Poligono della Cagnola

Where partisans were shot on 31st December 1943.

In piazzale Accursio, near the Cagnola shooting range, there is a pink granite plate commemorating the four martyrs for freedom Arturo Capettini, Gaetano Andreoli, Cesare Poli and Angelo Scotti and the place bears a date: 31st December 1943.

This shooting range was the location of their execution, after being sentenced to death bys a fascist court that same morning, on 31st December. The trial lasted only ten minutes. Several written sources report that the barrister Angelo Scotti was initially pardoned and later deported to Mauthausen, where he died on 8th July 1944. A man named Sergio Dell’Acqua was shot together with the partisans. The court as well as the firing squad were made up entirely of Italians. The execution took place around 12:30pm, with the sentenced arriving around two hours earlier.

Andreoli was a barber and together with Angelo Scotti was a member of that «Comitato Militare Lombardo», one of the first organization for the Resistance which arose right after the German occupation; other members were Poldo Gasparotto, Arturo Martinelli and Napoleone Tirale, subsequently killed in Fossoli.
Poli was a blue collar worker in contact with the partisans of San Martino, and used to bring them medicines provided by Roberto Lepetit’s pharmaceutical company.
Capettini had been a communist militant since 1921. His home in Milan, where he ran a store of bicycle accessories, had become a storehouse for weapons and supplies for the partisans of San Martino and Val d’Ossola, as well as a shelter for patriots on the run, British and Greek prisoners.

About the events of that 31st December 1943 new researches and investigations are currently underway, in the light of new evidence from the carabiniere who escorted those men from the courtroom of the Palazzo di Giustizia to the shooting range, stood guard in the same room with them, personally witnessed the execution and confirmed that also Angelo Scotti died that day.


Massimo Castoldi