Gooner1 wrote: ↑
22 Apr 2021 11:29
daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑
22 Apr 2021 04:09
Physically fit to be a coal miner but not an infantry replacement? Okay...
Yes, problem there?
The Italians who wanted to volunteer for the Co-Belligerent Army could; whether they could get to Italy was a different question. However, an Italian POW in the UK, Canada, or South Africa who chose not to volunteer for the Italian Army could have been shipped wherever the Allies chose to ship them; Badoglio's government agreed to that in 1943.
Well the Co-Belligerent Army of 6 'Combat Groups' was only formed from July 1944.
Given the scale of mobilization in the west in WW II, any 18-25 year old conscript fit enough to sent to the mine labor pool would have been adequate to be an infantry replacement.
The Badoglio government agreed in October, 1943 that the Italian POWs in Allied hands in 1943 would continue to be placed at the disposal of the Allied government holding them, hence the creation of various auxiliary units (pioneers, service units, construction, etc.) by the British and Commonwealth/Empire), the Americans, and even the French. Given the treatment of the Italians taken prisoner by the Germans at the same time, the Allied-Italian agreement was entirely understandable.
There were 315,000 Italians in British/C/E hands in September, 1943, almost 80,000 in the UK already. Recruiting additional Italians, or transferring them from elsewhere in the Empire to the UK, would have met the labor needs of the British coal sector in 1944-45. Putting German POWs to work in the same way in 1944-45 was perfectly legal, other than for officer POWs. Conscripting British subject in Northern Ireland, recruiting mine labor in the Republic, from elsewhere in Europe or the Commonwealth and Empire, or deploying Canadian NRMA conscripts as labor in the UK, was all well within the realm of the possible.
Here's a source that sums it up for the Italians:
http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/90913/2/ ... sapora.pdf