Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

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Felix C
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Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by Felix C » 30 Mar 2016 11:09

He was riding in a German motor transport convoy stopped at a partisan roadblock. Why was there no fighting between the Germans and the Partisans at the roadblock? Did the Germans surrender, were searched, collaborators removed and then allowed to proceed?

Tessio
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by Tessio » 31 Mar 2016 05:46

From what I recall they were allowing German soldiers to go through back to Germany and were only interested in Italians.

Felix C
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by Felix C » 31 Mar 2016 12:38

yep. That is logical and what I thought but was not sure Germans would trust partisans to not attack while under a parley. Or vice versa

ROLAND1369
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by ROLAND1369 » 31 Mar 2016 13:34

I would suspect that the Italian change of sides to the Allies in 1943 would have been viewed as a "stab in the back" by Germans and made them hardly likely to be willing to fight or die for an Italian. The Italian guerrillas, who were primarily communist oriented in the north, were not interested in fighting a relatively well armed defeated and retreating enemy as they were interested in conserving their strength for a postwar political takeover. Thus the interests of both the Germans and partisians coincided to the deteriment of the italian members of the convoy.

Newkidontheblock
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by Newkidontheblock » 20 May 2019 02:05

Hi,
I read in an Italian language book while ago (can't remember which one).
In the last week of April, Partisans and Germans had an agreement about not fighting with each other, provided Germans did nothing but going back to Austria and, from there, Germany. However, Germans agreed not to take any Italians with them. Under this agreement, Germans traveled freely back home, Sudtirol, then to Austria and Germany through Brenner Pass, and Partisans had the right to search German convoys for Italian presence. Mussolini was captured during one of the convoy searches performed under this agreement.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 May 2019 04:29

Hi Guys,

These were presumably local agreements.

There were uprisings in several cities in northern Italy during which tens of thousands of German prisoners were reportedly taken by Partisans.

Cheers,

Sid.

SloveneLiberal
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by SloveneLiberal » 26 May 2019 20:04

I think this story is connected with the fact that German troops in Italy capitulated to the allies or at least western allies already in April 1945 - capitulation signed by SS general Wolf. German troops in Trieste/Trst however continued the resistance in the hope they will be able to surrender to the Americans or the British instead of Yugoslav army under Tito. Italians celebrate their liberation day already on 25.4. in the memory of the fact that Italy was at that time almost liberated from Nazi occupation. It seems then normal that Germans were fleeing in last days of April 1945 and not obeying anymore the orders from Berlin. Mussolini tried to escape also but was cought by Italian partisans.

According to Leo Valiani, the Action Party representative on the CLNAI, the decision to execute Mussolini was taken on the night of 27/28 April by a group acting on behalf of the CLNAI comprising himself, Sandro Pertini, and the communists Emilio Sereni and Luigi Longo. The CLNAI subsequently announced, on the day after his death, that Mussolini had been executed on its orders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_ ... #Execution

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 May 2019 16:53

From memory, Wolf's surrender agreement was concluded on 29 April and implemented on 2 May, both after Mussolini's execution.

Cheers,

Sid.

SloveneLiberal
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by SloveneLiberal » 29 May 2019 18:14

German represantatives confirmed to the allies that they will sign the agreement about capitulation on the same day when Mussolini was executed. Yet the negotiatons were going on from March 1945. During negotiations German side offered many times to the allies that German forces in Italy can join with them in the fight against Soviets and communism, but it was hard for them to accept unconditional surrender as the allied side wanted. So the will to continue fighting ( at least with western allies ) was very low between many German commanders in Italy way before the official capitulation. Apparently also the will to fight with Italian partisans was already low.

http://www.militaryhistories.co.uk/surrender/sunrise

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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by DrG » 29 May 2019 20:16

Honestly I don't think that anybody, in Hans Fallmeyer's (i.e. the officer commanding the very demotivated Flak column, between 170 and 200 men strong, without any heavy weapon) place, would have operated in a different way.

The partisans, while armed only with individual weapons, were in a perfect tactical position. Here you can see the photo, published on "After the Battle" n. 7, 1975 (a masterpiece for its photos, less for the texts), showing the exact place of the ambush.
Musso.jpg
Mussolini's column joined Fallmeyer's only by chance, without any previous plan, therefore there wasn't certainly any agreement between the Germans and the Allies about an handling over of Mussolini to partisans using a uselessly complex ruse. Moreover, the Flak unit and Fallmeyer himself were pretty irrelevant and therefore not involved in any high-level contacts between Wolff and the Allies, of which probably were even unaware or had heard only unconfirmed rumors.

The German column was very unlucky, indeed, because a few kilometers after Dongo it was stopped again by another partisan roadblock, this time near Colico, where partisans had also took control of the local fort (Forte Montecchio Nord), armed with four 149/35 mm guns. Fallmeyer was forced again to make an agreement, this time involving the handling of all the weapons and the obligation to move to Switzerland and not to Germany (the column crossed the Swiss border in the late afternoon of 28 April in Chiavenna; surprisingly, Mussolini's bodyguard SS Hauptsturmführer Fritz Birzer was not interned there, but managed to enter Bavaria, where he was captured by the US Army in June 1945).
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SloveneLiberal
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Re: Mussolini's capture by partisans in 1945 question

Post by SloveneLiberal » 30 May 2019 09:01

Thank you for detailed explanation of the capture of Mussolini DrG. But still i think this was somehow connected with the fact that German commanders in Italy were ready to leave the country and to surrender in April 1945.

For the bigger picture. When CLN called for armed insurection in support of allied offensive in northern Italy, Germans soon started to propose retreat. In the afternoon of 25. April German general consul for example contacted CLN and told them that if German troops can leave Lombardy they would cause no demage. But partisans demanded unconditional surrender in the line with general allied policy.

Also in contacts with Mussolini representative of CLN mr. Marazza demanded unconditional surrender informing shocked Mussolini at the same time about the negotiations between Wolf and allies.

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for- ... 8/OSS.html

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