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GGFF (Giovani Fascisti) 1941-1943

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136th ARMORED DIVISION GGFF – Giovani Fascisti (Egypt – 24 Oct 1942)

136th INFANTRY REGIMENT GIOVANI FASCISTI

REGIMENTAL HQ (100 men, including M/cycle Section, etc.)
1st GGFF BATTALION

HQ (68 men)
3 COMPANIES, each with: (141 men total)

COY HQ
1 RIFLE PLATOON (6 x LMG)
1 MG PLATOON (3 x MMG)
1 AA/ATk PLATOON (3 x 20mm Breda L/65)
1 ATk PLATOON (3 x 47mm ATG)

2nd GGFF BATTALION

Identical to 1st GGFF Battalion

IV GRENADIERS OF SARDINIA ATk BATTALION

HQ (68 men)
3 COMPANIES, each with: (121 men)

COY HQ (3 x Trucks)
4 ATG PLATOONS (each 2 x Trucks, 2 x 47mm ATG)

9th INDEPENDENT INFANTRY BATTALION:

Probably identical to 1st GGFF Battalion, but there is a small possibility it could still be using the old organization as listed above in Gazala OOB.

3rd “MONTFERRATO LIGHT CAVALRY” RECON GROUP (AB41 Armoured Cars)
25th MIXED ENGINEER BATTALION

BTN HQ 1 ENGINEER COMPANY 1 SIGNALS COMPANY

Total of each GGFF battalion is 491 men with 9 x 47mm ATG, 9 x 20mm Guns, 9 x MMGs, and 18 LMGs. Total for Ragruppamento is 1513 men with 42 x 47mm ATG, 18 x 20mm, 18 x MMGs, and 36 x LMGs!

The formation was now officially re-designated as a Division and placed in Reserve. During the 2nd Battle of El Alamein some of it’s units (specifically the Sardinian Grenadiers and its intended Artillery units) were detached and saw action providing support for units such as the Italian “Folgore” and German “Ramcke” Paratroopers. Once the withdrawal began, the GGFF became involved as part of the Rearguard, and suffered heavy casualties doing so.

136th ARMORED DIVISION GGFF – Giovani Fascisti (Marsa el Brega 01 Dec 1942)

DIVISIONAL HQ
136th GGFF REGIMENT

REGIMENTAL HQ (100 men, including M/cycle Section, etc.)
1st GGFF BATTALION

HQ (68 men)
3 COMPANIES, each with: (141 men total)

COY HQ
1 RIFLE PLATOON (6 x LMG)
1 MG PLATOON (3 x MMG)
1 AA/ATk PLATOON (3 x 20mm Breda L/65)
1 ATk PLATOON (3 x 47mm ATG)

2nd GGFF BATTALION

Identical to 1st GGFF Battalion

? GaF BATTALION

Exact unit ID and organization unknown, but most probably, HQ & 3 Rifle Companies with no weapons heavier than MGs.

IV GRENADIERS OF SARDINIA ATk BATTALION

HQ (68 men)
3 COMPANIES, each: (121 men)

COY HQ (3 x Trucks)
4 ATG PLATOONS (2 x Trucks, 2 x 47mm ATG)

9th INDEPENDENT INFANTRY BATTALION

Presumably the same as 1st GGFF Battalion

? GaF BATTALION

2 RIFLE COMPANIES Only – Again not sure of unit ID, but definitely not complete – No HQ present.

136th ARTILLERY REGIMENT

XIV AUTOPORTATI GRUPPO: 3 Bty (each 4 x Cm 6517), 1 Section (2 x Cm 20/65)
XV AUTOPORTATI GRUPPO: 3 Bty (each 4 x Cm 65/17), 1 Section (2 x Cm 20/65)
XVI AUTOPORTATI GRUPPO: 3 Bty (each 4 x Cm 75/27)
XVII AUTOPORTATI GRUPPO: 3 Bty (each 4 x Cm 100/17)
13th AUTOPORTATI AA BATTERY: (4 x Cm 20/65)

3 MISCELLANEOUS ARTILLERY BATTERIES (Gun types and numbers not known)
88th ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY (8 x 20mm AA)
25th ENGINEER BATTALION

BTN HQ
1 ENGINEER COMPANY
1 SIGNALS COMPANY

Cm 65/17 is the 65mm Infantry Gun mounted on a captured British Morris CS6 Truck. Cm 20/65 is Breda 20mm AA mounted on a captured British Ford F15 Truck. Cm 75/27 is Italian 75mm Gun mounted on Italian TL37 Light Truck/Artillery Tractor. Cm 100/17 is Italian 100mm Howitzer mounted on Italian Lancia 3RO Truck.

The Division suffered heavy casualties as part of the rearguard from El Alamein to El Agheila. Once the retreat had reached Tripolitania and the border of Tunisia, the Division was reconstituted using Bersaglieri and other formations (essentially whatever was available!). The unit was also officially reclassified as an Infantry Division at this time (Note that it is often mistakenly referred to as a “Motorized” Division throughout this period).

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