Termoli plans monument, museum and documentary to commemorate the landings of 1943

Plans are being developed for a new memorial and a larger Second World War Museum in Termoli and a documentary film to commemorate the landings and battle there on 3-6 October 1943.

The town and the surrounding area were the scene of the largest tank battle in the Italian campaign in the Second World War and the first  operation on the mainland involving 38 (Irish) Brigade.

“The landing at Termoli and the battle that took place here in 1943 were an important moment for us and our territory,” the existing museum’s manager Marco Altobello told This Week in the Italian Campaign.

Altobello was speaking following a series of events commemorating the battle in early October.

“This year, the anniversary was very heartfelt because it’s the 80th anniversary, a very important date for us for the story of the Italian campaign,” he said. “The municipality of Termoli and the Molise region organised a series of events to mark the moment that included bringing eyewitnesses into local schools.”

They included Termoli architect Antonio di Felice. Students were also addressed by Antonio Casolino, an Italian swimming champion who is from Termoli.

“They are high school boys so they are old enough to understand the importance of these events in particular for their current condition which is a condition of freedom, a condition of democracy.”

Plaques telling the story of the battle of Termoli in both Italian and English have been unveiled from the town to San Giacomo and Palata (see an example at top left).

Termoli mayor Vincenzo Ferrazzano and Molise region president Francesco Roberti spoke at a meeting held in Termoli’s San Antonio cinema on the evening of 2 October (see left). It was attended by  more than 200 local people, representatives of the Italian military, officers of the Port Authority and the National Association of Italian Sailors of Termoli.

Future projects include plans to make a documentary film about the battle involving young directors.

Altobello, who is a teacher, manages the existing Termoli museum in the town’s municipality building which mainly comprises photographs. But the growing number of physical items dating from the Second World War found in the town and surrounding area needs new premises.

“A DUKW amphibious vehicle was discovered by a swimmer last month off San Antonio beach near where the English landed,” Altobello said. “We need a larger museum for that and other discoveries.”

You can see the interview with Marco Altobello in full here.

A documentary film about the Irish Brigade in the battle of Termoli can be seen here.

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