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Divisione Speciale "Laghi" Ethiopia 1935-36

#1 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 07:32 PM

Dear all,

Does anyone have some information on the Divisione Speciale "Laghi". I checked the internet and much more information then that it existed I cannot find.
What I know: It "conquered" the Ethiopian town of Moyale on the 29th of June 1936 and that is it :lol:

Why my interest: I can buy an armshield of the division.

I would appreciate any info.

Greetings,
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#2 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 03:43 PM

Found something new:

Seems to be a renamed unit:

Territorio occupato dalla Divisione Laghi

I Presìdi più importanti creati in questa particolare campagna cui sto partecipando io, sono : NEGHELLI; AGHEREMARIAM; MOIALE; DAUA PARMA; MEGA; IAVELLO; SAMMALO'; DILLA; GIABASSIRE'; ADICCIO; UONDO; IRGALEM; SCIASCIAMANNA.
Da questo momento visto che l'Armata s'impoverisce di uomini sempre più riducendosi a 2.000/3.000 unità, diventa poco più che una Divisione e prende il nome di DIVISIONE LAGHI, al cui comando resta fino alla fine il Gen. Geloso e che diverrà famosa per il coraggio con cui ha affrontato la parte più insidiosa e difficile della conquista dell' Etiopia .


http://www.lavocedic.../423_var_4.html

Any historical information is still very welcome.

Greetings,
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#3 User is offline   Lupo Solitario 

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:54 AM

I did some research and that's what follows:

After conquest of Addis Abeba May 5, 1936 and escape of Hailè Salassiè, notwithstanding the "proclamation of empire", the largest part of Ethiopia was still to conquer for italians. In detail, many ethiopian army corps were still active and fighting.
The biggest ethiopian force was the Ras Destà army, which had well fought against Graziani in Somalia and was still holding the region between Addis Abeba and Kenia border, known as Galla and Sidamo or the "Lakes region", being an area full of lakes.
Destà had good commanders, good fighters and good weapons (including many 37mm AT and 20mm AA guns); in last days of may 1936 had hardly defeated an italian force commanded by Bergonzoli. Graziani, now Viceroy, decided to form a large unit to destroy Destà: collected a large amount of forces near Neghelli and called it "Special Division" (Division "S") and gave command to Gen. Geloso.
The campaign against Destà lasted nine months, from June 1936 to February 1937, being suspended from half July to November for the rain season, and was hard and difficult. Destà was at last captured February 24, 1937 and killed two hours after surrender. The S Division (which was often called also the Lakes Division from its operating zone) was dissolved and Geloso named Governor of Galla and Sidamo.

If you need some detail more, ask. I ignore data about armshield.
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#4 User is offline   inhocsignovinces 

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:43 AM

Here: http://www.gordonmumford.com/eastafrica ... otos07.htm

Posted Image
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#5 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:39 AM

Dear Lupo,

Thank you for your research and reply. I did not realize the situation was still so unstable at that time because of the existing of large intact Ethiopian fighting units. This force was much more capable then the often mentioned harassing guerilla groups.
My question has now being answered, although I would be interested if you by any change know of which elements “Laghi” was formed.

@inhocsignovinces; thank you for the link. I was aware of this one. I therefore knew the Moyale background as mentioned in my opening post.

I bought the woolen armshield as the price was really nothing (person did not know what it exactly was), although the pics were quite blur. I will make some pics and post them here when I got it. It is one of the standard type, with blue backing with the text: Divisione Laghi
On the one hand, I think it is strange they made a shield for a Division that is created ad hoc. At the other hand why should a faker create an armshield for a division which is hardly known and of which reference is very scarce. I would fake more wanted pieces…

Anyway, I will post pictures later.

Thanks again.
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#6 User is offline   Lupo Solitario 

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 01:41 PM

Unfortunately, no. I got only a note about the strenght at formation:

5433 national servicemen
3150 colonials
750 trucks
20 guns
12 armored cars
22 CV tanquettes

but no data about the oob. I'm only quite sure it included the "Lancieri d'Aosta" Cavalry...
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#7 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 08:45 PM

@Lupo,

Ok. Thanks for the info you could provide.
A very mobile force, this Divisione Laghi. I think one could consider this a motorized division.

Greetings,
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#8 User is offline   Lupo Solitario 

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:00 PM

knowing the right library, you can do a lot...

All right, I got the OOB :) First of all, I have to correct myself cause Geloso had been named Governor of Galla and Sidama just in May 1936. So he was not only the commander of S Division but of the whole sector.
So it's not "easy" to understand what was exactly division S and what not. However Geloso forces in June 1936 were:

a) Neghelli Base Garrison (col. Greco)

IV "Aosta" MG Group
I "Genova" MG Group
II "Genova" MG Group
CCXXV MG Battalion
2 77/28mm batteries
1 armored car section
half light tank company

total: 2400 rifles, 144 LMG, 54 HMG, 6 77/28mm howitzers, 4 armored cars, 6 light tanks

b) Division S, divided in
- Main Column (Gen. Maletti)

5th Arabo-somali Group on arabo-somali infantry battalions IX, X and XI
III "Aosta" MG Group
Provisional CCNN Battalion "Baccarini" (from 219th Legion)
2 77/28mm batteries
2 armored car sections
1 light tank company
1 engineer company

total: 5200 rifles, 180 LMG, 66 HMG, 6 77/28mm howitzers, 8 armored cars, 11 light tanks, 531 trucks

-Reserve Column (col. Zambon)

XIII MG Battalion
XIV MG Battalion
2 100/17mm batteries
half light tank company
1 engineer company

total: 2100 rifles, 144 LMG, 6 100/17mm howitzers, 5 light tanks, 224 trucks

together: 7300 rifles, 324 LMG, 66 HMG, 12 howitzers, 8 armored cars, 16 light tanks, 755 trucks
c) flanking column (lt. col. Settanni)

I Dubat Band Group
Sultan Irregular band

total: 850 rifles, 4 MG, 19 trucks

e) Other garrisons
- Dolo: I/3° Infantry Battalion
- other two little garrisons of one MG company each

Interesting force, isn't it?
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#9 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:47 PM

@Lupo;

Amazing!! Never thought to see so much data on that Division.
I found myself some interesting docs and data on the web also.

http://miles.forumco....net/?t=9366631

Greetings,
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#10 User is offline   Lupo Solitario 

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:14 PM

interesting documents...I'd like to know who is the admin of that forum...
I don't remember: do you speak italian?
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#11 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:21 AM

I doesn't have any data for 1935-46, but on January 1st 1937 the "Divisione Laghi" had the following OOB :

Commander : Gen.Carlo Geloso
Deputy Commander : Gen.Enea Navarrini
Chief of Staff : Lt.Col. Vittorio Emanuele Terraghi

HQ and HQ platoon
1st Carabinieri (MP) section
2nd Carabinieri (MP) section

5th Arabian-Somali Raggruppamento, with :
- 9th Arabian-Somali Bn
- 10th Arabian-Somali Bn
- 11th Arabian-Somali Bn

Truck-borne MMG Raggruppamento, with :
- 13th MMG Bn
- 14th MMG Bn

Assault Tanks Bn, with :
- 2nd platoon/2nd Assault Tank coy
- 4th Assault Tanks coy
- 1st platoon/Armoured Cars Section

"Celere" Raggruppamento, with :
- 2nd "Genova" Squadrons Group
- Carabinieri (MP) unit
- 2nd coy/225th MMG bn
- 12th Arabian-Somali bn
- 2nd 77L28 battery
- 1st 65L17 section
- 2nd assault tanks coy (less one platoon)
- 2nd platoon/Armoured Cars Section
- Signals detachment "S" (radio)

1st "Genova" Squadrons Group
3rd "Aosta" Squadrons Group
4th "Aosta" Squadrons Group

100L17 howitzers group
77L28 batteries group
2nd 65L17 section

34th engineers bn
2nd coy/33rd engineers bn
Bridge engineers platoon
Wells-drilling engineers platoon
1st signal engineers coy (radio)
51st signal engineers coy (telegraph)
1st section/60th searchlights enginners coy
2nd natives sappers coy

2nd Autogruppo (trucks bn)
"S" pack mules unit (Nucleo Salmerie "S")
Logistical unit (Nucleo Sussistenza)
1st Medical unit (Reparto Sanità)

"Burgi" Irregulars band
"Gaiam Giam" Irregulars band
"Arussi" irregulars band
"Tucci" Irregulars band
1st Irregulars Bands Group
7th Irregulars Bands Group

???th Blackshirts bn

3rd MMG Bn
2nd coy/225th MMG Bn

436th Field Hospital
450th Field Hospital
545th Field Hospital

Please note that the OOB includes garrison and support elements, and that the "Division" was largely an administrative unit covering forces scattered among Uondo, Agheremariam, Javello, Arero, Uacillo, Neghelli and another half a dozen locations. The real "divisional" units were the three Raggruppamenti and the Assault Tank Bn
Aighe-va

Arturo F.Lorioli
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#12 User is offline   Lupo Solitario 

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:09 AM

correct: that's the result of the many reorganization made by the unit during 1936. I hope you don't mind some correction...

arturolorioli said:

I doesn't have any data for 1935-46, but on January 1st 1937 the "Divisione Laghi" had the following OOB :

Commander : Gen.Carlo Geloso
Deputy Commander : Gen.Enea Navarrini
Chief of Staff : Lt.Col. Vittorio Emanuele Terraghi


Terragni, he had written the story of the campaign, which is the book is actually in my hands

Quote


"Celere" Raggruppamento, with :
- 2nd "Genova" Squadrons Group
- Carabinieri (MP) unit
- 2nd coy/225th MMG bn
- 12th Arabian-Somali bn
- 2nd 77L28 battery
- 1st 65L17 section
- 2nd assault tanks coy (less one platoon)
- 2nd platoon/Armoured Cars Section
- Signals detachment "S" (radio)


group formed in october, using the Neghelli Garrison given were no more a menace on that base

Quote

1st "Genova" Squadrons Group
3rd "Aosta" Squadrons Group
4th "Aosta" Squadrons Group


Note: all motorized MG units

Quote

7th Irregulars Bands Group


Formed in summer 1936 with local Sidamo volunteers

Quote

???th Blackshirts bn


Provisional unit formed with personnel of 219th Legion (Division Tevere) and usually indicated with the name of commander,Giovanni Baccarini; sometimes indicated also as 219th Battalion

Quote

3rd MMG Bn


That's totally new for me
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#13 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:28 AM

Dear Lupo & arturolorioli: thank you both (again) for your very detailed input which is much more then I hoped for.
Even if the armshield doesn't turned out to be ok, it produced an interesting thread.

@Lupo: Regarding my Italian: I was forced ( :? ) to have 4 years Spanish + 3 year French at school, so I can read the basic lines of Italian. Speaking is a no. I intend to learn Italian, but untill now didn't start.

Greetings,
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#14 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:05 AM

Lupo Solitario said:

Quote

3rd MMG Bn

That's totally new for me


My fault. It was the 3rd MMG unit (3° Reparto Mitraglieri), not battalion. A garrison unit commanded by Captain Fumino at Filtà.

Also at Filtà there was another unit I failed to list, the 16th Signal Engineers bn (telegraph), Maj.Mario Pasqualini.
Aighe-va

Arturo F.Lorioli
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#15 User is offline   Lupo Solitario 

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:35 AM

all right and not a trouble. I thought it was the I/3° Infantry with a different designation.

Another couple of notes

-

arturolorioli said:

"Tucci" Irregulars band


This unit moved from Addis Abeba in October to take Ethiopians on the back and joined Division S til the last. It's told that Cpt. Tucci slapped Ras Destà before his execution, not the best behavoir I can expect by an italian officer.

- it's interesting that Neghelli garrison, being mainly formed by cavalry personnel, tried to form a mounted troop with local horses and (it's told) with good results
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#16 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:44 PM

I just received the armshield.
It is 100% original.

As it is a cloth shield which were officially introduced in 1938 and due to the active period of the division it must be a specially produced armshield (lot) for this division (as some other units had in the Ethiopan campaign) during the existence of the division, or it is a piece worn by a reservist fought with the division and had it made shortly afterwards.

I am very pleased with it in either case :)

Anyway I will post pictures tomorrow as it was to dark to do so by daylight today.

Greetings,
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#17 User is offline   Sparviero 

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:53 PM

Today I tried to make some pics, but again when I arrived home after work it was already quite dark.
So the pictures are taken with a flash, so the blue background is in real much darker.
The grey areas on top and next "DIVISIONE" is damage of the cloth.
Enjoy.

Posted Image Posted Image
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#18 User is offline   BRY 

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:37 AM

View PostSparviero, on 16 December 2008 - 06:53 PM, said:

Today I tried to make some pics, but again when I arrived home after work it was already quite dark.
So the pictures are taken with a flash, so the blue background is in real much darker.
The grey areas on top and next "DIVISIONE" is damage of the cloth.
Enjoy.

Posted Image Posted Image



In the link that Sparviero provided,at the resort of Mega,a small force was sent 140 km south to Moyale inside Kenya.The father-in-law was there,anybody know of the details of this small force?
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