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History of the Alpine Ski battalion ‘Monte Cervino’

Monte Cervino

Organized on 10 June 1940 from personnel assigned to the scuola alpina d’Aosta (Aosta Alpini School) as the battaglione alpini « Duca degli Abruzzi » ; assigned to the Alpini Corps under the 4° Army. Served in the Western Alps during the Italian offensive against France in June 1940. Battalion was disbanded on 14 December 1940 and its personnel transferred to the newly created battaglione alpine sciatori « Monte Cervino » (14 December 1940).

The Battalion takes it name from the Monte Cervino (Matterhorn) in the Italian/Swiss Alps. The Battalion was transferred to Albania in December 1940 and assigned to the XXV Army Corps, 11° Army. The « Monte Cervino » fought in Albania and Greece until disbanded in May 1941. The battalion was reorganized in October 1941 and assigned as a reconnaissance battalion for the 8° Army deploying to Russia. The « Monte Cervino » was transferred to Russia in February 1942 and fought in the 1° and 2° Battles of the Don (October 42-February 43).

During the Soviet offensive against the Italian 8° Army (Little Saturn), the battalion was destroyed as an effective fighting unit on 18 February 1943 while successfully defending its position. The battalion was reconstituted on 15 July 1943 from the survivors of Russia and personnel from the battaglione alpini « Val Toce » and was assigned to the 20° Gruppo Alpini Sciatori stationed in France.

The battaglione Alpini sciatori « Monte Cervino » was disbanded after the armistice of 8 September 1943.

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