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Memoria e Ricerca

1948 in uniform. Army and politics during 18th April elections

di Andrea Argenio
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 28 (2008), p. 89

Though the elections of 1948 can be considered a crucial event in Italian recent History, the role and the attitudes of the Italian military hierarchies during those days haven’t still been analyzed thoroughly by historians. This essay aims at fathoming the political culture of this particular élite of the newly constituted Italian Republican State, especially with reference to the major political issues that the country was facing right after the fall of fascism and the beginning of the democratic regime. The essay examines the causes of the lack of attention toward military issues existing within the Italian political debate at the time, and analysed the consequent indifference shown by the Italian public opinion regarding national security issues. The author reconstructs how these reciprocal distrust between military and political élites was deeply rooted in the Italian social, cultural and political context of the fifties, thus showing that armed forces can’t be studied and understood if isolated from the wider scenario in which they operate.