By I. Williams
Utilizing unique files, the Allied profession of southern Italy, really Sicily and Naples, is illustrated by way of interpreting crime and unrest by way of Allied squaddies, deserters, rogue troops and Italian civilians from drunkenness, robbery, rape, and homicide to riots, demonstrations, black marketeering and prostitution.
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Additional info for Allies and Italians under Occupation: Sicily and Southern Italy 1943–45
9 Soldier Trouble 33 While the local water supply would not have been fit to drink without boiling, especially given the contamination from bomb-damaged sewers and water tanks, this explanation is perhaps a little naïve. Most of the troops had come from the equally hot climate of North Africa, and, while it might have been a valid explanation for the first few months when the troops were in the hot South, inebriation was a problem throughout the campaign, including through two winters that were among the longest and most severe ever experienced in Italy.
59 This was supposedly because the British central selection process made it easier to recruit police than did America’s federal system. 60 A large number of CAOs and CAPOs served in Italy over the approximately two-and-a-half years of occupation. It was a roving assignment, as officers were moved up the peninsula when they were no longer needed in a liberated area; many eventually moved on to serve in Germany. A snapshot of the numbers involved is given by the November 1944 return, which shows that there were about 1075 officers, including 400 CAOs with a further 130 CAPOs.
While punishments were handed out to known culprits by their superior officer, the only move which really caused the nuisance to stop was the removal of troops from the area which, of course, eventually happened, but which was scant consolation to those who had to live with the situation. The other result of the problem was that Italian government ordered a special file to be kept on all incidents between troops and civilians. Whatever else they might have been, the Italian police were very good at keeping records.
Allies and Italians under Occupation: Sicily and Southern Italy 1943–45 by I. Williams