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Italian soldiers
Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Africa
Date: 1937
Notes: Annibale Campopiano was born in Compabasso in 1905. He is a veteran of two wars -- the first was fought in Abyssinia and the second in his native country. Like many men of his generation Annibale Campopiano was ordered by Mussolini's government to take up arms and help to create another Roman empire [dell'Impero sui colli eterni di Roma"]. In reality the war in Africa accomplished nothing. After returning to his hometown Annibale Campopiano was recruited once again for army duty. During World War II he was captured by enemy forces and shipped to India where he was kept as a prisoner of war. When peace was declared, he returned to his home town and there took care of the family farm. He came to Canada in 1977 to be close to his adult children who had immigrated to this country.
      The photo and short biography of Annibale Campopiano were first published in Centro Dante's "Album di famiglia (1996)." Permission to use the material was granted by the Santa Cabrini Hospital's administration. For further information visit: www.santacabrini.qc.ca.
Contributed by: Courtesy of The Santa Cabrini Hospital

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Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Africa
Date: 1934
Notes: Casacalendese serving in Abyssinia.
Contributed by: Antonio Fantillo

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East Africa
Date: The 20th Century
Notes: Italian East Africa
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Africa Orientale Italiana
      Italian East Africa
      Italian colony
      Flag Coat of arms
      Capital Addis Ababa
      Political structure Colony
      Viceroy?
      - 1936 Pietro Badoglio
      - 1936-1937 Rodolfo Graziani
      - 1937-1941 Prince Amedeo
      - 1941 Pietro Gazzera
      - 1941 (acting) Guglielmo Nasi
      History
      - Established 1936
      - Disestablished 1941
      ? Viceroy and Governor-General
     
      Italian East Africa (Italian: Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI) was a short-lived (1936-1941) Italian colony in Africa consisting of Ethiopia (recently occupied after the Second Italo-Abyssinian War) and the established colonies of Italian Somaliland and Eritrea held in the name of Victor Emmanuel III of the Kingdom of Italy. In August 1940, British Somaliland was conquered and annexed to Italian East Africa. However, Ethiopia had successfully repelled repeated foreign occupations and was never colonized.
     
      The other Italian colony in Africa was Italian North Africa (Africa Settentrionale Italiana, or ASI).
      Territory
      In 1936, Italian East Africa covered some of present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the former Italian Somaliland. The colony was divided into six provinces: Amara, Eritrea, Galla-Sidamo, Harar, Scioa and Italian Somaliland, each run by an Italian governor. Each governor was answerable to the Italian viceroy. Italian East Africa briefly enlarged in 1940, as Italian forces conquered British Somaliland, thereby creating a single Somali provincial entity within Italian control, though this and the colony itself would be broken apart one year later as Italian East Africa was occupied by British forces.
     
      History
      The dominion was formed in 1936 during Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini's government in Italy with the temporary defeat of Haile Selassie's Ethiopia in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.
     
      Rule in Italian East Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland) was harsh for the native peoples, especially towards Ethiopians as Fascist policy sought to destroy their culture. In February 1937, following an assassination attempt on Italian East Africa's Viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, Graziani ordered Italian soldiers to raid the famous Ethiopian monastery Debre Libanos where the would-be assassins had briefly taken refuge and had the monks and nuns in the monastery executed.[1] Afterwards, Italian soldiers pillaged native settlements in Addis Ababa, which resulted in hundreds of Ethiopians being killed and their homes left burned to the ground.[1][2]
     
      Fascist colonial policy in the AOI had a divide and conquer element. In order to weaken the Orthodox Christian Amhara peoples who had run Ethiopia in the past, territory claimed by Tigray-Tigrinyas and Somalis was given to the provinces of Eritrea and Somalia.[1] Reconstruction efforts after the war in 1936, were primarily focused on benefiting the Muslim peoples in the AOI at the expense of the Amhara to strengthen support by Muslims for the Italian colony.[1]
     
      Italy's Fascist regime encouraged Italian peasants to colonize the AOI by creating agriculture there.[1] However few Italians came to the colony. By 1940 only 3200 farmers had arrived, less then ten percent of the Fascist regime's goal.[3] Continued insurgency by native Africans, lack of resources, rough terrain, and uncertainty of political and military conditions discouraged development and settlement.[3]
     
      The colony proved to be highly expensive to maintain, the AOI's budget in 1936-37 requested from Italy 19.136 billion lire to create the necessary infrastructure for the colony.[1] At the time Italy's entire revenue that year was only 18.581 billion lire.[1]
     
      In June 1940, at the beginning of Italy's involvement in World War II, the AOI potentially constituted a dangerous menace to British interests in Africa. From one perspective, a successful Italian attack from the colony through the Sudan and the establishment of a connection to Italian-held Libya would have isolated vital British positions in Egypt and the Suez Canal. However, from a different perspective, the colony itself was isolated from Italy and surrounded by British forces in the Sudan, Kenya, and British Somaliland. British forces in Aden could provide critical air and naval support against Italian naval forces operating in the Red Sea. Italian maritime transport was cut off by the British at the Suez Canal. What supplies did arrive in the AOI were generally from the air and in small quantities.
     
      At the beginning of the East African Campaign, the Italian troops amounted to 291,000 men including native troops. Training of the native troops was poor, the Italian garrisons were too spread out, due to the extremely poor state of roads, and were essentially reduced to a static role without enough ammunitions and oil reserves (which allowed the Allies to liberate AOI in 1941).
      East Africa Campaign northern front: Allied advances in 1941
     
      In 1940, the adjacent protectorate of British Somaliland was occupied by Italian forces and absorbed into Italian East Africa. The conquest was the only victory of Italy, without reinforcement from German troops, during WWII against the Allies. This occupation lasted around one year.
     
      On March 27, 1941 the stronghold of Keren was captured by the British troops after a strenuous defence from general Orlando Lorenzini. After the surrender of Massaua (April 8), Eritrea was lost for Italy. The war was lost on May 1941, when the last stand on Amba Alagi under Viceroy Amedeo di Savoia, Duke of Aosta, at Amba Alagi ended honourably in face of overwhelming Allied troops. November 28 of the same year, general Guglielmo Nasi and the last Italian occupants of Gondar surrendered.
     
      Many Italians fought a guerrilla war in the "Africa Orientale Italiana", after the surrender at Gondar of the last regular Italian forces in November 1941. From November 1941 to September 1943 there was an Italian guerrilla force made up of 7000 Italians who had not accepted surrender to the Allies. They were waiting for the possible arrival of the Italo-German army of Rommel from Egypt and the Mediterranean (called in 1942 by Mussolini "the Italian Mare Nostrum"), but after the Battle of El Alamein the momentum of this resistance slowly faded away.
     
      For original text with references see Wikipedia, "Italian East Africa."
     
Contributed by: Courtesy of Wikipedia

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Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Africa
Date: 1934
Notes: Casacalendese serving in Abyssinia.
Contributed by: Antonio Fantillo

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Debert, Nova Scotia, Canada
Date: 1942
Notes: At the turn of the 20th century millions of Italians had settled in Canada. They retained a fierce sense of loyalty to their home country. In the early 1930s Mussolini fooled his fellow countrymen into believing that under his leadership Italy would prosper. World leaders gave him their support. By the late 1930s Mussolini had lost his appeal both at home and abroad. When Mussolini sided with the Germans, many Italians, especially those living in the West, felt betrayed. World War II proved to be especially difficult for North Americans of Italian origin. Not only did they have to contend with the usual hardships, they also had to put up with the hostility of non-Italians who viewed them with suspicion. For a short summary of what took place visit www.linksnorth.com/Canada-history. The picture to the left is part of the CSTC/CN collection # CN004131 titled "Tank waiting for movement in Halifax, as bomber flies over the area." Permission to use the image was granted by the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation (CSTC). Any requests for further use of this image should be directed to CSTC.
Contributed by: Courtesy of CSTC

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Camp Petawawa
Date: World War II
Notes: During World War II, Italian-Canadians, as well as German-Canadians were regarded with suspicion and faced a great deal of discrimination. Those who had been actively pro-Fascist, and some who were falsely accused, were interned at Camp Petawawa during the war.
Contributed by: Courtesy of Wikipedia

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Italian immigrants
New York City, U.S.A.
Date: 1942 July
Notes: "Posting ceiling prices in foreign languages. Charles Ruggiero, clerk in a grocery store in New York's Italian section, wishes the handful of spaghetti he is breaking were Mussolini's neck. The ceiling price sign above his head, printed in Italian, is helping to defeat Il Duce by controlling inflation, one of America's most dangerous enemies." Digital ID: 8b04284.
Contributed by: Courtesy of the Library of Congress

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Italian immigrants
New York City, U.S.A.
Date: 1942 July
Notes: "Posting ceiling prices in foreign languages. Charles Ruggiero, clerk in a grocery store in New York's Italian section, wishes the handful of spaghetti he is breaking were Mussolini's neck. The ceiling price sign above his head, written in Italian is helping to defeat Il Duce by controlling inflation, one of america's most dangerous enemies." Digital ID: 8b07443.
Contributed by: Courtesy of the Library of Congress

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Italian immigrants
New York City, U.S.A.
Date: 1942 Aug.?
Notes: "New York, New York. Italian-Americans in the rain watching a flag raising ceremony in honor of the Feast of San Rocco at right.Digital ID: 8d21734.
Contributed by: Courtesy of the Library of Congress

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St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Date: September 8, 1943
Notes: "Splicing the mainbrace: distribution of rum ration aboard H.M.C.S. ARVIDA to celebrate the news of the surrender of Italy. St. John's Newfoundland, 8 September, 1943."
Contributed by: Courtesy Lt. John D. Mahoney/ Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-142439

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