Saturday, March 28, 2020

Not many know it, but the British sent troops to help the hapless Italians in World War I.
Larry K.'s source says that these men are Austro-Hungarian prisoners of the British being 
allowed to get a bath in a stream.  Some even seem to have soap and wash cloths, 
and one guy in the background may actually be having a quick swim.


  1. Yes, Italy was one of the Allies in the Great War, given the Italian wars of independence against the Austrians. Garibaldi, hero of the Italian Risorgimento, enjoyed great popularity in Britain - where even a cake was named after him (to have with our afternoon tea). The young Angelo Roncalli - later Pope John XXIII - was a young chaplain on the front in the North and was forever scarred by the degradation and suffering he saw there. The fondness of the British for Garibaldi somewhat blinded them to Mussolini who seemed, at first, to be in the same mould - although it must be said that Mussolini initially enjoyed great international standing. The former King Edward VIII - later the Duke of Windsor - will never shake off accusations of collaboration with Nazi Germany, but in one respect he seems to have understood his country's historical ties with Italy. Despite the years of Appeasement, he continually urged his government not to drive Mussolini into Hitler's embrace. Two years after the abdication, in 1938 Italy signed the Pact of Steel with Nazi Germany. We must remember that with the threatened Allied advance onto the Italian Peninsula in 1943, the Italians kicked Mussolini out of power and immediately, the Italian Army swept across the border into de-militarized Vichy France to rescue many hundreds of Jews whom the Milice were rounding up for transit to the death camps of the East and the Italians joined the Allied side.

    1. My dear Uncle Ernest was among the first to hit the beaches when the Americans landed at Salerno. He recalled the collapse of the fascist government and fighting the Germans alongside Italians. Knowing the territory, they made excellent scouts and reconnaissance patrols.