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Between Vichy France and Fascist Italy : redefining identity and the enemy in Corsica during the Second World War

Varley, Karine (2012) Between Vichy France and Fascist Italy : redefining identity and the enemy in Corsica during the Second World War. Journal of Contemporary History, 47 (3). pp. 505-527. ISSN 0022-0094

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Abstract

This article explores how the fear of annexation by Fascist Italy meant that for Corsica, the Second World War became a battle to remain French. Rather than developing a stronger French identity in opposition to Italy, however, conflicting affinities and grievances produced a stronger Corsican identity in opposition to France. Vichy France therefore found itself fighting against long-standing Corsican tensions, Italian territorial ambitions, and the demands of Nazi Germany. For Fascist Italy, the struggle for Corsica exposed its inferiority complex towards Vichy France and Nazi Germany and the contradictions of an irredentist foreign policy and a reluctant occupying army.