World War II Italy eludes easy definition. After fighting on the side of the Axis for over three years, the birthplace of European fascism experienced a series of watershed events whose political and cultural legacy is still being debated.1 On July 10, 1943, “Operation Husky” brought Anglo-American troops to Sicily’s shores, making Italy the site of the Allies’ first European occupation. In Sicily, the Allies were unquestionably occupiers; the name Allied Military Government of Occupied Territory spells out as much. Yet Italy’s status started shifting after Mussolini was deposed on July 25, a shift that accelerated following the unconditional surrender to the Allies with the September 8 armistice....
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