Italian war veteran finds himself on YouTube

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13:56 CET+01:00
Francesco Brambilla, 93, only discovered YouTube last week, when curiosity about his son's new tablet computer led him to the site. He was then surprised to discover himself in a video taken of his regiment ahead of its departure to the Russian front in 1942.

Brambilla was sat with his son Fausto, when he asked what the small screen was for.

“Dad, this is a small computer,” said Fausto, who recounted the story to Corriere della Sera.

His son then introduced him to the Google search engine.

“Just type in what you want to search for, and see what it comes up with,” he said.

“Maybe try Sforzesca, my regiment during the war,” his father told him.

Within seconds they stumbled across a video in black and white called ‘Caserma Passlacqua’ containing images of hundreds of soldiers waving goodbye to relatives in the Piedmont town of Novara ahead of their departure to Russia, where 230,000 Italian soldiers served, of which 114,000 were killed.

“Look dad, that’s you - exactly like in the picture you’ve showed me many times,” recounted Fausto.

Francesco immediately recognised himself and his comrades and sadly recalled that he was the only one from his town, Bellinzago Lombardo near Milan, to return home alive. 

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