Although the image of First World War Italian veterans is generally associated with violent and brutal Blackshirts, a different narrative is possible. Organizations of veterans and disabled men played a major role in post-WWI Italy. They represent a mass phenomenon that was characterized by the pursuit of largely democratic, pacifist and reformist political aims. This paper analyses the relationships between Fascism and veterans’ associations, focusing in particular on the role that political violence played in leading expressions to a bellicose nationalism. Analyzing the controversial interactions between Fascism and veterans’ organizations helps us to understand the substantial failure of the demobilization process in post-war Italy and the radicalization of the Fascist dictatorship.

The Contradictions of Veterans' Associations? The Fascist Appropriation of the Legacy of the First World War and the Failure of Demobilization

MILLAN, MATTEO
2016

Abstract

Although the image of First World War Italian veterans is generally associated with violent and brutal Blackshirts, a different narrative is possible. Organizations of veterans and disabled men played a major role in post-WWI Italy. They represent a mass phenomenon that was characterized by the pursuit of largely democratic, pacifist and reformist political aims. This paper analyses the relationships between Fascism and veterans’ associations, focusing in particular on the role that political violence played in leading expressions to a bellicose nationalism. Analyzing the controversial interactions between Fascism and veterans’ organizations helps us to understand the substantial failure of the demobilization process in post-war Italy and the radicalization of the Fascist dictatorship.
New Political Ideas in the Aftermath of the Great War
978-3-319-38915-8
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3187567
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