VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

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VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

Post by Editor » Thu Dec 28, 2023 12:28 pm

SLIGHTLY OFF-TOPIC
Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays.

Here's an interview with the late Giorgio Farotti (1921-2007), an officer of the Decima Mas-San Marco Rgt (a large unit operating in Northern Italy) as he describes the final (dramatic) events (not far from where Stefano lives) on April 29 1945. The interesting thing about this video (skip to 5:20min) is that the English officer who had approached Farotti's unit, to avoid combat, was the same English commander that had surrendered to the San Marco in the desert battles earlier in the war; so obviously the Italian POW camps in Southern Italy that interned English soldiers had been overrun and now these same soldiers who San Marco had captured were now facing them once again in Northern Italy. RSI units had been heavily involved in the Gothic Line battles and counter-insurgency in Yugoslavia and fighting Tito with some success. One other thing that Farotti touches-on, but doesn't go into detail, were the ongoing negotiations with Allied secret services to coordinate an Italian(RSI)-Allied landing in Istria, the objective was a large maneuver toward Trieste and Fiume to avoid the cities from possible Tito (Communist) occupation. Of course the English (unwittingly) prevented this RSI/Decima Mas unit from carrying out this movement and San Marco had lost almost all its transport at this point and so San Marco laid down its arms, with "Honor of Arms", as Farotti describes - much to the displeasure of its troops who wanted to carry on the fight and would in fact up to 1970 (Borghese), but that's another story. Also take note that the RSI ended on April 25 by proclamation of Mussolini's government, Mussolini was executed the day before (not without controversy) on April 28, and Hitler would die the next day on April 30. One final point of interest that is almost always omitted is that the Allies never recognized the RSI from 1943-1945 (and did not accept German surrender on behalf of RSI units under them), this explains in-part, eye witness accounts of (RSI)ANR units (for example) that hit Allied shipping in Puglia but was not recorded or acknowledged by the Allies - many Italians still saw Mussolini's government as the legitimate government of Italy, up to the end of the war. If you don't understand Italian turn on the captions which are provided in English, click the "C" on your keyboard. A fascinating story.


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Re: VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

Post by s00ntir » Fri Dec 29, 2023 3:01 pm

This is very - VERY! - interesting. One more occasion to say - history can't be seen as black or white, good or bad and so on... There are always people behind it - and idividual personal stories and decisions influenced by current situation.

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The Public Internet Has Made Little-Known History Widely Available

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Fri Dec 29, 2023 7:27 pm

I say "Public Internet" because before April 30, 1993 when the World Wide Web developed by Tim Berners-Lee of CERN (Conseil européen pour la Recherche nucléaire) et.al. 1989-1991 was relased to Public Domain it largely was in government hands & text based with limited historical archive content. I'd jumped on it January 1997 & immediately began looking for aviation history content particularly Italian, some was up then but not enough useful for aircraft subject modeling this before I'd resumed scale model building in 2004. YouTube started on Saint Valentine's Day 2005 wasn't the first video hosting website but immediately became the dominant venue for content posting (I had a small Susan Boyle fan channel on it 2009-2011 before Google bought it out), much as I detest Google management & their draconian censorship policies they did ensure YouTube's dominance in video hosting, Rumble hosting increasing more content of conservatives kicked off it since 2016 though.

Amongst the very few advantages of being a later-age senior citizen is knowing of & seeing original historical content in print, film & video tape prior to the Internet particulary with respect to context of those who'd produced it. This video is amongst them (not sure its complete though topic informative enough) therfore worthy of taking at face value though many others I've seen on the Internet have been "sliced & diced" for expousing paritcular editorial viewpoints if not as outright propaganda. The history of late WWII Italy remains a gap in my historical knowlege so thanks Vince for posting this video & your commentary!

Richard

P.S. I'm amongst the last living 20th Century Sacramento city bus transportation historians having written highly detailed memoirs of the 1963-2000 period, only other who'd written accounts was General Manager of The Transit Authority of the City of Sacramento ("STA") & Sacramento Regional Transit District ("RT" or "SacRT" these days) who'd hired me on at STA in February 1969 while still in high school, he's 92 and in frail condition, when he goes I'll be the only one left sadly.

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Re: VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

Post by Bruno P » Sun Dec 31, 2023 1:00 am

Thank you so much Vince for this post which contains a very precious testimony.
I was born and live in Trieste so certain testimonies particularly touch me. Much, much still needs to be told about the events that happened in those terrible days: as is known, history is written by the winners. After the Nazi-fascist troops disappeared in Trieste, the first allied troops to enter the city were New Zealanders (the area of ​​operations was under English control) who coordinated with the white partisans of the CNL. After having fought the Nazi-fascists, they turned their weapons against Tito's troops but with an obvious outcome given the supernumerary Yugoslav troops who immediately took control of the city. As is known, Tito wanted the borders that existed at the end of the First World War to be restored, therefore with Trieste outside Italy. Fortunately, Churchill intervened, as he was the only leader of the Allied forces who was clear who the next "enemy" was, that is, the Soviet Union and the states that gravitated around it. Churchill clearly told Tito that he would never have Trieste and would have to settle for Fiume and Dalmatian lands. Even today the 40 days of Tito's rule in Trieste is remembered with horror. All the Italian peoples of Istria and Dalmatia were therefore forgotten, lands which for centuries and centuries were inhabited by Italic peoples (especially Romans and Venetians). Thousand and thousand people were forced to abandon their homes. Churchill was certainly aware of the ethnic cleansing (Foibe) that the Tito troops had perpetrated on the Italian people, but also on his opponents, people who in those years were almost exclusively old people, women and children. For example, Zadar was bombed by the Allies (mostly British) 54 times at the direction of Tito who insisted that Zadar was a bridgehead for operations in the hinterland; when the allied troops entered Zadar they found nothing! Tito's intent was only to destroy even the memory of the Italian presence in the city.
Today in Trieste there is a small square named after Don Bonifacio, a priest who exercised his priesthood in some towns in central Istria in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1946, therefore after the end of the Second World War, he was killed and infobated by Tito partisans. As recently as 2008, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated him Blessed. Don Bonifacio was my mother's cousin.
Bye everybody

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Re: VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

Post by Editor » Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:30 am

Happy New Year to everyone and Best Wishes.

Thank you Bruno for sharing your story about Don Bonifacio, I appreciate it.

I was going to elaborate on Fiume and Dalmatia but I had written more than I expected for Farotti's interview, anyway I'd say Churchill (and the British) stumbled upon the "right" decision, if one could even say that, afterall Churchill pushed for an Allied invasion of Italy which caused these problems in the first place - something the US did not want btw (and would end-up being correct in the end - I'll explain in another video). Triste, Fiume and Dalmatia were territory inhabited by Romans, Venetians and Italians for millennia as you point out. Churchill was after something else and needed the cooperation of the post-war Italian government (Churchill would spend some time in Italy after the war and not as a tourist) since the British would not be allowed control or establish a zone of influence in Italy, the US made sure of that. If Churchill truly supported a defense against Communism on the eastern frontiers of Italy (and I have no doubt Churchill was anti-communist) why didn't he order British troops in Northern Italy to stand down and allow Royal and RSI troops and the Regia Marina as well as Allied troops from carrying out the planned landings in Trieste, Fiume and Dalmatia? The official (British) answer to this question is the British were afraid of angering Stalin, so its hard to say that Churchill was looking after Trieste. And if Churchill was against sending Allied troops to Trieste and Fiume then at least allow the passage of RSI troops who were headed there instead of blocking them. Trieste, Fiume and the rest of Dalmatia were brought to Churchill's attention by the Bonomi government, or rather elements of the previous governments (Borghese/RSI) - thank them.

Tito would end-up deporting anyone with Italian ancestry, without compensation, Italians lost land, businesses, wealth and their lives to forces that did not earn victory - Patrick Cloutier did much work in this area (Regio Esercito: The Italian Royal Army in Mussolini's Wars 1935-43, English text - I highly recommend reading it), the short story is Tito avoided open field battles with Italian units in WWII (they actually preferred to fight the Germans, and to be fair, German units in this area were mostly Class D (as classified themselves), without disparaging these German units). Tito forces were unable to win pitch battles against Italian units and yet occupied these cities and territories, essentially without firing a shot. Everywhere Tito occupied was run into the ground, we see the results of their work today.

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Re: VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

Post by Bruno P » Tue Jan 02, 2024 1:09 am

Hi Vince, Happy 2024 to you and everyone!
Thank you for your answer which I read with great care.
I don't think Churchill particularly cared about the city of Trieste and even less about Fiume and Dalmatia but I believe, as you rightly say, he tended to maintain a zone of influence where he had had operational command during the war. But as you rightly say again, the Americans didn't let him. It is also known that Churchill maintained a constant correspondence with Mussolini even before Italy entered the war, attempting to bring him to the side of the allies. But even after and until the last days of Mussolini's life the contacts remained, so much so that a representative of the British government was present in the places and at the times where Mussolini was executed and, from what the partisans themselves testified, this envoy, a sort of 007, managed to make his own documentation that Mussolini had with him at the time of his capture. The contents of this documentation are probably now in London and have never been made known and I think it will take a long time, if it ever happens, for this to happen.
The British always had a punitive stance towards the Italians even after 8 September, never truly considering them as allies where Italian forces joined forces with the Allies. But this was also seen in Trieste in the years in which the Allied Government remained in force: my father remembers that the Americans were extremely supportive of the population while the English considered Trieste a temporarily occupied territory. So much so that in the demonstrations for the return of Trieste to Italy it was the English who killed some Italian irredentists.
Bad stories.
Regarding the Italian governments, starting with the Bonomi one, the attention for the fate of Trieste, Fiume and Dalmatia was practically zero. They were completely forgotten and so were the people who had to emigrate, abandoning everything (my mother too). Ottavio Missoni, born in Zadar, said that we always talk about Italians from the north and south but no one ever talks about Italians from the east. Many expatriated (USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, etc. - my father already had the ticket to Canada in his pocket but the night before leaving he met my mother and if he had left I wouldn't be here). Many, however, remained in Italy, dispersing in various refugee camps but as such were welcomed and treated as fascists. The oblivion and silence that fell on these people and on what happened to them was deafening.
It is only for about twenty years that the events of the Foibe have come to the fore in current Italian culture. And what is still unacceptable today is that Tito has retained, like numerous other European countries, the honor of Knight of the Italian Republic: there are those who are promoting the abolition of this title to restore, at least in small part , the role that this historical figure had.
Ciao !!

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Re: VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

Post by Editor » Tue Jan 02, 2024 11:59 am

Thank you Bruno for your post.

The cities and territories we're talking about here were agreed to in the Treaty of London in WWI - 600,000 Italians lost their lives in that war for these (rightful) territorial claims. Evidently the Allies learnt little from their mistakes, and as people become aware of what exactly happened here, these things fester.

For a long time it was said Italian Partisans murdered Adriano Visconti, we now know it was Soviet (Allied) agent(s) that did this work.

The thing with the US (histrionically) is that they put a premium on the truth, its reflected in their many laws, because they know better than anyone that the truth puts you firmly on the right path. You can't build a strong functioning society based on myths. They're struggling with this issue now, but as always they find a way and emerge stronger. There's a saying in investment circles, never bet against the US. They are a good ally, and good neighbors.

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Adriano Visconti

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Tue Jan 02, 2024 5:38 pm

Wikipedia: Adriano Visconti

Guess every English language Italian aviation book I'd read about him being murdered by Italian partisans was wrong! History research really never ends, new subject information more often than not requiring reexamination testing validity of that written even by supposed first-hand witnesses, myself included whilst writing my memoirs over 20 years ago!

I DO hope we CAN stay a good neighbor in 2024! At no time since 1860 has USA faced real possibility of Civil War, cyber this time, kinetic ala Alex Garland's "Civil War" utterly ridiculous "Red Dawn" nonsense! Even before taking one's next breath the Federal Reserve & Bank Regulators push a few keyboard buttons ending it - no bank teller or ATM money no war! If its "fought" at all it will be at County or in Louisiana's case Parish Elections Centers next November where challenges of all kinds will be made by all sides in so-called swing states, 100-mega times more messy than 2020 guaranteed! If does "go kinetic" it won't be in Alamosa, CO or Fallon, NV but Maricopa County (Phoenix) or Wayne County (Detroit), anywhere where there are powerful political party machines.

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Re: VIDEO: Decima-Mas San Marco Rgt - April 29 1945

Post by Editor » Tue Jan 02, 2024 6:31 pm

I'm surprised wiki got it right, especially as it pertains to this topic. I really should have added the truth is at the core of their (US) strength. In the many years I worked down there, all good memories, great experiences, great people especially the older generation. I still think they have the best engineers. I loved Calif and as you know I came very close to moving there (San Fran) in 2006 (work related Chevron HQ) but my favorite state was/is Texas especially near the gulf, clear lake/kemah. I haven't been following US politics since 2020, I hope they can get through this next one.

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