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During World War 2 Rome was declared to be an "open city" but I do not know what this means. What rules are there in an open city? Who controls it or is it neutral? I want to know what happens when a city is declared an "open city".

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closed as off-topic by Tea Drinker, American Luke, Louis Rhys, Samuel Russell, coleopterist Jul 24 '13 at 6:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Requests for trivia or basic historical facts are off-topic if they can be easily answered by looking up the relevant topic on Wikipedia. We're trying to complement common historical references, not duplicate them." – Tea Drinker, American Luke, coleopterist
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Welcome to the site! +1 –  Felix Goldberg Jul 23 '13 at 18:08
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vote to close ... not that this isn't a great question. it is. who hasn't read a history of ww2 and wondered what it meant when a city was declared an "open city"? but the answer is so easily found on wikipedia ... and this site's policy isn't to duplicate wiki articles –  Tea Drinker Jul 23 '13 at 21:57
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This question appears to be off-topic because it does not show any research effort –  Louis Rhys Jul 24 '13 at 2:59
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vote to close. a quick search on any major search engine shows that en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_city is at least on the first page. this shows little research effort and is more of a "define this term for me" question. –  franklin Jul 24 '13 at 3:37
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also i hope +1 wasn't a question upvote. questions should be upvoted for content not for membership. –  franklin Jul 24 '13 at 3:38

3 Answers 3

If you google Open City, you'll find the answer

In war, in the event of the imminent capture of a city, the government/military structure of the nation that controls the city will sometimes declare it an open city, thus announcing that they have abandoned all defensive efforts.

The attacking armies of the opposing military will then be expected not to bomb or otherwise attack the city, but simply to march in. The concept aims at protecting the historic landmarks and civilians who dwell in the city from an unnecessary battle.

An open city is not contested; the city government declares that they have no intention of resisting the occupier.

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Basically that the city has abandoned defense. It was done because of the history of the city and the desire not to have it bombed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_city

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Declaring an open city works like a "fair catch" in American football. In the fair catch example, the catcher promises not to run after he catches the ball, by kneeling, and the kicking team is supposed to refrain from tackling him.

An open city is one that its government has ordered (promised) not to be defended, meaning that the attacking army is supposed not bomb, bombard, or otherwise "strike" the city, but merely march in.

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Could the downvoter explain? –  Voitcus Jul 24 '13 at 7:06
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I am not the downvoter but perhaps they found the simile too flippant for their taste. Whatever the reason, it is good form to comment on a downvote and, alas, our friend here has failed to do that... –  Felix Goldberg Jul 24 '13 at 8:09
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Sports is a "civilized" microcosm of war. –  Tom Au Jul 24 '13 at 13:11

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