Allies and Italians under Occupation: Sicily and Southern by I. Williams

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By I. Williams

Utilizing unique records, the Allied career of southern Italy, rather Sicily and Naples, is illustrated via analyzing crime and unrest via Allied squaddies, deserters, rogue troops and Italian civilians from drunkenness, robbery, rape, and homicide to riots, demonstrations, black marketeering and prostitution.

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After producing them, the putative Major asked the doctor if he wanted to sell the cine-camera he was carrying. 23 In this incident, it is probable that the perpetrator was a deserter wearing a false uniform. Often the civilian was outnumbered. Another reported incident was of the robbery of Michele Lorusso who was stopped by five Canadian soldiers in Altamura on 22 November 1943. After taking his umbrella, they tried to search him. 24 There were many more incidents of this type in every place that soldiers were to be found, particularly in those places near large camps and in towns used by troops for Rest and Recreation (R&R).

Both countries Preparation: Structure, Training and Police 23 recognized the need for the personnel staffing AMGOT (later AMG, ACC and AC) to be of a very high quality, and both, by their own admission, failed to produce that quality, mostly because it was not available. That said, those CAOs with specialist qualifications such as police officers, lawyers and educators, seem to have performed well, as did other individual CAOs and CAPOs. Some were better than others, some developed a real empathy for Italians and some were insensitive bigots.

One such was US Army Lieutenant Ingrassia, the CAO on Lampedusa, the largest of the Pelagic Islands. He took advantage of his role as sole authority on the island to sell the Italian Royal Navy’s (IRN) motorboat used to service the island’s lighthouses to one Giuseppe Brignone of Lampedusa. Another local resident, Giovanni di Miceli, in charge of the IRN’s mechanical stores, was arrested after a quantity of the stores was found in his personal possession, stores that had apparently been given or sold at a very low price to him by Ingrassia.

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