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AMAZON BOOKS - REGIO ESERCITO


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Italian Artillery of WWII (Green) Paperback - July 19, 2015 by Ralph A. Riccio (Author), Enrico Finazzer (Author)


Book covers technical aspects of the artillery pieces used by Italian Army during WWII. Covers: Modern and WWII guns of Italian origin, German or war booty guns, Self-propelled guns, Artillery Tractors. Technical details and scale plans of every described piece.

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The Italian Army and the First World War (Armies of the Great War) Paperback - July 31, 2014 by John Gooch (Author)


This is a major new account of the role and performance of the Italian army during the First World War. Drawing from original, archival research, it tells the story of the army's bitter three-year struggle in the mountains of Northern Italy, including the eleven bloody battles of the Isonzo, the near-catastrophic defeat at Caporetto in 1917 and the successful, but still controversial defeat of the Austro-Hungarian army at Vittorio Veneto on the eve of the Armistice. Setting military events within a broader context, the book explores pre-war Italian military culture and the interactions between domestic politics, economics and society. In a unique study of an unjustly neglected facet of the war, John Gooch illustrates how General Luigi Cadorna, a brutal disciplinarian, drove the army to the edge of collapse, and how his successor, general Armando Diaz, rebuilt it and led the Italians to their greatest victory in modern times.

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The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919 Paperback – October 26, 2010 by Mark Thompson (Author)


In May 1915, Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire. Nearly 750,000 Italian troops were killed in savage, hopeless fighting on the stony hills north of Trieste and in the snows of the Dolomites. To maintain discipline, General Luigi Cadorna restored the Roman practice of decimation, executing random members of units that retreated or rebelled.

With elegance and pathos, historian Mark Thompson relates the saga of the Italian front, the nationalist frenzy and political intrigues that preceded the conflict, and the towering personalities of the statesmen, generals, and writers drawn into the heart of the chaos. A work of epic scale, The White War does full justice to the brutal and heart-wrenching war that inspired Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.

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Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War 1st Edition by John R. Schindler (Author)


This is the first account in English of a much-overlooked, but important, First World War battlefront located in the mountains astride the border between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Not well known in the West, the battles of Isonzo were nevertheless ferocious, and compiled a record of bloodletting that totaled over 1.75 million for both sides. In sharp contrast to claims that neither the Italian nor the Austrian armies were viable fighting forces, Schindler aims to bring the terrible sacrifices endured by both armies back to their rightful place in the history of 20th century Europe. The Habsburg Empire, he contends, lost the war for military and economic reasons rather than for political or ethnic ones.

Schindler's account includes references to remarkable personalities such as Mussolini; Tito; Hemingway; Rommel, and the great maestro Toscanini. This Alpine war had profound historical consequences that included the creation of the Yugoslav state, the problem of a rump Austrian state looking to Germany for leadership, and the traumatic effects on a generation of young Italian men who swelled the ranks of the fascists. After nearly a century, Isonzo can assume its proper place in the ranks of the tragic Great War clashes, alongside Verdun, the Somme, and Passchendaele.

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The Red Horse Paperback - June 1, 2002 by Eugenio Corti (Author)

Eugenio Corti A literary phenomenon in Italy, The Red Horse a European bast-seller, was voted the best Italian novel of the decade in a public survey. Its success had gone far beyond Italy, as the book has been translated into Spanish, French, Japanese and three other languages.

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The Last Soldiers of the King: Life in Wartime Italy, 1943-1945 Paperback - November 14, 2003 by Eugenio Corti (Author)


In the sequel to the highly acclaimed Few Returned, Eugenio Corti, one of Italy’s most distinguished postwar writers, continues his poignant account of his experiences as an Italian soldier in the Second World War.

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Few Returned: Twenty-eight Days on the Russian Front, Winter 1942-1943 Paperback - May 28, 1997 by Eugenio Corti (Author), Peter Edward Levy


After World War II more than one hundred books appeared that dealt with the experience of the Italian army in Russia, and particularly the terrible winter retreat of 1942-1943. Few Returned (I piu' non ritornano) is the only one of these that is still regularly reissued in Italy.

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The Sergeant in the Snow Paperback - June 24, 1998 by Mario Rigoni Stern (Author), Archibald Colquhoun (Translator)


Mario Rigoni Stern was barely twenty-one - and already a battle veteran - at the time of the hallucinatory World War II disaster searchingly described in this book. In July 1942, the Italian forces in Russia totaled 230,000 men. They included three divisions of Alpini troops, specially trained for winter warfare; the author of this book belonged to one of these, the Tridentina.

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Sacrifice on the Steppe: The Italian Alpine Corps in the Stalingrad Campaign, 1942-1943 Hardcover - June, 2011 by Hope Hamilton (Author)


When Germany’s Sixth Army advanced to Stalingrad in 1942, its long-extended flanks were mainly held by its allied armies—the Romanians, Hungarians, and Italians. But as history tells us, these flanks quickly caved in before the massive Soviet counter-offensive which commenced that November, dooming the Germans to their first catastrophe of the war. However, the historical record also makes clear that one allied unit held out to the very end, fighting to stem the tide—the Italian Alpine Corps.

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Mussolini's Spies: Italian Military Espionage, 1940-1943


In spite of the erratic directives that were periodically handed down from the top, Italian military intelligence was able to produce valuable information that was not taken into account or misinterpreted by those in charge. The espionage and counterespionage sections that had been so effective during the pre-war period suddenly fell back in the contest with Italy's enemies. How did this happen and what were the decisions that led to fascist Italy's defeat are the questions answered in this work that fills a gap in the history of the Second World War and its vital military intelligence component.

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Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies on the Russian Front 1941Paperback– September 12, 2012


Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies On The Russian Front 1941, is about the armed forces of the kingdoms of Italy, Romania, and Hungary, which fought alongside the German Wehrmacht, in the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. Foreword written by Colonel John R. Griffin (retired), US Army Special Forces. Author Patrick Cloutier discusses the motivations of the three Axis kingdoms for going to war against the USSR, the organization of the forces which participated, their roles as integral components of Army Group South, and traces their movements and progress during the course of Operation Barbarossa. He makes reference to the books of a number of authors - including Russian historians - through whose works we get a detailed view of events in the Ukraine in 1941. Included are accounts of Soviet armored trains in combat, identification of Red Army units which opposed the Germans and their Axis allies, and discussion of the political considerations which...

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Italian Soldier in North Africa 1941-43 (Warrior) Paperback


Focusing on the Italian Army in North Africa during World War II, which fought alongside the Afrikakorps under Rommel versus Montgomery and Patton, this title combines with the previous Warrior series books on the subject (and other Osprey titles) to complete the picture of the War in the Desert. Despite the attention paid to the Afrikakorps over the years, it was the numerically far superior forces of the Italian Army that held the line and formed the bulk of the fighting power available to the Axis powers during the War in the Desert from 1941 through to 1943. Their performance has been unfairly criticized over the years - the best units of the Italian Army were equal to those of the British and Germans - but they suffered from a lack of mobility and poor equipment that made it impossible for them to meet mobile British forces on anywhere near equal terms. Despite this, the Italian Army went through many changes through the period, with the introduction of a variety of elite units - armoured, mechanised and parachute divisions that did much to restore the fighting reputation of the Italian soldier in the Desert War. Their German allies belatedly acknowledged this with the redesignation of Panzerarmee Afrika as 1st Italian Army in February 1943. This title details recruitment, organisation and experience of the Italian forces in this theatre, casting new light on a force whose...

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The Forgotten Axis: Germany's Partners and Foreign Volunteers in World War II [Paperback]


The mention of World War II German soldiers conjures images of strong, Aryan young men born in Germany and raised under the Third Reich. However, throughout the war, more than 3 million foreigners served in Nazi Germany's armed services, comprising 18 percent of the entire German force. These non-German soldiers included 1.5 million Austrians, 350,000 Seudetenlanders, and approximately 200,000 Poles, as well as Czechs, Slovaks, Norwegians, Danes, Belgians, Romanians, Finns, Bulgarians and other nationalities. Whether converts, conscripts, or reluctant volunteers, these foreigners served throughout the armed forces and participated in all major operations. This volume offers the first in-depth exploration of the motives and experiences of these non-German German soldiers, providing a new perspective on the military history of the Axis powers.

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Avanti: Mussolini and the Wars of Italy 1919-1945


Internationally acclaimed historian J. Lee Ready has produced another monumental work. Avanti: Mussolini and the Wars of Italy. This book covers the Street War 1919-22, the Libyan War 1919-31, the Ethiopian War 1935-40, the Spanish Civil War 1936-39 and World War II. The book states opinions backed up by the author’s forty years of research and study. Mussolini was not executed by partisans, but was killed trying to escape. Italy emerged victorious in World War II. Italian troops were praised for their bravery on all fronts. Italian arms were highly efficient at times. Mussolini was the most popular leader in Italy in centuries, and also the most vilified. Italians were guilty of major war crimes, but were never punished by the Allies. The author gives evidence for these statements and lets the reader make up his mind. Excerpts: "In general Italian infantry performed well. Sometimes they panicked, but at other times their bravery was outstanding, such as on the Franco-Italian Border 1940, and in Greece, Egypt/Libya, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Tunisia, the Russian front, Sicily, Cassino, the crawl up the Italian boot and the battles of 1945 on both sides of the line." - "The Russians saw no difference between Italian and German troops." - "The Bersaglieri were elite and consistently good, showing great audacity. At Sidi Rezegh they reassured a nervous Rommel. At Kasserine Pass they worried the Americans. On the Russian front they sliced their way through Russian hordes." - "In Sicily even Nazis praised Italian artillery." - "On Corsica the French insisted on keeping their Italian artillery in action." - "When the veterans of the US 88th Division ran up against the Italians they described them as 'elite'." - "The Royal Navy had a healthy respect for the Italian Navy." - "The American experience of fighting against Italians was gained in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy, where they encountered courageous opposition." - "British generals described Allied Italian units as ‘invaluable’, ‘exceeded expectations’, ‘the bravery of the Italian troops in action is beyond question’, ‘they are paying a very worthwhile dividend’, 'morale in these groups is very high'." - "American generals described Allied Italian units as ‘valuable, without which US Fifth Army could not have operated’." - "Without Italian military efficiency there would have been no victory at Teruel, no destruction of British armor in the desert, no charge across Russia, no impressive last stands at Keren, Amba Alagi, Alamein or Enfidaville, and no partisan uprising." - "But decent leadership, such as provided by the Duke D’Aosta, Lorenzini, Nasi, Utili, Bergonzolli and Messe, was all too rare." - "Mussolini’s invasion of Albania taught a predominantly Moslem people the meaning of Christianity by invading and conquering them on Easter weekend!" - "Much of Moslem Libya’s attitude to the world can be attributed to their treatment at the hands of the Christian Italians." - "Did the civilians of Barcelona really die because their love of their Catalonian homeland threatened Italy, or because Mussolini wanted to impress the world with his new airplanes?" - "Prior to Mussolini the only hope for a poor farm worker was to emigrate." - "[Mussolini] gave Italy a boom economy that helped her sail through the Great Depression practically unharmed." - "in Mussolini’s Italy the nobility slept like babes with the assurance that their privileges would still be there in the morning." - "he bought off the Roman Catholic Church with the greatest gift of all: he gave the church its own country, the Vatican." - "he whittled down the nation’s major criminal families, including the ‘Mafia’ in Sicily." - "he created an air force that was the envy of the world, with Italian pilots as popular in the public imagination as race car drivers." Controversial and opinionative as all good histories should be, this book, Avanti, should be considered a standard work in Italian history and the story of World War II.

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MUSSOLINI'S WAR: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935-45


Among the great misconceptions of modern times is the assumption that Benito Mussolini was Hitler's junior partner, who made no significant contributions to the Second World War. That conclusion originated with Allied propagandists determined to boost Anglo-American morale, while undermining Axis cooperation. The Duce's failings, real or imagined, were inflated and ridiculed; his successes, pointedly demeaned or ignored. Italy's bungling navy, ineffectual army - as cowardly as it was ill-equipped - and air force of antiquated biplanes were handily dealt with by the Western Allies. So effective was this disinformation campaign that it became post-war history, and is still generally taken for granted even by otherwise well-informed scholars and students of World War Two. But a closer examination of recently disclosed, and often neglected, original source materials presents an entirely different picture.

They shine new light, for example, on Italy's submarine service, the world's greatest in terms of tonnage, its boats sinking nearly three-quarters of a million tons of Allied shipping in three years' time. During a single operation, Italian 'human torpedoes' sank the battleships HMS Valiant and Queen Elizabeth, plus an eight-thousand-ton tanker, at their home anchorage in Alexandria, Egypt. By mid-1942, Mussolini's navy had fought its way back from crushing defeats to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Sea.

Contrary to popular belief, his Fiat biplanes gave as good as they got in the Battle of Britain, and their monoplane replacements, such as the Macchi Greyhound, were state-of-the-art interceptors superior to the American Mustang. Savoia-Marchetti Sparrowhawk bombers accounted for seventy-two Allied warships and one hundred-ninety-six freighters before the Bagdolio armistice in 1943.

On 7 June 1942, infantry of the Italian X Corps saved Rommel's XV Brigade near Gazala, in North Africa, from otherwise certain annihilation, while horse-soldiers of the Third Cavalry Division Amedeo Duca d'Aosta defeated Soviet forces on the Don River before Stalingrad the following August in history's last cavalry charge.

As influential as these operations were on the course of World War Two, more potentially decisive was Mussolini's planned aggression against the United States' mainland. Postponed only at the last moment when its conventional explosives were slated for substitution by a nuclear device, New York City escaped an atomic attack by margins more narrow than previously understood. It is now known that Italian scientists led the world in nuclear research in 1939, and a four-engine Piaggio heavy bomber was modified to carry an atomic bomb five years later.

These and numerous other disclosures combine to debunk lingering propaganda stereotypes of an inept, ineffectual Italian armed forces. That dated portrayal is rendered obsolete by a true-to-life account of the men and weapons of Mussolini's War.

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Regio Esercito: the Italian Royal Army in Mussolini's Wars, 1935-1943 [Paperback]


Regio Esercito: the Italian Royal Army in Mussolini's Wars, 1935-1943. A history of the Italian Army's wars in Ethiopia, Spain, Greece, Yugoslavia, Russia, North Africa, and Sicily. The campaigns are examined in a book that draws on Italian, Russian, German, and Yugoslav sources, among others. Includes translated Russian passages. Mr. Cloutier brings attention to Italian battlefield successes. He examines a few strategic situations of World War 2, and holds that Italian forces at times were a key asset, whose misuse by the Axis cost them important victories. Black and white; 198 pages, 77 maps, 66 photos, 19 drawings, appendix, and photo annex. 237 footnotes.

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Fascism's European Empire: Italian Occupation During the Second World War (New Studies in European History) (Hardcover)


A controversial reappraisal of the Italian occupation of the Mediterranean during the Second World War which Davide Rodogno examines for the first time within the framework of fascist imperial ambitions. He focuses on the European territories annexed and occupied by Italy between 1940 and 1943: metropolitan France, Corsica, Slovenia, Croatia, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Western Macedonia, and mainland and insular Greece. He explores Italy's plans for Mediterranean expansion, its relationship with Germany, economic exploitation, the forced 'Italianisation' of the annexed territories, collaboration, repression, and Italian policies towards refugees. He also compares Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany through their dreams of imperial conquest, the role of racism, and the 'fascistization' of the Italian Army. Based on largely unpublished sources, this is a groundbreaking contribution to genocide, resistance, war crimes and occupation studies as well as to the history of the Second World War more generally.

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Germany and the Axis Powers: From Coalition to Collapse DiNardo, Richard L.


"The focus of this study is on Germany and its conduct of World War II as a coalition war ... was Germany inept at conducting coalition warfare? At first glance, this might seem to be a question that should not even be asked, since the answer should be obvious, given the outcome of the war. To simply leave it at that, however, would be insufficient, because it begs a whole number of questions. Was Germany better at conducting coalition warfare at some levels of war than others? Were some services better at working with their allies than others? Were the problems confronting Germany and its Axis allies similar to those faced by the Allies, or were they different? Did the German military learn anything in this regard from the experience of the First World War?
... another element that comes into question is the performance of the Axis allied forces. The common perception of the Italian armed forces has been subject to a wide spectrum of revision, ranging from the views of James Sadkovich to those of Brian Sullivan, MacGregor Knox, and Lucio Ceva ... In terms of land warfare, Rommel probably got more out of the Italian units under his command than he expected, certainly more than the British would care to admit ... Italian artillery and antiaircraft units provided good support to the German Twelfth Oasis Company in its defense of Sidi Omar. One of Rommel's officers gave much of the credit for the successful defense of Halfaya Pass in June 1941 to the Italian infantry. Likewise, Italian armored units, especially the Ariete Armored Division, did well during the Crusader battles, and during the retreat to Agedabia, the rear guards of the Italian infantry divisions, aided by German mobile units and favorable terrain, executed a number of excellent delaying actions to successfully stymie the pursuit of the victorious but badly battered British Eighth Army ... at the lower levels, strain was exacerbated by the Germans' habit of stealing equipment from their allies ..." Highly Recommended.

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Rommel's North Africa Campaign, J. Greene


"The first thing to understand about World War II in North Africa is that this was primarily Italy's war..."
A must read for anyone seriously interested in understanding the Italian participation in WWII North Africa.

Highly Recommended


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Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa by Ian W. Walker


A superb account of Italian Tank Units in North Africa. A highly detailed and balanced account of warfare in North Africa.

The campaign in North Africa during WWII was one of the most important of the conflict. The allies fought for control of North Africa against the German Afrika Korps led by Rommel. But the part played by Mussolini's Italian troops, and in particular the armored divisions, in support of the Germans is not so well known. This painstakingly researched book looks in detail at the role of Mussolini's three armored divisions - Ariete, Littorio and Centauro - and the invaluable part they played in Rommel's offensive between 1941 and 1943. Indeed, the author is able to show that on many occasions the presence and performance of the Italian armored divisions was crucial to the success of the axis campaign.

Highly Recommended


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Iron Arm: The Mechanization of Mussolini's Army, 1920-1940 (Stackpole Military History)


Italian tanks formed a large part of the Axis armored force that the Allies confronted in North Africa in the early years of World War II. Those tanks were the product of two decades of debate and development as the Italian military struggled to produce a modern, mechanized army in the aftermath of World War I. For a time, Italy stood near the front of the world's tank forces--but once war came, Mussolini's Iron Arm failed as an effective military force. This is the story of its rise and fall.

"... the Corpo d'Armata Corazzato, with its two armored and two motorized divisions, formed a powerful striking force, theoretically superior to that of Britain or the United States."

"Italy could not hope to have an effective mechanized army without either more production or an ally with production capacity of this type. Mechanized warfare used too many tanks too quickly. Britain lost 150 tanks a day on many occasions. The Italians and Germans lost nearly that each at El Alamein. But the British had the vast American arsenal to supply them, while the Italians only had their own meager production. It was here that the Italian armored units lost the battle, not because of their policy, doctrine or morale"

"The defeat of the Italian army in the Second World War has obscured the record of achievement in military thought and policy that occurred in the interwar years"

A great companion to Ian W. Walker's Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa. Essential reading to understanding the mechanized and motorized developments in Italy prior to WWII.

Highly Recommended


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Mussolini's Soldiers Hardcover - March, 1995 by Rex Trye (Author)


This book is a study of the Italian soldier during the years of Fascism in Italy (1922 to 1943) Included are many personal recollections of officers and private soldiers who fought on fronts from Africa to Russia

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Mussolini's Afrika Korps: The Italian Army in North Africa, 1940-1943 [Hardcover]


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Italian Fighting Vehicles in Focus 1916-1945 [Paperback]


Merriam Press In Focus 8. First Edition (December 2011). Extensive pictorial of Italian tanks, tankettes, self-propelled guns, armored cars, and other vehicles, from 1916 through the end of World War II, including the Fiat 3000, L3/33, L3/35, Fiat L6/40, Fiat M11/39, Fiat M13/40, Fiat M14/41, M15/42, Carro Armato P40, Semovente da 47/32, Semovente da 75/18, Semovente da 75/34, Semovente da 90/53, Semovente da 105/25, Semovente da 149/40, Lancia IZM, Autoblinda AB40, Autoblinda AB41, Lince, and more. 437 photos printed on quality paper in color for superior reproduction.

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Italian Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War 2 Hardcover - 2011 by Ralph Riccio (Author)


This book is not meant to be neither a justification of the defects of the Italian armored nor a revisionist history, but on the contrary, consider many factors interwoven in a realistic and comprehensive overview. Although clearly the efforts of the Italian armor development have never reached the levels achieved by the Germans or the Americans, the Italians have made some first-class combat vehicles, particularly in regard to the material self-propelled, and have offered a substantial contribution to Axis operations in North Africa, the theater where they were used. The courage and the sacrifice of personal self-propelled artillery and tank crewman Italians are beyond doubt, especially given the disparity in numbers and technology to those who had to deal with. Illustrated throughout with b/w photos and color illustrations.

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Italian Medium Tanks: 1939-45 (New Vanguard) Paperback - December 18, 2012


Several factors delayed and greatly hampered the development of an Italian medium and heavy tank during Rommel's Desert War in World War II. The first was the strategic stance of the country, focussed on a war against neighbouring countries such as France and Yugoslavia, and ill-prepared for a war in the Western Desert. Since these European countries bordered with Italy in mountainous areas, light tanks were preferred as these were deemed much more suitable for the narrow roads and bridges of the Alps. The failure to develop an effective operational plan for North Africa was another factor behind the failed development of an Italian medium tank, along with the lack of communication between the War Department and the Ministry of the Colonies, which not only had actual command over the Italian forces deployed in the Italian colonies of Libya and in Italian East Africa, but was also responsible for developing their defence plans. Furthermore, the development of the medium tank was hampered by the limited number of Italian industries, whose production was also heavily fragmented - hence the SPA-developed engines, the Fiat and Ansaldo hulls and armour, the Breda and army ordnance guns. All these factors delayed the development of the first prototype of an Italian medium tank - the M 11 - which would only appear in 1937 and did not enter production until 1939.

Inspired by its British and French counterparts, the M 11 / 39 was a 11-ton medium tank chiefly intended for use as an infantry tank, with its main gun (a 37/40 gun) mounted in a casemate in the hull and its small turret armed only with two machine guns. Actual production was limited to only 100 samples, 76 of which were sent to Libya and the other 24 to Eastern Africa, as production of the turret-gun-armed M 13 had started in the meantime. In June 1940, when Italy entered the war, her armoured inventory numbered fewer than 1,500 light tanks (including the obsolete Fiat 3000) and the 100 newly built M 11 medium tanks, divided amongst three armoured divisions, three cavalry groups and several independent tank battalions. Unsurprisingly, without a tank school, the Italian armoured force lacked the necessary training and experience in the use of tanks and AFVs, and with the tanks lacking radio equipment, there was a widespread absence of tactical and technical knowledge which, along with the limited effectiveness and numbers of the available tanks, made the perfect recipe for the defeats to come.

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Italian Light Tanks: 1919-45 (New Vanguard) [Paperback]


The Italian army, unlike those of the British and French, did not use tanks in combat during World War I and, by November 1918, only one training unit equipped with French Schneider and Renault tanks had been formed. This would largely influence the development of Italian armour during the interwar period - having not had any chance to evaluate firsthand the use of armour on the battlefield, and given the overall strategic settings that saw Italy preparing for a possible war against either France or Yugoslavia (whose borders with Italy were set in mountainous terrain), the armoured and mechanized component of the Italian army was sidelined and considered of secondary importance. Consequently, during the 1920s the Italian army only had one single tank in its armoured inventory - the Fiat 3000. This was an improved Italian-built version of the French FT 17 light tank of which some 100 samples were built, but no experiments were carried out in the field of armour, with the exception of the development of wheeled AFVs for use in the African colonies. Only in 1927 was the first tank unit formed as a branch of the infantry (as with other specialist troops such as the Alpini or Bersaglieri) and not as an independent organization, while the cavalry rejected the idea of both tanks and armoured cars and decided to stand by the use of horses for its mounted units. Consequently, the Italians went into World War II without a tank capable of taking on medium tanks in the North African desert. In their 1st campaign against them, an army of 30,000 British troops destroyed an Italian army of over 250,000.

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Tanks of Hitler's Eastern Allies 1941-45 (New Vanguard) [Paperback]


The titanic armor battles of the Russian Front are widely known, but the role of Germany's eastern allies is not as well known. Two of these countries, Romania and Hungary, manufactured their own tanks as well as purchasing tanks from Germany. These ranged from older, obsolete types such as the PzKpfw 35(t) all the way up to the latest and best German vehicles including the Tiger I and Hetzer. These tanks played a frequent role in the battles in southern Russia and Ukraine and were especially prominent in the disaster at Stalingrad where the Red Army specifically chose the weaker Romanian and Hungarian salients for their critical envelopment operation. This New Vanguard will provide a broad survey of the various and colorful tanks used. Besides covering the largest of these Axis tank forces, this book will cover the many smaller and lesser known forces including the Italian contingent in Russia, the Finnish armored force, and the small but interesting armored forces of the Russian Vlasov (RONA), Croatian, Bulgarian and Slovakian armies. This subject is seeing increasing interest in the modeling world; for example Tamiya recently announced a PzKpfw 35 (t) (suitable for Romanian, Slovak armies) a Finnish StuG III, and a Finnish BT-42.

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Italian Army Elite Units and Special Forces 1940-43 [Paperback]


This volume by leading Italian historian, Pier Paolo Battistelli, looks at the elite and special forces units of the Italian Army during World War II (1939-1945). This includes a vast array of troop types including paratroopers, assault engineers, sea-landing and swimmer units, long-range recce and ski units, and even hand-picked Fascist 'Mussolini' units. It also delves into the specialist tank and armoured units that were created to emulate the German armoured units. The Italian units discussed here enjoyed mixed success but the volume does draw attention to the incredible hard fighting done by some, particularly in the deserts of North Africa and the frozen wastelands of Russia. Illustrated with rare archival photographs and specially commissioned artwork this is a fascinating insight into a little-studied aspect of Axis forces.

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Italian Blackshirt 1935-45 (Warrior) [Paperback]


The Blackshirt legions were raised under army control from 1928, and were employed in 1933 in Libya in counterinsurgency operations against the Senussi tribes; from 1935 in Italy's war against Ethiopia; and during the Spanish Civil War. Following the outbreak of World War II, the Blackshirts fought in North Africa, Greece, Croatia, on the Eastern Front and finally in Italy itself following the Allied invasion.

This book documents the experiences of the Italian armed Fascist militia, the Camicie Nere (Blackshirts), from the Italian-Ethiopian war (1935-1936), through the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) to the end of World War II (1939-1945). It explores their origins, development, recruitment, training, conditions of service, uniforms and equipment, battle experience, political and ideological motivation.

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The Italian Army, P. S. Jowett, S. Andrew Part I


The Italian Army Part I. At its peak the Italian Army contributed 2.5 million troops to the Axis war effort. In addition to its major role in North Africa, Italy's army invaded, and later bore the main burden of occupying, the Balkan countries. Italy also sent 250,000 men to fight on the Russian Front. Recommended.

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The Italian Army, P. S. Jowett, S. Andrew Part II


The Italian Army Part II. At its peak the Italian Army contributed 2.5 million troops to the Axis war effort. In addition to its major role in North Africa, Italy's army invaded, and later bore the main burden of occupying, the Balkan countries. Italy also sent 250,000 men to fight on the Russian Front. Recommended.

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The Italian Army, P. S. Jowett, S. Andrew Part III


The Italian Army Part III. At its peak the Italian Army contributed 2.5 million troops to the Axis war effort. In addition to its major role in North Africa, Italy's army invaded, and later bore the main burden of occupying, the Balkan countries. Italy also sent 250,000 men to fight on the Russian Front. Recommended.

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The Italian Invasion of Abyssinia 1935-36 (Men-at-Arms Series) by David Nicolle, Raffaele Ruggeri


The Second Italo–Abyssinian War began in October 1935, when Mussolini ordered the invasion of Ethiopia from Italian-held Eritrea and Somaliland, thinking that he would easily crush an ill-prepared and badly equipped enemy. The Italians, in the face of widespread condemnation from the League of Nations, spread terror and destruction through their indiscriminate use of air power and poison gas against an enemy more used to Medieval methods of warfare. David Nicolle examines in detail the units, equipment and uniforms of the forces on both sides of this conflict that unrealistically bolstered Il Duce’s colonial ambitions. A great read ably supported by Raffaele Ruggeri’s detailed full-page colour plates.

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Tank Combat in North Africa, T. Jentz


The focus of this book is the tank battles fought during the opening phase of the war in North Africa. What really happened during the engagements? How were the tanks fought? What were their strengths and weaknesses? Not simplified generalities, but substantive, basic facts gleaned from searching for details in the surviving original records.

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Defying Evil: How the Italian Army Saved Croatian Jews During the Holocaust


The fascinating World War II story of the techniques used by the Italian Army to thwart the operations of the Nazi-allied Croatian government to send Jews to the holocaust. The author reveals the brutal techniques used by the Croatian officials to aid the Nazis and the death camps in Croatia never before recognized in Post World War II investigations.

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World War II Partisan Warfare in Italy (Elite) Paperback – August 18, 2015 by Pier Battistelli (Author)


When Italy surrendered in 1943, it sparked a diverse resistance movement of anti-German, anti-fascist partisans who rose up against German occupation. This book explores the tactics, organizational structure and equipment of the brave Italian resistance fighters, who knew exactly what was at stake when operating against their German occupiers. Beginning with low-level sabotage and assassinations, the groups grew until spring 1944 when they numbered around 100,000, and as the Allies advanced to the Gothic line, a remarkable, unified partisan command structure was created. The partisans began to work in close co-ordination with the Allies, receiving British SOE and American OSS liaison teams as well as supplies of weapons. The German response was eye-watering in its ferocity and brutality, as the SS and Italian RSI looked to eradicate the partisans once and for all when the Allied advance stalled in Autumn 1944. But when the Allies made their final breakthrough in the last weeks of the war the partisans rose in force to pile the pressure on the retreating Wehrmacht.

From an expert on Italian military history in World War II, this work provides an exhaustively researched, sumptuously illustrated guide to the men and women who fought a desperate struggle against occupation, as well as the German and Italian fascist security forces unleashed against them.

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