Ordnance QF 17-pounder
The Ordnance Quick-Firing 17-pounder was a 76.2 mm gun developed by the United Kingdom during World War II. It was used as a gun on its own carriage. It was the most effective anti-tank gun of the war fielded by the Western Allies, used with the APDS shot, it was capable of defeating all but the thickest armour on German tanks. In the anti-tank role, it was replaced after the war by the 120 mm BAT recoilless rifle, as a tank gun, it was succeeded by the 84 mm 20 pounder. Before the QF 6-pounder had entered service, the British predicted that it would soon be given the increasing armour of German tanks. In late 1940, the design of a replacement began, and was completed by the end of 1941. So great was the rush that they were sent before proper carriages had been developed, and these early weapons were known as 17/25-pounders and given the codename Pheasant. They first saw action in February 1943, fully developed 17-pounders started production in 1943 and were first used during the Italian Campaign.
They became one of the most effective weapons on the battlefield, the 17-pounder anti-tank guns saw action in Korea against tanks and in general support use against bunker positions. After Korea, the gun was replaced in the tank role by the Ordnance QF20 pounder. The 17-pounder outperformed all other Allied armour-piercing guns, and was adapted for use on various tank chassis. However, few tanks were capable of carrying such a large gun due to the limitations of their turret rings. A new British tank specification, A29, was produced to meet the need for a 17-pounder armed cruiser tank, while the A29 was eventually cancelled without a successful design being produced, an amended specification, A30, reached production in 1943. The A30 specification reduced weight and enabled the use of Cromwell tank components as a design expedient, production of the tank took time and few could be completed before the allied invasion of Normandy. While developing the Challenger tank, the British devised a conversion for their US-supplied M4 Sherman tanks to mount the 17-pounder and this was applied in sufficient numbers to put them into service in time for D-Day as the Sherman Firefly.
The gun, a design that was produced specifically for the Firefly, was rotated through 90 degrees to mount into the turret of the Sherman. An additional box was welded to the back of the turret to take the radio, production of the Challenger was cancelled, and more Shermans were converted until about 50% of Shermans in British service were Fireflies. The British converted some of their US-produced M10 tank destroyers, replacing the 3-inch gun with the 17-pounder and these served with Royal Artillery as self-propelled guns
The Gothic Line was a German defensive line of the Italian Campaign of World War II. Adolf Hitler had concerns about the state of preparation of the Gothic Line, in response to this order, Kesselring renamed it the Green Line in June 1944. Initially this line was breached during Operation Olive, but Kesselrings forces were able to retire in good order. Operation Olive has been described as the biggest battle of materials ever fought in Italy, over 1,200,000 men participated in the battle. The battle took the form of a manoeuvre, carried out by the British Eighth Army. Fifth Army against the German 10th Army and German 14th Army, Rimini, a city which had been hit by previous air raids, had 1,470,000 rounds fired against it by allied land forces. This would have required the U. S and this last redoubt proved the Germans determination to continue fighting. Nevertheless, it was fortunate for the Allies that at this stage of the war the Italian partisan forces had become effective in disrupting the German preparations in the high mountains.
By September 1944, German generals were no longer able to move freely in the area behind their lines because of partisan activity. One of his colleagues who ignored this caution—Wilhelm Crisolli —was caught, Fifth Army to take part in the landings in southern France, Operation Dragoon. Whilst this would threaten Germany from the rear, Churchill was more concerned to forestall the Russians advancing into central Europe, Chiefs of Staff had strongly opposed this strategy as diluting the Allied focus in France. However, following the Allied successes in France during the summer, Chiefs relented, and there was complete agreement amongst the Combined Chiefs of Staff at the Second Quebec Conference on 12 September. It was the shortest route to his objective, the plains of Lombardy and he mounted a deception operation to convince the Germans that the main blow would come on the Adriatic front. On 4 August, Alexander met Lieutenant-General Leese, the British Eighth Army commander and he suggested a surprise attack along the Adriatic coast.
On the coast, Lieutenant-General Sir Oliver Leese, the British Eighth Army commander, had Polish II Corps with 5th Kresowa Division in the front line and the 3rd Carpathian Division in reserve. To the left of the Poles was Canadian I Corps which had the Canadian 1st Infantry Division in the front line, for the opening phase the corps artillery was strengthened with the addition of the British 4th Infantry Divisions artillery. West of the Canadians was British V Corps with the British 46th Infantry Division manning the right of the front line. In reserve were the British 56th Infantry and 1st Armoured Divisions, further to the rear was the British 4th Division, waiting to be called forward to join the corps
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as an independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946. In 1946, the monarchy was abolished and the Kingdom of Italy became the Italian Republic, during World War I, the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, still part of the Regio Esercito, operated a mix of French fighters and locally-built bombers, notably the gigantic Caproni aircraft. The Regia Marina had its own air arm, operating locally-built flying boats, the Italian air force became an independent service—the Regia Aeronautica—on March 28,1923. This pioneering achievement was organized and led by General of Aviation Italo Balbo, during the latter half of the 1930s, the Regia Aeronautica participated in the Spanish Civil War, as well as the invasions of Ethiopia and Albania. The first test for the new Italian Royal Air force came in October 1935, during the final stages of the war, Regia Aeronautica deployed up to 386 aircraft, operating from Eritrea and Somalia.
The Italian aviators did not have any opposition in the air, as the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force had just 15 transport and liaison aircraft, only nine of which were serviceable. However the Regia Aeronautica lost 72 planes and 122 aircrew members while supporting the operations of the Regio Esercito, and after the end of hostilities, on 5 May 1936, for the following 13 months the Regia Aeronautica had to assist Italian forces in fighting Ethiopian guerrillas. During the Spanish Civil War Italian pilots fought alongside Spanish Nationalist and this deployment took place from July 1936 to March 1939 and complimented an expeditionary force of Italian ground troops titled Corps of Volunteer Troops. In Spain, the Italian pilots were under command of the Spanish Nationalists and took part in training. The Aviazione legionaria achieved approximately 500 air victories, losing 86 aircraft in air combat, the Regia Aeronautica played a limited role during the Italian invasion of Albania. When World War II began in 1939, Italy had the smallest air force among the three major Axis powers, with a paper strength of 3,296 machines, only 2,000 were fit for operations, of which just 166 were modern fighters.
The Macchi MC.200 and Fiat G.50 were the best available but were slower than potential Allied fighters. While numerically still a force to be reckoned with, it was hampered by the aircraft industry which was using obsolete production methods. Technical assistance provided by its German ally did little to improve the situation, on 10 June 1940, during the closing days of the Battle of France, Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom. On 13 June, Fiat CR. 42s attacked French air bases, two days later, CR. 42s from 3° Stormo and 53° Stormo attacked again French Air Force bases and clashed with Dewoitine D. 520s and Bloch MB. 152s, claiming eight kills for five losses. The Regia Aeronautica carried out 716 bombing missions in support of the Italian invasion of France by the Regio Esercito, Italian aircraft dropped a total of 276 tons of bombs. Only about 80 long tons of bombs were dropped on the targets, during this short war, Regia Aeronautica lost 10 aircraft in aerial combat and 24 aircrew personnel, while claiming 10 kills and 40 French planes destroyed on the ground
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
Armistice of Cassibile
It was signed at a conference of generals from both sides in an Allied military camp at Cassibile in Sicily, which had recently been occupied by the Allies. The armistice was approved by both King Victor Emmanuel III and Italian Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio, the armistice stipulated the surrender of Italy to the Allies. After its publication, Germany retaliated against Italy, attacking Italian forces in Italy, South of France, Italian forces were quickly defeated and most of Italy was occupied by German troops, while the King, the government and most of the navy reached territories occupied by the Allies. Following the surrender of the Axis powers in North Africa on 13 May 1943 and these moves by Mussolini were described as slightly hostile acts to the king, who had been growing increasingly critical of the war. To help carry out his plan, the King asked for the assistance of Dino Grandi. Grandi was one of the members of the Fascist hierarchy and, in his younger years. The King was motivated by the suspicion that Grandis ideas about Fascism might be changed abruptly, various ambassadors, including Pietro Badoglio himself, proposed to him the vague possibility of succeeding Mussolini as dictator.
The conspirators devised an Order of the Day for the reunion of the Grand Council of Fascism which contained a proposal to restore direct control of politics to the king. Following the Council, held on 23 July 1943, where the order of the day was adopted by majority vote, Mussolini was summoned to meet the King, upon leaving the meeting, Mussolini was arrested by carabinieri and spirited off to the island of Ponza. Badoglio took the position of Prime Minister and this went against what had been promised to Grandi, who had been told that another general of greater personal and professional qualities would have taken the place of Mussolini. The appointment of Badoglio apparently did not change the position of Italy as Germanys ally in the war, many channels were being probed to seek a peace treaty with the Allies. Meanwhile, Hitler sent several divisions south of the Alps, officially to help defend Italy from allied landings, three Italian generals were separately sent to Lisbon in order to contact Allied diplomats.
In the end, Castellano was admitted to speak with the Allied diplomats in order to set the conditions for the surrender of Italy. To ease communication between the Allies and the Italian Government, a captured British SOE agent, Dick Mallaby, was released from Verona prison and secretly moved to the Quirinale. It was vital that the Germans remained ignorant of any suggestion of Italian surrender, Badoglio still considered it possible to gain favourable conditions in exchange for the surrender. He ordered Castellano to insist that any surrender of Italy was subordinate to a landing of Allied troops on the Italian mainland. On 31 August General Castellano reached Termini Imerese, in Sicily, by plane and was transferred to Cassibile. It soon became obvious that the two sides in the negotiations had adopted rather distant positions, Castellano pressed the request that the Italian territory be defended from the inevitable reaction of the German Wehrmacht against Italy after the signing
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War. The Allies promoted the alliance as seeking to stop German, Japanese, at the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the Allies consisted of France and the United Kingdom, and dependent states, such as the British India. Within days they were joined by the independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth, Canada, New Zealand, Poland was a minor factor after its defeat in 1939, France was a minor factor after its defeat in 1940. China had already been into a war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937. The alliance was formalised by the Declaration by United Nations, from 1 January 1942, the name United Nations was rarely used to describe the Allies during the war. The leaders of the Big Three – the UK, the Soviet Union, in 1945, the Allied nations became the basis of the United Nations. The origins of the Allied powers stem from the Allies of World War I, Germany resented signing Treaty of Versailles.
The new Weimar republics legitimacy became shaken, by the early 1930s, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler became the dominant revanchist movement in Germany and Hitler and the Nazis gained power in 1933. The Nazi regime demanded the cancellation of the Treaty of Versailles and made claims to German-populated Austria. The likelihood of war was high, and the question was whether it could be avoided through strategies such as appeasement, in Asia, when Japan seized Manchuria in 1931, the League of Nations condemned it for aggression against China. Japan responded by leaving the League of Nations in March 1933, after four quiet years, the Sino-Japanese War erupted in 1937 with Japanese forces invading China. The League of Nations condemned Japans actions and initiated sanctions on Japan, the United States, in particular, was angered at Japan and sought to support China. In March 1939, Germany took over Czechoslovakia, violating the Munich Agreement signed six months before and France decided that Hitler had no intention to uphold diplomatic agreements and responded by preparing for war.
On 31 March 1939, Britain formed the Anglo-Polish military alliance in an effort to avert a German attack on the country, the French had a long-standing alliance with Poland since 1921. The Soviet Union sought an alliance with the powers. The agreement secretly divided the independent nations of eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine, on 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland, two days Britain and France declared war on Germany. Then, on 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east, a Polish government-in-exile was set up and it continued to be one of the Allies, a model followed by other occupied countries. After a quiet winter, Germany in April 1940 invaded and quickly defeated Denmark, Belgium and its Empire stood alone against Hitler and Mussolini
Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
Victor Emmanuel III was the King of Italy from 29 July 1900 until his abdication on 9 May 1946. In addition, he claimed the thrones of Ethiopia and Albania as Emperor of Ethiopia and King of the Albanians, during his long reign, which began after the assassination of his father Umberto I, the Kingdom of Italy became involved in two World Wars. His reign encompassed the birth and fall of Italian Fascism, Victor Emmanuel abdicated his throne in 1946 in favour of his son Umberto II, hoping to strengthen support for the monarchy against an ultimately successful referendum to abolish it. He went in exile to Alexandria, where he died and was buried the following year. He was called by the Italians Il Re soldato for having led his country during both the wars, after Italys victory in the First World War Il Re vittorioso. He was nicknamed Sciaboletta due to his height of 1.53 m, Victor Emmanuel was born in Naples, Italy. He was the child of Umberto I, King of Italy. Margherita was the daughter of the Duke of Genoa, from birth until his accession, Victor Emmanuel was known by the title of the Prince of Naples.
On 24 October 1896, Prince Victor Emmanuel married Princess Elena of Montenegro, on 29 July 1900, at the age of 30, Victor Emmanuel acceded to the throne upon his fathers assassination. The only advice that his father Umberto ever gave his heir was Remember, to be a king, all you need to know is how to sign your name, read a newspaper, and mount a horse. His early years showed evidence that, by the standards of the Savoy monarchy, even though his father was killed by an anarchist, the new King showed a commitment to constitutional freedoms. Though parliamentary rule had been established in Italy, the Statuto Albertino, or constitution. For instance, he had the right to appoint the Prime Minister even if the individual in question did not command majority support in the Chamber of Deputies, when World War I began, Italy at first remained neutral, despite being part of the Triple Alliance. However, in 1915, Italy signed several secret treaties committing her to enter the war on the side of the Triple Entente, most of the politicians opposed war and the Italian Chamber of Deputies forced Prime Minister Antonio Salandra to resign.
At this juncture, Victor Emmanuel declined Salandras resignation and personally made the decision for Italy to enter the war and he was well within his rights to do so under the Statuto. Popular demonstrations in favor of the war were staged in Rome, with 200,000 gathering on 16 May 1915 and it was at this time, the period of World War I, that the King enjoyed the genuine affection of the majority of his people. Still, during the war he received about 400 threatening letters from people of social background. The economic depression which followed World War I gave rise to much extremism among Italys sorely tried working classes and this caused the country as a whole to become politically unstable
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician and leader of the National Fascist Party, ruling the country as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy, known as Il Duce, Mussolini was the founder of Italian Fascism. In 1912 Mussolini was the member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party. Mussolini was expelled from the PSI for withdrawing his support for the stance on neutrality in World War I. He served in the Royal Italian Army during the war until he was wounded and discharged in 1917, Mussolini denounced the PSI, his views now centering on nationalism instead of socialism, and founded the fascist movement. Following the March on Rome in October 1922 he became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history until the appointment of Matteo Renzi in February 2014, within five years he had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means, aspiring to create a totalitarian state.
Mussolini remained in power until he was deposed by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943, a few months later, he became the leader of the Italian Social Republic, a German client regime in northern Italy, he held this post until his death in 1945. Mussolini had sought to delay a major war in Europe until at least 1942, Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, resulting in declarations of war by France and the United Kingdom and starting World War II. In the summer of 1941 Mussolini sent Italian forces to participate in the invasion of the Soviet Union, and war with the United States followed in December. On 24 July 1943, soon after the start of the Allied invasion of Italy, the Grand Council of Fascism voted against him, on 12 September 1943, Mussolini was rescued from prison in the Gran Sasso raid by German special forces. In late April 1945, with total defeat looming, Mussolini attempted to escape north and his body was taken to Milan, where it was hung upside down at a service station for public viewing and to provide confirmation of his demise.
Mussolini was born in Dovia di Predappio, a town in the province of Forlì in Romagna on 29 July 1883. During the Fascist era, Predappio was dubbed Duces town, pilgrims went to Predappio and Forlì, to see the birthplace of Mussolini. His father, Alessandro Mussolini, was a blacksmith and a Socialist, while his mother, Benito was the eldest of his parents three children. His siblings Arnaldo and Edvige followed, as a young boy, Mussolini would spend some time helping his father in his smithy. His fathers political outlook combined views of anarchist figures like Carlo Cafiero and Mikhail Bakunin, the military authoritarianism of Garibaldi, in 1902, at the anniversary of Garibaldis death, Benito Mussolini made a public speech in praise of the republican nationalist. The conflict between his parents about religion meant that, unlike most Italians, Mussolini was not baptized at birth, as a compromise with his mother, Mussolini was sent to a boarding school run by Salesian monks. After joining a new school, Mussolini achieved good grades, in 1902, Mussolini emigrated to Switzerland, partly to avoid military service
It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war. The origins of the lay in the expectation that war in Europe might be fought under similar conditions to those of the First World War. The Churchill was rushed into production to build up British defences against a possible German invasion, the first vehicles had flaws that had to be overcome before the Churchill was accepted for wide use. After several Marks had been built, an armoured version. The Churchill was used by British and Commonwealth forces in North Africa, Italy, in addition, a few hundred were supplied to the USSR and used on the Eastern Front. The Churchill tank was named after Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had promoted the development of the tank in the First World War, Churchill told Field Marshall Jan Smuts That is the tank they named after me when they found out it was no damn good. Post-war, the universal or main battle tanks would adopt these C names, Conqueror, initially specified before the outbreak of the Second World War the A20 was to be the replacement for the Matilda II and Valentine infantry tanks.
The vehicle was specified initially to be armed with two QF2 pounder guns each located in a side sponson, with a coaxial BESA machine gun, a third BESA and a smoke projector would be fitted in the front hull. The specification was revised to prefer a turret with 60 mm of armour to protect against ordinary shells from the German 37 mm gun, outline drawings were produced based on using the A12 Matilda turret and the engine of the Covenanter tank. Detail design and construction of the A20 was given to the Belfast shipbuilders Harland, during the construction period the armament was reconsidered, including fitting either a 6-pounder or a French 75 mm gun in the forward hull. In the end, a 3-inch howitzer was chosen, the A20 designs were short-lived, however, as at roughly the same time the emergency evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk occurred. At 43 tons, with a 300 hp flat-12 Meadows engine and this was a less serious limitation than it might appear, owing to the British distinction between the high-speed cruiser tanks and the slow-speed infantry tanks.
Vauxhall were approached to see if they could build the A20, to this end, they developed a flat-12 petrol engine. For speed of production, this engine was based on a Bedford six-cylinder lorry engine, although still a sidevalve engine, the engine was developed with high squish pistons, dual ignition and sodium-cooled exhaust valves in Stellite seats to give 350 bhp. These new specifications, for the A22 or Infantry Tank Mark IV, were given to Vauxhall in June 1940, all those things which we know are not as they should be will be put right. The document described known faults, with work-rounds and what was being done to correct the problem, because of its hasty development, there had been little testing, and the Churchill was plagued with mechanical faults. Most apparent was that the Churchills engine was underpowered, production of a turret to carry the QF6 pounder gun began in 1941, but problems with the plate used in an all-welded design led to an alternative cast turret being produced. These formed the distinction between Mark III and Mark IV, the Churchill was famously used at the Dieppe Raid, in 1942
In the years after World War I, in which he held several high ranks in the Italian Army, Badoglio exerted a constant effort in modifying official documents in order to hide his role in the defeat. Post-war, Badoglio was named as a Senator, but remained in the army with special assignments to Romania, at first, he opposed Benito Mussolini and after 1922 was side-lined as ambassador to Brazil. A change of political heart soon returned him to Italy and a role in the army as Chief of Staff from 4 May 1924. On 25 June 1926, Badoglio was promoted to the rank of Marshal of Italy, Badoglio was the first unique governor of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica from 1929 to 1933. During his governorship, he played a part in defeating the Libyan rebels. On 20 June 1930, Badoglio wrote to General Graziani, As for overall strategy, it is necessary to create a significant, I do not hide the significance and seriousness of this measure, which might be the ruin of the subdued population. But now the course has been set, and we must carry it out to the end, on 24 January 1932, Badoglio proclaimed the end of Libyan resistance for the first time since the Italian invasion in 1911.
Badoglio asked for and was given permission to use chemical warfare, using as a pretext the torture and he employed mustard gas to effectively destroy the Ethiopian armies confronting him on the northern front. Badoglio commanded the Italian invasion army at the First Battle of Tembien, the Battle of Amba Aradam, the Second Battle of Tembien, on 31 March 1936, Badoglio defeated Emperor Haile Selassie commanding the last Ethiopian army on the northern front at the Battle of Maychew. On 26 April, with no Ethiopian resistance left between his forces and Addis Ababa, Badoglio launched his March of the Iron Will to take the Ethiopian capital city, by 2 May, Haile Selassie had fled the country. On 5 May 1936, Marshal Badoglio led the victorious Italian troops into Addis Ababa, Mussolini declared King Victor Emmanuel to be the Emperor of Ethiopia, and Ethiopia became part of the Italian Empire. On this occasion, Badoglio was appointed the first Viceroy and Governor General of Ethiopia, on 11 June 1936, Rodolfo Graziani replaced Badoglio as Viceroy and Governor General of Ethiopia.
Badoglio returned to his duties as the Supreme Chief of the Italian General Staff, according to Time magazine, Badoglio even joined the Fascist Party in early June. Following the Italian armys poor performance in the invasion of Greece in December 1940, Badoglio was replaced by Ugo Cavallero. On 24 July 1943, as Italy had suffered several setbacks following the Allied invasion of Sicily in World War II, Mussolini summoned the Fascist Grand Council, the following day Il Duce was removed from government by King Victor Emmanuel III and arrested. On 3 September 1943, General Giuseppe Castellano signed the Italian armistice with the Allies in Cassibile on behalf of Badoglio, wary of the potentially hostile German response to the Armistice, Badoglio hesitated to formally announce the treaty. On 8 September 1943, the document was published by the Allies in the Badoglio Proclamation. The units of the Italian Royal Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force were generally surprised by the switch, on 23 September 1943, the longer version of the armistice was signed in Malta
1st San Marco Regiment
The 1st San Marco Regiment, located in Brindisi, are the marines of the Italian Navy. In 2013 it became part of the San Marco Marine Brigade, Marines of Italy was created as Fanti da Mar in 1550 in the Republic of Venice. The San Marco Regiment traces its history back to the La Marina Regiment, during the Wars of Italian Independence the Italian Marines were known as the Fanteria Real Marina, units of specially selected sailors who were skilled marksmen. The regiment played an important role in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion, with the beginning of the Italian campaign during World War I, the unit was named the Brigata Marina, and included two regiments, one infantry and one artillery. The brigades infantry battalions were drawn from various Army and customs units, following the Battle of Caporetto in October–November 1917, the Italian front had almost collapsed and the Marina Brigade fought in the defence of Venice during the Battle of the Piave River. After the war, the city presented a flag with the Lion of Saint Mark, from Venices coat of arms.
In the confusion, one post resisted, holding out against Japanese attacks for 24 hours before surrendering, the interned Italians were given the choice to represent the collaborationist fascist government, or become prisoners of war. The San Marco Battalion served during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, at the beginning of the Second World War it became a two battalion regiment and increased in size, and prepared for amphibious landings at Cape Martin in France which never happened. When Italy attacked Yugoslavia in April 1941, the San Marco Marines carried out landings on several islands in the Adriatic. The regiment expanded to seven battalions before the desert battles in 1943. As a result,200 British Commandos were taken prisoner, the regiment fought at Tobruk and Tunisia, where it defended the Mareth line during April and May 1943. It was no time for pussy footing, we were intoxicated with rage and had to them to pay for our fallen pal. German General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim said of the San Marco Marines fighting abilities in Tunisia in 1943, that they were the best soldiers I ever commanded.
Following the Italian surrender in 1943, many San Marco marines fought for the Allies against the Germans, the San Marco Marine Regiment was deactivated in 1956 but was reformed on 1 January 1965 to battalion strength in Venice with 750 personnel. The battalion was shifted to Brindisi Naval Base in Southern Italy. In Venice, the Italian Army reconstituted its Lagunari amphibious infantry, from 1982 to 1984 the San Marco battalion took part in international UN peacekeeping missions in Lebanon. Today the San Marco Marine Regiment consists of the Amphibious Battalion Grado, combined with the Logistics and Training Regiment “Carlotto”, landing boats and helicopters, the San Marco Regiment can conduct amphibious assaults and landings. If necessary, the San Marco Regiment can be reinforced by the Armys Lagunari, the naval command is connected by a unified operations staff and is closely associated with the Spanish Marines through the SILF joint landing force