• Get Paid to Write for Comando Supremo: We are looking for talented researchers/writers who are fluent in English and can write original content on Italy in World War Two. Please reach out to webmaster@comandosupremo.com if interested!

Fate of Italian armour leaders 1940-41

Ptolemy59

New Member
I'm trying to ascertain the fate of the medium tank battalion commanders (I, II, III, V, VI) during Operation Compass. Were any killed in action? Were they all captured?

Are there any details on Babini's capture/surrender?
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome to the forum.

Hummm, not an easy task. I would need to see if I or others can identify the battalion commanders. They are not normally named or are those details usually provided. It is highly likely that all were captured or killed given the nature of the fighting.

Valentino Babini. A quick look at the books I have don't provide any details of his capture. Several indicate that he was captured with generale Bergonzoli, but it is unclear what it means. I can't determine whether they mean he was with Bergonzoli and both were captured together, or that they were both captured/surrendered at Beda Fomm on 7 Feb. but not necessarily together. Given that Bergonzoli was directing the battle, it is possible they were together at the end. But that is a SWAG.

The capturing unit is likely the Rifle Brigade. Any comments about capturing prisoners refers to that unit, but that is still uncertain.

Pista! Jeff
 

Ptolemy59

New Member
So the info I have (much of it supplied in previous postings by yourself) is:

I Btgl. Carri M Maggiore Victor Ceva

II Btgl. Carri M Maggiore Eugenio Campanile

III Btgl. Carri M Tenente Colonnello Carlo Ghioldi

V Btgl. Carri M Tenente Colonnello Emilio Iezzi

VI Btgl. Carri M ????

One thing I'm trying to get a handle on is how many of the Italian armoured leaders were killed at Beda Fomm (or earlier), captured or escaped.
Appreciate any insight you might have. I primarily research German armoured units, so this is my first foray into Italian tank units
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Well I hadn't realized that I have posted that info. I am sure it was totally accidental as those posts were mean to highlight other information. :)

I did a quick check of those individual on the net. No luck in finding any additional information. Several of them earned valor awards. IIRC, there is a website where one can look-up the citations of Italian awards. It might provide some additional information. I thought I had bookmarked the site, but I can't find it. Something I will keep trying to find.
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
It appears that the commander of the VI btg. carri M is maggiore Ornano. See La prima offensiva britannica in Africa settentrionale p. 248.
 

Ptolemy59

New Member
Thanks, found a helpful list of valor awards for Italian tankers at www.assocarri.it, which I assume is the association of Italian tankers. According to the large PDF there, on awards, Capitano Giuseppe Sciacchitano (XXI Btgl Carri M) was KIA at Beda Fomm and Iezzi was wounded. All battalion commanders in 1940 received awards for valor, except Ornano and Campanile.
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
M.B.V.M.

CAMPANILE Eugenio, di Enrico e di Forti Adele, da Napoli, maggiore, 4° reggimento fanteria carristi; II battaglione carri M 11/39. Comandante di un battaglione carri, impiegato in aspro e vittorioso combattimento contro preponderanti forze blindo-corazzate, con alto spirito combattivo spronava con l’esempio i combattenti, contribuendo efficacemente a respingere il nemico ed a raggiungere gli obbiettivi prefissi. Alam el Quatrani (Africa Settentrionale), 5 novembre 1940.
 

Ptolemy59

New Member
According to the 11th Hussars War Diary, the commander of an Italian light armoured regiment made it past the road block and reached Agedabia, but was captured there on 7 Feb. Could this be commander of the LX Btgl Carri L?
 
Top