By I. Williams
Utilizing unique records, the Allied career of southern Italy, really Sicily and Naples, is illustrated through studying crime and unrest through Allied squaddies, deserters, rogue troops and Italian civilians from drunkenness, robbery, rape, and homicide to riots, demonstrations, black marketeering and prostitution.
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Additional resources for Allies and Italians under Occupation: Sicily and Southern Italy 1943–45
There were several military police corps in Italy, including those of the British, American and Canadian Armies, and the Royal Air Force. As part of their duties, all had the responsibility to police the general behaviour of troops. 84 This was the branch that investigated both serious crime committed by troops and crime against Allied interests committed by civilians, mostly black market crime. Allied property was frequently the target of black marketeers, and the suspicion of military personnel involvement necessitated military investigation by the SIB, often working in conjunction with its American counterpart, the US Army Military Police Criminal Investigation Department.
24 The Americans were slightly ahead of the game. Not only had they published a field manual on military government in 1940, but about a month after Pearl Harbour and America’s subsequent entry into the war in December 1941, the PMG was authorized to set up a School of Military Government (SMG). 25 Established in February 1942 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the SMG initially concentrated on three areas: Germany, Italy and Japan. 27 The SMG expanded the Cambridge course’s core curriculum of geography, history and economics to include ‘a program directed at developing the skills in handling the practical problems of civil government’, giving officers training in the techniques of government rather than just passive knowledge, through lectures, seminars and problem-solving exercises.
I was walking along the Corso Mazzini and immediately outside Café Gigetto I encountered four or five English soldiers, blind drunk and annoying the passers-by. One of them […] attacked me with a chair, hitting me on the head, arms and back and causing me to fall unconscious to the ground. These soldiers are habitually in Camigliatello, and I beg you to take steps, because especially in Café Gigetto there are always fights, because they are always drinking alcohol. 12 The trouble often occurred because the soldiers were, as one report put it, ‘in cerca di vino e signorine’, ‘in search of wine and women’, and having found and drunk the wine were not particularly sensitive about how they found the young ladies.
Allies and Italians under Occupation: Sicily and Southern Italy 1943–45 by I. Williams