By Effie G. H. Pedaliu (auth.)
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Extra resources for Britain, Italy and the Origins of the Cold War
The liberation of the North in April 1945 brought with it the collapse of Mussolini’s neo-fascist republic and the eventual dissolution of the AMG but it did not bring about the unification of all Italian services under a single command. The army and the Carabinieri were returned to Italian control in December 1945 but the Italian navy and air force were to remain under the control of General W. D. Morgan, the new SACMED. 25 Even if these operational problems could have been resolved by a mere wave of the hand, there still existed the traditional rift between the armed forces and ordinary Italians.
Neither Byrnes nor his deputy James C. Dunn were entirely convinced that the inclusion of a war crimes clause in the Italian Peace Treaty was either necessary or desirable and maintained that the Peace Treaty was intended to regulate the future relations between Italy and the Allies and not to dwell on the past. Thus, it should contain only permanent provisions not temporary ones such as the punishment of war criminals. 82 France was unhappy with the idea of dropping the issue of the punishment of war criminals from the Peace Treaty altogether and was unwilling to see Italy free from the obligation of apprehending and surrendering war criminals after the signing of the Peace Treaty.
Steps were taken to ensure that neutral countries, especially Switzerland, would not give asylum to alleged war criminals. 54 Two German war criminals, who had been under British supervision, Generals Neidholdt and Rainer, were handed over to Yugoslavia. 55 The British government also supported the Yugoslav proposal for a mission with no executive powers to be sent to Italy to investigate war crimes against Yugoslavs. This was despite the strong disagreement of the SACMED, the Allied Commission and the Americans who had made clear their distaste at allowing a ‘roving’ mission which would have access to refugee camps to ‘nose around’ where Yugoslav refugees were sheltering.
Britain, Italy and the Origins of the Cold War by Effie G. H. Pedaliu (auth.)