Italian Social Republic

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Italian Social Republic during the war
Italian Social Republic (RSI) - state which existed in Italy in 1943-1945. The Republic had been proclaimed shortly after Italian king Victor Emmanuel III with his supporters decided to break the alliance with the Nazi Germany and to join the old rivals, United States and UK instead. This was caused by the successful Operation Husky, Allied landing on Sicily where only one German Luftwaffe division "Hermann Goering" proved itself as effective while all of the Italian troops came to be useless.

After the Grand Fascist Council had put Italian dictator (Duce) Benito Mussolini under arrest, already prepared negotiations started between Allied intelligence and King's representatives. As a result, Kingdom of Italy had proclaimed itself neutral and later openly turned the guns against its former ally, Germany.

Mussolini had been later released from captivity in the hotel near the Gran Sasso peak by the German rescue team lead by famous Otto Skorzeny, and taken to Munich in Germany. There he had been warmly met by Adolf Hitler, and after that the Duce proclaimed by the radio that Italy will never surrender to British and Americans, and instead the country will return to the original ideals of the Fascism as the Italian Social Republic.

Fascist Italy Italian Social Republic Kingdom of Italy
1922-1943 → → 1945-1946


Benito Mussolini with Alpini volunteers
Women Auxiliary Unit of RSI

Armed Forces

RSI soldiers in Rome
Volunteers of the Black Brigades
As the king's government of Italy had disbanded most of the military forces inside the country, and the Germans had interned the rest to prevent possible riots, Italian Social Republic had to create its own military, National Republican Army, from the scratch.

At first, four units had been created that later became the backbone of the new Italian army:

  • Bersaglieri division "Littorio"
  • Grenadiers division "Italia"
  • Mountain division "Monterosa"
  • Marine division "San Marco"