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Brescia?

#41 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:29 PM

Quote

A total of 56 47/32 c.c. is given for the division.


That seems a very big number. Any particular mission at that time? An attachment?
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#42 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 03:47 AM

Dili

Quote

A total of 56 47/32 c.c. is given for the division.

That seems a very big number. Any particular mission at that time? An attachment?


This information came from Montanari, volume II page 29. Comando Supremo was looking at methods to strengthen the Italian unit in A.S. in early 1941. A major consideration was reducing the number of trucks. In March 41, the proposed infantry division organization was:

- a reece unit;

- two infantry regiments, consisting of two infantry battalions and one btg. armi di acc.

- one divisional btg. armi di acc.

- one regiment of artillery with two 75mm gruppi and one 100mm gruppi, and a mixed c.a. gruppi.

- btg. of mixed engineers.

- Services.

The 56 c.c apparently consist of: a company in each infantry battalion (total of 4), and a company in each armi di acc.(total of 3); for a total of seven companies of 8 guns each (56 c.c.). The division also had 40 fuciloni c.c. (Solothurns), but I don’t have any idea how they were distributed (likely ten per battalion). As you can see, this was the organization that transitioned the units from the tipo A.S. structure to the tipo A.S. 42. These were the changes the FF.AA. A.S. was adopting during the mid to late 41 (reference to the discussion on the organization of the 8th Bersaglieri at Bir el Gobi). The third infantry battalion was converted to a btg. armi di acc.; the btg. mitraglieri converted to a divisonal btg. armi di acc.

This structure was not fully adopted; the lack of material limiting what was done. It was superseded by the tipo A.S. 42 structure in January 1942.

Pista!

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

#43 User is offline   david 

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:36 AM

Jeff.

When you (Montanari) say that a total of 56 x 47/32 is given for the Divisione; are you refering to the actual number of guns present at a given time, or a theoretical quantity in an organisational structure written on paper?
Cheers; Dave.

#44 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:58 PM

Thanks Jeff. So the Regimental Btg's were supposed to have 2 AT companies and the Divisional have 3 AT co's ?
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#45 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:14 AM

David


Quote

When you (Montanari) say that a total of 56 x 47/32 is given for the Divisione; are you refering to the actual number of guns present at a given time, or a theoretical quantity in an organisational structure written on paper?



it was the theoretical structure. It was for all divisione fanteria, not just Brescia. Like all Italian TO&E structures, it was never achieved.

Dili

Quote

So the Regimental Btg's were supposed to have 2 AT companies and the Divisional have 3 AT co's ?


The design was one compagnia c.c. per btg. fanteria, one compagnia per regimental btg. di acc. (total of six cp. between the two regiments); one compagnia c.c in the divisionale btg. di acc.

I started to research the unit structures in A.S. At the start of the war, the divisions were organized as divisione A.S. In 1941 they start to reorganized based on wartime experience. The following units were planned based on the new organizations:
Divione corazzata: Ariete,
Divisone motorizzata: Pavia, Bologna, Trento, Trieste, Savona, Brescia, and Piave.
Divisione occupazione: Sabratha, Pistola. There was discussion of creating additional divisions using Guardia alla Frontiera units.

As you can see, Brescia was programmed as a divisione motorizzata. Hence the two battalion structure with the third battalionas as a btg. di acc. Becuase of Crusader and the general lack of equipment, this reorganization was never completed. However, Brescia was quickly converted to a divisione fanteria fanteria tipo A.S. 42 because it alreaduy had begun the change based on the 1941 design.

The source for this is La prima controffensiva Italo-Tedesca pages159-162; Le operazione in Africa settentrionale Vol. II Tobruk page 262-4.

Pista!

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

#46 User is offline   david 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:55 AM

Thanks Jeff.

Perhaps we could look in detail at whan Brescia started to ACTUALLY recieve the men & equipment to fulfil the AS42 requirements sometime?
Cheers; Dave.

#47 User is offline   Dili 

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:29 AM

Quote

The design was one compagnia c.c. per btg. fanteria, one compagnia per regimental btg. di acc. (total of six cp. between the two regiments); one compagnia c.c in the divisionale btg. di acc.


Thanks.
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#48 User is offline   dor1941 

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:30 PM

jwsleser said:

I started to research the unit structures in A.S. At the start of the war, the divisions were organized as divisione A.S. In 1941 they start to reorganized based on wartime experience. The following units were planned based on the new organizations:
Divione corazzata: Ariete,
Divisone motorizzata: Pavia, Bologna, Trento, Trieste, Savona, Brescia, and Piave.
Divisione occupazione: Sabratha, Pistola. There was discussion of creating additional divisions using Guardia alla Frontiera units.

As you can see, Brescia was programmed as a divisione motorizzata. Hence the two battalion structure with the third battalionas as a btg. di acc. Becuase of Crusader and the general lack of equipment, this reorganization was never completed. However, Brescia was quickly converted to a divisione fanteria fanteria tipo A.S. 42 because it alreaduy had begun the change based on the 1941 design.


I was under the distinct impression that D.f. Brescia-like D.f. Savona-retained the earlier organization at least until the end of 1941/Crusader, and in that same period D.f. Pavia and Bologna made considerable changes towards the divisione motorizzata goal, particularly in the adoption of the battaglioni armi d'accompagnamento (heavy weapons battalions). The different timeline for the two pairs of divisions to reorganize suggested to me some previously unstated agenda or limitation beyond the shortage of equipment and training to implement it.

Montanari (A.S., II-Tobruk, p. 307-2nd ed.) wrote: "Il XXI corpo d'armata (gen. Enea Navarini), era composto dalle divisioni Bologna e Pavia-destinate ad assumere la formazione motorizzata "tipo A.S." (organico alle pagine seguenti) come la Trento-nonche dalla D.f. Brescia."
The implied separation of Brescia from the intended reorganization-but specifically stated as in progress here for Bologna and Pavia-should be of some significance. I'm not suggesting that Brescia was not going to be motorized, but rather was given a lower priority in the plan for some unstated reason. Of course Savona was not part of the XXI corpo d'armata and so was not mentioned in the quote-it was lost in toto in January 1942 and clearly had never reorganized as motorizzata-it still had six infantry battalions and a machine-gun battalion (no divisional or regimental heavy weapons battalions).

The status of Brescia in 1941 is my primary interest here-I was hoping to confirm more details, but as David W suggests, we can keep searching :)

David R
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#49 User is offline   david 

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 11:05 AM

Quote

Brescia was quickly converted to a divisione fanteria fanteria tipo A.S. 42 because it already had begun the change based on the 1941 design.



Do we know just how quickly (by when) it was completly converted?
Cheers; Dave.

#50 User is offline   Oasis 

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:43 AM

View Postdavid, on 20 November 2011 - 11:05 AM, said:

Do we know just how quickly (by when) it was completly converted?


I have the date 13 january 1942

Toni
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#51 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:11 PM

Always difficult to pin down exact dates.

The A.S. 42 structure was authorized in January, but my information has the order to start the conversions on 12 February (Seconda controffensiva italo-tedesca in Africa Settentrionale de El Agheila a El Alamein page 59). I don't believe the conversion was ever fully complete. Throughout the both the first and second set of Italian officials, the lack of equipment and trucks is cited whenever the conversion is touched upon. The division was not used in the first phase of operations (Jan-Apr) because it was still under transformation (page 79). On July 22 the Bresica required two battalions and three gruppi of 75/27 guns (page 207 and footnote 1).

During Gazala, the division had five battalions. My assumption is that the battalions had been reorganized but might be short equipment and was certainly short trucks. By September the division still had 5 battalions.

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

#52 User is offline   david 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:12 AM

Jeff.

Not quickly at all then!


Toni.

Perhaps yours is the official start date?
Cheers; Dave.

#53 User is offline   Oasis 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:15 AM

View Postdavid, on 22 November 2011 - 12:12 AM, said:


Toni.

Perhaps yours is the official start date?


My information is not so deep, it might also be the official start date...
it is reported in:
Marciani G., Il Reggimento Artiglieria Celere “Emanuele Filiberto Testa di Ferro”, Roma 1955, 125-126
"Igne Celerrime Diruo"
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#54 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:08 PM

The dates for the conversion to the Mod.42 AS TO&E are a question that will probably never get a satisfactory answer.

To start with, by early 1942 most divisions were already organized on fully non-standard lines, with much less manpower and having acquired as much extra hardware as possible, so at least some units were already operating on something at least resembling the Mod.42 AS organization, and certainly were already using its "new" stongpoints-based deployment doctrine. So it is possible that at least some units were already more or less fully "converted" ... before the official conversion.

Once this changes were officialy sanctioned by the new regulations, the battalions were supposed to start their reorganization on one company, later adding the others as soon as the necessary hardware was available. So the first company to be converted in each battalion could have probably been ready in a very short time, while for the others it could have taken any ammount of time, from weeks to never, according to the hardware availability.

So the question on when the Mod.42 AS TO&E was applied hasn't a real anwer.

Or, better said, it has an "operational answer" (i.e. almost immediatelly, as most divisions were already largely operating on roughly Mod.42 AS lines even before the regulations), and an "accountants" answer (i.e. never, as the correct ammount of hardware necessary to fully comply to the regulations was never fully available for any of them). ;)
Aighe-va

Arturo F.Lorioli
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#55 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 03:07 PM

Arturo

I certainly agree. Organizationally, the battalions were likely reconfigured in a short period of time. The issue of equipment would be based on availability and the priority between units. At what point is the conversion completed and any shortages are merely wear and tear?

David

Quickly must be placed in context. If the standard for saying the Bresica was transformed into a divisione fanteria A.S. 42 is that everything was in place, then the division never achieved this standard. At Alamein, the division only had five of six required battalions; hence the conversion was imcomplete.

It is possible the Brescia was fully equipped by Gazala, abet missing a battalion. The detailed data is currently not available to determine what, if any, equipment was missing. The availability of the 20/25mm AT systems is one area where there could be a shortage.

My current thought is the Brescia was fully converted by Gazala with some equipment shortages. These shortages were the normal problems in A.S.

What is interesting to me is while the divisions programmed for conversion were held back in the Agheila position in Jan-Feb 42, the Sabratha (designated an occupation division) took part in active offensive operations. I assume this was due to two factors; the Sabratha having few losses during Crusader, and the fact that the other divisions were converting. Did Sabratha receive additional equipment for the offense from the other units? A possibility.

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

#56 User is offline   david 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:50 PM

Thanks guys, some very good points raised there.

Perhaps I should re-phrase my questions in future, thus...

When did the change over to AS42 begin for Divisione "X"

How & when was it as complete as it ever got?

Maybe this would get more useful answers.
Cheers; Dave.

#57 User is offline   david 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:19 AM

Backtracking a little, it might be possible that Brescia did have the five Compagnia Contro Carro, but not until April 1941. As the following Compagnia seem to have been present....
5th, 71st, 101st, 105th & 227th.

your thoughts gentlemen?
Cheers; Dave.

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