By Pierre Kosmidis
Photos: Akiss Paraskevopoulos
In order to commemorate the Liberation Day in Italy, Colonna Della Liberta (Liberty Convoy) is an event that brings together WW2 vehicles and reenactors.
Italy’s Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione), also known as the Anniversary of the Liberation (Anniversario della liberazione d’Italia), Anniversary of the Resistance (anniversario della Resistenza), or simply April 25 is a national Italian holiday commemorating the end of the Italian Civil War and the end of Nazi occupation of the country during World War II.
By 25 April 1945, the Italian Partisans’ Committee of Liberation declared a general uprising, and on the same day, having crossed the Po on the right flank, forces of Eighth Army advanced north northeast towards Venice and Trieste.
On the U.S. Fifth Army front, elements drove north toward Austria and north west to Milan. On the Fifth Army’s left flank, the U.S. 92nd Infantry Division (the “Buffalo Soldiers Division”) went along the coast to Genoa; and a rapid advance towards Turin, by the Brazilian division on their right, took the German–Italian Army of Liguria by surprise, causing its collapse.
As April came to an end, Army Group C, the Axis forces in Italy, retreating on all fronts and having lost most of its fighting strength, was left with little option but surrender.
General Heinrich von Vietinghoff, who had taken command of Army Group C after Kesselring had been transferred to become Commander-in-Chief of the Western Front (OB West) in March 1945, signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of the German armies in Italy on 29 April, formally bringing hostilities to an end on 2 May 1945
Over 160 WW2 vehicles, restored with an attention to every detail participated in the 2017 edition of the Liberty Convoy and photographer Akiss Paraskevopoulos shot photos he shared with www.ww2wrecks.com
“The convoy was actually a mobile museum, the local authorities took all necessary measures regarding traffic and assisted the event in every possible way” Akiss Paraskevopoulos said and added:
Many people were waiting for the convoy to pass and cheered with flags of the WW2 Allies in their hands. The Liberty Convoy was very well organised and I sincerely hope my photos will travel you back in time. I hope we will see a similar event in Greece too”.