Book Review: ‘Italian Partisan Weapons in WWII’ by Gianluigi Usai and Ralph Riccio
By Chris Eger
Usai’s Italian Partisan Weapons in WWII was written in Italian from original sources and translated by Riccio, shedding a fresh light on a subject not often addressed on this side of the pond. (Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
While Italy started the war as a member of the Axis, after Mussolini was deposed in 1943, partisan groups sprung up across the country to fight to Germans. These are their arms.
The original face of fascism in post-1918 Europe, Italian dictator Benito “Il Duce” Mussolini became Italy’s prime minister in 1922 and transformed the nation into a totalitarian state which soon became embroiled in wars in Ethiopia and Spain before the ruin that was World War II. By September 1943, with the Allies closing in, Mussolini was canned on the orders of the King and within days the Italians officially switched sides. The problem was that the Germans still occupied Rome and everything north to Austria, which led to resistance groups springing up behind the lines almost immediately in an effort to take their country back.
As Mussolini was liberated from house arrest by the Germans, the north became the puppet Italian Social Republic, loyal to the Axis, with southern Italy fighting on the side of