The Context

Growth of resistance to Nazi occupation of Northern Italy


The armed resistance by irregular Italian troops and partisans against German forces and Italian fascists started soon after the Allied landings in September 1943 and concluded with the liberation of Northern Italy in April 1945.


The first groups of partisans spontaneously formed after the armistice. In the following months the resistance movement grew and came under the direction of the reorganized anti-fascist political parties.


The arrival in Rome in June 1944 of Allied troops encouraged the anti-fascist parties to form a new government that replaced the existing pro-Allied government led by Marshall Badoglio. The new government, together with the allied military administration, took control of the liberated part of Italy.


The Committee of National Liberation (CLN) which coordinated resistance forces in what were now the liberated areas established secret links with anti-fascist forces in the German-occupied territories, although the local groups of partisans retained a great deal of autonomy.


In the winter of 1943, these “bands” of rebels (as they liked to call themselves), began to consolidate into larger and more organized groups. These were the Garibaldi group (mostly with socialist and communist allegiances); the Justice and Liberty group  (progressive and secular or anti-clerical); Fiamme verdi or the Green Flames (mostly Catholic-inspired); the Monarchists and several local autonomous groups (with other affiliations and political connections).