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Italian cavalry in 1943
Posted 23 November 2007 - 02:22 PM
"I know that Italy used some cavalry on the Eastern Front, and I also know that Italian cavalry fought at least one engagement against U.S. paratroopers in Sicily, but I wonder how much cavalry there was in the Italian army after the disaster at Stalingrad, and after the fall of North Africa.
To break that down, how much Italian cavalry was there from July 1943 to September 1943? And where was it?
And how much, if any, Italian cavalry was there after the Italian surrender to the Allies in September 1943, and its subsequent entry of the war on the Allied side in that some month. And where was it?
Could anybody more knowledged than mine answer on this?
Posted 27 November 2007 - 08:38 AM
Thank you very much
Posted 27 November 2007 - 04:50 PM
In 1940 Italian cavalry entered war on 13 mounted regiments. During war, regiments formed mobilization battalions, many armored or motorized but battalions I & II of the regiment continued in being mounted and forming the "main" group of the regiment.
Between 1940 and 1943 only one regiment (the 10th Vittorio Emanuele Lancers) passed from mounted to armored TO&E (meanwhile three new motorized regiment had been formed).
So in summer 1943 there were still 12 mounted regiments in italian cavalry (two battalions each). To those had to be added two indipendent mounted groups (battalion-sized). The dislocation was the following:
-1st Nizza, 2nd Piemonte Reale and 4th Genova regiments formed the 2nd Celere Division in southern France
-3rd Savoia and 5th Novara regiments formed the 3rd Celere Division in northern italy. The unit was still reorganizing after russian front
-6th Aosta and 7th Milano regiments were in Thessalia
-9th Firenze, 13th Monferrato and 19th Guide regiments were in Albania
-12th Saluzzo and 14th Alessandria regiments formed the 1st Celere Division in Croatia
-Sardegna and Palermo squadrons were rispectively in Sardinia and Sicily
All those units disappeared in the days following armistice, often after combat. Part of the units in Albania and Greece reached in joining partisans. The 3rd Savoia Cavalry left its Milan barracks at full force and reached the swiss border where it was interned.
Practically no mounted unit reached in joining allied forces neither a such unit was reorganized by southern army in 1943-45. Cavalrymen were employed as dismounted soldiers or in motorized role or to form mule pack trains.
Posted 27 November 2007 - 08:15 PM
Further do you happen to know of any engagements between Cavalry deployed in Sicily and allied forces during and following Husky? The guy over there at Militaryhorse forum says there have been some between U.S. paratrooper and some sort of mounted units. More, is there some thruth to the story of cavalry breking through Germans asking for surrender in Turin in the days arounf Sept. 8th (or was it Milan?)
Thank you very much
Posted 27 November 2007 - 08:33 PM
Oh, no trouble
sincerly...no. The only mounted unit in Sicily AFAIK was the Cavalleggeri di Palermo indipendent squadron so I believe the unit should be this one but details...bah!
I believe there's a bit of confusion...As I told, the 3rd Savoia Cavalry regiment at Milan decided not to give up to coming germans: the entire regiment left barracks and drove to Switzerland without any opposition to be interned as soon as passed the border (anyway swiss let them a certain...freedom. Officers of Savoia were given as aide-de-camp to princess Maria Josè who had reached switzerland too and in the days of liberation the regiment was ready to re-enter in Italy...). On the other side, the 2nd Celere Division tried to deny passage to germans near Turin in same days. Those two facts could have been mixed in some way
Posted 27 November 2007 - 09:00 PM
Further I'm a little puzzled with terminology: by battaillon you mean squadron group? I know from the story of the Isbushenskij cahrge that at that time Savoia consisted of 5 Squadrons, one of wich, the 5th, was the automatic weapon squadron, so if a regiment was on two "battailons" I take you mean two squadron groups of 2 or three squadrons each?
Posted 28 November 2007 - 06:02 PM
- HQ and HQ-squadron.
- I,II squadron groups, each with:
-- two cavalry squadrons
This is the OOB of all mounted cavalry regiments. Additional [non mounted, but MG or armoured car] squadron groups recruted by the regiment depot had numbers III,IV etc. (examples: III/"Monferrato", III/"Nizza", VI/"Aosta", IV/"Genova" etc.)
Posted 28 November 2007 - 09:15 PM
So I was more or less right with the OOB of Savoia. Open questions: the HQ Squadrone (is the correct name Squadrone Comando or comando reggimentale or similar?) is to be counted as a 6th squadrone (troop)?
Is the HQ of each Gruppo Squadroni made of personnel of the HQ Squadron (so the HQ Squadron "splits" in the Gruppo squadroni HQ)?
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