No. XLIX (2018)

Italian Volunteers in Serbia in 1914

Antonio D’Alessandri
University Roma Tre – Department of Political Studies

Published 01.12.2018


  • Great War,
  • Serbia,
  • Italia,
  • volunteers,
  • Ricciotti Garibaldi

How to Cite

D’Alessandri, A. (2018). Italian Volunteers in Serbia in 1914. Balcanica - Annual of the Institute for Balkan Studies, (XLIX), 17–27.


Seven Italian volunteers decided on 29 July 1914 to join the Serbian army responding to a proclamation issued by the son of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Ricciotti. They were Republicans and Anarchists, and saw their engagement as the advance party of Italian volunteers that would eventually force Italy to join the ranks of the Entente in order to accomplish the last phase of the Italian Risorgimento by liberating Trento and Venezia Giulia with the city of Trieste. Five of them were killed on the Drina river, while the remaining two returned soon afterwards to Italy. Nevertheless, their memory was honoured as the first Italian participants in the Great War and as the tangible proof of the Italian engagement in favour of Serbia, and later Yugoslavia.


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