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Guglielmo Ciro Nasi (21 February 1879 - 21 September 1971) was an Italian General who fought in the Italian East Africa during World War II.

Contents

Biography

Nasi was born in Civitavecchia, Latium. From 1924 to 1928, Nasi was the military representative of the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) in Paris.

In 1928, Nasi was sent to the Italian colonies as Chief-of-Staff for the Colonial Troops. Nasi was Vice-Governor of Cyrenaica from 1934 to 1935, Governor of Harar from 1936 to 1939, and Governor of Shewa from 1939 to 1940. He also served as a Vice-Governor of Italian East Africa from 1939. Nasi promoted a moral reformation of the military and civil administration. He showed notable skills in dealing with indigenous chiefs.

In April 1936, during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, Nasi commanded the left column of three columns during General Rodolfo Graziani's advance on the southern front. Most of Nasi's troops were Libyans.

After the beginning of World War II, Nasi led the Italian conquest of British Somaliland in August 1940. He successfully invaded British Somaliland and forced the defending British and Commonwealth forces to flee by sea to Aden.

In early 1941, during the British counter-offensive, Nasi was forced to retreat to the stronghold of Gondar.

During the East African Campaign, Nasi led the last stand of an Italian garrison in East Africa. On 6 July, after Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, and General Pietro Gazzera surrendered, Nasi became the acting Viceroy and Governor-General of Italian East Africa. While he held out long after other Italian strongholds had fallen, Nasi finally surrendered his stronghold of Gondar on 28 November 1941.

Nasi was sent to Kenya as a prisoner of war. After the death of Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, he was responsible for the 60,000 Italian prisoners kept there.

Nasi returned to Italy in 1945. Four years later he was appointed as Commissar for Somalia when the latter was assigned to United Nations suzerainty. Nasi died at Modena in 1971.

Aftermath

Although Nasi is ranked among the list of Criminals of War of the post-war Ethiopian government, Italian historian Angelo del Boca considers him the best officer of the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) in East Africa. Solomon Getahun supports this less critical view of Nasi, noting that his behavior towards the inhabitants of Gondar and the adjoining territories helped him sustain the fight against both British and Ethiopian forces long during his final months.[1]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Solomon Getamun, History of the City of Gondar (Africa World Press, 2005), pp. 38f
Government offices
Preceded by
Pietro Gazzera
(acting) Viceroy and Governor-General
of Italian East Africa

6 July 1941 to 27 November 1941
Succeeded by
(none)
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