The Italian Social Republic was formed in September 23, 1943 after the Armistice of Italy and the rescue of Benito Mussolini. The new government was installed in the town of Salo on Lake Garda and under the patronage of Germany. A new Army was formed along with a Navy and Air force. Four full Italian Divisions were sent to Germnay for training and refitting. Those Divisions the Littorio, Italia,Monte Rosa and San Marco would later return to Italy with the purpose of defending her.  The nucleus of a  new Security Force was  also formed of former members of the Fascist Militia and Police.  The  security force or the GNR translated to the Guarda Nazionale Republicana. The GNR was to fight against the internal enemies of the new Republic.  Later the new Republican Fascist Party called upon their members to arms in the BBNN or Black brigades . They were  used to help  combat the growing Partisan uprising.  Other additional autonomous units were formed ,which included the famous Decima Mas. The Decima Mas or 10th Flotilla was a Naval Commando Unit  from the former Royal Navy.During the RSI it remained autonomous and was never directly under the control of the RSI Navy.  Italians also volunteered or were conscripted to fight within the German Armed forces  in such Units as the  Waffen SS, Organization Todt and the German Police .  Others joined the Lufwaffe or were conscripted into Flak Units

A total of 600,000 Italians continued to give allegiance to the Axis. Their reasons were many. This site will be a study of photographs and militaria of all combatants during this era and in the spirit of a non political site the reasons will not be extensively discussed.

Double Click on the photos for a larger format and information. Once you go to that page the photo may be expanded again by clicking with the curser again.

Trailer for Independent interviews of RSI Veterans from You Tube

Seven interviews with RSI Veterans


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