The first partisan groups were formed in September-October 1943 and for many of them the fighting continued till end of April 1945, culminating in the strikes and insurrections in the northern cities of Genoa, Turin and Milan. The reckoning with fascism extended into that summer and even beyond. Compared to the barbarism of Russia or Poland, or the ferocity of the war in Yugoslavia, the bloodshed was relatively small. Nevertheless, around 45,000 partisans were killed in action or after being taken prisoner; and about 10,000 civilians were killed by the Germans and fascists in reprisals and massacres aimed at terrorising the population. How many fascists and Germans were killed by partisans is not known but in the settling of accounts in April-June it has been estimated that about 15,000 died. Perhaps a further 15,000 people – not all of them fascists – were killed by Yugoslav forces in Trieste and the surrounding area.