• As some of you know, the old forum database was deleted by the previous administrator. I am attempting to paste any retrievable discussions back into this forum using the internet archive. It won't look pretty - but at least we can preserve some valuable information. Feel free to add to the discussions as these old posts are restored.

Italian First Army in Tunisia since 22nd April.

as expected, I was unable to find much that in the period that interests you, however, in general, first of all it must be said that after having withdrawn on the Enfidaville line, the 1st army had been remodeled using largely units already in place that had been joined to others also existed but had suffered many losses. The few complement battalions still available were also used. It should be noted (see OOB) that at the moment all the large units in the field were mixed with German and Italian elements without much distinction. As for the available pieces, they are already detailed in the battle order. Those are the ones actually available at the moment. Furthermore, as regards the 1st Italian army, using notes of the Italian command found in archives and books, I was able to trace these additional data: the 57th Italian battalion bersaglieri at the time in line with the German light 90th could align to the moment about 300 men. As of April 28, the 136th GGFF division had a total of 176 officers and 3400 non-commissioned officers and troops. The 101st Trieste division which was between the two Italian divisions most tried by the fighting again on April 28th could count on 102 officers and 2200 non-commissioned officers and troops. Furthermore, as can already be seen from the OOB, the 2nd battalion of the 66th infantry regiment had been entirely reconstituted using the remains of the 4th grenadier battalion while the 3rd battalion was none other than the old 185th battalion thunderbolt . The Pistoia division, another very proven division, had 109 officers and 2090 non-commissioned officers and troops as of 28 April while the 1st Novara Group that was part of it could field 430 men, with 28 machine guns, 6 submachine guns, 3 mortars, 7 pieces of 47 / 32 and 3 20mm machine gunners. As of April 28, the La Spezia division could field 103 officers and 2400 non-commissioned officers and troops. Unfortunately, this is all I could find on the 1st army.
All the best

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New Member
That's excellent Maurizio.
With that information I can extrapolate roughly the average btl strength (considering reductions from non-front line soldiers). Certainly those units were really thin, that makes their stand even more notable.
Very nice details about 1.o Gruppo "Novara"

Thank you very much.
Bests Regards


New Member
Indeed. Supply was criticaly low (fuel, ammuntion, they even destilled fuel from local alcohol...) almost no air support, relentless air attacks, an opponent able to recover their casualties, it was just a matter of time.

The army group needed 120,000 tons of supplies per month. In March, it received 43,125 tons and lost 41.5 percent of its supplies en route. In April, Army Group Afrika would receive only 29,233 tons, with about the same percentage lost en route. Only about 3,000 tons of supplies in May. The situation had become so desperate that supply staffs were distilling fuel from low-grade Tunisian wines and liquors—an idea that actually worked.
By April 25, the army group was down to its last one-fourth issue of fuel (enough for a move of fifteen miles) and barely enough ammunition for three days of combat.

During the week from April 22 to 29, Allied air forces flew more than 5,200 sorties in support of the British 1st Army alone, shooting up every conceivable target of opportunity.

In the grand picture, Axis lost as soon as Smolensk 1941, when they were unable to trap the masses of Red Army, sustained terrible casualties contaning savage russian counterattacks (they were not able to recover fully) and lost a precious time that allow Red Army to defend Moscow and launch the siberian divisions in the Winter offensive of 1941-42, from there they were not able recover despite success like Kharkov 42 & 43, Rzhev winter battle and it initial Case Blue (not the Stalingrad part but the oil part at the extreme Caucasus)
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I proceeded to review and complete the OOB of the 5th Army PZ adding where known the compositions and the men and weapons available on the date between 18 and 19 April 1943. Tell me if clarifications are needed.
5. Pz Armee
-Pz Aufklarungabteilung 190:
--190. Spah zug
--220. Spah zug
-14./104. Aufklarungabteilung:
--Schuetzen zug
--Panzerjager zug
-190. Nachr Abteilung
-504.o Gruppo da 90/53 antiaereo del 3.o Reggimento contraerei su:
--1.a batteria da 90/53
--2.a batteria da 90/53
-49.o Gruppo da 75/46 antiaereo del 3.o Reggimento contraerei
-58.o Gruppo cannoni da 105/32 del 29.o Raggruppamento di Corpo d’Armata con:
--4.a batteria da 105/32 del 58.o Gruppo cannoni da 105/32 del 29.o Raggruppamento di Corpo d’Armata
--9.a batteria del 69.o Gruppo cannoni da 105/32 del 29.o Raggruppamento di Corpo d’Armata
-15.o battaglione contraereo
-10. Panzerdivision (-):
--Pz Regiment 7
--PzJaeger abteilung 90
--Panzergranadiere Regiment 69 :
--Panzergranadiere Regiment 86 :
--90. AR:
--Pioniere Abteilung
--10. Kradschutzen Bataillone
--servizi divisionali

-Settore Biserta (Abschnitt Bizerta)
--Division Von Manteuffel:
---Stab der Division
---Fallschirmjager-Regiment (mot) “Barenthin” (Luftwaffe): (510 soldiers)
----Nachr zug
----Krad zug
----Pioniere zug
----1. FJ Btl (mot)
----2. FJ Btl (mot)
----3. FJ Btl (mot)
---160. Panzergrenadiere Regiment (mot):
----Marsh bataillon (mot) T1
----Marsh bataillon T4
----Marsh bataillon A30
----Sonderverband Tunis (4 battaglioni di fanteria formati da volontari Tunisini, Algerini e Marocchini inquadrati dai tedeschi)
---Brandemburg Abteilung
--Fallschirmjager Pionier Bataillon (mot) 11 (Luftwaffe) :
---1. Kompanie (mot)
---2. Kompanie (mot)
---3. Kompanie (mot)
--Festung abteilung (two french fortress batteries (1x4x75mm+1x2x120mm)
--IV/ “Afrika” Artillerie Regiment (mot) 2:
---4./IVAfrika (4x155mm french guns)
---10./IVAfrika (4x75mm german guns)
---11./IVAfrika (4x150mm sFH german guns)
---12./IVAfrika (4x150mm sFH german guns)
---4./190 artillerie abteilung (3x105mm leFH)
--Flak-Kampftruppe (Luftwaffe)(2x20mm batteries+1x88mmbattry-motorized)
--10.o Reggimento Bersaglieri con: (1015 soldiers)
---34.o battaglione bersaglieri con:
----1.a compagnia
----2.a compagnia
----3.a compagnia
---35.o battaglione bersaglieri
----1.a compagnia
----2.a compagnia
----3.a compagnia
---63.o battaglione bersaglieri controcarro su:
----compagnia mitraglieri
----compagnia mortai da 81mm
----compagnia mitragliere da 20mm
----compagnia motociclisti (distaccata alla 50.a Brigata Speciale)
--Reggimento S.Marco con:
---Battaglione (fanteria da Marina) Bafile
---Battaglione “Loreto” della Regia Aereonautica
---1.o battaglione paracadutisti della Regia Aereonautica
--41.o Raggruppamento artiglieria costiera (parte):
--Marine Artillerie Abteilung 640 (MAA 640) (Kriegsmarine) con:
---two batteries with 2x13.2(x4) each (ex french)
---five batteries with 2x75mm each (ex french)
---two batteries with 4x75mm each (ex french)
--962.IR “Afrika” (999ID)(only I/962 on 4 coy reduced on 30%)

-Settore Tunisi (Abschnitt Tunis)
---Stab der Division
---Infanterie Regiment (mot) 754:
----13./754IR (leIG)
----14./754 (Panzerjager)
---Infanterie Regiment (mot) 755
----13./755IR (leIG)
----14./755 (Panzerjager)
---Gebirgs Infanterie Regiment (mot) 756
----14./756 (Panzerjager)
---Schnelle Abteilung (mot) 334:
----Radfahr kompanie (cicle)
----Stug Kompanie
----Panzerjager kompanie
----Flak batterie (x2)
---Artillerie Regiment (mot) 334:
---Pioniere Abteilung (mot) 334 (3xkompanie+Brucko Kolonne)
From a note between the divisional command and the 5. PzArmee it is clear that the division lacked 95 heavy machine guns, 25 81mm mortars, 4 leIG, 14 anti-tank 5cm, 2 anti-tank 75mm, at 18/4-1943 3 Geb Geschutze of the 6th battery of the 334AR, 5 leichte FH18, 3 field kitchens
--Kampfgruppe Schmid (Hermann Goering div.):
---Jaeger H.G. Rgt
----I/Jaeger HG
----II/Jaeger HG
---Grenadier H.G. Rgt
---“Ewert” Regiment
---AA “Hermann Goering”
---1./HG PzRg:
---14./HGPzRgt (9 Sdkfz 131 Marder /75mm pak40)
---18./Flak Kompanie
---Panzer Kompanie (2 Pz III, 5 Pz IV)
---II/190 AR:
----1./999 AR (4 guns)(mot)
----I/3 Reggimento artiglieria (italiano)
----II/21 Reggimento artiglieria (italiano)
----I/90 AR
---Flak Rgt H.G. :
----Stabs batterie
----II/Flak HG
---Pioniere Kompanie HG
--Wachbatterie O.B.S. (20mm)
--Batterie “Eis Afrika” (20mm)
--Gebirgsbatterie zBV (20mm)
--3./932. Flak (20mm)
--3./856. Flak (leichte)(20mm)
--140. Nachr Btl
--Divisione “Superga”
--unità attaccate: (attached units)
---101.o battaglione controcarro Boehler
---136.o battaglione controcarro (280 man)
---2.a compagnia del 133.o battaglione controcarri
---battaglione mitraglieri Versè (compagnie mitraglieri 1001,1002,1003)
---3.a batteria del 35.o gruppo da 75/46 del 3.o R.to contraerei
---2x105/32 batteries
---2x105mm german batteries
---Marsh Abteilung T5 (350 man)
---Marsh Abteilung A22 (490 man)
---Marsh Abteilung A25 (455 man)
---Marsh Abteilung A26 (420 man)
---570.a coorte MVSN (Tunisina)
---Battaglione d’Assalto T (Volontari tunisini)
---22.o battaglione artieri del genio (solo 1.a e 2.a compagnia)
---2.o battaglione lanciafiamme

-Settore Raggruppamento Benigni (Abschnitt Benigni)
--1.o battaglione del 91.o Reggimento Fanteria
--5.a compagnia del 92.o Reggimento fanteria
--5.a compagnia motociclisti del 5.o reggimento Bersaglieri
--Battaglione A28
--70.o battaglione Bersaglieri Motomitraglieri
--24.o Battaglione Bersaglieri
--Battaglione Grado del reggimento S.Marco (Regia Marina)
--57.o gruppo cannoni da 105/32 del 29.o Raggruppamento di Corpo d’Armata
--59.o gruppo cannoni da 105/32 del 29.o Raggruppamento di Corpo d’Armata (solo comando privo di pezzi)
--40.o gruppo da 75/46 del 3.o Reggimento Contraerei con:
---4.a batteria del 40.o Gruppo
---6.a batteria del 40.o Gruppo
--65.o gruppo obici da 100/17 (motorizzato)
--69.a batteria antiaerea da 20mm
--101.o battaglione misto genio
--69/Pzgren Rgt (10 Pz division) (1190 man)
--961/Afrika Regiment (999 leichte division)(only I/961 and II/961 reduced to 70%)
-Settore Raggruppamento Fullriede (Abschnitt Fullriede)
--Marsh Abteilung A27 (300 man)
--Marsh Abteilung A34 (450 man)
--un battaglione arabo-algerino
--I/47 Panzergranadiere Regiment
--13./47 PzGren Rgt 47 (150 sFH, leIG flak 20mm)
--14./47 PzGrenRgt 47 (Flak 20mm)
--II/22 AR:
---1./II/22 (105leFH)
---2./II/22 (105leFH)
---3./II/22 (105leFH)
---4./II/22 (150sFH)
---2x batterie 75/46 (italiane)
---1 batteria da 105/32 (italiana)
-Settore “50.a Brigata Speciale” (Abschnitt Imperiali)
--50.a Brigata Speciale con:
---672.a sezione CCRR
---5.o battaglione CCNN
---70.o battaglione bersaglieri motomitraglieri
---10.a compagnia bersaglieri motociclisti
---1.a compagnia del 10.o R.to Bersaglieri
---1.o squadrone del 6.o Gruppo Squadroni appiedato “Aosta”
---1.a e 2.a compagnia del 330.o battaglione mitraglieri GAF
---Raggruppamento d’Assalto “T”
---60.o battaglione mitraglieri
---Reco-Lodi (parte)
---557.o Gruppo Semoventi da 75/18 (meno una batteria)
---69.a batteria da 75/27 (da posizione)
---35.o Gruppo da 75/46 del 3.o Reggimento Contraerei con:
----1.a batteria da 75/46
---71.o Gruppo da 75/46 da posizione su:
----21.a batteria da 75/46
----211.a batteria da 75/46
---78.o Gruppo da 75/46 da posizione (without concrete platform-out of battle)
---71.a batteria contraerea da 20mm
---Flakgruppe (3 x flak batteries 88mm+20mm)
---15.o battaglione carri armati M41 (12 carri armati)
---12.a compagnia del 17.o battaglione carri armati del 31.o reggimento carristi (7 carri)
---compagnia autoblindo “Nizza”
---233.a compagnia mista del genio
--41.o Raggruppamento artiglieria costiera (parte):
---3xbattery138mm (ex French)

21. Panzerdivision: (3850 soldiers)
-5. Pz Rgt (from April 24 to Kampfgruppe Irkens)
-104. Panzergranadier Rgt
-580 AA
-609 Flak Battalion
-220 Pioniere Btl
-999AR (999 leichte division)(only a battalion)
-999 pioniere abteilung (999 Leichte division)
-1.a compagnia del 330.o battaglione GAF (italiano)
-2.a compagnia del 330.o battaglione GAF (italiano)
-60.o battaglione mitraglieri (italiano)
-5.o battaglione CC.NN. (italiano)
-22.o battaglione artieri del genio (italiano)

ALl the best


New Member


From HG Kampfgruppe
---“Ewert” Regiment
Any info? A single company in a infantry btl?

Battaglione A28 (settore Benigni) were a italian march btl or german?

Do you know if 41.o Raggruppamento artiglieria costiera were fixed on sea? (thus unable to fire at land targets)Those batteries attached to Brigata Speciale seems to imply they were able to fire against land targets. I presume Marine Artillerie Abteilung 640 was fixed on sea facing.

Regarding the notes on 334 ID: lacked 95 heavy machine guns, 25 81mm mortars, 4 leIG, 14 anti-tank 5cm, 2 anti-tank 75mm, meaning their Tables of Organizaton and Equipment were at full but for those lacking?

Bests Regards
The Ewert regiment was a training regiment of which I unfortunately know nothing but certainly it was at the battalion level, the 5th company was a company of the Tunisien battalion which in turn was part of the Arab-Tunisian regiment that appears above ... it was however a company also reduced. Battalion 28 was actually the Marsh btl 28 therefore German marching battalion. Both the 41st Coastal Artillery Grouping and the Marine Artillerie abteilung 640 were fixed artillery commands. The only difference that the former was a grouping of coastal artillery while the latter was mainly (at the moment) anti-aircraft artillery. therefore the former was in charge of former French ex-coastal war artillery and therefore in a fixed position and with the only sector of shooting towards the sea while the second had former French anti-aircraft artillery in charge which, however, could be rotated 360 degrees if desired. As for the 334ID, unfortunately I have no references at the time of its landing in Tunisia therefore I cannot know how strong it was at the moment but I still know that it was almost complete initially so much that it became the pivot on which the Korpsgruppe Weber was formed.
All the best