Letter to Online Defense: "Are the armed forces fascists?"


Dear director, many media and politicians like to define the military (or at least some departments) as "fascists".

In your opinion, are these fears well founded?



Dear reader, thank you for the question which – with a smile – allows me to clarify a truly ridiculous aspect of our country: matching the uniforms to a political period from a century ago.

Fascism for many represents a memory in which Italy would have been the protagonist of history and not, as today, in the best of cases "gregarious" or subcontractor (of other people's interests).

Surely the period was much more and, depending on the aspects, much more complex… However, simplifying, we can say with certainty that he represented a policy that brought us to a war rendezvous totally unprepared. A period in which, for someone's "Leo Day", we are still finishing off our "100 years as a sheep".

The Armed Forces on the eve of World War II? While other nations were equipped with modern means and trained in their use, we were distinguished by the love of ceremonies, parades (even mimicking the movements of others) and political rhetoric.

These days the premiere of the film "Commander", the story of a war episode in which the spirit prevailed over the cold calculation or "Duty", is causing a lot of discussion. Well, do we want to remind you that – when the war came – our highly fascist submarines took three times longer than the enemy ones to dive?!

We want to remind you that – when the war came – our (Royal) Army defined a few “sardine cans” as “armed tanks” (also called by the crews “coffins”) when the adversaries deployed tens of thousands of them... between medium and heavy?!!

We want to remind you that the very fascist (Regia) Air Force, born and raised in the twenty years, after many "experiences" in the service of propaganda, found itself facing fast and powerful single-wing fighters with… biplanes?!!!

Well, certainly I have provocatively simplified everything by leaving out much else (such as costs and production times of the means shamefully higher than the competitors in too many cases), but we can already guess here why servants of the country sent to die in those conditions they cannot have been convinced fascists then, any more than they are today.

Look in the opening photo with what means we would find ourselves fighting in case of conflict: a "can of sardines" (the replacement of the Dart is still in limbo) and a self-sufficient and useless (even updated!) tank…

The question at this point should be turned back to the senders! Given that even today the armed forces find themselves in too many aspects (equipment, training, personnel) in canvas breeches… are we sure that the governments of the last few decades cannot THEY define themselves as "fascists"?

Andrea Cucco

Photo: Ministry of Defense