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What Route Did Italian Troops Take to Russia in WW2?

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  • What Route Did Italian Troops Take to Russia in WW2?

    What route did Italian troops take to fight in Russia in WWII?


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  • #2
    It should be noted that the Italian "Motorized Divisions" were designed to move by vehicles, but no such vehicles were given to the CSIR Infantry Divisions. The Cavalry Division did get trucks. Were Torino and Pasubio even given Draft animals?

    Trieste in North Africa did get trucks, but were they loot from the British or Italian made?

    Several other "Motorized Divisions" fought in North Africa, but they may have been on foot (Piave, Pavia, Bologna, Trento and Brescia to name a few).

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      Good question I suspect by train but have no evidence.

      Logistics are interesting and this is a good place to start discussing them from an Italian perspective.

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      • #4
        The Spanish "Blue" Division got off the trains in Poland and walked to its positions near Leningrad. I imagine they had to walk back as well!

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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        • #5
          CSIR in Russia

          As the original expeditionary force to Russia the (CSIR) divisions were moved by rail and consisted of 3 divisions the Pasubio, Torino and Duca Amadeo D Aosta. Techically motorized Motorized meant something quite different in the Italian army than it did in the German army. None of the divisions ever had the proper complement of vehicles and even if they had there was insufficient fuel to keep them running. Frequently as in North Africa, "Motorized" meant mobile but in face was only semi-mobile. For instance there might only be enough trucks to carry one battalion at a time. In North Africa "Motorized" units might also be issued with bicycles due to the shortage of motor trucks.

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          • #6
            Italian logistics were either horrendous. The Italian high command was aghast at Mussolinis decision to send troops to Russia as Italys main front was and should have been Africa. Mussolini diverted a great deal of equipment badly needed in Africa to Russia and it was a fool hardy decision. Italian military Industry wasnt capable of providing for troops in Africa troops in Russia and occupation armies in France, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the Aegean. Italys production of oil was absolutely nil and they depended on the 600 or so tons a month pumped from Albania and whatever the Germans could send them. Italian Industry could only produce about 80,000 vehicles in the entire war and that included only 3700 tanks. Compare this to German production of over a half million vehicles of all types. Logistics in all areas and on all fronts dicated what the Italian armed forces could and couldnt do. But it was a subject Mussolini UNDERSTOOD but did not want to hear about. COnsequently what meagre resources Italy possessed were squandered on numerous fronts rather than be concentrated in one place.

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            • #7
              As described in the attached history of the expedition, after formationon July 10, 1941, the ground forces making up the Corpo Spedizione Italiano in Russia (CSIR) departed in 225 trains from Rome and Verona. From there they de-trained at Borsa (Brasso) in the Hungarian-controlled part of Transylvania on July 26, then moved on to three assembly areas in Romania: Sucaeva for the 9th Motorized Division Pasubio, Campulung for the 3rd Cavalry Dviision Celere/PADA, and Felticeni for the 52nd motorized Division Torino. During this movement the commander, General Francesco Zingales, was hospitalized in Vienna and replaced by General Giovanni Messe. On August 5 the corps was declared fully assembled for deployment, attached to the German Eleventh Army under General Eugen Ritter von Schbert, and moved into Ukraine toward the Bug and Dniepr rivers to commence combat operations.
              From the OP
              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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              • #8
                Messe was a much better commander. His memoirs are available--but not in English. He understood very well the ridiculous decision to send Italian troops to Russia at all and was a constant thorn in Mussolinis side. Eventually he resigned in discust but the Germans thought highly enough of him to make him the Only Italian General ever to have German troops subordinated to his command and he was one of only 9 Italians to be awarded the Knights Cross.

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                • #9
                  Ill be happy to share whatever I can about Italian logistics is there anything in particular?

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                  • #10
                    Based on common sense, some historical knowledge and wide experience with train travel in Europe rather than on study I would say:
                    by train:
                    Verona - Mestre - Slovenia - Hungary - Przemysl? -> Lvov?
                    but after Hungary I must admit I'm on thin ice as this may be too northern a route for where they were going to be deployed (Armee Gruppe Süd, 11th Army).
                    I wouldn't know how far the Italian expeditionay corps would be able to ride by train into war-torn USSR, likely they had to march huge distances to the front.

                    http://imgur.com/ot5MWMJ
                    Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 22 Jan 17, 06:55.
                    BoRG

                    You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                    • #11
                      The Torino and Pausubio divisions were officially listed as "Semi-motorized". There were two types of Semi-motorized units. "Russian" and "North African". They differed only slightly in organization from "regular" infantry divisions. The MAJOR difference was that they did in fact have about 20% more vehicles than a regular division about 400-500 compared to perhaps 150 (if that many) in a regular infantry division . That said? they still had insufficient vehicles to "move" the entire division. Usually they were able on thier own to move about one regiment at a time. If a larger number of troops had to be moved the division had to "request" additional motor vehicles from the corps or army commisariat transportation HQ. Quite often, almost always in fact neither the corps or the army HAD the vehicles to spare which severely crimped the divisions ability to be employed on the move at one time. The Motorized or "Divizione Fanteria Motorizzatta" were intended to operate with armored divisions. They were the ONLY fully motorized infantry divisions in the Italian Army.Three Trento, Trieste and Pistoia all operated in Africa and all were fully motorized with trucks and vehicles of Italian manufacture( although they preferred captured vehicles). Piave was a strange strange formation in that TWO different divisions had the name "Piave". The 10th Piave was motorized and served in Greece, the balkans and occupation in France. As near as I can deduce from Italian sources a SECOND Piave division was formed (the 17th Piave) and that was semi-motorized. One of the original Italian formations based in Libya it lost all its vehicles in 1940 but was reconstituted with new units brought from Italy. Both "Brescia" and "Bologna" were semi-motorized divisions which were no different than other Semi-motorized formations. All the motorized Divisions had a normal establishment of between 800-1200 trucks. This did not include armored cars, artillery tractors or tanks. The "Russian" Divisions Pausabio and Torino did have vehicles but never enough (3-400 each) and they were dependant on sections of draft animals which formed " horsed columns". My great Uncle served in the "Trieste" division and told me there was never enough trucks and they did a lot of walking.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kevinp62 View Post
                        ....The MAJOR difference was that they did in fact have about 20% more vehicles than a regular division about 400-500 compared to perhaps 150 (if that many) in a regular infantry division .....
                        400-500 is not 20% more than 150. 20% more than 150 is 180. 450 (conveniently 1/2 way between 400 and 500) would be somewhere ~200% more (or 300%) of 150.

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                        • #13
                          vehicle numbers.

                          My information was based on wartime Intelligence numbers and Pre war Italian numbers. No Doubt they were off or over optimistic or wishful thinking or simply incorrect. But as thats what was reported? Those ar the figures I used.

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