101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
carlodinechi
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 07:55

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by carlodinechi » 05 Sep 2014 20:49

It's good that you have got Ariete's war diary. I will read it in due course to better my understanding of the Italian contribution in the North African campaign. My list of Italian battlefield successes now mentions that the Ariete played an important part in the capture of The Buffs something which the New Zealand Official History failed to do.I hope this makes you happy. It wasn't an exlusive "Italian affair". I certainly will correct and improve the list I have compiled before posting this dedication on youtube. In fact I plan to add more "victories" to the list over the next few hours, but this time I will include sources to not upset people too much. I don't want to overlook the German contributions, but I'm going to be a lot more fair that the Allied official histories. With regards to Operation Crusader, most British and Australian authors claim the Bologna Division was destroyed on 21 November 1941 but they are wrong, the division kept on fighting for several days, although strangely it was reported in the British press to have been destroyed 5 or 6 times again over the next fortnight-and-a-half, like a cat with 9 lives. The Bologna didn't abandon the siege until the night of 8-9 December 1941 with their neighbouring chums, the elite supermen in the form of the 90th Light quitting cutting their losses on 4 December. Also I refuse to get into an argument about the 'Tugun' defenders on 21 November or 24 November 1941. I have done my research and I'm satisfied with my conclusions. It wuold be great of course If I could get the name of the lieutenant or captain in charge of the defences and find out which platoon or company of the Bologna put up such an admirable fight, but of course this isn't going to happen any time soon. I rely on books telling the story from both sides, official histories, war diaries I can get my hands on, feedback about units and dates and my intuition to figure what is BS or not.

carlodinechi
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 07:55

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by carlodinechi » 05 Sep 2014 21:34

Michael Kenny: I don't know if you've come across the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Xr2Y09WLg

It's an Italian newsreel of the time, showing San Marco Marines in action as well as coastal guns firing at the escaping warships? I am downloading it just in case it's ever deleted. It would be good to know how many prisoners are claimed to have been taken in the newsreel. Don't know if it's true but apparently the Allied commanders involved thought it was going to be a pushover because the opposition would be Italian. Boy they were wrong. I've come across the following online to support the claim this was principally an Italian victory:
The Regia Aeronautica Macchi 200 of the 13° Gruppo sunk the Destroyer HMS Zulu The Regia Marina shore batteries sunk HMS Sikh

User avatar
mescal
Member
Posts: 1415
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 14:46
Location: France, EUR

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by mescal » 05 Sep 2014 21:45

carlodinechi wrote:11.01.1941 Italian Air Force disables HMS Ilustrious, allowing the safe arrival of the Afrika Korps.
If I'm not mistaken, it's the first attack on 10 January which inflicted severe damage to Illustrious.
This attack was made by German Ju-87 from X Fliegerkorps.

Illustrious was able to make it to Malta, where she was bombed again, but I cannot find any damage on 11 January, but a damaging dive-bombing attack on 16 January (presumably by German Ju-87) and damaging near misses on 19 January (type of bombing unknown).

carlodinechi wrote: Also can someone help with the naming of Allied ships that the Italian Air Force and Navy sank or seriously damaged?
Here are the data I have for cruisers and larger units
(NB : I only take into account damage that led to at least one month of unavailability)
hits1.jpg

And here is a similar list (but more tentative) for destroyers :
(the "??" label is where I'm not sure whether the origin of the damage was Italian or German)
hits2.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Olivier

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4918
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by Urmel » 05 Sep 2014 22:12

Well you're welcome to provide your evidence for the Tugun situation on 24/25 November. I would be happy to see it. If it is just Rob Lyman's book, please let me tell you that I have been in contact with him correcting a few errors when it first came out, and he would be the first to admit that it is not error-free, and this to me seems to be a clear-cut case of a date error.

The following is the POW identification from 70 Division of POW taken in TUGUN and DALBY SQUARE on 23 November:
1. HQ Coy entire 5&6 Coys 2 Bn 27 Inf Regt PAVIA DIv killed or captured including Bn Comd & 8 officers captured.
2. 60 tp 20mm AA att 2 Bn 27 Inf Regt
3. Pl 47/32 A.Tk. Coy 3 Bn 27 Inf Regt
4. 2 tp and 47/32 A.Tk. Coy 103 Bty 1 tp 147 Bty 8 Arty Raggruppamento all 149mm guns
5. Entire 4&5 tps 44 Bty 16 Arty Raggrupamento all 105mm guns including Bty Comd & 3 Offrs.
6. HQ unit 131 autonomous Bty Corps Arty

On the 24th it was then reported that nearly the whole of 16 Raggruppamento had been killed or captured.

The evidence that Bologna wasn't destroyed is quite clear, but it was certainly very heavily damaged, with just over a third of authorised strength at the end of the battle.

http://rommelsriposte.com/2009/02/01/it ... he-battle/
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

carlodinechi
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 07:55

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by carlodinechi » 05 Sep 2014 23:33

mesca: Thank you for providing the names of the Allied warships sunk or damaged in the Mediterranean. This is a real good stepping stone. I am now including bit by bit sources to back up my list of 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting:

101 Italian WW2 military victories & counting:

12.06.1940 Italian submarine Alpino Attilio Bagnolini sinks the British cruiser HMS Calypso. (???)
14.06.1940 Italian troops defeat a French attack on Galisia Hil. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 49,2026371)
10.01.1941 237a Squadriglia disables HMS Ilustrious, the aircraft carrier limps back to Malta. This allows the safe arrival of the Afrika Korps. (http://www.stormomagazine.com/Articles/ ... taRJC.html)
24.01.1941 Brigata Corazzata Speziale (BCS) derails the advance of the British 4th Armoured Brigade near Derna. (Wikipedia)
25.01.1941 BCS contains the advance of the Australian 2/11th Battalion near Derna. (Wikipedia) ("During January, after the fall of Tobruk, the 6th Australian troops advanced to the edge of the Jebel Achdar, or Cyrenaica Bulge, and had been halted at Derna. This check to the Australian advance at Derna was due to elements of the Italian XX Corps, numbering about 5,000 men made up of a battalion of Libyan paratroops, 2nd battalion 86th regiment of the Sabratha, the 18th Libyan battalion, an ad hoc battalion of the Marmarica and some Italian naval 102mm guns." Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Jack Greene, Alessandro Massignani, p. 85, Da Capo Press, 1999)
27.01.1941 BCS ambushes a column of the Australian 6th Cavalry Regiment. (Wikipedia)
27.02.1941 Italians defeat British attempt to seize Kastellorizo Island off Turkey (http://www.comandosupremo.com/operation ... -1941.html)
21.03.1941 Italian defences at Giarabub derail the advance of the 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion. 11 attackers killed by own artillery fire. (???)
24.03.1941 Ariete captures Msus.(???)
31.03.1941I Italian submarine Ambra sinks the British cruiser Bonaventure off Crete. (South of Crete the submarine Ambra sinks the British cruiser HMS Bonaventure (the largest warship sunk by an Italian submarine in the Second World War. Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa. p. 47)
01.04.1941 Ariete captures El Agheila. ("The Italian ARIETE Division moved into El Agheila and captured thirty trucks. " World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
04.04.1941 Italians defeat Greek attacks at Mount Golico. ("In Albania, the Italian Army held off a Greek Army attack at Mount Golico." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
06.04.1941 Ariete captures Tengeder. ("The ARIETE Division reached Tengeder." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
07.04.1941 Italian Air Force destroys Yugoslav Air Force within two days, and then demolishes railroad lines and other forms of transportation. ("The German and Italian air attacks on the airfields essentially wiped out the Yugoslavian Air Force. Italian air attacks on Spalato, Cattaro and Mostar cause a lot of damage." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 374)
07.04.1941 Italian counterattacks in Albania force Greeks to retreat, many are captured.(???)
08.04.1941 Ariete captures Mechili. Bersaglieri capture 3,000 Allied troops. (''"The victory must have been especially sweet for the men of the Ariete Division, partly as recompense for past humiliations at British hands, and partly because it was an all-Italian triumph."'' Tobruk: The Great Siege, 1941-42, William F. Buckingham, p. ?, Random House, 2010) (On April 8, the Afrika Korps completed the destruction of the 2nd Armoured Division. Major General Michael D. Gambier-Parry, the commander of the 2nd Armoured, and Brigadier Vaughn, the commander of the Indian 3rd Motor Brigade, were captured, along with 3,000 of their men." Rommel's Desert Commanders: The Men who Served the Desert Fox, North Africa, 1941-1942, Samuel W. Mitcham, p. 18, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007)
09.04.1941 The Littorio & Messina Divisions along the Drin River defeat mass attacks on the part of the Yugoslav 3rd & 5th Armies (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 282,164344) ( "On the Yugoslav-Albanian border operations had been incredible. The Regio Esercito had only the 31st Tank Regiment and some Blackshirt units facing 130,000 Yugoslav soldiers. The SIM-Servizio Informazioni Militari-Italian Military Intelligence, knew the Yugoslavian code and broadcast false orders to Yugoslav units. As a result, the Yugoslavs delayed their offensive against Albania. When they made a first attempt, Italian tanks successfully repulsed it and, when they realized the trick and tried to react, Italian divisions Centauro and Messina defeated and destroyed them." A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 175)
10.04.1941 Italians troops capture Mount Lepre in Albania. ( "In Albania, Italian troops took Mount Lepre, northeast of Postumia." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
10.04.1941 Italians force Greeks to abandon Circhina. ( "Greek troops were pushed back to the Greek border at Circhina, west of Udine." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
10.04.1941 Greek attack on Shkumbin is derailed. ( "Another Greek Army attack on Shkumbin, Albania was halted." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
11.04.1941 Centauro forces to Yugoslav Zetska Division to retreat to the Pronisat River. (???)
12.04.1941 In northern Yugoslavia, Italian motorised units capture Zara and Bencovae. ( "In northern Yugoslavia, Italian motorised units advanced via Sagna south along the Adriatic coast reaching Zara and occupied Bencovae." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
12.04.1941 In East Africa, Italians troops defeat two British attacks on Giarso and Alghe.( "In East Africa, Italian troops fought off two British attacks on Giarso and Alghe." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
13.04.1941 In Western Yugoslavia, the Italians capture Koplik. ( "In Western Yugoslavia, the Italian Army reached Koplik, north of Skutari and advanced via Okrida. " World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
13.04.1941 Centauro captures the Yugoslav naval base of Kotor in Montonegro, also occupies Cettinje and Podgorica. (???)
16.04.1941 Italian destroyer Tarigo damages beyond repair the British destoyer HMS Mohawk off Tunisia. (Wikipedia)
30.04.1941 Paratroopers of the Folgore seize Zante and Cephalonia Islands off Greece. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/FolgoreAtAlamein.php)
01.05.1941 Ariete & Brescia capture overrun 7 Australian strongpoints ( R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7 and R8) outside Tobruk. 01.05.1941 Ariete & Brescia capture overrun 6 Australian strongpoints (R3, R4, R5, R6 R7 & R8) outside Tobruk. (http://www.guastatori.it/i-guastatori-n ... btg-g-gua/)("On 4 May, the positions held by 5 Battalion of 8 Bersaglieri under Major Gaggetti around Redoubts 6, 7 and 8 were counter-attacked by the Australians. The Italians responded with strong defensive fire and launched a counter-attack supported by three L3 light tanks. The latter were quickly destroyed at close quarters, and the Australians captured Redoubt 7. The Bersaglieri counter-attacked almost immediately, supported by one M13 tank and three armoured cars, and forced them back." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p. 102, Crowood Press, 2006)
03.05.1941 Australians counterattack but the Trento, Pavia & Ariete defeat the attacks. ("On the night of 3rd May, the Italian Trento and Pavia Divisions ... repelled an Australian counterattack." The Forgotten Axis: Germany's Partners and Foreign Volunteers in World War II, J. Lee Ready, p. 310)
16.05.1941 Brescia attacks the Australian 2/9th and 2/10th Battalions, forcing the Australians to abandon the S8, S9 and S10 strongpoints. (http://www.guastatori.it/i-guastatori-n ... -btg-g-gua)
21.05.1941 Italian bombers from 41 Gruppo on Rhodes sink HMS Juno and damage HMS Ajax off Crete. ( "A single Italian Kingfisher scored precision hits on the lead enemy destroyer, HMS Juno, which exploded and sank southeast of the Aegean island, allowing German naval forces to make their landngs unopposed at sea." The Axis Air Forces: Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe: Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe, Frank Joseph, p. 33)
24.05.1941 Brescia defeats an infantry attack, supported by tanks. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 05,4280723)
28.05.1941 Regina Division lands in Crete & captures Sitia. (Wikipedia)
29.06.1941 Italian bombers from 239th Squadriglia sink Australian destroyer HMAS Waterhen. (???)
02.08.1941 Bersaglieri defeat the 2/43rd and 2/28th Battalions, in a final Australian attempt to recover the lost strongpoints. (???)
15.05.1941 Bersaglieri anti-tank gunners derail the British offensive, known as Operation Brevity. A German Colonel later praised the Bersaglieri anti-tank gunners, saying they defended Halfaya Pass "...with lionlike courage until the last man against stronger enemy forces. The greatest part of them died faithful to the flag." ("The Italian Bersaglieri did their part by blunting the enemy attack at the Halfaya Pass, putting out of action seven Matildas. This was an Italian first in inflicting serious damage to Britain's much feared, if lumbering, heavy tanks." Mussolini Warlord: Failed Dreams of Empire, 1940-1943, H. James Burgwyn p.?)
Mid-June 1941 Italian anti-tank gunners under Major Leopoldo Pardi help derail Operation Battleaxe. ("Everywhere that Rommel went now the troops beamed at him. He .... nisited Halfaya, to thank the unyielding Bach and shake by the hand Major Pardi of the Italian artillery, whose personal courage and competence made him Bach's partner. 'These two had brought the collaboration between Italian artillery and German infantry to such a pitch of perfection that even in the heat of battle observers had been reminded of the timing and precision normally associated with acrobats and tight-rope walkers." The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps, Ronald Lewin, pp. 67-68)
02.08.1941 Bersaglieri defeat the 2/43rd and 2/28th Battalions, in a final Australian attempt to recover the lost strongpoints. (???)
23.08.1941 The Savoia Regiment overruns a Russian brigade at Ibushenkij. (???)
27.09.1941 I talian Air Force cripples the British battleship HMS Nelson. (Wikipedia)
30.09.1941 Italian troops capture 10,000 Russian troops near Petrikovka. (The Unknown Eastern Front: The Wehrmacht and Hitler's Foreign Soldiers, Rolf-Dieter Müller, p.73)
20.10.1941 Italian troops capture a large part of Stalino on the Eastern Front. (A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 176)
27.10.1941 Italians defeat Russian attacks in the Donets Basin and take several hundred prisoners. (???)
02.11.1941 Italians capture Gorlovka on the Eastern Front. (A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 176)
14.11.1941 The Pasubio Divisions smashes the Russian defences in the Donets Basin. (???)
19.11.1941 Ariete blunts Operation Crusader. 40 Crusader tanks are knocked out. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
19.11.1941 Pavia repels column of British tanks in the area of El Adem. British forced to retreat. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
20.11.1941 Bologna infantry and anti-tank gunners derail advance of the British 7th Armoured Brigade. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
21.11.1941 Bologna defenders at the 'Tugun' strongpoint derail the advance of the British 70th Division. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
22.11.1941 'Tugun' defenders successfully defend their position again. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
23.11.1941 Pavia defeats British attempt to smash through the Bologna. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
24.11.1941 'Tugun' defenders defeat another British attempt to evit them(http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
25.11.1941 The Trento successfully defends the 'Bondi' strongpoint outside Tobruk. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
26.11.1941 Bersaglieri defeat renewed British attempt to smash through the Bologna ("When the New Zealanders attacked again after the onset of darkness, they were able to take Balhamed in the course of the night. Early in the morning of 26 November, a portion of the Tobruk garrison, supported by 50 tanks, broke out once again. A crisis arose when El Duda fell. It was only through a bitter and bravely conducted immediate counterattack by the Bersaglieri of the Trieste Division that the positions in the north could be held." Das Afrika Korps: Erwin Rommel and the Germans in Africa, 1941-43, By Franz Kurowski, pg. 117, Stackpole Books (March 2010))
27.11.1941 The Savona Divisions repels a British armoured attack. (???)
29.11.1941 Ariete overruns the 21st New Zealand Battalion. ("The Official History of the 21 Battalion recounts the entire episode in considerable detail, but completely fails to name the enemy formation involved, or even to acknowledge that it was Italian." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p.?, Crowood Press, 2006)
29.11.1941 Bersaglieri capture 1,800 Allied wounded, medical staff & guards. 200 German unwounded POWs are freed. (Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Jack Greene, Alessandro Massignani, p. ?, Da Capo Press, 1999)
01.12.1941 Trento defeats an armoured attack outside Tobruk (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
01.12.1941 Trieste cuts off the link the New Zealanders had established with the Tobruk defenders. (???)
04.12.1941 Pavia and Trento recapture ‘Plonk and ‘Doc’ strongpoints outside Tobruk. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
05.12.1941 Italian 'Fascist Youth' repel several British attacks in the area of Bir Gubi (???)
06.12.1941 Pavia fights a successfull delaying action on Point 157 (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
07.12.1941 Bologna covers the retreat of the German Afrika Division (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
10.12.1941 Brescia covers the Axis retreat from White Knoll. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
12.12.1941 Bologna, Brescia, Pavia, Trieste & Trento successfully hold the Gazala Line. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
13.12.1941 Trieste successfully defends Point 208. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
15.12.1941 Brescia, Pavia & Trento repell a stong Polish-New Zealand attack. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
15.12.1941 Ariete and 8th Bersaglieri Regiment play a very imporant part in overruning The Buffs. 1,000 British killed, wounded or captured.(http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
19.12.1942 Italian submarine Scirè releases frogmen outside Port Alexandria & the frogmen disable two battleships, HMS Valiant & HMS Queen Elizabeth. (Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa, p. 48)
20.12.1941 The British cruiser HMS Neptune & destroyer HMS Kandahar sink off Tripoli after striking Italian mines. (Wikipedia)
26.12.1941 Italian recapture Krestovka from the Russians. (???)
28.01.1942 Raggruppamento Musino fights off repeated Russian attacks near Isyum. (???)
27.05.1942 Ariete overruns the British-officered 3rd Indian Brigade. 1,000 Indians captured. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
29.05.1942 Ariete successfully defends the Afrika Korps rearguard. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
30.05.1942 Trieste rescues the trapped Afrika Korps preventing their entire capitulation. (http://www.desertrats.org.uk/battles1942.htm)
05.06.1942 Ariete again successfully defends the Afrika Korps rearguard. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
07.06.1942 Italians again rescue the Germans. ("Indeed, the Italians had to rescue the German XV Brigade near Gazala on 7 June." The American Experience in World War II: The United States in the European theater, Walter L. Hixson, p. 303)
11.06.1942 Trieste captures Bir Hacheim. ("Bir Hacheim finally fell to the Trieste Division on 11 June." Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935-45, Frank Joseph, p. ?)
12.06.1942 Trieste pins down the British 22nd Armoured Brigade, and the tank unit retreats with heavy losses. ( "Bismarck and Nehring struck on June 12 and their timing was perfect. The distinguished British historian Correlli Barnett called the ensuing battle the greatest defeat in the history of the British armor. When the British XIII Corps commander, General Norrie, realized what was happening, he sent the 22nd Armoured Brigade to rescue the trapped 7th Armoured. The 22nd, however, was pinned down by the Italian Trieste Motorized Division and was taken in the rear by Bismarck and the 21st Panzer. It retreated with heavy losses. Bismarck then returned to the Battle of Knightsbridge, where he, Nehring, and Rommel crushed the 7th Armoured." Rommel's Lieutenants: The Men Who Served The Desert Fox, By Samuel W. Mitcham, Page 98, Praeger (November 30, 2006))
16.06.1942 Italians overrun 6,000 Allied troops. (The Italians finished mopping up the Gazala Line on June 16, capturing 6,000 prisoners, thousands of tons of supplies, and entire convoys of undamaged vehicles in the process". The Rise of the Wehrmacht: The German Armed Forces and World War, 2 Volumes, p.564, Samuel W. Mitcham, Praeger (30 June 2008))
20.06.1942 CR.42s of 50 Stormo carry out 43 missions against the Tobruk defenders.
30.06.1942 Littorio surrounds Mersa Matruh & Bersaglieri capture 6,500 Allied soldiers. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/mersa.html) ("The Mersa Matruh positions came under heavy artillery fire from the Brescia and Trento Divisions, while the 90th Light and the Littorio Divisions tried to complete the encirclement from the south ... Late in the day on 27 June, Gott, worried that his New Zealand 2nd Division was about to be cut off, ordered the withdrawal of XIII Corps. Because of a breakdown in British communications, X Corps did not learn until 0430 hours on 28 June that XIII Corps was in full retreat, and their southern flank was open. Later that day, the 90th Light Divison and the Littorio Divison completed the encirclement of Mersa Matruh ... During the night of 28 June, groups of the Indian 10th Division tried a breakout of the Mersa Matruh position at the head of Wadi Ngamish, but they were driven back by the Littorio Armoured Division ... On the morning of 29 June, the garrison of Mersa Matruh was overwhelmed. At 0930 hours, the Italian 7th Bersaglieri Regiment entered the conquered stronghold, taking 6,000 Allied prisoners. " World War II in Europe: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, David T. Zabecki, p. 1578, Taylor & Francis, 1999) ("Most of the garrison of Matruh, the better part of another corps, broke out before that position was overrun on June 29, with Italian Bersaglieri playing a leading role in a close-quarters fight resulting in the capture of six thousand prisoners and a division's worth of equipment." Patton And Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century, Dennis Showalter, p. ?, Penguin, 2006)
01.07.1942 1,000 stranded New Zealanders are rounded up near Mersa Matruh. (???)
04.07.1942 Italian troops repel several Russian attacks. (???)
11.07.1942 Bersaglieri overrun part of the Australian 2/48th Battalion. ( "At approx 2000 hours enemy tanks–number unknown– and inf attacked D Coy front. They overran psn and enemy inf forced D Company to withdraw and occupied their psn"' (2/48th Battalion War Diary)) ("That afternoon Italian tanks counter-attacked both Australian battalions in an attempt to retake Hill 33 near the coast. Maj. Gabriele Verri, commanding 11th Armd. Bn. of the Trieste Motorised Division, sent a company of M13 and M14 tanks into the assault under Capt. Vittorio Bulgarelli." War in the Desert, Neil D. Orpen, p.367, Purnell, 1971) (http://www.comandosupremo.com/1elalamein.html)
14.07.1942 Colonel Angelozzi's 1st Battalion 85th Sabratha Regiment recaptures Tel el Eisa from the Australians. (http://www.carabinieri.gov.it/Internet/ ... olo+30.htm)
15.07.1942 Colonel Angelozzi's men defeat the Australian 2/23rd Battalion attempt to recapture the position. ( Later, recounting the 2/23rd Battalion attack, Australian historian Mark Johnston wrote that "“On 16 July, they were ordered to retake it and the rest of Tel el Eisa Ridge. After initial success, they suffered nearly 50 percent casualties and had to withdraw.”") (In his papers, Rommel writes:"“Next day, the 16th July, the British attacked again, but this time only locally. After intensive artillery preparation, the Australians attacked in the early hours of the morning with tank support and took several strong-points held by the Sabratha.“")
15.7.1942 Pavia & Brescia derail New Zealand attack on Ruweisat Ridge. Several hundred attackers are captured. (While the attacking brigades had been able to cut large gaps through the defences held y the Italian infantry, they had not been able to subdue all the resistance. Not surprisingly, most of the smaller outposts and defended localities had fallen easily but some of the larger posts had been bypassed during the night. The outposts which remained contained substantial number of anti-tank guns, machine guns and infantry. When daylight came, these posts were able to cover the area south of the ridge by fire and shot up any trucks foolhardy enough to drive forward."' Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 131, Random House, 2010)
17.07.1942 A battalion of the Trento overruns part of the Australian 2/32nd Battalion, 200 Australians captured. ("Soon the companies had seized the enemy positions on the ridge, but, in the dark, the men of A Company overshot their objective, Point 22, by 1,500 yards. By the time they realised their mistake they were under such heavy fire that they could not withdraw. By 08.00 hours Italian tanks and infantry began to encircle their positions and eventually forced the entire company to surrender." Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 148, Random House, 2010)
21.07.1942 Trieste derails new attack on Ruweisat Ridge. 1,400 Allied troops are captured. ("A mixed German-Italian combat team held on and proved that not all Italians had lost the will to fight. Many of these men resisted to the last bullet. Their heroic stand gave Rommel time to concentrate his Afrika Korps against the 23rd Armoured Brigade." Rommel's Desert War: The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr, p. 122, Stackpole Books, 2007)
27.07.1942 3rd Battalion of the 61st Trento Infantry Regiment derails the attack of the 2/28th Battalion. ("We could see the Australians and British advancing rather spread out, about 750 yards in front of us, all in groups corresponding with their units. We ceased fire with the machine-guns — there was still plenty of time for them — but continued with our 47/32s ... When they got within 300 yards, we opened up with everything. The noise was terrific; you could only tell a gun was firing by the smoke and powder coming out of its muzzle. It was almost eleven o’clock. My tommy-gun broke down after about 3,000 rounds — ejector broken! The machine-gun also played up a bit after 5,000 rounds. But by that time the attack was beginning to peter out. The British artillery had packed it in. By midday it was all over. After the withdrawal, followed by our counterattack, the ambulances returned to start ferrying back the dead and wounded, but we got suspicious after an hour or so because they seemed to be hanging about too much. We fired a few shots over their heads to let them know it was time to break it up. They took the hint and went — and didn’t come back." Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 87, Osprey Allen & Unwin, 1966)
27.07.1942 Armoured car squadron of the Brescia encircle and capture the Australian 2/28 Battalion. (The names of certain units were on everyone’s lips up and down the line following particularly brilliant actions, among them the reconnaissance Group of the Trieste. It had been set up some time previously: it was hardly a homogeneous unit on the German pattern, but did reflect admirably the Italian genius of improvisation. They had no more than nine vehicles–Morrises, Fords, Dingos and Jeeps, all captured from the enemy–armed with small caliber guns and machine-guns of all descriptions, British, Italian and German, together with two British 88 guns and their carriages, and two small supply lorries. "' Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 79, Allen & Unwin, 1966) ("The Bn was completely surrounded by armored cars which worked forward under cover of fire from enemy tanks further back, while 20mm, MMG and mortar fire kept the heads of our own troops well down. In this manner the enemy was able to cut off and dispose of sections and platoons one by one, until at 1030 hrs Bn HQ area was occupied by several armored cars and surviving personnel taken prisoner. An effort had been made to hinder the enemy armored vehicles by bringing Arty fire to bear on them before they dispersed. Unfortunately the only communication with Bde was by one wireless set WT repaired by Sigs, after about eight hours work. Messages reporting the situation were sent immediately once this set was capable of functioning, i.e., about 0930 hrs onwards. Last message was “All up, overrun!” " July 1942 Diary by Lieutenant S. A. Walker (available online))
26.08.1942 Italian troops repel several Russian attacks on the Don front. (???)
??.09.1942 Bologna overruns defenders of Point 211. ("In the centre of the British front a good Italian division, the Bologna, delivered a strong attack on the Ruweisat Ridge, and a considerable counter-attack was required to expel it from the footing it gained". AFTERMATH OF WAR: THE EIGHT ARMY FROM ALAMEIN TO THE SANGRO. The illustrated London news, Volume 212, Issues 5672-5684, p. 262, The Illustrated London News & Sketch Ltd., 1948)
??.09.1942 Trieste, Brescia, Ariete & Littorio in the area of the Munassib Depression, force British & New Zealanders units to retreat. ("During the early morning hours, the New Zealand Division, composed of the two New Zealand brigades, which occupied the box, assisted by a brigade of another infantry division, laid down an artillery barrage and followed with an infantry attack. This attack advanced south and along the trails in square 88-27. The attack advanced 3 miles, but with the coming of daylight the Trieste, Brescia, and the 90th Light Division, supported by the Ariete, and Littorio Divisions, in a series of three counterattacks, forced the attacking troops back nearly to their original positions." The Afrika in Combat, Bob Carruthers, p. ?, Pen & Sword, 2013)
04.09.1942 Folgore defeat the 6th New Zealand Brigade & capture 200 attackers. "An attack by our Luftwaffe against the 10th Indian Div [sic], which was in the assembly area for a counter attack against the centre of the front, caused the units which were assembled there to scatter to the winds. Also, all other attacks launched by other units against our flanks, especially the New Zealanders, were too weak to be able to effect a penetration—they could be repulsed. A night attack conducted against the X Italian Corps resulted in especially high losses for the British. Countless enemy dead lay on the battlefield and 200 prisoners were taken among whom was Gen (sic) Clifton, commanding general of the 6th New Zealand Brigade." (http://web.archive.org/web/200806111617 ... t/hart.asp)
14.09.1942 San Marcos Marines & Carabinieri capture several hundred British commandos that attempt to capture Tobruk. 576 of the attackers are captured. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 492,634447)
14.09.1942 MC200 Fighters from 13° Gruppo sink the British destroyer HMS Zulu. ("Major Renzo Viale on his own initiative took off with the MC 200s of his 13th Fighter Group and sank the Zulu." Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story,Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 177)
14.09.1942 Italian heavy coastal guns & not German 8.8 cm Flak guns sink the British destroyer HMS Sikh. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 61,2852440)
30.09.1942 Folgore defeat 131st Queens Brigade, over 300 British killed or captured. (Wikipedia)
10.11.1942 Italians defeat a Russian attempt to cross the Don River. (???)
24.10.1942 Ariete, Brescia & Folgore successfully hold the Alamein line. (Wikipedia)
26.10.1942 12th Bersaglieri overruns the Austalian 2/17th Battalion.("Attacks were now launched on Hill 28 by elements of the 15th Panzer Division, the Littorio and a Bersaglieri Battalion, supported by the concentrated fire of all the local artillery and A.A ... In the evening part of the Bersaglieri Battalion succeeded in occupying the eastern and western edges of the hill." El Alamein: Desert Victory, John Strawson, p. 119, J m Dent & Sons Limited, 1981) ( "On the morning of 28 October, tanks,lorried infantry and some of the groups of men who had dug in after previous unsuccessful attempts gathered fro another attempt to retake Point 29. The 2/17th Battalion, which had taken over the positions around Point 29, had suffered heavy casualties and eventually it was decided to pull the infantry back from the exposed height to better positions in the open desert." Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 360, Random House, 2010)
28.10.42 Littorio overruns part of the British 133rd Brigade, 300 British are captured. ("In the early morning they attacked 133 British Lorried Infantry Brigade, which had been sent to relieve 'Snipe', but ended up to the north of it and was unable to dig its anti-tank guns into the rocky ground. The Axis assault virtually annihilated the British unit, knocking out their exposed anti-tank guns, killing sixty men, including their commander Colonel Murphy, and capturing 300 others." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p. ?, Crowood, 2012)
29.10.42 7th Bersaglieri derails the advance of the Austalian 26th Brigade. ( These costly German attacks did succeed in restoring contact with the beleaguered 125th Panzergrenadier Regiment. 90th Light Division later praised the regiment and the Italian X Bersaglieri who clung to their posts even when 'surrounded on all sides, short of ammunition, food and water, unable to evacuate their many wounded; while withstanding 'attacks by an enemy superior in numbers and equipment'. During the morning, many of the German and Italian wounded were evacuated and more supplies brought into the salient. Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 380, Random House, 2010)
30.10.1942 7th Bersaglieri defeats several Australian attacks. ( These costly German attacks did succeed in restoring contact with the beleaguered 125th Panzergrenadier Regiment. 90th Light Division later praised the regiment and the Italian X Bersaglieri who clung to their posts even when 'surrounded on all sides, short of ammunition, food and water, unable to evacuate their many wounded; while withstanding 'attacks by an enemy superior in numbers and equipment'. During the morning, many of the German and Italian wounded were evacuated and more supplies brought into the salient. Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 380, Random House, 2010)
03.11.1942 Ariete successfully covers the retreat of Rommel. (Enormous dust-clouds could be seen south and south-east of headquarters [of the DAK], where the desperate struggle of the small and inefficient Italian tanks of XX Corps was being played out against the hundred or so British heavy tanks which had come round their open right flank. I was later told by Major von Luck, whose battalion I had sent to close the gap between the Italians and the Afrika Korps, that the Italians, who at that time represented our strongest motorised force, fought with exemplary courage.The Rommel Papers, p. 325)
10.11.1942 Italian troops defeat Russian attempts to cross the River Don.
12.11.1942 Italians invade Corsica.
03.12.1943 Bersaglieri capture part of the British 2nd Parachute Battalion. (http://collections.civilisations.ca/war ... rn=5001297)
12.12.1942 Italian troops attack Russian defences, capturing prisoners a much equipment.
29.01.1943 Italian bombers damage beyond repair the British anti-aircraft ships HMS Pozarica off Bougie.(Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
18.02.1943 Germans fail to take Sbiba Pass, but the 7th Bersaglieri get the job done at Kasserine Pass. (Rommel returned to the railway station at Kasserine which briefly served as the combined command post of the German Africa Corps and the 10th Panzer Division, and ordered these two formations to take the Kasserine Pass. In the evening dusk Rommel observed, as he dictated for his diary, 'the exciting scene of the tank battle north of the pass'. He had special praise for the 7th Bersaglieri, who attacked fiercely and whose commander fell during the attack; they threw the American, British and French forces out of the pass in joint action with the II/86 and the K 10." Stauffenberg: A Family History, 1905-1944, Peter Hoffman, p.171, McGill-Queen's Press, 2008) ("The new commander of DAK Assault Group, General Bulowius, complimented them on their élan, which contributed significantly to Axis success. The Italian action was instrumental in breaking through the US positions and in opening up the road to Thala and Tebessa." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p.?, Crowood Press, 2006)
18.02.1943 Centauro Division overruns the 1,200-strong US 19th Combat Engineers Regiment. ("The American collapse began in earnest by late morning. At 11:22 the 19th Engineers' commander, Colonel A.T.W. Moore, warned Stark by radio that enemy infantry and tanks were forcing the pass along Highway 13. An engineer major bellowed: "Forget about our equipment and just save your life." Artillery observers fled, explaining plausibly if ingloriously: "This place is too hot." Companies disintegrated into platoons, platoons into squads, squads into solitary foot soldiers chased to the rear by screaming meemies. Half an hour later, Moore radioed, "Enemy overrunning our C.P.," and bolted for high ground. He soon arrived at Stark's tent to announce that the 19th Engineers no longer existed." An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, Rick Atkinson, p.?, Henry Holt and Company, 2007)
24.02.1943 5th Bersaglieri successfully covers the retreat of Rommel. (Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts, Ian Walker)
10.07.1943 Italian dive bombers sink the American destroyer USS Maddox. (Wikipedia)
14.07.1943 Napoli Division overruns part of the British Staffordshire Regiment defending Ponde Grande in Sicily. (Wikipedia)
14.07.1943 Semovente squadron unit & Bersaglieri motorcycle company overrun 400 British Commandos defending Malati Bridge in Sicily. (Wikipedia)
16.07.1943 Italian submarine Dandolo disables the British cruiser HMS Cleopatra. (Wikipedia)
16.07.1943 Italian Air Force cripples the British aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable. ("The carrier HMS Indomitable is damaged by a torpedo bomber." Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa, p. 50)
31.07.1943 Aosta Division on Mount Troina (Sicily), successfully covers German retreat for six days. (Wikipedia)
02.08.1943 Assietta at Santa Agata (Sicily), successfully defends rearguard of 29th Panzergrenadier Division. (Wikipedia).
15.08.1943 Italian bombers from 132° Gruppo sink the US tank landing ship LST-414 off Faggioni. (Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
04.09.1943 Fighters from 5th Stormo sink four US tank landing ships off Reggio di Calabria. (source:?)
07.09.1943 Italian bombers from 132° Gruppo damage beyond repair US tank landing ship LST-417 off Termini. (Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
26.12.1944 Monte Rosa & San Maro Divisions overrun the US 92nd Division. Principally an Italian victory. (Wikipedia)
Last edited by carlodinechi on 06 Sep 2014 23:30, edited 14 times in total.

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4918
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by Urmel » 06 Sep 2014 09:16

carlodinechi wrote:19.11.1941 Pavia repels column of British tanks in the area of El Adem. British forced to retreat.
Err, no. There is nothing in 7 AD or 7 AB WD that indicates a move towards El Adem (and nothing in any of the reports of the three constituent regiments), 4 AB was far to the east, and 22 AB was at El Gubi. Maybe armoured cars, but definitely not tanks. I note this is sourced back to Ford's book, i.e. Osprey. Okay...
carlodinechi wrote:24.11.1941 'Tugun' defenders defeat another British attempt to evit them(http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
Your 'source' does not actually say that. It claims the last defenders of TUGUN surrendered on 25 November, but nothing of any attack on 24 November.
29.11.1941 Ariete overruns the 21st New Zealand Battalion. ("The Official History of the 21 Battalion recounts the entire episode in considerable detail, but completely fails to name the enemy formation involved, or even to acknowledge that it was Italian."
Could be because Major Fitzpatrick reported to 6 NZ Brigade command that his battalion was overrun by Germans.
27.11.1941 The Savona Divisions repels a British armoured attack. (???)
They did? Which unit attacked them? Here's what I have: C Squadron 42 RTR under command CIH was the only tank formation left in the frontier area, apart from a sqdrn 8 RTR in reserve at Brigade HQ. There was certainly contact in the frontier area, but the British forces report encountering tanks, and in any case were less than a battalion of reconnaissance forces with a squadron of tanks. No attack was pressed once they encountered 12 tanks (these were almost certainly II./PR5, which was around Sidi Omar with 14 tanks and a command tank). So there was no organised attack, other than a few patrols pushing into the line, and no tank attack, and the defense rested on Savona and German tanks. Sources are a report by PR5, war diaries 42 RTR, and CIH.

I hope the research that 'satisfies' you is based on a bit more than googling and reading internet articles of variable quality and doubtful sourcing.
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

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4918
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by Urmel » 06 Sep 2014 17:09

Here's what happened the night of 25/26 November in the Bologna/Div. z.b.V. sector:

http://rommelsriposte.com/2014/04/27/25 ... point-903/

On 23 November at 17.35 15 men were reported withdrawing from TUGUN to BONDI. At 17.45 another report was made of 50 men in batches of 2 and 3 going the same way. On 24 November at 08.25 the C.O. of 2 Beds & Herts reported TUGUN very quiet, and an OP being established there. Neither TUGUN nor SLEEPY is then mentioned again as an area of combat in the war diary.

Night 24/25 was reported to be very quiet by 2 Beds & Herts who were in TUGUN.
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

carlodinechi
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 07:55

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by carlodinechi » 06 Sep 2014 21:57

Michael Kenny & Urmel: I guess you are right Michael about your claim that the Italian coastal guns sank the British warships during Operation Agreement. I'm including this vital info on my list of Italian successes. I thank you very much for this. Here is proof from a first hand account/s that it was the heavy Italian guns that sent those ships to the bottom:
The Sikh was sunk by cross fire from two batteries of six inch guns which the freed prisoners said had been especially mounted in anticipation of the raid.(http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 61,2852440)
And thanks again Urmel. I will read the information you have provided in more detail to correct any mistakes I may have made.

Also, If someone can help with the number of Yugoslav troops captured during the Battle for Drin Valley on 9 April 1941. This appears to be the Italian Army's biggest victory in WW2 in terms of enemy numbers involved and the fact that the Italians avoided being knocked out of Alabania during Operation Marita. I got a gut feeling at least 10,000, 50,000 or more Yugoslav soldiers surrendered to the Italians in this battle.
Last edited by carlodinechi on 06 Sep 2014 22:25, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4918
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by Urmel » 06 Sep 2014 22:15

carlodinechi wrote: I thank you very much for this. Here is proof from a first hand account/s that it was the heavy Italian guns that sent those ships to the bottom:
The Sikh was sunk by cross fire from two batteries of six inch guns which the free prisoners said had been especially mounted in anticipation of the raid.(http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 61,2852440)
You need to exclude the possibility that there were German 6" guns present on the day. The Germans had a few units of coastal artillery in North Africa, equipped with the excellent French 15.5cm GPF gun and the obsolete M1917 15.5cm Schneider howitzer. I do not know if any of these were present in Tobruk at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_de_155mm_GPF
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

OHara
Member
Posts: 102
Joined: 27 Nov 2004 04:35
Location: San Diego

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by OHara » 06 Sep 2014 23:01

Carlodinechi is not the first person to be frustrated by the tone and content of the official histories produced in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries after the war, especially (but not only) with respect to the actions of Italian armed forces. However, I’m with Urmel in believing that dumping a bunch of inconsequential, or poorly documented, or subjective encounters into a giant basket entitle VICTORIES is a poor way to change perceptions because in the end, it only reinforces the general overall negative perception.

I think the problem is to define what you mean by Victory. My specialization is naval so I’ll restrict my comments to that field. Sinking or damaging a warship in an air or surface attack is a success, but not necessarily a victory. The sinking of HMS Mohawk on 16 April 1941 is a good example inasmuch as this occurred during a larger action that saw the complete destruction of an Italo-German convoy and two of the escorting destroyers besides. To classify Mohawk’s destruction as an Italian victory would be worse than misleading.

I consider major Italian naval victories to include:

1. The action at Alexandria 18/19 December 1941
2. The Harpoon Convoy and the Battle of Pantelleria 15 June 1942
3. The Vigorous Convoy 15 June 1942
4. The 2nd Battle of Sirte 22 March 1942
5. The 1st Battle of Sirte 17 December 1941
6. The Convoy battles January - August 1942.

German forces participated in numbers 2, 3, and 6 but in every case Italian forces were the agents of victory. I know that many would dispute this list and say, for example, that the battles of Sirte were not Italian victories at all. I would argue they clearly were in terms of exerting sea control and either enabling or stopping traffic in the Eastern Mediterranean (how many convoys did the British run from Alexandria to Malta after 2nd Sirte, for example, and what happened to the next convoy, three months later?) A list of victories could include minor actions like the Sagittario convoy action on 22 May 1941 and the counter-landings at Castelorizzo on 26/27 February 1941 as well as others.

Quality over quantity.

Vince

carlodinechi
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 07:55

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by carlodinechi » 06 Sep 2014 23:59

OHara: Thanks for your feedback. I guess I'll change the title of my list to 101 Italian WW2 Victories & Successes. Thanks also for your opinion regarding what you believe were Italian naval victories. More homework for me, but at least I'll now what really happened at sea. I am including the complete loss or disabling of Allied warships for I believe them to be the equivalent to losing an entire battalion or an entire company or two on land and that can certainly be viewed as a victory today with camera lenses recording it all. For example, if the Iraqi Republican Guard had completely or partially overrun an American battalion, or had at least stopped them on their tracks or forced them to retreat, that would've made headlines around the world. The youtube tribute is really aimed at silencing those that ridicule the Italian WW2 effort without knowing much about it. The Italians did just as good and bad as the better equipped Allied forces they faced on various fronts.

carlodinechi
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 07:55

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by carlodinechi » 07 Sep 2014 02:18

Updating list!! You can now access all links.

101 Italian WW2 Victories & Counting


12.06.1940 Italian submarine Alpino Attilio Bagnolini sinks the British cruiser HMS Calypso. (Wikipedia)
14.06.1940 Italian troops defeat a French attack on Galisia Hil. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=9 ... 4424,77850)
3–19 August 1940 Italian forces overrun three Indian and one King's African Rifles infantry battalions and a fifth battalion, the Second Battalion The Black Watch in their conquest of British Somaliland. (Wikipedia)
10.01.1941 237a Squadriglia disables HMS Ilustrious, the aircraft carrier limps back to Malta. This allows the safe arrival of the Afrika Korps. (http://www.stormomagazine.com/Articles/ ... taRJC.html)
24.01.1941 Brigata Corazzata Speziale (BCS) derails the advance of the British 4th Armoured Brigade near Derna. (Wikipedia)
25.01.1941 BCS contains the advance of the Australian 2/11th Battalion near Derna. (Wikipedia) ("During January, after the fall of Tobruk, the 6th Australian troops advanced to the edge of the Jebel Achdar, or Cyrenaica Bulge, and had been halted at Derna. This check to the Australian advance at Derna was due to elements of the Italian XX Corps, numbering about 5,000 men made up of a battalion of Libyan paratroops, 2nd battalion 86th regiment of the Sabratha, the 18th Libyan battalion, an ad hoc battalion of the Marmarica and some Italian naval 102mm guns." Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Jack Greene, Alessandro Massignani, p. 85, Da Capo Press, 1999)
27.01.1941 BCS ambushes a column of the Australian 6th Cavalry Regiment. (Wikipedia)
27.02.1941 Italians defeat British attempt to seize Kastellorizo Island off Turkey (http://www.comandosupremo.com/operation ... -1941.html)
24.03.1941 Ariete captures Msus.(???)
31.03.1941 Italian submarine Ambra sinks the British cruiser Bonaventure off Crete. (South of Crete the submarine Ambra sinks the British cruiser HMS Bonaventure (the largest warship sunk by an Italian submarine in the Second World War. Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa. p. 47)
01.04.1941 Ariete captures El Agheila. ("The Italian ARIETE Division moved into El Agheila and captured thirty trucks. " World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
04.04.1941 Italians defeat Greek attacks at Mount Golico. ("In Albania, the Italian Army held off a Greek Army attack at Mount Golico." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
06.04.1941 Ariete captures Tengeder. ("The ARIETE Division reached Tengeder." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
07.04.1941 Italian Air Force destroys Yugoslav Air Force within two days, and then demolishes railroad lines and other forms of transportation. ("The German and Italian air attacks on the airfields essentially wiped out the Yugoslavian Air Force. Italian air attacks on Spalato, Cattaro and Mostar cause a lot of damage." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 374)
07.04.1941 Italian counterattacks in Albania force Greeks to retreat, many are captured.(???)
08.04.1941 Ariete captures Mechili. Bersaglieri capture 3,000 Allied troops. (''"The victory must have been especially sweet for the men of the Ariete Division, partly as recompense for past humiliations at British hands, and partly because it was an all-Italian triumph."'' Tobruk: The Great Siege, 1941-42, William F. Buckingham, p. ?, Random House, 2010) (On April 8, the Afrika Korps completed the destruction of the 2nd Armoured Division. Major General Michael D. Gambier-Parry, the commander of the 2nd Armoured, and Brigadier Vaughn, the commander of the Indian 3rd Motor Brigade, were captured, along with 3,000 of their men." Rommel's Desert Commanders: The Men who Served the Desert Fox, North Africa, 1941-1942, Samuel W. Mitcham, p. 18, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007)
09.04.1941 The Littorio & Messina Divisions along the Drin River defeat mass attacks on the part of the Yugoslav 3rd & 5th Armies ((http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 75,1654883) ( "On the Yugoslav-Albanian border operations had been incredible. The Regio Esercito had only the 31st Tank Regiment and some Blackshirt units facing 130,000 Yugoslav soldiers. The SIM-Servizio Informazioni Militari-Italian Military Intelligence, knew the Yugoslavian code and broadcast false orders to Yugoslav units. As a result, the Yugoslavs delayed their offensive against Albania. When they made a first attempt, Italian tanks successfully repulsed it and, when they realized the trick and tried to react, Italian divisions Centauro and Messina defeated and destroyed them." A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 175) ("From Skoplje a column of light motorized matereiel pushed westward in an attempt to reach the head of the Tetovo valley for which, it is presumed, they intend to push to the town of Ochrid on Lake Ochrida, which, if reache, would enable them to make a junction with the Italian troops at present receiving the brunt of the combined Fifth and Third Army Yugoslav offensive south and west of the Drin river." The Montreal Gazette - Apr 10, 1941)
10.04.1941 Italians troops capture Mount Lepre in Albania. ( "In Albania, Italian troops took Mount Lepre, northeast of Postumia." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
10.04.1941 Italians force Greeks to abandon Circhina. ( "Greek troops were pushed back to the Greek border at Circhina, west of Udine." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
10.04.1941 Greek attack on Shkumbin is derailed. ( "Another Greek Army attack on Shkumbin, Albania was halted." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
11.04.1941 Centauro forces to Yugoslav Zetska Division to retreat to the Pronisat River. (Wikipedia)
12.04.1941 In northern Yugoslavia, Italian motorised units capture Zara and Bencovae. ( "In northern Yugoslavia, Italian motorised units advanced via Sagna south along the Adriatic coast reaching Zara and occupied Bencovae." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
12.04.1941 In East Africa, Italians troops defeat two British attacks on Giarso and Alghe.( "In East Africa, Italian troops fought off two British attacks on Giarso and Alghe." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
13.04.1941 In Western Yugoslavia, the Italians capture Koplik. ( "In Western Yugoslavia, the Italian Army reached Koplik, north of Skutari and advanced via Okrida. " World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
13.04.1941 Centauro captures the Yugoslav naval base of Kotor in Montonegro, also occupies Cettinje and Podgorica. (Wikipedia)
30.04.1941 Paratroopers of the Folgore seize the Zante and Cephalonia Islands off Greece. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/FolgoreAtAlamein.php)
01.05.1941 Ariete & Brescia capture overrun 7 Australian strongpoints ( R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7 and R8) outside Tobruk. (http://www.guastatori.it/i-guastatori-n ... btg-g-gua/)("On 4 May, the positions held by 5 Battalion of 8 Bersaglieri under Major Gaggetti around Redoubts 6, 7 and 8 were counter-attacked by the Australians. The Italians responded with strong defensive fire and launched a counter-attack supported by three L3 light tanks. The latter were quickly destroyed at close quarters, and the Australians captured Redoubt 7. The Bersaglieri counter-attacked almost immediately, supported by one M13 tank and three armoured cars, and forced them back." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p. 102, Crowood Press, 2006)
03.05.1941 Australians counterattack but the Trento, Pavia & Ariete defeat the attacks. ("On the night of 3rd May, the Italian Trento and Pavia Divisions ... repelled an Australian counterattack." The Forgotten Axis: Germany's Partners and Foreign Volunteers in World War II, J. Lee Ready, p. 310)
16.05.1941 Brescia attacks the Australian 2/9th and 2/10th Battalions, forcing the Australians to abandon the S8, S9 and S10 strongpoints. (http://www.guastatori.it/i-guastatori-n ... -btg-g-gua)
21.05.1941 Italian bombers from 41 Gruppo on Rhodes sink HMS Juno and damage HMS Ajax off Crete. ( "A single Italian Kingfisher scored precision hits on the lead enemy destroyer, HMS Juno, which exploded and sank southeast of the Aegean island, allowing German naval forces to make their landngs unopposed at sea." The Axis Air Forces: Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe: Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe, Frank Joseph, p. 33)
24.05.1941 Brescia defeats an infantry attack (Australian?), supported by tanks. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 05,4280723)
28.05.1941 Regina Division lands in Crete & captures Sitia. (Wikipedia)
29.06.1941 Italian bombers from 239th Squadriglia sink Australian destroyer HMAS Waterhen. (???)
02.08.1941 Bersaglieri defeat the 2/43rd and 2/28th Battalions, in a final Australian attempt to recover the lost strongpoints. (???)
15.05.1941 Bersaglieri anti-tank gunners derail the British offensive, known as Operation Brevity. A German Colonel later praised the Bersaglieri anti-tank gunners, saying they defended Halfaya Pass "...with lionlike courage until the last man against stronger enemy forces. The greatest part of them died faithful to the flag." (Wikipedia) ("The Italian Bersaglieri did their part by blunting the enemy attack at the Halfaya Pass, putting out of action seven Matildas. This was an Italian first in inflicting serious damage to Britain's much feared, if lumbering, heavy tanks." Mussolini Warlord: Failed Dreams of Empire, 1940-1943, H. James Burgwyn p.?)
Mid-June 1941 Italian anti-tank gunners under Major Leopoldo Pardi help derail Operation Battleaxe. ("Everywhere that Rommel went now the troops beamed at him. He .... visited Halfaya, to thank the unyielding Bach and shake by the hand Major Pardi of the Italian artillery, whose personal courage and competence made him Bach's partner. 'These two had brought the collaboration between Italian artillery and German infantry to such a pitch of perfection that even in the heat of battle observers had been reminded of the timing and precision normally associated with acrobats and tight-rope walkers." The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps, Ronald Lewin, pp. 67-68)
02.08.1941 Bersaglieri defeat the 2/43rd and 2/28th Battalions, in a final Australian attempt to recover the lost strongpoints. (Wikipedia)
27.09.1941 Italian Air Force cripples the British battleship HMS Nelson. (Wikipedia)
30.09.1941 Italian troops capture 10,000 Russian troops near Petrikovka. (The Unknown Eastern Front: The Wehrmacht and Hitler's Foreign Soldiers, Rolf-Dieter Müller, p.73)
20.10.1941 Italian troops capture a large part of Stalino on the Eastern Front. (A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 176)
27.10.1941 Italians defeat Russian attacks in the Donets Basin and take several hundred prisoners. (???)
02.11.1941 Italians capture Gorlovka on the Eastern Front. (A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 176)
14.11.1941 The Italian Supreme Command reports that the Pasubio Division has smashed the Russian defences in the Donets Basin forcing the Soviet defenders to retreat to Voroshilovgrad. ("Two infantry battalions of the Pasubio Division broke through the Soviet line in the Donets Basin yesterday after two days of hard fighting in a blizzard and intense cold and forced the Russians to fall back toward Voroshilovgrad, 100 miles north of Rostov, on the Donets River The Russians rushed reinforcements from the north and east until they had amassed four divisions to halt the Italian advance, but the Italians continued to push ahead." The New York Times, 15 November 1941)
19.11.1941 Ariete blunts Operation Crusader. 40 Crusader tanks are knocked out. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
19.11.1941 Pavia repels column of British armoured vehicles in the area of El Adem. British are forced to retreat. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
20.11.1941 Bologna infantry and anti-tank gunners derail advance of the British 7th Armoured Brigade. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
21.11.1941 Bologna defenders at the 'Tugun' strongpoint derail the advance of the British 70th Division.
("The front was a series of strongpoints and not continuous trench lines. One was the Tugun position held by the Bologna infantry division, anything but an elite formation. The New Zealand Official History states, "The more elaborate attack on Tugun went in at 3 p.m. and gained perhaps half the position, together with 250 Italians and many light field guns; but the Italians in the western half could not be dislodged and the base of the break-out area remained on this account uncomfortably narrow." The Official History goes on to comment on the "...strong Italian opposition at Tugun as part of the reason for the decision to halt the sortie at this time."" Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Page 110, Jack Greene & Alessandro Massignani, (Combined Books, 1994))
22.11.1941 'Tugun' defenders successfully defend their position again. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
23.11.1941 Pavia defeats British attempt to smash through the Bologna. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
25.11.1941 The Trento successfully defends the 'Bondi' strongpoint outside Tobruk. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
26.11.1941 Bersaglieri defeat renewed British attempt to smash through the Bologna ("When the New Zealanders attacked again after the onset of darkness, they were able to take Balhamed in the course of the night. Early in the morning of 26 November, a portion of the Tobruk garrison, supported by 50 tanks, broke out once again. A crisis arose when El Duda fell. It was only through a bitter and bravely conducted immediate counterattack by the Bersaglieri of the Trieste Division that the positions in the north could be held." Das Afrika Korps: Erwin Rommel and the Germans in Africa, 1941-43, By Franz Kurowski, pg. 117, Stackpole Books (March 2010))
27.11.1941 The Savona Divisions repels a British armoured attack. (???)
29.11.1941 Ariete overruns the 21st New Zealand Battalion. ("The Official History of the 21 Battalion recounts the entire episode in considerable detail, but completely fails to name the enemy formation involved, or even to acknowledge that it was Italian." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p.?, Crowood Press, 2006)
29.11.1941 Bersaglieri capture 1,800 Allied wounded, medical staff & guards. 200 German unwounded POWs are freed. (Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Jack Greene, Alessandro Massignani, p. ?, Da Capo Press, 1999)
01.12.1941 Trento defeats an armoured attack outside Tobruk (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
01.12.1941 Trieste cuts off the link the New Zealanders had established with the Tobruk defenders. (???)
04.12.1941 Pavia and Trento recapture ‘Plonk and ‘Doc’ strongpoints outside Tobruk. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
05.12.1941 Italian 'Fascist Youth' repel several British attacks in the area of Bir Gubi (Wikipedia)
06.12.1941 Pavia fights a successfull delaying action on Point 157 (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
07.12.1941 Bologna covers the retreat of the German Afrika Division (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
10.12.1941 Brescia covers the Axis retreat from White Knoll. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
12.12.1941 Bologna, Brescia, Pavia, Trieste & Trento successfully hold the Gazala Line. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
13.12.1941 Trieste successfully defends Point 208. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
15.12.1941 Brescia, Pavia & Trento repell a stong Polish-New Zealand attack. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
15.12.1941 Ariete and 8th Bersaglieri Regiment play a very imporant part in overruning The Buffs. 1,000 British killed, wounded or captured.(http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
19.12.1942 Italian submarine Scirè releases frogmen outside Port Alexandria & the frogmen disable two battleships, HMS Valiant & HMS Queen Elizabeth. (Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa, p. 48)
20.12.1941 The British cruiser HMS Neptune & destroyer HMS Kandahar sink off Tripoli after striking Italian mines. (Wikipedia)
26.12.1941 Italian recapture Krestovka from the Russians. (???)
28.01.1942 Raggruppamento Musino fights off repeated Russian attacks near Isyum. (???)
27.05.1942 Ariete overruns the British-officered 3rd Indian Brigade. 1,000 Indians captured. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
29.05.1942 Ariete successfully defends the Afrika Korps rearguard. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
30.05.1942 Trieste rescues the trapped Afrika Korps preventing their entire capitulation. (http://www.desertrats.org.uk/battles1942.htm)
05.06.1942 Ariete again successfully defends the Afrika Korps rearguard. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
07.06.1942 Italians again rescue the Germans. ("Indeed, the Italians had to rescue the German XV Brigade near Gazala on 7 June." The American Experience in World War II: The United States in the European theater, Walter L. Hixson, p. 303)
11.06.1942 Trieste captures Bir Hacheim. ("Bir Hacheim finally fell to the Trieste Division on 11 June." Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935-45, Frank Joseph, p. ?)
12.06.1942 In what is considered the "greatest defeat in the history of the British armor", the Trieste pins down the British 22nd Armoured Brigade, and the British tank unit retreats with heavy losses. ( "Bismarck and Nehring struck on June 12 and their timing was perfect. The distinguished British historian Correlli Barnett called the ensuing battle the greatest defeat in the history of the British armor. When the British XIII Corps commander, General Norrie, realized what was happening, he sent the 22nd Armoured Brigade to rescue the trapped 7th Armoured. The 22nd, however, was pinned down by the Italian Trieste Motorized Division and was taken in the rear by Bismarck and the 21st Panzer. It retreated with heavy losses. Bismarck then returned to the Battle of Knightsbridge, where he, Nehring, and Rommel crushed the 7th Armoured." Rommel's Lieutenants: The Men Who Served The Desert Fox, By Samuel W. Mitcham, Page 98, Praeger (November 30, 2006))
16.06.1942 Italians overrun several Allied units & capture 6,000 Allied troops. (The Italians finished mopping up the Gazala Line on June 16, capturing 6,000 prisoners, thousands of tons of supplies, and entire convoys of undamaged vehicles in the process". The Rise of the Wehrmacht: The German Armed Forces and World War, 2 Volumes, p.564, Samuel W. Mitcham, Praeger (30 June 2008))
30.06.1942 Littorio surrounds Mersa Matruh & Bersaglieri capture 6,500 Allied soldiers. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/mersa.html) ("The Mersa Matruh positions came under heavy artillery fire from the Brescia and Trento Divisions, while the 90th Light and the Littorio Divisions tried to complete the encirclement from the south ... Late in the day on 27 June, Gott, worried that his New Zealand 2nd Division was about to be cut off, ordered the withdrawal of XIII Corps. Because of a breakdown in British communications, X Corps did not learn until 0430 hours on 28 June that XIII Corps was in full retreat, and their southern flank was open. Later that day, the 90th Light Divison and the Littorio Divison completed the encirclement of Mersa Matruh ... During the night of 28 June, groups of the Indian 10th Division tried a breakout of the Mersa Matruh position at the head of Wadi Ngamish, but they were driven back by the Littorio Armoured Division ... On the morning of 29 June, the garrison of Mersa Matruh was overwhelmed. At 0930 hours, the Italian 7th Bersaglieri Regiment entered the conquered stronghold, taking 6,000 Allied prisoners. " World War II in Europe: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, David T. Zabecki, p. 1578, Taylor & Francis, 1999) ("Most of the garrison of Matruh, the better part of another corps, broke out before that position was overrun on June 29, with Italian Bersaglieri playing a leading role in a close-quarters fight resulting in the capture of six thousand prisoners and a division's worth of equipment." Patton And Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century, Dennis Showalter, p. ?, Penguin, 2006)
01.07.1942 Italians round up 1,000 stranded New Zealanders near Mersa Matruh. (???)
04.07.1942 Italian troops repel several Russian attacks. (???)
11.07.1942 Bersaglieri overrun part of the Australian 2/48th Battalion. ( "At approx 2000 hours enemy tanks–number unknown– and inf attacked D Coy front. They overran psn and enemy inf forced D Company to withdraw and occupied their psn"' (2/48th Battalion War Diary)) ("That afternoon Italian tanks counter-attacked both Australian battalions in an attempt to retake Hill 33 near the coast. Maj. Gabriele Verri, commanding 11th Armd. Bn. of the Trieste Motorised Division, sent a company of M13 and M14 tanks into the assault under Capt. Vittorio Bulgarelli." War in the Desert, Neil D. Orpen, p.367, Purnell, 1971) (http://www.comandosupremo.com/1elalamein.html)
11.07.1942 Italian Supreme Headquarters claims the Italian Air Force has excelled over the Alamein front, shooting down seventeen Allied aircraft on 11 July. ("Our Fiftieth Assault Squadron, acting in the immediate rear of the communications of the enemy, has bombed and machine-gunned materiel dumps and vehicle concentrations, causing explosions and fires. In numerous air combats, hard blows have been inflicted on the R.A.F., which has lost thirty-three machines. Seventeen were shot down by Italian fighters of the First and Fourth Squadrons, and sixteen by Germans." The New York Times, 11 July 1942)
14.07.1942 Part of the Sabratha Division under Colonel Angelozzi recaptures Tel el Eisa from the Australians. (http://www.carabinieri.gov.it/Internet/ ... olo+30.htm)
15.07.1942 The Sabratha soldiers defeat the Australian 2/23rd Battalion attempt to recapture the position. ( Later, recounting the 2/23rd Battalion attack, Australian historian Mark Johnston wrote that "“On 16 July, they were ordered to retake it and the rest of Tel el Eisa Ridge. After initial success, they suffered nearly 50 percent casualties and had to withdraw.”") (In his papers, Rommel writes:"“Next day, the 16th July, the British attacked again, but this time only locally. After intensive artillery preparation, the Australians attacked in the early hours of the morning with tank support and took several strong-points held by the Sabratha.“")
15.07.1942 Pavia & Brescia derail New Zealand attack on Ruweisat Ridge. Several hundred attackers are captured. (While the attacking brigades had been able to cut large gaps through the defences held y the Italian infantry, they had not been able to subdue all the resistance. Not surprisingly, most of the smaller outposts and defended localities had fallen easily but some of the larger posts had been bypassed during the night. The outposts which remained contained substantial number of anti-tank guns, machine guns and infantry. When daylight came, these posts were able to cover the area south of the ridge by fire and shot up any trucks foolhardy enough to drive forward."' Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 131, Random House, 2010)
17.07.1942 A battalion of the Trento overruns part of the Australian 2/32nd Battalion, 200 Australians captured. ("Soon the companies had seized the enemy positions on the ridge, but, in the dark, the men of A Company overshot their objective, Point 22, by 1,500 yards. By the time they realised their mistake they were under such heavy fire that they could not withdraw. By 08.00 hours Italian tanks and infantry began to encircle their positions and eventually forced the entire company to surrender." Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 148, Random House, 2010)
21.07.1942 Trieste derails new attack on Ruweisat Ridge. 1,400 Allied troops are captured. ("A mixed German-Italian combat team held on and proved that not all Italians had lost the will to fight. Many of these men resisted to the last bullet. Their heroic stand gave Rommel time to concentrate his Afrika Korps against the 23rd Armoured Brigade." Rommel's Desert War: The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr, p. 122, Stackpole Books, 2007)
27.07.1942 3rd Battalion of the 61st Trento Infantry Regiment derails the attack of the 2/28th Battalion. ("We could see the Australians and British advancing rather spread out, about 750 yards in front of us, all in groups corresponding with their units. We ceased fire with the machine-guns — there was still plenty of time for them — but continued with our 47/32s ... When they got within 300 yards, we opened up with everything. The noise was terrific; you could only tell a gun was firing by the smoke and powder coming out of its muzzle. It was almost eleven o’clock. My tommy-gun broke down after about 3,000 rounds — ejector broken! The machine-gun also played up a bit after 5,000 rounds. But by that time the attack was beginning to peter out. The British artillery had packed it in. By midday it was all over. After the withdrawal, followed by our counterattack, the ambulances returned to start ferrying back the dead and wounded, but we got suspicious after an hour or so because they seemed to be hanging about too much. We fired a few shots over their heads to let them know it was time to break it up. They took the hint and went — and didn’t come back." Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 87, Osprey Allen & Unwin, 1966)
27.07.1942 Armoured car squadron of the Brescia encircle and capture the Australian 2/28 Battalion. (The names of certain units were on everyone’s lips up and down the line following particularly brilliant actions, among them the reconnaissance Group of the Trieste. It had been set up some time previously: it was hardly a homogeneous unit on the German pattern, but did reflect admirably the Italian genius of improvisation. They had no more than nine vehicles–Morrises, Fords, Dingos and Jeeps, all captured from the enemy–armed with small caliber guns and machine-guns of all descriptions, British, Italian and German, together with two British 88 guns and their carriages, and two small supply lorries. "' Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 79, Allen & Unwin, 1966) ("The Bn was completely surrounded by armored cars which worked forward under cover of fire from enemy tanks further back, while 20mm, MMG and mortar fire kept the heads of our own troops well down. In this manner the enemy was able to cut off and dispose of sections and platoons one by one, until at 1030 hrs Bn HQ area was occupied by several armored cars and surviving personnel taken prisoner. An effort had been made to hinder the enemy armored vehicles by bringing Arty fire to bear on them before they dispersed. Unfortunately the only communication with Bde was by one wireless set WT repaired by Sigs, after about eight hours work. Messages reporting the situation were sent immediately once this set was capable of functioning, i.e., about 0930 hrs onwards. Last message was “All up, overrun!” " July 1942 Diary by Lieutenant S. A. Walker (available online))
03.08.1942 Italian torpedo boats disable the Soviet cruiser Molotov off Kerch. (Wikipedia) (Mussolini’s War, Frank Joseph, p. 145)
24.08.1942 The Savoia Cavalleria overruns a good part of the Soviet 304th Infantry Division. (Wikipedia) ("Three days later, the 3rd Cavalry Division Amedeo Duca d' Aosta, comprising 600 horse-soldiers ... charged 2,000 Soviets defending themselves with mortars and artillery on the Isbuschenski Steppe. The lead squadron achieved complete surprise by attacking head-on, while the other, armed with sabers, rode down the Reds from behind their positions. These were overrun in history's last significant cavalry charge. It destroyed two soviet battalions, forcing another battalion to withdraw, while capturing 500 prisoners." Mussolini's War, Frank Joseph, p. 147 )
25.08.1942 Italian troops smash Soviet counterattacks. ("Elsewhere on the Don front Russian counter-attacks were reported "frustrated" by Italian troops." Schenectady Gazette, 25 August 1942) (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 75,5654334)
26.08.1942 Italian troops repel several Russian attacks on the Don front. ("Italian troops operating on the Don front repulsed several enemy attacks in hand-to-hand fighting." German High Command (communique) (26 August 1942). "Text of the Day's War Communiques on Fighting in Various Zones". New York Times (26 August 1942))
29.08.1942 Italian torpedo boat cripples the British destroyer Eridge off El Daba, Egypt. (Wikipedia)
??.09.1942 Bologna overruns defenders of Point 211. ("In the centre of the British front a good Italian division, the Bologna, delivered a strong attack on the Ruweisat Ridge, and a considerable counter-attack was required to expel it from the footing it gained". AFTERMATH OF WAR: THE EIGHT ARMY FROM ALAMEIN TO THE SANGRO. The illustrated London news, Volume 212, Issues 5672-5684, p. 262, The Illustrated London News & Sketch Ltd., 1948)
??.09.1942 Trieste, Brescia, Ariete & Littorio in the area of the Munassib Depression, force British & New Zealanders units to retreat. ("During the early morning hours, the New Zealand Division, composed of the two New Zealand brigades, which occupied the box, assisted by a brigade of another infantry division, laid down an artillery barrage and followed with an infantry attack. This attack advanced south and along the trails in square 88-27. The attack advanced 3 miles, but with the coming of daylight the Trieste, Brescia, and the 90th Light Division, supported by the Ariete, and Littorio Divisions, in a series of three counterattacks, forced the attacking troops back nearly to their original positions." The Afrika in Combat, Bob Carruthers, p. ?, Pen & Sword, 2013)
04.09.1942 Folgore defeat the 6th New Zealand Brigade & capture 200 attackers. "An attack by our Luftwaffe against the 10th Indian Div [sic], which was in the assembly area for a counter attack against the centre of the front, caused the units which were assembled there to scatter to the winds. Also, all other attacks launched by other units against our flanks, especially the New Zealanders, were too weak to be able to effect a penetration—they could be repulsed. A night attack conducted against the X Italian Corps resulted in especially high losses for the British. Countless enemy dead lay on the battlefield and 200 prisoners were taken among whom was Gen (sic) Clifton, commanding general of the 6th New Zealand Brigade." (http://web.archive.org/web/200806111617 ... t/hart.asp)
14.09.1942 San Marcos Marines & Carabinieri capture several hundred British commandos that attempt to capture Tobruk. 576 of the attackers are captured. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 492,634447)
14.09.1942 MC200 Fighters from 13° Gruppo sink the British destroyer HMS Zulu. ("Major Renzo Viale on his own initiative took off with the MC 200s of his 13th Fighter Group and sank the Zulu." Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story,Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 177)
14.09.1942 Italian heavy coastal guns & not German 8.8 cm Flak guns sink the British destroyer HMS Sikh. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 61,2852440)
30.09.1942 Folgore defeat 131st Queens Brigade, over 300 British killed or captured. (Wikipedia)
10.11.1942 Italians defeat a Russian attempt to cross the Don River. (???)
24.10.1942 Ariete, Brescia & Folgore successfully hold the Alamein line. (Wikipedia)
26.10.1942 12th Bersaglieri overruns the Austalian 2/17th Battalion.("Attacks were now launched on Hill 28 by elements of the 15th Panzer Division, the Littorio and a Bersaglieri Battalion, supported by the concentrated fire of all the local artillery and A.A ... In the evening part of the Bersaglieri Battalion succeeded in occupying the eastern and western edges of the hill." El Alamein: Desert Victory, John Strawson, p. 119, J m Dent & Sons Limited, 1981) ( "On the morning of 28 October, tanks,lorried infantry and some of the groups of men who had dug in after previous unsuccessful attempts gathered fro another attempt to retake Point 29. The 2/17th Battalion, which had taken over the positions around Point 29, had suffered heavy casualties and eventually it was decided to pull the infantry back from the exposed height to better positions in the open desert." Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 360, Random House, 2010)
28.10.42 Littorio overruns part of the British 133rd Brigade, 300 British are captured. ("In the early morning they attacked 133 British Lorried Infantry Brigade, which had been sent to relieve 'Snipe', but ended up to the north of it and was unable to dig its anti-tank guns into the rocky ground. The Axis assault virtually annihilated the British unit, knocking out their exposed anti-tank guns, killing sixty men, including their commander Colonel Murphy, and capturing 300 others." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p. ?, Crowood, 2012)
29.10.42 7th Bersaglieri derails the advance of the Austalian 26th Brigade. ( These costly German attacks did succeed in restoring contact with the beleaguered 125th Panzergrenadier Regiment. 90th Light Division later praised the regiment and the Italian X Bersaglieri who clung to their posts even when 'surrounded on all sides, short of ammunition, food and water, unable to evacuate their many wounded; while withstanding 'attacks by an enemy superior in numbers and equipment'. During the morning, many of the German and Italian wounded were evacuated and more supplies brought into the salient. Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 380, Random House, 2010)
30.10.1942 7th Bersaglieri defeats several Australian attacks. ( These costly German attacks did succeed in restoring contact with the beleaguered 125th Panzergrenadier Regiment. 90th Light Division later praised the regiment and the Italian X Bersaglieri who clung to their posts even when 'surrounded on all sides, short of ammunition, food and water, unable to evacuate their many wounded; while withstanding 'attacks by an enemy superior in numbers and equipment'. During the morning, many of the German and Italian wounded were evacuated and more supplies brought into the salient. Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 380, Random House, 2010)
01.11.1942 Italian troops defeat Soviet attempts to cross the Don River. ("On the Don front Italian troops again repulsed enemy attempts to cross the river." The Montreal Gazette 2 November 1942) (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 023,205737)
03.11.1942 Ariete successfully covers the retreat of Rommel. (Enormous dust-clouds could be seen south and south-east of headquarters [of the DAK], where the desperate struggle of the small and inefficient Italian tanks of XX Corps was being played out against the hundred or so British heavy tanks which had come round their open right flank. I was later told by Major von Luck, whose battalion I had sent to close the gap between the Italians and the Afrika Korps, that the Italians, who at that time represented our strongest motorised force, fought with exemplary courage.The Rommel Papers, p. 325)
10.11.1942 Italian troops defeat Russian attempts to cross the River Don.
12.11.1942 Italians invade Corsica.
03.12.1943 Bersaglieri capture part of the British 2nd Parachute Battalion. (http://collections.civilisations.ca/war ... rn=5001297)
06.12.1942 Italian Army Headquarters reports that Italian forces have overrun an Allied unit in Tunisia. ("In Tunisia, during hard fighting which we reported in yesterday's communique and which resulted in our capture of an important locality, we took 400 prisoners. We destroyed or captured twenty-five tanks, seven armored vehicles, forty-one guns, roughly 300 motor vehicles and a large amount of ammunition." The New York Times, 7 December 1942)
12.12.1942 Italian troops attack Russian defences, bringing back prisoners a much equipment. ("Italian troops, in an aggressive reconnaissance engagement, broke into enemy positions and brought back prisoners and booty." German High Command (communique) (12 December 1942). "Text of the Day's War Communiques". New York Times (12 December 1942 ))
20.12.1942 Italian troops continue to fight hard near Stanlingrad, despite being hopelessly outnumbered. ("On the Don river front German and Italian troops were said to be "still engaged against strong Soviet infantry and tank formations.""Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 21 December 1942) ( http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 03,2537671)
29.01.1943 Italian bombers damage beyond repair the British anti-aircraft ship HMS Pozarica.(Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
13.12.1942 Centauro forces a British armoured force to retreat at El Agheila. (Wikipedia)
28.01.1943 Italian Supreme Headquarters claims that Italian troops have repelled an armoured thrust in Tunisia. ("An attack supported by armored forces against our positions in the Tunisian sector was repulsed." The New York Times, 28 January 1943)
02.02.1943 Italian Supreme Headquarters reports that its troops in Tunisia have been successful in action with Allied forces. ("In Tunisia combats still are in progress in the areas reached by Axis troops during previous days. About 100 prisoners were taken and twelve tanks were put out of action." The New York Times, 2 February 1943) ("A second attack group, consisting of the Centauro Armored Division and German elements provided from the two German armored divisions, attacked through Maknassy in the direction of Gafsa. That attack came as a complete surprise to the U.S.Corps. The U.S. 1st Armored Division, which had established itself in the saddle of the Faid Pass, was ejected. Gafsa was evacuated." Das Afrika Korps: Erwin Rommel and the Germans in Africa, 1941-43, Franz Kurowski, p. 213)
18.02.1943 Germans fail to take Sbiba Pass, but the 7th Bersaglieri gets the job done at Kasserine Pass. (Rommel returned to the railway station at Kasserine which briefly served as the combined command post of the German Africa Corps and the 10th Panzer Division, and ordered these two formations to take the Kasserine Pass. In the evening dusk Rommel observed, as he dictated for his diary, 'the exciting scene of the tank battle north of the pass'. He had special praise for the 7th Bersaglieri, who attacked fiercely and whose commander fell during the attack; they threw the American, British and French forces out of the pass in joint action with the II/86 and the K 10." Stauffenberg: A Family History, 1905-1944, Peter Hoffman, p.171, McGill-Queen's Press, 2008) ("The new commander of DAK Assault Group, General Bulowius, complimented them on their élan, which contributed significantly to Axis success. The Italian action was instrumental in breaking through the US positions and in opening up the road to Thala and Tebessa." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p.?, Crowood Press, 2006)
18.02.1943 Centauro Division overruns the 1,200-strong US 19th Combat Engineers Regiment. ("The American collapse began in earnest by late morning. At 11:22 the 19th Engineers' commander, Colonel A.T.W. Moore, warned Stark by radio that enemy infantry and tanks were forcing the pass along Highway 13. An engineer major bellowed: "Forget about our equipment and just save your life." Artillery observers fled, explaining plausibly if ingloriously: "This place is too hot." Companies disintegrated into platoons, platoons into squads, squads into solitary foot soldiers chased to the rear by screaming meemies. Half an hour later, Moore radioed, "Enemy overrunning our C.P.," and bolted for high ground. He soon arrived at Stark's tent to announce that the 19th Engineers no longer existed." An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, Rick Atkinson, p.?, Henry Holt and Company, 2007)
24.02.1943 5th Bersaglieri successfully covers the retreat of Rommel. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 89,1447008) (Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts, Ian Walker) ("The German material was scarcer because the Nazis pulled out when they saw the couldn't slug their way through the joint American and British defense and left the Italians to bear the full weight of the counterattack alone." The Milwaukee Journal - Feb 26, 1943)
10.07.1943 Italian dive bombers sink the American destroyer USS Maddox. (Wikipedia)
10.07.1943 Livorno Disivion overruns part of the American 26th Infantry Regiment. ("The Americans suddenly beat a quick withdrawal, during which Leonardi's 3rd Battalion seized their positions, taking a number of weapons and prisoners from the U.S. 26th Infantry Regiment." Mussolini's War, Frank Joseph, p ?) ("The 1st and 4th Ranger Battalions hit the beach at 3:00 A.M. and antipersonnel mines and rifle fire took a heavy toll. D Company of the 4th Battalion, for example, lost all of its officers. After moving off the beach and destroying several pillboxes, the Rangers entered Gela. Fighting was house-to-house, but by midmorning the Rangers had the town. The victory was interrupted around 10:30 A.M., when the seasoned Italian Livorno Division counterattacked and nine Italian light tanks broke the Rangers' outer defensive positions." Beyond Valor: World War II's Ranger and Airborne Veterans Reveal the Heart of Combat, Patrick K. O'Donnell, p. 38)
14.07.1943 Napoli Division overruns part of the British Staffordshire Regiment defending Ponte Grande in Sicily. (Wikipedia)
14.07.1943 Semoventes & Bersaglieri overrun 400 British Commandos defending Malati Bridge in Sicily. (Wikipedia)
16.07.1943 Italian submarine Dandolo disables the British cruiser HMS Cleopatra. (Wikipedia)
16.07.1943 Italian bombers cripple the British aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable. ("The carrier HMS Indomitable is damaged by a torpedo bomber." Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa, p. 50)
31.07.1943 Aosta Division on Mount Troina (Sicily), overruns part of an American battalion. (Wikipedia)
02.08.1943 Assietta at Santa Agata (Sicily), successfully defends rearguard of 29th Panzergrenadier Division. (Wikipedia).
15.08.1943 Italian bombers from 132° Gruppo sink the US tank landing ship LST-414. (Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
04.09.1943 Fighters from 5th Stormo sink four US tank landing ships. (???)
07.09.1943 Italian bombers from 132° Gruppo damage beyond repair US tank landing ship LST-417. (Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
26.12.1944 Monte Rosa & San Marco Divisions overrun the US 92nd Division. Principally an Italian victory. (Wikipedia)

carlodinechi
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2008 07:55

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by carlodinechi » 10 Sep 2014 04:09

I have included the outstanding Italian actions during the 7-day Christmas Battle during December 1941 on the Eastern Front. I guess victories like these heard over the radio or read in newspapers sustained the fighting spirit of the average Italian soldier and civilians. Of course Mussolini ran out of time after the loss of Sicily, but still many Italians fought alongside the Germans like the Italian SS, Monterosa, Italia and San Marco Divisions and scored more significant successes against the Allies.

Patrick Cloutier has written over this much overlooked Italian victory that:
"The Italo-German advance represented one of the few instances that winter, in which Axis forces were not losing ground to the Red Army and were even capturing additional territory. Having fought to exhaustion, both sides settled down and passed New Year's Eve without serious incident. The influence of the CSIR's Chritsmas 1941 victory on the course of the war on the Eastern Front is entirely overlooked. The Soviet Command had high expectations of an operation against the CSIR, and expected to destroy the German 49th Mountain Corps as well. Sucess against those Axis formations might have allowed the Russians to follow up with an offensive against the rest of 1st Panzer Army, instead of the 17th Army. In those circumstances, the Wehrmacht could have been threatened with a Stanlingrad-type defeat in the first winter of the war." Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies on the Russian Front 1941, p. 141
101 Italian WW2 Victories & Counting


12.06.1940 Italian submarine Alpino Attilio Bagnolini sinks the British cruiser HMS Calypso. (Wikipedia)
14.06.1940 Italian troops defeat a French attack on Galisia Hil. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=9 ... 4424,77850)
3–19 August 1940 Italian forces overrun three Indian and one King's African Rifles infantry battalions and a fifth battalion, the Second Battalion The Black Watch in their conquest of British Somaliland. (Wikipedia)
10.01.1941 237a Squadriglia disables HMS Ilustrious, the aircraft carrier limps back to Malta. This allows the safe arrival of the Afrika Korps. (http://www.stormomagazine.com/Articles/ ... taRJC.html)
06.12.1940 ("The Italians stopped a Greek attack in the Suhes Valley with strong counterattacks." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 126)
06.12.1940 ("The Italians stopped the Greek advance and held the heights of Permeti." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 126)
11.12.1940 ("Elsewhere, the Italian troops managed to hodl their defensive line." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 127)
20.12.1940 ("A Greek attack was halted north of Labove with heavy losses. Another Greek attack at Zerec was halted by strong Italian counterattacks." War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 127)
23.12.1940 ("A Greek attack between Tomorice and Devoll was halted by heavy artillery fire and counter attacks." War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 128)
27.12.1940 ("The Italians stopped the Greeks at Bence and retook the heights southwest of Kelcyre." War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 128)
27.12.1940 ("The Italians stopped the Greek advance in the Osum Valley at Dobrushe." War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 128)
30.12.1940 ("In Albania, Italian troops stopped Greek attacks on Bence, Vuno and Bolena." War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 128)
03.01.1941 An Italian battalion from the Bardia garrison overruns part of an Australian battalion in the southern sector, killing about 40, but this attack is repulsed by the by Australian 2/6th Battalion. ("Some fierce fighting took place and a company was forced to withdraw in an Italian counter-attack, in which the Australians lost 100 killed, wounded and captured." The Cruel Slaughter of Adolf Hitler, Karsten Friedrich, p. ? )
21.01.1941 Italian units defending Tobruk repel Free French Marines attack, British come to the rescue of the French. "On January 21, as the Australians assaulted the city itself, the French marines were given the task of taking out five blockhouses in the south-east sector, all protected by minefields and wire. The marines attacked with their usual vigor, but were driven back, suffering five dead in the attempt. A second effort, aided by the 25-pounders of the British and with Bofors 40 mm antiaircraft guns used in direct fire, succeeded. Tricolor Over the Sahara: The Desert Battles of the Free French, 1940-1942, Edward L. Bimberg, p. 97
21.01.1941 An Italian battalion defending Tobruk, overruns part of an Australian battalion. British tanks come to the rescue of the Australians. ("The Italians counter-attacked with infantry and tanks just as the 2/8 was reorganising. Private Neall, using his boys anti-tank rifle, managed to knock out three tanks in quick succession ... Nevertheless the Italians continued their attack until two Matilda tanks made an appearance." The Western Desert Campaign, 1940-41, Glenn Wahlert, p. ?)
24.01.1941 Brigata Corazzata Speziale (BCS) derails the advance of the British 4th Armoured Brigade near Derna. (Wikipedia)
25.01.1941 BCS contains the advance of the Australian 2/11th Battalion near Derna. (Wikipedia) ("During January, after the fall of Tobruk, the 6th Australian troops advanced to the edge of the Jebel Achdar, or Cyrenaica Bulge, and had been halted at Derna. This check to the Australian advance at Derna was due to elements of the Italian XX Corps, numbering about 5,000 men made up of a battalion of Libyan paratroops, 2nd battalion 86th regiment of the Sabratha, the 18th Libyan battalion, an ad hoc battalion of the Marmarica and some Italian naval 102mm guns." Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Jack Greene, Alessandro Massignani, p. 85, Da Capo Press, 1999)
27.01.1941 BCS ambushes a column of the Australian 6th Cavalry Regiment. (Wikipedia)
27.02.1941 Italians defeat British attempt to seize Kastellorizo Island off Turkey (Wikipedia)
24.03.1941 Ariete captures Msus.(???)
31.03.1941 Italian submarine Ambra sinks the British cruiser Bonaventure off Crete. (South of Crete the submarine Ambra sinks the British cruiser HMS Bonaventure (the largest warship sunk by an Italian submarine in the Second World War. Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa. p. 47)
01.04.1941 Ariete captures El Agheila. ("The Italian ARIETE Division moved into El Agheila and captured thirty trucks. " World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
04.04.1941 Italians defeat Greek attacks at Mount Golico. ("In Albania, the Italian Army held off a Greek Army attack at Mount Golico." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
06.04.1941 Ariete captures Tengeder. ("The ARIETE Division reached Tengeder." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 373)
07.04.1941 Italian Air Force destroys a large part of the Yugoslav Air Force within two days, and then demolishes railroad lines and other forms of transportation. ("The German and Italian air attacks on the airfields essentially wiped out the Yugoslavian Air Force. Italian air attacks on Spalato, Cattaro and Mostar cause a lot of damage." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 374)
07.04.1941 Italian counterattacks in Albania force Greeks to retreat, many are captured.(???)
08.04.1941 Ariete captures Mechili. Bersaglieri capture 3,000 Allied troops. (''"The victory must have been especially sweet for the men of the Ariete Division, partly as recompense for past humiliations at British hands, and partly because it was an all-Italian triumph."'' Tobruk: The Great Siege, 1941-42, William F. Buckingham, p. ?, Random House, 2010) (On April 8, the Afrika Korps completed the destruction of the 2nd Armoured Division. Major General Michael D. Gambier-Parry, the commander of the 2nd Armoured, and Brigadier Vaughn, the commander of the Indian 3rd Motor Brigade, were captured, along with 3,000 of their men." Rommel's Desert Commanders: The Men who Served the Desert Fox, North Africa, 1941-1942, Samuel W. Mitcham, p. 18, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007)
09.04.1941 The Littorio & Messina Divisions along the Drin River defeat mass attacks on the part of the Yugoslav 3rd & 5th Armies ((http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 75,1654883) ( "On the Yugoslav-Albanian border operations had been incredible. The Regio Esercito had only the 31st Tank Regiment and some Blackshirt units facing 130,000 Yugoslav soldiers. The SIM-Servizio Informazioni Militari-Italian Military Intelligence, knew the Yugoslavian code and broadcast false orders to Yugoslav units. As a result, the Yugoslavs delayed their offensive against Albania. When they made a first attempt, Italian tanks successfully repulsed it and, when they realized the trick and tried to react, Italian divisions Centauro and Messina defeated and destroyed them." A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 175) ("From Skoplje a column of light motorized materiel pushed westward in an attempt to reach the head of the Tetovo valley for which, it is presumed, they intend to push to the town of Ochrid on Lake Ochrida, which, if reache, would enable them to make a junction with the Italian troops at present receiving the brunt of the combined Fifth and Third Army Yugoslav offensive south and west of the Drin river." The Montreal Gazette - Apr 10, 1941)
10.04.1941 Italians troops capture Mount Lepre in Albania. ( "In Albania, Italian troops took Mount Lepre, northeast of Postumia." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
10.04.1941 Italians force Greeks to abandon Circhina. ( "Greek troops were pushed back to the Greek border at Circhina, west of Udine." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
10.04.1941 Greek attack on Shkumbin is derailed. ( "Another Greek Army attack on Shkumbin, Albania was halted." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 375)
11.04.1941 Centauro forces to Yugoslav Zetska Division to retreat to the Pronisat River. (Wikipedia)
12.04.1941 In northern Yugoslavia, Italian motorised units capture Zara and Bencovae. ( "In northern Yugoslavia, Italian motorised units advanced via Sagna south along the Adriatic coast reaching Zara and occupied Bencovae." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
12.04.1941 In East Africa, Italians troops defeat two British attacks on Giarso and Alghe.( "In East Africa, Italian troops fought off two British attacks on Giarso and Alghe." World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
13.04.1941 In Western Yugoslavia, the Italians capture Koplik. ( "In Western Yugoslavia, the Italian Army reached Koplik, north of Skutari and advanced via Okrida. " World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean, Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, p. 376)
13.04.1941Centauro captures the Yugoslav naval base of Kotor in Montonegro, also occupies Cettinje and Podgorica. (Wikipedia)
30.04.1941 Paratroopers of the Folgore seize the Zante and Cephalonia Islands off Greece. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/FolgoreAtAlamein.php)
01.05.1941 Ariete & Brescia smash a large hole in the Australian defences outside Tobruk, capturing 7 strongpoints ( R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7 and R8) outside Tobruk. (http://www.guastatori.it/i-guastatori-n ... btg-g-gua/)("On 4 May, the positions held by 5 Battalion of 8 Bersaglieri under Major Gaggetti around Redoubts 6, 7 and 8 were counter-attacked by the Australians. The Italians responded with strong defensive fire and launched a counter-attack supported by three L3 light tanks. The latter were quickly destroyed at close quarters, and the Australians captured Redoubt 7. The Bersaglieri counter-attacked almost immediately, supported by one M13 tank and three armoured cars, and forced them back." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p. 102, Crowood Press, 2006)
03.05.1941 Australians counterattack but the Trento, Pavia & Ariete defeat the attacks. ("On the night of 3rd May, the Italian Trento and Pavia Divisions ... repelled an Australian counterattack." The Forgotten Axis: Germany's Partners and Foreign Volunteers in World War II, J. Lee Ready, p. 310)
16.05.1941 Brescia attacks the Australian 2/9th and 2/10th Battalions, forcing the Australians to abandon the S8, S9 and S10 strongpoints. (http://www.guastatori.it/i-guastatori-n ... -btg-g-gua)
21.05.1941 Italian bombers from 41 Gruppo on Rhodes sink HMS Juno and damage HMS Ajax off Crete. ( "A single Italian Kingfisher scored precision hits on the lead enemy destroyer, HMS Juno, which exploded and sank southeast of the Aegean island, allowing German naval forces to make their landngs unopposed at sea." The Axis Air Forces: Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe: Flying in Support of the German Luftwaffe, Frank Joseph, p. 33)
24.05.1941 Brescia defeats an infantry attack (Australian?), supported by tanks. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 05,4280723)
28.05.1941 Regina Division lands in Crete, overruns Greek defenders & captures Sitia. (Wikipedia)
29.06.1941 Italian bombers from 239th Squadriglia sink Australian destroyer HMAS Waterhen. (???)
15.05.1941 Bersaglieri anti-tank gunners derail Operation Brevity. A German Colonel later praised the Bersaglieri anti-tank gunners, saying they defended Halfaya Pass "...with lionlike courage until the last man against stronger enemy forces. The greatest part of them died faithful to the flag." (Wikipedia) ("The Italian Bersaglieri did their part by blunting the enemy attack at the Halfaya Pass, putting out of action seven Matildas. This was an Italian first in inflicting serious damage to Britain's much feared, if lumbering, heavy tanks." Mussolini Warlord: Failed Dreams of Empire, 1940-1943, H. James Burgwyn p.?)
Mid-June 1941 Italian anti-tank gunners under Major Leopoldo Pardi help derail Operation Battleaxe. ("Everywhere that Rommel went now the troops beamed at him. He .... visited Halfaya, to thank the unyielding Bach and shake by the hand Major Pardi of the Italian artillery, whose personal courage and competence made him Bach's partner. 'These two had brought the collaboration between Italian artillery and German infantry to such a pitch of perfection that even in the heat of battle observers had been reminded of the timing and precision normally associated with acrobats and tight-rope walkers." The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps, Ronald Lewin, pp. 67-68)
02.08.1941 Bersaglieri defeat the 2/43rd and 2/28th Battalions, in a final Australian attempt to recover the lost strongpoints. (Wikipedia)
27.09.1941 Italian Air Force cripples the British battleship HMS Nelson. (Wikipedia)
30.09.1941 Italian troops overrun several units near Petrikovka, capturing 10,000 Soviet troops. (The Unknown Eastern Front: The Wehrmacht and Hitler's Foreign Soldiers, Rolf-Dieter Müller, p.73)
20.10.1941 Italian troops capture a large part of Stalino on the Eastern Front. (A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 176)
27.10.1941 Italians defeat Russian attacks in the Donets Basin and take several hundred prisoners. (???)
b]29.10.1941[/b] Italian forces defending Stalino, successfully resist numerous Soviet counterattacks. ("The official Stefani agency reported today that Italian troops on the Eastern front had been halted and put on the defensive for the past eight days by Russian counter-attacks ...The dispatch said Russian attacks and aerial bombardments were "furious" but added that the Italian troops "never ceded a millimeter of ground." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Oct 30, 1941) (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 78,1433802 )
02.11.1941 Italians capture Gorlovka on the Eastern Front. (A Military History of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, p. 176)
14.11.1941 The Italian Supreme Command reports that the Pasubio Division has smashed the Russian defences in the Donets Basin forcing the Soviet defenders to retreat to Voroshilovgrad. ("Two infantry battalions of the Pasubio Division broke through the Soviet line in the Donets Basin yesterday after two days of hard fighting in a blizzard and intense cold and forced the Russians to fall back toward Voroshilovgrad, 100 miles north of Rostov, on the Donets River The Russians rushed reinforcements from the north and east until they had amassed four divisions to halt the Italian advance, but the Italians continued to push ahead." The New York Times, 15 November 1941)
19.11.1941 Ariete blunts Operation Crusader. 40 Crusader tanks are knocked out. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
19.11.1941 Pavia repels column of British armoured vehicles in the area of El Adem. British are forced to retreat. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
20.11.1941 Bologna infantry and anti-tank gunners derail advance of the British 7th Armoured Brigade. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
21.11.1941 Bologna defenders at the 'Tugun' strongpoint derail the advance of the British 70th Division.
("The front was a series of strongpoints and not continuous trench lines. One was the Tugun position held by the Bologna infantry division, anything but an elite formation. The New Zealand Official History states, "The more elaborate attack on Tugun went in at 3 p.m. and gained perhaps half the position, together with 250 Italians and many light field guns; but the Italians in the western half could not be dislodged and the base of the break-out area remained on this account uncomfortably narrow." The Official History goes on to comment on the "...strong Italian opposition at Tugun as part of the reason for the decision to halt the sortie at this time."" Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Page 110, Jack Greene & Alessandro Massignani, (Combined Books, 1994))
22.11.1941 'Tugun' defenders successfully defend their position again. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/2)
23.11.1941 Pavia defeats British attempt to smash through the Bologna. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/2)
25.11.1941 The Trento successfully defends the 'Bondi' strongpoint outside Tobruk. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/3)
26.11.1941 Bersaglieri defeat renewed British attempt to smash through the Bologna ("When the New Zealanders attacked again after the onset of darkness, they were able to take Balhamed in the course of the night. Early in the morning of 26 November, a portion of the Tobruk garrison, supported by 50 tanks, broke out once again. A crisis arose when El Duda fell. It was only through a bitter and bravely conducted immediate counterattack by the Bersaglieri of the Trieste Division that the positions in the north could be held." Das Afrika Korps: Erwin Rommel and the Germans in Africa, 1941-43, By Franz Kurowski, pg. 117, Stackpole Books (March 2010))
29.11.1941 Ariete overruns the 21st New Zealand Battalion. ("The Official History of the 21 Battalion recounts the entire episode in considerable detail, but completely fails to name the enemy formation involved, or even to acknowledge that it was Italian." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p.?, Crowood Press, 2006)
29.11.1941 Bersaglieri capture 1,800 Allied wounded, medical staff & guards. 200 unwounded German POWs are freed. (Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942, Jack Greene, Alessandro Massignani, p. ?, Da Capo Press, 1999)
01.12.1941 Trento defeats an armoured attack outside Tobruk (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/5)
01.12.1941 Trieste cuts off the link the New Zealanders had established with the Tobruk defenders. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/4)
04.12.1941 Pavia and Trento recapture ‘Plonk and ‘Doc’ strongpoints outside Tobruk. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/5)
05.12.1941 Italian 'Fascist Youth' Division repel several British attacks in the area of Bir Gubi (Wikipedia)
06.12.1941 Pavia fights a successfull delaying action on Point 157 (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/5)
07.12.1941 Bologna covers the retreat of the German Afrika Division (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/5)
10.12.1941 Brescia covers the Axis retreat from White Knoll. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/5)
12.12.1941 Bologna, Brescia, Pavia, Trieste & Trento successfully hold the Gazala Line. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/5)
13.12.1941 Trieste successfully defends Point 208. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/5)
15.12.1941 Brescia, Pavia & Trento repel a stong Polish-New Zealand attack. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html)
15.12.1941 Ariete and 8th Bersaglieri Regiment play a very imporant part in overruning The Buffs. Nearly 1,000 British killed, wounded or captured in the counterattack.(http://www.comandosupremo.com/bologna-division.html/6)
19.12.1942 Italian submarine Scirè releases frogmen outside Port Alexandria & the frogmen disable two battleships, HMS Valiant & HMS Queen Elizabeth. (Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa, p. 48)
20.12.1941 The British cruiser HMS Neptune & destroyer HMS Kandahar sink off Tripoli after striking Italian mines. (Wikipedia)
26.12.1941 Italians recapture Krestovka from the Russians. ("At 1030 hours the German 318th Regiment, supported by fifty tanks, went into action to relieve the besieged defenders of Mikhailovka. Attacking from the western end of the valley, the panzers reached the Italians. Withe their newly arrived support, the Italians turned their bayonets against the Russians, who minutes earlier were about to overwhelm them. With this sudden reversal in fortune, the Soviet soldiers attempted to escape. Those Russian units which resisted were destroyed by the combined efforts of the Blackshirts, Bersaglieri and German tanks. As a result, the 733rd Rifle Regiment (136th Rifle Division), which had trapped the Italians in Mikhailovka, was encircled in turn and completely destroyed." Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies on the Russian Front 1941, Patrick Cloutier, p. 139)
27.12.1941 Italians recapture Kurgun Ostriy on the Eastern Front. ("On 27 December the Italo-German counter-attack was reinforced by the 2nd Airborne Regiment (3rd Airborne Division). The Axis troops restored the situation and also captured the commanding height at Kurgun Ostriy. Petropavlovka, which the Russians had recaptured the previous day with infantry and cavalry, was once more in Italian hands. Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies on the Russian Front 1941, Patrick Cloutier, p. 140)
28.12.1941 Blackshirts & Bersaglieri capture Kolkhoz Voroshilova & Rassipnoy. on the Eastern Front. (" The Italo-German force in the Celere Division's sector experienced more success,as German paratroopers captured the stretch of double railroad track at Kulinatskiy, and the 63rd Blackshirt Battalion, captured Kolkhoz Voroshilova, which was below the commanding height at Kurgun Ostriy. The German 318th Regiment captured the village of Greko-Timofeyevskiy from the Rifle Division, while the XXV Bersaglieri Battalion took Rassipnoy.." Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies on the Russian Front 1941, Patrick Cloutier, p. 140)
30.12.1941 Bersaglieri overrun part of the Soviet 296th Rifle Division. ("On 30 December the 296th Rifle Division managed to capture Height 311.7 from the Germans, but this was recaptured the next day by the XVIII Bersaglieri Battalion, with tank support, in a surprise move." Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies on the Russian Front 1941, Patrick Cloutier, p. 140)
28.01.1942 Raggruppamento Musino fights off repeated Russian attacks near Isyum.
27.05.1942 Ariete overruns the British-officered 3rd Indian Brigade. 1,000 Indians captured. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
29.05.1942 Ariete successfully defends the rear positions of the Afrika Korps. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
30.05.1942 Trieste rescues the trapped Afrika Korps preventing their entire capitulation. (http://www.desertrats.org.uk/battles1942.htm)
05.06.1942 Ariete again successfully defends the rear of the Afrika Korps. (http://www.avalanchepress.com/Ariete.php)
07.06.1942 Italians again rescue trapped German forces. ("Indeed, the Italians had to rescue the German XV Brigade near Gazala on 7 June." The American Experience in World War II: The United States in the European theater, Walter L. Hixson, p. 303)
11.06.1942 Trieste captures Bir Hacheim. ("Bir Hacheim finally fell to the Trieste Division on 11 June." Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935-45, Frank Joseph, p. ?)
12.06.1942 In what is considered the "greatest defeat in the history of the British armor", the Trieste pins down the British 22nd Armoured Brigade, and the British tank unit retreats with heavy losses. ( "Bismarck and Nehring struck on June 12 and their timing was perfect. The distinguished British historian Correlli Barnett called the ensuing battle the greatest defeat in the history of the British armor. When the British XIII Corps commander, General Norrie, realized what was happening, he sent the 22nd Armoured Brigade to rescue the trapped 7th Armoured. The 22nd, however, was pinned down by the Italian Trieste Motorized Division and was taken in the rear by Bismarck and the 21st Panzer. It retreated with heavy losses. Bismarck then returned to the Battle of Knightsbridge, where he, Nehring, and Rommel crushed the 7th Armoured." Rommel's Lieutenants: The Men Who Served The Desert Fox, By Samuel W. Mitcham, Page 98, Praeger (November 30, 2006))
16.06.1942 Italians overrun several Allied units & capture 6,000 Allied troops. (The Italians finished mopping up the Gazala Line on June 16, capturing 6,000 prisoners, thousands of tons of supplies, and entire convoys of undamaged vehicles in the process". The Rise of the Wehrmacht: The German Armed Forces and World War, 2 Volumes, p.564, Samuel W. Mitcham, Praeger (30 June 2008))
30.06.1942 Littorio surrounds Mersa Matruh & Bersaglieri capture 6,500 Allied soldiers. (http://www.comandosupremo.com/mersa.html) ("The Mersa Matruh positions came under heavy artillery fire from the Brescia and Trento Divisions, while the 90th Light and the Littorio Divisions tried to complete the encirclement from the south ... Late in the day on 27 June, Gott, worried that his New Zealand 2nd Division was about to be cut off, ordered the withdrawal of XIII Corps. Because of a breakdown in British communications, X Corps did not learn until 0430 hours on 28 June that XIII Corps was in full retreat, and their southern flank was open. Later that day, the 90th Light Divison and the Littorio Divison completed the encirclement of Mersa Matruh ... During the night of 28 June, groups of the Indian 10th Division tried a breakout of the Mersa Matruh position at the head of Wadi Ngamish, but they were driven back by the Littorio Armoured Division ... On the morning of 29 June, the garrison of Mersa Matruh was overwhelmed. At 0930 hours, the Italian 7th Bersaglieri Regiment entered the conquered stronghold, taking 6,000 Allied prisoners. " World War II in Europe: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, David T. Zabecki, p. 1578, Taylor & Francis, 1999) ("Most of the garrison of Matruh, the better part of another corps, broke out before that position was overrun on June 29, with Italian Bersaglieri playing a leading role in a close-quarters fight resulting in the capture of six thousand prisoners and a division's worth of equipment." Patton And Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century, Dennis Showalter, p. ?, Penguin, 2006)
01.07.1942 Italians round up 1,000 stranded New Zealanders near Mersa Matruh. (???)
04.07.1942 Italian troops repel several Russian attacks. (???)
11.07.1942 Bersaglieri overrun part of the Australian 2/48th Battalion. ( "At approx 2000 hours enemy tanks–number unknown– and inf attacked D Coy front. They overran psn and enemy inf forced D Company to withdraw and occupied their psn"' (2/48th Battalion War Diary)) ("That afternoon Italian tanks counter-attacked both Australian battalions in an attempt to retake Hill 33 near the coast. Maj. Gabriele Verri, commanding 11th Armd. Bn. of the Trieste Motorised Division, sent a company of M13 and M14 tanks into the assault under Capt. Vittorio Bulgarelli." War in the Desert, Neil D. Orpen, p.367, Purnell, 1971) (http://www.comandosupremo.com/1elalamein.html)
11.07.1942 Italian Supreme Headquarters claims the Italian Air Force has played an important part in derailing British attacks on the Alamein Front, shooting down seventeen Allied aircraft on 11 July. ("Our Fiftieth Assault Squadron, acting in the immediate rear of the communications of the enemy, has bombed and machine-gunned materiel dumps and vehicle concentrations, causing explosions and fires. In numerous air combats, hard blows have been inflicted on the R.A.F., which has lost thirty-three machines. Seventeen were shot down by Italian fighters of the First and Fourth Squadrons, and sixteen by Germans." The New York Times, 11 July 1942)
14.07.1942 Part of the Sabratha Division under Colonel Angelozzi recaptures Tel el Eisa from the Australians. (http://www.carabinieri.gov.it/Internet/ ... olo+30.htm)
15.07.1942 Colonel Angelozzi's men defeat the Australian 2/23rd Battalion attempt to recapture the position. ( Later, recounting the 2/23rd Battalion attack, Australian historian Mark Johnston wrote that "“On 16 July, they were ordered to retake it and the rest of Tel el Eisa Ridge. After initial success, they suffered nearly 50 percent casualties and had to withdraw.”") (In his papers, Rommel writes:"“Next day, the 16th July, the British attacked again, but this time only locally. After intensive artillery preparation, the Australians attacked in the early hours of the morning with tank support and took several strong-points held by the Sabratha.“")
15.07.1942 Pavia & Brescia derail New Zealand attack on Ruweisat Ridge. Several hundred attackers are captured. (While the attacking brigades had been able to cut large gaps through the defences held y the Italian infantry, they had not been able to subdue all the resistance. Not surprisingly, most of the smaller outposts and defended localities had fallen easily but some of the larger posts had been bypassed during the night. The outposts which remained contained substantial number of anti-tank guns, machine guns and infantry. When daylight came, these posts were able to cover the area south of the ridge by fire and shot up any trucks foolhardy enough to drive forward."' Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 131, Random House, 2010)
17.07.1942 A battalion of the Trento overruns part of the Australian 2/32nd Battalion, 200 Australians captured. ("Soon the companies had seized the enemy positions on the ridge, but, in the dark, the men of A Company overshot their objective, Point 22, by 1,500 yards. By the time they realised their mistake they were under such heavy fire that they could not withdraw. By 08.00 hours Italian tanks and infantry began to encircle their positions and eventually forced the entire company to surrender." Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 148, Random House, 2010)
21.07.1942 Trieste derails new attack on Ruweisat Ridge. 904 New Zealanders are killed, wounded or captured. ("A mixed German-Italian combat team held on and proved that not all Italians had lost the will to fight. Many of these men resisted to the last bullet. Their heroic stand gave Rommel time to concentrate his Afrika Korps against the 23rd Armoured Brigade." Rommel's Desert War: The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr, p. 122, Stackpole Books, 2007) (http://www.comandosupremo.com/1elalamein.html/3 )
27.07.1942 3rd Battalion of the 61st Trento Infantry Regiment derails the attack of the 2/28th Battalion. ("We could see the Australians and British advancing rather spread out, about 750 yards in front of us, all in groups corresponding with their units. We ceased fire with the machine-guns — there was still plenty of time for them — but continued with our 47/32s ... When they got within 300 yards, we opened up with everything. The noise was terrific; you could only tell a gun was firing by the smoke and powder coming out of its muzzle. It was almost eleven o’clock. My tommy-gun broke down after about 3,000 rounds — ejector broken! The machine-gun also played up a bit after 5,000 rounds. But by that time the attack was beginning to peter out. The British artillery had packed it in. By midday it was all over. After the withdrawal, followed by our counterattack, the ambulances returned to start ferrying back the dead and wounded, but we got suspicious after an hour or so because they seemed to be hanging about too much. We fired a few shots over their heads to let them know it was time to break it up. They took the hint and went — and didn’t come back." Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 87, Osprey Allen & Unwin, 1966)
27.07.1942 Armoured car squadron of the Trieste encircles and captures the Australian 2/28 Battalion. (The names of certain units were on everyone’s lips up and down the line following particularly brilliant actions, among them the reconnaissance Group of the Trieste. It had been set up some time previously: it was hardly a homogeneous unit on the German pattern, but did reflect admirably the Italian genius of improvisation. They had no more than nine vehicles–Morrises, Fords, Dingos and Jeeps, all captured from the enemy–armed with small caliber guns and machine-guns of all descriptions, British, Italian and German, together with two British 88 guns and their carriages, and two small supply lorries. "' Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 79, Allen & Unwin, 1966) ("The Bn was completely surrounded by armored cars which worked forward under cover of fire from enemy tanks further back, while 20mm, MMG and mortar fire kept the heads of our own troops well down. In this manner the enemy was able to cut off and dispose of sections and platoons one by one, until at 1030 hrs Bn HQ area was occupied by several armored cars and surviving personnel taken prisoner. An effort had been made to hinder the enemy armored vehicles by bringing Arty fire to bear on them before they dispersed. Unfortunately the only communication with Bde was by one wireless set WT repaired by Sigs, after about eight hours work. Messages reporting the situation were sent immediately once this set was capable of functioning, i.e., about 0930 hrs onwards. Last message was “All up, overrun!” " July 1942 Diary by Lieutenant S. A. Walker (available online))
03.08.1942 Italian torpedo boats disable the Soviet cruiser Molotov. (Wikipedia) (Mussolini’s War, Frank Joseph, p. 145)
24.08.1942 The Savoia Cavalleria overruns a good part of the Soviet 304th Infantry Division. (Wikipedia) ("Three days later, the 3rd Cavalry Division Amedeo Duca d' Aosta, comprising 600 horse-soldiers ... charged 2,000 Soviets defending themselves with mortars and artillery on the Isbuschenski Steppe. The lead squadron achieved complete surprise by attacking head-on, while the other, armed with sabers, rode down the Reds from behind their positions. These were overrun in history's last significant cavalry charge. It destroyed two soviet battalions, forcing another battalion to withdraw, while capturing 500 prisoners." Mussolini's War, Frank Joseph, p. 147 )
25.08.1942 Italian troops smash Soviet counterattacks. ("Elsewhere on the Don front Russian counter-attacks were reported "frustrated" by Italian troops." Schenectady Gazette, 25 August 1942) (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 75,5654334)
26.08.1942 Italian troops repel several Russian attacks on the Don front. ("Italian troops operating on the Don front repulsed several enemy attacks in hand-to-hand fighting." German High Command (communique) (26 August 1942). "Text of the Day's War Communiques on Fighting in Various Zones". New York Times (26 August 1942))
29.08.1942 Italian torpedo boat cripple the British destroyer Eridge. (Wikipedia)
??.09.1942 Bologna overruns defenders of Point 211. ("In the centre of the British front a good Italian division, the Bologna, delivered a strong attack on the Ruweisat Ridge, and a considerable counter-attack was required to expel it from the footing it gained". AFTERMATH OF WAR: THE EIGHT ARMY FROM ALAMEIN TO THE SANGRO. The illustrated London news, Volume 212, Issues 5672-5684, p. 262, The Illustrated London News & Sketch Ltd., 1948)
??.09.1942 Trieste, Brescia, Ariete & Littorio in the area of the Munassib Depression, force British & New Zealanders units to retreat. ("During the early morning hours, the New Zealand Division, composed of the two New Zealand brigades, which occupied the box, assisted by a brigade of another infantry division, laid down an artillery barrage and followed with an infantry attack. This attack advanced south and along the trails in square 88-27. The attack advanced 3 miles, but with the coming of daylight the Trieste, Brescia, and the 90th Light Division, supported by the Ariete, and Littorio Divisions, in a series of three counterattacks, forced the attacking troops back nearly to their original positions." The Afrika in Combat, Bob Carruthers, p. ?, Pen & Sword, 2013)
04.09.1942 Folgore Divison defeats the 6th New Zealand Brigade & capture 200 attackers. "An attack by our Luftwaffe against the 10th Indian Div [sic], which was in the assembly area for a counter attack against the centre of the front, caused the units which were assembled there to scatter to the winds. Also, all other attacks launched by other units against our flanks, especially the New Zealanders, were too weak to be able to effect a penetration—they could be repulsed. A night attack conducted against the X Italian Corps resulted in especially high losses for the British. Countless enemy dead lay on the battlefield and 200 prisoners were taken among whom was Gen (sic) Clifton, commanding general of the 6th New Zealand Brigade." (http://web.archive.org/web/200806111617 ... t/hart.asp)
14.09.1942 San Marcos Marines & Carabinieri capture several hundred British commandos that attempt to capture Tobruk. 576 of the attackers are captured. (Wikipedia)
14.09.1942 MC200 Fighters from 13° Gruppo sink the British destroyer HMS Zulu. ("Major Renzo Viale on his own initiative took off with the MC 200s of his 13th Fighter Group and sank the Zulu." Alamein 1933-1962: An Italian Story, Paolo Caccia Dominioni de Sillavengo, p. 177)
14.09.1942 Italian Navy heavy coastal guns & not German 8.8 cm Flak guns (according to British survivors) sink the British destroyer HMS Sikh. ((http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 61,2852440)
30.09.1942 Folgore defeats the 131st Queens Brigade, over 300 British killed or captured. (Wikipedia)
24.10.1942 Ariete, Brescia & Folgore successfully defend the Alamein Front. (Wikipedia)
26.10.1942 12th Bersaglieri overruns the Austalian 2/17th Battalion.("Attacks were now launched on Hill 28 by elements of the 15th Panzer Division, the Littorio and a Bersaglieri Battalion, supported by the concentrated fire of all the local artillery and A.A ... In the evening part of the Bersaglieri Battalion succeeded in occupying the eastern and western edges of the hill." El Alamein: Desert Victory, John Strawson, p. 119, J m Dent & Sons Limited, 1981) ( "On the morning of 28 October, tanks,lorried infantry and some of the groups of men who had dug in after previous unsuccessful attempts gathered fro another attempt to retake Point 29. The 2/17th Battalion, which had taken over the positions around Point 29, had suffered heavy casualties and eventually it was decided to pull the infantry back from the exposed height to better positions in the open desert." Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 360, Random House, 2010)
28.10.1942 Littorio overruns part of the British 133rd Brigade, 300 British are captured. ("In the early morning they attacked 133 British Lorried Infantry Brigade, which had been sent to relieve 'Snipe', but ended up to the north of it and was unable to dig its anti-tank guns into the rocky ground. The Axis assault virtually annihilated the British unit, knocking out their exposed anti-tank guns, killing sixty men, including their commander Colonel Murphy, and capturing 300 others." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p. ?, Crowood, 2012)
29.10.1942 7th Bersaglieri derails the advance of the Austalian 26th Brigade. ( Wikipedia)
30.10.1942 7th Bersaglieri defeats several Australian attacks. ( These costly German attacks did succeed in restoring contact with the beleaguered 125th Panzergrenadier Regiment. 90th Light Division later praised the regiment and the Italian X Bersaglieri who clung to their posts even when 'surrounded on all sides, short of ammunition, food and water, unable to evacuate their many wounded; while withstanding 'attacks by an enemy superior in numbers and equipment'. During the morning, many of the German and Italian wounded were evacuated and more supplies brought into the salient. Pendulum Of War: Three Battles at El Alamein, Niall Barr, p. 380, Random House, 2010)
01.11.1942 Italian troops defeat Soviet attempts to cross the Don River. ("On the Don front Italian troops again repulsed enemy attempts to cross the river." The Montreal Gazette 2 November 1942) (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 023,205737)
03.11.1942 Ariete, Trieste & Trento successfully cover the retreat of Rommel. (Enormous dust-clouds could be seen south and south-east of headquarters [of the DAK], where the desperate struggle of the small and inefficient Italian tanks of XX Corps was being played out against the hundred or so British heavy tanks which had come round their open right flank. I was later told by Major von Luck, whose battalion I had sent to close the gap between the Italians and the Afrika Korps, that the Italians, who at that time represented our strongest motorised force, fought with exemplary courage.The Rommel Papers, p. 325)
10.11.1942 Italian troops defeat Russian attempts to cross the River Don.
12.11.1942 The "Friuli" & "Cremona" overrun the French garrison in Corsica.
Mid-November 1942 Superga Division plays an important part in fighting off the British 78th Division. ("In the meantime, the British 78th Infantry Division had advanced on Bizerta and passed Abiod and the mountain of the same name, where it encountered Major Witzig's airborne combat engineers. Witzig and his men held up the British for 48 hours. The heavy weapons from the Superga Division supported the paratroopers, and the Luftwaffe supplied much needed help from the air." Das Afrika Korps, Franz Kurowski p. 202)
21.11.1942 Italian forces come to the rescue of German paratroopers at Gabes & repulse a column of US tanks. ("When U.S. tanks showed up outside of Gabes 48 hours later, they were turned back by the paratroopers and two battalions of the "Brigade L" of General Imperiali. The Italian force had arrived as reinforcements." Das Afrika Korps: Erwin Rommel and the Germans in Africa, 1941-43, Franz Kurowski, p. 202)
03.12.1942 Bersaglieri troops overrun a British parachute battalion. (https://web.archive.org/web/20110617054 ... 43_149.pdf)
06.12.1942 Italian Army Headquarters reports that Italian forces have overrun an Allied unit in Tunisia. ("In Tunisia, during hard fighting which we reported in yesterday's communique and which resulted in our capture of an important locality, we took 400 prisoners. We destroyed or captured twenty-five tanks, seven armored vehicles, forty-one guns, roughly 300 motor vehicles and a large amount of ammunition." The New York Times, 7 December 1942)
12.12.1942 Italian troops attack Russian defences, bringing back prisoners & much equipment. ("Italian troops, in an aggressive reconnaissance engagement, broke into enemy positions and brought back prisoners and booty." German High Command (communique) (12 December 1942). "Text of the Day's War Communiques". New York Times (12 December 1942))
13.12.1942 Centauro Division forces a British armoured force to retreat at El Agheila. (Wikipedia)
20.12.1942 Italian troops continue to fight hard near Stanlingrad, despite being hopelessly outnumbered. ("On the Don river front German and Italian troops were said to be "still engaged against strong Soviet infantry and tank formations.""Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 21 December 1942) ( http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 03,2537671)
29.01.1943 Italian bombers damage beyond repair the British anti-aircraft ship HMS Pozarica.(Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
28.01.1943 Italian Supreme Headquarters claims that Italian troops have repelled an armoured thrust in Tunisia. ("An attack supported by armored forces against our positions in the Tunisian sector was repulsed." The New York Times, 28 January 1943)
02.02.1943 Italian Supreme Headquarters reports that its troops in Tunisia have been successful in action with Allied forces. ("In Tunisia combats still are in progress in the areas reached by Axis troops during previous days. About 100 prisoners were taken and twelve tanks were put out of action." The New York Times, 2 February 1943) ("A second attack group, consisting of the Centauro Armored Division and German elements provided from the two German armored divisions, attacked through Maknassy in the direction of Gafsa. That attack came as a complete surprise to the U.S.Corps. The U.S. 1st Armored Division, which had established itself in the saddle of the Faid Pass, was ejected. Gafsa was evacuated." Das Afrika Korps: Erwin Rommel and the Germans in Africa, 1941-43, Franz Kurowski, p. 213)
18.02.1943 Germans fail to take Sbiba Pass, but the 7th Bersaglieri overrun the US vanguard at Kasserine Pass. (Rommel returned to the railway station at Kasserine which briefly served as the combined command post of the German Africa Corps and the 10th Panzer Division, and ordered these two formations to take the Kasserine Pass. In the evening dusk Rommel observed, as he dictated for his diary, 'the exciting scene of the tank battle north of the pass'. He had special praise for the 7th Bersaglieri, who attacked fiercely and whose commander fell during the attack; they threw the American, British and French forces out of the pass in joint action with the II/86 and the K 10." Stauffenberg: A Family History, 1905-1944, Peter Hoffman, p.171, McGill-Queen's Press, 2008) ("The new commander of DAK Assault Group, General Bulowius, complimented them on their élan, which contributed significantly to Axis success. The Italian action was instrumental in breaking through the US positions and in opening up the road to Thala and Tebessa." Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa, Ian Walker, p.?, Crowood Press, 2006)
18.02.1943 Centauro Division overruns the 1,200-strong US 19th Combat Engineers Regiment. ("The American collapse began in earnest by late morning. At 11:22 the 19th Engineers' commander, Colonel A.T.W. Moore, warned Stark by radio that enemy infantry and tanks were forcing the pass along Highway 13. An engineer major bellowed: "Forget about our equipment and just save your life." Artillery observers fled, explaining plausibly if ingloriously: "This place is too hot." Companies disintegrated into platoons, platoons into squads, squads into solitary foot soldiers chased to the rear by screaming meemies. Half an hour later, Moore radioed, "Enemy overrunning our C.P.," and bolted for high ground. He soon arrived at Stark's tent to announce that the 19th Engineers no longer existed." An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, Rick Atkinson, p.?, Henry Holt and Company, 2007)
24.02.1943 5th Bersaglieri successfully covers the retreat of Rommel. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 89,1447008) (Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts, Ian Walker) ("The German material was scarcer because the Nazis pulled out when they saw the couldn't slug their way through the joint American and British defense and left the Italians to bear the full weight of the counterattack alone." The Milwaukee Journal - Feb 26, 1943)
??.03.1943 Italian SS battalions successfully defend their positions at Anzio, despited repeated American attacks. (Wikipedia)
29-31.03.1943 Italian troops successfully defend El Hamma. ("The enemy positions seemed impregnable, and, in fact, the Italians manning them held out for three days. Next morning Rommel ... replaced the Italians with crack German troops ... but the enemy, finally fellback into the ravine...the morale of 20-year-old prisoners fresh from the Russian front was low, they made no attempt to hide their satisfaction at being out of the war." The Glasgow Herald - Apr 1, 1943) (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2 ... 04,4830439)
10.07.1943 Italian dive bombers sink the American destroyer USS Maddox. (Wikipedia)
10.07.1943 Livorno Division overruns part of the American 26th Infantry Regiment. ("The Americans suddenly beat a quick withdrawal, during which Leonardi's 3rd Battalion seized their positions, taking a number of weapons and prisoners from the U.S. 26th Infantry Regiment." Mussolini's War, Frank Joseph, p ?) ("The 1st and 4th Ranger Battalions hit the beach at 3:00 A.M. and antipersonnel mines and rifle fire took a heavy toll. D Company of the 4th Battalion, for example, lost all of its officers. After moving off the beach and destroying several pillboxes, the Rangers entered Gela. Fighting was house-to-house, but by midmorning the Rangers had the town. The victory was interrupted around 10:30 A.M., when the seasoned Italian Livorno Division counterattacked and nine Italian light tanks broke the Rangers' outer defensive positions." Beyond Valor: World War II's Ranger and Airborne Veterans Reveal the Heart of Combat, Patrick K. O'Donnell, p. 38)
14.07.1943 Napoli Division overruns part of the British Staffordshire Regiment defending Ponte Grande in Sicily. (Wikipedia)
14.07.1943 Semoventes & Bersaglieri riding motorbikes overrun 400 British Commandos defending Malati Bridge in Sicily. (Wikipedia)
16.07.1943 Italian submarine Dandolo disables the British cruiser HMS Cleopatra. (Wikipedia)
16.07.1943 Italian bombers cripple the British aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable. ("The carrier HMS Indomitable is damaged by a torpedo bomber." Mussolini’s Navy, Maurizio Brescoa, p. 50)
31.07.1943 Aosta Division on Mount Troina (Sicily), overruns part of an American battalion. (Wikipedia)
02.08.1943 Assietta at Santa Agata (Sicily), successfully defends the rear positions of 29th Panzergrenadier Division. (Wikipedia).
15.08.1943 Italian bombers from 132° Gruppo sink the US tank landing ship LST-414. (Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
04.09.1943 Fighters from 5th Stormo sink four US tank landing ships. (???)
07.09.1943 Italian bombers from 132° Gruppo damage beyond repair US tank landing ship LST-417. (Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units, Marco Mattioli, Mark Postlethwaite, Appendix B)
1-3.10.1943 Monterosa Division repels attacks of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force. (Wikipedia)
29.10.1944 Monterosa & Italia Divisions overruns part of the Brazilian forces. ("The next morning the Brazilian lines were hit by a major counter-attack by ... battalions from the RSI "Monterosa" and 4th Bersaglieri "Italia" divisions." Brazilian Expeditionary Force in World War II, Ricardo Bonalume Neto, p. ?)
Mid-December 1944 Italian Waffen SS units fighting alongside German units repel several American attacks outside Bologna city. Americans suffer 15,700 casualties & call off their assaults. (Mussolini's War, Frank Joseph, p. 197)
26.12.1944 Mussolini & Marshal Graziani devise WINTERSTORM. Monte Rosa & San Marco Divisions overrun the US 92nd Division. Italians successfully defend their gains for several months. (Wikipedia) (""Nothing could dislodge the gains made by Operation Winsterstorm. These comprised a conquered wedge twenty kilometres wide and nine kilometres deep which stood largely intact throughout the rest of the war. In fact, its defenders continued fighting for days after Mussolini's death the following year." Mussolini's War, Frank Joseph, p. 198)
01.01-03.03.1945 Italians Fascist Divisions successfully defend the Gothic Line. ("Still not routed, the Germans and their RSI allies thereafter successfully defended the 'Gothic line', running from the Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic Sea south of Bologna and the other gateways to the Po valley. That richest part of Italy was not liberated until the last days of the war in April 1945." Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Dictatorship, 1915-1945, R J B Bosworth,p. ?)

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4918
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by Urmel » 10 Sep 2014 07:03

26.11.1941 Bersaglieri defeat renewed British attempt to smash through the Bologna ("When the New Zealanders attacked again after the onset of darkness, they were able to take Balhamed in the course of the night. Early in the morning of 26 November, a portion of the Tobruk garrison, supported by 50 tanks, broke out once again. A crisis arose when El Duda fell. It was only through a bitter and bravely conducted immediate counterattack by the Bersaglieri of the Trieste Division that the positions in the north could be held." Das Afrika Korps: Erwin Rommel and the Germans in Africa, 1941-43, By Franz Kurowski, pg. 117, Stackpole Books (March 2010))
Not sure what this is supposed to mean, by on 26 November the Axis positions were broken through and the corridor opened the next day. 32 ATB reported the capture of an Italian regimental commander with 15 officers and 2-300 men at WOLF at 0724. My guess is they were from Bologna. I presume the counterattack by the Bersaglieri aimed to regain WOLF. It is mentioned in the 2 Y&L war diary. It failed. There was another attack on DALBY SQUARE apparently, with 25 light tanks and infantry. That also was held off but 15 Y&L men were captured. Franz Kurowski is not a realiable source, by the way.

Regardless, it is hard to see any victory here.
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

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 10162
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: 101 Italian WW2 victories & counting

Post by Sid Guttridge » 10 Sep 2014 10:42

From these lists, one would think that Italy fought the war without significant support from the Germans!

There is undoubtedly a need to give the Italian armed forces more credit than they have generally enjoyed, by taking better account of the limitations under which they fought, but when one has to search for battalion-sized actions and the sinking of individual ships to find victories, it tends to highlight how limited more major Italian successes were, especially when not integrated with the Germans.

The Italians rather grandiosly named two comparitively small defensive actions by their 8th Army as the 1st and 2nd Battles of the Don Bend. The Romanians had to take over the line opposite some of the bridgeheads successfully established by the Russians against the Italians in these actions and in October 1942 held the line against far bigger Soviet assaults that cost them 13,500 casualties, yet they don't even give this unremarked defensive success any name at all.

In the widest sense, Italy's only independent strategic campaign victory was the overrunning of British Somaliland with overwhelming numbers. This is a good example of the British underplaying their own losses. Normally they give their battle casualties at around 200-300, compared with Italian losses of about 2,000. What the British generally overlook is that they had to disband the 600-strong, regular Somaliland Camel Corps when they retreated and Somali irregulars armed by the British suffered around a thousand casualties during Italian mopping up after their departure. This would make British military losses on a similar scale to those of the Italians.

The Italians also fought rather better than they are often credited for in Albania. Greek killed and wounded were only slightly lower than those of the Italians and the Italians had so absorbed and weakened the Greek Army that it had little left to oppose the later entry of the Germans.

Cheers,

Sid.

Return to “Italy under Fascism 1922-1945”