Operation Little Saturn
The success of Operation Uranus, launched on 19 November 1942, had trapped 250,000 -300,000 troops of General Friedrich Paulus German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a campaign of continuous and highly ambitious offensive operations. Later Joseph Stalin reduced his ambitious plans to a small campaign codenamed Operation Little Saturn. Despite these victories, the Soviets themselves became over extended, setting up the stages for the German offensives of the Third Battle of Kharkov, by 6 July, General Hermann Hoths Fourth Panzer Army had taken the city of Voronezh, threatening to collapse the Red Armys resistance. The rapid German advance threatened to cut the Soviet Union off from its southern territories, the operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, and was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced as early as September 1942 and these Axis armies were deployed in open positions on the steppe and lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor.
Operation Winter Storm, undertaken between 12–23 December 1942, was the German Fourth Panzer Armys attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, which resulted in the encirclement of Axis personnel in, German forces within the Stalingrad Pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. They would be supported by the 6th Army of the Voronezh Front, while General Rodion Malinovskys Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad, the modified plan Operation Little Saturn was launched on 16 December. This operation consisted of a movement which threatened to cut off the relieving forces. The Italians resisted the Soviet attack for two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians aid, of the 130,000 encircled troops, to the south the advance of General Gerasimenkos 28th Army threatened to encircle the 1st Panzer Army and General Trufanovs 51st Army attacked the relief column directly.
In a daring raid, by 24 December tanks of the 24th Tank Corps had reached Tatskinskaya, the Soviet tanks drove through snowstorms onto the airfield and roamed about for hours, destroying the German transport planes at their leisure. With the relief column under threat of encirclement, Manstein had no choice but to back to Kotelnikovo on 29 December. Of the 200,000 -250,000 soldiers encircled 90,000 survived to be taken prisoner, only 5,000 lived to return to Germany. The Soviets attacked and pushed back the remaining units of the German 24th Army Corps on the Alpini left flank and contemporarily attacked the Alpini themselves. The Alpini held the front, but within three days the Soviets advanced 200 kilometers to the left and right of the Alpini, who were encircled and forced to try to escape a siege. Although the Alpini corps was ordered to hold the front at all costs, on the evening of January 17, the commanding officer of the corps General Gabriele Nasci finally ordered the full retreat, which was fully carried out on January 19
Mirna is a nucleated village and a minor economic centre in central Lower Carniola, Slovenia. It is the largest settlement of the Mirna Valley and the centre of the Municipality of Mirna and it is situated at the crossing of regional roads and a confluence of several creeks with the Mirna River, along the railway line linking Sevnica and Trebnje. Mirna was first mentioned in 1180, the village lies at the westernmost part of the Mirna–Mokronog basin in the Mirna Valley, mainly at raised terraces safe from flooding. To the southwest from Mirna stretches the Vejar Basin, connected with the Mirna–Mokronog basin by a narrow glen and it is included into the statistical region of Southeastern Slovenia. The part of the R1-215 road traversing Mirna was until July 1996 named 3rd Battalion of the Army of the National Security Street and is now named Main Street. The larger part of the part of Mirna is situated on the left bank of the river. Both parts are connected with a bridge dating to the 18th century.
The lowest parts along the Mirna banks have been settled by industry, due to its basin location and a temperature inversion, Mirna has a bit lower average temperatures and more hot and cold days than the villages on hills. There is less wind, the predominant being the north, there is more fog, particularly from August to January. The average annual precipitation is 1,165 mm, classifying the climate of the area as moist and it occurs all over the year, least in winter and more in summer as well as in autumn. Outside the village, near the border of the settlement. It is situated on a pier, at the extreme edge of the Upper Hill. Mirna Pond, used as a pool in the past. It was created at the end of the 1960s by damming of the Vejar, a jogging path leads past it. There are the confluence of the Mirna and the Vejar, a plain with flood-meadows stretches from the castle to the village. Mirna Cave, known as Roje Cave, is a fossil and it is 115 metres long and 7 m deep. It was discovered on 8 September 1939 by the Underground Cave Exploration Society from Ljubljana and it serves as an illegal waste dump.
Until the middle of the 19th century, the made their living by farming
The Alpini, are an elite mountain warfare military corps of the Italian Army. They are currently organized in two brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpine Troops Headquarters. Established in 1872, the Alpini are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world and their original mission was to protect Italys northern mountain border with France and Austria. In 1888 the Alpini deployed on their first mission abroad, in Africa, during World War II, the Alpini fought alongside the Axis forces, mainly across the Eastern Front and in the Balkans Campaigns. After the end of the Cold War, the Italian Army was reorganised in the 1990s, three out of five Alpini brigades and many support units were disbanded. Currently, the Alpini are deployed in Afghanistan, in 1872, Captain Giuseppe Perrucchetti published a study in the May edition of the Military Review. In the study, he proposed to assign the defence of mountain borders of the recently established Kingdom of Italy to soldiers recruited locally, thanks to their knowledge of the surroundings and personal attachment to the area, they would be highly capable and better motivated defenders.
Perrucchetti drew heavily on the work of Lieutenant General Agostino Ricci, five months after Perrucchettis article, the first 15 Alpini companies were formed by Royal decree no.1056. The units became active on October 15,1872, making the Alpini the oldest active Mountain Infantry in the world, at first the Alpini were organized as a militia, capable of defending Italy’s northern mountainous borders. Austrias surrender in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 resulted in Italy annexing the province of Venetia, prior to gaining the new northern borders, homeland defence was based on the so-called Quadrilatero strategy. That outdated strategy, ignored the geopolitics of the new Italian Kingdom and it called for primary defence of the Po Valley region farther to the southwest, but left the Alpine region undefended. Recruiting Italys mountain valleys locals and organising them into a corps was indeed an innovative idea. They possessed superior knowledge of mountain territory and greatest adaptability to Alpine conditions, at the beginning, the mountain regions were divided into seven military districts, each commanded by an Officer and home to at least two Alpini companies, each consisting of 120 personnel.
Soldiers were equipped with the Vetterli 1870 rifle, in 1873 nine more companies were added, thus totalling 24. In 1875, the companies doubled in size, having 250 soldiers and 5 officers, on November 1,1882, the Alpini organisation doubled in size to 72 companies and a total of 20 Alpini battalions. The latter plus 8 Alpini mountain artillery batteries were now organized into six numbered Alpini regiments, Special Bn. and Fourth Bn. were issued blue tufts. Soldiers of the Mountain Artillery units were issued a green tuft with a patch in the middle onto which the number of the battery was written in golden numbers. On June 7,1883, the green flames collar patch was introduced, the Cappello Alpino, with its black raven feather, was introduced at that time
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, artistic legacy, Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is considered a nation within a nation. Tuscany is traditionally a popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by number of tourist arrivals are Florence, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto. The village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited destination in the region. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val dOrcia are internationally renowned, Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the worlds 89th most visited city, roughly triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north and east, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast.
The comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany has a western coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, containing the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of approximately 22,993 square kilometres and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, and mountains. Plains occupy 8. 4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the River Arno, many of Tuscanys largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks, following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, and the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before Orientalization occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose, the Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art.
The Etruscans lived in Etruria well into prehistory, throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, one reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather. The Roman civilization in the West collapsed in the 5th century AD, in the years following 572, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their Duchy of Tuscia
131st Armoured Division Centauro
The 131st Armoured Division Centauro was an armoured division of the Italian Army during World War II. It was formed in February 1939, by upgrading the 1st Armoured Brigade and it took part in operations in Albania and Yugoslavia before returning to Italy. Sent to North Africa in August 1942, it surrendered in Tunisia on 13 May 1943, the 1st Armoured Brigade was formed in April 1937, along with the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete, formed the Italian Armoured Corps. The two divisions took part in the first corps-level exercises in the Po Valley in the late 1930s, in February 1939, Centauro was re-designated a division. It was initially and briefly attached to the reserve Army of the Po, when Italy invaded Albania in April 1939, the Centauro was equipped with L3/33 and L3/35 tankettes. The following year the Centauro was deployed into Yugoslavia, together with the 4th Division Littorio, in June 1941 they were recalled to Italy to be re-equipped. In August 1942, the 131st were ordered to prepare to move to Libya, the Centauro missed both the First and Second Battles of El Alamein, and arrived during the retreat from Egypt back into Libya in late 1942.
On 13 December, during the Battle of El Agheila, the Centauro - along with a formation from the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete- forced the British 7th Armoured Division to retreat. Rommel gave significant praise of Italian conduct during this action, in the early morning hours, the Italians pressed their offensive, broke through the remains of the American line, and continued up Highway 13. The Centauro remained in Tunisia as part of the Italian 1st Army until the end of the campaign, 31st Tank Regiment 13th Armoured Battalion 14th Armoured Battalion 15th. At first named Centauro Armored Brigade the division reached its complement of troops in fall of 1952. The division was based around Milan with the headquarters in the city of Verona, the units of the Centauro moved to Milan and Bellinzago Novarese. In 1963 all Italian divisions adapted their organization to NATO standards, in the same year the reconstitution of the 32nd Tank Regiment began. The Centauro Armored Division was part of the 3rd Army Corps based in North-Western Italy.
The 3rd Army Corps was tasked with defending Lombardy and Piedmont in case the 4th Alpine Army Corps, the new brigade took command of the units of the Curtatone Armored Brigade, whose name was stricken from the roll of active units of the Italian Army. George F. Nafziger - Italian Order of Battle, An organizational history of the Italian Army in World War II John Joseph Timothy Sweet - Iron Arm, The Mechanization of Mussolinis Army, 1920-1940
Alessandria listen is a city and comune in Piedmont and the capital of the Province of Alessandria. The city is sited on the plain between the Tanaro and the Bormida rivers, about 90 kilometres southeast of Turin. Alessandria is a railway hub. Alessandria stood in the territories of the marchese of Montferrat, an ally of the Emperor, with a name assumed in 1168 to honor the Emperors opponent. In 1174–75 the fortress was tested by Imperial siege and stood fast. A legend says it was saved by a peasant, Gagliaudo, he fed his cow with the last grain remaining within the city. Here he was captured, and his cow cut open to be cooked and he answered that he was forced to feed his cow with grain because there was such a lot of it, and no room to place it within the city. The Emperor, fearing that the siege would last too long, a statue of Gagliaudo can be found on the left corner of the city cathedral. Alessandria entered into conflicts with the older communes of the region. The new domination was evidenced by the construction of a new big Cittadella on the side of the river Tanaro.
With Napoleons success at the Battle of Marengo, Alessandria fell to France, during this period another substantial fort was built to the north of the city containing impressive and substantial barracks which are still used as a military headquarters and stores. The remains of a fort to the south of the city have been sliced in two by a railway, a third one still remains in the middle of the same quarter. From 1814 Alessandria was Savoyard territory once more, part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, during the years of the Risorgimento, Alessandria was an active center of the liberals. In a suburb, Spinetta Marengo, the Battle of Marengo is reenacted annually, Alessandria was the first capital of an Italian province to be governed by a Socialist, the clockmaker Paolo Sacco was elected mayor on July 25,1899. On end of month the city was liberated from the German occupation by the partisan resistance. On November 6,1994 the Tanaro flooded a part of the city, causing major damage. The first known Jews in Alessandria, named Abraham opened a bank in or about 1490.
Of the 230 Jews living in the city in 1684,170 were members of the Vitale family, the Jewish Ghetto was established in 1724
The Workers and Peasants Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and after 1922 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution, the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. The Red Army is credited as being the land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II. During operations on the Eastern Front, it fought 75%–80% of the German land forces deployed in the war, inflicting the vast majority of all German losses and ultimately capturing the German capital. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote, There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, at the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters,1.8 million dead,5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners and he estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million.
Therefore, the Council of Peoples Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918 and they envisioned a body formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes. All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible, in the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary. Because the Red Army was composed mainly of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations, some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army, along with some women, flooded the recruitment centres. If they were turned away they would collect scrap metal and prepare care-packages, in some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy, Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for war, Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as peoples commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars, at a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked, We have no army.
The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies and we have no power to stay the enemy, only an immediate signing of the peace treaty will save us from destruction. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledins Volunteer Army in the River Don region, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics. The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, a series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, and the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. The Whites defeated the Red Army on each front, Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked, the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchaks army in June, and the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-November the White armies were all almost completely exhausted, in January 1920, Budennys First Cavalry Army entered Rostov-on-Don. 1919 to 1923 At the wars start, the Red Army consisted of 299 infantry regiments, Civil war intensified after Lenin dissolved the Russian Constituent Assembly and the Soviet government signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, removing Russia from the Great War
Voronezh is a city and the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast, straddling the Voronezh River and located 12 kilometers from where it flows into the Don. The city sits on the Southeastern Railway, which connects European Russia with the Urals and Siberia, the Caucasus and Ukraine, and its population in 2016 was estimated to be 1,032,895, up from 889,680 recorded in the 2010 Census. Voronezh originates as a settlement of the Kievan Rus in about the 12th century, the Voronezh River is likely named for the settlement, in the Principality of Chernigov. In the 17th century, Voronezh gradually evolved into a sizable town, weronecz is shown on the Worona river in Resania in Joan Blaeus map of 1645. Peter the Great built a dockyard in Voronezh where the Azov Flotilla was constructed for the Azov campaigns in 1695 and 1696 and this fleet, the first ever built in Russia, included the first Russian ship of the line, Goto Predestinatsia. The Orthodox diocese of Voronezh was instituted in 1682 and its first bishop, owing to the Voronezh Admiralty Wharf, for a short time, Voronezh became the largest city of South Russia and the economic center of a large and fertile region.
In 1711, it was made the seat of the Azov Governorate, in the 19th century, Voronezh was a center of the Central Black Earth Region. Manufacturing industry as well as bread, suet, a railway connected Voronezh with Moscow in 1868 and Rostov-on-Don in 1871. During World War II, Voronezh was the scene of fighting between Russian and combined Axis troops. The Germans used it as an area for their attack on Stalingrad. In June 1941, two BM-13 artillery installations were built at the Voronezh excavator factory, in July, the construction of Katyushas was rationalized so that their manufacture became easier and the time of volley repetition was shortened from five minutes to fifteen seconds. More than 300 BM-13 units manufactured in Voronezh were used in a counterattack near Moscow in December 1941, in October 22,1941, the advance of the German troops prompted the establishment of a defense committee in the city. On November 7,1941, there was a troop parade, only three such parades were organized that year, in Moscow and Voronezh.
In late June 1942, the city was attacked by German and Hungarian forces, in response, Soviet forces formed the Voronezh Front. By July 6, the German army occupied the western suburbs before being subjected to a fierce Soviet counter-attack. The city wasnt completely under Axis control, in July 24 frontline was stabilised along Voronezh river and this was the opening move of Case Blue. Until January 25,1943, parts of the Second German Army, during Operation Little Saturn, the Ostrogozhsk–Rossosh Offensive, and the Voronezhsko-Kastornenskoy Offensive, the Voronezh Front exacted heavy casualties on Axis forces. On January 25,1943, Voronezh was liberated after ten days of combat, during the war the city was almost completely ruined, with 92% of all buildings destroyed
Kingdom of Italy
The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state. Italy declared war on Austria in alliance with Prussia in 1866, Italian troops entered Rome in 1870, ending more than one thousand years of Papal temporal power. Italy entered into a Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1882, victory in the war gave Italy a permanent seat in the Council of the League of Nations. Fascist Italy is the era of National Fascist Party rule from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini as head of government, according to Payne, Fascist regime passed through several relatively distinct phases. The first phase was nominally a continuation of the parliamentary system, came the second phase, the construction of the Fascist dictatorship proper from 1925 to 1929. The third phase, with activism, was 1929–34. The war itself was the phase with its disasters and defeats. Italy was allied with Nazi Germany in World War II until 1943 and it switched sides to the Allies after ousting Mussolini and shutting down the Fascist party in areas controlled by the Allied invaders.
Shortly after the war, civil discontent led to the referendum of 1946 on whether Italy would remain a monarchy or become a republic. Italians decided to abandon the monarchy and form the Italian Republic, the Kingdom of Italy claimed all of the territory which is modern-day Italy. The development of the Kingdoms territory progressed under Italian re-unification until 1870, the state for a long period of time did not include Trieste or Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, which are in Italy today, and only annexed them in 1919. After the Second World War, the borders of present-day Italy were founded, the Kingdom of Italy was theoretically a constitutional monarchy. Executive power belonged to the monarch, as executed through appointed ministers, two chambers of parliament restricted the monarchs power—an appointive Senate and an elective Chamber of Deputies. The kingdoms constitution was the Statuto Albertino, the governing document of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In theory, ministers were responsible to the king.
However, in practice, it was impossible for an Italian government to stay in office without the support of Parliament, members of the Chamber of Deputies were elected by plurality voting system elections in uninominal districts. A candidate needed the support of 50% of those voting, and of 25% of all enrolled voters, if not all seats were filled on the first ballot, a runoff was held shortly afterwards for the remaining vacancies. After a brief multinominal experimentation in 1882, proportional representation into large, Socialists became the major party, but they were unable to form a government in a parliament split into three different factions, with Christian Populists and classical liberals