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Italian army in Russia...
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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geoffsteer
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:39 pm
Post subject: Italian army in Russia...

Hi Guys-
Do any of you know of any good books on the Italian armies participation in the eastern front? I am not looking for modelling references, more like a good general history of the Italian armies experiences in the Russian campaign. I know they get a mention in some reference material such as Steve Zaloga's "Eastern front", I'm looking for a fuller account.
With thanks-
Geoff Steer [;-{/) Shocked
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Maple_Leaf_Eh
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:16 pm
Post subject: Re: Italian army in Russia...

I had a paperback book about three veterans who holiday'ed at the same resort as the author. One was an American bomber air gunner, the second was a young Tiger tank officer cadet crewman, and the third was a lessor Italian count who had been a company commander on the Eastern Front. The book was Three Men Go To War, or such.

The Italian had been a mountain infantry commander when a particular French fort was captured. His reward was to command other Italians volunt-told by Mussolini to go help out. They were dumped in a mountainous part of the Eastern Front with the equipment on their backs. The Italians back home expected the Germans to look after them, and the Germans expected the Italians back home to look after them. So while they didn't go hungry, their losses and resupply were never properly administered. They made peace with the partisans by speaking Latin to the local priests. As the war continued the Italians accepted their forgotten status and walked out. I think they got home just about the same time as Mussolini was killed.
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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:58 pm
Post subject: Re: Italian army in Russia...

Not sure if this book covers Russia at all or not, mostly focused on North Africa:

www.amazon.com/exec/ob...4?v=glance

Neil
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LeeW
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:44 pm
Post subject: Re: Italian army in Russia...

I asked over on:
www.1jma.dk/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6720
and got this response.
There's usually someone at comandosupremo.com that could make a good reference.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:06 pm
Post subject: Re: Italian army in Russia...

Some potential source material is found on Wikipedia:

"During World War II the divisions saw combat in France, Albania, Yugoslavia and Greece, before Tridentina, Julia and Cuneense division were sent to fight in the Soviet Union, where, instead of being deployed in the Caucasus mountains as expected, they were tasked to hold the front in the Don river plains. As a result of this disastrous strategic decision, troops armed, trained and equipped for mountain warfare were pitted in the plains against tanks and mechanized infantry, to counter which they were neither equipped nor trained. Despite this fact, they held the front until January 1943, when, due to the collapse of the Axis front, they were encircled by the advancing Soviet Army. The Alpini were able to break the encirclement and fight their way towards the new line of the front established after the Axis retreat. Only about one third of the Tridentina division (4250/15000 survivors) and one tenth of the Julia (1200/15000) were able to survive this odyssey. The Cuneense division was virtually annihilated.

See also Italian war in Soviet Union, 1941-1943."

Mario Rigoni Stern "The sergeant in the snow", ISBN 0810160552
A first hand account of the odissey of the Alpini on the Eastern Front, 1943
Italian: "Il sergente nella neve", ISBN 880634868X
French: "Le Sergent dans la neige", ISBN 2264020806.
Alfio Caruso "Tutti i vivi all'assalto" (Italian only), ISBN 8830419966
More accounts of the Alpini on the Don front.
G. Bedeschi "Centomila gavette di ghiaccio" (Italian only), ISBN 8842517461
Alpini on the Don front.
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LeeW
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:14 am
Post subject: Re: Italian army in Russia...

Posted by permission from another board:

As Comandosupremo forum moderator, I thank you for the suggestion...

Anyway the point is: literature about italians on eastern front is very huge but unfortunately...is in italian. AFAIK there's not a general history book in english on this stuff (some proposed me to write one some year ago...) and, always AFAIK, only two veteran memory books had been traslated "The sargent in the snow" by Rigoni Stern and "Few returned" by Corti. All the rest is in italian, sorry.
A lot of stuff can be found here and there on internet (apart comandosupremo, also axishistoryforum collects useful debates). I can only invite again people interested on www.comandosupremo.com and offer my e-mail legnano @ hotmail.com for any request.

bye

Lupo
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