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LII Brigata Speciale

#1 User is offline   antonio 

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:42 AM

I have read that two battalions of this brigade arrived in march 1943 and were attached to Raggruppamento Mannerini.

Does anybody which battalions were those?. I have tried to trace the units of the raggruppamento and I have found two mitraglieri battalions XVI and CXVI. Could it be?

Best regards

Antonio
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#2 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:26 AM

Antonio

Your question is interesting and I have started to do some research. A few points of clarification.

I assume your are asking about L brigata speciale commanded by gen. Imperiali di Francavilla. I have not read of a LII brigata speciale. The core of this force was two battalions from Superga, several armored and reconnaissance units, and artillery. I can post a detailed OB later this week.

The other unit is raggruppamento Sahariano, which was commanded by gen. Mannerini. The core of this force was the Libico sahariano companies. Two battalions, XVI and CXVI, are identified as coming from the divisione fanteria Pistoia. I have not be able to identify these battalions as machinegun units, although that appears to be likely. The 350°reggimento fanteria joined the raggruppamento Sahariano sometime before March. This appears to be an independent infantry regiment and I am still trying to discover more information about the unit.

Unfortunately, I am still missing one book that could help answer this question. I will post more when I have time.

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#3 User is offline   antonio 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:49 AM

Dear Jeff,

My sources of information are: M. Montanari Vol IV enfidaville , G. Messe La 1ª Armata Italiana in Tunisia.

According to the first One , Raggruppamento Sahariano had two Mg Battalions XVI, CXVI, (from its number I guess that originally they should have come from 16th Pistoia Division).

In G. Messe book he tells that previous to the battle of Mareth 2 battalions coming from a LII Brigate Speciale ( but that unit never arrived as a whole) joined the Raggruppamento, and several 88mm batteries.

In that book is confirmed that the original assets of Raggruppamento Mannerini were:

350 Reggimento Fanteria (2 Btn)
LV Btn Savona
Btn GaF
VI CCNN Btn (although I have seen this one attached to other division)
Gruppo Valle (7 Sahariana coys)
V Gruppo squadroni Novara
Reparto Celere Arditi (103 compagnia Camionettista)
290 Raggruppamento Artiglieria

The G. Messe copy that I have got misses the "tabole" that should be at the end of it, but I guess that thosedocuments are included in M. Montanari book. If anybody has the book La 1ª Armata Italiana in Tunisia, please confirm that.

Best regards

Antonio
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#4 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 01:22 PM

Good day Antonio

Yes, I have both books, including all the tavole for the Messe volume.

Okay, now that I understand what you are asking, this is what I have found. It will help us to compare if you share the page numbers where you read the information.

First, the correct name of the unit is raggruppamento sahariano (Mannerini was the commander, but the unit wasn't referred to by that name). See Messe pages 39, 132, and tavola 8 (the one you are missing). My copy of Montanari is at home, but I am sure he also lists the unit as raggruppamento sahariano.

Messe (page 38) states the plan was to tranform the raggruppamento sahariano into a divison. This would be accomplished by integrating the LII brigata speciale into the raggruppamento. The unit would be renamed divisione Savona.

Messe (page 39) states the 365° (CCCLXV) btg. complementi was assigned to the raggruppamento in February. In the first part of March, the 252° (CCLII) btg. mitraglieri and 2 btg. from the LII brigata speciale were assigned to the raggruppamento. I assume the latter two btg. are the 350°reggimento. The problem is that none of these units (except the 350°) are shown on tavola 8. Some of th eunits discussed were not at Mareth, hence could have been left off tavola 8.

Tavola 8 lists these units in raggruppamento sahariano:

350° reggimento fanteria (I e II btg.)
btg. LV (from Savona)
btg. XVI e CXVI (from Pistoia)
btg. GAF (unnumbered)
290° raggruppamento artiglieria
- CCXCCII gruppo (2 batteries 75/27)
- CCXCCIII gruppo (2 batteries 75/27)
- CCIX gruppo (2 batteries 75/27)
- I gruppo Sahariano (2 batteries 75/27)
- CCCXXXIV gruppo (2 batteries 75/27)
- CCCXXXVI gruppo (2 batteries 75/27)
- comp. c.a. (20mm)
- battery 65/17
Engineer gruppo (one artieri and 1 colleg.)

raggruppamento was reinforced with:
Gr. sq. Novvara
6 sahariano companies
ptg. celeri Lodi

There are two other units I need to check their symbols to correctly identify them.

That is where I am at this time. I need to read more of the Messe book to see what he states. Montanari has less detail on this isue, so I am not sure if he will offer any more answers.

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#5 User is offline   antonio 

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:02 PM

Dear Jeff,

Thanks a lot,

Since my Messe books misses all the Tavola, would it be possible for you to scan the two orders of battle for 1st Italian Army (Battle of Mareth and april).

Since I have just purchased that book I'm still reading it. But When Messe refers to the reinforcements from february until april, he mentions the two battalions of LII Brigata Speciale. The 350th Infantry regiment was originally a GaF unit, that garrisoned Tobruk and that area at the time of El Alamein, so I believe that he could not refer to the 350th infantry regiment as reinforcements.

On the other side I do not know when the XVI and CXVI MG Battalions arrived in North Africa.

Best regards

Antonio Palao
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#6 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:50 AM

Antonio

I have PM you.

RE: btg. XVI e CXVI. I am not sure these are mitraglieri units. None of the sources state they are MG. When you look at the Quadro di Battaglia (tavoli 7 e 8), the symbols used for these two units are infantry, not MG.

RE: LII brigata speciale. I can't find any information on these two brigades beyond what is provided in Messe and Montanari. What is your source that the 350°reggimento fanteria was formed from GAF units at Tripoli?

In all, a challegne. More to read.

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#7 User is offline   Oasis 

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:49 PM

Hi all

have you anu reference about the presence of remnants of Brescia, Pavia and 1 Artiglieria Celere after El Alamein into the italian forces 1942-1943 onto Tunisia ?

Thanks in advance

Toni
"Igne Celerrime Diruo"
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#8 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:47 PM

Toni

Yes, there is a lot of information on the condition of the army after Alamein. I will check when I am home tonight, or Antonio might be able to answer. Any particular date you are interested in?

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#9 User is offline   antonio 

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:32 AM

I will try to check tonight.

I remember that the remnants of XX Corpo were gather together
The Trieste division was reinforced with remnants of other divisions

Best regards

Antonio
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#10 User is offline   Oasis 

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:53 AM

jwsleser said:

Toni

Yes, there is a lot of information on the condition of the army after Alamein. I will check when I am home tonight, or Antonio might be able to answer. Any particular date you are interested in?

Pista!

Jeff


any date from november 1942 to the end of Africa campaign is welcome... thanks

Toni
"Igne Celerrime Diruo"
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#11 User is offline   antonio 

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:06 PM

Composition of German-Italian Armored Army on 5th November:

XX Corpo d'Armata:
Ariete Division: 2 coys Bersaglieri, 2 guns
Littorio Division: 2 coys Bersaglieri, 2 guns
Trieste Division: I/66 Inf Reg, II/66 Inf Reg, 4 guns
Ad-hoc Tank Coy: 12 tanks

XXI Corpo d'Armata:
Lupi di Toscana Btn (originally was intended to go to Trento Division)
I/39 Bologna Inf Reg
Ad-hoc Btn I/40 Bologna Inf Reg
1 Group/205º Artiglieria

X Corpo d'Armata:
Brescia Division, was retiring divided in three echelons:
Motor: Vehicles, 1º Articelere, XXXI Guastatori
Foot: 19º Inf Reg, 20º Inf Reg
Autoportato (do not know how to say in English): XXVIII/9º Bersaglieri, V/8º Bersaglieri, II/1º Articelere
Folgore Division
Pavia Division:
Rearguard: II/27º Inf Reg, III/26º Artiglieria
Motor Echelon
Foot Echelon

DAK:
15 Panzer Division: 8 Tanks, 200 men, 12 guns, 4 Antitank guns
21 Panzer Division: 30 Tanks, 400 men, 25 guns, 16 Antitank guns
164 Light Division: 600 men

5th-6th November: Brescia Division destroyed
6th November: Folgore Division was captured at Bab el Qaub
7th November: Hq and General Nebbia of X Corpo d'Armata were captured
After an engagement 21 Panzer Division is reduced to 4 tanks and 1 Btn
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#12 User is offline   antonio 

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:16 PM

According to G. Messe book on 12th February 1943 1st Italian Army should have 9 MG Battalions, in Tabola 8 it can be clearly distinguished the following battalions:

XXV
CCLXXXI
CCCXL
CCCL
Gruppo de Valle (Saharian coys): Messe says that they were MG

4 MG Battalions remain to be found, they could be some the following:

XXXIX Esplorante, VI CCNN, X CCNN "M", IX Autonomo, San Marco (Tobruk), XVIII Carabinieri, LV Savona, XVI Pistoia, CXVI Pistoia.

Best regards
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#13 User is offline   Oasis 

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 06:22 AM

antonio said:

Composition of German-Italian Armored Army on 5th November:

XX Corpo d'Armata:
Ariete Division: 2 coys Bersaglieri, 2 guns
Littorio Division: 2 coys Bersaglieri, 2 guns
Trieste Division: I/66 Inf Reg, II/66 Inf Reg, 4 guns
Ad-hoc Tank Coy: 12 tanks

XXI Corpo d'Armata:
Lupi di Toscana Btn (originally was intended to go to Trento Division)
I/39 Bologna Inf Reg
Ad-hoc Btn I/40 Bologna Inf Reg
1 Group/205º Artiglieria

X Corpo d'Armata:
Brescia Division, was retiring divided in three echelons:
Motor: Vehicles, 1º Articelere, XXXI Guastatori
Foot: 19º Inf Reg, 20º Inf Reg
Autoportato (do not know how to say in English): XXVIII/9º Bersaglieri, V/8º Bersaglieri, II/1º Articelere
Folgore Division
Pavia Division:
Rearguard: II/27º Inf Reg, III/26º Artiglieria
Motor Echelon
Foot Echelon

DAK:
15 Panzer Division: 8 Tanks, 200 men, 12 guns, 4 Antitank guns
21 Panzer Division: 30 Tanks, 400 men, 25 guns, 16 Antitank guns
164 Light Division: 600 men

5th-6th November: Brescia Division destroyed
6th November: Folgore Division was captured at Bab el Qaub
7th November: Hq and General Nebbia of X Corpo d'Armata were captured
After an engagement 21 Panzer Division is reduced to 4 tanks and 1 Btn


thanks Antonio
I was also interested after 6th november.
I have some good notices about Trieste from Lupo (thread: "What happened to the soldiers after El Alamein?") who reports presence of Brescia and Pavia personnel into I/65 btn, Folgore into I-III/66 btn.
No other mentions about 1st Artiglieria Celere (HQ) that probably joined the artillery of other division :?: .
Have you something more ?
Regards
Toni (me too Antonio!)
"Igne Celerrime Diruo"
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#14 User is offline   antonio 

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 07:54 AM

9th november:

Deployement of the ACIT

DAK and 288 Gruppe Menton: Sidi Barrani
XX Cd'A and AA3: Sollum
XXI Cd'A Halfaya
Pistoia: Cdo, 35 fanteria (I,III Btg), 36 fanteria (II Btg), III/3 Art, II/336 Piceno, II/350 marcia, Gruppo 100/17, II/24 Regg Art Cd'A, 2º/III Gruppo Monferrato, 1 cp carri formazione, 1 batt smv

AA580: Sidi Omar
164 Leichte Division, Brigade Ramcke: Bardia
90 Leichte Division: 40 km East Sidi Barrani
GGFF and IV Btg Libico: marching from Siwa to Giarabub
IX Btg Autonomo: Giarabub
X/7º Bersaglieri:
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