Andrea Curami (1947-2010) was a well-known teacher of applied mechanics and other similar disciplines at the Politecnico University of Milan. Expert in motoring and motor vehicles, his interests ranged from the history of transports to the economic and military events in Italy since the nineteenth century until the Second World War, in which fields he led distinguished scholarly research. Starting from his studies in aeronautics, he developed an original analysis of the Italian war industry, combining military history with economic and technological history in a critical appraisal of the influence on public spending played by the industrial establishment, a social actor always wavering between the thrust toward innovation and the parasitic exploitation of public resources in its progressive conquest of the ruling class leadership. In particular, Curami’s attention focused on both the Great War, as a crucial stage of this process, and the Fascist re-armament, when the manufacturers had become strong enough to impose means often obsolete and inadequate to the armed forces. Of the Fascist re-armament policy and its practical failure Curami offers an interpretation in which technical examination serves the comprehension of the behavior of the industrial concerns, thanks to a perceptive insight into the relations among the armed forces, political power and the heavy industry.
Keywords: Military history, economic history, technological history, war industry, Great War, Second World War