M.D.T. – Territorial Defense Militia and Civic Guards in the O.Z.A.K. 1943-1945


With the proclamation of the Armistice, the whole territory that included Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the Provinces of Ljubljana and Istria, considered of vital importance for the communication lines and for the supply of the German Army in Italy, was absorbed by the Reich, under the jurisdictional form of the so-called Zone of Operations of the Adriatic Coast (O.Z.A.K.). The government of the R.S.I. attempted to restore its authority in the O.Z.A.K. even in the military field, but German interference was always fierce. The reconstituted Legions of the M.V.S.N. were prevented to join the G.N.R. and the Germans imposed on these units the denomination of Territorial Defense Militia (Milizia Difesa Territoriale M.D.T.), formally part of the G.N.R., but autonomous in the reality. The M.D.T. was configured as a “Landschutz”, that is a defense unit of the territory. In parallel, the Prefect Coceani and the Podestà Pagnini promoted the establishment of a self-defense unit, the Civic Guard, in Trieste, an example followed in other cities in the region.

By Paolo Crippa and Carlo Cucut, 100 pages
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