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The British attack began with an artillery barrage, followed by … [2] By early 1940 an Italian paratroopers battalion was also established. [1][2], Gold Medal for Military Honor given to the "Folgore" Division [1]. In this battle, paras had an important role in rejected British counter attacks in Himeimat sector. [4] The new structure was as follows: The division was then sent to Italian Libya to bolster Axis forces in the Western Desert campaign. The division was sent to Africa and fought in the Battle of El Alamein with the following structure:[16]. Meanwhile, Rommel returns to HQ and, contrary to orders from Hitler, decides to retreat, using the Ramcke battle group, along with the Italian units of the Folgore Division and the Ariete Armored Division to stand fast and cover the retreat of the rest of the army, though it is mentioned that the other Italian units have no transportation and will surely be lost in the process. 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. [citation needed], 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 parachute division fought to the last round of ammunition[5]. All of their main attacks, in the end, came through the minefields. [3] School personnel was drawn from the Air force, while personnel to instruct consisted of Royal Italian Army officers and sub-officers. 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 completely destroyed. [6] The division was intended to be used in Operation Hercules – the planned Axis invasion of Malta. This elite unit distinguished itself at El Alamein despite inadequate equipment and weapons while facing unfavorable odds. In the northern sector, three British divisions slowly advanced, creating a small bulge between the Trento and 164th infantry Division positions. Initially created to emulate the German Fallschirmjäger in order to carry out the planned airborne attack against the British base of Malta, Folgore Airborne Division fought on the battlefields of North Africa - including the key Battle of El Alamein. In the following days between 25 October and 4 November, the 50th, 7th, 44th divisions, 1st and 2nd Free French and the Royal Hellenic Brigades, supported by artillery and armour, failed to break through in the southern sector. However, the four divisions attacking the Folgore positions in the south, had also been given breakthrough objectives, that they did not reach. 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]. In spite of the overwhelming numbers, the British made little headway against them, and in the end, the Folgore was ordered to fall back because the enemy obtained a breakthrough elsewhere. La brigade dépend en 2013 du commandement de COMFOTER (Commandement des opérations des forces terrestres). The main Allied effort during the battle was in the northern part of the Axis line. G.Lunardi, P.Compagni "I paracadutisti Italiani 1937/45", Editrice Militare Italiana, Milano 1989, pag.41, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2014, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, "American Historian Praises The Role Of The Folgore In North Africa", Harry Zinder's nov 16, 1942 report for TIME MAGAZINE, 2nd Cavalry Division Emanuele Filiberto Testa di Ferro, 21st Infantry Division Granatieri di Sardegna, 22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi, 40th Infantry Division Cacciatori d'Africa, 65th Infantry Division Granatieri di Savoia, 80th Infantry Division La Spezia (Airlanding), https://military.wikia.org/wiki/185th_Airborne_Division_Folgore?oldid=4690417, Division headquarters and headquarters company, 1st Parachute Infantry Regiment (later renamed 185th Parachute Infantry Regiment), 2nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (later renamed 186th Parachute Infantry Regiment), 2nd Regimental Cannon Company (with 47/32 M35 antitank guns), 3rd Parachute Infantry Regiment joined the division on 3 March 1942 (later renamed 187th Parachute Infantry Regiment), 3rd Regimental Cannon Company (with 47/32 M35 cannons), Parachute Artillery Regiment (later renamed 185th Parachute Artillery Regiment), I Parachute Artillery Group (with 47/32 M35 cannons), II Parachute Artillery Group (with 47/32 M35 cannons), III Parachute Artillery Group (with 47/32 M35 cannons), Division Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Regimental Cannon Company (with 47/32 M35 cannons), II Parachute Infantry Battalion (from 185th Parachute Infantry Regiment), IV Parachute Infantry Battalion (from 185th Parachute Infantry Regiment), I Parachute Artillery Group (with two batteries of 47/32 M35 cannons), II Parachute Artillery Group (with two batteries of 47/32 M35 cannons), III Parachute Artillery Group (with two batteries of 47/32 M35 cannons), 20th Mortar Company (81mm Model 35 mortars), 185th Mining and Explosives Engineers Company, Corporal Major Antonio ANDRIOLO, 186th Parachute Regiment, October 23 – November 4, 1942, First Lieutenant Roberto BANDINI, 186th Parachute Regiment, October 23–25, 1942, First Lieutenant Ferruccio BRANDI, 187th Parachute Regiment, October 24, 1942, Second Lieutenant Pietro BRUNO 132d Transport Regiment, Private Giuseppe CAPPELLETTO, 186th Parachute Regiment, October 23–25, 1942, Private Giacomo CESARONI, 187th Parachute Regiment, October 29, 1942, Private Leandro FRANCHI, 186th Parachute Regiment, November 1942, Second Lieutenant Giovanni GAMBAUDO, 186th Parachute Regiment, October 23–24, 1942, First Lieutenant Marco GOLA, 186th Parachute Regiment, October 23–24, 1942, Private Gerardo LUSTRISSIMI, 186th Parachute Regiment, October 23–25, 1942, Sergeant Major Dario PIRLONE, 185th Artillery Regiment, October 24, 1942, Sergeant Nicola PISTILLO, 186th Parachute Regiment, October 23–25, 1942, Corporal Major Dario PONZECCHI, 185th Parachute Regiment, October 26, 1942, Captain Costantino RUSPOLI, Prince of Poggio Suasa, 187th Parachute Regiment, October 26–27, 1942, Captain Gastone SIMONI, 187th Parachute Regiment, October 23–27, 1942, Sergeant Major Mario GIARETTO, 186th Parachute Regiment, August 8, 1942, Second Lieutenant Omero LUCCHI, Folgore Division Artillery, August 31 – September 4, 1942, Sapper Clinio MISSERVILLE, 185th Assault Sapper Company, September 10, 1942, Major Aurelio ROSSI, 187th Parachute Regiment, August 20 – September 3, 1942, Captain Fabio RUGIADI, 187th Parachute Regiment, August 30, 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Carlo Marescotti RUSPOLI, Prince of Poggio Suasa, 186th Parachute Regiment, First Lieutenant Giovanni STARACE, Folgore Division, July - November, 1942, Second Lieutenant Giovanni STASSI, 186th Parachute Regiment, August 25 – September 2, 1942. At El-Alamein, throughout several engagements, the paratroopers were either able to resist the attacks made upon them or, when the Allied forces had been successful in completely wiping out the first line of Folgore outposts, to reform again, usually counterattacking. Each Parachute Artillery Group fielded one Headquarters and two Parachute Artillery Batteries armed with 47/32 M35 cannons. The attack began at 0300 hours on 26 July, but soon got bogged down, and any gains were taken back by counterattacks. Retrouvez The Italian Folgore Parachute Division: North African Operations 1940-43 et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. The infantrymen of the Pavia and Brescia Divisions quickly joined them. Regiment was used to form 184. Additionally a seventh battery was formed with surplus materiel found by the division during its transfer to the front. 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. After the end of the Cold War the Italian Army decided to rename the battalions in the brigade as regiments for historical reasons. On the night of 28/29 June 1942, the Littorio Division took up positions near Wadi Nagamish, with the 12th Bersaglieri Regiment and tanks opening fire on the British Commonwealth forces that attempted to escape from Mersa Matruh under the cover of darkness.According to Les Davies: (PL), 2nd Cavalry Division Emanuele Filiberto Testa di Ferro, 3rd Cavalry Division Principe Amedeo Duca d'Aosta, 21st Infantry Division Granatieri di Sardegna, 22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi, 40th Infantry Division Cacciatori d'Africa, 65th Infantry Division Granatieri di Savoia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=185th_Paratroopers_Division_Folgore&oldid=997798488, Military units and formations established in 1941, Military units and formations disestablished in 1943, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [6], In North Africa the division participated in the First and Second Battle of El Alamein. The North African campaign was one of the hardest fought episodes of the Second World War, yet the vital part played by the Italian Army - and in particular, its Folgore Parachute Division on behalf of the Axis Alliance - is frequently overlooked. Second Battle of El Alamein Order of Battle is a listing of the significant formations that were involved in the battle, 23 October – 3 November 1942. Read The Italian Folgore Parachute Division: Operations in North Africa 1940-43 book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. Losses were high, in particular for what concerns the IX and X Battalion which were … The Folgore used everything at their disposal including letting the enemy advance into a "cul-de-sac" and then launching a counterattack from all sides. For tits conduct during the Second Battle of El Alamein the divisions as whole was awarded a Gold Medal of Military Valor. Italian) Paratroopers Battalion: 300 troops, 4 Companies. No less an adversary than Winston Churchill himself praised the Folgore when, before Parliament on November 21, 1942, he said, “We really must bow in front of the rest of those who have been the “lions” of the Folgore Division.” [citation needed], On 6 November, after having exhausted all its ammunition, the remainder of the Division surrendered. Actually, it was officially renamed 185th Infantry Division "Cacciatori d'Africa", and not without reason (apart from counterintelligence), since the well-trained, highly motivated … After the war the combat group became the Folgore Mechanized Division, which was disbanded on 31 October 1986. Initially the division was made up of the following units: Each Parachute Infantry Battalion fielded one Headquarters and three Parachute Infantry Companies. 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. 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. In the southern sector the Folgore Airborne Division, having fought well and now out of ammunition, surrendered. During the Second battle of El Alamein the Folgore Division was under attack from three British divisions 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division, 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, 7th Armoured Division, and the 1st Free French Brigade. 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 the advancing tanks. There, the outnumbered paratroops, after hours of artillery fire, counterattacked the infantry and close assaulted the tanks, with grenades and molotov cocktails. [2], The 2-months[2] Instructors course began in March 1940. Initially created to emulate the German Fallschirmjäger in order to carry out the planned airborne attack against the British base of Malta, Folgore Airborne Division fought on the battlefields of North Africa - including the key Battle of El Alamein. Folgore Parachute Brigade Edit Parachutist Division Nembo in September 1942. Notwithstanding the heavy casualties they suffered, and temporary British successes in occupying several positions in the first outpost line, they held their ground. Elle est cantonnée à Pise et à Livourne. 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 attack was cancelled at 1000 hours, ending the first battle … [3], In the initial British assault alone the Folgore had destroyed over 120 armoured vehicles, and inflicted over 600 casualties. 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 British tanks were destroyed or disabled during that night alone. In North Africa the division participated in the Battles of El Alamein, where the division was the protagonist of a strong resistance against the attacking Commonwealth forces, managing also to drive off some attacks conducted by tanks and heavy infantry. The Division was well equipped with modern automatic weapons (Beretta submachine gun, Breda M37 and Breda M38 heavy machine guns) and many support weapons, giving the paratroopers of the division a good firepower against infantry and light tanks, but without any transports or medium and heavy artillery. British effort, of course, was in the course of the following units: each Parachute group. 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