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Civil Affairs and Military Government in Venezia Giulia


A portion of "Civil Affairs and Military Government in the Mediterranean Theater", by Robert W Komer, has been transcribed and is divided here into two parts.
Part 1 - Planning, Diplomacy, Getting Ready contains the Forward, the Chapter XIV sections on the South Tyrol and Udine, and Chapter XV section on Planning for Venezia Giulia.
Part 2 - Occupation and AMG in Venezia Giulia contains the Chapter XV sections on Occupation of Venezia Giulia, May Discussions with Tito, Agreement on the Morgan Line, and Establishment of Military Government.

There is also some supplemental detail on AMG organization in the Mediterranean Theater which can be found here in a PDF file from "A Military Encyclopedia ...", Chapter 14, Allied Military Government.


Think of the Part 1 as focusing on the "Why" of it all, which can be skipped for now, then visited later if you'd like to dig a little deeper. Part 2 is the "How" from 2 May 45 onward to 15 Sep 47.

On that date, we became - until 1954 - the Free Territory of Trieste, Allied Forces Trieste, and AMG Trieste. The British XIII Corps shrank and became British Element Trieste Forces (BETFOR); the US 88th Infantry Division shrank and became Trieste United States Troops (TRUST).

Keep in mind as you read this work that Franklin Roosevelt had died on 14 April 45. Much of the difficulty in setting the stage for our actions in Venezia Giulia came from having to bring President Harry Truman up to speed; he had generally been excluded from foreign affairs matters by Roosevelt. As important as the Trieste issues were to become, they did not seem vital in the context of other events in Truman's first month as President. America was pressed to "bring the boys home", at the same time gearing up to shift troops from Europe to the Pacific to wind up the war with Japan.

Please take a moment now to review below the chain of command and relationships in 1944-1945.

Each of the levels above, CCS to Army, had a G-5, or Civil Affairs, or Military Government staff section.

Beyond that, there was a separate organization:
The Allied Control Commission (ACC), renamed the Allied Commission (AC) in Dec 44, which was a separate 'civil' arm at the AFHQ level. Their mission was two-fold: day-to-day Allied liaison with and steering of the Italian Government, and supervising all technical matters and application of overall occupation policy. The key people were
- Harold Macmillan (Churchill's "Minister Resident" in the Mediterranean);
- Robert Murphy (Roosevelt's Personal Representative in the Mediterranean);
- Admiral Ellery W Stone USNR, Chief Commissioner;
- Colonel Alfred C Bowman, USA, Senior Civil Affairs Officer for XIII Corps and Venezia Giulia.

Credit and Caveat

The original document, "Civil Affairs and Military Government in the Mediterranean Theater", by Robert W Komer, published in 1948 by the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, from which this selection has been made was found at the Naval War College Library, Newport RI.

The document as presented here is - within the limits of my vision, alertness, and stamina - an accurate rendering of the original; but it is not a "true copy". Occasional misspellings and typographic errors in the original have been corrected without comment. Stylistic changes have been made for online presentation. Abbreviation and acronym expansions, and comments or corrections which we have added to the original appear in square brackets [thus].

- Patrick Skelly, for Military History Network

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