THE HISTORY - giovedì 12 dicembre 2013
Also in Versilia the Resistance movement began after the 8th of September, thanks to various groups of patriots that formed the CLN, laying the foundations for armed combat.
The first partisan formation – the “Apuan Hunters” was formed at the end of February 1944 and operated in the Stazzemese area till the death of Commander Lombardi and one of his nearest collaborators, Piero Consani, on the 21st of April.
At the beginning of May, was created the “Luigi Mulargia” – named after the first partisan killed in action in the Versilia area – under the command of Marcello Garosi (“Tito”), that carried out his activities mainly on the Massa mountains after merging with the local partisans.
After breaking-up, following the hard fighting at Forno on the 13th of June 1944, where the commander “Tito” was killed, at the end of June the Versilian partisans reorganised themselves into two formations: “Bandelloni”, under the command of Lorenzo Bandelloni, affirmed near Mount Altissimo, and the “New Mulargia”, under orders of Giancarlo Taddei, posted above Camaiore.
Merit also going to Renato Bitossi (“Giulio”) and Alvo Fontani (“Paolo”),for the organising work carried out, sent by the Tuscany Committee of National Liberation, on the 18th of July 1944 was founded the X bis Brigata Garibaldi “Gino Lombardi” that united the Versilian partisan groups.
Led by Ottorino Balestri (“Libertas”) and Fontani in the role of Political Commissioner, the Brigata had various fights on Mount Ornato and on Mount Gabberi between the end of July and the beginning of August, but on the 8th was dissolved for logistic – organisation reasons and three quicker and more efficient formations were created for the partisan fight: “Gino Lombardi” (known also as “Balestri”), “Bandelloni” and “Marcello Garosi”.
While the first, led by Balestri, joined the allies near Lucca, the other two, led by Lorenzo Bandelloni and Giancarlo Taddei (after his death by Alberto Cavalli), actively took part in the Liberation of Versilia, which happened between the 15th and the 22nd of September 1944, fighting along side the American 45 Task Force, including also British units and the Brasilian Expeditionary Force.
Also operating in the Versilian area were the formations “Sodini-Baroni”, “Vignali”, “Silvio Ceragioli”, “Brofferio” mainly in the area of Pescaglia, and during the days proceeding the Liberation was founded the “Canova”, that fought along side the allies on the coast line. From September 1944 till April 1945, first “Bandelloni”, then the F3, which were part of the “Apuan Patriot Group”, carried out the tasks of guides and patrols along side the allies on the coast, giving a significant contribution also to the final offensive on the 5th of April 1945. Numerous Versilians fought in the partisan formations in other zones of Tuscany, Italy and abroad. Others enlisted in the Italian Liberation Corps, later to be transformed into Fighting Groups, going up the peninsula along side the Allies, or joined the American Army, carrying out various tasks.
Many Versilian people lived the tragic experience of military internment or deportation to the nazi lager camps.
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