When the island of Kos in the Aegean, fell to the German forces, a total of 1,388 British and 3,145 Italian troops were taken prisoner. Italy had signed an armistice on September 8 and the Italian troops were now fighting on the British side. On September 11, Hitler gave the order to execute all Italian officers who were captured.
The officer in charge of the Italian troops was Colonel Felice Leggio. He, and 101 of his officers, were marched to a salt pan just east of the town of Kos and there, shot in groups of ten. They were buried in mass graves. When Kos was returned to Greece after the war, the bodies were dug up and transported back to Italy for burial in the Military Cemetery at Bari. Nobody is ever punished for this crime
Photo: The Memorial in the Catholic cemetery of Kos to Colonel Felice Leggio and the 101 Italian officers of the 10th Regiment of the Regina Division, executed by the Germans on 4th October 1943.