In September 1943, Naples lay devastated by incessant bombardment from Allied planes. The city, under an iron occupation by the Germans, was without food. During the bombardment, the famed scugnizzi, the street boys of Naples, grew increasingly exasperated by the passiveness of their elders. Known for their daring, verve, and enterprise, the boys staged an incredible revolt against the Germans on September 28, 1943. Dragging furniture into the roadways, they built barricades and shot at the enemy with stolen guns, inspiring many adults and Italian army deserters to join their ranks. Three days and hundreds of deaths later, the Germans left the city for good.
Author Aubrey Menen, who heard the story of those historic four days from the scugnizzi themselves in 1948, here recreates the battle street by street, house by house.