Brief history of RSI


After the Allied forces occupied Pantelleria and Lampedusa islands in June 1943 and had disembarked on Sicily in July, the situation of the Italian Army worsened setting the stage for a dramatic period of Imperial Italy. Since July 15, Vittorio Emanuele III had determined with Marshal Badoglio to form an alternative government against Mussolini. Within the Fascist Party critics were hard on Mussolini's leadership of war operations. These critisisms culminated in the demand for a meeting of the Great Council of the Fascismus to be lead by Bottai and Farinacci. It was clear that such a demand had the scope to put Mussolini aside. The finishing stroke was probably the first bombing of Rome on July 19. It is probable, however, that the Allied forces had thought it necessary to deliver this blow in order to accelerate the fall of the Fascismus which was losing favor due to adverse war events. On the night of the July 25, after an interminable sitting of the Great Council of the Fascismus, Mussolini was invited to resign and to leave the mandate in the hands of the King. That achieved then the decision was made to arrest and imprison him on the Gran Sasso d' Italia. After his arrest on September 12, a group of German parachutists commanded by Otto Skorzeny, freed Mussolini and carried him first to Vienna then to the Hitler's headquarters at Berlin. Mussolini, with his German allies, then made the decision to continue the war, I think, in order to avoid further grief to Italy from the Nazis who, after armistice on September 8, 1943, considered Italians like traitors. On September 23 he went back to Italy and announced the birth of a Republican Fascist Government against the Royalist government of Vittorio Emanuele III, the King traitor. On November 24, 1943 it was officially born in Northern Italy as a fascist government called Repubblica Sociale Italiana ( Italian Social Republic ). Its capital was Salo', on Garda lake. Italy was now divided into a northern fascist government and a southern royal government under Allied administration. A bloody civil war had begun.



Mussolini and Otto Skorzeny after Gran Sasso's liberation.