Forgotten Blitzes: France and Italy under Allied Air Attack, 1940-1945

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"Forgotten Blitzes" analyses how states and civil society in Vichy France and Fascist Italy reacted to the experience of Allied bombing between 1940 and 1945. Between 1940 and 1945, the Allies dropped some 370,000 tons of bombs on Italy - nearly five times the total dropped on Britain by the Luftwaffe. France received nearly 590,000 tons, eight times the British figure. In each country, over 50,000 civilians died. How did the central and local authorities in Vichy France and Fascist Italy cope with a scale of attack beyond anything expected before 1940? How did ordinary French and Italian people respond? Was there a 'Blitz spirit' in either country, or did morale and solidarity collapse? How far were the Allies' claims to be liberators accepted by their bombed-out victims? This comparative work uses political, social and cultural approaches to highlight both the similarities between the challenges faced by states and people in each country, and the differences in the ways they reacted. Extensive research in a variety of local and national archives, complemented by diaries and personal memoirs, has allowed the authors to build up a fine-grained picture of the impact of bombing as it affected states, local authorities and individuals.

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Continuum Publishing Corporation
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