Are Italians Black Moors

Italy in the Spanish Civil War

Italy under dictator Mussolini supported the Spanish fascists in the civil war from the beginning with troops and heavy military equipment. Together with the Wehrmacht, the Italian troops helped Franco achieve his victory in 1939.
Hitler and Mussolini in Munich in June 1940 (Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com)

Italian troops for Franco

The fascist Italian dictator Mussolini dreams of the resurgence of the glorious Roman empire. To make this dream come true, Italy invaded the Ethiopian Empire with 200,000 soldiers in 1935 and merged its new conquest in 1936 with its colonies of Somalia and Eritrea to form Italian East Africa.

Although the war against the independent Ethiopian Empire is a clear breach of international law, the Italian annexation of Ethiopia is approved by France and Great Britain. The two states want to prevent Mussolini from being driven into Hitler's arms. But that is already happening.

On September 27, 1936, Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister, wrote in his diary: “Two fronts have formed in Spain. On one side are the Germans and Italians, on the other the French, Belgians and Russians. The Duce (salutation for Mussolini) agrees with Hitler that this formation of the front is final. Italy supports the Spaniards unconditionally and will continue to do so. Much Italian blood has already been shed and the Balearic Islands were saved with the help of Italian soldiers. Our action in Spain is a test of our participation in the fight against the Soviets. "

Terror in Mallorca

The inhabitants of the Spanish island of Mallorca have probably imagined pleasant times when, in mid-August 1936, the Italian fascist Arconovaldo Bonaccorsi was put in front of their noses as military governor of the island, who called himself General Count Aldo Rossi. First of all, "Count Rossi" throws his Spanish predecessor into prison, whom General Goded, loyal to Franco, had installed as military governor for the Balearic Islands. In order to collect the necessary funds for the war, Rossi issues the order that the residents of Palma must deliver all gold, silver and foreign paper money within 72 hours. Otherwise there is a risk of punishment by the court martial.

In a black shirt with a huge white cross on his chest, Rossi drives through the villages every day. His henchmen knock on the doors of workers or well-known Republican supporters and arrest the men of their families. The men are driven on a truck onto a dirt road and shot there, within sight of a cemetery. The gravedigger finds the corpses the next morning and the mayor writes in the books “So and so died of cerebral rush of blood”.

After four months, the method of terrorism changes. The workers removed from their homes are taken to the Falange headquarters in Palma. There they are mistreated. Then the "Italian method" is used, i.e. castor oil is poured into the prisoners. They are then driven to the cemetery, shot there and mutilated with bayonets to make them unrecognizable.

Support the Spanish fascists

Less than two months after the end of the Ethiopian war, the Italian army is already embroiled in another war, this time in Spain. Mussolini wants to consolidate his claim to the Mediterranean as the Roman sea. The exhausted troops from Abyssinia are being refreshed by poor devils from Abruzzo. Each village has to assign 20 recruits to Spain. Rich people can buy themselves freely, the poor cannot.

Like Hitler's Germany, fascist Italy supported the military coup of the Spanish fascists from the start with arms deliveries and war volunteers, the “black shirts”.

Italian bombers had to land in French Morocco on July 31st on their way to Spanish Morocco due to a lack of petrol. During interrogation, the Italian pilots admit that they received their flight orders on July 16, that is, on the eve of the uprising. So the putschists had already successfully negotiated with the Italian government while they were planning the uprising. Fascist Italy sends 75,000 fighters of the Corpo Truppe Volontarie, hundreds of tanks and airplanes with 16,000 tons of aerial bombs, 250,000 rifles and 9,000 machine guns.

In the first months of the Civil War, the Republicans were inferior to the insurgents and their allies in all respects. Moorish cavalry and Italian tanks storm 40 km forward in an hour, while the combat bombers of the German Condor Legion tumble down from above onto the treeless plains in which the republican militiamen have not even buried themselves. The Republicans have no functioning intelligence or intelligence. Hence they vacate positions on the mistaken assumption that the fascists have already encircled or overrun them.

The Italian Brigadier General Arnaldi, who was to march into Málaga on February 10, 1937, issued the following order of the day in Seville on January 1, 1937: “We, the volunteers of the I Brigade, have come here to fight for the triumph of fascism in Spain fight. We shall be victorious in the name of Rome under the sign of the diamond bundle. God wants it!"

Battle of Guadalajara

Italians believe that taking Madrid will be as easy as taking Malaga. Mussolini sends a message to the Italian commander-in-chief, General Mancini: “On the way to Libya I received news of the great battle that had broken out in the Guadalajara area. The destruction of the international armed forces will be a great success. ”That makes Mussolini's troops reckless. In March 1937, 50,000 Italian black shirts under the command of General Roatta were ambushed by the International Brigades near Guadalajara.

In the Brihuega valley basin, Mussolini's troops are bombed from the air by 80 Republican planes dropping leaflets in Italian. For the first time, fascist Italian fascists and Italian communists of the International Garibaldi Brigade face each other in direct combat. The black shirts suffered 4,000 deaths and lost large amounts of war material. An entire battalion of the captured Italian fascists defected to the International Brigades. In Salamanca, controlled by Franco, one should secretly cheer the defeat of the Italian ally, because now Franco has a reason to place the Italian troops under his direct command.

In the “Blitzkrieg” to capture the city of Santander, however, the Italian mountaineers and pioneers proved themselves in the mountainous terrain. There, in August 1937, 50,000 republican soldiers had to surrender to the troops of Franco and the Italian "Black Flame" division.

Bombs on Barcelona

In contrast to the submarines that Germany sends to the Mediterranean to support the coup plotters, Italian submarines manage to sink a number of freighters that have war material on board for the left-wing Spanish Popular Front government.

From March 11 to 18, 1938, Italian bombers bombed the two million city of Barcelona on Mussolini's orders. Mussolini is delighted "that the Italians, for a change, terrify the world with their aggressive spirit instead of just amusing them with their lute playing."

His military experts on the ground take it more soberly: “The Spanish war showed that the civilian population cannot be demoralized by air strikes. The bombing of Barcelona was a failure. "

In the battle of the Ebro in the summer of 1938, it turned out to be an advantage to be captured by Italians as a member of the International Brigades. Because the Italians are eager to exchange their prisoners for captured Italians from the hands of the International Brigades, while the Spanish fascists shoot captured brigadists immediately. Mussolini has his own views on the quality of Franco's troops. On August 29, 1938, Mussolini said to his Foreign Minister, Count Ciano: “Write in your diary that today I prophesied the defeat of Franco. The Reds are fighters, but Franco is not ”.

Seven months later, Mussolini's Italian expeditionary force took part in Franco's victory parade in Madrid.

Count Ciano wrote in his diary on September 27, 1936: “After the war, we will not make any claims in Spain that would change the geographical situation in the Mediterranean. We will only ask the Spaniards not to participate in any politics that run counter to the interests of Italy. "

Franco can fulfill this minimal request. On October 23, 1940, Hitler tried to persuade Franco in the French-Spanish border town of Hendaye to enter the war against England and to conquer Gibraltar together with him and Mussolini. Franco refuses, but turns off the Spanish volunteer association "Blue Division" under the command of the Falangist Muñoz Grandes for the war against the Soviet Union and enables German warships to refuel and repair in Spanish ports. Under pressure from the western allies, Franco had to withdraw the Blue Division from the Soviet Union in 1943.

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