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Bersaglieri Units of the Italian Social Republic, by Carlo Cucut and Paolo Crippa

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by ColHessler, Jul 19, 2022.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Length: 99 pages, including bibliography

    This is another of the "Witness to War" series by Soldiershop Publishing. It gives us the history of the 20 or so units of Bersaglieri, the plumed helmeted elite troopers of Italy, that were in the north and fought for Mussolini's Italian Social Republic.

    We start with the armistice of Sep., 1943, and tells of the confusion and cut off units, such as the Bersaglieri in Zara, now Zadar, Croatia, whom the Germans left to garrison the town against partisan until their strength was too low and they were evacuated. Some of the troopers were put together with others, some from prison camps in Germany, to form the 1st Bersaglieri Division "Italia". They were sent to the Gothic Line and fought the American 92nd "Buffalo Soldiers". At the end of the war, they surrendered to the Brazilian Expeditionary Force.

    Other units fought anti-partisan battles, and many were made coastal defense units on the Adriatic and Ligurian coasts. One unit was on the Isonzo River, dealing with Yugoslav partisans striking from what is now Slovenia.

    Their equipment was a mix of German, Italian and in one case some Bren and Sten guns taken from captured supply drops for the partisans.

    The second half of the book has lots of black and white pictures of the various units.

    The big problem, which I saw with the other in this series I've seen so far, is the literal translation from Italian to English, which makes for some amusing moments, like saying "Quadrupeds" for "pack animals", and men's names being translated to English as "Trash" or "Basket" . What are you going to do?

    Since there isn't much else printed about these little-known units, you just grin and bear it. I give this work 3 stars out of 5.

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