Volunteers in the Italian Armed Forces

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Re: Volunteers in the Italian Armed Forces

Post by DrG » 19 Jun 2019 22:34

After a few years I return to this old thread because I have found new information about foreign volunteers in the Italian Armed Forces in the article "Il Regio Esercito e la guerra antipartigiana in Russia" by Filippo Cappellano, published in the issues 297 and 298 of "Storia Militare", June and July 2018.

Ukrainians and Russians
Since June 1942 the CSIR (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia) and then the ARMIR (Armata Italiana in Russia, also known as 8^ Armata = 8th Army) recruited Soviet Ukrainians in the "Polizia ausiliaria" (Auxiliary Police). The recruitment and organization of the units was made mostly by Italian Carabinieri, but also by other units of the Army. The Intendenza (Quartiermaster) of the ARMIR created a total of 249 teams for a total of 2,423 men, each of them with a normal force of 10-12 men. Corps and Divisions, instead, created larger units, each with the strength of a company divided into three platoons, under the command of Carabinieri, but my aforementioned source doesn't provide any data about them.

A report by the Intendenza written after the campaign, quoted in the article, provides a very positive judgment of these units, underlying their loyalty, even when the ARMIR was forced to retreat. The larger units created by the Corps and Divisions, instead, were object of mixed evaluations: a report made in October 1942 casts some doubts about their loyalty.

Their activity was keeping public order, reconnaissance and taking part to anti-partisan operations, both autonomously and with Italian units, suffering some KIAs (the exact number is unknown).

No information is provided about their uniform, but the presence of an armband is mentioned. They were armed with captured Soviet rifles, while automatic weapons were not given to the auxiliary police units, at least at the beginning of their activity.

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Post by Sawpatin » 19 Feb 2020 21:30

DrG wrote:
01 Mar 2004 13:33

I've just read this passage of a post by the historian Enrico Cernuschi in this old thread of the Feldgrau.net forum: http://www.feldgrau.net/phpBB2/viewtopi ... h&start=15.
Some Irishmen (not many, of course, no more than 10 according my sources) proofed to be good camrades during the 1940-1943 war working together with the Reparto Informazioni of the Regia Marina Staff and at least three of them (the three musketters) with the Raggruppamento Centri Militari (then Raggruppamento Frecce Rosse) Indian Battalion Azad- Hindoustan. The only effective intelligence missions on 1942 perfomed by the men of this special paratrooper battalion were made by them.
I know this post was made long ago, but has any more detail surfaced about this? I for one would be fascinated to learn more, particularly given that Irish nationals were citizens of a neutral nation at the time.

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