Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Desperate Commands, A Novel of the Italian Resistance, by Anthony Genualdi

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by ColHessler, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    As most of you know, my hobby of WWII history has lead me to write and publish novels. My newest one, soon to be published, is Desperate Commands. It's my missive about an Italian Resistance cell I call "Sword of Brescia." It also deals with the Fascists Tenth Brigata Nera, the Blackshirt unit for the city. There's also a girl, of course. Giulia is her name. She is a nurse, and works for the partisans, lead by Marco, whose guerrilla name is Antonio and his second in command, named Matteo, who goes by Giacomo.
    The main Blackshirt in the story is Riccardo, a platoon leader in the Blackshirt brigade. As always, I like to give you a taste of my story before it's available:

    Chapter Six


    10 July 1944



    “He took up arms against the Italian Social Republic.” That’s what it said on the placard around the neck of Gabriele as he dangled from the gallows outside the police headquarters in Brescia. There were four Garibaldi Brigade members alongside him, one of them a woman. As a final bit of humiliation, the five of them were stripped naked from the waist down.

    Giulia looked at them for a moment as she walked by, setting her face like flint as she saw the man with whom she’d hiked up from Rome. At least, she hoped, he hadn’t talked.

    A truck convoy was passing by. In front were German trucks from an SS unit. She saw the blond captain. She despised him and his cold stare. Next came the Brigata Nera trucks, and Riccardo was riding in the back of the lead truck with his men. He saw Giulia and waved. She smiled and waved back. She thought about what they had once had, and the feelings of the simpler time before the war. She would eat with him now, and try to take back something for her parents, but she’d made up her mind to have headaches if Riccardo asked for more. It hadn’t come to that yet.


    Typically, Marco didn’t go on patrols. As the “brains” of the outfit, and with a desertion charge hanging over his head, he usually left the grunt work to the men, and would work with his lieutenants to plan operations. But the South African pilot had struck a nerve with his remarks. Marco had had a soft career up until the armistice, and maybe it made him forget what “hard” soldering was like. So on this night, with his submachine gun in his hands, and a Glisenti pistol in his belt, he went out to the hills east of Brescia with half a dozen of his men. They were barely out for half an hour when the point man whistled. Everyone crouched. Marco crawled up to him. The man pointed to their right.

    In the dim light Marco could make out about ten silhouettes. Marco squinted to tell what kind of helmets they had. They looked Italian. Marco crawled back five meters and charged his weapon. The Fascist patrol started to pass them. Marco got into a kneeling position and shouldered his weapon.

    Fuoco!”

    His men started firing. Marco cranked off single shots, and the younger men sprayed lead at the enemy. Half of the Fascists never knew what hit them. Marco crouched down and scanned the terrain. Two of the enemy were crawling towards them. They stopped. One shouldered his rifle and the other pulled the pin on a grenade. He prepared to throw it, and Marco shot him. The man cried out, rolled over, and spilled the grenade to his left. It went off, and the other man cried out.

    Marco walked up to him. He looked barely seventeen. “Mama,” the young man cried. “Mama!” Marco hoisted up his submachine gun, only to see it was empty. He pulled his pistol from his belt. “Mama,” the young Fascist cried once more, and with one shot Marco ended his agony.




    “How did we do, Antonio?” Matteo asked.

    “We came out all right, Giacomo,” Marco replied, “We got all their rifles, and their ammo, and five grenades. None of our guys got a scratch on them.”

    Matteo beamed, “Well, that’s great, sir. This was your first fight?”

    “It was, and now I know something of real soldiering. You’ve done real fighting, haven’t you?”

    “Yes, sir. I fought in Spain, I fought in Greece, and I fought in Yugoslavia.”

    Marco paused, then asked, “Did you ever finish off someone?”

    Matteo nodded, “In Greece, one of my men was too badly hurt to move, and we were afraid of what might become of him. He begged me to shoot him. I looked into his eyes and…I shot him. Then we had to run.”

    “Did he call for his mother?”

    “No, he didn’t. I’ve heard other men do it, but this man didn’t.”

    “Well, this young Fascist tonight was calling for his mother. He barely looked at me. Maybe…maybe he saw her when he was looking at me.”

    Matteo put his hand on Marco’s shoulder. “I’m sorry.” After a moment, he said, “I poured some grappa. Would you join me?”

    Marco looked up, and slowly said, “Yes. I think so.”



    I'll let you guys know when it's ready for purchase. Thanks.
     
    belasar likes this.
  2. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    I've got my cover photo picked out and should have it retouched by the end of the week, and I'll submit it. It should be a killer.
     
    O.M.A. likes this.
  3. Christopher67

    Christopher67 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    28
    Hessler…...maybe you can answer as a man that knows a little more than most about the Italian military.

    What in Santa Maria's name happened to the Italian military between the Spanish Civil War and 1940?

    I've never read of the Italians in Spain surrendering in droves.

    Was it just a general distaste for WW2? Or was Italian equipment not up to the job?

    Italians are some of the most ruthless people on earth. Just ask anyone who has crossed the Mafiosi. And we still don't quite have an equal for the sheer brutality of the Roman Empire and it's idea of a public "spectacular"

    The Regia Marina were a brave bunch, the Regia Aeronautica had some great pilots in obsolete aircraft....same for the army eh?
     
  4. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    Mussolini was the only one who wanted war. His advisors and industrialists told him it would be 2 years more before they were ready. But he was sick of playing second fiddle to Hitler, so into France we go, and Greece, and Egypt. Also, IMO, Spaniards on both sides made more talk than action. The Italian soldier was brave enough when he was led properly, like the Folgore Division. Look for The Italian Folgore Parachute Division by Paolo Morisi. He talked about what made them good. The officers and men had to train together to get their wings. They had a bond found nowhere else in the army.

    That's how I see it.
     
  5. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    This is the cover for my new novel. It should be available soon. This is the model I chose to be the face of Giulia, my female lead. What do you think?
     
  6. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
  7. Christopher67

    Christopher67 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    28
    Very Latin....long dark hair and not too tall.

    I have been thinking about your above comments concerning the Italian military.
    Maybe their conduct has been misjudged. What if German soldiers had done the same thing? Would this have prevented much of what followed, if the Generals and soldiers had just refused? Could the Holocaust have been sidestepped, or the invasion of Russia and ?France derailed?

    One of my modern European history teachers once pointed out that the Fascist regimes that survived WW@, like Portugal and Spain, turned into some of the most long running regimes in Europe.
    Might Mussolini have ruled for decades longer had he not taken Italy into the war simply to be able to "sit at the conference table"?

    Mussolini himself felt that Hitler and his cronies were "comical", and Jewish persecutions were not undertaken until the Germans took over the country after the allied invasion in 1943.
    I have met modern Italians backpacking in Australia who confess to be admirers of Mussolini, particularly his generally successful efforts to clamp down on the influence of the Cosa Nostra in Italian affairs, something the Allied powers resestablished out of sheer convenience for the assistance of the Mafia in the invasion of Sicily and the mainland.

    As an Italian watcher and writer, what do you think mr Hessler?
     
  8. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    Mussolini was a tragedy for Italy. Period. Full stop.
    People who admire him didn't live is his time under his rule.
     
  9. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    Jayme Cramer
    As for my model looking Latin, here she is.
     
  10. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,697
    Likes Received:
    276
    [/QUOTE]
    Might Mussolini have ruled for decades longer had he not taken Italy into the war simply to be able to "sit at the conference table"?[/QUOTE]

    If Musso hadn't gotten into the war it would have been a god-send to Hitler. Without any Balkan/Med diversions and side-shows, Hitler might have just been able to take Moscow. (We've talked about this before in at least one other thread, so you might look for it if you're interested.)
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    481
    Might Mussolini have ruled for decades longer had he not taken Italy into the war simply to be able to "sit at the conference table"?[/QUOTE]

    If Musso hadn't gotten into the war it would have been a god-send to Hitler. Without any Balkan/Med diversions and side-shows, Hitler might have just been able to take Moscow. (We've talked about this before in at least one other thread, so you might look for it if you're interested.)[/QUOTE]

    Few things would have helped Hitler more than having his southern flank quiescent. A rare case in which gaining an ally reduced one's prospects for winning a war.
     
  12. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
  13. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    George Patton and belasar like this.
  14. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2020
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    204
    Congratulations on your book there ColHessler..working on a trilogy myself..about halfway done..set during Vietnam..I'll post a chapter soon.
     
    ColHessler likes this.
  15. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    The book is now available in paperback on Amazon and soon on B&N, with iTunes and Kobo soon to follow.
     
  16. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
  17. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    286
    George Patton likes this.

Share This Page