italian black shirts divisions

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GLADIVM
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italian black shirts divisions

Post by GLADIVM » 15 Aug 2002 06:34

Italy at beginning of the war had already its own waffenss , Camicie Nere ,
in the early stages of conflict in the african theatres , north africa & A.O.I.
the black shirts were in a prominent role and operated in full divisional strength but with proceeding of hostilities they faded almost in obscurity , with some exception as Legione Tagliamento on the russian front which acquitted themselves with a good combat record , being integrated in the army and not employed in strength .
The black shirts performance in the african theatres was disappointing and no better than italian army and I wonder why ?
The idea of a black shirts force should have been a good one , they were recruited regionally and therefore should have a strong personal bond , they were committed fascist , all were trained militarly and their moral should have high at least at beginning of war .
Perphas the leadership was not of the highest calibre but that was a problem common also with the italian army and therefore I think that black shirts should have given a better performance than average italian
units .
I recall that in the other theatres as balkans , black shirts were mostly employed in garrison and antipartisan duties and in such conditions is very difficult to offer high performances but I still think that at least in the early stages of war black shirt troops should have shown a higher elan and esprit de corpe .
I would like to discuss this matter with other members

regards

GLADIVM

Fredrik
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Post by Fredrik » 15 Aug 2002 08:27

I've read somewhere, can't recall the exact source, that they were quite poorly armed. IMO good morale, fanatisicm, and motivation don't necessarily make up for inferior armament.

Regards,
Fredrik

Luca
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Post by Luca » 15 Aug 2002 10:38

Fredrik wrote: IMO good morale, fanatisicm, and motivation don't necessarily make up for inferior armament.
Is my poor opinion that isn't correct.

In Philiphines was necessary the firsts dum dum v Juramentado Bolos.

Concern the stopping power millions of pages re write.

JLEES
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Black Shirt Divisions

Post by JLEES » 15 Aug 2002 13:00

Hello,
I also understand members of these units (officers and enlisted men) also received poor training. Mussolini believed fascist ideology alone would be enough to make up the difference and the result was horrible on the battlefield.
James

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GLADIVM
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Post by GLADIVM » 16 Aug 2002 05:44

Probably a combination of bad equipment , low training and amateurship
leadership prevented the black shirts to make a good show but other fascist foroces as the DIVISIONE GIOVANI FASCISTI "Young fascist division " at Bir el Gobi acquitted themselves quite well and as already mentiond the Legione Tagliamento on russian front also did well .
By the way would anyone have any informations about Legione Tagliamento , not to be confused with the same name unit created during R.S.I.
I guess that once arrived at the front even committed fascists as black shirts should have been , were quicly dismayed to find that their AT guns could not stop the british tanks and being almost powerless against a much more mobile foe dampened their morale . Therefore their performance was never satisfactory and they were sidelined in favour of the army .

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Graf von Dracula
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Post by Graf von Dracula » 16 Aug 2002 17:32

Here is a link that may interest you....

CCNN-BLACKSHIRTS

http://www.geocities.com/italianisti/article1.html

GIOVANNI FASCISTI

http://www.geocities.com/italianisti/article2.html


I agree with you GLADIVM.... and I can even imagine the men of the "Tagliamento" fighting against the Russian Armour with their obsolete 47mm guns and standing against them.... a brave performance for a country that WWII and History didn't treat well.

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Lupo Solitario
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blackshirts

Post by Lupo Solitario » 19 Aug 2002 18:11

well, in my researches I found difficult define blackshirts a real elite force, training was scarce, weaponry idem and also "charge" was scarce. Effectively a large part of people volunteered CCNN for reasons not concenring fascism neither there was the hard racial selection of SS.
At last, filling ranks could be difficult, of four CCNN divisions existing in June 1940 one had to be trasformed in army for lack of personnel.
In itself, a CCNN division lacked of all to operate as an indipendent unit and the decision to cancel those units after distruction in NA in 1940 is comprehensible. Smaller unit worked better on greek front operating as assault units which was a more correct employment.
In 1941, to improve quality of CCNN units was introduced the elite definition "M" to be given to high effective battalions but I don't know which were exactly the specific to be fitted. Battalions sent in Russia were all "M" standards.
In 1943, it was decided to form a "M" division which had to be formed with russian veterans and equipped with german stuff to act as Mussolini's bodyguard but was still unready when Duce was took away

Custermen
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Organization?

Post by Custermen » 24 Aug 2002 15:46

How were the Black Shirts organized?? Was there a fighting unit of Black Shirts?

I ask this, because I read that two Black Shirt battalions were organized for each of the 133 MVSN legions. A battalion consisted of 20 officers and 650 men. So they were absorbed into the regular army, I suppose to provide political control and hopefully motivation to fight.

Comments.

Custermen

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 24 Aug 2002 18:39

Resuming: MVSN was a party militia. It was formed by territorial "legions" which covered italian territory. Each legion had to give a blackshirt battalion (or more) for war duties. In the '30s MVSN received additive roles concenring coastal and AA defence.

The theorical emlployment in war was to give a legion of two CCNN battalions to each army infantry division. a CCNN legion had a strnght of:
52 officers, 76 NCO, 1130 rank, 206 mules, 48 LMG, 12 HMG, 18 45mm mortars, 5 trucks.

4 CCNN division (on 6 battalions each) were organized in 1940 but were destroyed in Cyrenaica in 1941 and never reformed.

The common employment of CCNN was as assault unit. It's told regular army soldiers and officers had commonly few consideration of CCNN and tend to afford few on them. I don't think they had a great morale effect

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Lars Gyllenhaal
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CCNN compared to Waffen-SS

Post by Lars Gyllenhaal » 06 Jan 2006 10:41

Ciao,

CCNN = Italy´s own Waffen-SS?

I am curious if anyone has ever done a proper study about the similarities and differences between the CCNN and the Waffen-SS? Is there any such book in English or any other language?

And has anyone ever come across info about CCNN and Waffen-SS exchanging study groups/delegations?

Is there any evidence that the militarization of the SS was to some (small) extent inspired by the CCNN?

Cheerio,

Lorenzo (Lars)

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Davide Pastore
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Re: blackshirts

Post by Davide Pastore » 06 Jan 2006 13:08

Lupo Solitario wrote:In 1941, to improve quality of CCNN units was introduced the elite definition "M" to be given to high effective battalions but I don't know which were exactly the specific to be fitted. Battalions sent in Russia were all "M" standards.
Therically, all of them had distinguished themselves in combat. Some of them were good indeed: the landing battalions earmarked for Malta were at least as good as San Marco troops.

OTOH the vast majority of normal CC.NN. were second-rate troops to say the least. Before the war, being a Camicia Nera was truly nothing else than having found a way of earning some money without undue fatigue - a real "internal order" move, as a way of having the more turbulent Fascist symphatizers happy and employed.
Lupo Solitario wrote:In 1943, it was decided to form a "M" division which had to be formed with russian veterans and equipped with german stuff to act as Mussolini's bodyguard but was still unready when Duce was took away
Interestingly enough, the division took almost no notice of Mussolini's misadventures after 25 July. It's really difficult to envisage a Waffen-SS division doing the same under the same circumstances. This really open many questions about how much Fascist a Fascist was. (OTOH the division did not fight the Germans on 9 September, unlike the rest of the regular troops around Rome)

Davide

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Lupo Solitario
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Re: CCNN compared to Waffen-SS

Post by Lupo Solitario » 06 Jan 2006 14:01

Lars Gyllenhaal wrote:Ciao,

CCNN = Italy´s own Waffen-SS?

I am curious if anyone has ever done a proper study about the similarities and differences between the CCNN and the Waffen-SS? Is there any such book in English or any other language?

And has anyone ever come across info about CCNN and Waffen-SS exchanging study groups/delegations?

Is there any evidence that the militarization of the SS was to some (small) extent inspired by the CCNN?

Cheerio,

Lorenzo (Lars)
substantially no great contacts before WWII, I believe. Close contact during war made a lot for it and in 1943 many blackshirt units were direcly adsorbed into SS.
Italian fascism was a model in many ways for nazism and this had certainly consequences also on SS forming.

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Lupo Solitario
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Re: blackshirts

Post by Lupo Solitario » 06 Jan 2006 14:04

Davide Pastore wrote:
Lupo Solitario wrote:In 1941, to improve quality of CCNN units was introduced the elite definition "M" to be given to high effective battalions but I don't know which were exactly the specific to be fitted. Battalions sent in Russia were all "M" standards.
Therically, all of them had distinguished themselves in combat. Some of them were good indeed: the landing battalions earmarked for Malta were at least as good as San Marco troops.
right, M battalion formation seem having been an effective one, their performance in Russia was substantially good

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Davide Pastore
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Post by Davide Pastore » 06 Jan 2006 18:02

In R.I.D. of December 1992 there is a good article by Francesco Fatutta about M Battalions, with a brief combat history of all of them:

V Tortona (Gruppo Valle Scrivia)
VI Vigevano (Gruppo Montebello)
VIII Varese (raggruppamento XXI Aprile)
X Voghera (independent, in Tunisia)
XII Aosta (Gruppo Montebello) (weapon btn.)
XIV Bergamo (Gruppo Leonessa)
XV Brescia (Gruppo Leonessa)
XVI Como (raggruppamento XXI Aprile)
XXIX Arona (independent, in Yugoslavia)
XXX Novara (Gruppo Montebello)
XXXIV Savona (Gruppo Valle Scrivia)
XXXVIII Asti (Gruppo Leonessa) (weapon btn.)
XLI Trento (Gruppo Valle Scrivia, then Tagliamento) (weapon btn.)
XLII Vicenza (II Gruppo da Sbarco)
XLIII Belluno (I Gruppo da Sbarco)
L Treviso (II Gruppo da Sbarco)
LX Pola (I Gruppo da Sbarco)
LXIII Udine (Gruppo Tagliamento)
LXXI Faenza (raggruppamento XXI Aprile)
LXXIX Reggio Emilia (Gruppo Tagliamento)
LXXXI Ravenna (raggruppamento XXI Aprile)
LXXXV Massa (raggruppamento XXI Aprile)

plus III and LXI, next in the pipeline but never transformed. The transformation itself in M included a training phase at the camp of Roma-Trastevere (with the exception of the battalions of Legione Tagliamento in Russia, converted in the field)

Fatutta says:
There is a reasonable doubt that not all the units were chosen with the same unit of measure, and that in some cases other parameters may have been adopted, not the least a choice of political type, somewhat masked by the assegnation to the unit of veteran personnel from other units
A question. Regio Esercito used an alternate arabic/roman numeration according to command layer, as:

1ª Armata
II Corpo d'Armata
3ª Divisione
IV Brigata
5° Reggimento / Raggruppamento
VI Battaglione / Gruppo (artillery) / Gruppo Squadroni (cavalry)
7ª Compagnia / Batteria / Squadrone
VIII Plotone
9ª Sezione / Squadra

However I suspect that CC.NN. used roman numeration for any of their units (maybe for political reasons). True or False ?

Davide

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FRANCY RITTER
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Post by FRANCY RITTER » 07 Jan 2006 18:47

Hello!!

Divisione CCNN Orders of Battle and Organizations..(10 June 1940)


Image

The Blackshirt (CCNN) divisions were only found in North Africa, and did not have a fixed organization. Each Blackshirt battalion had 734 men, 27 LMG, 12 HMG, and 9 mortars of 45mm. Upon mobilization, the engineer battalions, the artillery regiments, the antitank batteries (47/32), as well as the supply and service units had been provided by the Italian Army.


http://orbat.com/site/ww2/drleo/019_ita ... nn_40.html

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