Italian divisions in the Soviet front

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Tiberius
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Italian divisions in the Soviet front

Post by Tiberius » 04 Mar 2003 21:37

What ever happened to the Italian divisions on the Soviet front when Italy changed sides after the Allied invasion during WW2?

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 04 Mar 2003 22:58

There were no more....last italian division had been retired by russian front in March 1943

(note: some RSI unit turned back on russian front after armistice)

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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 05 Mar 2003 14:59

What about those RSI units on Eastern front? I never heard something about..There were also ANR units?

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 05 Mar 2003 19:38

I'd been uncorrect defining them RSI units cause they had largely no relation with Mussolini's republic...more correct speaking about "italian volunteer units of Whermacht" but it was for sake of semplicity.

Told this, it's a mysterious argument. I know certainly of an arditi company operating as recon unit for a FJDivision, of an italian tank company and of an "alpini" battalion operating somewhere in Ukraine and I think they had been not the only ones. Open argument.

More sure infos about ANR. Two transport squadrons had been activated by ANR to serve on Russian front. They operated in Baltic area for entire 1944, one used SM81 and the other SM82

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 06 Mar 2003 07:08

For what I know there were official RSI units on the Eastern front , they were :

ANR 1mo Gruppo Trasporto "Terracciano" denominated by the Germans 10th TransportGruppe " Italien" with SM 81 and based at Riga in Latvia .
Also from the ENR there were some Reparti Fumogeni (Fogmakers) with elements of SAF and were also based in the Baltic area .
All these soldiers and ANR planes should have left the eastern front by late autumn 44 and returned to Italy . Their tour of duty should have been of around one year .

Of course some soldiers might have been left behind but as units both the Reaprti Fumogeni and the Gruppo Trasporto Terracciano returned to Italy and after that no official italian unit was present on the eastern front .

I think that the RSI presence in the baltic was not a result of german pressure but a gesture from Mussolini who wished Italian soldiers to be involved in the fight against Bolshevism .

I do not know if the reparti fumogeni saw first line duty but it is likely as their function should have been to provide cover for land attacks or retreats .
Being the SM 81 Pipistrello an outdated aircraft , they were employed for transport duties and therefore should not have been involved in fighting but as the situation on the Eastern front in 44 was rather dramatic it is possible that they were also used as night bombers and in fact there is an illustration of the SM81 painted in black for night duties , with the Italian flag on the nose but with the german cross painted on wings and fuselage and swastika on the tail .

On the eastern front also there were individual italian elements and small units attached to german division , as indicated by Lupo , that they had joined after 8th Sept and of which they followed the fate till the end .

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GLADIVM

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 06 Mar 2003 19:41

AFAIK the fogmaker units were employed in air defence role (and IIRC they depended by Flakartillerie) on german territory and not on front.
ANR planes were black painted but it doesn't mean they had a bomber role

However I'm sure there was still some italian fighting agaisnt russians in first months of 1945 but I've absolutely no idea of which unit it could be

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 07 Mar 2003 08:21

Lupo , you are right ,
the reparti Nebbiogeni , or at least one of them was stationed in Eastern Prussia , at or around Danzig . Not at the front , it was a wrong assumption from my side that they were involved in front line operation as they should have already been back in Italy when the fighting erupted in eastern Prussia .

The black paint of the SM81 should somehow suggest that they prevalently operated by night whichever role they peformed , as also painted in black were the SM 79 Aerosiluranti employed by the Group Buscaglia of the RSI and they operated by night .

I am sure that a battalion of Italian troops , perhaps paras was attached to a German Paratroops Division which fought on the eastern front at the end of the war . Will try to find more infos about it .


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GLADIVM

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 16 Apr 2003 06:14

Enclose is the illustration of an RSI SM81 on duty in the Eastern ront with German markings , taken from the book "Axis Aircraft of WWII " of David Mondey .

The plane was part of the Terracciano Transport Group and operated in 1944 in the baltic area .

yours

GLADIVM

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 16 Apr 2003 06:46

Try again
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