XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Discussions on WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean. Hosted by Andy H
User avatar
David W
Member
Posts: 3383
Joined: 28 Mar 2004 01:30
Location: Devon, England

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by David W » 12 Mar 2018 19:25

Thanks Mark.


Good work Jeff and Urmel.

User avatar
jwsleser
Member
Posts: 927
Joined: 13 Jun 2005 14:02
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by jwsleser » 13 Mar 2018 00:17

I reviewed the sources listed in my notes.

Both Pavia and Bologna were transitioning to the divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. using organic assets. Both the XVII and the XXV btg. div. a.a. existed at the start of Crusader.

Brescia was instructed not to transition in August. Both Bresica and Savona were to assume the structure of a divisioni occupazione.

In May 1941, Montanari states
Finally, the Sabratha existed only in name because it was reduced to two battalions, two 81mm mortar companies and two 47/32 companies, without even a truck.
Pistola was created using G.A.F. formations and was planned as a division occupazione, so would never have a btg. div. a.a.

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

User avatar
David W
Member
Posts: 3383
Joined: 28 Mar 2004 01:30
Location: Devon, England

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by David W » 13 Mar 2018 07:50

Thanks Jeff, great work.

User avatar
jwsleser
Member
Posts: 927
Joined: 13 Jun 2005 14:02
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by jwsleser » 13 Mar 2018 16:02

Looking at the pieces of the KStNs provided by Mark, you can see that the transition for Bologna and Pavia to divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. was still incomplete.

The dashed boxes around the Fucile c.c. indicate that these units were not present/operational. As I don't have the key, I can't determine whether these units were organizing in A.S., or whether they were still in Italy.

Brescia is missing the entire btg. mtr. From earlier statements, I assume the dashed box indicates that the btg. is in Napoli.

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

Dili
Member
Posts: 1889
Joined: 24 Jun 2007 22:54
Location: Lusitania

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by Dili » 14 Mar 2018 19:48

I am not seeing any dashed boxes. Did the Btg armi accomp. still existed with AS42 where most everything was given at company level except mortars and 20mm?

User avatar
jwsleser
Member
Posts: 927
Joined: 13 Jun 2005 14:02
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by jwsleser » 14 Mar 2018 21:19

Dill

RE: KStN dashed lines. I believe the penciled boxes are actually dashed lines that have been drawn over.

RE: btg. div a.a. No, the btg. and cp. a.a. (divisional and regimental) that previously existed were not part of the A.S. 42 structure. The only ground weapons outside of the infantry companies was a 81mm mortar company at the regimental level.

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

Dili
Member
Posts: 1889
Joined: 24 Jun 2007 22:54
Location: Lusitania

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by Dili » 15 Mar 2018 00:45

Thanks, so where were the 20mm guns? the usual 16 (2 coy's) at Artillery Regiment? i also have a note in my data that there was 2 at HQ level

User avatar
jwsleser
Member
Posts: 927
Joined: 13 Jun 2005 14:02
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by jwsleser » 15 Mar 2018 01:24

Dill

My info shows a 20/65 battery with the artillery regiment. The 20/65 in the btg. div. a.a. are in addition to the guns assigned in the artillery regiment.

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 3918
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by Urmel » 15 Mar 2018 01:31

jwsleser wrote:Dill

RE: KStN dashed lines. I believe the penciled boxes are actually dashed lines that have been drawn over.

Pista! Jeff
That's correct. They indicate the unit hasn't been shipped, or has been sunk, but in any case is not present. The key is on the bottom left of the cover page I sent you. In MarkN's version of the KStN they are not dashed but solid lines.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Dili
Member
Posts: 1889
Joined: 24 Jun 2007 22:54
Location: Lusitania

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by Dili » 15 Mar 2018 16:52

jwsleser wrote:Dill

My info shows a 20/65 battery with the artillery regiment. The 20/65 in the btg. div. a.a. are in addition to the guns assigned in the artillery regiment.

Pista! Jeff
But that is not for AS42 since you said it didn't existed anymore. So reformulating my question, how many 20mm guns in AS42 and in what subunits?

I checked Dr.Niehorster website and he probably have that wrong and mixed up ATR's with 20mm AA http://www.niehorster.org/019_italy/org ... _42as.html

User avatar
jwsleser
Member
Posts: 927
Joined: 13 Jun 2005 14:02
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by jwsleser » 15 Mar 2018 19:24

Dill

I answered your question assuming that you asking about the divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. I now understand that you were asking about the tipo A.S. 42.

Let me first insure we are not mixing the two organizations in this discussion.

The divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. has a btg. a.a in each regiment. This battalion has a cp. 81mm, cp. mtr., cp. 47/32, and a cp. 20/35. The division itself has a btg. a.a. divisione with a cp. mtr., cp. 47/32, and a cp. 20/35 (it doesn't have the mortars). The regg. di artigleria has a gruppo c.a. with 20/35 guns. There were plans that each division would have a btg. misto c.a. (90/53 and 20/35) but that didn't happen.

The divisione fanteria tipo A.S. 42 no longer has any btg. a.a. Each regiment has a cp. 81mm, while the btg. f. has four companies, each company with a pl. fanti, pl. mtr., pl. 47/32 c.c. and pl. 20mm c.c. (Solothurn, but French 25mm c.c. were used as a substitute). The regg. di artigleria had two btr. 20/35.

As you can see, the number of 20/35 c.a. is significantly less in the tipo A.S. 42.

Did I answer your question, or did I get it wrong again :-)

Pista! Jeff

Edit: I noticed that the 20/35 is listed as a compagnia, not a batteria. I checked my source (Montanari vol II Tobruk page 454 fn 46) and he does state compagnia. I assume that the cp c.a. has only 6 guns instead of the 8 found in a btr.
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

Dili
Member
Posts: 1889
Joined: 24 Jun 2007 22:54
Location: Lusitania

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by Dili » 15 Mar 2018 20:57

I think so :)

So let's recap what AS divisions existed check if you agree or disagree.

Infantry Div.
AS40 - the initial infantry division

AS41(not named as such) with armi. accomp. Btg at regiment level

AS42 light weapons diverted to companies except mortars that remain at regiment level and 20mm that disappear at regiment level, means less 20mm AA returning almost to the levels of AS40.

Moto.Div.
AS41 motorized(not named as such) - the European motorized division without Bersaglieri regiment that is now Corps asset

AS42 motorized - eventually should get an armored car recon regiment and a tank bn but that never happen.


Arm Div.

AS42 armored - remain more or less the same from European always with one tank regiment and a bersaglieri regiment but gets an armored car recon regiment, an assault gun Semovente Bn and a group of autocannone. Artillery also changes with howitzer being removed and long range 105mm guns replacing them. Some of this changes were made before AS42

When AS42 was formalized and should have been in field?

User avatar
jwsleser
Member
Posts: 927
Joined: 13 Jun 2005 14:02
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by jwsleser » 16 Mar 2018 02:46

So let's recap what AS divisions existed check if you agree or disagree.
Excellen idea. I waited to return home so I have my sources handy.
Infantry Div AS40 - the initial infantry division
The actual name in the USSME books is divisione autotrasportabile di ftr. tipo A.S. I have made the mistake in using divisione fanteria A.S. a few times as the sources are mixed. None of the divisions in A.S. are organized as a divisione fanteria.
AS41(not named as such) with armi. accomp. Btg at regiment level
Yes, there isn't any organization titled AS41. The actual name is divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. The divisione autotrasportabile di ftr. tipo A.S. was replaced by the divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. The Comando Supremo recognized that the units in A.S. needed to be fully motorized. All the divisione autotrasportabile tipo A.S. were replaced by either the divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. or the divisione occupazione. The latter reflected the understanding that Italy couldn't provided provide the transport needed to equip all the forces in A.S. Conceptually, there isn't a divisione fanteria tipo A.S. in 1941 (after May-June). The reality is that Brescia remained a divisione autotrasportabile di ftr. tipo A.S. and Savona had lost so much that it never was fully rebuilt.
AS42 light weapons diverted to companies except mortars that remain at regiment level and 20mm that disappear at regiment level, means less 20mm AA returning almost to the levels of AS40.
The divisione fanteria tipo A.S. 42 was a fundamental change. It was maximized for increased defensive firepower and transportatbilty, but sacrifices offensive capability. Note that the metropolitan divisions didn't have c.a. at the regimental level. It was the divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. that provided c.a. at the regimental level. The A.S. tipo 42 merely returned to that previous standard.

The tipo A.S. 42 design allows the battalion to establish defensive positions that have limited self-sufficiency and allows strong-point defenses. It has basically no offensive capability and Italy wasn't able to provide the number of trucks necessary to make it fully mobile. IBWs, Italy recognized need to reduce the number of trucks, but was unable to provide even the reduced number of trucks needed.
Moto.Div.
AS41 motorized(not named as such) - the European motorized division without Bersaglieri regiment that is now Corps asset
No, the divisione motorizzata tipo A.S. was different. The addition of the btg. a.a. at the regimental and divisional level was a significant change. Compare it to the change in the 3rd Celere division in Russia in 1942. That change was merely adding a second regg. bersaglieri.
AS42 motorized - eventually should get an armored car recon regiment and a tank bn but that never happen.
It did happened for a limited period. Trieste did have the VIII btg. bersaglieri cor. at Gazala and Alamein, and the XI btg. carri M at Alamein. As with everything else, Italy couldn't equip the organizations that were fielded.
Arm Div.

AS42 armored - remain more or less the same from European always with one tank regiment and a bersaglieri regiment but gets an armored car recon regiment, an assault gun Semovente Bn and a group of autocannone. Artillery also changes with howitzer being removed and long range 105mm guns replacing them. Some of this changes were made before AS42
There never was an A.S. divisione corazzata organization. The 1941 divisione corazzata A.S. was significantly different but was not adopted because the of lack of material. The changes in the armored division were universal to all Italian armored divisions and not limited to A.S.

This is an important point, as the tipo A.S. organizations were not adopted outside of A.S. No other Italian divisions were reorganized based in the tipo A.S. 42 design.
When AS42 was formalized and should have been in field?
The conversions started in Jan 1942. This was mainly due to losses. As replacement men and material flowed into A.S., units were rebuilt into the tipo A.S. 42 structure. Units weren't stood-down and reorganized, they were rebuilt into the new design.

Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

User avatar
jwsleser
Member
Posts: 927
Joined: 13 Jun 2005 14:02
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by jwsleser » 16 Mar 2018 14:32

Dill
When AS42 was formalized and should have been in field?
Here is what I wrote in my paper.
1940 and 1941 saw the Italian military involved in combat operations in France, Greece, Albania, and North Africa. By early 1941, these campaigns had resulted in a significant loss of material that Italian industry was unable to rapidly replace. Simultaneously, the Italian senior leadership recognized that the pre-war organizations were inadequate for modern maneuver warfare. In September 1941, the Comando Superiore Forzes Armata A.S. began examining options to increase the combat power of Italian formations in North Africa, yet at the same time reducing them in size so to be easier to equip and support. The losses suffered by the retreating Axis forces during Operation Crusader in November-December 1941 provided a window of opportunity to affect a reorganization of the divisions. The Comando Superiore Forzes Armata A.S. on 2 January 1942 issued instructions for the reorganization of all Italian Divisions in North Africa as tipo A.S. 42 series divisions.

The significant change in the organizations was the creation of combined arms companies. Support weapons were decentralized to the platoon level, while the infantry element was reduced. The provision of automatic weapons created units that were smaller, yet reflected an increase in firepower. Because of the losses in Nov-Dec 1941, the transition was planned for two phases. [34]

The first phase was to reorganize the units using existing assets in Africa. Regiments would initially reorganize with only two battalions; battalions would reorganize with only two companies.

The second phase would bring the divisions up to the tipo A.S. 42 standard using reinforcements and replacements from Italy. The reality was none of the units were completed, losses both in transport from Italy and combat losses in Africa precluded the completion of the A.S. 42 reorganization.

34 Seconda controffensiva Italo-Tedesca in Africa Settentrionale da El Ahgiela a El Alamein allegato 1.
Pista! Jeff
battaglione Alpini sciatori Monte Cervino (Reenacted)
5th Greek Regiment
9th reggimento bersaglieri

User avatar
David W
Member
Posts: 3383
Joined: 28 Mar 2004 01:30
Location: Devon, England

Re: XXVII Battaglioni Divisionale Armi Accompagnamento

Post by David W » 16 Mar 2018 19:54

Thanks Jeff, very informative.

So was Pistoia a Divisione Occupazione or Divisione tipo A.S. 42 ?

Regards,
David.

Return to “WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean”