The Italian Social Republic (Italian: Repubblica Sociale Italiana) popularly and historically known as the Republic of Salò (Italian: Repubblica di Salò was a German puppet state with limited recognition that was created during the later part of World War II, and existing from the beginning of German occupation of Italy in September 1943 until the surrender of German troops in Italy in May 1945. During the civil war, which split the country in two, it fought against the Italian Resistance.
The Italian Social Republic was the second and last incarnation of the Italian Fascist state and was led by Duce Benito Mussolini and his reformed anti-monarchist Republican Fascist Party. The state declared Rome its capital but was de facto centred on Salò (hence its colloquial name), a small town on Lake Garda, near Brescia, where Mussolini and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were headquartered. The Italian Social Republic exercised nominal sovereignty in Northern and Central Italy, but was largely dependent on German troops to maintain control.
The RSI received diplomatic recognition from only Axis powers and their satellite states. Finland and Vichy France, while navigating the Nazi orbit, did not recognize it. Unofficial relations were maintained with Argentina, Portugal, Spain and, through commercial agents, Switzerland. The Vatican City did not recognize the RSI.
On 27 April, Italian partisans caught Mussolini, his mistress (Clara Petacci), several RSI ministers, and several other Italian Fascists, while they were attempting to flee. On 28 April, the partisans shot Mussolini and most of the other captives, including Petacci. The RSI Minister of Defense Rodolfo Graziani surrendered what was left of the Italian Social Republic on 1 May, one day after the German forces in Italy capitulated.
Al vento le bandiere
Pronte le armi chè l’ora suonò.
Contro il nemico
o vincere o morire
Dio questa volta ci donò.
2Guerra per la libertà
per la nostra terra.
Chi ha tradito pagherà
con la propria vita.
3Italiani si cadrà
per la nostra libertà.