The bombing of Eboli





During WWII, the town of Eboli represented, together with Battipaglia, a junction of extraordinary importance for the connection between the south and the rest of Italy, becoming one of the priority targets of Allied bomber action. This led to the abandonment of the town by most of its inhabitants as early as June 1943. In Via Giudice, a street adjacent to the old town of Eboli, the Allies dropped their bombs on 4 August: the victims, seven monks and a child, were caught in places of refuge outside the walls.

On 10 July 1943, the Anglo-Americans landed in Sicily and began the conquest of the peninsula. On 26 July, formations of enemy aircraft carried out the first raid on Eboli, dropping bombs near the covered market in Corso Matteo Ripa. There were three fatalities: one civilian and two soldiers. That first raid was a wake-up call, in fact, the population, fearing a repetition of other raids, abandoned the town and fled to the neighbouring mountains or other villages.

A second raid took place on the evening of 4 August and this one was much more devastating. The various aircraft formations that took part dropped tons of bombs on the town, with the clear aim of razing it to the ground. 70% of Eboli's houses were destroyed. If the inhabitants of the town had not decided to leave after the first raid, it would have been a slaughter, but there were casualties, including a five-year-old boy hit by shrapnel and seven Capuchin priests from the local convent of San Pietro alli Marmi, who had sought refuge in the grotto in the convent's garden.

The immediate post-war period was marked by the reconstruction of what had been destroyed, with the creation of the Molinello and Paterno quarters, while the church of San Bartolomeo was built in the former 'Littore' sports ground. The 1950s were the years of the agrarian reform that led to the expropriation of 7500 hectares of land in the Ebolitano area and the creation of several farms that gave rise to the Cioffi, Scanno, San Cesareo, Santa Cecilia and Fiocche villages.