I am pleased to announce that I have two new books due to be published shortly:
"Gordon Lett, Amico d'Italia"
I was asked to write this book about my father, Commendatore Major Gordon Lett, D.S.O., Medaglia Argento, by the A.N.P.I., Pontremoli. It will be published in Italian only, and I am grateful for the help in translation that I have received from my good friend Gabriella Ratti. It is a short biography of my father, centred on his time in Italy, together with more than 120 historical photos from his collection. The A.N.P.I. will publish it.
"Italy's Outstanding Courage"
This is a project that I have been working on since October 2014, and it is very close to my heart. Much has been written about Italy in World War Two, most of it derogatory. This book tells the story of the outstanding courage of those Italian civilians [some ex-military] who helped the 25,000 Allied escapers and evaders who were on the loose in Italy after the Armistice of September 1943. It was proved after the war that more than 82,000 Italian families helped Allied escapers and evaders. Men, women and children were involved, and more than 200 gave their lives for the Allied Cause. Helping Allied Escapers was punishable with death, or, even worse, deportation to Mauthausen Concentration Camp where the inmates were worked and beaten to death. I have decided, for the first time, to self-publish this book in English through Amazon, so that it is available to all at a modest price in time for the 75 anniversary of the Italian Armistice this September. I am seeking an Italian publisher for the Italian edition.
British Senior Officers, writing the citations for the 149 medal winners whom I have been able to identify amongst the Italian civilian helpers, repeatedly used the terms:"outstanding courage, magnificent courage, enduring courage and great courage". Hence the book is entitled: "Italy's Outstanding Courage" - a British judgement of Italy's courage in World War Two. In late 1947/early 1948, the Labour Government of Clement Attlee, for mainly political reasons, imposed an embargo on the grant of all British medals to Italian Nationals - a decision described in a Special Operations Executive memorandum as perfidious - with the result that none of the medal winners received their medals after the war.
Readers of the book will make their own judgement. Hopefully, even after seventy-five years, it is not too late to obtain some recognition of this Italian heroism on our behalf.
The photograph below shows some of the victims of Mauthausen, treated, as all inmates were, whether alive or dead, as human waste.