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Executions in Messina, August 1943?


New Member
In a note to an article by Filippo Cappellano on "Storia Militare", written some years ago, it is mentioned that during the evacuation of Messina (August 1943), some "dispersed" Italian soldiers (sbandati) were executed because they were "hindering" the evacuation operations. Does anyone have any details about this episode? I was aware of the execution of a MILMART officer (capo manipolo Giuseppe Catanzaro) for abandoning his coastal battery near Catania in July 1943, but I had never heard of this instance.

Here: http://www.italia-liberazione.it/portalenuovo/60moliberazione/PAGINE/REL_18.HTM, mentioning documents belonging to the family of Admiral Pietro Barone (the naval commander in Sicily, who was in charge of the Messina Naval Fortress Area and who supevised the evacuation of Italian troops across the straits), it is stated that Barone "did not hesitate to order the immediate execution of deserters and looters" (Nella circostanza l’alto ufficiale (...) né esitò ad ordinare la fucilazione immediata per disertori e colpevoli di pubblico saccheggio.), but no other details are given.


Staff member
I don't have anything to offer on this topic. While I believe I previously read some article that mentioned executions in Sicily, I can't find it.


New Member
In the meantime I have also come across another such instance that I previously ignored; two soldiers of the 206th Coastal Division, Carmelo Lissandrello and Giorgio Avola, were shot for desertion in Ispica on the orders of General D'Havet, a few hours before the Canadians entered the town.