This week in the War, 8–14 March 1943: Italian workers stage a strike at the Fiat factories in Turin
Italian WWII poster encouraging citizens to work and fight for their country [Public domain, wiki]
This week in the war, 12 March 1943, tens of thousands of workers at the Fiat factories in the Italian industrial city of Turin went on strike. Other Italian workers followed their lead and war production across northern Italy ground almost to a standstill. These were the first protests to be staged against the Mussolini regime.
The poor provision of air-raid shelters in the face of the repeated bombing of Turin and other industrial centres, as well as ports, plus food shortages and the recent defeats in North Africa were all instrumental in causing the Italian population to lose confidence in the regime that had taken them to war in 1940. It was a war that many Italians had not wanted.
Hitler response was one of outrage. He could not understand the Italian authorities’ reluctance to deal with the strikers with the utmost harshness. Hitler would not tolerate any hold up in the war effort of his ally.
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