Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

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SloLiberal
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Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloLiberal » 05 Mar 2018 11:43

There was a big Italian offensive against slovenian partisans in the time of summer and autumn 1942. Slovene resistant movement gained massive support of people in so called ''Ljubljanska pokrajina'', which was annexed to Italy after occupation, already in 1941. In spring 1942 activity of partisans increased and Italian army pulled back from some areas so big parts of the land came under partisan control. Then Italians prepared big offensive against resistance movement. In this offensive they used 75.000 soldiers according to the data collected by historian dr. Metod Mikuz. In this time there were only 2500 partisans in ''Ljub. Pokrajina'' but Italians were thinking the number is much higher up to 10.000.

The offensive itself was very ruthless and cruel measures were used like killing of hostages on large scale and sending people to concentration camps on massive scale ( like Rab, Gonars etc). Mussolini even said at the meeting in Gorizia at the end of July 1942 that he is not against expulsion of all Slovenians from the annexed region, but it seems that this project would be to big. Yet partisans were not destroyed.

The number of italian forces used in the 1942 offensive against partisans in Slovenia is impressive and this surely meant a real help to the allied cause, because othervise those forces could be used on other battlefields. For comparison in the battle of El Alamein 116.000 axis soldiers were involved, but of course much more tanks were used there also.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloLiberal » 05 Mar 2018 11:55

List of Italian units involved in the offensive.

In the big Italian offensive against slovene partisans from July-November 1942 those units were used:

Division Cacciatori delle Alpi 15.721 men.
Division Isonzo 13.588 men.
Division Macerata 8.722 men.
Division Granatieri di Sardegna 20.000 men.
Four special M batalions each had 700 men so together 2.800.
Two fascists legions each had around 900 men so together 1.800.
XI. Ragrup. Gaf or border guards which numbered 8.558 men.
Plus quite some police forces.
Last edited by SloLiberal on 05 Mar 2018 14:07, edited 1 time in total.

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G. Trifkovic
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by G. Trifkovic » 05 Mar 2018 12:32

Hi SloLiberal,

please provide sources for these posts.

Best,

G.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloLiberal » 05 Mar 2018 12:49

Hello. I can not give you an internet source but i can recommend you two books both in Slovenian language. One is ''Pregled NOB v Sloveniji'' book number 2, author dr. Metod Mikuz, published in 1961 and the other ''Fašisti brez krinke'' written by dr. Tone Ferenc in 1987. The last contains a lot of original Italian documents, translated in slovenian language, which also tells us a lot about the topic which is mentioned here.

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G. Trifkovic
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by G. Trifkovic » 05 Mar 2018 12:54

SloLiberal wrote:Hello. I can not give you an internet source but i can recommend you two books both in Slovenian language. One is ''Pregled NOB v Sloveniji'' book number 2, author dr. Metod Mikuz, published in 1961 and the other ''Fašisti brez krinke'' written by dr. Tone Ferenc in 1987. The last contains a lot of original Italian documents, translated in slovenian language, which also tells us a lot about the topic which is mentioned here.
Hi,

do figures concerning the strength of Italian divisions come from these two books?

Thanks,

G.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloLiberal » 05 Mar 2018 13:28

Yes. In the first book you find those numbers on pages 92-93.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by Dili » 26 Mar 2018 01:55

I doubt those units were employed in full. Certainly not the artillery.

Also it seems some have numbers that way over the TOE like Granatieri and Cacc. del Alpi , also Isonzo which was near establishment. This number is only possible with attached units from Corps level. From those numbers it is also possible the units is counted twice like the Legions and the GAF.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by zaptiè » 26 Mar 2018 11:43

where also units of " Bela Garda" or Slovene anticomunists .

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 23 Jul 2018 13:00

Hello i lost my old password so i had to register again sorry. I found a register from the meeting at Italian XI. army corps from 26.6.1942 in which it is stated also that Italians gathered 70.000 armed men in Ljubljanska Pokrajina in summer 1942 for the big offensive.
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 23 Jul 2018 16:39

zaptiè wrote:
26 Mar 2018 11:43
where also units of " Bela Garda" or Slovene anticomunists .
Yes but those units were staying more in the back, guarding the vilages. In the offensive they were used in small number. The most important unit of so called Bela garda or MVAC which was used by Italians in the offensive was
Legion of dead which had a few hundred members. The great majority of forces used was no doubt Italian.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 24 Jul 2018 09:31

Maybe i should give some background about these italian documents from which i quoted. For the time 1941-1942 registers of meetings at XI. army corps were regulary made. Those meetings were between general Mario Robotti, high civilian commissar for so called ''Ljubljanska pokrajina'' fascist Emilio Grazioli and other military commanders ( like commanders of army divisoins etc ). Robotti took those documents with him when he left Slovenia and went to Croatia. He was replaced by Gastone Gambara in Slovenia. When Italy surrendered to the allies in september 1943 Germans got those papers. They brought them to Germany to Muenchen and Ingolstadt and studied them together with other italian documents from different places. They wanted to get the information when Italian generals started with their work against Germany and Hitler and with ties with allies... Then after Germany was defeated documents came in the hands of Americans. Later they were sent back to Italy but Americans made microfilms of them and sold them to historians which were interested.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 26 Jul 2018 09:39

Link to another topic of me which is explaining that the right for self determination which was advocated by liberation Front ( OF ) was also a strong driving force behind the spread of resistance movement in Slovenia.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=236184

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 26 Jul 2018 10:52

Register from the meeting at XI. army corps from 7.7.1942 is talking also about cruel measures which will be taken during the big Italian offensive. All transport, post and telefon connections will be canceled. All people caught with arms or explosives will be shot on the spot, all houses from which it will be shot on Italian army should be burned and destroyed. All men who will try to hide or escape before advancing Italian army will be shot.

Based on this measures a big number of war crimes was committed by Italian army. I will give just some examples. Near the village of Stari Log in the area of Kocevje Italian army in fact soldiers from divison of Sardianian grenadiers found a few hundred people all civilians hiding from the offensive. 70 of them were shot on the spot and all other were taken in to the concentration camps in Italy. The crime was committed on 16.8.1942.

From the diary of Italian military chaplain Pietro Brignoli we can see a number of crimes committed during the Italian offensive. The shocked chaplain is writing about burning the villages and shooting hostages. For example for 22. 9. 1942 he is writing that for days he is not been able to see nothing else but fire. And after two days he wrote that out of many villages in the area just the one where they established military headquarters was not burned down.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 26 Jul 2018 17:11

Dili wrote:
26 Mar 2018 01:55
Certainly not the artillery.
The offensive had eleven stages. In every stage a part of teritory was ''cleared'' in detail. About the military equipment of the Italian forces i found some information. For example in first stage of the offensive the divison Granatieri di Sardegna had two squads of tanks and flamethrowers ( so called carri L ). Also they got some extra artilery from divison Superga ( caliber 75/13 ).

Division Cacciatori delle Alpi was using in this first stage a squad of carri L and artilery of the same caliber.

Under general De Rienzi he had some soldiers and a squad of tanks and armored vehicles.

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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 11 Aug 2018 22:10

Here is some information about the Italian forces after the end of big offensive in November 1942. Division Cacciatori delle Alpi had 15.314 men. Division Macerata had 6.293 men. Division Isonzo had 11.419 men. Then the group of black shirts XXI. April had 3.913 men. There were some other smaller military units too which had 4.521 men. Units of border guards had 4.477 men and there were 1977 men in police units. White Guard or MVAC had 4.544 men. All together more then 52.000 men were under arms on the side of Italian army. They had also 188 units of artillery, 24 tanks and more then 650 cars of different sort.

Some units left Ljubljanska Pokrajina for example Disivion Granatieri di Sardegna went to Croatia in September 1942 after two months of their fighting in big offensive. This division had around 20.000 men.

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