By Giorgio Apostolo, Giovanni Massimello

Flying plane akin to the Macchi 200-202, Fiat G.50 and biplane Fiat CR.42, the Italian fighter pilots have been regarded by way of their Allied opposite numbers as courageous competitors blessed with sound flying talents, yet using under-gunned and underpowered gear. Following the Italian quit in September 1943, a few aces persevered to take the struggle to the Allies as a part of the Luftwaffe-run ANR, which was once outfitted with way more effective apparatus corresponding to the Bf 109G, Macchi 205V and Fiat G.55. Flying those varieties, the handful of ANR squadrons persevered to oppose Allied bombing raids on northern Italy till VE-Day.

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The fact that the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 led, despite all the conflicting interests, to a lasting anti-Hitler pact with Britain that in December 1941 was joined by the United States as well was to be seen as proof of the international conspiracy. Goebbels himself, as Herf also shows, knew about the Holocaust. He left those among the public who had learned to read between the lines in no doubt about the mass murder that was going on, and used the war to justil}r it. Were any funher proof needed, the collapse of the Nazi regime at the end appeared to confirm the correctness of the basic assumptions.

In the many works researching the history of nationalism the idea of the nation as an 'imagined community' has proved fruitful. Relative constructivism thus comprehends the nation as 'imagined' because nationalism-speaking and acting in relation to the category of'nation'first summons up community in the thoughts of its members and through their communication with each other. What is decisive here is not an 'objective' reality 3 See Baird, The Mythical World; Barsch, Die politische Re/itJon; Brarnseed, GoebbeLs und die nationaLsozialistische Propaganda; Bohse, Inszmieru KriegsbegeistrrunK> Buchbender, Das tonmtU Erz; Burleigh and Wippermann, The Racial State; Die tkutschm E/iuTl; Faschismus und Rassismus; Herben, Best; Holz, Nationaln- Antisemitismus; Horn, Fuhrerwologie; Probing the Depths ofGerman Antisemitism; Jackel, Hitlers Herrschaft; KellihaW, Hitln- 1936-1945: Nemesis; Reichel, Der schone Schein; Schmuhl, Rassmhygime; Nazi Propaganda; Welch, Propaganda.

While euphoria and confidence in victory were as a rule emotion-led, short-lived, and spontaneous expressions of feeling, war-weariness grew after the turn in the fortunes of war in the winter of 1942/3, and because of the strategic bombing offensive over Germany developed throughout the rest of the war into a latent negative mood that the regime was unable to get a hold on. The air raids took away the soldier's confidence in being able to defend his home against the enemy-no matter what the propaganda told him.

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