August 8 through September 1, 1944 in Florence, Italy, the fight to free Florence from German Occupation

On the afternoon of August 8, the partisan military command in Florence, knowing of the imminent the escape of the Nazis, issued the state of alarm to their teams, telling them to be ready for the insurrection.

The escape of the Germans began on the night of August 10. The Insurrection was begun as planned by the Allied Military Command and the CTLN.  It was announced by the ringing of the Martinella, the bell of the tower of Palazzo Vecchio at 6:45 a.m. on August 11. Shortly after, the bell of Bargello rang too. The patriots were instructed to attack the German rearguards.

Simultaneously, the CTLN put up this poster in the streets:

The National Liberation Committee, has assumed, starting from today, August 11 at 7:00 a.m., all the powers of temporary government that are due to it, as representative body of Tuscan people and for delegation of the democratic government of freed Italy. The CTLN have occupied the city since this morning and, standing in defense of the city itself, fight against the Germans, the Fascists and the snipers.

All the citizens must contribute with all their strength to the liberation of the city, giving all available moral and material help to our courageous patriots. The heavy sufferings of the population are coming to an end with our victory. We greet the victorious Allied Armies and we prepare to welcome them, with the fraternity that we feel for all the comrades in arms fighting for the same cause. Let’s conquer the right to be free people, fighting and dying for freedom.

The Tuscan Comitate of National Liberation.

The insurrection had begun.

About  7:00 a.m., the CTLN left via Condotta and entered in Palazzo Medici Riccardi, surrounded by the crackling of machine guns.

People started to leave their homes.

In a semi-deserted via Cavour there was spontaneous applause and some timid invocation from about ten people: “Viva il Comitato di Liberazione” (Long live the Comitate of Liberation). Military command was settled in Palazzo Medici Riccardi. The battle of Florence lasted from August 11 to September 1, 1944.

There were 205 killed in action, 400 injured, 18 missing, from August 3 to September 2. Overall, in the province of Florence, there were 1530 partisans deported or executed by firing squad.

And then Florence was free.



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