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Download PDF by I. Williams: Allies and Italians under Occupation: Sicily and Southern

By I. Williams

Utilizing unique files, the Allied career of southern Italy, relatively Sicily and Naples, is illustrated by way of studying crime and unrest through Allied infantrymen, deserters, rogue troops and Italian civilians from drunkenness, robbery, rape, and homicide to riots, demonstrations, black marketeering and prostitution.

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79 Ultimately the Carabinieri were not the only police force that the Allies used. Although they continued to rely on them as the main force, they gradually rehabilitated and used other forces such as the APS. 80 A process of defascistization was begun and ‘there was considerable reorganization and weeding out of the suspect’. In Matera province alone, more than 100 Agenti were investigated and ‘a number were found to have thoroughly bad political and moral records’; many were dismissed. 81 In retrospect therefore, it must have seemed to the Allies that the Carabinieri had been a good choice politically to start the restoration of police services, in that they did appear to be, as the Allies believed, less compromised by Fascism.

Taking over hostile territory would provide different challenges, and under international law there was the primary obligation to restore and maintain public order. It is clear that the 130 or so CAPOs originally assigned to Italy, even with the assistance of 400 CAOs, could not by themselves police millions of people. For that, a complete police force was necessary, but from where was it to come? There were three options. The first was to use Allied military personnel. 65 The second option was to set up an Allied police force along the colonial model, as had been used in North Africa.

Military officers in the field are usually issued with field manuals, which give guidance and information specific to that officer’s task. As there had been no civil affairs training in place, so neither were there British civil affairs or public safety military manuals in existence. 43 No manual specifically relevant to the occupation of Italy was ever produced by the War Office, either because the task that was seen as the most complex was the occupation of Germany, or because it was seen as ‘too late’.

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