Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

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Ironmachine
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Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

Post by Ironmachine » 08 Dec 2013 07:29

[Split from "Italy's contribution to the war."]
DucaDiVizzini wrote:Did the Germans ever supply the Italians with some better AFV's? Maybe someone knows the answer to this, but as far as I know they never did.
Some (Panzer III, Panzer IV, StuG III) were given to the 1st Blackshirt Armored División/136th Armored División, see
http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations ... sion-italy

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Re: Italy's contribution to the war.

Post by DucaDiVizzini » 09 Dec 2013 00:54

Ironmachine wrote:
DucaDiVizzini wrote:Did the Germans ever supply the Italians with some better AFV's? Maybe someone knows the answer to this, but as far as I know they never did.
Some (Panzer III, Panzer IV, StuG III) were given to the 1st Blackshirt Armored División/136th Armored División, see
http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations ... sion-italy
I'm still a little unclear---according to the sources, the 136 Armored Div. (aka "Centauro"),Blackshirts though they were, was in Rome in Sept. 1943 and never actually received the panzers, choosing to fight against the Germans before surrendering (still equipped with Italian tanks), later becoming part of the Co-Belligerent Royal Army. They never did, apparently, get those panzers. Am I wrong? :?

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Re: Italy's contribution to the war.

Post by Ironmachine » 09 Dec 2013 08:51

The tank list of the "M" was as follow:
In the "Gruppo Btg. Tagliamento ex 63° legione CC.NN." there were the XLI Btg. armi accompagnamento "Trento" (41st Btn. Support Weapons "Trento") with six StuG III Ausf G early (no Zimmerit, triple smoke dischargers, etc)
In the "Gruppo Btg. Montebello" there was the XII Btg armi acc. "Aosta" (12th Btn. Support Weapons "Aosta") with six StuG III Ausf G early (no Zimmerit, triple smoke dischargers, etc)
In the "Gruppo Leonessa" twelwe PzKpfwIV Ausf G with 7,5cm L48 KwK and twelwe PzKpfw III Ausf N with 7,5cm L24 KwK. The tank had the turret Schurtzen (both the PzKpfw IIIs & IVs) but IIRC no hull side Schurtzen, and they were finished in plan Dunkelgelb. The 'diamonds' on the turret sides were a very light blue with a bright red "M" in typical Mussolini's handwriting shape.A yellow fascio littorio was intersecating the red M's legs.
The Gruppo "Valle Scrivia" was the artillery unit and had twentyfour 8,8cm FlaK 36 or 37 towed from the italian version of the semi-tracked SdKfz. 7, the BREDA 61 (made in Italy under licence and practically 90% identical to the original german version, actually it can be spotted as the BREDA was right hand drive and had some different particulars e.g. the cooling slits arrangement along the engine cowling sides).
AFAIK the tanks and guns of the DIVISIONE "M" were the only german made tanks and guns in service in the italian army, but, as I said, their markings were quite peculiars, and relating only to that unit.
From http://www.network54.com/Forum/47207/th ... rman+tanks

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Re: Italy's contribution to the war.

Post by Ironmachine » 09 Dec 2013 08:56

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Re: Italy's contribution to the war.

Post by Ironmachine » 09 Dec 2013 08:59

From the same source:
04.jpg
From http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... ian+panzer
05.jpg
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Re: Italy's contribution to the war.

Post by tackleberry6 » 09 Dec 2013 16:56

DucaDiVizzini wrote:
Ironmachine wrote:
DucaDiVizzini wrote:Did the Germans ever supply the Italians with some better AFV's? Maybe someone knows the answer to this, but as far as I know they never did.
Some (Panzer III, Panzer IV, StuG III) were given to the 1st Blackshirt Armored División/136th Armored División, see
http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations ... sion-italy
I'm still a little unclear---according to the sources, the 136 Armored Div. (aka "Centauro"),Blackshirts though they were, was in Rome in Sept. 1943 and never actually received the panzers, choosing to fight against the Germans before surrendering (still equipped with Italian tanks), later becoming part of the Co-Belligerent Royal Army. They never did, apparently, get those panzers. Am I wrong? :?
As far as I know, the Germans took back the tanks they provided to the "M" Division. They were still being trained at the time of armistice.
Timothy D.Saxon, The German Side of the Hill pg.145,146

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Re: Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

Post by DucaDiVizzini » 10 Dec 2013 04:15

By another account:
"The Division was the only CCNN Armoured formation and as such it was composed of hand picked fanatical Blackshirts, most having already seen heavy action in the Soviet Union and Libya. The Division was mobilised in 1942 with the intention of deploying to the Soviet Union as part of the Italian 8th Army. The Axis defeat on the Don river and during the Battle of Stalingrad however delayed their transfer. As they were originally intended to be a heavy division for use against the Soviet Union, it had been slated to receive German Panzers, Panther tanks and Stugs, none of these were delivered prior to the fall of Rome to the Germans, but some of the divisions units were at least in part equipped with Italian tanks and transport before the Italian surrender.
The Division was later used to reform the Centauro Division in the Royal Army, and remained loyal to the king." from: Avanti! Italian Armoured Vehicles of the Second World War

:?

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Re: Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

Post by Ironmachine » 10 Dec 2013 06:38

DucaDiVizzini wrote: :?
I can also post accounts:
Germany [...] offered Italy 12 tanks [Panzer IVs] to form the nucleus of a new armored division. These were used to train Italian crews while Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed, but were retaken by Germany during its occupation of Italy in mid-1943.
From Panzer IV: The workhorse of the Panzerwaffe by Bob Carruthers
The 1ª Divisione Corazzata Camicie Nere 'M' (1st Blackshirts Armoured Division 'M') was officially formed on 25 June 1943 [...]. The division core strength was to be the German-supplied AFVs. These included 12 x Panzer III Ausf N tanks (with the short-barrelled 7.5cm gun), 12 x Panzer IV Ausf G (with the long 7.5cm gun), and 12 x Sturmgeschütz III asault guns (with the long 7.5cm). In addition, 24 x 8.8cm dual-purpose AA/AT guns, and 24 flamethrowers, were also to be supplied.
However, despite the support of German instructors, the lack of experienced personnel -in particular of tank and SP-gun crews, after the heavy losses in North Africa- greatly delayed the division's training and actual formation. By the time that Mussolini was deposed on 25 July 1943 the division had not yet reached operational status, which may explain why it did not react to these events. Nevertheless, the Italian Army staff naturally considered it completely unreliable, and took precautionary measures. Since, during this hiatus between Mussolini's downfall and the announcement of Italy's capitulation to the Allies, the units could not be disbanded without alarming the Germans, they were reorganized, with many MVSN officers being replaced by Army ones. On 15 August 1943 the division was officially renamed 136ª Divisiones Corazzata Legionaria Centauro II, still deployed east of Rome. After the Italian surrender of 8 September 1943 many of the Eastern Front veterans joined the Germans, who also took back every single piece of equipmente and every tank and weapon that they supplied only a few months previously.
From Italian Army Elite Units & Special Forces 1940-43 (Osprey's Elite 99) by P. Crociani & P.P. Battistelli

This last book also includes the first picture I posted with the following caption:
Summer 1943. Crews from the "Lioness" Tank Regt of the 1st Blackshirts Armd Div 'M" during training with one of its dozen German Pzkw III Ausf N tanks, mounting a short-barrelled 7.5cm gun for infantry support. The divisional insignia is clearly visible on the spaced turret armour. (P.P. Batistelli Collection)
Now, there are sources and then there are sources. But I think an image is definitive, much more so when the sources are contradictory.
Regards.

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Re: Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

Post by DucaDiVizzini » 10 Dec 2013 07:24

Hola! The photos are very interesting ; perhaps the Italian crews trained in the Panzers, had been photographed by the regime for publicity purposes, but never actually fought in them?

"136. Armored Divison Centauro II was formed as 1. Black Shirt Armored Division M (1. Divisione Corazzata Camicie Nere M), redesignated 136. Armored Division M (136. Divisione Corazzata M), 136. Legionary Armored Divison Centauro (136. Divisione Corazzata Legionaria Centauro) before recieving its final designation.
In September 1943 it was in training near Rome and fought the Germans as part of the Corpo d'Armata Motocorazzato (CAM) before surrendering."
The other source would seem to indicate that the CAM was in Italian tanks when they engaged the Germans.
(My sources are from this forum (Axis History, above) and the aforementioned Italian Armored Vehicles of World War Two)

In any event, there is a controversy here. Since neither you nor I was there, and can't reconcile this discrepancy, it would be nice to untangle this story.

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Re: Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

Post by Ironmachine » 10 Dec 2013 11:23

DucaDiVizzini wrote:The photos are very interesting ; perhaps the Italian crews trained in the Panzers, had been photographed by the regime for publicity purposes, but never actually fought in them?
Your original question was not whether they fought in them or not, but
Did the Germans ever supply the Italians with some better AFV's?
and that was the point that you disputed:
They never did, apparently, get those panzers
I think the pictures are prove enough that the Italians received German AFVs (and that Avanti! Italian Armoured Vehicles of the Second World War is wrong at least regarding this matter).

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Re: Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

Post by Ironmachine » 10 Dec 2013 11:39

By the way, another pair of pictures of German AFVs (this time StuG IIIs) serving with the división can be found here:
http://utenti.quipo.it/mc68/Italtank/DivisioneM.htm

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Re: Did the Germans supply the Italians with better AFV's?

Post by DucaDiVizzini » 10 Dec 2013 15:56

Well, thanks for your information. My original question, then, is answered. Thanks again.

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