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Opinion / Editorial

The War of Vlora and... the uprising of the "Ardites" (braves)

The War of Vlora and... the uprising of the "Ardites" (braves)

Of course, the "Battle of Vlora" fought 104 years ago, in June 1920, constitutes one of the most glorious stories of our people after the battles of Skanderbeg and the Declaration of Independence of Albania, without forgetting here the "Albanian connection to Prizren" 1878, the uprisings of the years 1909-1911 in our northern territories, the Congress of Manastir 1908, which also greatly influenced the awakening of our national consciousness. The occupation of Vlora and with it that of Sazan in December 1914, regardless of the motive that the Italian troops had allegedly entered to protect Vlora and some southern provinces from the danger of Greek interventions, prove once again the injustices of Europe with the Conference of to their ambassadors in London in 1913 to its newest state, which had just turned 1 year independent. Italy landed in Vlora on the eve of the new year 1915 (December 29, 1914) and of course, as it usually happens, Italian imperialism, in order to justify their intervention with weapons and troops, had no difficulty loading trucks with food aid, clothing, medical and sanitary service materials in order for this invasion landing to be certified as a "humanitarian mission to the brotherly Albanian people" and as a sign of cooperation for the help that Esat Toptani had requested. And because we were de facto occupied, the second and secret London Conference of 1915 would sanction the complete division of Albania between Montenegro and Serbia in order for it to have access to the sea as far as Shengji.. Vlora Sazanin and some provinces in the south were given to Italy and the southern part to the Greek claims for Vorio Epirus. If these were not fully realized, it is precisely the conjectural factors and the outbreak of the first world war, which in some way prevented the complete division of our country, but it should be noted that the hatred against the occupation by Italian imperialism had accumulated to the point that in May 1920, the fighting between the Albanian insurgents of Labëria began (from where supporters from different provinces of the country came to their aid) and that is known in history as the "War of Vlore". In fact, in Vlora, the final battle of the siege of the Italian invading units, which reached up to 20,000, took place, these troops, which were dispersed by Himare... in Tepelene Kote Gjorm Salari.. the upper and lower Kurveles to Himare e Llogora . It is worth noting that this war had already started in the villages of these regions and that it was a good war organized by a single center like the former "Committee of National Salvation". In the clash with the Italian troops, the insurgent detachments managed to destroy their garrisons, narrowing the loop towards the city of Vlora, where the invading general Settimo Piecentini was leading the military operations, already surrounded by the Albanian insurgents of Labria. In the extremely dangerous conditions created for the Italian troops,Piacentini telegraphs to the Supreme Command in Rome that in order to withstand the attack and in order for Italy to maintain its positions in Vlora and the Adriatic, selected combat troops had to be sent at all costs. In such a very precarious situation, where on the one hand the Albanian insurgents had started the war by tightening the grip of the siege and on the other hand the surrounded occupying troops were in great difficulties, it was not even possible to think about peace anymore, because the rumbling of the cannons had begun. But the theater of combat actions in Vlora could not be out of the attention of the international opinion in general and the internal Italian opinion in particular.... Vlora of that time was implementing the most essential point of the Congress of Lushnja to have a free Albania and sovereign just as I. Qemali and I. Boletini wanted it! WHAT WAS HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME, SOMEWHERE ON THE APENINE PENINSULA (ITALY) WHICH GEOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL CONDITIONS HAD DECIDED US TO HAVE FACE TO FACE WHERE RARELY FRIENDS...AND MORE OFTEN ENEMIES?! The echo of the fighting activity of the Albanian insurgents and the encirclement of the Italian troops had already crossed the national border. The internal opinion and the progressive anti-imperialist war forces were against the idea and decisions of the Italian Government to send additional troops to Albania with the aim of suppressing the uprisings of the Albanians who would leave with their warships towards Albania. collected, these in Trieste..Ancona and in Brindisi. For this purpose, the anti-imperialist, anarchist and socialist forces, with their ideas and activity certainly influenced by the Russian Revolution of 1917, had penetrated even into the military departments, in order not only to prevent the sending of military units addition to Vlora, using them as cannon fodder for Italy's own imperialist goals, but they also called on them to leave Albania, precisely those invading troops who were surrounded and this was done in order for them to avoid a tragedy of the Italian youth on the shores of the Adriatic that wet Vlora and Albania. The Italian people were tired of the first world war which had been over for 2 years and were looking for peace, cursing and hating the war. In these conditions a great crisis was observed; on the one hand, that between the desire of the Italian Government to send additional troops as soon as possible to save the besieged Vlora wards... and on the other hand, the strong opposition, that these troops should not be sent and in order to save their sons not only that they should not leave, but that even those who were occupying Vlora together with Piacentini should leave as soon as possible. So under these conditions in Italy, in some of its cities, strong anti-war strikes and demonstrations broke out, and there were even revolts within the wards of some Italian military units.as was that of the bersaliers of the Xlth regiment in Ancona. The wave of opposition and demonstrations that included Trieste and Brindisi, which also had the massive support of the Italian people, with the motto "Via da Valona" (get away from Vlora...hands off from Vlora!) in order not to send their sons and them towards a new fratricidal butchery between peoples with each other. In Ancona, there were clashes between these anti-war forces and those of order, which echoed in other Italian cities. Similarly, from the city of Brindisi, it was planned that with the transport ship "Molfeta" a group of "ardites" (brave - courageous) would depart towards Vlora, but that this would end with a violent fight between the socialist trade unionists and the ardites themselves who were this fight went like "meat for cannon", against the command police units and the carabinieri who represented the government forces and who exerted pressure and force to send them to the Albanian shores, even many "Ardis" refused and got out of the ship that was going to them towards Vlore by boarding the "death transport mission". What had to happen happened, those brave and courageous chosen young sons and daughters of the Italian people ("Ardis") would turn against the imperialist occupation of Italy and would refuse to go to this war which caused bloodshed for both peoples. .