I'd like to announce the publication of a short book I've co-authored with Vincent P. O'Hara entitled Dark Navy: The Regia Marina and the Armistice of 8 September 1943.
It's on Amazon at
http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Navy-Italian ... _rhf_p_t_2
With the help of many inedit Italian and USA sources we propose a new vision of those far from well known and studied crisis considering the german point of view too.
Here is a short description:
In July 1943 Benito Mussolini, Italy's warlord and the father of fascism fell from power in a hastily arranged plot, the details of which even today remain controversial. A cabal of generals took the nation's reins and bungled their way toward an accommodation with the Allies. When General Eisenhower announced an armistice with Italy on the evening of 8 September he believed he had struck a deal that included Italian military cooperation against the Germans. In fact, the generals had promised more than they could deliver and Germany's terrible, swift reprisal shattered Italy's confused air force and army. The armistice likewise caught the navy by surprise, with its battleships raising steam to attack the Allied fleet landing at Salerno. Nonetheless, the Regia Marina obeyed its government's orders and honored the pact the generals had negotiated. Rather than evaporating like Italy's other services, however, it proceeded to fight a three-week campaign against Germany, without Allied support, and in the process retained complete control of its ships, regardless of the ports necessity forced them to seek refuge in.
This is the story of the Regia Marina and the Italian armistice of September 1943. It is a deeply-researched and highly readable exploration of this confusing and fascinating corner of history. It refutes the conventional notion that Italy's fleet abjectly surrendered to Allied power. It shows how the navy paved Italy's path from enemy to co-belligerent with the blood and unconquered spirit of its men. Despite German and Allied intentions to secure Italy's fleet for their own uses, it remained Italian to the end: a dark navy - not victorious, but undefeated.
Ciàpla adasi, stà léger.