Liberation of Lizzano in Belvedere and Belvedere Liberated Zone

Lizzano in Belvedere (Bo) | 44.16244 E - 10.89419 N |

On 2 October 1944 Armando’s partisans set off from Castelluccio to take Lizzano in Belvedere. The Germans were withdrawing towards Vidiciatico and two skirmishes took place nearby, at Bargi and Villaggio Europa. Armando set up his headquarters in the town. On the next day (3 October), the local National Liberation Committee elected Giorgio Biagi as Mayor. After the initial negotiations with the Americans, who were based on the Collina Pass, the first OSS team reached the town on 6 October, but it did not establish a permanent base there until 16 October. On 17 October, with the taking of Vidiciatico, the Gothic Line moved to Rocca Corneta-Monte Belvedere. The occupation of the Lizzano area by Armando’s partisans marked the start of the Modena Armando Division’s role as a co-belligerent with the Americans. As well as Armando’s partisans, this division also included the Giustizia e Libertà and Matteotti Brigades from Bologna.

In Armando's words:

We left the job of administering the Municipalities on democratic principles to the town councils, while the National Liberation Committee oversaw the united anti-Fascist spirit of all the public bodies. Our task was never to give the enemy any respite: and we wanted to drive them out as quickly and effectively as possible, even if that meant joining forces with the Allies. « »

Armando [Mario Ricci]

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