The landscape of the battles was diverse: the arid deserts of Libya, the snow capped mountains of Albania and Greece and the mountainous terrain of Abyssinia.
Amba Alagi was the last fortress of the Duke of Aosta Viceroy and Commander-in-Chief in Abyssinia. It was manned by approximately 7,000 Italian soldiers. Upon acceptance of the surrender of Amba Alagi, the British conceded full military honours on the Italian troops in recognition of the valour of the Italian soldiers.
A march past of Italian soldiers was captured on film: Surrender of Amba Alagi The film is a rare glimpse into this history.
Giosino Fino was one of the Amba Alagi soldiers. His daughter Ginetta Fino has honoured her father by documenting his testimony of his time as an Italian soldier and prisoner of war in India and Australia. Giosino’s journey and insights are invaluable in providing the personal experiences of Italian soldiers.
Cowra, NSW. 6 February 1944. Group of Italian prisoners of war (POWs) interned at No. 12 POW Group. Back row, left to right: 57187 G. Di Francesca; 57391 D. Monaco; 57137 P. Cotturelli; 57083 M. Borea; 57220 G. Fino; 57441 A. Pettolino; 57081 V. Bono. Front row: 57350 G. Marinacci; 57160 G. De Felice; 57315 N. Lopez; 57313 S. Lombardozzi; 57343 P. Marasco. Note: The number is an assigned POW number. (AWM Image 030174/15 Photographer Geoffrey McInnes)
1941 ‘Pipes put Italians out’, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 – 1954), 25 May, p. 2. , viewed 03 Feb 2022, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article248144901
Despite being on the other side of the world in Australia, the Italians built monuments to respect the memories of those soldiers who died in WW2. In Hay Prisoner of War Camp a group of Italians are photographed beside a Memorial to the Duke of Aosta and Fallen Italian Soldiers.
HAY, NSW. 1944-01-16. THE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF THE ITALIAN PRISONERS OF WAR IS ILLUSTRATED BY THIS MEMORIAL TO THE DUKE OF AOSTA AND FALLEN ITALIAN SOLDIERS WHICH THEY BUILT IN ONE OF THEIR GARDENS AT THE 16TH GARRISON BATTALION PRISONER OF WAR DETENTION CAMP. PICTURED, LEFT TO RIGHT: 46241 MARIO MACCIANTI; 46217 DOMENICO MAROLDA; 46789 CARLO SPUMANTE; 46503 GIOVANNI POLVERINO; 45721 LUIGI FERRANTE; 45854 NELLO GIUSTINI; 46073 COSIMO MIGGIANI; 48505 LUDOVICO FERRANTE; 45918 FRANCESCO IERO; GIOVANNI FIMIANI. (AWM Image 063366 Photographer Geoffrey McInnes)