Myths and Realities of the RSI war industry

Journal title ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA
Author/s Andrea Curami
Publishing Year 2011 Issue 2010/261 Language Italian
Pages 40 P. 680-719 File size 211 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2010-261007
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The A. starts out by observing that the studies on the Italian war industry during Mussolini’s Social Republic have long re-proposed the myths propagated in the war years rather than offer definite and reliable data concerning actual production. Quite a few assertions would in fact follow the defensive memories of the manufacturers, eager to belittle their own contribution to the German war effort and favored in their downplaying by the lack of specific sources. The subject is here treated on the basis of a large and heterogeneous documentary evidence, used to sketch the complex mosaic of contributions given by small, medium and big Italian firms to the German armed forces, whose major concern was to make the Army Group B as independent as possible of German industry. The A. reconstructs the intricate relations among the occupiers, the RSI and the Italian industries, stressing the importance of the involvement of the indigenous manufacturers in war production, since very often - far from limiting themselves to carry on obsolete productions and sometimes employ manpower just to appease popular discontent - they would secretly turn out vital components for the most advanced armaments the German forces were equipped with.

Keywords: War industry, World War II, entrepreneurial history, Italian Social Republic (RSI), German occupation in Italy, Army group B

Andrea Curami, Miti e realtà dell’industria bellica della Rsi in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 261/2010, pp 680-719, DOI: 10.3280/IC2010-261007