Rosa Dainelli

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"We will return" (Ritorneremo, in Italian). War Propaganda done in 1942 by the Italian government

Rosa Dainelli was an Italian doctor who was working in Ethiopia during World War II, when the British conquered (in 1941) the Italian Empire in the Horn of Africa. She actively participated in sabotage actions against the British Army.

Historical background[edit]

Many Italians (like Amedeo Guillet [1]) fought a guerrilla war in Italian East Africa (called "Africa Orientale italiana") after the surrender at Gondar of the last regular Italian forces in November 1941.

They fought in the hope of an Italian victory with the help of Rommel in Egypt and in the Mediterranean that would originate a possible return of the Axis in Eastern Africa.[citation needed]

Dainelli guerrilla action[edit]

She became an active member of the Fronte di Resistenza (Front of Resistance), an Italian organization which fought the Allies in the Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia from December 1941 until the summer of 1943.[2]

In August 1942 she managed to enter the main ammunition depot of the British Army in Addis Abeba and blow it up, somehow surviving the huge explosion. This act of sabotage destroyed the ammunition for the new British Sten submachine gun and delayed the deployment of this "state of the art" weapon for many months.[3]

Doctor Dainelli was famous as one of the few Italian women who participated actively in the Italian guerrilla operations against the British troops after the East African Campaign (World War II).[citation needed]

She was nominated, after the end of the war, for the Italian iron medal of honor ("croce di ferro").[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Amedeo Guillet
  2. ^ Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia/Somala/Eritrea (in Italian)
  3. ^ Rosselli, Alberto. Storie Segrete. Operazioni sconosciute o dimenticate della seconda guerra mondiale. p. 58


  • Cernuschi, Enrico. La resistenza sconosciuta in Africa Orientale (in Italian). Rivista Storica, dicembre 1994.(Rivista Italiana Difesa)
  • O'Kelly, Sebastian. Amedeo - the true story of an Italian's war in Abyssinia 2002 Paperback ISBN 0-00-655247-1
  • Rosselli, Alberto. Storie Segrete. Operazioni sconosciute o dimenticate della seconda guerra mondiale (in Italian). Iuculano Editore. Pavia, 2007