The German cemetery is an ossuary, built in the style of a medieval fortress. The Folgore was assigned a position within the X Corps. Fra le sabbie non più deserte Special thanks to Arturo Filippo Lorioli for providing both historical information and content, not to mention the finely constructed OOB. Gamesquad. The men could hold out no longer. Caduti per un’idea, senza rimpianto, onorati nel ricordo dello stesso nemico, It had been formed for the invasion of Malta, which never took place; so it was sent to Africa. 14th Parachutists Rifle Company On 30 August 1942, General Erwin Rommel unleashed Operation Brandung, a concentrated attack undertaken by his Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee (ACIT – Armata Corazzata Italo-Tedesca) against the tired yet stout British and Commonwealth forces, designed as a follow-up engagement launched on the heels of the recently concluded First Battle of El Alamein . il cammino dell’onore e della gloria. Therefore, the battalions in the Paratroopers Brigade "Folgore" were given the names of the regiments of the former 185th Paratroopers Division "Folgore". pub. 13th Parachutists Rifle Company He hoped this philosophy would inflict severe damage to the advancing Axis forces while sparing his armor from the expected pounding in tank versus tank combat – an arena in which the Germans held the advantage. Div and French forces were once again repelled on 27 October 1942. Egypt Historic Sites; WW2 Sites; Related Places . The soldiers of the Folgore were quickly establishing a reputation as a formidable opponent. 4th Battalion/26th Artillery Regiment “Rubicone” (100/17 mod.16 – from the “Pavia” Division) Hitler agreed with his ‘favorite’ General over the objections of the whole Italian Comando Supremo, who felt that a push towards the Suez was unfeasible on logistical grounds. 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. 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. They were the equivalent to the German Assault Engineers. 16th Parachutists Rifle Company 20th Parachutists Rifle Company Dedicato all'amico Luca A. Documentario con le testimonianze dei soldati italiani reduci dalla battaglia di El Alamein. 21st Battalion/132nd Artillery Regiment “Ariete” (88/55 FlaK 37 – from the “Ariete” Division) 20th Mortars Company (81mm mod.35) La Battaglia di El Alamein (196.9) The Battle of El Alamein part 1/2. The attack on Malta was canceled once Hitler persuaded Mussolini to give his blessing in favor of allowing Rommel the chance to continue his advance. [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. As the Folgore fell back from their lines, they pulled their artillery by hand through the sand. To overcome the lack of field artillery (the divisional artillery regiment had only 47L32 AT/IG), the “Folgore” Tactical Artillery Group under Colonel Boffa, formed with the following units : 2nd Battalion/26th Artillery Regiment “Rubicone” (75/27 mod.06 – from the “Pavia” Division) This upcoming confrontation, The Second Battle of El Alamein, would be considered one of the critical turning points of the entire war. Others believe that Rommel simply lost his nerve. 12th Parachutists Rifle Company, 9th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: 185th Signal Engineers Company 185th Transports unit The Allied attack began with an artillery barrage, followed by an all out assault by the 7th Armoured and 44th Infantry divisions. Passerby, stop and revere. But they held the line. 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. 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. Operation C3, scheduled for the spring of 1942, would provide the Folgore a crucial role in the Axis plan to wrest control the critical Island from the British. While on the defensive, it was assaulted by the British 131. The British 132nd Infantry Brigade/44th Inf. 27th Parachutists Rifle Company, 10th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: 185th Mixed Carabinieri Company (Military Police) The “Guastatori” were troops trained in assault tactics against enemy trench-works and fortifications. For hours after this battle, fire and smoke emanating from several destroyed British tanks gave off an eerie glow into the still darkness of the African morning, the sight a smoldering symbol of the Italian’s merciless stand. Italy. MccloudUstp2485. For its conduct during the Second Battle of El Alamein the division as whole was awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valor. The first Italian paratrooper units were trained and formed shortly before World War II in Castel Benito, near Tripoli in Libya, where the first Military Parachuting School was located. The 185th artillery found itself dispersed among all the Tactical Groups. The 8th formed its position just south of El Alamein, and it would be here that they would face Rommel’s weakened, but still dangerous force, in the next round of their epic encounter. 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. Italian Paratrooper Badge. There was no white flag of surrender held by the Folgore. 4th Parachutists Artillery Battery (47/32 mod.35), 3rd Parachutist Artillery Battalion, with : Queen's Infantry Brigade, 44. 19th Parachutists Rifle Company [4] The Division held back countless attacks from tanks with use of homemade incendiary's to usage of hand grenades and firing of the M28 grenade launchers at tanks. El Alamein - 23/ottobre/1942. [14] At the end of the battle of El Alamein, Harry Zinder of Time magazine noted that the Italians paratroopers fought better than had been expected, and commented that: "In the south, the famed Folgore Paratroopers Division fought to the last round of ammunition". Reports state the Folgore destroyed nearly 30 British tanks on the 25th alone. Shortly after this engagement, a Folgore patrol captured Brigadier General G.H. [6], In North Africa the division participated in the First and Second Battle of El Alamein. [2], After quarrels,[2] in 1937 paratroopers schools were assigned by law to the Regia Aeronautica. 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. The Italian artillery battalions were named “Gruppo” (Group). After the war the combat group became the Mechanized Division "Folgore", which was disbanded on 31 October 1986. Directed by Duilio Coletti. 20th Supply section Related: Italian Folgore at El Alamein: Unbreakable. To avoid confusion, the battalion-sized artillery units have been called “battalion,” and the composite group as “group.”. We found 3 results for you in El Alamein Clear all filters. Highly skilled soldiers of the heavy AA/AT artillery battalion of the “Ariete” Armored Division manned the 88s. Regimental Command and HQ Company The Italian army did have both Engineers “Guastatori” units and Infantry “Guastatori” units, sharing much of the same training. Italian WWII Airborne Units by Vince Tassone, March 2005 Rommel, defying Hitler’s explicit command to stand his ground, ordered all Axis forces to fall back on the night of 2-3 November 1942. [8] On 15 March 1942 the 3rd Paratroopers Infantry Regiment with the battalions VIII, IX, and X was raised in Tarquinia.[6]. 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. God of the Armies, HQ Company Direct and immediate origins of the 185th Paratroopers Division "Folgore" lie in the Paratroopers units formed in the wake of the breaking out of the World War Two. 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. 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. Deployment of Forces on October 23rd, 1942 during the Second Battle of El Alamein. 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. © 2000-2019 Comando Supremo. Some praise Rommel’s tactic as sound and perhaps the only option he had to avoid the risk of having his entire army destroyed where they stood. 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. “Bechi” Tactical Group (2nd and 4th Battalions) HQ Battery Officially renamed under the cover name of 185th “Cacciatori d’Africa” Infantry Division, although reports and dispatches continued to refer to them as 185th “Folgore” Parachutist Brigade, this “Division” would prove it’s worth to the Axis cause many times over. Colonel Camosso ordered his surrounded soldiers to destroy their weapons before the surrender. HQ Company When the operation was finally canceled in April of 1941, the division was sent to North Africa to fight in the desert. General Hughes’ men had suffered a high number of casualties against the Folgore, and the Allied General had been more than impressed with the resilience and skill of his adversary. The 185th Artillery, 186th Paratroopers and 187th Paratroopers regiments received a second Gold Medal for specific actions during the Second Battle of El Alamein. The discipline and proficiency of the Italian anti-tank gun teams were continually called upon to stem many Allied armored advances, often from a precariously close distance. They not only best the opposition solely by their courage, but they often out-fought them through superior military aptitude. 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.