Instrument of surrender signed at Malta September 29, 1943; letter from Commander in Chief of Allied Forces to Head of Italian Government September 29, 1943
Entered into force September 29, 1943
Amended by protocol of November 9, 1943
Terminated September 15, 1947, upon entry into force of treaty of peace of February 10, 1947
61 Stat. 2742;
Treaties and Other International Acts Series 1604
Whereas in consequence of an armistice dated September 3rd, 1943, between the United States and the United Kingdom Governments on the one hand and the Italian Government on the other hand, hostilities were suspended between Italy and the United Nations on certain terms of a military nature;
And whereas in addition to those terms it was also provided in the said Armistice that the Italian Government bound themselves to comply with other conditions of a political, economic and financial nature to be transmitted later;
And whereas it is convenient that the terms of a military nature and the said other conditions of a political, economic and financial nature should without prejudice to the continued validity of the terms of the said Armistice of September 3rd, 1943, be comprised in a further instrument;
The following together with the terms of the Armistice of September 3rd, 1943, are the terms on which the United States and United Kingdom Governments acting on behalf of the United Nations are prepared to suspend hostilities against Italy so long as their military operations against Germany and her Allies are not obstructed and Italy does not assist these Powers in any way and complies with the requirements of these Governments.
These terms have been presented by GENERAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces, duly authorised to that effect;
And have been accepted by MARSHAL PIETRO BADOGLIO, Head of the Italian Government.
(A) The Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces wherever located, hereby surrender unconditionally.
(B) Italian participation in the war in all Theaters will cease immediately. There will be no opposition to landings, movements or other operations of the Land, Sea and Air Forces of the United Nations. Accordingly, the Italian Supreme Command will order the immediate cessation of hostilities of any kind against the Forces of the United Nations and will direct the Italian Navy, Military and Air Force authorities in all Theaters to issue forthwith the appropriate instructions to those under their Command.
(C) The Italian Supreme Command will further order all Italian Naval, Military and Air Forces or authorities and personnel to refrain immediately from destruction of or damage to any real or personal property, whether public or private.
The Italian Supreme Command will give full information concerning the disposition and condition of all Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces, wherever they are situated and of all such forces of Italy’s Allies as are situated in Italian or Italian occupied territory.
The Italian Supreme Command will take the necessary measures to secure airfields, port facilities, and all other installations against seizure or attack by any of Italy’s Allies. The Italian Supreme Command will take the necessary measures to insure Law and Order, and to use its available armed forces to insure prompt and exact compliance with all the provisions of the present instrument. Subject to such use of Italian troops for the above purposes, as may be sanctioned by the Allied Commander-in-Chief, all other Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces will proceed to and remain in their barracks, camps or ships pending directions from the United Nations as to their future status and disposal. Exceptionally such Naval personnel shall proceed to shore establishments as the United Nations may direct.
Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces will within the periods to be laid down by the United Nations withdraw from all areas outside Italian territory notified to the Italian Government by the United Nations and proceed to areas to be specified by the United Nations. Such movement of Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces will be carried out in conditions to be laid down by the United Nations and in accordance with the orders to be issued by them. All Italian officials will similarly leave the areas notified except any who may be permitted to remain by the United Nations. Those permitted to remain will comply with the instructions of the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
No requisitioning, seizures or other coercive measures shall be effected by Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces or officials in regard to persons or property in the areas notified under Article 4.
The demobilization of Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces in excess of such establishments as shall be notified will take place as prescribed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
Italian warships of all descriptions, auxiliaries and transports will be assembled as directed in ports to be specified by the Allied Commander-inChief and will be dealt with as prescribed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief. ( Note. If at the date of the Armistice the whole of the Italian Fleet has been assembled in Allied ports, this article would run-”Italian warships of all descriptions, auxiliaries, and transports will remain until further notice in the ports where they are at present assembled, and will be dealt with as prescribed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief.” )
Italian aircraft of all kinds will not leave the ground or water or ships, except as directed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
Without prejudice to the provisions 14, 15 and 28 (A) and (D) below, all merchant ships, fishing or other craft of whatever flag, all aircraft and inland transport of whatever nationality in Italian or Italian-occupied territory or waters will, pending verification of their identity and status, be prevented from leaving.
The Italian Supreme Command will make available all information about naval, military and air devices, installations, and defences, about all transport and inter-communication systems established by Italy or her allies on Italian territory or in the approaches thereto, about minefields or other obstacles to movement by land, sea or air and such other particulars as the United Nations may require in connection with the use of Italian bases, or with the operations, security, or welfare of the United Nations Land, Sea or Air Forces. Italian forces and equipment will be made available as required by the United Nations for the removal of the above mentioned obstacles.
The Italian Government will furnish forthwith lists of quantities of all war material showing the location of the same. Subject to such use as the Allied Commander-in-Chief may make of it, the war material will be placed in store under such control as he may direct. The ultimate disposal of war material will be prescribed by the United Nations.
There will be no destruction of nor damage to nor except as authorized or directed by the United Nations any removal of war material, wireless, radio location or meteorological stations, railroad, port or other installations or in general, public or private utilities or property of any kind, wherever situated, and the necessary maintenance and repair will be the responsibility of the Italian authorities.
The manufacture, production and construction of war material and its import, export and transit is prohibited, except as directed by the United Nations. The Italian Government will comply with any directions given by the United Nations for the manufacture, production or construction and the import, export or transit of war material.
(A) All Italian merchant shipping and fishing and other craft, wherever they may be, and any constructed or completed during the period of the present instrument will be made available in good repair and in seaworthy condition by the competent Italian authorities at such places and for such purposes and periods as the United Nations may prescribe. Transfer to enemy or neutral flags is prohibited. Crews will remain on board pending further instructions regarding their continued employment or dispersal. Any existing options to repurchase or re-acquire or to resume control of Italian or former Italian vessels sold or otherwise transferred or chartered during the war will forthwith be exercised and the above provisions will apply to all such vessels and their crews.
(B) All Italian inland transport and all port equipment will be held at the disposal of the United Nations for such purposes as they may direct.
United Nations merchant ships, fishing and other craft in Italian hands wherever they may be (including for this purpose those of any country which has broken off diplomatic relations with Italy) whether or not the title has been transferred as the result of prize court proceedings or otherwise, will be surrendered to the United Nations and will be assembled in ports to be specified by the United Nations for disposal as directed by them. The Italian Government will take all such steps as may be required to secure any necessary transfers of title. Any neutral merchant ship, fishing or other craft under Italian operation or control will be assembled in the same manner pending arrangements for their ultimate disposal. Any necessary repairs to any of the above mentioned vessels will be effected by the Italian Government, if required, at their expense. The Italian Government will take the necessary measures to insure that the vessels and their cargo are not damaged.
No radio or telecommunication installations or other forms of intercommunication, shore or afloat, under Italian control whether belonging to Italy or any nation other than the United Nations will transmit until directions for the control of these installations have been prescribed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief. The Italian authorities will conform to such measures for control and censorship of press and of other publications, of theatrical and cinematograph performances, of broadcasting, and also of all forms of intercommunication as the Allied Commander-in-Chief may direct. The Allied Commander-in-Chief may, at his discretion, take over radio, cable and other communication stations.
The warships, auxiliaries, transports and merchant and other vessels and aircraft in the service of the United Nations will have the right freely to use the territorial waters around and the air over Italian territory.
The forces of the United Nations will require to occupy certain parts of Italian territory. The territories or areas concerned will from time to time be notified by the United Nations and all Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces will thereupon withdraw from such territories or areas in accordance with the instructions issued by the Allied Commander-in-Chief. The provisions of this article are without prejudice to those of article 4 above. The Italian Supreme Command will guarantee immediate use and access to the Allies of all airfields and Naval ports in Italy under their control.
In the territories or areas referred to in article 18 all Naval, Military and Air installations, power stations, oil refineries, public utility services, all ports and harbors, all transport and all intercommunication installations, facilities and equipment and such other installations or facilities and all such stocks as may be required by the United Nations will be made available in good condition by the competent Italian authorities with the personnel required for working them. The Italian Government will make available such other local resources or services as the United Nations may require.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the present instrument the United Nations will exercise all the rights of an occupying power throughout the territories or areas referred to in article 18, the administration of which will be provided for by the issue of proclamations, orders or regulations. Personnel of the Italian administrative, judicial and public services will carry out their functions under the control of the Allied Commander-in-Chief unless otherwise directed.
In addition to the rights in respect of occupied Italian territories described in articles 18 to 20,
(A) Members of the Land, Sea or Air Forces and officials of the United Nations will have the right of passage in or over non-occupied Italian territory and will be afforded all the necessary facilities and assistance in performing their functions.
(B) The Italian authorities will make available on non-occupied Italian territory all transport facilities required by the United Nations including free transit for their war material and supplies, and will comply with instructions issued by the Allied Commander-in-Chief regarding the use and control of airfields, ports, shipping, inland transport systems and vehicles, intercommunication systems, power stations and public utility services, oil refineries, stocks, and such other fuel and power supplies and means of producing same, as United Nations may specify, together with connected repair and construction facilities.
The Italian Government and people will abstain from all action detrimental to the interests of the United Nations and will carry out promptly and efficiently all orders given by the United Nations.
The Italian Government will make available such Italian currency as the United Nations may require. The Italian Government will withdraw and redeem in Italian currency within such time limits and on such terms as the United Nations may specify all holdings in Italian territory of currencies issued by the United Nations during military operations or occupation and will hand over the currencies withdrawn free of cost to the United Nations. The Italian Government will take such measures as may be required by the United Nations for the control of banks and business in Italian territory, for the control of foreign exchange and foreign commercial and financial transactions and for the regulation of trade and production and will comply with any instructions issued by the United Nations regarding these and similar matters.
There shall be no financial, commercial or other intercourse with or dealings with or for the benefit of countries at war with any of the United Nations or territories occupied by such countries or any other foreign country except under authorisation of the Allied Commander-in-Chief or designated officials.
(A) Relations with countries at war with any of the United Nations, or occupied by any such country, will be broken off. Italian diplomatic, consular and other officials and members of the Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces accredited to or serving on missions with any such country or in any other territory specified by the United Nations will be recalled. Diplomatic and consular officials of such countries will be dealt with as the United Nations may prescribe.
(B) The United Nations reserve the right to require the withdrawal of neutral diplomatic and consular officers from occupied Italian territory and to prescribe and lay down regulations governing the procedure for the methods of communication between the Italian Government and its representatives in neutral countries and regarding communications emanating from or destined for the representatives of neutral countries in Italian territory.
Italian subjects will pending further instructions be prevented from leaving Italian territory except as authorised by the Allied Commander-in-Chief and will not in any event take service with any of the countries or in any of the territories referred to in article 25 (A) nor will they proceed to any place for the purpose of undertaking work for any such country. Those at present so serving or working will be recalled as directed by the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
The Military, Naval and Air personnel and material and the merchant shipping, fishing and other craft and the aircraft, vehicles and other transport equipment of any country against which any of the United Nations is carrying on hostilities or which is occupied by any such country, remain liable to attack or seizure wherever found in or over Italian territory or waters. 28.
(A) The warships, auxiliaries and transports of any such country or occupied country referred to in article 27 in Italian or Italian-occupied ports and waters and the aircraft, vehicles and other transport equipment of such countries in or over Italian or Italian-occupied territory will, pending further instructions, be prevented from leaving.
(B) The Military, Naval and Air personnel and the civilian nationals of any such country or occupied country in Italian or Italian-occupied territory will be prevented from leaving and will be interned further instructions.
(C) All property in Italian territory belonging to any such country or occupied country or its nationals will be impounded and kept in custody pending further instructions.
(D) The Italian Government will comply with any instructions given by the Allied Commander-in-Chief concerning the internment, custody or subsequent disposal, utilisation or employment of any of the above mentioned persons, vessels, aircraft, material or property.
Benito Mussolini, his Chief Fascist associates and all persons suspected of having committed war crimes or analogous offenses whose names appear on lists to be communicated by the United Nations will forthwith be apprehended and surrendered into the hands of the United Nations. Any instructions given by the United Nations for this purpose will be complied with. 30.
All Fascist organizations, including all branches of the Fascist Militia (MVSN), the Secret Police (OVRA), all Fascist youth organizations will insofar as this is not already accomplished be disbanded in accordance with the directions of the Allied Commander-in-Chief. The Italian Government will comply with all such further directions as the United Nations may give for abolition of Fascist institutions, the dismissal and internment of Fascist personnel, the control of Fascist funds, the suppression of Fascist ideology and teaching.
All Italian laws involving discrimination on grounds of race, color, creed or political opinions will insofar as this is not already accomplished be rescinded, and persons detained on such grounds will, as directed by the United Nations, be released and relieved from all legal disabilities to which they have been subjected. The Italian Government will comply with all such further directions as the Allied Commander-in-Chief may give for repeal of Fascist legislation and removal of any disabilities or prohibitions resulting therefrom.
(A) Prisoners of war belonging to the forces of or specified by the United Nations and any nationals of the United Nations, including Abyssinian subjects, confined, interned, or otherwise under restraint in Italian or Italian-occupied territory will not be removed and will forthwith be handed over to representatives of the United Nations or otherwise dealt with as the United Nations may direct. Any removal during the period between the presentation and the signature of the present instrument will be regarded as a breach of its terms.
(B) Persons of whatever nationality who have been placed under restriction, detention or sentence (including sentences in absentia) on account of their dealings or sympathies with the United Nations will be released under the direction of the United Nations and relieved from all legal disabilities to which they have been subjected.
(C) The Italian Government will take such steps as the United Nations may direct to safeguard the persons of foreign nationals and property of foreign nationals and property of foreign states and nationals.
(A) The Italian Government will comply with such directions as the United Nations may prescribe regarding restitution, deliveries, services or payments by way of reparation and payment of the costs of occupation during the period of the present instrument.
(B) The Italian Government will give to the Allied Commander-in-Chief such information as may be prescribed regarding the assets, whether inside or outside Italian territory, of the Italian state, the Bank of Italy, any Italian state or semi-state institutions or Fascist organizations or residents in Italian territory and will not dispose or allow the disposal, outside Italian territory of any such assets except with the permission of the United Nations.
The Italian Government will carry out during the period of the present instrument such measures of disarmament, demobilization and demilitarisation as may be prescribed by the Allied Commander-in- Chief.
The Italian Government will supply all information and provide all documents required by the United Nations. There shall be no destruction or concealment of archives, records, plans or any other documents or information.
The Italian Government will take and enforce such legislative and other measures as may be necessary for the execution of the present instrument. Italian military and civil authorities will comply with any instructions issued by the Allied Commander-in-Chief for the same purpose.
There will be appointed a Control Commission representative of the United Nations charged with regulating and executing this instrument under the orders and general directions of the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
(A) The term “United Nations” in the present instrument includes the Allied Commander-in-Chief, the Control Commission and any other authority which the United Nations may designate.
(B) The term “Allied Commander-in-Chief” in the present instrument includes the Control Commission and such other officers and representatives as the Commander-in-Chief may designate.
Reference to Italian Land, Sea and Air Forces in the present instrument shall be deemed to include Fascist Militia and all such other military or pare-military units, formations or bodies as the Allied Commander-in-Chief may prescribe.
The term “War Material” in the present instrument denotes all material specified in such lists or definitions as may from time to time be issued by the Control Commission.
The term “Italian Territory” includes all Italian colonies and dependencies and shall for the purposes of the present instrument (but without prejudice to the question of sovereignty) be deemed to include Albania. Provided however that except in such cases and to such extent as the United Nations may direct the provisions of the present instrument shall not apply in or affect the administration of any Italian colony or dependency already occupied by the United Nations or the rights or powers therein possessed or exercised by them.
The Italian Government will send a delegation to the Headquarters of the Control Commission to represent Italian interests and to transmit the orders of the Control Commission to the competent Italian authorities.
The present instrument shall enter into force at once. It will remain in operation until superseded by any other arrangements or until the voting into force of the peace treaty with Italy.
The present instrument may be denounced by the United Nations with immediate effect if Italian obligations thereunder are not fulfilled or, as an alternative, the United Nations may penalize contravention of it by measures appropriate to the circumstances such as the extension of the areas of military occupation or air or other punitive action.
The present instrument is drawn up in English and Italian, the English text being authentic, and in case of any dispute regarding its interpretation, the decision of the Control Commission will prevail.
Signed at Malta on the 29 day of September, 1943
Marshal PIETRO BADOGLIO
Head of the Italian Government
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
General, United States Army,
Commander-in-Chief, Allied Force
Source: Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949 Compiled under the direction of Charles I. Bevans LL.B. Assistant Legal Advisor Department of State Volume 3 Multilateral 1931-1945 Department of State Publication 848 Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1969
Special thanks to the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School for allowing me to post these documents.