WORLD WAR II

Europe

Italy

 

Alvarez, David. "Left in the Dust: Italian Signals Intelligence, 1915-1943." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 14, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 388-408.

The Italians began their cryptanalytic efforts in the fall of 1915, and by the last year of the war (1918) were enjoying some successes. In the interwar period, signals intelligence "contributed significantly to Rome's diplomacy and military operations" in the Ethiopian crisis. But "Rome's services failed to adapt to the new cryptologic world created" by World War II and "were left in the dust" of the services that participated in the "organizational and technological revolution" that began in the 1930s and was accelerated by the war.

Ame, Cesar. Guerra Segretta in Italia 1940-1943. Rome: 1954. [Chambers]

Battaglia, Roberto. The Story of the Italian Resistance. London: Odhams, 1957.

Corvo, Max. The OSS in Italy 1942-1945: A Personal Memoir. New York: Praeger, 1990.

Surveillant 1.1 comments that Corvo, who was "chief of OSS operations in Italy during the Italian campaign, details the work of the Italian Secret Intelligence Section, its relationship to other parts of the Intelligence Community, and the impact of its operations on postwar US-Italian relations." He reveals "several operations that have not been discussed publicly before."

According to Ugino, MI 19.2, the book is an "'upclose and personal' look at how operations were planned and carried out.... Using first-generation Italian-Americans and Italian exiles, OSS built Italian SI into a first class intelligence gathering tool.... Corvo effectively draws a picture of the turf battle that emerged after World War II that would eventually give birth to the CIA.... The only criticism of Corvo's book is the lack of a concluding chapter to tie together lessons learned."

MacPherson, I&NS 6.3, calls this a "detailed, if sometimes myopic, narrative of the intelligence war in the Italian theatre." Although it is "lacking in analytical perspective," Corvo has made "a useful addition to the existing histories of the OSS and wartime Allied intelligence."

Delzell, Charles F. Mussolini's Enemies: The Italian Anti-Fascist Resistance. New York: Howard Fertig, 1974.

Pforzheimer characterizes this as a "scholarly work" that "traces the clandestine political opposition to Mussolini from 1924 to 1943" and "describes the Partisan Resistance in Italy from 1943."

Dovey, H.O. "The Unknown War: Security in Italy, 1943-45." Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 2 (Apr. 1988): 285-311.

The focus here is counterintelligence operations, primarily by Field Security 417 Section.

Fedorowich, Kent.

1. "Propaganda and Political Warfare: The Foreign Office, Italian POWs and the Free Italy Movement, 1940-3." In Prisoners of War and their Captors in World War II, eds. Bob Moore and Kent Fedorowich, 119-148. London: Berg, 1996.

2. "'Toughs and Thugs': The Mazzini Society and Political Warfare amongst Italian POWs in India, 1941-43." Intelligence and National Security 20, no 1 (Mar. 2005): 147-172. And in The Politics and Strategy of Clandestine War: Special Operations Executive, 1940-1946, ed. Neville Wylie, 154-176. London: Routledge, 2007.

The author looks at "British attempts to forge a Free Italy movement between 1941 and 1943." He focuses on efforts by, first, SOE and, later, PWE to recruit "Italo-Americans for clandestine political warfare work in the fight against fascist Italy."

Gurrey, Donald. Across the Lines: Axis Intelligence and Sabotage Operations in Italy, 1943-1945. Tunbridge Wells: Parapress, Ltd., 1994.

Dovey, I&NS 10.3: The author "is well suited to his subject. His experience in GSI(b) at Allied Headquarters in Italy familiarized him with the enemy and Allied organizations.... By 1944 the Abwehr was recruiting and training agents while the Sicherheitsdienst was mounting sabotage operations.... As the campaign progressed the Germans did not rely solely on line-crossers. They also made use of stay-behind agents equipped with radio transmitters.... The Special Counter-Intelligence Units were sometimes able to turn agents round and use them to penetrate the German organizations." The book's substantive errors "are relatively minor," but "there are no notes to link the text to the sources." Nevertheless, the book is welcome as "a much-needed reminder of the scale of the Intelligence war in Italy and a tribute to the Allied security machine -- well-organized, well-led and outstandingly successful."

Judt, Tony, ed. Resistance and Revolution in Mediterranean Europe, 1939-1948. London: Routledge, 1989.

Hunt, I&NS 6.3, notes that the "theme of this scholarly work is the part played by the Communist parties of southern Europe in the resistance to German occupation" in World War II and its immediate aftermath. The book consists of an introduction ("a spectacular piece of writing"), a chapter on the Comintern, and chapters on France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

Katz, Robert. The Battle for Rome: The Germans, the Allies, the Partisans, and the Pope, September 1943-June 1944. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. 2004. [pb]

From Publishers Weekly (via Amazon.com): The author "presents a vivid, well-researched history of German-occupied Rome, from the fall of Mussolini in 1943 to the Allied Liberation 10 months later." In Katz's telling, Pope Pius XII "appears as a cold-hearted politico whose insistence on the Vatican's neutrality endangered thousands of lives in Rome." Pinck, OSS Society Newsletter (Spring 2007), sees this as a "well-crafted book," in which the author capitalizes on newly available sources.

Lett, Gordon. Rossano: An Adventure of the Italian Resistance. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1955.

Macintosh, Charles. From Cloak to Dagger: A SOE Agent in Italy, 1943-45. London: Kimber, 1982.

Maugeri, Franco. From the Ashes of Disgrace. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1948.

Constantinides: The author headed Italian naval intelligence from 1941 until the Italian surrender, and then headed an intelligence organization targeted against the Germans. "The memoir deals with various facets of his career during the war, but disclosures of an intelligence interest are not many." Nevertheless, because so little on Italian intelligence during the war has been translated into English, this book "is all the more to be prized, even though it is patently an incomplete account."

Moore, Bob, ed. Resistance in Western Europe. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2000,.

Foot, I&NS 16.1, finds this work to be a "useful summary of the state of research into resistance to Nazism" in Belgium, the Channel Islands, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Norway. The author has written the introductory and concluding chapters. He sides with those who argue that the "resistance was not of a great deal of use."

Naftali, Timothy J. "ARTIFICE: James Angleton and X-2 Operations in Italy." In The Secrets War: The Office of Strategic Services in World War II, ed. George C. Chalou, 218-245. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992.

Pesce, Giovanni. Ask No Quarter: An Italian Partisan in World War II. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1972.

Pickering, William, and Alan Hart. The Bandits of Cisterna. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword, 1991.

From Publisher: The author "was sent into Occupied Italy with a clandestine wireless set during World War II. He experienced many close encounters with the enemy and ended up fighting the Germans alongside the Italian Resistance Group, 'The Bandits of Cisterna.'"

Smyth, Howard McGaw. "The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden." Studies in Intelligence 13, no. 2 (Spring 1969): 1-63.

The author provides substantial detail in telling the story of how the remarkable documents that were Ciano's diaries and supporting papers made their way into American hands.

Stafford, David. Mission Accomplished: SOE and Italy 1943–1945. London: Bodley Head, 2011.

For Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011) and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), "Mission Accomplished is a fine history that finally documents the SOE contribution in that part of Europe."

Tomkins, Peter.

1. "Intelligence and Operational Support for the Anti-Nazi Resistance: The OSS and Italian Partisans in World War II." Studies in Intelligence, Spring 1998, 95-103.

The author, who "served in the OSS and spent five months behind German lines in Italy," reviews what he believes to be the neglected "contribution of Italian anti-Fascist partisans to the campaign in Italy."

2. A Spy in Rome. New York: Avon, 1962.

The author "served in the OSS and spent five months behind German lines in Italy." (Studies in Intelligence, Spring 1998)

Tudor, Malcolm Edward. Special Force: SOE and the Italian Resistance, 1943-1945. Newtown, UK: Emilia Publishing, 2004.

Warren, Charles E., and James Benson. The Broken Column: The Story of James Wilde's Adventures with Italian Partisans. London: Harrap, 1966.

Wilcox: "British clandestine ops."

Williams, Manuela. "Mussolini's Secret War in the Mediterranean and the Middle East: Italian Intelligence and the British Response." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 6 (Dec. 2007): 881-904.

From abstract: Despite the fragmentation of the Italian Fascist intelligence services, "[t]heir ability to establish relations ... with Arab nationalist leaders and their intense activities in British colonies, protectorates and mandates generated concern within the British Foreign and Colonial Offices. Meanwhile, poor intelligence coordination and assessment coupled with misguided assumptions about the nature of Arab nationalism hindered Britain's response to the challenge mounted by Mussolini's regime."

Woods, Christopher. "SOE in Italy." In Special Operations Executive: A New Instrument of War, ed. Mark Seaman, 91-102. London : Routledge, 2006.

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