WORLD WAR II

Europe

Italy

A - K

 

Alvarez, David. "Left in the Dust: Italian Signals Intelligence, 1915-1943." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 14, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 388-408.

The Italians began their cryptanalytic efforts in the fall of 1915, and by the last year of the war (1918) were enjoying some successes. In the interwar period, signals intelligence "contributed significantly to Rome's diplomacy and military operations" in the Ethiopian crisis. But "Rome's services failed to adapt to the new cryptologic world created" by World War II and "were left in the dust" of the services that participated in the "organizational and technological revolution" that began in the 1930s and was accelerated by the war.

Ame, Cesar [Gen.]. Guerra Segreta in Italia 1940-1943. Rome: Gherardo Casini Editore, 1954.

The author headed the Italian SIM from 1940.

Battaglia, Roberto. The Story of the Italian Resistance. London: Odhams, 1957.

Corvo, Max. The OSS in Italy 1942-1945: A Personal Memoir. New York: Praeger, 1990.

Surveillant 1.1 comments that Corvo, who was "chief of OSS operations in Italy during the Italian campaign, details the work of the Italian Secret Intelligence Section, its relationship to other parts of the Intelligence Community, and the impact of its operations on postwar US-Italian relations." He reveals "several operations that have not been discussed publicly before." MacPherson, I&NS 6.3, calls this a "detailed, if sometimes myopic, narrative of the intelligence war in the Italian theatre." Although it is "lacking in analytical perspective," Corvo has made "a useful addition to the existing histories of the OSS and wartime Allied intelligence."

According to Ugino, MI 19.2, the book is an "'upclose and personal' look at how operations were planned and carried out.... Using first-generation Italian-Americans and Italian exiles, OSS built Italian SI into a first class intelligence gathering tool.... Corvo effectively draws a picture of the turf battle that emerged after World War II that would eventually give birth to the CIA.... The only criticism of Corvo's book is the lack of a concluding chapter to tie together lessons learned."

Delzell, Charles F. Mussolini's Enemies: The Italian Anti-Fascist Resistance. New York: Howard Fertig, 1974.

Pforzheimer characterizes this as a "scholarly work" that "traces the clandestine political opposition to Mussolini from 1924 to 1943" and "describes the Partisan Resistance in Italy from 1943."

Dovey, H.O. "The Unknown War: Security in Italy, 1943-45." Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 2 (Apr. 1988): 285-311.

The focus here is counterintelligence operations, primarily by Field Security 417 Section.

Fedorowich, Kent.

1. "Propaganda and Political Warfare: The Foreign Office, Italian POWs and the Free Italy Movement, 1940-3." In Prisoners of War and their Captors in World War II, eds. Bob Moore and Kent Fedorowich, 119-148. London: Berg, 1996.

2. "'Toughs and Thugs': The Mazzini Society and Political Warfare amongst Italian POWs in India, 1941-43." Intelligence and National Security 20, no 1 (Mar. 2005): 147-172. And in The Politics and Strategy of Clandestine War: Special Operations Executive, 1940-1946, ed. Neville Wylie, 154-176. London: Routledge, 2007.

The author looks at "British attempts to forge a Free Italy movement between 1941 and 1943." He focuses on efforts by, first, SOE and, later, PWE to recruit "Italo-Americans for clandestine political warfare work in the fight against fascist Italy."

Gurrey, Donald. Across the Lines: Axis Intelligence and Sabotage Operations in Italy, 1943-1945. Tunbridge Wells: Parapress, Ltd., 1994.

Dovey, I&NS 10.3: The author "is well suited to his subject. His experience in GSI(b) at Allied Headquarters in Italy familiarized him with the enemy and Allied organizations.... By 1944 the Abwehr was recruiting and training agents while the Sicherheitsdienst was mounting sabotage operations.... As the campaign progressed the Germans did not rely solely on line-crossers. They also made use of stay-behind agents equipped with radio transmitters.... The Special Counter-Intelligence Units were sometimes able to turn agents round and use them to penetrate the German organizations." The book's substantive errors "are relatively minor," but "there are no notes to link the text to the sources." Nevertheless, the book is welcome as "a much-needed reminder of the scale of the Intelligence war in Italy and a tribute to the Allied security machine -- well-organized, well-led and outstandingly successful."

Judt, Tony, ed. Resistance and Revolution in Mediterranean Europe, 1939-1948. London: Routledge, 1989.

Hunt, I&NS 6.3, notes that the "theme of this scholarly work is the part played by the Communist parties of southern Europe in the resistance to German occupation" in World War II and its immediate aftermath. The book consists of an introduction ("a spectacular piece of writing"), a chapter on the Comintern, and chapters on France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

Katz, Robert. The Battle for Rome: The Germans, the Allies, the Partisans, and the Pope, September 1943-June 1944. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. 2004. [pb]

From Publishers Weekly (via Amazon.com): The author "presents a vivid, well-researched history of German-occupied Rome, from the fall of Mussolini in 1943 to the Allied Liberation 10 months later." In Katz's telling, Pope Pius XII "appears as a cold-hearted politico whose insistence on the Vatican's neutrality endangered thousands of lives in Rome." Pinck, OSS Society Newsletter (Spring 2007), sees this as a "well-crafted book," in which the author capitalizes on newly available sources.

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