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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 7 February 2008
An insult to Italians

• IN his review (January 31) of The Force of Destiny, Martin Sheppard says Italy’s defeat in the Second World War could not “be put down simply to national cowardice”.
This is insulting.
The tens of thousands of conscripts sent to war were badly equipped and trained.
They did not want to fight the British because they regarded them as their friends.
My wife’s first husband was an officer in the Italian army and he fought in Russia, where, in the winter of 1942 on the Don, they were left exposed by the Germans deliberately and he fought his way out and led his company to safety for which he was awarded the Italian Silver Star.
In 1944 he was wanted by the Germans and their Fascist Italian cohorts in Florence and had to go into hiding.
My wife’s late brother after being captured in 1943 in Tunisia fought with the Americans.
In 1943 after Italy’s surrender the Germans in the Adriatic murdered 75,000 Italian soldiers in cold blood.
The subject of Captain Corelli was my wife’s friend when she was young. Between 1944 and 1945 10,000 Partisans were killed fighting the Germans and the Italian fascists.
Geoffrey Gilbert
Grove End Road, NW8

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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