Message Forum

British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
Start a New Topic 
Statues in Trieste 2019

James Joyce now has a companion in the city. Last week Gabriele D'Annunzio was unveiled in Piazza della Borsa and you can read all about it in Il Picolo.
It is just a 100 years ago that GD and his companions took over Fiume, now called Rijeka on behalf of Italy. It is 65 years ago since BETFOR departed TS. 1919 to 1945 was just 26 years.
The passage of time !

Re: Statues in Trieste 2019

I sent an email to Harry yesterday with a link to the article but translated into English from ANSA.

My daughter lives near Pescara the home of GD so double interest for us!

For anyone who wants to view.

Re: Statues in Trieste 2019

Rijeka was commonly still known as Fiume in our day. It was in Zone B and was seen to be Jugoslav; like all of Jugoslavia it was extremely cheap to go there. especially if we got our currency in Trieste at half the usual rate. A group of four of us went to Rijeka; I have a photo of all four somewhere but here is a photo of jus two of us:

Gerald Cockroft and me.

I can well imagine that the statue caused some adverse comment; I'll explain later.

Re: Statues in Trieste 2019

That patch of ground at the top of the Adriatic had been something of a football; for a longish stretch it had been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. two world wars had resulted in its being up for grabs again. Although we think of it as an Italian city, many of the citizens, particularly in the villages on the Carso are of Slav origin. When it was divided into two zones, there was no hope of making everyone happy; Istria fell largely into Zone B and many people fled for ethnic, political or religious loyalties.

In many ways, were conned; there were undercurrents which burst to the surface, for example in the riots of 53.

A lot has come to light with the aid of the web. I have been reminded of some advice I was given when I was first put in Ops section of TSO; an old hand said, "The East starts here. If you think you understand what's going on, you've missed something."

When there was an exchange of prisoners between Italy and Jugoslavia one of TSO's most dependable sources turned out to be "Il Grande", at the top of the list of Italian Secret Service agents. The "defection" of a senior officer of UDB (the Jugoslav secret police), described by a British senior intelligence officer as "our greatest coup", turned out to be a deception.

So "Fiume" to some; "Rijeka" to others. Remarkably they seem to rub along somehow.