Randolfo Pacciardi

Randolfo Pacciardi (1 January 1899 – 14 April 1991) was an Italian politician, a member of the Italian Republican Party (PRI). He was also an officer who fought during World War I and in the Spanish Civil War.

Randolfo Pacciardi
Randolfo Pacciardi (IV).jpg
Minister of Defence
In office
23 May 1948 – 16 July 1953
Prime MinisterAlcide De Gasperi
Preceded byCipriano Facchinetti
Succeeded byGiuseppe Codacci Pisanelli
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
1 June 1947 – 12 May 1948
Prime MinisterAlcide De Gasperi
Preceded byPaolo Cappa
Vincenzo Moscatelli
Succeeded byAttilio Piccioni
Giovanni Porzio
Giuseppe Saragat
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
8 May 1948 – 4 June 1968
ConstituencyPisa/Single national constituency
Member of the Constituent Assembly
In office
25 June 1946 – 31 January 1948
ConstituencyXVI (Pisa)
Personal details
Born(1899-01-01)1 January 1899
Gavorrano, Italy
Died14 April 1991(1991-04-14) (aged 92)
Rome, Italy
Political partyPRI (1915–64; 1980–91)
UDNR (1964–80)
RelationsGiovanni Pacciardi (father)
Elvira Guidoni (mother)
Alma materUniversity of Siena
ProfessionPolitician, journalist
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Italy
 Spanish Republic
Branch/service Royal Italian Army
Second Spanish Republic International Brigades
Years of service1917–1919; 1936–1939
RankLieutenant colonel
Unit11th Bersaglieri Regiment
8th Bersaglieri Regiment
XII International Brigade
Battles/warsWorld War I (1914–1918)

Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)


Pacciardi was born at Giuncarico, in the province of Grosseto (southern Tuscany). In 1915 he became a member of the Italian Republican Party, and, despite being underage, was enlisted in the Italian Army's officers school. As a Bersaglieri lieutenant, he fought during World War I, and was awarded two silver and one bronze medals, as well as a British Military Cross.

In 1921 Pacciardi graduated in jurisprudence from the University of Siena. Later, he collaborated with the newspaper L'Etruria Nuova, denouncing the increasing violence of the Fascist squads. In 1922 he moved to Rome, where he founded the anti-fascist movement "L'Italia libera", which was suppressed in 1925. After the Fascists outlawed all the other parties, he was condemned to five years confinement, but was able to escape to Austria and then to Switzerland.

Pacciardi in 1958.

After moving to France, in 1936 Pacciardi founded an Italian Antifascist Legion to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He subsequently fought at the head of the Garibaldi Brigade, part of the International Brigades in the Siege of Madrid, after which he was promoted as lieutenant colonel. Pacciardi fought against the National faction in Spain until 1937. Opposed to communist persecution of the anarchist and POUM members within the republican camp, he later left Spain and returned to France, where he founded the weekly La Giovine Italia (a homage to the ideologist of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini). In 1938 he held a series of lectures in the United States about anti-fascism in Europe. When the Italian-American antifascist Mazzini Society was founded in 1939, Pacciardi joined that too. He returned to Italy only after the liberation of Rome in 1944. In 1945 he was again confirmed national secretary of the now re-established PRI, and the following year he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Italy.

Pacciardi's line of collaboration with the other left parties led to the entrance of the PRI in the first Republic government cabinets of Italy (1947). Pacciardi resigned as PRI's secretary and became vice-Prime Minister. He was Minister of Defense from 1948 to 1953, and supported Italian membership of NATO. In the 1950s the PRI followed Ugo La Malfa's line of not participating in the centrist governments led by Democrazia Cristiana; when in 1963 a first centre-left government, led by DC leader Aldo Moro, was created, Pacciardi and his followers within the PRI voted against supporting it. In the wake of a scandal which had involved his previous tenure as Minister of Defense (despite being later acquitted from any accuse), Pacciardi was expelled from the PRI.

Randolfo Pacciardi and David Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker, 1958

In 1964 Pacciardi founded a new party, the Democratic Union for the New Republic (Unione Democratica per la Nuova Repubblica; UDNR), and a newspaper, La Folla. The platform of Nuova Repubblica was similar to that of Charles de Gaulle. However, the 1968 Italian election proved to be a failure for the new party, which received just 100,000 votes. Pacciardi himself was not re-elected to the Italian Parliament, and was later accused of having coup- and neofascist-oriented friendships. In 1974 he was investigated for participation in the so-called Golpe bianco of Edgardo Sogno.[1]

In 1979 he asked to be admitted back to the PRI, which happened a year later. In 1981 he founded a new magazine, L'Italia del popolo, which he directed for ten years. He died in Rome in 1991 and was buried in the communal cemetery of Grosseto.

Personal lifeEdit

Known for his jovial nature and passion for travel, Randolfo Pacciardi met and befriended people like Ernest Hemingway and his lover Martha Gellhorn,[2][3] David Ben-Gurion, Michael Curtiz (who asked Pacciardi for advice in the making of Casablanca)[4][5] and Fabrizio De André, to whose first wedding Pacciardi was witness due to his friendship with De André's father, Giuseppe.

In 1918, he was initiated into freemasonry. Randolfo Pacciardi joined the lodge "Ombrone" of Grosseto, becoming "Companion" the following year.[6] In 1937 he joined the Parisian lodge "Eugenio Chiesa",[7] as "master" and in 1938 was elevated to 30° degree of the Scottish Rite.

Medals and decorationsEdit

Military Cross
  Silver Medal of Military Valor
Silver Medal of Military Valor
  Bronze Medal of Military Valor


  1. ^ Panorama. XII (140): 44–46. 26 September 1974. {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Randolfo Pacciardi, Protagonisti grandi e piccoli: studi, incontri, ricordi , Barulli, Roma, 1972, p. 644.
  3. ^ Ennio Caretto, Corriere della Sera, 4 ottobre 2006.
  4. ^ Randolfo Pacciardi, Cuore da battaglia: Pacciardi racconta a Loteta, Roma, Nuova edizioni del Gallo, 1990.
  5. ^ Cfr. Il Messaggero, 28 agosto 1995.
  6. ^ Aldo A. Mola, Pacciardi massone: iniziazione all'antitotalitarismo, in: Annali del Centro Pannunzio, Torino, 2001, pagg. 139–150
  7. ^ Santi Fedele, La massoneria italiana nell'esilio e nella clandestinità. 1927–1939, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2005, pagg. 162-63 e 183


  • Spinelli, Alessandro (1998). I repubblicani nel secondo dopoguerra (1943–1953) (in Italian). Ravenna, IT: Longo.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Secretary of Italian Republican Party
April 1933 – March 1934
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of Italian Republican Party
(with Cipriano Facchinetti)

July 1934 – January 1942
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of Italian Republican Party
May 1945 – September 1946
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of Italian Republican Party
January – December 1947
Succeeded by