History of the Second World War; United Kingdom Military Series. Several times during the retreat, British officers called out through loudspeakers across the endless sand, asking for the Italians to surrender. Italian Paratrooper Badge. The division was sent to Africa and fought in the Battle of El Alamein with the following structure:[16]. Italian paratroopers. "FOLGORE" in Italian means Lightning. 4th Parachutists Artillery Battery (47/32 mod.35), 3rd Parachutist Artillery Battalion, with : Queen's Infantry Brigade, 44. On 30 April 1941 the Italian paratroopers were deployed for the first time when the II Paratroopers Battalion jumped onto Cephalonia. Playing next. Like most Italian ‘infantry’ units fighting in North Africa, the Folgore possessed limited transport. 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. Directed by Giorgio Ferroni and written by Remigio Del Grosso and Ernesto Gastaldi it starred Frederick Stafford, George Hilton and Michael Rennie. son qui di presidio per l’eternità i ragazzi della Folgore This is an incredible amount when one compares the mismatch in firepower employed. They charged forward, engaging the unsupported British tanks or vehicles at close range. 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. 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. Related Posts : army , division, folgore, italian, paratrooper, ramcke By Paulo Henriques em 10:34 PM. Among the sand no longer deserted 24th “ Guastatori” Parachutist Company, 186th Parachutist Infantry Regiment, with: Incredibly a few Folgore who had chosen to continue the fight managed to avoid capture by the British. HQ Company Wikipedia Articles 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. Using Ultra intercepts that forewarned the upcoming Axis operation, Montgomery prepared a new defensive alignment to support his change in the 8th Army’s philosophy on the use of its armor. 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. Italian Folgore Division paratroopers dug in with a 37mm cannon at El Alamein. During the latter division put up a fierce defense against attacking Commonwealth forces, managing to drive repeated attacks conducted by tanks and infantry. “Tantillo”  Tactical Group (5th and 6th Battalions). The Second Battle of El Alamein lasted from 23 October 1942 to 11 November 1942. The 4th Battalion covered the perimeter locations in this sector. Over the walls of the Italian El Alamein Memorial, there are these words: "Folgore Division: ... Every year the Italian paratroopers celebrate the recurrence of the El Alamein battle; never a defeat was so glorious. The surviving troops had collectively expended almost every piece of ammunition they had possessed to hold the British at bay. Upon making contact with the Italians, the British were impressed with what they saw. [4] The new structure was as follows: The division was then sent to Italian Libya to bolster Axis forces in the Western Desert campaign. They not only best the opposition solely by their courage, but they often out-fought them through superior military aptitude. HQ Company Directed by Guido Malatesta. Egitto, 23 ottobre - 5 novembre 1942. In the northern section of the Axis line, Allied troops began to break through and exploit their earlier gains as the Allied offensive unfolded. British armored car squadrons continued to attack the retreating soldiers, whose exhaustion from lack of food, water, and the strain of battle increased by the hour. The first Folgore troops arrived on the scene in July 1942. [6], In North Africa the division participated in the First and Second Battle of El Alamein. On 23 October 1942, Montgomery began his much anticipated Allied offensive. 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. 26th Parachutists Rifle Company Images, videos and other multimedia published on comandosupremo.com qualifies as Fair Use under U.S. copyright law. 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. La Battaglia di El Alamein (196.9) The Battle of El Alamein part 1/2. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press, p.46, G.Lunardi, P.Compagni "I paracadutisti Italiani 1937/45", Editrice Militare Italiana, Milano 1989, pag.41, "Brigata Paracadutisti "Folgore" - La Storia", "185° Reggimento Paracadutisti "Folgore" - La Storia", "187° Reggimento Paracadutisti "Folgore" - La Storia", "186° Reggimento Paracadutisti "Folgore" - La Storia", "185° Reggimento Artiglieria Paracadutisti "Folgore" - La Storia", "8° Reggimento Genio Guastatori Paracadutisti "Folgore" - La Storia", "American Historian Praises The Role Of The Folgore In North Africa", Harry Zinder's nov 16, 1942 report for TIME MAGAZINE, Parachute landing troops on Kefalonia. Sort by: Traveler Ranked. 1st Battalion/21th Artillery Regiment “Po” (100/17 mod.16 – from the “Trieste” Division) Colonel Camosso ordered his surrounded soldiers to destroy their weapons before the surrender. Under the command of General Enrico Frattini, the division was doing its best to rest and reorganize after their victorious but grueling battles against the Allied forces the previous month. MccloudUstp2485. This performance would earn respect and recognition of the Folgore’s enemies and its hard-to-impress ally. The “Carabinieri” is the Italian Military Police Corps. 20th Logistical section Regimental Guns Company (47/32 mod.35), 5th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: 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. 185th Paratroopers Division Folgore or 185ª Divisione Paracadutisti Folgore was a Parachute Division of the Italian Army (in Italian Regio Esercito) during World War II. All rights reserved. The Folgore was assigned a position within the X Corps. Caduti per un’idea, senza rimpianto, onorati nel ricordo dello stesso nemico, The main Allied effort during the battle was in the northern part of the Axis line. Divisione Paracadutisti Folgore (185. CAPAR - caserma "Gamerra" di Pisa, sede del Centro Addestramento Paracadutismo, la tradizionale cerimonia di consegna del brevetto di paracadutismo a 100 allievi del 55° corso di formazione ed addestramento basico per aviotruppe. Rommel’s extensive use of mines in both number and depth at the Second Battle of Alamein earned these lethal patches of the earth the nickname of “the Devil’s Garden” by the advancing British forces. Their exhausted soldiers possessed minimal ammunition and supplies. 27th Parachutists Rifle Company, 10th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: Istituto Luce - Cinegiornali di guerra 17 - La Battaglia Di El Alamein E Stalingrado (Sett-Ott1942) Sergio Porcarelli. 139 reviews #1 of 3 Sights & Landmarks in El Alamein "The cemetary is quite well kept, even though its in the middle of sandy desert, with a bit of greenery in between the graves." The Italian artillery battalions were named “Gruppo” (Group). In the OOB, those numbers have been “translated” in standard Arabic numerals to avoid confusion. Viandante, arrestati e riverisci. It is still unclear if the company attached to the “Folgore” division was parachute-trained, or not (like the other non-combat divisional support units). During the Second battle of El Alamein the Folgore Division came under attack from three Allied divisions 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division, 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, 7th Armoured Division, and the 1st Free French Brigade. pub. As the Folgore fell back from their lines, they pulled their artillery by hand through the sand. Deployment of Forces on October 23rd, 1942 during the Second Battle of El Alamein. The attackers sustained heavy losses to their exposed armor as Montgomery expertly parried Rommel’s overly aggressive nature. The history of the 185th Division "Folgore" spans from late 1930s, when its immediate ancestors were established, to 1945, when its immediate successor was disbanded. However, all that was achieved at a high casualty rate was a small salient, which was soon recaptured. They also used their 47mm Anti-tank guns from enfilade positions and Molotov cocktails to knock out advancing armor. Highly skilled soldiers of the heavy AA/AT artillery battalion of the “Ariete” Armored Division manned the 88s. [1], By 1939 there were two Libyan Paratroopers Battalions. On Amazon: Rommel’s Desert War: Waging World War II in North Africa, 1941-1943 (Cambridge Military Histories) The Folgore utilized just about anything explosive they possessed, from grenades to improvised Molotov cocktails. During his subsequent interrogation by Rommel, General Clifton requested confinement at a German POW camp instead of an Italian one. On the same date the Paratroopers Division Artillery Regiment was activated. 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. With a limited number of guns at their disposal to stop modern tanks, the Italians employed a “Cul de Sac” maneuver. 2nd Parachutists Artillery Battery (47/32 mod.35), 2nd Parachutist Artillery Battalion, with : Magg. They further point out that the Axis troops were now openly facing a stronger and more mobile opponent, who would quickly be able to call upon these advantages. After the war the combat group became the Mechanized Division "Folgore", which was disbanded on 31 October 1986. HQ Battery While on the defensive, it was assaulted by the British 131. The Italian Folgore would hold its ground and proved victorious, with the attackers only able to gain a minimal amount of ground. Book and Link References: On Amazon: The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II. We found 3 results for you in El Alamein Clear all filters. Email This BlogThis! 4th Parachutists Rifle Company essi additano agli italiani, nella buona e nell’avversa fortuna, 25th Parachutists Rifle Company 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. The Italian battalions utilized roman numerals (IV, IX, XXI, etc.). 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. Inscribed on the walls of the Italian Memorial at El Alamein are the words below. The time spent and the invaluable contributions are much appreciated. [12] On 6 November, after having exhausted all its ammunition, the remainder of the Division surrendered. 16th Parachutists Rifle Company Italian and German engineers in the area worked diligently to strengthen the existing minefield created by the British but was now in Axis hands, to provide a daunting defensive obstacle in front of their positions. [8], On 15 September the 185th Infantry Regiment "Folgore", which had remained in Italy, left the division and changed its name to 185th Infantry Regiment "Nembo" and became the basis for the 184th Infantry Division "Nembo" (Nemo Italian for Nimbus). 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. Strong interest in WW2. The vast material, fuel, and air advantage he held were about to be brought to bear against Rommel’s entrenched defenders. The composite, regimental-sized Artillery group commanded by Col. Boffa was named “Raggruppamento” (that still means Group in Italy). Operations against the Italians temporarily halted. He wanted nothing of material value to fall into the enemy’s hands. The "Folgore" (Lightning bolt) paratroop Division was a chosen unit within the Italian army and the X Corps during the African campaign. The first step, known as Operation Lightfoot, initiated with an artillery bombardment, the like of which that had never before seen during the entire North African Campaign. 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. For its conduct during the Second Battle of El Alamein the division as whole was awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valor. Filter. 1st Parachutists Artillery Battery (47/32 mod.35) By the end of September, the Folgore found themselves locked in battle contested in the Egyptian desert’s blowing sands. 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. Seconda Guerra Mondiale Baby Bjorn Aereo Mondo Mitragliatrici Ricordi. Reports state the Folgore destroyed nearly 30 British tanks on the 25th alone. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. 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. USC Title 17. While the bravery of the Folgore at El Alamein has often received praise and admiration, its soldiers’ skill level is often overlooked. The 185th artillery found itself dispersed among all the Tactical Groups. Many Folgore gave their lives in the desert that year. 10th Parachutists Rifle Company These soldiers made their way back into Tunisia. 19 talking about this. 22nd “ Guastatori” Parachutist Company 18th Parachutists Rifle Company, 7th Parachutist Infantry Battalion, with: HMSO 1966], The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume IV: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa. Parachute Division Folgore). The battlefield that stretched in front of the Folgore’s position lay littered with the broken remains of British tanks and vehicles. The few survivors, who managed to withdraw, were reorganized into the 285th Formation Battalion and fought in Tunisia, where they surrendered to the Allies in 1943.[10][11][13]. Report. [3] Two years later, in 1939, two Paratroopers Military School based in Tarquinia and in Viterbo were established. The regiment took command of the three paratroopers artillery groups, which each fielded two batteries with four 47/32 cannons per battery. Inflicting approximately 400 casualties upon the British forces, the Folgore suffered less than 50 casualties while repulsing the attack. 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. The 186th Regiment held the southern sector,  flanked on the right by the Italian Pavia Division.