By Gianluca Cinelli
The Allied armies fighting in the Second World War were an international and transcultural aggregation of Western, African, Southern American, and Asian soldiers. The main reason for the intercultural diversity in the French and British armies consisted of the extensive deployment of colonial troops on several fronts, from Europe to the Pacific, in the air and on the sea. Unlike their European Allies, the United States did not rely on a colonial empire and had only American troops to deploy in the war. However, the American armed forces were the mirror of American society, which included a variety of ethnic and cultural communities. The book Soldati e patrie (Soldiers and Fatherlands) offers remarkable insight into one particular aspect of this phenomenon, namely the presence of the Italians in the Allied armies, with a focus on the US Army.
Tuesday April 5, 2022, at 2.30pm – Exhibit hall C.A. Ciampi, Palazzo del Pegaso, via de’ Pucci 16, Florence
Curators Matteo Pretelli and Francesco Fusi
Combatants of Italian descent were present in the various Allied armies that took part in World War II against the Axis Powers. They were mostly sons of emigrants who had left Italy between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Hundreds of thousands were Italian Americans serving in the U.S. military, but British Italians, Italian Canadians, Italian Australians, and Italian Brazilians also contributed to the war efforts of their countries. Being present in all theatres of the war, they also fought in Italy, a country that many knew only through the stories of their parents. The exhibition reconstructs this fascinating although neglected history by recounting the stories of these men who contributed to the Allied victory.
The exhibition will be open through April 22, 2022, Monday to Friday: 10 am-12 pm and 3-6 pm