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August 25 - September 2, 1943

25 August


Meanwhile in Rome, Marshal Badoglio and General Ambrosio, worried about the lack of news from General Castellano, sent General Giacomo Zanussi of the Army Staff to Lisbon, with the task of possibly taking the place of General Castellano. , depending on the situation he would have found locally.

General Zanussi arrived in Lisbon on 25 August

General Castellano had already left to return to Italy. He arrived in Rome on the morning of the 27th and immediately went to General Ambrosio, to whom he delivered the "Short armistice", the "Quebec Memorandum”And the minutes of the meeting, drawn up by the Allies, relating to 19 and 20 August. The documentation brought by General Castellano was examined and discussed in various meetings attended by Marshal Badoglio, General Ambrosio and Foreign Minister Raffaele Guariglia.

August 30th

A telegram arrives from General Smith, requesting the presence, in Sicily, of General Castellano. Therefore it was decided to leave for August 31st.

Before his departure, General Castellano was given a memorandum, prepared by Minister Guariglia, in which terms and limits were indicated within which the Italian government was ready to sign the "'Short Armistice". Furthermore, a note written by Marshal Badoglio was attached to this memorandum, which prescribed, among other things, “the fleet goes to La Maddalena; to know roughly the time to prepare ". Once again decisions were made about our Fleet without contacting Admiral de Courten.

August 31st

General Castellano, who was joined by General Zanussi, coming from Algiers, met in Cassibile (a town located about 15 kilometers south of Syracuse) with General Smith. The latter was informed of the answer and the proposals contained in the memorandum given to Castellano. General Smith's response to the proposals of the Italian government was negative and decisive; the only possibility that the Italian government had was to sign the "short armistice" as it had been prepared by the Allies. However, it was necessary to consider that General Eisenhower had the full powers conferred on him by the "Quebec Memorandum" to modify, in favor of Italy, the armistice clauses according to the collaboration that our nation would have provided to the Allies to expel the Germans from the Italian territories. .

Furthermore, General Smith specified that some of the Italian requests, contained in the memos, could be accepted, while the request to transfer the Italian fleet to La Maddalena, rather than to ports under the control of the Allies, "for various reasons was not acceptable and that the the question of the treatment of the fleet was a question of high politics ”. Ultimately, the situation relating to the talks and allied counter-proposals can be summarized as follows:

the Italian Government could only accept or reject the conditions of the Armistice supplemented by the "Quebec Document" (known as the "Quebec Memorandum"). Had he accepted them, it would have remained secret until General Eisenhower would have made the announcement a few hours before the Allied landing in force. This announcement should have been immediately followed by a similar announcement by Marshal Badoglio;

·      _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ the Allies would have made some secondary landings with five or six divisions, landings that would have had to meet the opposition of the Italian troops;

·      _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ one or two weeks later, upon announcement of the conclusion of the Armistice, the main Allied landing would take place. This would have taken place south of Rome (but as north as possible allowed by the autonomy of the fighters that had to ensure air cover) and would have been done with sufficient forces to overcome the expected enemy resistance. The landing should not have encountered opposition from the Italian Forces; on the contrary, he should have found their support since it was foreseeable that they would be attacked by the German forces at the news of the concluded Armistice;

·      _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ simultaneously with the main landing an airborne division would have landed,   with the Italian collaboration,   at Foci del Tevere one hundred anti-tank pieces.

Generals Castellano and Zanussi returned to Rome on the evening of the 31st, assuring them that by September 2nd they would make known the Italian Government's response.

Minister Guariglia reports the outcome of the meeting which took place on September 1st in Rome as follows:

“On the morning of September 1st we met with Marshal Badoglio (Ambrosio, Acquarone and General Carboni present) to hear the report of the Castellano Mission.

From the verbal exposition that Castellano himself gave us, I immediately understood that it was now impossible to change the plans established by the Allies in any way. I therefore abandoned any further resistance and found myself in full agreement with General Ambrosio in recognizing that, at the point we had reached, there was nothing left for us to do but accept all that was imposed on us. In this sense I expressed myself without hesitation. His Majesty the King, in the afternoon, decided our acceptance and the well-known telegram was then sent: "The answer is affirmative, I repeat affirmative". Consequently, a well-known person will arrive on Thursday 2 September at the time and location established. Please confirm ".

September 2

General Castellano, together with the consul Montanari and the army major Luigi Marchesi, of the Supreme Command, left by plane for Cassibile.

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