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L3/35 Tankette used in Russia

Domonic

New Member
Hello to all. I've just been reading Wikipedia and the order of battle for the Italian Expeditionary corps in Russia. Two tank companies had L3/35's. I didn't think they where used on the eastern front? Please correct me if I'm wrong! Any information on the actions of the L3/35's in Russia would be gratefully appreciated
 
With the CSIR (Italian Corps in Russia) framed in the 3rd quick division Prince Amedeo Duke of Aosta (PADA) the group of squadrons of fast wagons San Giorgio formed with cavalry personnel. The group had 55 L3 / 35 tanks and arrived in Romanian Moldova (Botosani) in August 1941. The group was actively joined to the Pasubio division and operated with it until September 41. The group then took part in the battles of Stalino and Nikitowka . Unfortunately, the cold Russian climate and logistical difficulties soon put all light tanks out of use and the personnel were employed as cavalry on foot since January 1942 (Izyum front). At the end of February 1942 the group was therefore repatriated and replaced in Armir by another unit equipped with L6 wagons.
All the best
Maurizio
 

jwsleser

Member
Staff member
Some additional information.

The unit assigned to the PADA was the III gruppo carri veloci «San Giorgio». The USSME official history states 61 carri L, but Benvenuti's I carri armati del Regio Esercito tomo I lists 55 as Maurizio stated above.

The unit first saw action with the d.f. «Pasubio» between 22-26 September around the bridge at Zaritschka, and again between 28-30 September at Petrikowka. Later, Stalino and Nikitowka as stated above.

The LXVII btg. bersaglieri corazzato (L6s) and the XIII gruppo semoventi da 47 replaced the III gr. in 1942.

Pista! Jeff
 
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Something in the future you might want to research if you have the time and/or resources:

1586222461929.png

I think it's possible they were Hungarian L3s but could be from a supply unit trapped in Stalingrad. I don't really know for sure. Less likely is the possibility the journalist was confusing Stalingrad with Stalino. Neither the dates or locations really match.
 

jwsleser

Member
Staff member
Interesting bit that is worth exploring. Do you have a cite for the newspaper this article came from to assist in the research?

Pista! jeff.
 
Hungary was one of the states that imported L tanks from Italy. The first order of 68 units then increased to 82 unarmed wagons, however, arrived in Hungary between 1935 and 1936. In July 1936 the Magyar army asked for the production license to Italy which was granted for the Ganz company in Budapest. With Ansaldo wagons, the base was created for the Hungarian Celere Corps which was to enter Russia in 1941. Ansaldo wagons were distributed in the ratio of 20 wagons each to the second company of each of the three reconnaissance armored battalions. They then passed to the motorcycle companies and a total of 60 specimens were sent to Russia plus 5 as replacements during the campaign. The war use in the Ukrainian countryside was the last ever. In 1942 the surviving wagons went to the Gendarmerie while others were used in schools for training until 1944. The data provided above are in accordance with the data present in the book of Leo G. Niehorster The Royal Hungarian Army 1920-1945
All the best
Maurizio
 

jwsleser

Member
Staff member
I have been checking. The article appears to have been written/published sometime between 15 Sep and 13 Oct 1942. Nothing states that the vehicles were L3s. The could be L6s or smv. da 47/32. All of those can fit the description in the article.

The Hungarians weren't anywhere near the assumed area (somewhere northwest of Stalingrad). At that time, 8ª Armata was on the left flank of the German 6th Army. The First Battle of the Don was fought in late August, with the LXVII btg. bers. cor. attacking on 1 September. That is the only action I can find that involved Italian armored vehicles during the time period. No railway station was involved.

I thought the fighting around Serafimovic in early August was a possibility (likely a railway station present), but the LXVII btg. bers. cor. wasn't involved.

I also checked the operations of the XIII gr. smv. da 47/32. They weren't involved in any actions during that timeframe.

Pista! Jeff
 
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