A Vatican Lifeline '44 (ePub)
It is a widely held belief that the Italians in the Second World War failed ti win much in the way of marital glory. But the scoffers tend to overlook the fact that most Italians had little or no feeling of animosity towards the Allies, and to wage war against an enemy with whom you have no quarrel is a contradiction in terms. How real this contradiction was is vividly portrayed in William Simpson's dramatic account of him time in Rome after the downfall of Mussolini and Italy's withdrawal from the war in September, 1943, when thousands of Allied Prisoners of War, let loose in surrendered Italy, fell prey to occupying Nazi forces. Simpson, an escaped POW, managed, after some hair-raising adventures, to find his way to Rome and soon discovered how wide spread was the support of the Italians for the Allies and how deep-seated their hatred of the Nazi's. His adventures during the months before the Allies finally liberated Rome, helping to house and feed hundreds of Allied prisoners on the run, make compulsive reading and leave no one in doubt of the extraordinary bravery of the many Italians who came to their aid. But the outstanding hero of this dramatic story is Monsignor O'Flaherty, who, with remarkable sang froid, used the somewhat precarious neutrality of the Vatican where he was employed to help Simpson and his fellow fugitives.