Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia


Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia

The Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia[1] (Italian: Milizia Volontaria Anti Comunista or M.V.A.C.) - precedently or also known as "Bande V.A.C." - were local armed auxiliary units composed of Chetniks and Slovene anti-Partisans in Italian-occupied parts of Yugoslavia. The same name was contemporaneously used to designate both similar Slovenian auxiliary units whom sided with the Italian authorities in the Italian-annexed part of Slovenia and also some Montenegrin auxiliaries in the "Kingdom of Montenegro".

Contents

History

The Anti Communist Volunteer Militia was formally established by the Italo-Croatian Roatta-Pavelić Official Agreement of the 19 June 1942.[2]

From 1941 local auxiliaries already operated with the Italian forces commands in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Lika from 1942 also in Dalmatia. It was in Dalmatia that those units were initially named for the first time as "Anti Communist Volunteer Bands", a name who - later modified - became of general and official use with the reorganization of June 1942. Chetnik units where legalized by the Italians in the Independent State of Croatia from mid-1942.[3] As early as June 1942, about 4,500 Chetniks served in Montenegro, and on February 28, 1943 about 20,514 Chetniks served in the territory of the Independent State of Croatia.[4]

On 6 August 1942 also the pre-existing - 7,000 men strong - local auxiliary military formations of the Italian administered part of Slovenia - the "Guardia Civica" ("Vaška straža" or Civic (Village) Guard) and the "Legione della Morte" ("Legija Smrti" or "Legion of Death" also known as "Bela garda" or "White Guard"), whose components were enlisted from the members of Slovenian Roman Catholic political parties - were jointly formally renamed by the Italian Supersloda - "Comando Superiore di Slovenia e Dalmazia" as "M.V.A.C." or "Milizia Volontaria Anti Comunista"[5] despite both of them maintained their different and distinctive characteristics - some or also large part of their previous autonomy - and usually their original names in the common use too.

Units

M.V.A.C. Units in Italian Service, February 28, 1943[2]
Unit Orthodox Catholics Muslims Total Units Divisions
Vth Army Corps 4,313 4,313 20 Lombardia 2, Re 18
VIth Army Corps 8,385 511 780 9,676 22 Marche 6, Messina 2, Murge 14
XVIIth Army Corps 7,816 321 8,137 21 Sassari 17, Bergamo 4
Total (occupied zone) 20,514 832 780 22,126
Slovenia (XIth A.C.) 5,145 40 Isonzo, Cacciatori delle Alpi, Frontier Guards
Dalmatia (XVIIIth A.C.) 882 13
Kotor (VIth A.C.) 1,474 3
Total (annexed zone) 7,501
Grand total 29,627

Amongst the irregular Bande who also supported the Italian military commands and civil administration and the regular Bande V.A.C. the more numerous and important was the Orthodox one of Momčilo Đujić, an Orthodox priest and pre-war famous political activist yet known as "Father Fire" for his inflamed sermons.[6] A 780 men-strong battalion of pro-Chetnik Muslims under the leadership of Ismet Popovac, a Muslim physician from Mostar, actively operated with the Italians during 1942 till it was destroyed in action.

About the ethnic composition of the regular M.V.A.C. (an important element in the Yugoslavian context), the Italian commands aimed to form units composed for 2/3 by Orthodox and 1/3 by Catholics and Muslims. This preference towards the Serbs was justified through the "Martial Race" theory and the judgment they would have been braver in the fight, more reliable and intrinsically loyal to their commanders and to their military unit, according the sources this judgment was more than correct for that who concerns the same regular formations.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ The term "Militia" (Italian: "Milizia") designated both the whole M.V.A.C. as organization(s) or Corps and also every single unit inside the same organization at brigade/regiment level.
  2. ^ a b Tomasevich, Jozo (1975). War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: The Chetniks. Stanford University Press. pp. 216–217. ISBN 0804708576. 
  3. ^ Bosworth, R. J. B. (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Fascism. Oxford University Press. p. 425. ISBN 0199291314. 
  4. ^ Vucinich, Wayne S. (September 1974). "Yugoslav Resistance in the Second World War: The Continued Debate". Reviews in European History 1 (2): 274. 
  5. ^ Milizia Volontaria Anti-Comunista
  6. ^ Momcilo Djujic (Momčilo Đujić) (1907 - 1999)
  7. ^ Teodoro Francesconi: "LE BANDE V.A.C. IN DALMAZIA 1942/43". Serie “Historia”. Milano. E.M.I. 1992

Sources

  • Circolare N. 3 C, Comando Superiore FF.AA. “Slovenia e Dalmazia” ( 2^ Armata ) [1]
  • Teodoro Francesconi: "LE BANDE V.A.C. IN DALMAZIA 1942/43". Serie “Historia”. Milano. E.M.I. 1992, cm. 18,5x25, pp. 56 con ill. fotografiche e diss. in nero e col. di divise, gagliardetti, scudetti, ecc. Br. edit. ill.
  • Eric Gobetti: "L' occupazione allegra. Gli italiani in Jugoslavia (1941-1943)", Carocci, 2007, pagine 260; ISBN 88-430-4171-1, ISBN 978-88-430-4171-8
  • I rapporti italo-sloveni / Periodo 1941-1945, Documento ufficiale della Commissione Storica Italo-Slovena ( 3 ) Associazione Nazionale Venezia Giulia e Dalmazia - Trieste
  • Scotti, Giacomo: "Juris, juris! All'attacco!: la guerriglia partigiana ai confini orientali d'Italia 1943-1945", Milano, Mursia c1984, 351 p., [48] p. di tav. : fot. ; 21 cm
  • Scotti, Giacomo: "I disertori : le scelte dei militari italiani sul fronte Jugoslavo prima dell'8 settembre", Milano, Mursia 1980, 303 p. : ill., tav. ; 21 cm.
  • Scotti, Giacomo e Viazzi, Luciano: "Le aquile delle montagne nere: storia dell'occupazione e della guerra italiana in Montenegro 1941-1943", Milano, Mursia c1987, 477 p. : ill., tav. ; 21 cm.
  • Scotti, Giacomo e Viazzi, Luciano: "L'inutile vittoria : la tragica esperienza delle truppe italiane in Montenegro 1941-1942", Milano, Mursia c1989, 503 p. : tav. ; 21 cm.

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