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MVAC

Ironmaiden2000

New Member
So I know the Milizia Volontaria Anti Comunista were divided by certain religious lines but I was wondering if there was a good resource I could use to find for ranks, I know sources about their uniforms from the men at arms book series but was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction for more sources (I speak only English so a book in the language would be nice or perhaps websites"
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
You are asking for some very specialized information in a language that isn't native to the issue. I did a quick Internet scan and didn't find anything remotely useful in English and not much more in Italian.

Note this is NOT my area of research.

The one book I saw that might have a remote chance of answering, in-part, your question is Le Bande V.A.C. in Dalmazia 1942/43 by Teodoro Francesconi. Amazon has it HERE

I only say it might have some answers because of the color drawing on the front cover. I have NOT seen/read this book, so it is only a swag.

What are your Men at Arms sources? I would like to review them.

There are two issues with your query:

1) These are irregular units, so could have any type of organization/structure. I don't know if the Italian authorities imposed some sort of organization/uniform, but it isn't likely. From the pictures I saw, it didn't look like a uniform appearance.

2) Not only do these units cross ethic lines, they also cross religious lines. Just another vector that can limit standardization between units.

I feel you will need to go into Italian language sources to answer your question. However I don't believe this has been comprehensively addressed even in Italian, but I am willing to be surprised. :)

Pista! Jeff
 
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Ironmaiden2000

New Member
You are asking for some very specialized information in a language that isn't native to the issue. I did a quick Internet scan and didn't find anything remotely useful in English and not much more in Italian.

Note this is NOT my area of research.

The one book I saw that might have a remote chance of answering, in-part, your question is Le Bande V.A.C. in Dalmazia 1942/43 by Teodoro Francesconi. Amazon has it HERE

I only say it might have some answers because of the color drawing on the front cover. I have NOT seen/read this book, so it is only a swag.

What are your Men at Arms sources? I would like to review them.

There are two issue with your query:

1) These are irregular units, so could have any type of organization/structure. I don't know if the Italian authorities imposed some sort of organization/uniform, but it isn't likely. From the pictures I saw, it didn't look like a uniform appearance.

2) Not only do these units cross ethic lines, they also cross religious lines. Just another vector that can limit standardization between units.

I feel you will need to go into Italian language sources to answer your question. However I don't believe this has been comprehensively addressed even in Italian, but I am willing to be surprised. :)

Pista! Jeff
No problem Jeff the source I used was The Italian Army 1940–45 (1): Europe 1940–43 ( Philip Jowett, Stephen Andrew) the pages i focused on were, Print G and pages 34-37, it mentions some kind of ranking by means of a armband but their names are not listed. You can use this website to read it for free! Here!
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you the cites. I have the books. I have found it is easier to ask for the page numbers rather than trying to find them on my own.

At this point, I don't think you will find much more. As you know, Jowett gives a rank structure on p.37, but he states this wasn't universal. That system covers all the bases and doesn't need to be more complex. Jowett states it was used by the more regularly organized Slovenian and Dalmatian units.

I looked at the bibliography in The Italian Army 1940–45 (3) (volume 1 stated it would be in 3) and sure enough, the book I listed above is there. I am 100% positive that is where Jowett found his information. I have most of the uniform books listed and they don't include info on the MVAC. If you want more, that is the book to find. That doesn't mean that Jowett hasn't already provided all there is and it is only for Dalmazia. The system is so simple that unless Francesconi covers exceptions, there likely isn't much more.

Pista! Jeff
 

DrG

Member
I have "Le Bande V.A.C. in Dalmazia 1942/43" by Teodoro Francesconi (actually it was one of the first military history books which I bought, it was in a sale at a huge discount: those books were sold by weight!). In page 27 it provides an illustration of the ranks, which are the same described by Jowett in page 37 and shown in plate G of his "The Italian Army 1940-1945 (1)".
 

Ironmaiden2000

New Member
I have "Le Bande V.A.C. in Dalmazia 1942/43" by Teodoro Francesconi (actually it was one of the first military history books which I bought, it was in a sale at a huge discount: those books were sold by weight!). In page 27 it provides an illustration of the ranks, which are the same described by Jowett in page 37 and shown in plate G of his "The Italian Army 1940-1945 (1)".
I don't speak Italian, do you know if there was a translated version i could find of the book?
 

DrG

Member
No translation is available, but it all depends from what you are looking for. I mean: if you need only the information about the ranks, Jowett's book is enough.
 

Ironmaiden2000

New Member
No translation is available, but it all depends from what you are looking for. I mean: if you need only the information about the ranks, Jowett's book is enough.
Ideally I'd like more info on uniforms and more history but beggers can't be choosers, if i find a pdf version i can try to use software to translate it
 

DRus10890

New Member
Ideally I'd like more info on uniforms and more history but beggers can't be choosers, if i find a pdf version i can try to use software to translate it
Dear Ironmaiden2000. I must say I am surprised when someone is interested in rather obscure and shortlasting anti communist units in former Yugoslavia. I am providing you with the picture of the ranks of the MVAC in Slovenia, worn on the side of the italian made black berets. At the front there was an emblem in the shape of sword with the polygonal shield. The picture was taken from a book by Aleš Nose - Domobranci zdravo - Bog daj, Slovenian author. I am sure you'll be able to translate the Slovenian designation under the illustrations. Unfortunatelly there are no reliable sources that I know of in English language. I can help you with the uniforms also.

Edit: I should mention there were also other emblems in use, especially italian made skulls used by Black Shirts.
 

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Ironmaiden2000

New Member
Dear Ironmaiden2000. I must say I am surprised when someone is interested in rather obscure and shortlasting anti communist units in former Yugoslavia. I am providing you with the picture of the ranks of the MVAC in Slovenia, worn on the side of the italian made black berets. At the front there was an emblem in the shape of sword with the polygonal shield. The picture was taken from a book by Aleš Nose - Domobranci zdravo - Bog daj, Slovenian author. I am sure you'll be able to translate the Slovenian designation under the illustrations. Unfortunatelly there are no reliable sources that I know of in English language. I can help you with the uniforms also.

Edit: I should mention there were also other emblems in use, especially italian made skulls used by Black Shirts.
Sorry been in the hospital for awhile, sources for the uniforms would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much!
 

DRus10890

New Member
Sorry been in the hospital for awhile, sources for the uniforms would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much!
I wish you everything well and fast recovery!

I must firstly point out that I am describing MVAC in the Slovenian occupied territory only! Regarding the sources, the best source with various photographies is the book I mentioned before (A. Nose – Domobranci, zdravo…). All the photos below are from that book.

Regarding the uniforms, equipment or insignia of the MVAC one thing must be pointed out. MVAC was formed after Italian command allowed the formations of Anti-communist units in summer 1942. MVAC was formed from different anti-communist military units operating under the various political wings, organizations, parties. Generally the MVAC differed from insignia worn and also by equipment and uniforms. The differentiation can be somewhat ascribed also to material scarcity at the time. I must point out that great diversity in uniforms, position of ranks, insignias, uniforms and equipment can be seen from photos. I am providing you with a number of photos that illustrate that diversity.

Commonly they are seen wearing civil, italian, and royal yugoslav uniforms and clothes, the same goes for the equipment. Vaške straže (lit. Village guards) commonly wore italian M40 uniforms that were colored brown to distinguish themselfs from italian troops.

Insignias worn on headdresses varied somewhat depending on the units attached to the MVAC (Slovenian Legion, Legion of death, Village guards (literal translation)). I mentioned the italian black berret skulls, and sword with polygonal shield. Sometimes there is a piece of cloth attached in national colors. Ranks were worn on the side of the caps and also in the upper left arm.

The headdresses consisted from civil hats, šajkača (royal yugoslav military/serbian national cap), šubara (national and military serbian/balkan winter cap) Italian made black berrets, adrian helmets, čačak Helmets (Yugo copy of Czech VZ32), firemen caps…


L to R: Village guards, brown italian uniforms, M24 yugoslav ammo pouch; Village guards, various civil and military uniforms and various equipment; Village guards, black berets with skulls and swords
VS1.jpg VS2.jpg VS3.jpg

L to R: Village guards in civil clothes, black berets, M24 ammo pouch; Legion of death, black winter cap similar to šubara, m40 italian uniform; Legion of death, italian equipment, šajkača on the left; brown m40 uniform, beret with shield and skull

VS5.jpg VS6.jpg VS4.jpg VS7.jpg
 
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Ironmaiden2000

New Member
Thank you very much, this helps a lot! If i have anymore questions i will DM you, I figured the MVAC would be very hodge podge, but It would be good to still check.
 

DrG

Member
It should be noted that the MVAC was very different according to the geographic area and therefore the military command to which it was subjected. There were four distinct and practically completely different MVAC:
- the Province of Lubiana, very well illustrated by DRus10890 (something about the MVAC can be found in "L'occupazione italiana della Slovenia"), under the command of the II Army - Supersloda;
- the Independent State of Croatia, where the 2nd Army - Supersloda gave the status of MVAC to Chetnik bands;
- the Governorate of Dalmatia (provinces of Zara, Spalato, Cattaro), under the command of the civil governor, where the MVAC was small but well organized into units with their uniforms, insigna, etc. (this topic is covered in a great way by Francesconi's book);
- the Governorate of Montenegro, under the the 9th Army - Superalba, where local units (mostly Zelenaši) were members of MVAC.

I am not aware of any MVAC unit in the Intendenza del Fumiamo e del Cupa, i.e. the former Yugoslav territories annexed to the Province of Fiume.

Roughly a half of "La «legione straniera» di Mussolini" is devoted to the MVAC, but it doesn't contain any illustration or photo.
 

kolja

New Member
It should be noted that the MVAC was very different according to the geographic area and therefore the military command to which it was subjected. There were four distinct and practically completely different MVAC:
- the Province of Lubiana, very well illustrated by DRus10890 (something about the MVAC can be found in "L'occupazione italiana della Slovenia"), under the command of the II Army - Supersloda;
- the Independent State of Croatia, where the 2nd Army - Supersloda gave the status of MVAC to Chetnik bands;
- the Governorate of Dalmatia (provinces of Zara, Spalato, Cattaro), under the command of the civil governor, where the MVAC was small but well organized into units with their uniforms, insigna, etc. (this topic is covered in a great way by Francesconi's book);
- the Governorate of Montenegro, under the the 9th Army - Superalba, where local units (mostly Zelenaši) were members of MVAC.

Wasn't there also an MVAC unit under Regia Marina command in Zara? I'd be curious to know how they were uniformed and equipped. Did they have any Italian naval gear? Are there any photos of them?
 

DrG

Member
Yes, there was also a "banda anti comunista" which cohoperated with a company of the San Marco Regiment (Marines), but even Francesconi doesn't provide any further detail. No photos either.
Anyway, the commander of all the Armed Forces in Dalmatia was the civil governor until Badoglio proclaimed it an operations zone in the summer of 1943.
 

kolja

New Member
Yes, there was also a "banda anti comunista" which cohoperated with a company of the San Marco Regiment (Marines), but even Francesconi doesn't provide any further detail. No photos either.
Anyway, the commander of all the Armed Forces in Dalmatia was the civil governor until Badoglio proclaimed it an operations zone in the summer of 1943.

Was the one in Zara just a one-off, or did the Regia Marina have other "banda" working with them? I've only ever heard of the one in Zara, but that was just through internet browsing. I don't have access to Italian-language sources on the topic.
 

Ironmaiden2000

New Member
Wasn't there also an MVAC unit under Regia Marina command in Zara? I'd be curious to know how they were uniformed and equipped. Did they have any Italian naval gear? Are there any photos of them?
Yes there was and If i recall they had naval gear but as far as insignia or gear I would have no clue
 

DrG

Member
Was the one in Zara just a one-off, or did the Regia Marina have other "banda" working with them? I've only ever heard of the one in Zara, but that was just through internet browsing. I don't have access to Italian-language sources on the topic.
No other MVAC units collaborated with the Regia Marina.
 
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