If you're going to make war propaganda, why not make it cute? Evidently that was the sentiment of someone with artistic talent in Fascist Italy during the Second Abyssinian and World Wars. Here is a look back at some previously posted colorful artwork of an adorable little Italy going out to subdue the enemies of the Patria Italia:
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Saturday, July 16, 2016
There are, undoubtedly, a number of reasons that could be put forward but we might also consider a possible explanation that a mentality is at work here that was around in the days of ancient Rome. In his book Germania, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote down his observations about the Germans and how different they were, in so many ways, from the people, society and customs of Rome. He describes how very meritocratic the Germans were, how egalitarian their society was in contrast to Rome, making it less orderly but in other ways more admirable to modern sensibilities. Tacitus also described in great deal, as an example, the very different attitude towards women that the Germans had. In Rome, it was the matron that was upheld as the ideal, the supportive wife and mother, devoted to her home and family, to domestic pursuits. German women, on the other hand, had a much higher profile, were more outspoken and even followed their men into battle, cheering them on amidst the carnage. Like the Romans, most Germans had only one wife but adultery seems to have been very rare among the Germans. Tacitus also spoke of how decisions were taken collectively by the senior men of every German tribe, totally unlike the Romans with the prominent leadership of great generals, consuls or, in times of crisis, a dictator. Ultimately, as we know, there would be an emperor.
Could some trace of these attitudes still remain in the German mind of today? If these were spread beyond the "tribe" to all other peoples in the world, it might explain, to some extent, the current German position regarding issues from feminism to the migrant crisis. That would be the key point though, as the ancient Germans would certainly be aghast at the actions of their descendants today because they certainly drew a sharp distinction between those who were Germans and those who were not. However, the mentality that everyone, regardless of who they are, must be given consideration, if applied beyond the "tribe" might, to some extent, explain the attitude of Germany today and why opposition seems to be so much stronger in countries such as France, Italy, England, Poland or Hungary. One also cannot help but notice, in the United States, where the current presidential race is portrayed as a contest between a nationalist, Trump, and a globalist, Clinton, that Anglo Americans, Scots-Irish, Polish-Americans and Italian-Americans have tended to support Donald Trump, Americans of German, Dutch and Scandinavian ancestry have tended to oppose him. It does make one wonder just how much our ancestry influences our views and opinions.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
On July 1, 1777 the U.S. government assigned Ralph Izard as Commissioner to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando III, but he was never received and formal diplomatic recognition was never extended to the United States by Florence. That was most likely due to the opposition to the American war by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II who was concerned that his own subjects might follow their example. However, there was still a desire for commercial ties. Ragusa, in what is now Croatia, which had a large Italian presence, established trade links with the United States through Italian agents in France such as Francesco Favi and Giovanni Fabronni. The Grand Duchy of Tuscany never recognized the United States prior to the formation of the Kingdom of Italy. However, there were those who did, though some were quite late such as the Duchy of Parma which recognized the American government in 1850.
In 1796 the King of Naples officially recognized the United States of America, though full diplomatic relations were not established until 1832 due to the tumult caused by the French Revolutionary Wars. The Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia established diplomatic relations with the United States in 1802. The Papal States, while waiting a long time to extend official diplomatic recognition to the United States, did open its ports to American trade in 1784 and this was at the instigation of the Papal Nuncio in Paris, not by the Americans. The United States was also allowed to have a consulate in Rome from 1797. The Republic of Genoa recognized the United States in 1791 though that relationship did not last long since the republic was annexed by France in 1805. Oddly enough, one Italian state that was quite unfriendly to the new republic in America was the older Republic of Venice. The Venetian ambassadors in France and Spain were approached by the American envoys but Venice refused to recognize the American government and ignored an effort at correspondence with the Venetian ambassador in Paris. The only reason for this seems to have been a reluctance on the part of Venice to risk endangering their trade with Britain or upsetting the Austrians. As it turns out, the American republic received more support from the monarchies of Europe than from the republics, as surprising as most would probably find that today.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
In 1773, with the passing of his father, the Duke of Savoy became King Vittorio Amadeo III of Piedmont-Sardinia on February 20. From day one the administration of his country and the military were his top priorities but that does not mean that he neglected other areas. Because of his conservative and religious nature he has often been accused of being reactionary to the point of being averse to change of any kind, but this is not so. In fact, he was very keen on improving a number of things that needed it. Beneficial change was never a problem for him but change for the sake of change alone, naturally would not be tolerated. For all of the emphasis he placed on the army, he was also certainly not a warmonger and aimed at ensuring the security of his country by peaceful, diplomatic means first and foremost. His marriage to a member of the Spanish Royal Family was part of this, to secure a marriage alliance with Spain after the two powers had been enemies in the War of Austrian Succession (the Savoy having backed the Hapsburg side).
Overall, he carried on with the changes first set in motion by his grandfather which were aimed at making the aristocracy less corrupt and more socially-minded (a common problem of the time) and encouraging greater social mobility for the common people so that they could lift themselves out of poverty by their own talents. In terms of the army though, he did spend a great deal, carrying on the effort to renovate the Piedmontese military along the lines of that of the Kingdom of Prussia which was the example that all small, resource-poor states naturally wished to follow. Given the events of his reign, some have dismissed this as a failure but that requires taking a very narrow view. In fact, the military “culture” of the country was changed and even as late as World War II, a German general serving in Italy remarked on how similar Piedmont was to Prussia in the emphasis placed on the army and in the many years in between not a few foreign observers would refer to Piedmont as ‘the Prussia of Italy’. The King is also remembered as the founder of the Gold Medal of Military Valor, the highest Italian combat decoration which is still awarded to this day. He also followed this example himself at home by adopted a more Spartan lifestyle so that the British historian Gibbon, on traveling through the area, wrote about how the Savoy royals lived “with decent and splendid economy”.
The French republicans were quick to attack Piedmont, vowing to make northern Italy a satellite republic, but the Savoyard troops, along with a contingent of Austrians, fought fiercely and succeeded in repelling the initial invasion. The French met a similar fate on other fronts and when they tried to enlist the United States to come in on their side, the American government flatly refused and considered the alliance made with the late King Louis XVI to have died with him. Royalist counter-revolutionaries were also rising up and achieving successes. However, the French responded by ordering the conscription of every adult male in the country and soon they had turned the war situation around, swamping their enemies with what was often simply a huge, armed and radicalized mob.
In the wake of this fiasco, King Vittorio Amadeo III was a broken man and his health and spirits only worsened from that point on. Within a year he had an apoplexy and finally died on October 16, 1796 at Moncalieri. A reign that had began with such promise and which had seen many beneficial reforms, had been reduced to ruin in the final years by the horror and bloodshed that were the fruits of the French Revolution. However, the House of Savoy was down but not out and the next three kings to succeed him would all be sons of Vittorio Amadeo III and they would ultimately see the French defeated, the Savoy flag raised again over Turin and the monarchy restored completely along with some additional lands. The French revolutionaries had won the first round but the sons of Vittorio Amadeo III would be the ones returning home in triumph while Allied armies marched down the boulevards of Paris. Whereas his enemies would be remembered for "the Terror" and wars of conquest, Vittorio Amadeo III would be remembered as a beloved figure, perhaps a little too trusting at times, but a kind man of good character who was generous to a fault.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
|Rommel and Graziani in World War I|
|Graziani, the "Pacifyer of Libia"|
|Rommel as a young officer|
|Graziani in the Ethiopian capital|
|Rommel in the invasion of France|
|Graziani poster art|
|Graziani and Rommel in Africa at happier times|
|Rommel decorated by Bastico with the Colonial Star|
|Graziani having some pasta in Libia|
|Rommel & General Ramcke|
|Rommel in France|
|Mussolini and Graziani|
|Graziani and Rommel at the front|
Monday, May 30, 2016
|Paolo Ignazio Thaon di Revel|
I swear to my honor
To serve with fidelity and discipline the Fascist idea of society - based on religion, the Fatherland, and the family, and to respect the authority of the League and of the hierarchy and tradition of our race.
To love, serve, obey and exalt the United States of America and to render obedience and respect to its constitution and its laws.
To keep alive the cult with Italy as the Fatherland and eternal light of civilization and greatness.
To combat with all my might theories and ideas tending to subvert, corrupt, and disgrace religion, the Fatherland, or the family.
To do my best to improve my culture, my physique and my morals, to render me fit for the part I am to play in serving the nation in its hour of greatness.
To submit to the discipline of the hierarchy of the Fascist League of North America.
|Dr. Salvatore Caridi of the Italian War Veterans|
|Italian-American Black shirts|
|Salvatore Caridi and Fritz Kuhn|
|Italian-American Black shirt girls|
|Italians (in the Black shirts and white trousers) at a Bundist camp|
|Italian-American Fascists at Camp Siegfried (FBI photo)|
Friday, May 27, 2016
|Rashid Ali al-Gaylani|
|11 October 1942, the Grand Mufti gives Arab volunteers|
for Italy their unit flag