The Alternative Italian Job: Disbanding the Army that Never Was

The Guardian had a wonderful short article last week. Apparently, Italy invented a 300,000 strong army in the 1950s as part of the great game that was the Cold War. And apparently they assumed that the first thing the Soviet spies would watch out for were neither tanks nor barrackes, but an active bureaucracy (something both the Russians and the Italians were familiar with), so they created tonnes and tonnes of fake files relating to this fantasy army. Today, these files clog the real army’s warehouses: since the imagined 3rd corps was disbanded in the 1970s, it cannot declassify its files. And while they are not declassified, they cannot be destroyed. Se non e vero, e molto ben trovato.

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