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Memo n. 1 of the allied Supreme Command

The document concerned "the case that Germanic forces had undertaken, on their own initiative, acts of armed hostility against the organs of government or against the Italian forces, to an extent and in such a way as to make it clear that these were not local episodes, due to action of some irresponsible, but rather orderly collective action ». It was therefore also applicable in the case of an attack in the hypothesis of our eventual armistice, a hypothesis of which the document did not mention.

The main provisions concerning the Navy were the following, if the memorandum had been implemented:

  • to capture or sink or, at the very least, make use of German warships and merchant ships;

  • prevent by any means that Italian warships or merchant ships in German hands;

  • Italian warships in condition to move should have reached the ports of Sardinia, Corsica, Elba, Sibenik or Cattaro as soon as possible; units not in a position to move, if threatened with capture, would have had to self-sink;

  • the Italian merchant ships in condition to move should have reached as soon as possible the Italian ports, Dalmatian or Albanian south of the parallel of Ancona, in the Adriatic, of that of Livorno, in the Tyrrhenian; units not in condition to move should have been rendered unusable for a long time by sabotage;

  • not use for a long time, through removals, the logistic systems, the arsenals, the dry docks etc. naval bases;

  • put in place of defense the naval bases in agreement with the Army.


The directives given by the memorandum had to be implemented upon receipt of the following clear order given by the Supreme Command to the three Heads of SM:

"Public order measures implemented. 1. Supreme CommandOr of initiative if the connections had been interrupted and there had been an encounter with acts of hostility on the part of the Germanic Forces having the character of ordered collective action.

The memo was to be returned to the bearer; it was only allowed to take notes deemed indispensable, to be guarded "jealously" by the Head of the recipient MS; consequent orders had to be given verbally and absolutely urgently.

The memo was belated because on 8 September, when the armistice was declared, the relative orders, even if given, had not been able to reach all departments, especially those of the Army.

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