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Italian Units in The Balkins, Fighting After September 8th

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.

Italian Units in The Balkins, Fighting After September 8th

Postby Roland Wittekind on 23 Mar 2002 03:41

Where there many Italian Units, on any Level (Divisions to Platoons?) that where informed of the Armistice but as a whole desided to continue fighting with the Germans in the Balkins, against the Partisans?

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Postby MaPen on 23 Mar 2002 08:53

There were no such Italian units that have offered to continue the fight against partisans after Sep/8/43. It is difficult to say for platoon levels (maybe some Blackshirts) though but I doubt it anyway.

1B article of Armistice Treaty demanded that "Italian participation in the war in all Theaters will cease immediately. There will be no opposition to landings, movements or other operations of the Land, Sea and Air Forces of the United Nations. Accordingly, the Italian Supreme Command will order the immediate cessation of hostilities of any kind against the Forces of the United Nations and will direct the Italian Navy, Military and Air Force authorities in all Theaters to issue forthwith the appropriate instructions to those under their Command."

Regards,

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Thanks!

Postby Roland Wittekind on 24 Mar 2002 09:01

MaPen - Thanks for your reply. I wouldn't be so sure as to say there definitely no such cases, but I agree that the numbers certainly would of been small..
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Postby Andy H on 24 Mar 2002 11:22

Information is very limited about Italian units after September 8'43, and especially ones that fought in the Balkans. I have come across the odd Battalion or Artillery Battery, be they within larger German units or independent, but trying to find where I read about them is like finding the needle in the haystack again.

Try Lupo's site, http://www.comandosupremo.com

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Postby flakbtg500 on 06 Apr 2002 14:12

Hi all,
I do not know what italian units fought with germans against partisans after 8 Stptember '43 in the Balkans, but I know 4 italian RSI units who escape in north directions with germans during 1944.
There are :
72° e 86° brigata statica RSI briagate genieri 49° e "ragg. genieri Creta" RSI in formazione.

Italian (AXIS) soldiers who died in the Balkans during 43-45 was 2564 RSI soldiers (2465 missing in action); 4250 italians in wehrmacht and 992 in others german organizations. :cry:

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Postby Andy H on 11 Apr 2002 19:47

Just had a quick look in Nafziger's III Vol in the German Order of Battle series and it lists many units there.

I'll post them over the next few nights if you want?

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Postby Andy H on 14 Apr 2002 16:41

As promised

The following units were assigned to AG South East
Kreta Volunteer Legion
Merla Volunteer Legion
Piazza Volunteer Legion
3rd Volunteer Btn
Gabrieli Volunteer Btn
Fascist Company/639th Security Regt
13th (Infantry Gun) Company/639th Security Regt
11th Infantry Btn
422nd Infantry Btn
4th Italian Panzerjager Company/10th Grenadier Regt.
33rd,72nd,81st,86th,92nd,94th,111th & 144th Black Shirt Btn's
"San Marco" Legion
19th Black Shirt Assualt Btn
1st Construction Btn/369th German ID/2nd Panzer Army
1st & 2nd Construction Btn's/LXVIII Korps-8/44
2nd Construction Btn/373rd German ID/2nd Panzer Army
3rd Construction Btn/45th Senior Pioneer Btn/2nd Panzer Army
4th Construction Btn/501st Road Construction Pioneer Btn/2nd Panzer Army
5th Construction Btn/664th Brucko "B"/2nd Panzer Army
8th Construction Btn
9th Construction Btn/297th German ID
11th Construction Btn/181st German ID
33rd Construction Btn/15th Panzergrenadier Division
36th & 37th Construction Btn's/297th German ID
42nd Construction Btn
373rd Construction Btn/373rd German ID
393nd Construction Btn/393nd German ID
422nd Construction Btn/XXII Mtn Korps
104th Construction Pioneer Btn/XXII Mtn Korps

Hope this helps

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Postby Oswald Mosley on 16 Apr 2002 21:52

More units than I thought. But I suppose that the September 8th declaration was generally obeyed in the vast majority of cases; most Italian soldiers had had enough by then.
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Postby Scanderbeg on 25 Apr 2002 22:57

Roland, nothing personal, but i couldn't stop myself from laughing when i saw the word Balkins. Being from the region I have never heard anyone, that doesn't live in Balkans, call it Balkins.


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RE: Italian Army under the RSI

Postby MVSNConsolegenerale on 26 Apr 2002 08:31

The only real element of the Italian armed forces to ON MASS continue to fight with the germans was the Air Force.

The navy was split 40/60 to the allies, the army 20/80 to the allies.

Also, many of the blackshit units had been destroyed in africa.

I know my grandfather was in one of the armies who surrendered to the germans...I earlier thought he was in yugoslavia at the time...but it turned out to be the balkans.
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Re: RE: Italian Army under the RSI

Postby Laurent on 26 Apr 2002 17:34

MVSNConsolegenerale wrote:The only real element of the Italian armed forces to ON MASS continue to fight with the germans was the Air Force.



Not true, follow the following link :

http://www.teamblau.it/iwai/history1943.html

Very interesting info on the Italian airmen fighting on Allied side. ANR was not operationnal until 1944 while in the South Italian airmen fly from September 1943 until the end of the war.

No idea of percentage.
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Re: RE: Italian Army under the RSI

Postby Scanderbeg on 27 Apr 2002 21:18

MVSNConsolegenerale wrote:....
I know my grandfather was in one of the armies who surrendered to the germans...I earlier thought he was in yugoslavia at the time...but it turned out to be the balkans.

Yugoslavia is in Balkans. Balkan is the region, Yugoslavia was just a federal country in Balkans. I guess you got them confused. Hope this helped. :D


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Postby Dan E. Moe on 14 Aug 2003 14:55

Did the Kreta, Merla and the Piazza volunteer Legions wear any kind of volunteer insigna?

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Postby MAXIS on 14 Aug 2003 18:24

MaPen wrote:There were no such Italian units that have offered to continue the fight against partisans after Sep/8/43. It is difficult to say for platoon levels (maybe some Blackshirts) though but I doubt it anyway.

1B article of Armistice Treaty demanded that "Italian participation in the war in all Theaters will cease immediately. There will be no opposition to landings, movements or other operations of the Land, Sea and Air Forces of the United Nations. Accordingly, the Italian Supreme Command will order the immediate cessation of hostilities of any kind against the Forces of the United Nations and will direct the Italian Navy, Military and Air Force authorities in all Theaters to issue forthwith the appropriate instructions to those under their Command."

Regards,

MaPen



Well, guys, about italian formations in German service after 8/9/43 seems to exist a bit of confusion


Theory was a thing, reality was another thing.
When armistice was declared in Italy mostly units simply disbanded for autonomous choice and many thousand men were captured by germans.
Outside Italy, situation was a bit different, expecially in Balcania.
Surrounded by all kind of “enemies” (fm communist partisans, to croatian ustasha – yes, ustasha too!) italian units tended to remain on foot, (and not simply disbanded) for logical, logistical, political etc reasons.
Naturally a lot of men deserted to partisans, many others became civilians; a lot choose to fight with germans against communists: this was the case, particularly, of the Battaglioni Camicie Nere (Blackshirts Bataillons) - the fascist militia.

I have sure infos about the following Blackshirts Btn’s (more btn’s to check)
XIX
LXXII
LXXXI
LXXXII
LXXXVI
LXXXIX
CXI
XCIV
XCVII
CXLI

Following bataillons remained in Balcania for few weeks only, but not disbanded and remained allied with Germans.
XIX Bataillon
Located in Corfù, then Prevesa. Co. Primo Seniore Gilberto Fabris. Become part of Geb-Jag-Rgt 98 till November 43. On December returned to Italy. Then part of 29 SS
LXXXIX and XCVII
Last one Co. By Primo Seniore Carlo Degli Oddi. Both in Drnis, become part of 114 Jager Division.
They formed Miliz-Regiment “De Maria” part of Orpo. Knin and Bihac. On october Salisburgo.
Then to 29 SS

Following bataillons remained in Balcania till the end of war. Unfortunately lack of infos, but they remained organized as “closed” units, not auxiliaries (hiwis, bau, arbeit etc). For italians, they remained officially titled “Blackshirts Bataillons” and this seems to be indicate that they not becomed (formally) part of GNR (Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana*) when RSI was formed, but maintained a “particular status”. (Probably possible to find more infos fm my sources.....).
LXXII
Remained in Balcania. Situation January/February 45: 310 men and 18 Schw-Mg. Co. Cap. Lazzaroni
LXXXI
Remained in Balcania. Situation January/February 45: 310 men 12 Schw-Mg, some le. and mortars. Co. illegible (Ten.Col.Zattoni??)
LXXXII
Remained in Balcania. Situation January/February 45: 350 men 15 Schw-Mg, </> 22 le., 8 mortars. Co. Cap. Giunchi
LXXXVI
Remained in Balcania. Situation January/February 45: 290 men 20 Schw-Mg, some le., 8 mortars. Co. illegible (Cap. ??)
CXI
Remained in Balcania. Situation January/February 45: 280 men 23 Schw-Mg, some le., 10 mortars. Co. Ten.Col. Cortesi
XCIV
Remained in Balcania. Situation January/February 45: 300 men 11 100/17 and 76/2. Co. Cap. Vanni
CXLI
Remained in Creta. Situation January/February 45: 570 men.

Above mentioned Btn’s were combat units. I don’t mention more and more italian troops considered “workers” (i.e. “Construction-Bataillons).


*GNR was formed under RSI with men coming fm disbanded Carabinieri, Camicie Nere and (theorically only) PAI units, for internal security purposes.

Best
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Postby Folgore on 15 Aug 2003 22:36

Choosing one side or the other was often a choice conditioned by external factors, independantly from the real will of italian military. And the outcomes were not just black or white: Thousands of compromises and negotiations took place, alterned by open fightings or surrenders... just a real mess! The orders were to resist to Germans (as remembered above), but we must consider that many units never received those orders, or received them too late. Many units just disbanded, with an exception for those abroad which had to remain united in order for their men to survive (as remembered above).
So the greater number of future RSI soldiers joined RSI individually or in small groups, sometimes after adventurous travels to reach Northern Italy.

The only major episodes in which deliberately -with no external pressure- italian units' commanders decided to continue to fight aside to germans were two:
"Decima Flottiglia Mas", which would have been soon transformed in "Decima" Division counting some 20,000 men. (Its Commander, navy officer prince Junio Valerio Borghese, signed a bilateral treaty with German exponents, and always kept a certain independance and distance from RSI).
"Tactic Group Rizzatti": Representing some 1.000 men (XII btn/184°Rgt. ecc..) of the "Nembo" parachute division, in Sardinia, fled to Corsica and then to the continent with the 90^ german Pzgrd. Div., not after bloody events involving men of the same "Nembo" who tried to stop them. (The Chief of Staff of the Div. Col.Bechi Luserna, gold medal at El Alamein, was killed by a deserting captain).
I don't think in Balcania we had cases of freedom in decision for those who joined the germans. With what perspective could the above mentioned regiment in Crete decide to fight germans?
Always in the Balkans, island of Cefalonia, Greece, took place an unusual event which many define the only democratic decision in military history of WWII:
General Gandin, italian commander of "Acqui" division wanted to join the Germans, but he felt his troops were against this decision, and so after a general votation which saw the anti german party winner he decided to resist...
Ciao,Folgore.
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