Italian Army Elite Units & Special Forces 1940-43

Italian Army Elite Units & Special Forces 1940-43


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This volume by leading Italian historian, Pier Paolo Battistelli, looks at the elite and special forces units of the Italian Army during World War II (1939-1945). This includes a vast array of troop types including paratroopers, assault engineers, sea-landing and swimmer units, long-range recce and ski units, and even hand-picked Fascist 'Mussolini' units. It also delves into the specialist tank and armoured units that were created to emulate the German armoured units. The Italian units discussed here enjoyed mixed success but the volume does draw attention to the incredible hard fighting done by some, particularly in the deserts of North Africa and the frozen wastelands of Russia. Illustrated with rare archival photographs and specially commissioned artwork this is a fascinating insight into a little-studied aspect of Axis forces.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849085953
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 11/22/2011
Series: Elite , #99
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,271,006
Product dimensions: 7.32(w) x 9.76(h) x 0.32(d)

About the Author

Pier Paolo Battistelli earned his PhD in Military History at the University of Padua. A scholar of German and Italian politics and strategy throughout World War II, he is active in Italy and abroad writing titles and essays on military history subjects. A contributor to the Italian Army Historical Office, he is currently revising his PhD thesis for publication: The War of the Axis: German and Italian Military Partnership in World War Two, 1939-1943.

Table of Contents

Introdution 4

Elite Formations & Units: Armoured & Motorized Divisions 5


132a Divisione Corazzata Ariete: organization, spring 1941

Corpo d'Armata di Manovra, summer-autumn 1941: Ariete Division - 101a Divizione Motorizzata Trieste -Raggruppamento Esplorante di CAM - the Crusader battles, November-December 1941 XX Corpo d'Armata, 1942: the Gazala Line battles, May-June 1942 - 'first Alamein' and Alam Haifa, July-August 1942 - 'second Alamein', October-November 1942

Trieste Division in Tunisia, February-May 1943

'Giovani Fascisti'Regiment

'Romolo Gessi' Battalion

Paracadutisti 20

Fanti dell'Aria

Battaglioni Paracadutisti

Divisioni Paracadutisti: la/185a Folgore, 1941-43 - 184a Nembo, 1942-43 - 183aCiclone

Operations: Cefalonia, April 1941 -Djebel Akhbar, December 1941 - North Africa, July-November 1942 - Tunisia, 1943

Guastatori 29

Organization and tactics

Selection and training Operations, North Africa: Battaglione Guastatori di Formazione/XXXIl Battaglione, January-August 1941 - XXXI Battaglione, April-September 1941 - XXXI and XXXII Battaglioni in the Crusader battles, November-December 1941 -at Tobruk, June 1942 - XXXII Battaglione at 'first Alamein', July-August 1942 - XXXI Battaglione at 'second Alamein', October-November 1942 -Tunisia, 1943 Operations, Eastern Front: XXX Battaglione, September 1942-January 1943

Battaglione Sciatori Monte Cervino 40

Albania, January-May 1941 Eastern Front, February 1942-January 1943

Special Forces: Xreggmento Ardtti 44

Organization Training and equipment Operations: North Africa 1943 - Sicily 1943

Foreign Volunteer Units 52

Raggruppamento Frecce Rosse Gruppo Formazioni 'A' Battaglione Azad Hindoustan 'Battaglione d'Assalto 'T' Reggimento Volontari Tunisini

Blackshirts Sea-Landing & Armoured Units 56

Gruppo Battaglioni 'M' da Sbarco 1a Divisione Corazzata Camicie Nere 'M'

Uniforms & Personal Equipment 60

Standard issue items Branch-specific items

Select Bibliography 63

Index 64

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