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Guglielmo Nasi: Generale d’armata

by Valdis Kursietis

The following information provides a snapshot of the career of Generale d’armata Guglielmo Nasi.

Generale d’armata Guglielmo Nasi.

Generale d’armata Guglielmo Nasi.

Born: 21 February 1879 in Civitavecchia
Died: 21 September 1971 in Modena


Sottotenente: 19 October 1898
Tenente: 18 September 1902
Capitano: 31 March 1911
Maggiore: 15 February 1916
Tenente colonnello: 16 August 1917
Colonnello: 22 November 1925
Generale di brigata: 1 January 1933
Generale di divisione: 15 April 1936
Generale di corpo d’armata: 31 July 1938
Generale d’armata per merito di guerra: 4 September 1941


1 November 1925 – 10 October 1928: Military Attaché to Paris
1 November 1928 – 16 January 11931: Commanding Officer, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment
16 January 1931 – 1 May 1934: Chief of Staff, Governor Tripolitana
1 May 1934 – 3 February 1936: General Officer Commanding, Colonial Troop Corps of Cirenaica
June 1934 – April 1935: concurrently Deputy Governor of Cirenaica
3 February 1936 – 1 June 1936: General Officer Commanding, Division Libia
1 June 1936 – 5 May 1939: Governor of Harrar
5 May 1939 – 2 June 1940: Governor of Addis Abeba
19 August 1940 – October 1940: Military Governor of Somaliland
11 June 1940 – 4 February 1941: concurrently Acting Governor of Harrar
1941 – 1941: General Officer Commanding, Western Military Sector, Italian East Africa
19 May 1941 – 28 November 1941: Acting Governor of Amhara
6 July 1941 – 28 November 1941: concurrently Acting Viceroy and Governor-General Italian East Africa

Awards & Decorations

Commendatore dell’Ordine militare di Savoia 1 July 1937
Ufficiale dell’Ordine militare di Savoia 26 June 1924
Cavaliere dell’Ordine militare di Savoia 19 September 1918
Gran cordone dell’Ordine coloniale della Stella d’Italia 19 September 1935
Grande ufficiale dell’Ordine dei S.S. Maurizio e Lazzaro 16 January 1939
Grande ufficiale dell’Ordine coloniale della Stella d’Italia 19 April 1934
Grande ufficiale dell’Ordine della Corona d’Italia 27 October 1936
Commendatore dell’Ordine dei S.S. Maurizio e Lazzaro 1 June 1933
Ufficiale dell’Ordine dei S.S. Maurizio e Lazzaro 14 January 1932
Commendatore dell’Ordine della Corona d’Italia 26 November 1922
Cavaliere dell’Ordine dei S.S. Maurizio e Lazzaro 31 August 1921
Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Corona d’Italia 29 May 1913
Medaglia commemorativa della guerra italo-turca;
Medaglia d’argento al valore militare (4);
Croce d’oro per anzianità di servizio;
Medaglia a ricordo dell’Unità d’Italia;
Croce di guerra;
Medaglia commemorativa delle operazioni in A.O.I.;
Croce al merito di guerra per le operazioni in A.O.I.;
Medaglia Mauriziana al merito militare di dieci lustri

Additional Notes

Guglielmo Nasi graduated from the Royal Military Academy of Modena on 19 October 1898. He became appointed Senator on 5 April 1939. He then served as a member of the Armed Forces Commission from 30 May 1939 to 11 February 1941. From there, he became a member of the Commission of the Affairs of Italian Africa from 2 July 1941 to 5 August 1943. With the fall of Gondar, Ethiopia, Guglielmo Nasi was the last Italian commander to surrender in Italian East Africa on November 28, 1941.

Taken prisoner, he was sent to a prison camp in Kenya with Duke Amedeo d’Aosta, and when he died, Nasi assumed command of about 60,000 Italian prisoners. Nasi was allowed to return to Italy in November 1945 only to appear before the High Court of Justice and defend himself against the complaint lodged against him by the High Commissioner for sanctions against fascism. He was acquitted the same year. In 1949, he was appointed to the position of “Extraordinary Commissioner for the transition” in Somalia between the outgoing British administration and the new Italian trust administration of Somalia.

In the wake of protests by the Ethiopian government, expressed directly by the emperor Haile Selassie to the Italian government and taken up by the left-wing faction in the Italian parliament, the Council of Ministers decided to revoke his position. Ethiopian protests were linked to the fact that his name was among those of war criminals denounced by the Ethiopian government at the United Nations.

Bollettino ufficiale delle nomine, promozioni e destinazioni negli ufficiali e sottufficiali del R. esercito italiano
e nel personale dell’amministrazione militare
La Corsa Infinita

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