Historie Podcasts

3. september 1943

3. september 1943

3. september 1943

Krig i luften

Ottende luftvåbnets tunge bombeflymission nr. 90: 168 fly sendt til angreb på flyvepladsen ved Romilly-sur-Seine, 65 for at angribe industrimål ved Meulan-les-Mureaux og 65 for at angribe industrielle mål omkring Paris. Ni fly tabte.

Italien

De allierede tropper lander på det italienske fastland overfor Messina

De allierede underskriver en våbenhvile med Italien, men nyheden offentliggøres ikke



3. september 1943 – Miriam Korber

Miriam Korber var en ung jødisk pige, der var vokset op med sin familie i Rumænien. Da Tyskland ikke besatte Rumænien under krigen, burde Miriam have været i sikkerhed for den type forfølgelse, som nazisterne påførte jøder. Desværre var dette ikke tilfældet. Rumænien var en allieret med Nazityskland og førte sin egen anti-jødiske politik. Miriam og hendes familie blev deporteret fra deres hjem til et ghettoområde i byen Djurin i Transnistrien. Denne region havde været en del af Ukraine, men faldt under rumænsk kontrol efter den tyske invasion af Sovjetunionen. For Miriam var det som at blive sendt i eksil, men uden fordelen ved at undslippe hendes forfølgere.

Usikkerhed

I sin dagbog registrerede Miriam de enorme kampe, som hendes familie stod over for. Sult, sygdom og kulde var konstante lidelser. Den 3. september 1943 skrev hun om et andet almindeligt problem - forvirring. Pålidelige nyheder var svære at få, og folk hørte og spredte ofte rygter om nye udviklinger, der kunne have indflydelse på ghettoen. En af de mest almindelige rygter vedrørte muligheden for nye deportationer. Normalt ville dette være dårlige nyheder, men den nye brummer var, at nogle mennesker måske fik lov til at vende tilbage til deres hjem i selve Rumænien. Ingen vidste, hvad de skulle tro.

»Nu forlader vi, nu gør vi ikke, lister over mennesker, nye lister. Ingen ved."

Miriam skrev: ”Generel uro. Siden morgen har den ene løgn efter den anden. Nu forlader vi, nu gør vi ikke, lister over mennesker, nye lister. Ingen ved. Alle giver sin mening, som kort efter bliver til en ny løgn. Folk er bekymrede. Om eftermiddagen siges det, at vi sikkert vil rejse, men ingen ved, hvor. Klokken seks om aftenen indkalder Dr. Katz, udvalgets formand til et møde. Folk er nervøse. Umiddelbart bliver enhver illusion knust. Vi går ingen steder nu. Vi er alle desorienterede. Flertallet hævder imidlertid, at enhver benægtelse faktisk er en bekræftelse. Så hvem ved? ”

Som det viste sig, forblev Miriam i Djurin, indtil hun blev befriet af den sovjetiske hær. Mange rumænske jøder omkom i Holocaust, men Miriam var en af ​​de heldige, der overlevede. Hendes forældre og søstre overlevede også.

Miriam Korbers dagbog var inkluderet i en bog med titlen, Bjærgede sider: Unge skribenters dagbøger om Holocaust . Læs mere om Holocaust i Rumænien.


Invasion af Italien i Anden Verdenskrig

Da Nordafrika blev sikret og Sicilien - springbrættet til Italien - erobret, lancerede de allierede styrker deres invasion af Italien den 3. september 1943.  Det begyndte med, at britiske styrker sprang over Messina -strædet til Calabrien.   Et par dage senere landede flere britiske og amerikanske styrker flere hundrede miles mod nord ved Salerno. 160 Deres plan var enkel: de nordlige styrker ville kaste et net over den italienske halvø, mens den britiske hær jagtede tyskerne ind i den fra syd.

De allierede chefer forventede en relativt let kampagne. 160 En hemmelig aftale med den nye italienske regering ledet af Pietro Badoglio, underskrevet 3. september, ville neutralisere de italienske styrker og efterlade kun tyske divisioner, der tilbød modstand. 160 Men tingene viste sig at være sværere end forventet.  Tyskerne beslaglagde straks italienske militære installationer efter at have hørt om deres kapitulation, fængslede deres ulykkelige tidligere allierede og affyrede på deres uvidende skibe. Tysk forsvar var følgelig mere sikkert, end de allierede forventede, da de foretog deres landinger.  Og da de allierede kastede deres net, havde tyskeren bevæget sig ud over det mod nord og havde etableret en defensiv linje,   kendt som Gustavlinjen, cirka 75 miles nord for Napoli.

Flere faktorer arbejdede nu på at styrke tyskernes hænder. Det robuste terræn på halvøen bremsede de invaderende hære, og genhåndhævelser fra Tyskland ankom, ligesom de allierede begyndte at lede flere af deres nye rekrutter til Storbritannien som forberedelse til en invasion på tværs af kanaler i 1944.

I januar 1944 forsøgte de allierede at bryde dødvandet ved at lande ved Anzio, 50 miles over Gustav -linjen og 30 miles under Rom. Det skulle have været en stor succes.  Landningen blev indledt af en afledningsangreb mod Gustavbanen ved Cassino. Som svar blev tyske tropper, der var stationeret i Rom, sendt til at øge linjen og forlade Anzio praktisk talt uforsvarlig. 160 De allierede håbede, at når landingen var lykkedes, skulle tyskerne sende disse og flere andre divisioner fra Gustav -linjen tilbage nordpå og dermed blødgøre linjen for et større allieret skub. Men de amerikanske kommandører i Anzio, generalmajor Mark Clark og John Lucas, gik for langsomt og undlod dermed at udnytte den momentane svaghed i de tyske linjer. Som et resultat blev tyske tropper hurtigt omplaceret, og muligheden for et hurtigt angreb mod dem var tabt.

I februar gjorde de allierede flere forsøg på at bryde igennem ved Cassino. I den første fase af denne nyeste kampagne ødelagde allierede bombefly det gamle kloster på toppen af ​​Monte Cassino i den fejlagtige tro, at det tjente som et tysk observationstårn. 160 De allierede tog fejl, og deres vildledende angreb fremmedgjorde katolikker rundt om i verden.  

Allierede bombefly fandt hurtigt mere passende mål blandt tyske enheder, der blev indsat lavere på bjerget. Men#gennem februar og marts lykkedes det de hyppige luftangreb ikke at fjerne dette forsvar eller muliggøre et skub gennem de tyske linjer.

Endelig lykkedes bedrag, hvor luftstrøm ikke havde. 160 Allierede tvunget iscenesatte et udførligt fauxangreb nord for Rom, der tvang den tyske kommandant Albert Kesslelring til at aflede kræfter fra sine linjer ved Cassino. På samme tid strammede de allierede grebet om tyske forsyningslinjer og forhindrede Kesslering i at forstærke sit forsvar ved Cassino. I maj havde de allierede en fordel på 3: 1, og de slog igennem de udtømte tyske linjer og skyndte sig nordpå for at befri Rom og alt territoriet derimellem. Tyskerne blev tvunget tilbage, men ikke ud af Italien. De etablerede en ny forsvarslinje - den gotiske linje - 200 km nord for Rom.

I september 1944 sluttede invasionen af ​​Italien en antiklimaktisk ende. 160 De allierede befalingsmænd på jorden mente, at de var klar til at knuse den tyske linje, der strakte sig fra Pisa til Firenze. 160 Men de allierede befalingsmænd i Washington og London besluttede, at den grænseoverskridende invasion af Frankrig, der blev iværksat den foregående juni, skulle understøttes af en invasion af Sydfrankrig. Derfor blev divisioner overført fra Italien til dette nye teater. 160 Den fuldstændige udryddelse af tyske styrker fra Italien skulle vente.


Rosh Hashanah -advarslen, der reddede Danmarks jøder

Efter at Nazi -Tyskland invaderede Danmark i 1940, blev tanken fremsat af dens besættere, at den skandinaviske nation faktisk ikke var besat. Det var snarere et “models protektorat, ” et land under den nazistiske fløj, angiveligt glad for tysk hjælp og vejledning, selvom dets økonomi og kultur vaklede og modstand boblede under overfladen. Ved sommeren og det tidlige efterår 1943 var denne modstand ikke længere så underjordisk: kampe brød ud i gaderne og sluttede flere år med en relativt passiv tysk holdning til Danmarks jødiske befolkning.

På tærsklen til Rosh Hashanah & mdash det jødiske nytår, der begynder den 13. september i år, men begyndte den 29. september i 1943 & mdash, førte den danske modstand til et af Word War II ’s mest bemærkelsesværdige heltemomenter. Da københavnske jøder samledes for at markere ferien, afbrød overrabbinen, Marcus Melchior, i stedet for at byde det nye år velkommen på den sædvanlige måde, de religiøse gudstjenester, der er nogle af de mest betydningsfulde i den jødiske kalender.

Han var blevet tipet af en diplomat om, at en nazistisk rundvisning var planlagt til at finde sted i løbet af ferien, når den jødiske befolkning ville være hjemme eller i deres synagoger. Han opfordrede folk til at skjule eller flygte.

Hvad der skete derefter var ingen hemmelighed & mdash i hvert fald ikke efter at det var forbi & mdashmen hændelsen modtog kun en kort varsel i udgaven af ​​TIME den 11. oktober 1943:

På tværs af & Oumlre Sunds smalle vand kom der i sidste uge til Sverige, at 1.800 Gestapomen, specielt sendt til København til jobbet, havde brudt ind i jødiske hjem og synagoger under Rosh Hashanah og anholdt det meste af Danmarks 10.000 jøder. Rapporterne sagde, at tyskerne planlagde at sende deres fanger til Polens karnelhuse.

Næste dag fortalte den svenske regering den tyske regering, at der umiddelbart var en ubetinget fristed for alle danske jøder i Sverige. Tyskerne ignorerede tilbuddet. Men i uge ’s havde op mod 1.000 elendige jøder fra Danmark fundet vej over kulden og Oumlre Sund til barmhjertige Sverige.

At “opad ” er nøglen: ved optællingen af ​​U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum blev mere end 7.000 danske jøder & mdashout af en befolkning, der faktisk var meget sky for 10.000 og mdash, færget af fiskere til Sverige.

Men som forklaret af en fortælling om historien af ​​Yad Vashem, Holocaust -mindesmærket i Israel, har senere stipendium antydet, at tyske myndigheder faktisk vidste, hvad der foregik. Aksemagten havde en interesse i at bevare billedet af, at Danmark var fredeligt kontrolleret af sine besættere, og at freden ville være ødelagt, hvis nazisterne havde grebet deres sædvanlige midler til at slippe af med nationens jødiske befolkning. At lade dem glide væk til en neutral nabo var en måde at forlade Tyskland med et fredeligt, men arisk Danmark.

Denne smule bearbejdning reducerer ikke modet fra de, der undslap, og dem, der hjalp dem, som alle troede, at de risikerede deres liv for at gøre det. Det tyder heller ikke på, at en mindre end skarp fremtid ville have stået dem i øjnene, hvis de var blevet tilbage: næsten 500 danske jøder, der ikke nåede det i efteråret 1943, blev til sidst deporteret til Theresienstadt.


Begyndelser Rediger

I begyndelsen af ​​det tyvende århundrede var Italien i spidsen for luftkrigsførelse: under koloniseringen af ​​Libyen i 1911 foretog det den første rekognoseringsflyvning i historien den 23. oktober og det første bombeangreb nogensinde den 1. november.

Under første verdenskrig var italieneren Corpo Aeronautico Militare, så stadig en del af Regio Esercito (Royal Army), drev en blanding af franske krigere og lokalt byggede bombefly, især det gigantiske Caproni -fly. Det Regia Marina (Royal Navy) havde sin egen luftarm, der opererede lokalt byggede flyvende både.

Grundlæggelse af Regia Aeronautica Redigere

Det italienske luftvåben blev en uafhængig tjeneste - Regia Aeronautica-den 28. marts 1923. Benito Mussolinis fascistiske regime forvandlede det til en imponerende propagandamaskine med dets fly, der havde de italienske flagfarver på tværs af hele vingernes underside, hvilket gjorde adskillige rekordstore flyvninger. Mellem 1. april 1939 og 1. november 1939 etablerede italienske flyvere ikke færre end 110 rekorder, der vandt verdensmesterskaber i rundrejser, langdistanceflyvninger, højhastigheds- og højdeflyvninger. Måske var de mest geniale succeser flydeflyets verdenshastighedsrekord på 709 km/t (Fr. til Italien i 1933, i alt 19.000 km (11.800 miles) på Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flyvende både. Denne banebrydende præstation blev organiseret og ledet af General of Aviation Italo Balbo. [2]

I sidste halvdel af 1930'erne blev Regia Aeronautica deltog i den spanske borgerkrig, samt invasionerne af Etiopien og Albanien.

Etiopisk krig Rediger

Den første test for det nye italienske Royal Air Force kom i oktober 1935, [3] med den etiopiske krig. I de sidste faser af krigen blev Regia Aeronautica indsat op til 386 fly, der opererer fra Eritrea og Somalia. De italienske flyvere havde ikke nogen modstand i luften, da det kejserlige etiopiske luftvåben kun havde 15 transport- og forbindelsesfly, hvoraf kun ni var brugbare. Imidlertid er Regia Aeronautica mistede 72 fly og 122 flybesætninger [4], mens de understøttede operationerne i Regio Esercito, nogle gange smide giftgasbomber mod den etiopiske hær. Efter fjendtlighedernes afslutning den 5. maj 1936 i de følgende 13 måneder Regia Aeronautica måtte hjælpe italienske styrker med at bekæmpe etiopiske guerillaer. [5]

Spansk borgerkrig Rediger

Under den spanske borgerkrig kæmpede italienske piloter sammen med spansk nationalist og tysk Luftwaffe piloter som medlemmer af Aviazione Legionaria ("Luftfartslegionen"). Denne indsættelse fandt sted fra juli 1936 til marts 1939 og supplerede en ekspeditionsstyrke af italienske jordtropper kaldet "Corps of Volunteer Troops". I Spanien var de italienske piloter under direkte kommando af de spanske nationalister og deltog i træning og fælles operationer med piloterne i den tyske "Condor Legion". Mussolini sendte 6000 luftfartspersonale samt omkring 720 fly til Spanien, herunder 100 Savoia Marchetti SM.79 -bombefly og 380–400 Fiat CR.32 -biplaner, der dominerede luften, hvilket viste sig at være bedre end de sovjetiske Polikarpovs fra det republikanske luftvåben. Det Aviazione legionaria opnået cirka 500 luftsejre, tabt 86 fly i luftkamp og omkring 200 flyvende personale. [6] Men vigtigere end de materielle tab var de forkerte konklusioner trukket fra luftkrig i Spanien. Luftministeriet, forblændet af succesen med Fiat CR.32, fastholdt i sin tro på, at biplanen stadig kunne dominere himlen, og beordrede et stort antal Fiat CR.42 Falcos, den sidste krigsbiplan i historien. [7]

Albanien Rediger

Det Regia Aeronautica spillede en begrænset rolle under den italienske invasion af Albanien. [ citat nødvendig ]

Anden Verdenskrig Rediger

I juli 1939 blev Regia Aeronautica blev set som en fantastisk luftarm, der havde ikke færre end 33 verdensrekorder, hvilket var mere end Tyskland (15), Frankrig (12), USA (11) Sovjetunionen (7), Japan (3), Det Forenede Kongerige ( 2) og Tjekkoslovakiet (1). [8] Da Anden Verdenskrig begyndte i 1939, havde Italien en papirstyrke på 3296 maskiner. Selvom det numerisk stadig er en kraft at regne med, blev det hæmmet af den lokale flyindustri, der brugte forældede produktionsmetoder. I virkeligheden var kun 2000 fly egnede til operationer, hvoraf kun 166 var moderne krigere (89 Fiat G.50 Freccias og 77 Macchi MC.200s), begge langsommere end potentielle modstandere som Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire og Dewoitine D .520. Alligevel er Regia Aeronautica havde ingen langdistancekæmpere eller natkæmpere. [9] Teknisk bistand fra dens tyske allierede gjorde kun lidt for at forbedre situationen.

Slaget ved Frankrig Rediger

Den 10. juni 1940, i slutningen af ​​slaget ved Frankrig, erklærede Italien krig mod Frankrig og Det Forenede Kongerige. Den 13. juni angreb Fiat CR.42'er franske flybaser og eskorterede Fiat BR.20'er, der bombede havnen i Toulon. To dage senere, CR.42s fra 3 ° Stormo og 53 ° Stormo angreb igen franske luftvåbnets baser og stødte sammen med Dewoitine D.520s og Bloch MB.152s og krævede otte drab for fem tab. [10] Men da en lille fransk flåde beskød den liguriske kyst den 15. juni, var det italienske luftvåben ikke i stand til at forhindre denne aktion eller angribe de franske skibe effektivt, hvilket viste mangel på samarbejde med Regia Marina, Italiensk flåde. [9] Den Regia Aeronautica udførte 716 bombemissioner til støtte for den italienske invasion af Frankrig af Regio Esercito. Italienske fly tabte i alt 276 tons bomber. Generelt Giuseppe Santoro kritiserede i sin bog, der blev udgivet efter krigen, sådan uplanlagt brug af luftvåbnet, som ikke var blevet forberedt til operationer mod befæstninger, der var immun mod luftbombning. Kun omkring 80 lange tons (81 t) bomber blev smidt på målene, med ringe effekt. Under denne korte krig, Regia Aeronautica mistede 10 fly i luftbekæmpelse og 24 flypersonale, mens de hævdede 10 drab og 40 franske fly ødelagt på jorden. [11]

Efter krigen var der et udbredt rygte i Frankrig, især mellem Paris og Bordeaux, om italienske fly, der spænder civile søjler, hvor mange mennesker hævdede at have set tricolor -rundelerne malet på dem. Disse påstande er blevet modbevist, da det italienske fly ikke havde rækkevidde til at ramme så fjerne mål og koncentrerede sig om militære mål af kort rækkevidde (Regia Aeronautica wing roundels havde tre fasci littori, efter at have udskiftet de tricolor). Det blev konkluderet, at dette ikke var mere end en myte, der stammer fra reaktionen på det italienske angreb, det italienske luftvåbens berømmelse og det opvarmede og forvirrede klima. [12]

Mellemøsten Rediger

Regia Aeronautica fly var involveret i Mellemøsten næsten fra starten af ​​italiensk engagement i Anden Verdenskrig. Under den anglo-irakiske krig, tyske og italienske fly fra "Flyer Command Iraq" (Fliegerführer Irak) stoppede for at tanke op i det fransk-kontrollerede Vichy-mandat i Syrien, da de fløj til Irak. Disse maskerede sig som irakiske fly og blev malet som sådanne på vej. Fortsat bekymring over tysk og italiensk indflydelse i området førte til de allieredes kampagne mellem Syrien og Libanon.

I en af ​​de mindre kendte hændelser ved krigen, der begyndte i juli 1940, bombede italienske fly byer i det britiske mandat for Palæstina. Dette var rettet mod at skubbe briterne tilbage og tage det større Middelhav tilbage, som i oldtidens romertid. Bombningen af ​​Tel Aviv den 10. september dræbte 137 mennesker. I midten af ​​oktober bombede italienerne også amerikansk-opererede olieraffinaderier i det britiske protektorat i Bahrain. [13]

Østafrika Rediger

I italiensk Østafrika Regia Aeronautica klarede sig bedre end i andre krigsteatre. I juni 1940 havde det italienske kongelige luftvåben 195 jagerfly, bombefly og rekognoseringsfly plus 25 transportfly. [14] Nogle af disse fly var forældede, men italienerne havde Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 (12 eksempler) og Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombefly og Fiat CR.42 jagere. Relativt set var disse nogle af de bedste fly til rådighed til hver side i begyndelsen af ​​den østafrikanske kampagne. Derudover var de italienske fly ofte baseret på bedre flyvepladser end de britiske og Commonwealth -styrker. Da krigen begyndte, var italienske piloter relativt veluddannede og sikre på deres evner. I begyndelsen af ​​fjendtlighederne, Regia Aeronautica opnået luftoverlegenhed og lejlighedsvis dygtige italienske piloter, der flyver deres Fiat -biplaner, formåede at skyde ned selv de hurtigere og bedre bevæbnede Hawker Hurricane -monoplaner. I løbet af de første tre måneder har Regia Aeronautica mistede 84 fly og havde 143 flypersonale dræbt og 71 sårede, men tabene stoppede ikke italienske operationer. [15] Afskåret fra Italien, som de var, blev problemer med mangel på brændstof, ammunition, reservedele og udskiftninger et alvorligt problem, og Regia Aeronautica blev nedslidt i en nedslidningskrig. 31. januar rapporterede prins Amedeo, hertug af Aosta, at de italienske militærstyrker i Østafrika var nede på 67 operationelle fly med begrænset brændstof. Ved udgangen af ​​februar, den Regia Aeronautica havde kun 42 fly tilbage i Østafrika, og briterne havde nu overhånden. I marts måtte overskydende personale i luftvåbenets enheder kæmpe som infanteri. Ved udgangen af ​​den følgende måned havde italienerne kun 13 fly, der kunne betjenes, tilbage i Østafrika. [16] Endelig, den 24. oktober 1941, cirka en måned før den sidste italienske overgivelse, blev kampagnens sidste italienske fly, en Fiat CR.42, skudt ned. [17]

Battle of Britain Rediger

Den 10. september 1940, et uafhængigt luftkorps til støtte Luftwaffe i slaget ved Storbritannien blev etableret. Den blev navngivet Corpo Aereo Italianoeller CAI. Det var under kommando af Generelt Rino Corso Fougier. Det omfattede cirka 170 fly [11], herunder 80 Fiat Br.20 bombefly og 98 Fiat G.50 Freccia og CR.42 jagere. Overførslen af ​​flyene blev afsluttet den 19. oktober. CAI var baseret i det besatte Belgien. [18] Dårligt vejr og fly utilstrækkelige til det krigsteater forhindrede effektiv handling fra CAI. CR.42'erne kolliderede med britiske Hawker Hurricanes og Supermarine Spitfires kun to gange i november. Italienerne hævdede fem sejre og ni sandsynligheder, men fem Fiat -biplaner blev skudt ned. [10] RAF rapporterede imidlertid ingen tab. De 17 bombeangreb udført af BR.20'erne forårsagede ikke meget materiel skade, desuden var der brug for fly på den græske front og i Cyrenaica [19], så i januar 1941 begyndte bombeflyene og CR.42'erne at blive trukket tilbage til Italien. Kun to eskadriller fra G.50'erne forblev indtil midten af ​​april 1941. [20] [21] [22] Under denne kampagne, Regia Aeronautica mistede 36 fly (inklusive 26 i ulykker) og 43 flypersonale uden at opnå en eneste bekræftet luftsejr. [19]

Western Desert Edit

Oprindeligt var den vestlige ørkenkampagne en næsten lige kamp mellem Regia Aeronautica og det britiske Royal Air Force (RAF). Tidligt var krigere til rådighed for begge sider primært ældre biplaner, hvor italienske Fiat CR.32 og Fiat CR.42'er fløj mod britiske Gloster Gladiators.

Efter de italienske katastrofer under Operation Compass og ankomsten af ​​general Erwin Rommel og hans tyske Afrikakorps, blev Regia Aeronautica kæmpede side om side med tyskeren Luftwaffe i den vestlige ørken.

Selvom luftkampagnen i Libyen var alvorligt begrænset på grund af ørkenforhold, lykkedes det det italienske kongelige luftvåben at beholde en styrke på næsten fire hundrede fly. Under den første britiske modoffensiv, Regia Aeronautica havde lidt store tab (over 400 fly), indtil aksenangrebet på Grækenland begyndte, da en stor del af det britiske land- og luftvåben blev omdirigeret dertil, hvilket gav de italienske styrker tid til at komme sig. Nye italienske fly og enheder blev suppleret med ankomsten af ​​det tyske Afrika Corps, og den tilknyttede Luftwaffe -kontingent indsatte næsten 200 fly i Libyen og yderligere 600 på Sicilien. Arbejder med Luftwaffe, Regia Aeronautica klarede sig bedre på grund af udveksling af taktisk doktrin og ankomsten af ​​mere moderne fly. I midten af ​​1942, under slaget ved Bir Hakeim (26. maj 1942-11. juni 1942), overgik den nye Macchi C.202 jagerfly alle Desert Air Force's jagerfly, [23] opnåede et hidtil uset forholdsmæssigt drab/tab på 4,4/1 , bedre end den berømte Messerschmitt Bf 109s (3.5/1), der kæmpede den samme kamp. [24] Under Rommels første offensiv lykkedes det italienerne at aflede RAF -angreb fra hans styrker og dækkede hans tilbagetog under den britiske Operation Crusader, mens de påførte RAF -bombefly store tab.

Under Rommels anden offensiv, Regia Aeronautica og Luftwaffe led betydelige tab på grund af stærkere allieret modstand under luftslag om El Alamein og bombeangreb over Alexandria og Kairo. Det Regia Aeronautica, der havde lidt store tab i Egypten, blev gradvist trukket tilbage til Tobruk, Benghazi, Tripoli og til sidst Tunesien.

Malta Rediger

Det Regia Aeronautica deltog i luftoffensiven på den britisk kontrollerede ø Malta sammen med det tyske luftvåben i et forsøg på at beskytte aksens søruter fra Sicilien, Sardinien og Italien til Nordafrika. Op til slutningen af ​​1940 blev Regia Aeronautica foretog 7410 sorteringer mod øen, og tabte 550 tons bomber, men mistede 35 fly. Italienerne hævdede 66 britiske fly i disse første seks måneders kamp, ​​men disse påstande var overdrevne. [25] I 1941, Regia Aeronautica udførte yderligere angreb på Malta, men mindre intenst end i 1940. De italienske flyvere begyndte at frygte maltesiske krigere og AA -artilleri, så meget at flyvningen til den belejrede ø blev kendt som rotta della morte, "dødens vej". [26] I 1942, for dets operationer mod Malta, mellem 1. januar og 8. november, blev Regia Aeronautica havde 100 flere fly tabt i aktion. [27]

Malta led stort tab af udstyr, skibe og køretøjer og var på kanten af ​​sult. Imidlertid formåede den belejrede ø at modstå angrebene fra de italienske og tyske luftvåben og krævede næsten 1.500 aksefly, [27] tre gange de reelle tab: op til november 1942, Luftwaffe indrømmet at have mistet 357 fly og Regia Aeronautica 210. [28] Men under belejringen var RAF's tab endnu tungere og beløb sig til 547 i luften (inklusive omkring 300 krigere) og 160 på jorden plus 504 fly beskadiget i luften og 231 på jorden. [29]

Gibraltar Rediger

Det Regia Aeronautica begyndte sine angreb på den britiske kronkoloni Gibraltar og dens vigtige flådebase fra juli 1940. [11] I 1942 angreb italienske Piaggio P.108-bombefly Gibraltar fra Sardinien og fløj en række langdistanceaften. [30] Frem til oktober 1942 blev Regia Aeronautica foretaget 14 razziaer med i alt 32 bombefly. [11]

De sidste razziaer på Gibraltar blev fløjet under de allieredes landing i Algeriet i 1943, da disse bombefly også lavede et vellykket angreb på havnen i Oran. Den eneste enhed af Regia Aeronautica at flyve Piaggio P.108 var den 274. Long-Range Bombardment Group, som blev dannet i maj 1941, da de første maskiner kom af samlebåndene. [ citat nødvendig ] Træning og opnåelse af fuld driftsstyrke tog langt længere tid end forventet, og den 274. blev først operationel i juni 1942.

Grækenland og Jugoslavien Rediger

Da den græsk-italienske krig startede den 28. oktober 1940, blev Regia Aeronautica stillede 193 kampfly op, som i første omgang ikke lykkedes at opnå luftoverlegenhed mod Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF), der havde 128 operationelle fly ud af i alt 158. [31] Den dårlige infrastruktur for Albaniens flybaser forhindrede kommunikation og bevægelser mellem Italienske flyvende enheder. Kun to flyvepladser - Tirana og Valona - havde macadam -landingsbaner, så efterår og vintervejr gjorde driften vanskeligere. Der var også den sædvanlige mangel på samarbejde mellem den italienske flåde og hær. Endelig, få dage efter krigens start, blev italienske piloter konfronteret med eskadrille nr. 80, ledet af det fremragende es Marmaduke Pattle og udstyret med Gloster Gladiators, nr. 30 eskadrille, nr. 211 eskadron og nr. 84 eskadrille med Bristol Blenheims og nr. 70 eskadre med Vickers Wellingtons. Efterhånden blev italiensk luftstrøm (herunder Squadriglie flyver fra italienske flybaser) voksede til over 400 fly mod grækernes faldende antal. [32] Denne fordel forhindrede imidlertid ikke den græske hær i at tvinge Regio Esercito på defensiven og tilbage til Albanien. I begyndelsen af ​​1941 blev tidevandet vendt, da den tyske Wehrmacht lancerede sine samtidige invasioner af Jugoslavien og Grækenland.

Til den 11-dages kampagne mod Jugoslavien, den Regia Aeronautica indsatte 600 fly, hævdede fem luftsejre (plus 100 fly ødelagt på jorden) og led fem tab. [33] Fra dette tidspunkt spiller rollen som Regia Aeronautica på Balkan -kampagnen var primært støtten til Luftwaffe. Denne støtterolle fortsatte under besættelsen af ​​Grækenland og Jugoslavien, der fulgte.

Det Regia Aeronautica hævdede 218 fly skudt ned plus 55 sandsynligheder mod RHAF og RAF, mens grækerne hævdede 68 luftsejre (plus 23 sandsynligheder) og briterne 150 drab. Faktisk kostede luftkriget mod Grækenland italienerne kun 65 tab (men 495 beskadigede) [34], mens RAF -tab i den græske kampagne var 209 fly, 72 i luften, 55 på jorden og 82 ødelagte eller forladte under evakueringen. [35]

Østfronten Rediger

I august 1941 sendte Regia Aeronautica et luftkorps på 1.900 personale til østfronten som en tilknytning til "Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia" (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano i Rusland, eller CSIR) og derefter den "italienske hær i Rusland" (Armata Italiana i Rusland, eller ARMIR) var kendt som "Italian Air Force Expeditionary Corps in Russia" (Corpo Aereo Spedizione i Rusland). Disse eskadriller, der oprindeligt bestod af 22 ° Gruppo CT med 51 Macchi C.200 -krigere og 61 ° Gruppo med Caproni Ca.311 bombefly, støttede de italienske væbnede styrker fra 1941 til 1943. De var oprindeligt baseret i Ukraine og støttede i sidste ende operationer i Stalingrad -området. I midten af ​​1942 blev den mere moderne Macchi C. 202 introduceret til operationer i Rusland. CSIR blev nedsat af ARMIR i 1942, og ARMIR blev opløst i begyndelsen af ​​1943 efter katastrofe under slaget ved Stalingrad. Air Corps trak sig ud af operationer i januar 1943 og overførte til Odessa.

Fra 1944 til 1945 opererede italiensk personale fra det baltiske område og i den nordlige del af østfronten under direkte kommando af Luftwaffe under navnet Air Transport Group 1 (italiensk: 1 ° Gruppo Aerotrasporti "Terracciano" , Tysk: 1 ° Staffel Transportfliegergruppe 10 (Ital)). Denne gruppe var en del af det nationale republikanske luftvåben i den italienske socialrepublik.

Tunesisk kampagne Rediger

På tidspunktet for den tunesiske kampagne nød Regia Aeronautica og Luftwaffe sjældent paritet, endsige luftoverlegenhed i Nordafrika.

Siciliansk kampagne og før 8. september 1943 Rediger

Det Regia Aeronautica blev tvunget til defensiven under den sicilianske kampagne. Italienske piloter kæmpede konstant mod de allieredes bestræbelser på at synke Regia Marina skibe. Lige før den allieredes invasion ramte en enorm allieret bombefly offensiv flyvepladserne på Sicilien i et forsøg på at opnå yderligere luftoverlegenhed. Dette forlod Regia Aeronautica meget svag, men fly fortsatte med at ankomme fra Sardinien, Syditalien og Sydfrankrig. Den sidste mission af Regia Aeronautica før våbenhvilen med de allierede var forsvaret under den amerikanske hærs luftstyrkers bombardement af Frascati - Rom den 8. september 1943.

Eftervåbenstilstand Rediger

Efter den italienske våbenhvile blev Regia Aeronautica blev kort efterfulgt af to nye italienske luftvåben. Med hovedkvarter i Salerno i det sydlige Italien, det royalistiske italienske medkrigførende luftvåben (Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana, eller ACI) kæmpede sammen med de allierede styrker. I Norditalien er det nationale republikanske luftvåben (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, eller ANR) fløj for den italienske socialrepublik og aksen. Den første ANR jager enhed var den 101 Gruppo Autonomo Caccia Terrestre, med base i Firenze. Fly fra de kongelige og republikanske luftvåben kæmpede aldrig mod hinanden. ACI opererede på Balkan og ANR i Norditalien og området omkring Østersøen.

Fra 10. juni 1940 til 8. september 1943 blev Regia Aeronautica mistede 6483 fly [36] (andre kilder rapporterer 5201 [37]), herunder 3483 jagere, 2273 bombefly, torpedobombefly og transporter plus 227 rekognoseringsfly. Det kongelige italienske luftvåben selv hævdede 4293 fjendtlige fly, herunder 1771 ødelagt på jorden. [36] Personeltab under konflikten bestod af 3007 døde eller savnede, 2731 sårede og 9873 krigsfanger. [38]

Regia Aeronautica Aces (Anden Verdenskrig) Rediger

Det Regia Aeronautica havde en tendens til ikke at føre statistik på det individuelle niveau, i stedet rapportere drab for en bestemt enhed, tilskrevet deres enhedschef. However, pilots were able to keep personal log books, so the few that survived through World War II give individual statistics. Here is a list of the aces attributed with ten or more kills.


Indhold

Oprindelse Rediger

While Axis forces approached Athens in April 1941, King George II and his government escaped to Egypt, where they proclaimed a government-in-exile, recognised by the UK but not by the Soviet Union. Winston Churchill encouraged King George II of Greece to appoint a moderate cabinet. As a result, only two of his ministers were previous members of the 4th of August Regime under Ioannis Metaxas, who had both seized power in a coup d'état with the blessing of the king and governed the country since August 1936. Nevertheless, the exiled government's inability to influence affairs inside Greece rendered it irrelevant in the minds of most Greek people. At the same time, the Germans set up a collaborationist government in Athens, which lacked legitimacy and support. The puppet regime was further undermined when economic mismanagement in wartime conditions created runaway inflation, acute food shortages and famine among the civilian population.

The power vacuum that the occupation created was filled by several resistance movements that ranged from royalist to communist ideologies. Resistance was born first in eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where Bulgarian troops occupied Greek territory. Soon large demonstrations were organized in many cities by the Defenders of Northern Greece (YVE), a patriotic organization. However, the largest group to emerge was the National Liberation Front (EAM), founded on 27 September 1941 by representatives of four left-wing parties. Proclaiming that it followed the Soviet policy of creating a broad united front against fascism, EAM won the support of many noncommunist patriots.

These resistance groups launched attacks against the occupying powers and set up large espionage networks. The communist leaders of EAM, however, had planned to dominate in postwar Greece, so, usually by force, they tried to take over or destroy the other Greek resistance groups (such as the destruction of National and Social Liberation (EKKA) and the murder of its leader, Dimitrios Psarros by ELAS partisans) [ citat nødvendig ] and undertaking a campaign of Red Terror. When liberation came in October 1944, Greece was in a state of crisis, which soon led to the outbreak of civil war.

Although controlled by the KKE, the organization had democratic republican rhetoric. [ citat nødvendig ] Its military wing, the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS) was founded in February 1942. Aris Velouchiotis, a member of KKE's Central Committee, was nominated Chief (Kapetanios) of the ELAS High Command. The military chief, Stefanos Sarafis, was a colonel in the prewar Greek army who had been dismissed during the Metaxas regime for his views. The political chief of EAM was Vasilis Samariniotis (nom de guerre of Andreas Tzimas).

The Organization for the Protection of the People's Struggle (OPLA) was founded as EAM's security militia, operating mainly in the occupied cities and most particularly Athens. A small Greek People's Liberation Navy (ELAN) was created, operating mostly around the Ionian Islands and some other coastal areas. Other Communist-aligned organizations were present, including the National Liberation Front (NOF), comprised mostly by Slavic Macedonians in the Florina region. They would later play a critical role in the civil war. [16] [17] The two other large resistance movements were the National Republican Greek League (EDES), led by republican former army officer Col. Napoleon Zervas, and the social-liberal EKKA, led by Col. Dimitrios Psarros.

Guerrilla control over rural areas Edit

The Greek landscape was favourable to guerrilla operations, and by 1943, the Axis forces and their collaborators were in control only of the main towns and connecting roads, leaving the mountainous countryside to the resistance. [ citat nødvendig ] EAM-ELAS in particular controlled most of the country's mountainous interior, while EDES was limited to Epirus and EKKA to eastern Central Greece. [ citat nødvendig ] By early 1944 ELAS could call on nearly 25,000 men under arms, with another 80,000 working as reserves or logistical support, EDES had roughly 10,000 men, and EKKA had under 10,000 men. [ citat nødvendig ]

To combat the rising influence of the EAM, and fearful of an eventual takeover after the German defeat, in 1943, Ioannis Rallis, the Prime Minister of the collaborationist government, authorised the creation of paramilitary forces, known as the Security Battalions. Numbering 20,000 at their peak in 1944, composed mostly of local fascists, convicts, sympathetic prisoners-of-war and forcibly impressed conscripts, they operated under German command in Nazi security warfare operations and soon achieved a reputation for brutality.

EAM-ELAS, EDES and EKKA were mutually suspicious and tensions were exacerbated as the end of the war became nearer and the question of the country's political future arose. The role of the British military mission in these events proved decisive. [ citat nødvendig ] EAM was by far the largest and most active group but was determined to achieve its own political goal to dominate postwar Greece, and its actions were not always directed against the Axis powers. Consequently, British material support was directed mostly to the more reliable Zervas, who by 1943 had reversed his earlier anti-monarchist stance. [ citat nødvendig ]

First conflicts: 1943–1944 Edit

The Western allies, at first, provided all resistance organisations with funds and equipment. However, they gave special preference to ELAS, which they saw as the most reliable partner and a formidable fighting force that would be able to create more problems for the Axis than other resistance movements. As the end of the war approached, the British Foreign Office, fearing a possible Communist upsurge, observed with displeasure the transformation of ELAS into a large-scale conventional army more and more out of Allied control. After the September 8, 1943, Armistice with Italy, ELAS seized control of Italian garrison weapons in the country. In response, the Western allies began to favor rival anti-Communist resistance groups. They provided them with ammunition, supplies and logistical support as a way of balancing ELAS's increasing influence. In time, the flow of weapons and funds to ELAS stopped altogether, and rival EDES received the bulk of the Allied support.

In mid-1943 the animosity between EAM-ELAS and the other movements erupted into armed conflict. The communists and EAM accused EDES of being traitors and collaborators, and vice versa. Other smaller groups, such as EKKA, continued the anti-occupation fight with sabotage and other actions. They declined to join the ranks of ELAS. While some organizations accepted assistance from the Nazis in their operations against EAM-ELAS, the great majority of the population refused any form of cooperation with the occupation authorities. By early 1944, after a British-negotiated ceasefire (the Plaka Agreement), EAM-ELAS had destroyed EKKA and confined EDES to a small part of Epirus, where it could only play a marginal role in the rest of the war. Its political network (EAM) had reached about 500,000 citizens around the country. [ citat nødvendig ] By 1944, ELAS had the numerical advantage in armed fighters, having more than 50,000 men in arms and an extra 500,000 working as reserves or logistical support personnel (Efedrikos ELAS). In contrast, EDES had around 10,000 fighters [18] and EKKA around 10,000 men. [19]

After the declaration of the formation of the Security Battalions, KKE and EAM implemented a pre-emptive policy of terror, mainly in the Peloponnese countryside areas close to garrisoned German units, to ensure civilian allegiance. [20] As the communist position strengthened, so did the numbers of the "Security Battalions", with both sides engaged in skirmishes. The ELAS units were accused of what became known as the Meligalas massacre. Meligalas was the headquarters of a local Security Battalion Unit that was given control of the wider area of Messenia by the Nazis. After a battle there between ELAS and the Security Battalions, ELAS forces prevailed, and the remaining forces of the collaborators were taken into custody. [ citat nødvendig ]

After the civil war ended, postwar governments declared that 1000 members of the collaborationist units were massacred along with civilians by the Communists however, that number was not matched by the actual numbers of bodies found in the mass grave (an old well in the area) of executed Security Battalion and civilian prisoners. According to left-wing sources, [21] civilian bodies found there could have been victims of the Security Battalions. As Security Battalions were replacing occupation forces in territories the Germans could not enter, they were accused of many instances of brutality against civilians and captured partisans, and of the executions of prominent EAM and KKE members by hanging.

In addition, recruiting by both sides was controversial, as the case of Stefanos Sarafis indicates. The soon-to-be military leader of ELAS sought to join the noncommunist resistance group commanded by Kostopoulos in Thessaly, along with other former officers. On their way, they were captured by an ELAS group, with Sarafis agreeing to join ELAS at gunpoint when all other officers who refused were killed. [22] Sarafis never admitted this incident, and in his book on ELAS [23] makes special reference to the letter that he sent all officers of the former Greek army to join the ranks of EAM-ELAS. [24] Again, numbers favored the EAM organisation nearly 800 officers of the pre-war Greek army joined the ranks of ELAS with the position of military leader and Kapetanios.

Egypt "mutiny" and the Lebanon Conference Edit

In March 1944, EAM established the Political Committee of National Liberation (Politiki Epitropi Ethnikis Apeleftherosis, or PEEA), in effect a third Greek government to rival those in Athens and Cairo "to intensify the struggle against the conquerors. for full national liberation, for the consolidation of the independence and integrity of our country. and for the annihilation of domestic Fascism and armed traitor formations." PEEA consisted of Communists and noncommunist progressives.

The moderate aims of the PEEA (known as "κυβέρνηση του βουνού", "the Mountain Government") aroused support even among Greeks in exile. In April 1944 the Greek armed forces in Egypt, many of them well-disposed towards EAM, demanded for a government of national unity to be established, based on PEEA principles, to replace the government-in-exile, as it had no political or other link with the occupied home country and that any pro-fascist elements in the Army be removed. The movement caused problems and anger to the British and Americans and was suppressed by British forces and Greek troops loyal to the exiled government.

Approximately 5,000 Greek soldiers and officers were sent into prison camps in Libya, Egypt, Sudan and South Africa. [ citat nødvendig ] After the mutiny the economic help from the Allies to the National Liberation Front almost stopped. Later on, through political screening of the officers, the Cairo government created the III Greek Mountain Brigade, composed of staunchly anti-communist personnel, under the command of Brigadier Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos.

In May 1944, representatives from all political parties and resistance groups came together at a conference in Lebanon under the leadership of Georgios Papandreou, seeking an agreement about a government of national unity. Despite EAM's accusations of collaboration made against all other Greek resistance forces and charges against EAM-ELAS members of murders, banditry and thievery, the conference ended with an agreement (the National Contract) for a government of national unity consisting of 24 ministers (6 to be EAM members). The agreement was made possible by Soviet directives to KKE to avoid harming Allied unity, but did not resolve the problem of disarmament of resistance groups.

By 1944, EDES and ELAS each saw the other to be their great enemy. They both saw that the Germans were going to be defeated and were a temporary threat. For the ELAS, the British represented their major problem, even while for the majority of Greeks, the British were their major hope for an end to the war. [25]

From the Lebanon Conference to the outbreak Edit

By the summer of 1944, it was obvious that the Germans would soon withdraw from Greece, as Soviet forces were advancing into Romania and towards Yugoslavia, threatening to cut off the retreating Germans. In September, General Fyodor Tolbukhin's armies advanced into Bulgaria, forcing the resignation of the country's pro-Nazi government and the establishment of a pro-communist regime, while Bulgarian troops withdrew from Greek Macedonia. The government-in-exile, now led by prominent liberal George Papandreou, moved to Italy, in preparation for its return to Greece. Under the Caserta Agreement of September 1944, all resistance forces in Greece were placed under the command of a British officer, General Ronald Scobie. [ citat nødvendig ] The Western Allies arrived in Greece in October, by which time the Germans were in full retreat and most of Greece's territory had already been liberated by Greek partisans. On October 13, British troops entered Athens, the only area still occupied by the Germans, and Papandreou and his ministers followed six days later. The king stayed in Cairo because Papandreou had promised that the future of the monarchy would be decided by referendum. [26]

There was little to prevent the ELAS from taking full control of the country. With the German withdrawal, ELAS units had taken control of the countryside and most cities. However, they did not take full control because the KKE leadership was instructed by the Soviet Union not to precipitate a crisis that could jeopardize Allied unity and put Stalin's larger postwar objectives at risk. The KKE's leadership knew so, but the ELAS's fighters and rank-and-file Communists did not, which became a source of conflict within both EAM and ELAS. Following Stalin's instructions, the KKE's leadership tried to avoid a confrontation with the Papandreou government. The majority of the ELAS members saw the Western Allies as liberators, although some KKE leaders, such as Andreas Tzimas and Aris Velouchiotis, did not trust them. Tzimas was in touch with Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito and disagreed with ELAS's cooperation with the Western Allied forces.

The issue of disarming the resistance organizations was a cause of friction between the Papandreou government and its EAM members. Advised by British ambassador Reginald Leeper, Papandreou demanded the disarmament of all armed forces apart from the Sacred Band and the III Mountain Brigade, which had been formed following the suppression of the April 1944 Egypt mutiny, and the constitution of a National Guard under government control. The communists, believing that it would leave the ELAS defenseless against its opponents, submitted an alternative plan of total and simultaneous disarmament, but Papandreou rejected it, causing EAM ministers to resign from the government on December 2. On December 1, Scobie issued a proclamation calling for the dissolution of ELAS. Command of ELAS was KKE's greatest source of strength, and KKE leader Siantos decided that the demand for ELAS's dissolution must be resisted.

Tito's influence may have played some role in ELAS's resistance to disarmament. Tito was outwardly loyal to Stalin, but had come to power through his own means and believed that communist Greeks should do the same. His influence, however, had not prevented the EAM leadership from putting its forces under Scobie's command a couple of months earlier in accordance with the Caserta Agreement. In the meantime, following Georgios Grivas's instructions, Organization X members had set up outposts in central Athens and resisted EAM for several days, until British troops arrived, as their leader had been promised.

Det Dekemvriana events Edit

According to the Caserta Agreement all Greek forces (tactical and guerillas) were under Allied command. On December 1, 1944, the Greek government of "National Unity" under Papandreou and Scobie (the British head of the Allied forces in Greece) announced an ultimatum for the general disarmament of all guerrilla forces by 10 December excluding the tactical forces (the 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade and the Sacred Squadron) [27] and also a part of EDES and ELAS that would be used, if it was necessary, in Allied operations in Crete and Dodecanese against the remaining German army. As a result, on December 2 six ministers of the EAM, most of whom were KKE members, resigned from their positions in the "National Unity" government. The EAM called for a general strike and announced the reorganization of the Central Committee of ELAS, its military wing. A demonstration, forbidden by the government, was organised by EAM on December 3.

The demonstration involved at least 200,000 people [28] marching in Athens on Panepistimiou Street towards the Syntagma Square. British tanks along with police units had been scattered around the area, blocking the way of the demonstrators. [29] The shootings began when the marchers had arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, above the Syntagma Square. They originated from the building of the General Police Headquarters, from the Parliament (Βουλή), from the Hotel Grande Bretagne (where international observers had settled), from other governmental buildings and from policemen on the street. [30] [31] [32]

Among many testimonies, N. Farmakis, a member of the Organization X participating in the shootings, described that he heard the head of the police Angelos Evert giving the order to open fire on the crowd. [ citat nødvendig ] Although there are no accounts hinting that the crowd indeed possessed guns, the British commander Christopher Montague Woodhouse insisted that it was uncertain whether the first shots were fired by the police or the demonstrators. [33] Britain and local Nazi collaborators armed by Britain killed 28 or more demonstrators, and hundreds were injured. [34] This signaled the beginning of the Dekemvriana (Greek: Δεκεμβριανά , "the December events"), a 37-day period of full-scale fighting in Athens between EAM fighters and smaller parts of ELAS and the forces of the British army and the government.

At the beginning the government had only a few policemen and gendarmes, some militia units, the 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade, distinguished at the Gothic Line offensive in Italy, which, however, lacked heavy weapons, and the royalist group Organization X, also known as "Chites", which was accused by EAM of collaborating with the Nazis. Consequently, the British intervened in support of the government, freely using artillery and aircraft as the battle approached its last stages.

In the early morning hours of 4 December, ELAS reservists began operations in the Athens–Piraeus area, attacking Grivas' X forces. [35] In the evening, a peaceful demonstration by EAM members cum funeral procession took place. Government forces took no action but the procession was attacked by Chites led by Colonel Grivas, with over 100 dead.

On December 4, Papandreou gave his resignation to Scobie, who rejected it. By December 12, ΕΑΜ was in control of most of Athens and Piraeus. The British, outnumbered, flew in the 4th Indian Infantry Division from Italy as emergency reinforcements. Although the British were openly fighting against the EAM in Athens, there were no such battles in the rest of Greece. In certain cases, such as Volos, some RAF units even surrendered equipment to ELAS fighters. [ citat nødvendig ] However, the units of the ELAS in Central Greece and Epirus attacked Napoleon Zervas's units of the EDES forcing them to flee to the Ionian islands.

Conflicts continued throughout December with the forces confronting the EAM slowly gaining the upper hand. ELAS forces in the rest of Greece did not attack the British. It seems that the ELAS preferred to avoid an armed confrontation with the British forces initially and later tried to reduce the conflict as much as possible although poor communication between its very independent units around the country might also have played a role. [ citat nødvendig ] That might explain the simultaneous struggle against the British, the largescale ELAS operations against Trotskyists and other political dissidents in Athens and the many contradictory decisions of EAM leaders. Also, KKE's leadership, was supporting a doctrine of "national unity" while eminent members, such as Leonidas Stringos, Theodoros Makridis and even Georgios Siantos were creating revolutionary plans. Even more curiously, Tito was both the KKE's key sponsor and a key British ally, owing his physical and political survival in 1944 to British assistance. [36]

Churchill in Athens Edit

This outbreak of fighting between Allied forces and an anti-German European resistance movement while the war in Europe was still being fought was a serious political problem for Churchill's coalition government of left and right. It caused much protest in the British press and the House of Commons. To prove his peacemaking intentions to the public, Churchill went to Athens on December 25 to preside over a conference in which Soviet representatives also participated, to bring about a settlement. It failed because the EAM/ELAS demands were considered excessive and so rejected. The conference took place in the Hotel Grande Bretagne. Later, it became known that there was a plan by EAM to blow up the building, aiming to kill the participants, and the conference was finally cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union remained passive about developments in Greece. True to their "percentages agreement" with Britain relating to Greece, the Soviet delegation in Greece neither encouraged nor discouraged EAM's ambitions, as Greece belonged to the British sphere of influence. The delegation's chief gained the nickname "sphinx" among local Communist officers for not giving any clues about Soviet intentions. Pravda did not mention the clashes at all. It is speculated that Stalin did not interfere because the Soviet Union would profit no matter the outcome. If EAM rose to power, he would gain a country of major strategic value. If not, he could use British actions in Greece to justify similar actions in countries in his own sphere of influence. [ citat nødvendig ]

By early January, EAM forces had lost the battle. Despite Churchill's intervention, Papandreou resigned and was replaced by General Nikolaos Plastiras. On January 15, 1945, Scobie agreed to a ceasefire in exchange for ELAS's withdrawal from its positions at Patras and Thessaloniki and its demobilisation in the Peloponnese. Despite the severe defeat, ELAS continued to exist, and the KKE had an opportunity to reconsider its strategy. [ citat nødvendig ]

KKE's defeat in 1945 was mainly political but the exaltation of terrorism in the whole country made a political settlement even more difficult. The hunting of "collaborators" was extended to people who were supporting the Greek government. [ citat nødvendig ] The brutal treatment by the Organization for the Protection of the People's Struggle (OPLA) and other minor communist groups of their opponents (including policemen, professors and priests) during the events greatly increased anticommunist sentiment. In the area of ULEN refineries, hundreds of noncommunists were executed. In the village of Feneos, OPLA turned a nearby monastery into a concentration camp and killing ground for those they deemed "reactionaries". It is believed that hundreds were killed. [37] In addition, several Trotskyists had to leave the country in fear for their lives (Cornelius Castoriadis fled to France). As a result of the fighting in Athens, most of the prominent noncommunists of EAM left the organization, and KKE support declined sharply. After the ceasefire, ELAS under the leadership of Siantos left Athens, taking thousands of captives. [ citat nødvendig ]

In February 1945, the various Greek parties signed the Treaty of Varkiza, with the support of all the Allies. It provided for the complete demobilisation of the ELAS and all other paramilitary groups, amnesty for only political offenses, a referendum on the monarchy and a general election to be held as soon as possible. The KKE remained legal and its leader, Nikolaos Zachariadis, who returned from Germany in April 1945, said that the KKE's objective was now for a "people's democracy" to be achieved by peaceful means. There were dissenters such as former ELAS leader Aris Velouchiotis. [ citat nødvendig ] The KKE disavowed Velouchiotis when he called on the veteran guerrillas to start a second struggle shortly afterwards, he committed suicide, surrounded by security forces.

The Treaty of Varkiza transformed the KKE's political defeat into a military one. The ELAS's existence was terminated. The amnesty was not comprehensive because many actions during the German occupation and the Dekemvriana were classified as criminal, exempting the perpetrators from the amnesty. Thus, the authorities captured approximately 40,000 Communists or ex-ELAS members. As a result, a number of veteran partisans hid their weapons in the mountains, and 5,000 of them escaped to Yugoslavia, although they were not encouraged by the KKE leadership.

Between 1945 and 1946, anti-Communist gangs killed about 1,190 Communist civilians and tortured many others. Entire villages that had helped the partisans were attacked by the gangs. The gangs admitted that they were "retaliating" for their suffering under ELAS rule. [ citat nødvendig ] The reign of "White Terror" led many ex-ELAS members to form self-defense troops, without any KKE approval. [38]

KKE soon reversed its former political position, as relations between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies deteriorated. With the onset of the Cold War, Communist parties everywhere moved to more militant positions. The change of political attitude and the choice to escalate the crisis derived primarily from the conclusion that regime subversion, which had not been successful in December 1944, could now be achieved. The KKE leadership decided in February 1946, "after weighing domestic factors, and the Balkan and international situation", to go forward with "organization of a new armed struggle against the Monarcho-Fascist regime." The KKE boycotted the March 1946 elections, which were won by the monarchist United Alignment of Nationalists (Inomeni Parataxis Ethnikofronon), the main member of which was Konstantinos Tsaldaris's People's Party. A referendum in September 1946 favored the retention of the monarchy, but the KKE claimed that it had been rigged. King George returned to Athens.

The king's return to Greece reinforced British influence in the country. Nigel Clive, then a liaison officer to the Greek Government and later the head of the Athens station of MI6, stated, "Greece was a kind of British protectorate, but the British ambassador was not a colonial governor". There were to be six changes of prime ministers within just two years, an indication of the instability that would then characterise the country's political life.


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The Nazis had entered Rome on September 10, shortly after occupying central and northern Italy, which now became the “Italian Socialist Republic.” They lost little time obtaining the registration lists of Rome’s approximately 12,000 Jews, with the ultimate purpose of a "razzia" – a roundup.

Come September 26, the Nazi powers demanded that the Jewish community of Rome pay over 50 kilograms of gold as a ransom. The Jews were given 36 hours to come up with the metal, or face the immediate deportation of 200 of their members.

The neighbors come to help

Chief Rabbi Israel Zolli went to the Vatican for help. Indeed, he was advised that the Jewish community could borrow whatever amount of gold was needed, to be repaid after the war. Some sources say the Vatican capped its offer at 15 kilos of gold, worth over $600,000 in today's market prices.

In fact, it did not become necessary to take a loan from the Church. Citizens of Rome, both non-Jews and Jews, streamed into the city’s synagogues to turn over such items as gold jewelry, watches and cigarette cases to help with the ransom.

Jewish writer Giacomo Debenedetti described the scene at one synagogue in this way: “Cautiously, as if afraid of being refused, uncertain whether to offer gold to the rich Jews, some ‘Aryans’ presented themselves. They entered the hall adjacent to the synagogue full of embarrassment, not knowing if they should take off their hats or keep their heads covered, according to Jewish custom. Almost humbly, they asked if they could – well if it would be all right to . Unfortunately, they did not leave their names.”

The roundup begins

Nonetheless, the gold payment only delayed the inevitable. On October 16, the Germans entered the city’s Old Jewish Ghetto to begin rounding up Jews.

By then, however, most of the Jews had gone into hiding. About 4,000 of them found sanctuary in various Roman Catholic institutions, including within the Vatican itself.

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In the end, 2,091 Roman Jews were deported, approximately half of them to Auschwitz, where 839 died. By the end of World War II, only 102 of the deportees were alive.

However, at the end of the day, most of Rome's Jews had been able to avoid deportation. The same was true of Italian Jewry in general, with some 40,000 out of 50,000 surviving the war.

One who survived was the chief rabbi of Rome from 1940 to 1945, Israel Zolli, who also held a doctorate in philosophy – and who would convert to Catholicism before the end of the war, in February 1945. He would teach philosophy at a number of Italian educational institutions, including the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

Zolli was a fierce apologist for Pope Pius XII (1876-1958), who has been criticized for being silent in the face of Nazi atrocities (pleading neutrality) – for instance, the pope did not protest following the infamous Kristallnacht (night of broken glass), and was in general charged with not doing enough to help the Jews during the Holocaust. He did issue a diplomatic protest at the Nazi order to expel the Jews, and Pope Pius XII is also known to have sheltered Zolli and a number of other Jews as well during the Holocaust. Among other places, Zolli was given sanctuary in the very Vatican itself, and at the papal residence.

In the year 2000, a stone plaque was unveiled at the Tiburtina train station from which those Jews who had been captured, were taken to Auschwitz.

With writing by David B. Green and Ruth Schuster. The original version of this article was published on October 18, 2012.

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Fascism Is a Product of Capitalism

Fra Arbejdsaktion, Bind. 7 No. 39, 27 September 1943, p.ك.
Extract from the pamphlet, Plenty For All, by Ernest Lund.
Transskriberet og amp markeret af Einde O ’Callaghan for Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Fascism is the ugly child of capitalist decay.

Fascism is the last resort of the capitalist class every where – of the Thyssens and Krupps, of the Beaverbrooks and Hearsts, of the Mitsuis and Mitsubishis, of the duPonts and Fords.

Fascism is the. answer of capitalism to the working class, the answer of concentration camps and machine guns.

Fascism becomes the political form of capitalist rule in the period of the Death Agony of Capitalism.

Fascism in Germany today is a picture of America tomorrow – if the capitalists have their way about it!

Fascism is born out of capitalist decay, out of unemployment, out of hunger, out of discontent, out of bankruptcy.

Fascism is the violent cough out of the tubercular lungs of capitalism.

No cough drops will stop it Only killing the disease itself will stop the cough.

Stopping the cough and leaving the tubercular germs at work is futile. And this is what a mere “defense of democracy” does. Because “democracy” today is also based on capitalism. It can only afford it in time of it “capitalist democracy.” [sic] It has survived in those countries rich enough to survive the epidemic of capitalist crises. It has survived in England because her vast Empire permitted the capitalists to skim off enough cream to keep the population at home satisfied. English “democracy” is based on slavery for millions of Indians, Africans, and Arabs. American democracy is based on the fat accumulated by capitalism in the past and economic exploitation of the world.

Democracy is a luxury for capitalism. It can only offord it in time of prosperity. When capitalism begins slashing wages in time of crisis or rationing food in time of war, and mass discontent arises, it is necessary to dispense with the luxury of democracy. Germany, Italy, Japan, France and smaller capitalist countries have already done away with democracy. England and America, the richest capitalist nations on the earth, have until now still been able to afford this luxury.

The fight against fascism must be an offensive one. Not “defense of democracy,” but “down with capitalism,” must be the watchword. But the offensive must begin by fighting tooth and nail to DEFEND every democratic right – the right to strike, to speak freely, to write freely, to meet freely, to organize freely.

But everywhere under democratic capitalism the question must arise, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: “This house cannot remain divided against itself. Either it will be all slave or it will be all free. Either the capitalist dictators of industry will do away with political democracy and establish fascism, or the mass of the workers will do away with the dictators of industry and establish democracy everywhere.”

Hitler did the bidding of Thyssen and Krupp, and struck down the German labor movement. The leaders of the working class parties and unions were arrested, many murdered, others exiled. German capitalism was then free to slash wages and regiment labor for its next job – rearmament and war.

The English and French capitalists feared war. They were still fat from the spoils of the last war. They had little to gain compared to the risk. The risk was great. The war may end in revolution. Hitler feared a revolution, too. But German capitalism was up against the wall. It was being slowly strangled by the capitalist crisis. It was willing to gamble. Hitler played a clever game. He knew that he could move ahead without fear of the English ruling class. They were more afraid of revolution than of Hitler. So he militarized the Rhineland, occupied Austria, scared Chamberlain into giving him the Sudetenland, grabbed up Czechoslovakia, took Memel, prepared to march into Poland. All the while the English capitalists were hoping he would become satisfied and stop, or direct his blows against Russia. Finally they had to overcome their fear of revolution and go to war.

But to save the British Empire!

To prevent the German capitalists from re-dividing the earth!

And the American imperialists are just as interested in the question of democracy or fascism. Witness the scandalous affair in North Africa with the French fascist, Darlan. And now with the arch-reactionary militarist, Giraud, and the monarchist-turned- emocratic politician, deGaulle. Or the maneuvers with the Austrian pretender, Otto of Hapsburg. Or the paens of democratic praise for bloody dictators like Batista of Cuba and Vargas of Brazil.

World War I was continued in World War II. The imperialist powers of the earth took a breathing period, raised more cannon fodder, prepared and maneuvered for position. Then they continued in 1939 essentially where they left off in 1919.

Again the big industrial giants wrestle for control of the earth. Germany with its allies on one side, England and America and their allies on the other.

Capitalism must expand – or die! “The earth is divided? Then it must be redivided,” say the hungry imperialists.

Thirty or forty million men are placed in uniform and given guns to slaughter each other.

Cities are bombed. Ships are sunk. Crops laid waste. Oil wells blown up and oil made from coal. Gunpowder made from cotton and clothing from paper. Coffee allowed to rot in Brazil and substitutes used in America. Sugar piled up in Puerto Rico and rationed in New York. Millions of strong men sent into the Army and women sent into heavy industry. Liars put on the radio and honest men in jail. Civilization “defended” in Lybia and Guadalcanal, and schools closed in Germany and America.

This is capitalism in its Death Agony.

This is capitalism gone mad.

This is World War II – second ugly child of the social crisis of capitalism.


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Message 1 - Service records

Posted on: 22 September 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Sir -
I just write to point out that the British 8th army landed at Reggio, Calabria, Italy on the 3rd september 1943 whereas the US 5th Army with the British Tenth corps landed at Salerno on September 9th 1943.

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