Along the Borders: Co-operation and Conflict between Italian Partisans and the French Maquis

Emanuela Romeo, University of Strathclyde

As part of this research project, which deals with little-known, neglected, and inaccurately reported aspects of the Italian Resistance, an opportunity has emerged to explore the complex relations that exist between the Italian partisans and the French maquis. The proposed article will expand on this topic, analysing the different ways in which the Italian and French Resistance fighters connected with each other along the stretch of border between France and Italy. Thanks to a great number of letters, reports and minutes of meetings written by the underground fighters during the war period, it is possible to reconstruct how they interacted and why. These unpublished documents clearly show their attempts to establish a stable connection and cooperate in planning cross-border actions to fight against the common enemy. However, the sentiment of brotherhood was often overtaken by old grudges, which could even result in territorial conflicts. In conclusion, this article will examine several aspects of this nuanced relationship, e.g., the treatment of the Italian partisans who sought refuge in France and the controversial issue of the French ‘liberation’ of some Italian border territories, and will enable readers to have a better understanding of this intricate question. 

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