5th Indian Brigade against Valarini Detachment - 20 Dec 41

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5th Indian Brigade against Valarini Detachment - 20 Dec 41

Post by Andreas » 26 Nov 2007 13:42

According to the Italian OH, the detachment of Col. Valarini (consisting of two coys 65th Infantry from Trieste, the Barce Training Battalion and the 1st Battalion Carabinieri Paratroopers) was attacked and mostly destroyed on 20/21 Dec. 41 in an attack by 5th Indian Brigade supported by 42nd RTR (Matildas?)

Does anyone know more about this fight? Andy, anything in 'The Tiger Kills'?

Many thanks in advance.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by 13emeDBLE » 26 Nov 2007 13:59

Hi Andreas,

I will check my documents.

Can you be more precise :

where did this fights occured ?

Regards,

CM

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Post by Andreas » 26 Nov 2007 14:12

During the retreat, somewhere north of the escarpment of Tocra/Barce, is my guess.

Many thanks!

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Andy H » 27 Nov 2007 18:20

Hi Andreas

The Divisional history has no specifics that match your listed details as present.

Sorry

Andy H

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Post by Oasis » 27 Nov 2007 19:34

Hi Andreas
some notes about the facts you requested.

19 dec '41: The DAK is in El-Abiar, the CAM east of el-Charruba; the Axis forces leave Derna that is occupied by 7th Indian I.B. The X Corpo retreats towards Barce leaving as rearguard in Berta a tactical group of Brescia and the Raggruppamento Vaiarini (t.g. Brescia: III btn/20° I.R. and IV grp/1° Articelere. Rgpt Vaiarini: I btn Carabinieri parac., Btn Istruzione "Barce" and two coys of 65° I.R. of Trieste). They have to contraste the advance of South African armoured cars, part of Central Indian Horse and two btns of 4th Indian I.D.
The III/20 is under command of Magg. Bocchino, is violently invested and hardly proved east of Berta: their resistance deviate the stream of the british attack that pass on encircling the italian forces. The 500 italians break the enemy line towards Apollonia and the survived will reach Villaggio Oberdan on the 24th december after indescribable difficulties and deprivations.

Part two to follow.
Toni
Last edited by Oasis on 02 Dec 2007 18:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Oasis » 27 Nov 2007 20:42

Part two

19 dec. '41: Barce and Bengasi are lost. The night on 20th Rgpt Vaiarini after having driven back some attacks is near Berta where in the evening is overrun by a bayonet charge of 5th Indian I.D. flanked by 42. RTR: the survivors escape on the Balbia towards Agedabia.

Montanari, II, 1985.
Lombardi, 1965, p. 154.
E. Rommel, War Diary.
With regard to I. btn Carabinieri paracadutisti, see: http://www.carabinieriparacadutisti.it/la_guerra.htm
see also: http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:bf ... cd=8&gl=it

regards

Toni

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Post by Andreas » 27 Nov 2007 22:45

La ringrazio molto Toni.

Cordiali saluti

Andreas

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Post by Andy H » 27 Nov 2007 23:23

With the help of Oasis's post I'm able to add the following from Pg120 of the 4th Indians Divisional History:-
Fortunately there was little fight left in Italian XXI Corps. The blocking force at Giovanni Berta held back the 3/1 Punjabis throughout December 20th, but at dusk a bayonet charge overran the last stubborn defenders. 110 prisoners were taken and 40 dead picked up on the battlefield.

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Post by Andreas » 28 Nov 2007 22:28

Many thanks Andy!

All the best

Andreas

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Post by 13emeDBLE » 29 Nov 2007 14:12

No more infos than Oasis... (same source I guess :wink: :P ).


CM

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Post by Andreas » 29 Nov 2007 14:31

Question for clarification then - these guys:

t.g. Brescia: III btn/20° I.R. and IV grp/1° Articelere

Did not belong to Valarini but were a separate detachment?

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Post by Oasis » 01 Dec 2007 17:36

Hi Andreas,
they were formed as a Brescia tactical group, separated from "raggruppamento" Vaiarini (not Valarini).
Reagrds
Toni

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Post by Andreas » 02 Dec 2007 17:21

Thanks for the clarification Toni. I thought maybe it was just a typo on your part, but it appears to be a typo in the document I am looking at.

So Co. Vaiarini was CO 65th Infantry Regiment? The same one who later got the Medaglia d'Oro di Valore Militare?

http://regioesercito.dns1.us/reparti/fa ... /rgt65.htm

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Post by Oasis » 02 Dec 2007 18:55

Hi Andreas

I edited my text of 27 nov as 65. rgt is not of Bologna, but of Trieste Div.
Gherardo Vaiarini is the same of december 1941 in Berta, CO 65. IR "Trieste", dead at El Alamein on 17 july 1942 and M.O.V.M.

Saluti
Toni

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