The Second World War in Coreglia…

…Discovering anti-fascist resistance stories, our partisans heroic deeds and allied forces efforts to break through the german Gothic defensive line in 1944

The allied forces approach the Gothic Line, august 1944

La Nuda Rent E-MTB is proud to announce its new historic and cultural guided tour. This 40 km itinerary will take you through the most important events related to the Second World War and the partisans resistance in our territory. Did you know that Coreglia Antelminelli was on the front line? The capital, Rome, was liberated from Nazis’ occupation on the 4th of June 1944. Since then, the 8th British army (Alexander) and the 5th American army (Clark) started pushing north. Therefore, the nazi-fascist forces decided to build the Gothic defensive line in order to stop the allied forces’ advance, but they had to face the XI Partisan Group guided by “Pippo”…

Firstly, we are going to stop in Lucignana, Bruno Stefani’s hometown. Bruno Stefani was a 32 years old anti-fascist who had a key role in keeping contacts between many different partisan groups which were active in our territory in 1944. On the 9th of July 1944, he was captured by the germans and the following day he was killed in Lucignana’s square, right in front of his mother and his friends.

Our second stop will be in Montefegatesi, where we will learn the story of one of the most terrible nazi retaliation that affected our territory. The XI Partisan Group guided by Pippo killed 45 german soldiers during the battle of Casabasciana, which took place on the 11th of June 1944. In the meantime, the allied forces were getting closer and closer and the nazi-fascists were determined to eradicate the XI Partisan Group before their arrival. On July 14, the germans surrounded Montefegatesi looking for Pippo and one of his comrades,” Barba”, but they couldn’t find them…3 partisans were killed that day, and 13 soon followed.

Our last stop will be in Coreglia Antelminelli, where we will get to know the story of Coreglia’s mayor Giovanni Gelati and its key role during German occupation. Eventually, we will go through the events of the Christmas Battle, which took place on the 25th December 1944 in Sommocolonia (Barga). That was the showdown between Pippo’s XI Partisan Group and the 148th German division guided by general Otto Fretter-Pico.

Matteo Viviani, Storia Contemporanea, Università di Pisa

Sources:

V. Monti, L’XI zona partigiana. Storia dei patrioti di Manrico Ducceschi. Settembre 1943-ottobre 1944, Tra le righe libri, 2020.

L. Poggiani, Il comandante Pippo. Manrico Ducceschi: la vita, le scelte, la morte, Tra le righe libri, 2019

G. Gelati, Diario di un podestà antifascista. Coreglia Antelminelli giugno-dicembre 1944, Belforte Salomone, 2009

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