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The Historian's Corner

Italian Military Heroes

According to most historians, there are no Italian Military Heroes. I decided to prove that old adage wrong.

Salvo d'Acquisto.I finally found one after this page had been up for a few years. A relative of this Italian Military Hero contacted me and gave me sufficient evidence that, yes, there is an Italian Military Hero.

His name is Salvo d'Acquisto. After Italy surrendered to the Allies in 1943, the Germans took over administration of Italy from Rome northward. In the area where d'Acquisto was stationed, a bomb went off and the Germans didn't like it. They gathered 23 people to be killed in reprisal. d'Acquisto offered himself in their place, claiming responsibility for the bombing and letting the innocents go free. There are a few other stories at this page, but the Google™ translation of the page is sketchy at best and their accounts are all too brief for me to go on, anyway. Nevertheless, I must recognize the valor of men and women of Italy who fought against the Nazis and Fascists. Salvo d'Acquisto represents but one story of many, and although I first put up this page as a sort of joke, the sacrifices of d'Acquisto and others should not be taken lightly, which is why I happily un-jokify this page.

Is he really that much of a hero, though? One criteria I did stress was that he had to be somebody recognizable in the national consciousness of his nation. d'Acquisto certainly satisfies that criteria. He's got schools and roads and stuff named after him, had movies made about him, and is up for sainthood - I checked at the Vatican website myself. So he's a hero, he's Italian, and he was in a military unit. Put 'em all together and you got a bona-fide Italian Military Hero celebrated as such in his homeland of Italy. salutes Salvo d'Acquisto, for proving wrong the statement "there are no Italian Military Heroes." There certainly are Italian Military Heroes and we stand corrected on this issue.

But wait, there's more! In February 2008, a Zzzptm viewer sent in this information:

Towards the bottom, along the right side, is a sidebar about the Foglore Division, which I shall now quote here:

When the British attack in El Alamein came on 23 October 1942, four Allies divisions (44th and 50th British Infantry, 7th British Armoured, and 1st Free French) attacked the Folgore’s lines.The Italian paratroopers repulsed repeated attacks, routing the French and driving back the British. After three days of heavy fighting, the British abandoned their assaults on the southern end of the Axis line where Folgore stood and re-focused on the opposite flank. They broke the Axis lines in the German sector.

Winston Churchill speech to the Chamber, Nov. 21 1942: "We really must bow in front of the rest of those who have been the 'lions' of the Folgore Division."

B.B.C., Dec. 3rd 1942: " The last survivors of Folgore have been gathered without forces in the desert, no one of them surrendered, no one left his weapons"

And I don't want to hear any wisecracks about how the Italians shouldn't take too much credit for repulsing a French division. The Free French fought hard in that war, and they fought on to the war's end. Moreover, lest someone try to get in the old saw about there being no French military victories, I would submit this website: I know that people will qualify that the French only win when allied to or are led by non-French nations or persons, but a brief inspection of that list reveals such a stipulation to be false. One could even argue that the United States never won a war against a European or Asian nation without massive support from its allies.

If you know of any other stories like this, please let me know at and I'll be all over them like a donkey on a waffle.

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