Guglielmo Nasi

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Guglielmo Nasi
Born 21 February 1879
Civitavecchia, Italy
Died 21 September 1971(1971-09-21) (aged 92)
Modena, Italy
Allegiance  Kingdom of Italy
Service/branch  Royal Italian Army
Years of service 1924-1945
Commands held Chief of Staff for the Colonial Troops in Africa
Vice-Governor of Cyrenaica
Governor of Harar
Governor of Shewa
Vice-Governor of Italian East Africa
Battles/wars Invasion of British Somaliland
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
East African Campaign
Awards Ordine coloniale della stella d'italia cavaliere gran croce.png Colonial Order of the Star of Italy
Grande ufficiale SSML Regno BAR.svg Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
Grande ufficiale OMS BAR.svg Military Order of Savoia
Ordine di Vittorio Veneto BAR.svg Order of Vittorio Veneto
Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Silver Medal of Military Valor (4 times)
Mauriziana BAR.svg Maurician medal
Medaglia al merito di lungo comando nell'esercito 10 BAR.svg Military Career Medal (10 years)
1GMx4.png Commemorative Medal World War I 1915 - 18 (4 years of campaign)
Medaglia a ricordo dell'Unità d'Italia BAR.svg Commemorative Medal to the Italian Unity
Allied Victory Medal BAR.svg Commemorative Medal to the Allied Victory
Other work UN Commissar for Somalia

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

Biography[edit]

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

In 1928, Nasi was sent to the Italian colonies as Chief-of-Staff for the Colonial Troops and was Vice-Governor of Cyrenaica in 1934-1935, Governor of Harar from 1936–1939, and Governor of Shewa in 1939-1940. He also served as a Vice-Governor of Italian East Africa from 1939. Nasi promoted a moral reformation of the military and civil administration and 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 Generale 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, with the advantage of air cove and tanks, forced the defending British and Commonwealth forces to evacuate 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 Duke Amedeo of Aosta and Generale 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 Duke Amedeo, 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[edit]

Although Nasi was listed as a war criminal by the post-war Ethiopian government, Italian historian Angelo del Boca, usually very severe in judging the behaviour of Italian army in the colonies, considers him the best officer of the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) in East Africa. Solomon Getahun supports this view of Nasi, noting that his behavior towards the inhabitants of Gondar and the adjoining territories helped him to sustain the fight against both British and Ethiopian forces as long as he did.[1] Near Gondar a mount is still named Mount Nasi.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  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 1941-27 November 1941
Succeeded by
(none)