Fighting with the Enemy: New Zealand POWs and the Italian Resistance

Fighting with the Enemy: New Zealand POWs and the Italian Resistance

by Susan Jacobs


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When Italy capitulated during the Second World War, the Germans retaliated against their former ally with brutal force; almost overnight the Italian Resistance was born. Over 450 Kiwi prisoners-of-war saw escape as their only hope. A pathway to precarious safety was provided by the partisans, who were still fighting German and Italian Fascists, and by ordinary Italian families. Many were captured again, and some were tortured and killed. The relationships forged between these New Zealanders and their Italian helpers are keenly remembered and honoured by both sides today. Their stories provide an insight into the Italian Resistance itself, its heroism, sacrifice and impact. Moving and exhilarating, Fighting with the Enemy shows the human side of war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143018629
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/27/2004
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Susan Jacobs was born in Auckland, New Zealand. She has strong ties with Italy where she spent nine years studying Italian and teaching English in rural Umbria and Tuscany during the 1970s and 80s. Susan has a PhD in Italian from the University of Auckland, where she tutored part-time for many years. Currently she is Research Manager at the Auckland Institute of Studies of St Helens, and lives in Auckland with her partner and four daughters. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Capture14
Chapter 2Prisoners-of-war in Italy25
Chapter 3Escape36
Chapter 4The Italian Resistance48
Chapter 5At large: the Hare Battalion58
Chapter 6Recapture70
Chapter 7The Kiwi peasants: 'They too are sons of mothers'81
Chapter 8Survival strategies94
Chapter 9Fighting with the partisans109
Chapter 10The partisan struggle129
Chapter 11The prodigal son of Gemona145
Chapter 12Three men in a cave162
Chapter 13Those bastards are getting bloody personal185
Chapter 14Horace and Fanny: New Zealand priests in the Vatican underground202
Chapter 15Escape into Switzerland214
Chapter 16Getting out226
Chapter 17Liberation240

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