisance to all who are requested to assist.
3. Much worse, however, is the position regarding food. No substantial rations are available for them and there are no cigarettes. Civilian supplies, even stretched, are regarded as completely inadequate. These remarks apply equally to the wounded.
4. The reward for service rendered intimated in 2 and 3 above, is of great disappointment and discouragement to the patriots, especially in the light of Allied Propaganda and it is considered that news of this treatment seeping through the lines, does not encourage the patriots still fighting.
5. I consider that the minimum that should be done to fulfill
our own promises to patriots and compensate those who have actively assisted in
the Allied cause is:
(a) to provide the wounded with Allied Army rations and cigarettes, Italian scale, for a period related to the extent of the injuries;
(b) to provide patriots coming out of the line with similar rations, to cover the period necessary for them to return to their homes. ♦ ♦ ♦
[AMG, Fifth Army, Rpt, for Nov 44, ACC files, 10000/132/11]
Reception Centers for homeless partisans who have come through the line have been established at Florence and Lucca. Several hundred have had to be handled in this way. So far there has been no source of supply from which clothing can be drawn for them and their treatment has perforce not been all that might be desired. More complex is the problem of absorbing them into the Community and finding work for them; although the Army wants labor it cannot provide shelter, clothing, food and organization on a large scale. One group was formed into a labour gang designated No. 1 Appenine Civil Labour Force, equipped with salvaged materials and put to work on the roads under their own leaders and directed by British Engineers. This experiment has been successful so far and the men are very happy, but it must be emphasized that the supplies necessary for equipping other groups in the same way do not exist at the present time. ♦ ♦ ♦
PATRIOTS WILL RECEIVE SAME TREATMENT AS ITALIAN SOLDIERS
[Paraphrase of Msg, AFHQ to Hq AC 28 Dec 44, ACC files, 10700/133/40]
Treatment like that afforded the Italian Army will be accorded to Patriots coming through our lines. You are authorized, pending receipt of detailed instructions, to issue rations on the same scale as is issued to Italian Army and also clothing and equipment....
CHIEF COMMISSIONER PROPOSES ACCEPTANCE OF PARTISAN UNITS IN ITALIAN ARMY
[Memo, Admiral Stone, Chief Cmsr, ACC, for SACMED, 16 Jan 44, ACC files, 1000/136/339]
1. The disposal of patriots immediately on liberation has been a matter of constant consideration, and indeed anxiety, on the part of myself and my advisers for some months. Arrangements made to meet this extremely difficult problem, which were agreed upon last July by all parties concerned including members of Special Force and of the patriots themselves, have been partly successful: a new approach must now be made.
2. Hitherto our aim has been to make of the patriots, after liberation, good civilians: to rehabilitate them in their normal vocations: to give them preferential treatment in the matter of employment: to clothe them and to feed them insofar as supplies make it possible: to recruit them as individuals into the Italian Army: and to repatriate them to their homes if they are not found to be locals. Finally, our policy has been to disarm them.
3. Our reports from Allied Military Government officers, however, have shown that patriots expect better and different treatment. They are disillusioned at their reception. Those that have really fought in bands and companies have expressed their desire to continue the fight in the same formations. The meagre supplies of food and clothing that we have been able to give do not, in their opinion, fulfill the promises made to them by the Allied missions with whom they have been operating. The order to disarm is the
final straw: they resent it and the majority of them disobey it. True, we have found no serious trouble so far but, in my opinion, a fundamentally different situation will arise when we get to the North with its more virile population and (estimated) 100,000 patriots in well organised bands.
4. The experiences of the Allied Nations in Belgium, France and Greece have exposed the vital danger which threatens any government, be it military or indigenous, which has to face, in the initial stages of liberation, the presence of armed bands of men accustomed to living by force of arms alone, who are readily affected and enrolled into political organisations the object of which is to usurp the power of the legitimate government and to set up a government by force rather than through elective processes.
5. We must, therefore, in this country endeavour to avoid the misuse of those bands of partisans who, armed with Allied rifles and equipment, provided with Allied food and money, encouraged by Allied officers, have aided the Allied war effort. Disrupted from their normal life with little chance of an easy return to civilian employment, in this country perhaps the only virile members of a defeated population, they find it easier and more attractive to retain the role of fighters and thus become an easy prey to the forces of anarchy.
6. I believe that with patience and understanding we can overcome many of the material causes of disillusionment but attempts at wholesale disarmament will ever be a source of resentment and of resistance for a portion of these persons.
7. The offers to enlist individuals into the Italian Army under the normal conditions of recruitment for that Army, intended to meet the desires of those who wish to carry on the fight, have met with little success. From many Italian sources, from the patriots themselves and from members of the Italian Government, have come requests that they should be recruited into the fighting element of the Army in their patriot bands under their patriot officers so that the comradeship and loyalty displayed behind the lines may not be lost after liberation. I am now convinced that whether in fact they will join the Army in these circumstances or not, we must give them the opportunity to do so.
8. The technical objections to this course are well understood. In the very difficult task of reorganising the Italian Army, the GOC, Land Forces Sub-Commission, naturally dislikes the idea of forming special nuclei within that Army which might become political formations and which would be of doubtful value militarily. He must object to accepting men into the Italian Army on their own terms: he must resist the breaking up of existing Army units in order to fit in special bands. 4
9. I submit that we must consider accepting the principle of taking into the Italian Army patriot bands as units, in numbers not exceeding say that of a company, under their own existing officers. In my opinion the political, and indeed, administrative advantages, must outweigh the military objections, for by doing so we shall be going a long way to ensure the preservation of law and order in the North and the avoidance of political and civil strife. I would ask, therefore, for your earnest and urgent consideration that the principle be approved. ♦ ♦ ♦
PATRIOT UNITS WILL BE ACCEPTED IN ITALIAN ARMY
[Ltr, AG, AFHQ, to President, AC, 22 Feb 45, MTO, HS files, G-5, AFHQ Papers, AC-091-711/083, GCT-O]
2. A general policy is hereby established for the induction of Italian Patriots into the Italian Army as individuals to fill the 48,000 deficiency under the present ceiling.
3. In order, however, to make the most advantageous use of the fighting capabilities of the Patriots and with the object of preserving to the greatest possible extent the esprit-de-corps which is so outstanding a feature of the Patriot bands, the present organization of the Italian Army will be adjusted to permit the formation of further combat forces in the form of Reconnaissance Companies to operate, one with each of the five Italian Gruppi. It is suggested that these Reconnaissance Companies should have an approximate strength of 5oo and should be formed of Patriots comprising their own bands under their own officers. ♦ ♦ ♦
4. WAR MAKES STRANGE ALLIANCES
WHAT POLICY WILL OBVIATE POLITICAL DISORDER AMONG CLN'S AND PARTIES IN THE
[Memo, Gen Alexander, CinC, AAI, for SACMED, 11 Sep 44, ACC files, 10000/136/287]
2. Conflict between Partisans and Fascists, internal political factors, and economic dislocation consequent upon a German withdrawal will constitute, in my opinion, a fertile seed bed for serious disorder in Western Italy....
6. There is one other matter ... on which it seems to me that a decision of policy is required now if serious disorders are to be avoided. It is the question of the attitude to be adopted by officers of the Allied Military Government to the various Italian Political parties in Western Italy. According to my information there are three main parties, viz: The Army Patriots (Monarchists), the Action Party (Republicans) and the Communists who are numerically the strongest and almost certainly the best organised. There is also the Committee of National Liberation to whom many thousands of armed patriots owe allegiance in greater or lesser degree. Naturally I have no wish to intervene in any way in local politics, but I am very much interested in their effect on the possibilities of disorders which, as I have already pointed out directly affect the military commitment. For that reason I consider that firm and clear instructions ... are required to make sure that disorders do not break out by reason of uncertainty on the part of the Italian people as to the attitude of the Allied Governments to their various political functions. [See below, Harding's Memo, 29 Sep.] ♦ ♦ ♦
PARTISANS ARE GIVEN THREE DUTIES BUT NO COMMITMENTS
[Instrs of No. 1 Spec Force, CMF, to SOE Officer in the Fid, 22 Sep 44, 5 ACC files, 10000/109/173]
2. Allied military government will be established in the areas in which you are operating as soon as but not before Allied troops arrive with Allied military government officers and you should so inform the local committees of liberation and patriot bands.
3. You should inform the local committees and patriot bands that their first duty is to carry out the operational orders of General Alexander. Their second duty should be so far as possible to protect public utilities and electric power installations from destruction. Their third duty, in common with that of all Italians, should be to preserve law and order until Allied Military Government is established.
4.. .. The success of the committees and bands in carrying out General Alexander's operational orders, in guarding utilities from destruction and in preserving law and order will not, however, entitle the committees and bands as such to their recognition as a local or governmental authority on the part of the Allied military authorities when they arrive, and you should scrupulously avoid making any statements to the committees or bands which might be construed as commitments of this kind. This warning applies not only to the smaller bands and committees, but also to the Committee of National Liberation in Milan....
PARTISANS TO BE ASKED TO PRESERVE LAW AND ORDER IN PARTISAN AREAS
[Memo, Capt Stone, USNR, Actg Chief Cmsr, ACC, to AAI, Adv Hq, 29 Sep 44, ACC files, 10000/109/173]
♦ ♦ ♦ In consultation with BGS [British General Staff] (Ops) plans have been made to send directions to Allied officers now operating in those areas with the patriot forces with the object of trying to persuade the local committees and bands to preserve law and order pending the arrival of Allied forces and the establishment of Allied Military Government. The officers have, however, been specifically warned to enter into no commitments with any of the bands or committees, not even with the National Committee at Milan, whose representative character is purely conjectural even though it has to some extent been encouraged by the Italian Government to regard itself as their agent.
BUT THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE UPHELD
[Memo, Harding, Chief of GS, AAI, for Chief Cmsr, ACC, 29 Sep 44, ACC files, 10000/109/173]
2. As regards the question of the attitude to be adopted towards the various political parties in Western Italy, the Supreme Allied Commander has directed that the policy of the Allied Command will be to support the authority of the Government of Signor Bonomi which includes
representatives of the six principal parties in the State. The Allies are supporting this Government because it is pursuing a policy of maximum Italian participation in the war effort, and in internal affairs is pledged to the abolition of Fascist methods and influences. ♦ ♦ ♦
NORTHERN PARTISANS NEED AND SOLICIT HELP THEMSELVES
[Transl of Ltr from Prime Minister Bonomi to Chief Cmsr, AC, 15 Nov 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
♦ ♦ ♦ I. With scanty means and in difficult conditions, the Italian patriots operated during the whole summer, being always ready for a general insurrection against the Germans and the Fascists. Now . . . they are faced with the prospect of another winter of war, for which they are not at all prepared. . . . The Patriots communicate that, with their present means, they cannot operate in the plains any more, and their leaders let it be clearly understood that, if they are not put in a condition to live and work in the mountains, their men will have to choose between collaboration with the Germans, or being all cruelly punished and hung.
2. The rarefying [less frequently sending] of the weapons and, foodstuffs supplies for the Patriots, and of the parachutists, began in the first days of the summer. It was due to various causes ... [largely logistical]. To my mind, to save the situation, it is necessary to put to execution a large program of supplies and arms, to which the Government is ready to give all the help it can give.♦ ♦ ♦
[Historical Note of Political Sec, AC, 12 Jan 45, ACC files, 10000/136/339]
1. Shortly before the fall of the first Bonomi Government a group of emissaries from the Committee of National Liberation in Northern Italy arrived in Rome. Their object was to secure the recognition by the Allied Military authorities and the Italian Government of the CLNAI as the agent of the Italian Government in the north and a large measure of financial and material assistance. The CLNAI had already in August last been accorded by the Italian Government a limited degree of recognition as the co-ordinating body for resistance activities in Northern Italy. The Allied military authorities, however, had previously refused to accord any form of recognition to the CLNAI as it was generally held that to do so would tend to render more difficult the establishment of Allied Military Government when the territories in due course came to be liberated.
2. Since that time the CLNAI in the cities of the north had been playing an increasingly powerful role and through their access to funds and to support of the Allied officers serving in occupied territories they had succeeded in acquiring control of a large number of the bands of patriots engaged in fighting the enemy. There is a considerable body of evidence to show that their ambition has been to play an active role in the administration of Italian territory as and when it is freed from the enemy. It is known positively that in Turin for example the local Committee intended to assume legislative functions by means of issuing decrees and to exercise other attributes of Government such as the requisitioning of buildings and the arrest of Fascists.
3. When, therefore, the emissaries of the CLNAI came forward with the request for formal recognition by the Allied military authorities and the Italian Government it was obviously necessary to proceed with great caution. ♦ ♦ ♦
MILITARY PROPOSAL FOR GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION AROUSES FEARS IN AC
[Notes on a Mtg With Maj Gen W. A. M. Stawell, Comdr, SOMTO, and Comdr G. R. Holdsworth, CO, No. 1 Spec Force, 18 Nov 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
1. Commander Holdsworth told Commodore Stone that it had been decided to continue full and in fact increased support materially to the Patriot Movement in Northern Italy throughout the Winter so as to avoid a wide scale "Warsaw." This material assistance was to be effected by increased air lift.
2. No. 1 Special Force believed that the time was now ripe for the Italian Government to recognize the National Committee of Liberation as their agents in Northern Italy, and also stated that the financial needs of the patriots would be one million lire a month....
4. Commodore Stone said that he was opposed to tying up the recognition of the CLNAI by the Italian Government with the problem of the supply and maintenance of the organization during the Winter. They seemed to him quite different problems to be handled separately. Why should the Italian Government not make available these funds to the CLNAI, letting it be known in the North that they were giving this support to their fellow countrymen, without taking the grave step of giving them uncontrolled agency? Commander Holdsworth said that the CLNAI was now so powerful that if the present Italian Government did not now recognize them and grant them authority to act in the North on their behalf, it would antagonize the CLNAI with disastrous results to the future unity of this country. It was the urgent wish of the CLNAI to be recognized.
Commodore Stone said that this was a matter for the Italian Government to decide for themselves. On no account was it a decision which should be imposed upon them by the Allies, and that if he were the Prime Minister he would be reluctant to delegate broad, unrestricted powers to the CLNAI, in view of the experience of similar movements in other countries. Non-recognition of the CLNAI would at least give Bonomi the possibility to "trade." ♦ ♦ ♦
AC HAS POLITICAL OBJECTIONS TO RECOGNITION
[Memo, Lush, CofS, AC, 20 Nov 44, ACC files, 10000/109/173]
5. In the first place it is open to doubt whether the Committee of Liberation does really represent the bulk of the population in Northern Italy. Its representatives affirm that they do but there is little evidence except from patriot sources to confirm this. It may be an advantage from the military point of view that the activities of the patriots should be coordinated into one Committee but to commit both the Allied and the Italian Government to recognize this body as the prototype of AMG and the representative of the Italian Government would appear to be, from the political point of view, a most dangerous move. What, for instance, would be the position if the Italian Government were to change before Northern Italy were liberated if the Committee of National Liberation were not to recognize the succeeding Italian Government. We should have then set up in Northern Italy the very organization which we must at all events try to avoid, that is, a separate independent Government.
6. Whereas, therefore, it may be necessary to constitute some unified military authority to command the patriots in Northern Italy and coordinate their activities from the operational point of view, it would seem unwise to give this organization the permanent political character recommended by S.O.M. [ SOMTO ]. We must allow both AMG and the Italian Government absolute freedom of administrative and political action on the liberation of this area.
SACMED DECIDES THAT MILITARY ADVANTAGES OF RECOGNITION OUTWEIGH POLITICAL
[Min of SACMED's Political Comm., 22 Nov 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
♦ ♦ ♦ Major General Stawell ... stated that representatives of the Committee of National Liberation for Northern Italy were at present in Rome and had had preliminary discussions with the Italian Government and himself. They felt that recognition would give them a greater measure of control over the various sub-committees in the North and would increase their influence with industrialists which they deemed to be particularly desirable in view of the anti-scorch policy now being pursued. They also believed that recognition would give them greater protection from reprisals from the Fascists, whom they feared more than the Germans.
Mr. Macmillan pointed out that, although past experience in other countries had shown that the recognition of liberation movements entailed dangerous political consequences, the military advantages in this instance appeared to dictate it. It might be more logical for the proposed agreement to be entered into between the Supreme Allied Commander and the Committee of National Liberation in Northern Italy but such a procedure would involve the practical difficulty of supplying 100 million metropolitan lire monthly, since the currency in use in liberated Italy was valueless on the enemy side of the line. ♦ ♦ ♦
Lieutenant General [J.A.H.] Gammell observed that it might be
more desirable to enter into a tri-partite agreement.
Mr. Kirk [U.S. Political Adviser] concurred in Lieutenant General Gammell's suggestion but suggested that no compulsion be used and that the Italian Government merely be invited to be a party to the agreement. ♦ ♦ ♦
The Supreme Allied Commander:
(a) Directed that the Allied Commission invite the Italian Government to furnish to the Allied Military authorities for payment of the Committee of National Liberation in Northern Italy some 100 million metropolitan lire a month in exchange for the equivalent in Allied military currency and to join in a tripartite agreement, reporting to the next meeting of the Political Committee as to the Italian Government's reactions. 6
FOR TIME BEING A BILATERAL RATHER THAN TRIPARTITE AGREEMENT
[Note by Secy, SACMED's Political Comm., Relations With Italian Partisans, 5 Dec 44, MTO, HS files, G-5, AFHQ Papers, PC(44)-144, Annexure]
1.... It would now appear ... that there is likely to be some delay before the proposal for
the recognition of the CLNAI can be submitted to the new [Italian] government when formed. 7
2. G-2 in a recent appreciation gave the opinion that the enemy may evacuate Northwest Italy this month. It is apparent, therefore, that no time should be lost if plans for anti-scorch and other measures of resistance in Northwest Italy are to be effective.
4. The Supreme Allied Commander has accordingly directed that
Commander, SOM [ SOMTO ]
(a) Bring the delegation to AFHQ, in order to sign on 6 December 1944 the bilateral form of agreement attached to Paper No. PC(44)-144 dated 30 November 1944
(b) Subsequently arrange for the return of the delegation to Northern Italy at times and by means dictated by security....
5. The delegation are very disappointed that the primary object of their visit, namely, recognition by the Italian Government, has not been so far achieved, but they hope that this may materialise in the near future. ♦ ♦ ♦
AN UNUSUAL AGREEMENT FOR ALLIANCE
[Memo of Agreement Between SACMED and the CLNAI, 7 Dec 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
1. The Supreme Allied Commander wishes the utmost military co-operation to be established and maintained among the elements which are active in the resistance movement. The CLNAI will establish and maintain such co-operation as will bring together all active elements in the resistance movement whether they belong to the CLNAI anti-fascist parties or to other anti-fascist organizations.
2. During the period of enemy occupation the General Command of The Volunteers of Liberty (being the military command of the CLNAI) will, on behalf of the CLNAI, carry out all instructions of the Commander-in-Chief, AAI, acting under the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander. It is in general the wish of the Supreme Allied Commander that particular care should be given to all measures which will safeguard the economic resources of the territory against scorching, demolitions and like depredation by the enemy.
3. The Military Head of the General Command of the Volunteers of Liberty (being the military command of the CLNAI) must be an officer acceptable to the Commander-in-Chief, AAI, acting under the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander.
4. When the enemy withdraws from territory occupied by them the CLNAI will exercise its best endeavours to maintain law and order and to continue the safeguarding of the economic resources of the country until such time as Allied Military Government is established. Immediately upon the establishment of Allied Military Government, CLNAI will recognize Allied Military Government and will hand over to that Government all authority and powers of local government and administration previously assumed. As the enemy withdraws all components of the General Command of the Volunteers of Liberty in liberated territory will come under direct command of the Commander-in-Chief, AAI, acting under the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander, and will obey any order issued by him or by Allied Military Government on his behalf, including such orders to disband and surrender their arms, when required to do so.
5. During the period of enemy occupation in Northern Italy the utmost assistance will be given to the CLNAI in common with all other antifascist organizations, to meet the needs of their members who are engaged in opposing the enemy in occupied territory; a monthly contribution not exceeding 160 million lire will be made on the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander to meet the expenses of the CLNAI and all other anti-fascist organizations.
Subject to the general control of the Commander-in-Chief, AAI, acting under the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander, this sum will be apportioned to the following areas in the following ratio for the support of all anti-fascist organizations in those areas:
The above sum and allocations will be subject to variation according to the requirements of the military situation: the maximum sum will be reduced proportionately as and when Provinces are liberated.
6. Allied Missions attached to the CLNAI, to the General Command of the Volunteers of Liberty, or to any of their components, will be consulted by them in all matters relating to armed resistance, anti-scorch and maintenance of order. Orders issued by the Commander-in-Chief, AAI, under the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander and transmitted through the mission
concerned will be carried out by CLNAI, the General Command of the Volunteers of Liberty and their components.
OUR ARMIES MAY BE SORRY FOR THIS
[Memo, Actg Vice President, Political Sec, AC for Exec Cmsr, AC, 7 Dec 44, ACC files, 10000/132/468]
2. . . . With the financing and equipping of patriots in the North and the possibility of a German withdrawal from North-west Italy too rapid to allow of Allied troops arriving on the spot within a matter of days or even weeks, I think that it is quite possible that when our Armies do get there they may find themselves faced with a situation not unlike that which exists in Greece today. If the Government then in power in Rome is not based on and not fully in harmony with the CNL in the North, the situation will be further aggravated.
5. THE GOVERNMENT TRIES TO PROTECT ITS OWN FENCES
AT FIRST IT IS HOPED THE GOVERNMENT WILL ENTER THE AGREEMENT
[Min of Mtg of SACMED's Political Comm., 9 Dec 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
8. The Committee had before them a record of a meeting held by the Chief of Staff at which there had been drawn up a draft memorandum of agreement between the Supreme Allied Commander, the Italian Government and the Committee of National Liberation for Northern Italy (CLNAI). The agreement had been so drafted that, by the omission of certain passages, it could be converted into a bilateral agreement between the Supreme Allied Commander and the CLNAI. The annexure to this paper described how, in view of the delay that would be necessary before the new Italian Government could sign the agreement and the urgent need of the CLNAI delegates to return to Northern Italy, the Supreme Allied Commander had decided to proceed immediately with the bilateral agreement and to return the delegation. It was reported to the Committee that this agreement had subsequently been signed and that it was hoped that the agreement of the Italian Government to convert it into a tripartite agreement would be secured at a latter date. ♦ ♦ ♦
BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE THREATENS TO RECONSIDER PARTISAN POLICY
[Draft Statement for the Chief Cmsr, AC, Prepared by H. L. d'A. Hopkinson, Political Adviser, AC, 18 Dec 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
7. . . . the CLNAI were asked to concur in a clause in which they fully accepted the Italian Government as the legitimate Government in that part of Italy not under Allied Military Government. The draft was so worded as to bind them also to the acceptance of the terms of the Armistice. The CLNAI representatives indicated that they were unwilling to accept such an undertaking and I understand that that is their position today. The British Ambassador has informed me that the British Foreign Office have stated that if the CLNAI will not agree to any such provision it will be necessary to reconsider the whole British policy towards them. ♦ ♦ ♦
SACMED DECIDES NOT To BECOME INVOLVED IN ANY GOVERNMENT-PARTISAN
[Msg, Admiral Stone, Chief Cmsr, AC to SACMED, 20 Dec 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
Met with Bonomi this afternoon and explained that SACMED had decided not to make tripartite agreement with CLNAI and Government but that existing military agreement between SACMED and CLNAI would stand and any political agreement should be made between Italian Government and CLNAI.
Such a political agreement, because of its possible bearing on military operations must be subject to SACMED's approval. Bonomi was in full agreement with SACMED's decision. He will open discussion immediately and will submit to me for transmittal to you whatever form of political agreement is tentatively agreed upon.
BONOMI PREPARES FORMULA WHICH SHOULD KEEP CLNAI IN ITS PLACE
[Ltr, Bonomi to Chief Cmsr, AC, 23 Dec 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
This is the formula I have prepared.
The Committee of National Liberation of Northern Italy implicitly recognizes the Italian Government inasmuch as it accepts it to be its representative and delegate. But-and this is the advantage of my formula-the Committee remains in a subordinate position and does not
have the least character of a de facto government
GOVERNMENT ENTERS A SEPARATE AGREEMENT WITH CLNAI
[Transl of Terms of Agreement Between Italian Govt and CLNAI, 26 Dec 44, ACC files, 10000/136/338]
♦ ♦ ♦ (1) The Italian Government recognises the Committee of National Liberation for Northern Italy (CLNAI) as the organ of the Anti-Fascist parties in the territory occupied by the enemy.
(2) The Italian Government designates the C.L.N.A.I. as its representative in the struggle that the patriots have undertaken against the Fascists and Germans in that part of Italy not yet liberated.
(3) The C.L.N.A.I. agrees to act towards this end and the delegates of the Italian Government which is recognised by the Allied Governments as the successor of the government which signed the Armistice and is the sole legitimate authority in that part of Italy which has already been or will later on be restored to the Italian Government by the Allied Military Government. 8 ♦ ♦ ♦
WHEN THE GOVERNMENT ALSO INSTRUCTS PARTISANS, THREE'S A CROWD
[Ltr, Admiral Stone, Chief Cmsr, AC to Bonomi, 9 Feb 45, ACC files, 10000/136/339]
It has been reported to me that the new Ministry for Occupied Italy already has been organized physically, at least in part, and that it has begun some activity. Included in this, it is said, there is the reception of Partisans arriving from the North who had been told to report to the Ministry upon their arrival in Rome where they are interviewed and given instructions before returning to the North. Should this be the case, I wish to state that it is an irregular procedure inasmuch as Partisans from German occupied Italy are under the direction of the Supreme Allied Commander. Field Marshal Alexander. They should therefore not be instructed by the Italian Government. 9 ♦ ♦ ♦
BONOMI WORRIES OVER HOW THE GOVERNMENT WILL COME OUT
[AC Notes on a Mtg Between Bonomi, President of the Council of Ministers, and Upjohn, Vice President, CA Sec, AC, 26 Apr 45, ACC files, 10000/105/612]
Brigadier Upjohn referred to His Excellency's Meeting with Admiral Stone and himself on Tuesday morning when His Excellency asked the Allied Commission to appoint Italian Government Nominees to the position of Prefect and Questore in provinces in North Italy when liberated. ♦ ♦ ♦
Brigadier Upjohn pointed out that the Allied Commission felt it was fundamental that the appointment of Prefect and Questore was one which must ultimately be left in the hands of the Allied Military Government....
Brigadier Upjohn then stated that the Allied Commission appreciated the position of the Government in the matter. The Commission realized that the Government must have its say in any appointments made.
The Commission therefore proposed that the Government should submit the names of persons to fill the appointment of Prefect and Questore for each of the Provinces to be liberated. These names would be signalled to forward areas to the Allied Military Government officer concerned for his consideration.
It must be appreciated that the Allied Military Government officer would undoubtedly have other nominations before him; for instance, the Provincial CLN would no doubt have a nominee; the AMG officer might consult other sources of advice, e.g. the local Archbishop. It would therefore be a great advantage if the Government would nominate a local man who would be likely to be acceptable to local interests, for the AMG officer could not be expected to appoint somebody who was not acceptable to local interests or the administration of the province, which was ultimately the responsibility of the AMG officer concerned, might become a matter of much difficulty. ♦ ♦ ♦
Brigadier Upjohn continued that the ultimate choice out of the various names put before him must remain with the AMG officer concerned.
His Excellency said that he entirely agreed, but the important thing from the
point of view of the Government was that the local CLN's must not be allowed to
think that they had the right to make the appointments.
[See directive, Section 7, below. ] ♦ ♦ ♦
6. AFTER CONTRACT IS SIGNED-MISGIVINGS AND CURTAILMENT OF AID
THE POLITICAL ADVISERS URGES CARE FOR GOVERNMENT'S AUTHORITY
[Min From the Offices of U.S. Political Adviser and Br Resident Minister, 29 Jan 45, MTO, HS files, G-5, AFHQ Papers, 503, CofS]
♦ ♦ ♦ Our first thoughts should be the conditions which will probably exist when the Germans leave the territory in which CLNAI is operating now as delegate of the Italian Government, in accordance with the Agreement recently concluded....
The Supreme Allied Commander has directed that the policy of the Allied Command shall be to support the policies of the Bonomi Government, which has pledged itself to maintain national unity until the liberation of Italy is completed. Therefore no action must be taken in these areas which might tend to weaken the authority of the central Government. Speed in getting ourselves firmly established is the essential factor: without this there is real danger of extreme Communist elements taking control regardless of Allied Military Government or the Italian Government.
It should be made clear to the various political elements (there are at least six different political parties represented with CLNAI) which we may find in North-western Italy that it is their duty to co-operate to the fullest extent with Allied Military Government officers who will seek to restore public administration and public services, and that they will be expected to refrain from any political actions which might hinder military operations or undermine the position of the Italian Government. ♦ ♦ ♦
COMMUNIST PARTISANS REPORTED PREPARING TO SEIZE POLITICAL POWER
[Summary by Political Sec, AC, of a Rpt by No. 1 Spec Force, CMF, Issued by CofS, AC, 31 Jan 45, ACC files, 10000/136/339]
1. From . . . information . . . received from British missions in Northern Italy during the last few months, Headquarters, No. 1, Special Force, C.M.F., felt impelled on January 15, 1945 to report to 15th Army Group that there is left to it "no doubt that those who control Communist bands are preparing to seize power by force when the Germans are expelled by the Allies." .. .
7. An estimate of the situation was afforded No. 1 Special Force by General [Rafaele] Cadorna, a non-political Italian General who was infiltrated to the CLNAI on the instructions of SACMED, and who established himself as head of the military command of the CLNAI. He wrote in mid-December 1944, as follows:
"It appears that the Allies continue to consider the partisan war as a normal military campaign, refusing to recognize its predominant political character. It must be stated very clearly that the resistance movement could not have existed without the political organization and that in this partisan warfare the Communist Party is predominant. The encroachment of political factors do not disappear by ignoring them. It is better to give them due consideration.
The Communist Party, which gives the lead, does not try in the least to hide its intention of seizing the reins and setting up a regime similar to the Russian. Its leaders in Northern Italy (Italo, Mare, Monti, etc.) have been trained in Russia and have seen service with the International Brigades in Spain and with Bolshevism in France.
They declare openly that they wish to lean upon Russia and Tito and will rebel rather than submit to the orders of the Western Allies."
9. In the 15 months existence of the partisan movement it has become apparent that politics plays in it a role equally important to that of the military. The partisan formations depend politically upon one or another of anti-Facist parties represented in the CLNAI. The latter, as a rallying point for anti-Fascist supporters, is a unifying body and a secret organization for maintaining the partisans by financing and feeding the bands. As such, it enjoys a limited measure of authority but it has not been able to exercise operational control through its military command, and it has not been able to prevent the several political parties from retaining their identity and continuing their separate activities which include the conduct of party warfare. As a result, "the partisan movement can be considered to be no more or less in its structure than a series of armed political elements fighting for different aims." The aim of the Communist is considered to be not patriotic but for the eradication of all traces of Fascism and for the "elimination of all elements who actively oppose their intention toward a finally liberated Italy." Those not Communists are inspired by patriotic motives and also with the destruction of Fascism, but lately
they have shown themselves to be opposed to the growing Communist power.
10. The Communists are numerically strong. They are well organised and have fought well under fanatical commanders and political commissioners. They are a force to be reckoned by any foe, be he Fascist or Allied. Their Party is the oldest active anti-Fascist organisation. It pays lip service to the CLNAI because the latter is a source of finance and supply, because it thereby retains Allied sympathy, because it therefore is afforded a respectable facade behind which to pursue its activities within a strong programme-while, at the same time, it disregards the general directives of the CLNAI and makes little effort to hide its aims and objectives. The report states that:
"Certain of their less discreet leaders have made damaging references to the Allies, whom they branded as enemies of a new socially reconstructed Italy. Against this, they pour praises on the Russians whom they recognise as the true friends of the future Italy. Manifestos issued by the Communist Party organisation are becoming more and more violent in their approach to the people and throughout the text there can be seen a reflection of antipathy towards the efforts of the Allies in Italy."
11. In view of the above-described situation, No. 1 Special Force queries the desirability of reconsidering the future policy to be adopted towards the partisans as regards their military supply by the Allies to obtain for them the greatest measure of assistance during the course of military operations, with a minimum of disorder after the total liberation of the country. It is recommended that there be abandoned the hope of using guerrilla bands in a tactical support of the Allied Armies and that the partisans (including the Communists, since any attempt to discriminate against them would precipitate the hostile reactions already evidenced by them against the Allies) be instructed to limit their activities to sabotage and anti-scorch.10 There would be ended the delivery of arms which eventually might be turned against the Allies and a concentration made on the provision of explosives, incendiaries, boots, clothing and foodstuffs, and protective arms only.
SOME LIBERALS THINK RED HERRINGS ARE BEING INVENTED
[Albert Spaulding, OWI Member of PWB, AFHQ, Rpt (Undated, probably late 1944), Forwarded by G-2, WDGS, to CAD, 3 Feb 45, CAD files, 000.7 (3-16-43) (1) , sec. 3 ]
The failure on the part of the Allies to appreciate the significance of the Underground resistance is a deep-seated one. It springs, in my opinion, from political rather than from military sources, and it is based on the fear of left-wing activity and the problems that this will create in a Mediterranean world, which, for one reason or another, must apparently be made "safe for Monarchy." ♦ ♦ ♦
The Allied attitude toward, and opposition of the Patriot movement in Italy expressed itself in curious terms. Directives emanating from the Allied Council instructed us for instance "to play up Patriot activity that side (the enemy side) of the lines-and to play it down on this side of the lines." We were cautioned against using the term "Garibaldi" brigades. The very name of Garibaldi had become synonymous with the Communist propaganda. If one mildly tried to point out that Garibaldi was a great historic figure in the history of Italian liberation you were blandly told that Garibaldians wore red shirts-therefore they were "Reds"-and as such!!! ♦ ♦ ♦
The moving force behind this policy has been the British Foreign Office. But Americans cannot easily escape their responsibility in this matter. We are guilty of not having pulled our weight with the oars. Why? Is it from lack of experience? Is it for fear of making a mistake? Whatever the cause there has been a lamentable lack of an articulate expression of American opinion at the times, and on the levels where it could and should count.
AID TO PARTISANS IS CURTAILED
[Mediterranean Jt Plng Staff, AFHQ, Report on Measures to Deal With Patriot Problems in Northern Italy, 18 Feb 45, ACC files, 10000/136/339]
♦ ♦ ♦ Instructions for the support of Italian resistance
throughout Northern Italy were issued by this Headquarters in a directive dated
4 February 1945 to 15th Army Group, when the following policy was established:
a. Indiscriminate expansion of patriot forces to be discouraged.
b. Supply to be concentrated largely on non-warlike stores and arms to be supplied only on a selective basis for special tasks. ♦ ♦ ♦
THE COMBINED CHIEFS URGE A CLOSE WATCH
[Paraphrase of Msg (FAN-497) From CCS to AFHQ, 28 Feb 45, ACC files, 10000/136/339]
♦ ♦ ♦ A close watch should be kept on developments regarding any attempt by Committee of National Liberation in Northern Italy to set itself up in opposition to Italian Government in Rome on the strength of powers conferred on CLNAI by military agreement with SACMED and political agreement with Italian Government on 7th and 26th December 1944 respectively. Any indications of such a tendency on part of the Committee should be immediately communicated to CCS.
It is suggested that a Staff Officer from SACMED should be attached to the CLNAI as his representative for the purpose of reporting direct in a purely military capacity on the activities of the Committee.
It may become necessary for CCS to instruct SACMED, as a party to the military agreement with the Committee, to denounce this agreement, should it become apparent that the Committee is attempting to set itself up in opposition to the Italian Government in Rome. ♦ ♦ ♦
7. TREAT PARTISANS RIGHT AND THEY'LL BEHAVE-PERHAPS 11
SACMED DECIDES UPON CAUTIOUS BUT GENEROUS TREATMENT AFTER OCCUPATION
[Paraphrase of Msg From AFHQ to 15th AGp, 16 Feb 45, ACC files, 10000/136/339]
2. Subject to approval of Combined Chiefs of Staff the following policy in dealing with the Partisans is proposed by SACMED. Recognition of assistance to Allied cause will be basis of treatment together with necessity that they be disarmed, disbanded, placed in employment as quickly as possible. Unless and until they are taken into existing categories of Italians they will not . . . be treated as belonging to any existing category. Areas of assembly will be specified as soon as arrangements for reception can be made. These areas must be selected considering suitability from Partisan viewpoint as well as other factors. Disarmament of Partisans will take place on entering reception area.12 ♦ ♦ ♦
MEANWHILE THE LONG DELAY IN DEMANDING PW STATUS MUST BE ENDED
[Memo, 1st Lt A. M. Bullowa, G-5, AFHQ, for ACofS, G-5, AFHQ, 4 Mar 45, MTO, HS files, G-5, AFHQ Papers]
Outline of action at AFHQ to date
1. FAN 434 [Message from CCS to AFHQ, MC-IN 5152, 4 October 1944] suggested that if the Italian Partisans fulfill the conditions of the annex to the Hague Convention defining the qualifications of belligerents it would be desirable for the Italian Government to issue a declaration to that effect, and to demand treatment as Prisoners of War in case of capture by the Germans. The Supreme Allied Commander was authorized to make a supporting statement as Theater Commander.
4. . . . On 21 October the AC stated there were three [sic] principal difficulties: I) that --he Partisans did not fulfill the conditions of the Hague Convention as to uniform; 2) that if steps were taken to remedy this situation there was danger of building up the Patriot movement into a military organization, which might be difficult to handle under a later Military Government. The Allied Commission was not in favor of pursuing FAN 434, and stated that on a previous occasion AAI expressed disapproval of a suggestion from the Italian Government along the same lines.
5. This Headquarters replied that if the Italian Government desired to make a statement on this subject, and the CCS desired to have it made, the position of the AC in not facilitating the making of such a statement was not understood.
9. AAI was instructed to direct Partisans to wear distinctive insignia wherever possible, and immediately replied requesting delay pending decision on the Volkssturm status, and the possibility of measures to prevent savage German reprisals against innocent inhabitants near Partisan
activities. Accordingly the SAC's directive was temporarily postponed. ♦ ♦ ♦
1. On military grounds, on humanitarian grounds, and because any other action is contrary to the spirit of SAC agreement with CLNAI it is suggested that the SAC directive ... respecting the wearing of distinctive insignia be put into effect.
2. It is further recommended that the Italian Government be requested to prepare a statement in accordance with FAN 434. 13 ♦ ♦ ♦
PARTISANS WILL BE GIVEN CIVIL EMPLOYMENT
[Memo, Exec Cmsr, AC, to Rgnl Cmsr, 20 Mar 45, ACC files, 10000/146/37]
1. This memorandum deals with the civil employment of Patriots, following liberation of Northern territory, in pursuance of the primary object of Patriot policy to return these men to normal civil life as early as possible.
2. Patriots should be placed in employment at the earliest possible moment. The employment should be of a long-term character and regard should be paid to the industrial background and skill of individual Patriots so that the employment should be suited to their qualifications. It will be recognized that if Patriots are placed in casual employment lasting a few days only, the problem of re-establishing them in civil employment will be continually recurrent. Equally, employing units should not discharge known partisans without sufficient reason and without informing at an early date, and if possible before discharge, a responsible representative of the Regional Commissioner, e.g., the Provincial Patriots Officer. ♦ ♦ ♦
VIGOROUS EPURATION PROGRAM TO REASSURE CLN's
[Upjohn, Vice President, CA Sec, AC, Rpt to the Advisory Council for Italy, 6 Apr 45, p. 8, ACC files, 10000/136/228]
♦ ♦ ♦ It is hoped that within a relatively short time North Italy may be liberated. It may be desirable therefore that I should refer to the special conditions which we may find there and what arrangements we have to make to meet them. First of all the local Committees of Liberation are in being and actively at work. It is desirable that they should have some share in whatever may be done to remove or punish fascists against whom they have been so long and bitterly struggling and at whose hands they have suffered so much.
To consider first the Fascist crimes. The draft decree which I have mentioned provides for the setting up of special courts of justice presided over by a judge with 4 lay assessors. It is proposed that these courts shall deal only with crimes of collaboration since 8 Sep 43 and that in each province the Committee of Liberation shall be asked to form panels of 200 local persons of repute, men and women, suitable to act as lay assessors and that the President of the Tribunal hall select from these 20o names, 20 persons to act in rotation as 4 lay assessors.
It is hoped that these courts will be formed and will commence operations within two or three days of liberation.
So far as epuration is concerned it is felt that it would take the Italian Government rather too long to appoint its delegates and Commissions (especially having in view its lack of transport facilities) so that Allied Military Government proposes to undertake the first phase of epuration. It proposes to act firstly by Executive Memorandum 67. [Ch. XIV, sec. 2.] ♦ ♦ ♦
PATRIOT CENTERS WILL BE ESTABLISHED FOR IMMEDIATE HELP
[Administration of Patriot Centers, app. A to Plan of Hq AC, 7 Apr 45, ACC files, 10000/105/564]
1. Location. Centres will be established by the RPO [Regional Patriots Officer], when necessary near concentrations of patriots. It will be a IV Corps or 5 Army responsibility to establish, equip and maintain these centres. This responsibility will be discharged through Provincial Patriot Officers.
2. Command. The Patriot Officer, assisted by the Italian Patriot Representative, will control and supervise the administration of the Centres.
3. Staff. Staff for the Centre will be enlisted from Patriots. A Camp Commandant (Band Commander), a Doctor, a hairdresser, cooks, cleaners and guards will be required. Payment on scale approved by the MOI (Minister of Occupied Italy) will be made by the Military Patriot Representative.
4. Policy. Patriots may remain in Centres for a Maximum period of go days. Within that time it is the duty of the Patriot Officer to ensure that they are either enlisted into the Italian Army, found civil work or returned to their homes. Three weeks should normally be adequate and Patriots should be kept for longer periods only in exceptional circumstances.
5. Screening. The Patriot Officer with the Allies (if available) and leader of each Patriot Band that arrives, will form a screening committee and ensure that so far as possible only genuine patriots are admitted.
6. Hygiene. Particular attention will be paid to hygiene. Disinfectors will be obtained and all clothing will be disinfested. Latrine and washing arrangements must be adequate for maximum number expected.
7. Clothing. Essential clothing will be issued, as necessary, and if available.
8. Accommodation stores. Accommodation stores will be obtained as far as possible from local sources. Beds should be obtainable from the Italian Army.
9. Rations. Rations will be drawn on the Italian Army Ration scale from DID's and QM Stores. The money element of the Italian Army Ration Scale for local purchases of vegetables, fruits, and wine, will be drawn from the local Prefect by the Italian Patriot Representative, who will be responsible for buying this part of the ration and accounting for the funds. ♦ ♦ ♦
DISARMAMENT WILL BE TACTFUL
[ 15th AGp Opns Instrs No. 5, 12 Apr 45, MTO, HS files, G-5, AFHQ Papers, app. 1 to Ltr, 24 Apr 45]
Disarmament of Partisans
a. It will be the responsibility of Headquarters 5th and 8th Armies and/or IV Corps to carry out the disarmament of Partisans as soon as this can tactfully and appropriately be accomplished.
b. The local responsibility for making the necessary arrangements for disarmament will normally rest with AMG, with whom local military commanders will be required to co-operate....
c. It is not considered that the standard AMG proclamation governing possession of arms by the civilian population should apply to the Partisans in the initial stages. Every effort will be made to secure the confidence of the Partisan commanders and conduct disarmament through them....
f. Every encouragement will be given to the holding of ceremonial stand-down parades by Partisans. It is preferable that these should not appear as held by Allied order but rather as the expression of the Partisans' own wishes. If the principle of a parade is acceptable to the Partisans it will afford the best opportunity for disarmament.
g. The parade should be conducted with as much ceremony as possible-advance publicity, flags, band and speakers will all add to its effect....
h. The Commanding Officer of the nearest Allied unit or formation should be present at the parade to take the salute and to supervise the collection of arms. The Partisans should participate in making the arrangements and at the conclusion of the parade should march, preferably by sub-units, to an appointed dumping place where their arms will be handed over. At the same time arrangements should be made for the collection at convenient points of all ammunition, explosives and heavy weapons.
i. The handing in of arms may prove a convenient occasion for the simultaneous distribution of Patriot Certificates on the basis of exchange; one certificate to each Patriot surrendering his personal weapon. ♦ ♦ ♦
CONSIDERATION FOR CLN's SO FAR AS CONSISTENT WITH PRIMARY OBLIGATIONS
[Directive, Admiral Stone, CCAO, 15th AGp, to AMG Officers, 27 Apr 45, ACC files, 10000/105/641]
♦ ♦ ♦ 1. This directive lays down the policy which will govern the actions of all Officers of Allied Military Government in their relations with the Committees of National Liberation (CLN-"Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale") in Northern Italy.
2. CLN's have been organized on a communal provincial and regional basis throughout German Occupied Territory...
Intelligence reports from the North show that the various Committees of National Liberation have learned a good deal about the art of government in the year-long struggle against the Fascist, and the Germans. In many districts, "shadow" Governments have been set up, and the various portfolios have been distributed amongst the leaders of the different parties. . . . These Committees have been assisted in their Military operations by the Allied authorities and the giving of such assistance necessarily implies a degree of recognition of their position.
5. Relations with the Italian Government The recognition of the CLN's as the representatives of the Government in the struggle against the enemy does not affect the Allies, who are not parties to the arrangement. Moreover, the Italian Government has no authority of any kind in Military Government Territory. Its arrangements with the CLNAI are not operative in Military Government Territory and do not affect the relations between AMG and the CLN.
6. The problem facing AMG is to reconcile
the military arrangements of the Supreme Allied Commander with the aspirations of the political leaders of the CLN's to self-government, at the same time supporting the authority of the Italian Government in Rome in order that it may be able to administer the Northern Territories once AMG is withdrawn. The solution of this problem may well be found to lie in the absorption at a very early date of CLN nominees into the civil administration. If Allied Officers arrive in the North and bluntly inform the CLN's that their task is accomplished and that they may now disperse and if, after that, Sindaci and other administrative officers are appointed without the views of CLN's being considered, the antagonism will be great and may well be disastrous. The danger of setting up local administrations composed of Italians who are not acceptable to the Patriot organizations cannot be over emphasized. AMG officers are not bound to accept the first suggestions of the CLN, who can always be instructed to submit alternative names. If, however, this principle is followed out, many of the problems of maintaining law and order will never arise. It will be easier to exploit the local resources of the country in the work of reconstruction and in the work of feeding the population. It will be easier to bring together the former Patriot organizations and the Italian Government, and it will be easier to prepare the ground against the time when the Government in Rome can take over the administration.
7. While the foregoing paragraph lays down a principle which is calculated to reconcile the Military arrangements of the Supreme Allied Commander with the aspirations of the CLN's, there are special considerations in regard to the office of Prefect and Questore.
Prefects, as the official representatives of the Government, are normally appointed by the Government from career officials. Even in the present situation this practice has generally been followed. Similarly the Questori have normally been appointed from Public Safety personnel by the Central Government. Other appointments, such as the Sindaco, etc., are normally local choice.
For obvious reasons the Italian Government wishes to continue the customary practice in regard to Prefects and Questore, and have raised it again very recently.
It is the policy of the Allied Commission to support the Government and it would be unwise to depart, entirely, from the normal practice. The Italian Government has, therefore, been advised that any specific nominee whom they put forward for appointment to the post of Prefect or Questore by AMG will receive consideration. At the same time it has been pointed out that it would be quite useless to appoint any nominee who is not acceptable in the locality.
SCAO's and RC's will not, by this arrangement, lose any of the powers delegated to them. It is their duty, however, in implementing the policy of this Commission, to use their best efforts to obtain local acceptance for the Government nominee, endeavoring to reconcile the views of the CLN with those of the Italian Government. This must be the principle although the practice will always depend finally on the judgment of the SCAO or RC. ♦ ♦ ♦
9. The CLN's must be treated with the courtesy due to their political position and their past labours. They should be received regularly by the PC [Provincial Commissioner] and given the opportunity of expressing their views. They are at liberty to make representations to the PC or the Prefect, both of whom should seek the advice and views of the CLN whenever they think it opportune. It is however entirely a matter for the PC to consider whether, in any particular case, the advice of the CLN is to be followed or rejected. It would of course be in keeping with this directive to accept such advice except where it is in conflict with the Policy of AMG.
10. It should be added that, when a member of a CLN is appointed to an administrative position, it is better that he should resign from the CLN. There may be objections to this in individual cases and it is left to the discretion of the RC concerned....
11. It must be made plain to the Prefect and to other officials that they are the servants of AMG and can take no orders from the CLN. On the other hand, the PC must give his full support to the Prefect and the official administrators....
12. There is some evidence that in parts of German Occupied Territory, where the enemy's control is slight, the CLN's have set up governing bodies in each commune, elected on an informal system of universal suffrage. Such popularly elected bodies may also be met at other levels. These bodies will not be given official recognition and the official local authorities prescribed by former directives will be established as soon as possible. But every effort will be made to absorb into membership of the official authorities the nominees of such an elected body at the same level. ♦ ♦ ♦
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Last updated 18 February 2004