Nor did they find men clamoring for aid or comfort from the victors. View Map. Directed by Guido Malatesta. Operations against the Italians temporarily halted. To help compensate for the overwhelming disadvantage in firepower, the Folgore utilized an ingenious yet dangerous tactic to counter the immense British superiority in armor throughout the battle. Also to Dennis Hussey for his suggestions and in helping to edit the article. The 187th Regiment handled the northern sector on the far left of the Italian position, which butted up against the line held by the German Ramcke Fallschirmjager Brigade. In 1938 Marshal of the Air Force Italo Balbo established the Camp-School for Paratrooper of the Libyan Troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Goffredo Tonini and stationed at the airport of Castel Benito near Tripoli. The British committed a sizable force to battle, including the Green Howards Rgt., 4/8th Hussars Btn., and the Royal West Kent, to break through the Italian defense to engage the German positions behind the initial Folgore sector. welcome the ghosts of these boys in that corner of heaven They also used their 47mm Anti-tank guns from enfilade positions and Molotov cocktails to knock out advancing armor. Folgore 04/10/1942 EL ALAMEIN - ELENCO DEI CADUTI ITALIANI TUMULATI NEL SACRARIO (Dal libro "ALAMEIN 1933 - 1962" di Paolo Caccia Dominioni) ANDOLINA Paolo Geniere 14° Comp. The British found the warriors standing at ridged attention with their arms at their sides, staring resolutely forward, defeated but not bowed. Regimental Command and HQ Company Instead of a sea of gravestones, you find yourself at the beginning of a long path. It would be under the immense historical spotlight of this significant encounter that Italian forces would deliver one of the most epic performances of the entire conflict. [1], By 1939 there were two Libyan Paratroopers Battalions. [4] The new structure was as follows: The division was then sent to Italian Libya to bolster Axis forces in the Western Desert campaign. Related Posts : army , division, folgore, italian, paratrooper, ramcke By Paulo Henriques em 10:34 PM. The composite, regimental-sized Artillery group commanded by Col. Boffa was named “Raggruppamento” (that still means Group in Italy). The Italians’ brilliant use of the Artillery Group, whose tactics and operational procedures are seen by some as superior to their German allies in the North African theater, was crucial to their success. Military cemeteries Germany. [15] With a few survivors and some replacement, the 285º Battaglione Paracadutisti "Folgore", a battaillon-size unit commandeered by Captain Lombardini, was formed, and participated to the defense of the Mareth Line in Tunisia in mid 1943, particularly at the Battle of Takrouna, where it was destroyed. The strength of the book is the personal accounts, the discussion of the training, and the quoting of doctrinal manuals. Colonel Camosso ordered his surrounded soldiers to destroy their weapons before the surrender. It was designed to break through the Italian-held southern sector of the El Alamein line, where the Bologna, Brescia, Pavia and Folgore Divisions anchored the Axis right flank. Only the advanced and finely honed mine clearing techniques the British had developed during the war allowed their forces to make steady if slow progress through these fortified areas once the battle commenced. By the end of September, the Folgore found themselves locked in battle contested in the Egyptian desert’s blowing sands. At the onset of the Axis attack, the Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee forces had indeed played into Montgomery’s hand during their attempted flanking maneuver to the south. The 186th Regiment held the southern sector,  flanked on the right by the Italian Pavia Division. Italian troops overwhelmed Montgomery’s forces once again. The British military leadership reluctantly conceded that although they held a numerical superiority in almost every category over their adversary, they could not defeat the Folgore in this sector with the forces they had so far employed. The Axis initiative in the North African campaign was lost, as was any chance they had to achieve ultimate victory in the desert. The main focus for the Allied assault on the southern part of the Axis line during the Lightfoot operation sought the supposedly “weak” Italian-held areas. Regimental Guns Company (47/32 mod.35), 5th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: HQ Company Montgomery’s new plan shunned past British doctrine of sending it’s armor out to engage Axis tanks ‘in the open.’ Instead, the valuable tanks were to stay ‘protected’ in the distance and fulfill an ‘anti-tank’ role. Section 107 specifies usage of copyright material falls under Fair Use when it is applied for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching and research. Italian Paratrooper Badge. Parachute Division Folgore). Like most Italian ‘infantry’ units fighting in North Africa, the Folgore possessed limited transport. In 1941, the division was created as the 185. It’s deployment situated between Haret-el-Himeimat and Deir-el-Munassib. The focus then shifts upon the Folgore’s major engagement of the campaign during the Battle of El Alamein: 'Operation Lightfoot', which was launched by General Montgomery on 24 October 1942. Soon this reputation would be put to the test, as Montgomery’s southpaw hook delivered during the opening phase of Second Alamein headed towards the 14k stretch of line manned by the Folgore. At the beginning of September the division deployed in the southern sector of the El Alamein line as part of the X Corps (together with the 17th Infantry division “Pavia”) and reorganized as follows : “Ruspoli” Tactical Group  (7th and 8th Battalions) On the 26th, the British attempted to concentrate their attack on the southern portion of the Italian line. The 2nd and 9th Battalions provided the backbone of the defense with support from the 185th Artillery Regiment. To aid in the raising of the 183rd Infantry Regiment "Nembo" the 185th ceded its X Paratroopers Battalion to the 183rd and raised the XI Paratroopers Battalion in its stead. There was no white flag of surrender held by the Folgore. HMSO 1966], The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume IV: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa. While describing key … Egitto, 23 ottobre - 5 novembre 1942. The vast material, fuel, and air advantage he held were about to be brought to bear against Rommel’s entrenched defenders. The goal of operation Brandung was for the forces of the Italian-German Panzerarmee Afrika to outflank and then engage the British 8th Army, now under the commanded of General Bernard Montgomery. Before the departing for North Africa the 185th Infantry Regiment "Folgore" and 187th Infantry Regiment "Folgore" switched units: the 185th ceded the more experienced II and IV to 187th, which in turn ceded the VIII and X to the 185th. The Second Battle of El Alamein was fought from October 23, 1942 to November 5, 1942 during World War II (1939-1945) and was the turning point of the campaign in the Western Desert. Comando Supremo is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. Their belief that the limited handling capacity of Axis controlled ports and the limited supply trucks available were not enough to sustain operations so far from logistic supply heads. 25th Parachutists Rifle Company The surviving troops had collectively expended almost every piece of ammunition they had possessed to hold the British at bay. While scouting, he mistakenly drove his vehicle into the midst of a group of Folgore soldiers. You reserve for the martyrs and Heroes. The Regiment traces its origins back to the 185th Artillery Regiment "Folgore", framed within the "Folgore" Division established in 1941. Thanks to the tip from Manteuffel: "The heroic behavior of the Folgore Division during the Second battle of El Alamein in resisting the attacks of six British divisions (two armored and four infantry) inspired the respect and admiration of its enemy. 27th Parachutists Rifle Company, 10th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: 4th Parachutists Rifle Company 21st Battalion/132nd Artillery Regiment “Ariete” (88/55 FlaK 37 – from the “Ariete” Division) 4th Battalion/26th Artillery Regiment “Rubicone” (100/17 mod.16 – from the “Pavia” Division) While Montgomery’s main thrust targeted the northern section of the whole Axis front, the fighting in the south would be just as intense. The Folgore troops to the south were now in danger of being cut off or surrounded because of the breached northern line. Th tower is with marble walls almost as white as the surrounding sand. Regimental Guns Company (47/32 mod.35), 2nd Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: HQ Battery The Folgore never needed to call upon them during the entire battle as they had proved more than a match against the Allied units. During the battle of Alam El Hafla, the Italian Airborne Division Folgore (185.a Divisione Paracadutisti “Folgore”) had been positioned to guard the left flank of the German 90th Light Division and the Ramcke Brigade and was successful in driving off an attack by New Zealand Infantry during a fierce encounter between the 3rd and 4th of September. Italian Paratrooper Badge. Regimental Command and HQ battery, 1st Parachutist Artillery Battalion, with : When news reached Montgomery on the outcome of the encounter, he became angered that his forces had been ‘thrashed’ by Italians, which he undoubtedly found unacceptable. The 185th artillery found itself dispersed among all the Tactical Groups. It is an everlasting tribute to perhaps Italy’s finest soldiers of the Second World War. The 8th “Guastatori” Parachutist Battalion was an infantry “Guastatori” unit. However, their performance, bravery, and courage have ensured that their legend is now immortal. With Fausto Tozzi, Rossana Rory, Gabriele Tinti, Matteo Spinola. On 1 September 1941 the Royal Italian Army raised the 1st Paratroopers Division in Tarquinia. The 7th Armoured Division had been ordered to spare their tanks, so their attacks were called off after the bloody fighting during the night of October 24: 31 Allied tanks were destroyed or damaged during that night alone. The focus then shifts upon the Folgore's major engagement of the campaign during the Battle of El Alamein: 'Operation Lightfoot', which was launched by General Montgomery on 24 October 1942. The British 132nd Infantry Brigade/44th Inf. This upcoming confrontation, The Second Battle of El Alamein, would be considered one of the critical turning points of the entire war. The Allies surrounded or smashed some of the forward Italian positions at the onset of their attack, but stifled as they approached the Italian defense’s main line. Months before finding themselves locked into one of the greatest battles of the war, the Folgore Division were to participate in the planned assault on the island fortress of Malta. On Amazon: Iron Hulls Iron Hearts: Mussolini’s Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa 5th Parachutists Artillery Battery (47/32 mod.35) The German cemetery is an ossuary, built in the style of a medieval fortress. The placement of the Folgore along the line at Second Alamein consisted of three main sectors; north, central and south. They immediately took him and several of his aides captive at gunpoint. The Folgore was a tightly knit and highly skilled unit, and they possessed perhaps the greatest ‘esprit de corps’ of any Italian division during the war. HQ Company 19 talking about this. Browse more videos. It is an everlasting tribute to perhaps Italy’s finest soldiers of the Second World War. It had been formed for the invasion of Malta, which never took place; so it was sent to Africa. El Alamein - 23/ottobre/1942. 20th Parachutists Rifle Company The Folgore also sustained a high number of losses after the first night of fighting, particularly the 8th Battalion. 6th Parachutists Rifle Company, 4th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: This performance would earn respect and recognition of the Folgore’s enemies and its hard-to-impress ally. Upon making contact with the Italians, the British were impressed with what they saw. Dispatched from the 186th Regiment was a 47mm ATG company to accompany two gun and two mortar platoons, who assumed positions in the center of this section. They were the equivalent to the German Assault Engineers. The 185th Paratroopers Division Folgore at El Alamein fought with incredible courage and tenacity. 185th Mixed Carabinieri Company (Military Police) The Macchi MC.202 Folgore or "Thunder bolt" was a single seat fighter that was used by Italy during World War II. “Bechi” Tactical Group (2nd and 4th Battalions)