Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

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Dili
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by Dili » 13 Aug 2018 10:58

Italian divisions had not such number of troops. That has to include attached units.

mfy4444
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by mfy4444 » 13 Aug 2018 21:37

I don't think the entire Granatieri di Sardegna division was ever deployed overseas. Just its 3rd Infantry Regiment, which had also been a spearhead for the invasion of Greece, before fighting extensively in the former Yugoslavia. Being that the Granatieri were considered the Royal Guard, I believe their 1st Infantry Regiment and most of the divisional support units (artillery, during the Sept '43 brief defense of Rome their 81mm mortar battalion was also involved) remained in or around Rome throughout the war.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Regards

Mike Yaklich

SloveneLiberal
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 14 Aug 2018 12:00

It was like this. In April 1941 it was decided in Rome that divison Granatieri di Sardegna will come to Slovenia and replace divison Re which went to Croatia. At that time general Taddeo Orlando was the commander of the divison. In Slovenia he is well known because of his support for establishement of MVAC in summer 1942 or White Guard as it was called by partisans. The headquaters of divison was stationed in Ljubljana. After some movements in June 1941 the situation was like this. 1. regiment with three battalions of the divison Granatieri di Sardegna was in Ljubljana, second regiment was in Kočevje. Two battalions were in Kočevje and one in Ribnica. The artillery regiment was also in Ljubljana. They had units also in Dobrova and Horjul (black shirts ), mortars battalion in Ig and some smaller units in Grosuplje ( one battalion of balck shirts which was also under the command of Orlando at that time ), Velike Lašč and so on. Of all divisions in Slovenia Granatieri di Sardegna had at that time the biggest number of military posts under its command. That is 30 posts.

So Italian divison Granatieri di Sardegna had at that time two Infantry Regiments ( each three battalions ), artillery regiment, legion of black shirts, one battalion of mortars and some smaller units. All of those units were stationed in Slovenia.

Hope the information was useful. :)

Dili
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by Dili » 15 Aug 2018 15:54

Mike, the 3rd Infantry Rgt of Granatieri was not anymore part of division after the TOE reorganization before war that made all infantry divisions 2 Regiments only.

Like SloveneLiberal says it had only 2 regiments and went to Yugoslavia.

An Italian infantry/mountain(not Alpini) division had roughly 13000 including the Blackshirt legion.
http://xoomer.alice.it/ramius/Militaria ... _1940.html

SloveneLiberal
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 01 Feb 2019 21:41

Some very good informations about this big Italian offensive can be found in the book written by dr. Tone Ferenc Fašisti brez krinke, published in Maribor in 1987. Book contains many original Italian documents which were sold to historians by Americans as already mentioned before.

In the book Pregled zgodovine narodnoosvobodilne borbe v Sloveniji ( 2 knjiga ) professor Metod Mikuž is writting in detail about all eleven stages of big Italian offensive on the pages 92-158.

SloveneLiberal
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 01 Feb 2019 22:38

Because partisan forces were not disbanded and destroyed the offensive achivements can be summarized in two main points. Italians again occupied the territory which was abandoned by their troops in spring 1942 when activity of partisans increased and a lot of smaller military posts were abandoned. Now many military posts were again established.

The second result was the growth of so called White Guard or MVAC or Village guard. Italians were ready to make an agreement with Slovenian anticommuist leaders in July 1942 that they will allow the establishement of anticommunist militia armed by Italian army which will help them in the fight against partisans and supporters of Liberation Front. Those forces were rearly used in Italian offensive operations. Mostly they were guarding villages. Because Italians were making deportations of civilians on a big scale as mentioned before, many were ready to avoid deportations of them and their families by joining MVAC.

In September 1942 MVAC had already 2823 members ( 2219 armed ) but in November 1942 when Italian offensive ended the number were as high as 4471 members ( 4085 armed ). MVAC being with that growth stronger than partisan forces.

SloveneLiberal
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 03 Feb 2019 17:14

Partisan reorganization during big Italian offensive.

Partisan units were organized more like local units in spring 1942 before the offensive. They survived the offensive by moving from one part of the country to another. When Italians were cleaning one part partisans tried to sneak in to another which was not cleaned yet or had been like cleaned already. It helped them because in Italian 11. army corps they had their spies and informers. Just before the start of offensive first partisan brigade was formed named by Tone Tomšič, communist leader shot earlier by Italians. It was first called proletarian brigade but later the name was changed to strike brigade. Partisan high command established two new strike brigades in September 1942, strike brigade of Matija Gubec and strike brigade of Ivan Cankar, plus strike brigade of Ljubo Šercer was also soon established ( 6. of October ). Strike brigades were able to conduct bigger attacks than smaller local units from before from which new brigades were made. They were also moving faster throughout the country. Already in September their offensive was concentrated against newly established MVAC in Suha Krajina. Croatian partisan units which were allies of Slovenian partisans were also invited in Slovenia. They did some successful actions against Italian forces. For exmaple at village Kvasica they attacked Italian military column killing 58 soldiers and wounding 32.

SloveneLiberal
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Re: Big Italian offensive in Slovenia July-November 1942

Post by SloveneLiberal » 07 Apr 2020 11:56

The question of reprisals and collective punishement is closely connected with big Italian offensive in 1942. Was this a harsh answer on partisan activity or something else? We can see from register from a meeting of general Mario Robotti commander of XI. army corps with his subordinate commanders in Kočevje that fascist plan was in fact to preemptively eliminate all possible armed opposition to Italian occupation and annexation of Ljubljanska Pokrajina or so called Provincia di Lubiana. Meeting in Kočevje took place on 2.8.1942 so just after the meeting with Mussolini in Gorizia mentioned before where also generals Robotti and Roatta were present.

Robotti gave orders that specially all men capable of fighting must be arrested and sent to concentration camps in Italy ( like Rab ) even if they did nothing. Robotti claimed they could become dangerous in the future, because people generaly did not want Italian rule over them. But all those who are suspected of communist activity should be shot. Women and children were also subject of arrest and internment if they lived in the operation zone of the offensive. Robotti said it is not contrary to the will of higher authorities that all Slovenes should go in interment. So they should arrest on large scale that people will lose any hope and will be ready to subject to Italian force.

Fašisti brez krinke, written by dr. Tone Ferenc, published in Maribor, 1987, pages 411-412.


What about MVAC or village guards?

Italian plan was to slowly make mixed troops of Italians and Slovenes which would fight like some kind of special forces against partisans. On that way they thought they would control those units also politicaly and erase other influences like British. The plan for making mixed units from Italians and MVAC militiamen was made in 1943 and advanced by general Gastone Gambara since in 1942 Italian commanders did not trust MVAC very much and were keeping them more on a local level, connections between MVAC units were also strictly controled. Mussolini accepted somehow temporary compromise with White guard in Gorizia at the meeting with his generals, but said that they should not trust them and should be careful. Some small mixed units were also created but then Italy was already losing the war so the plan was not realized. So in summary Italians were ready to make a compromise with White guard which saw communism and Liberation Front as its main enemy but had also a plan for their asimilation of White guard or MVAC units.

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