Southern Italy under the Bombs, 1940-44
This article examines aspects of the consequences of Anglo-American bombing on Southern Italy during the Second World War. In particular, it aims to analyse and link together different aspects of the issue: the reasons of the Allied military and political leaders for bombing the regions of Southern Italy; the failure of the Fascist regime’s passive defences to protect both artistic cities and the population from the air raids; and the civilians’ reactions to Allied bombing and liberation. While seeking to ￼￼address crucial questions posed by the most recent historiography on the air war on civilians in the Second World War, this contribution presents the results of a research pursued in the Unites States of America and the United Kingdom, as well as in both national and local Italian archives. The article suggests that the population in the South shared much of the same experience of Northern Italians, but with more extreme consequences, due to a more accentuated lack of resources, in particular in the cases of food provision and of civil mobilisation to confront the material impact of the raids.
Keywords: Second World War; Bombing; Southern Italy; Allies