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Semoventi

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Antonio Posted 25 May 2004 - 04:06 PM

I would like to know how many semovente battalions there were in existence during ww2 and which were its numbers and if they were independents or attached to armoured divisions?

Thanks in advance

Antonio

Michele Posted 28 May 2004 - 04:58 PM

I think I have most of data you asked for, ... but at home.

Please wait few more days.

Michele Posted 31 May 2004 - 03:00 PM

Sorry for my bad translation from italian to english.

1) From a document written during 1942 by "Ispettorato di artiglieria" (title: "Le artiglierie semoventi" = self-propelled artillery):

[...]
Units equipped with "semovente da 47mm" are assigned:
- to recon units of army corps, of infantry division and of armoured or motorized division for support of light tanks
- to armoured car units for fire support
- to motorized and armoured divisions and to some special infantry division (in the divisional AT batalion) for defense.
- to Barsaglieri Rgt of armoured divisions and to Inf.Rgt. of motorized or special divisions for support and defense.

Units equipped with "semovente da 75mm e 90mm" are part of the divisional artillery regiment and are assigned:
- to the armoured divisions for tank support and, eventually, for indirect fire.
- to some special infantry division for indirect fire and, eventually, close defense
- to some recon unit or division which have to fight against enemy with a lot of tanks with powerful armor and weapons.
[...]

Source: Cappellano - Pignato "Gli autoveicoli da combattimento del Regio Esercito", vol.2 (1939-1945).

Michele Posted 31 May 2004 - 03:10 PM
Sorry, forgot to paste second part, the rest will come soon.
Bye.

2) These indications are reflected in the formation and attachment of such units:

The 1942 program for self-propelled batalions with 75/18 was:

DLI and DLII to Ariete armoured division
DLIII to Superga infantry division
DLIV to Livorno infantry division
DLV to 10th "Raggruppamento controcarro"
DLVI, DLVII to Littorio armoured division
DLVIII to "Cavalleggeri di Lodi" recon unit
DLIX, DLX to Centauro armoured division
DLXI originally not assigned
DLXII originally not assigned

in reality this program went in a bit different way:

DLI, DLII (former IV/132 and V/132): they had been formed during 1941 for Littorio division but diverted to Ariete. They arrived in
northern Africa in december 1941. They were destroyed in the battle of El-Alamein
DLIII its guns were probably sunk and it was then reformed.
DLIV, DLVI (20 SP): they arrived in Africa between 24.7.1942 and 4.8.1942 and attached to Littorio division. Destroyed in the battle of El-Alamein
DLV: effectivly assigned to 10th Raggruppamento, it fought in Sicily in summer 1943.
DLVII: attached to Centauro armoured division in Tunisia, destroyed in April 1943.
DLVIII: destroyed in Tunisia April 1943; not sure if directly attached to Centauro or if attached to "Lodi" (which was in turn subordinated to Centauro as divisional recon unit).
DLX: attached to Piave division (during 1943?), on 10.6.1943 it was converted to DC self-propelled battalion with 105/25 SP guns.
DLXII: the last scheduled batalion was canceled on 7.6.1942

On 1.10.1942 batalions DLIII, DLVII and DLIX (I presume already complete but still in Italy) were enlarged to 3 batteries with 6 guns each.

DLXI on 31.5.1943 was re-equipped with 18 self-propelled guns M.41 and 2 command tanks M.41. It was attached to Friuli division and went to Sardinia first and Corsica later.
DLIX: already with 3 batteries, it was sunk while shipped to Tunisia. It was then reformed in Tunisia during 1943 with 2 batteries of 6 guns (new material, I suppose. Note that guns were shipped while crews were transported by aircrafts).

Note: first batalions had 2 batteries (with 4 SP each) and 2 command tanks. This was the standard in Africa. Later batteries were ordered to 6 guns and batteries increased from 2 to 3 per batalion. On 22.8.1942 the formation of 5 6-guns batteries and 10 2-guns sections was ordered (to expand existing batalions), together with 8 independent(?) companies (numbered from 1st to 8th: they had a command platoon and 3 self propelled platoons, for a total of 9 SP guns and 1 command tank).

Note: since september 1942 self-propelled guns were introduced in tank batalions ("mixed tank batalion") to increase their firepower: on 15.9.1942 the XV M-tank batalion was tansformed into a mixed batalion with 2 M42 tank companies and 1 SP guns company, later on 18.12.42 modified with 1 M42 company and 2 SP guns companies, for a total of 18 M42, 2 radio tank M42 and 26 SP guns (4 SP/guns per platoon plus, I think, 1 command tank per company). Same organization was given to
XVI, XVII, XIX M-tank batalions and I,II,III/"Vittorio Emanuele II" (XIX with 75/34 instead of 75/18 )
SP guns were later introduced also in other units: on 1.7.1943 into:
XXX AT-batalion (of Sabauda inf.division) ( 75/34 )
45th and 46th AT-companies of the two inf.rgt. of Sabauda division.
CXXXV self-propelled AT batalion of Ariete II (3 companies with 75/34)

Antonio Posted 31 May 2004 - 04:54 PM

Hi,

Many thanks Michele for your very exhaustive and complete information

Best regards

Antonio

Michele Posted 04 June 2004 - 03:48 PM

Almost last part .

3) Units with 47/32 self-propelled guns. Such self-propelled guns were built to give mobility and protection to 47/32 guns. Consequently they are found in AT units.
Following units received 47/32 SP guns:

I divisional AT batalion for Superga division (with 2 SP companies and 1 At-rifles company: 20 SP guns and 8 At-rifles). It fights in Tunisia during 1943.
IV divisional self-propelled AT batalion for Livorno division. It fights in Sicily during 1943.
XX divisional self-propelled AT batalion for Friuli division (2 SP companies and 1 AT-rifles company (20 "S" At-rifles)). Raised on 15.10.1942, it is in Corsica during 1943.
CXXXI self-propelled AT batalion of 31st infantry regiment. Raised with 2 companies with order of 15.10.1942, it is in Corsica during 1943.
CXXXII self-propelled AT batalion for armoured division / 32nd armoured regiment. Raised on 10.4.1942 in Verona, in origin for Ariete division (never reached division, I suppose. Maybe, but I am not sure it fought in Tunisia under Centauro division).
CXXXIII self-propelled AT batalion. Raised 1.10.1942, it fights in Sicily during 1943.
XIII self-propelled squadron group "Cavalleggeri di Alessandria". Raised on 1.5.1942, it is sent in Russia on 3.8.1942. Destroyed, it was reformed near Udine in May 1943 with L40 tanks and 47mm SP guns.
47mm self-propelled squadron of "Cavalleggeri di Lodi" (recon unit). Sunk during 1942 while shipped to Africa.
1st and 2nd 47mm self-propelled squadrons of "Lancieri di Montebello" (recon unit). Reduced to only 1 company in 1943. In Roma during 1943.
IV self-propelled batalion (squadron group) of "Cavalleggeri del Monferrato". In Albania during 1942-1943.
47mm self-propelled squadron of X divisional recon batalion for Piave motorized division. Raised 30.6.1943, it is operative in Roma.
47mm self-propelled squadron (2 platoons only) of 4th armoured regiment. In Roma during 1943.
47mm self-propelled company of 18th armoured Bersaglieri recon unit, raised on 1.2.1942.

4) 90/53 Self propelled gun (M41 chassis). Only 30 built during 1942 and on 27.4.1942 assigned to the eastern front (8th army). However, on 12.7.1942 this employment was canceled. The 3 batalions (CLXI,CLXII,CLXIII, two batteries each) were in Nettunia (near Roma) for training and later, regrouped in the 10th "Raggruppamento artiglieria controcarro da 90/53 semovente", on 15(or maybe 18.12.1942 arrived in Sicily with 24 SP guns (the other 6, the reserve, remained in Nettunia). They were located: CLXI in Canicattì, later in S.Michele, CLXII in Salemi and CLXIII in Paternò.
They fought there in 1943. All lost (most for mechanical breakdowns: the M41 chassis and powertrain were overloaded with such heavy gun; the last 2 were abandoned in Messina).

Antonio Posted 06 June 2004 - 08:09 AM

Hi,

Many thanks once more, Michele.

One question. I know that in 1942-1943 there was a 10th raggruppamento corazzato. Could be the same that you mentioned or was a totally different unit?

Best regards

Antonio

Michele Posted 23 June 2004 - 02:20 PM

Yes, the same.

EDIT: 10th raggruppamento corazzato and 10th raggruppamento controcarro were 2 different units. My fault, sorry.

David Posted 01 August 2010 - 08:32 AM

Just a quick question Michele; Whan did the DLVIII (for Lodi) arrive in North Africa?
 

Kustosz2137

New Member
I know that this topic is old, but I have one question ^^'
Is the "10th raggruppamento controcarro" mentioned with 75/18 (DLV) same unit as "10th raggruppamento artiglieria controcarro" mentioned with 90/53?
If not: where the "10th raggruppamento controcarro" was assigned? I can't find clear information anywhere; only few mentions of division "Superga", but none of OOBs I've found says anything about DLV Gruppo, or 10th Raggruppamento itself.
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, two different units.

The history of the DLV gruppo semoventi da 75/18 is very unclear. I don't know if it was originally part of the «Littorio» and detached for the invasion of Malta, or whether was originally part of the 10º raggruppamento corazzato that was planned for Operazione «C3». As the 10º ragg. cor. was a very ad hoc organization, it was disbanded once «C3» was cancelled. I have two sources that state the DLV gruppo was assigned to the «Littorio» in Italy, but it doesn't appear to have been shipped to A.S. Some sources state that it was on Sicily during the invasion, but I couldn't find it listed anywhere. There is a un-named semoventi unit listed that is without crews, but I don't if those were the vehicles of the DLV.

The 10º raggruppamento controcarro da 90/53 was organized when the three groups of the semoventi da 90/53 were brought together as one unit. It consisted of the CLXI, CLXII, and CLXIII gruppi. The ragg. was moved to Sicily in December 1942. It was destroyed during the fighting in July 43.

I hope that others have better information.

Pista! Jeff
 
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Kustosz2137

New Member
Yes, two different units.

The history of the DLV gruppo semoventi da 75/18 is very unclear. I don't know if it was originally part of the «Littorio» and detached for the invasion of Malta, or whether was originally part of the 10º raggruppamento corazzato that was planned for Operazione «C3». As the 10º ragg. cor. was a very ad hoc organization, it was disbanded once «C3» was cancelled. I have two sources that state the DLV gruppo was assigned to the «Littorio» in Italy, but it doesn't appear to have been shipped to A.S. Some sources state that it was on Sicily during the invasion, but I couldn't find it listed anywhere. There is a un-named semoventi unit listed that is without crews, but I don't if those were the vehicles of the DLV.

The 10º raggruppamento controcarro da 90/53 was organized when the three groups of the semoventi da 90/53 were brought together as one unit. It consisted of the CLXI, CLXII, and CLXIII gruppi. The ragg. was moved to Sicily in December 1942. It was destroyed t[during the fighting in July 43.

I hope that others have better information.

Pista! Jeff
I think Littorio version might be true, as I've found work about mobilised units in September 1943, which says that DLV was assigned to (or at least supplied by) Depot of 133rd artillery regiment;

"-Deposito 133o rgt. art. per div. cr. ( at Mantova, assigned to C.d’A. di Bolzano ) :
- Comando del 133o reggimento
- One reparto M.V. del 133o reggimento for two gr. da 75/27 – 11 T.M.
- CCXXXIII gruppo da 75/27 – 11 T.M.
- DLIX & DLV gruppi obici da 75/18 T.M. semoventi
- X gruppo cannoni da 105/28 ( two batteries )" - by Alexis Mehtidis
 
10.o Raggruppamento Corazzato
For the expected invasion of Malta was established a special Grouping Armored called 10.o Raggruppamento Corazzato or more simply RACO. The Grouping it depended directly from the 30.o Corpo d'Armata but over time it did not have a fixed composition rather maybe he changed it several times making it difficult after some time one her precise connotation . It's evident that this command it certainly was format but it is not very clear if then the various unit gradually foreseen as its composition have actually been transferred under it or simply foreseen or placed in training individually . From this Grouping it depended among others the 555.o (DLV) Gruppo Semoventi da 75/18 mobilized from the depot of the 133.o reggimento di artiglieria per divisione corazzata di Mantova and first intended at the division Littorio then replaced by the 556.o Gruppo Semoventi da 75/18. To his command they were placed the 103rd and 136th batteries self-propelled each made up of 4 vehicles then when it ceases of the need C3 came suppressed. It's unclear where his batteries ended up but most likely they came redeployed as replacement assets and demobilized they too . The 10.o Raggruppamento Corazzato anyway it had nothing to do with the 10.o Gruppo Semoventi that stemmed directly from the demobilization occurred on May 7 , 1942 of the 10.o Gruppo di Artiglieria d'Armata that after fighting with the 5.o Corpo d'Armata gave in the own command to the nascent 10.o Raggruppamento Corazzato demobilizing the groups to him submitted to take charge the CLXI (161.o) group self- propelled from 90/53 mobilized on April 15 , 1942 from the depot of the 1.o reggimento di Corpo d'Armata, the CLXII (162nd) group self- propelled from 90/53 mobilized from the depot of the 2.o reggimento di Corpo D'armata on February 21 , 1942 ed the CLXIII (163.o) group self- propelled 90/53 mobilized from the 15.o reggimento di Corpo d'Armata on February 26 , 1942. The groups they came constituted out of 10 means each ( 30 self- propelled 90/53 in total ) each on two batteries of four pieces plus a two- piece command . On April 27 , 1942 groups equipped with Semovente 90/53 were constituted and numbered : CLXI in Casale Monferrato, CLXII ad Acqui and CLXIII in Pietra Ligure. The groups they were then transferred to Nettuno , where they completed education to then be assigned to the 8th Army and destined to operate on front eastern . The departure for the front was settled on October 16 , 1942 however the front was no longer in Russia, but in Sicily, in dependence from the 6th Army. The grouping Now referred to as the 10.o Raggruppamento di artiglieria controcarro arrived in Sicily on December 16 , 1942, and it was displaced with the command in Canicattì and the groups in San Michele di Ganzaria (CLXI), Salemi (CLXII) and Paternò (CLXIII). Act of the landing (10 July 1943) the CLXI group , sent in support to the 207th Division Costiera , he managed to establish a defense line at Campobello di Licata, losing three self- propelled in a counterattack the day next , then they were also sent to the area the CLXII ed the CXIII group , with results negatives , however the Kampfgruppe Schreiber succeeded to stop the attack ally . On 17 July to the 10th Regiment only four remained self-propelled efficient , focused in the CLXIII group . The group came moved to Nicosia, at addictions of the division " Aosta " and later a battery was aggregated to the 15th Panzergrenadierdivision . The three self-propelled survivors fired the last shots on August 6 , and two managed to reach Messina, without however be able to to be transferred on continent . After the Sicilian campaign they do not appear other you use of the means , even if it turns out that the pieces remained in Neptune they are States included in the staff from the army German as Gepanzerte Selelbfahrleffte 90/53 ( i ) 801 ( vehicle self propelled armored by 90/53 Italian num. 801). The unit had started the battle with 24 self-propelled guns
.
All the best
Maurizio
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Maurizio, a good recap of the unit.

Kustosz2137

Where did you find the information from Mehtidis? I have looked at the copies I have of his army lists for September 1943 but didn't find the DLV or the Cdo 133º. Did he write a different document other than the September lists? Now the 8ª Armata list has the 113º rgt. art. cor. at Mantova but this is most certainly a typo. At Rovereto he lists the depot of the 132º rgt. art. cor.

I did a little digging and this is where it gets messy. L'Esercito Italian verso il 2000 vol secondo, tomo II states on p.166 that the V e VI gruppi semoventi were part of the 133º rgt. art. cor. and were renamed DLV and DLIX. Okay, looks good. But then vol primo, tomo II states on p. 173 that the V e VI were part of the 131º rgt. art. cor. and renamed DLIII e DLIV. But wait, there is more. Terza offensiva p.430 lists the V e VI as part of the 132º rgt. art. cor. at Alamein. Okay, now a problem.

It can't get worse, can it? La meccanizzazione dell'Esercito fino al 1943 states in vol 1, p.488 that a total of 14 gruppi semoventi da 75/18 were organized during the war (V–VI, DLI–DLXII). This, along with Terza offensiva indicates that the V and VI weren't renumbered. In Gli autoveicoli da combattimento dell'Esercito Italiano vol secondo p.336 there is a paragraph that states the units of assignment of the gruppi semoventi. The DLV is listed as originally part of the 10º ragg. cor. and also states the V e VI were renumbered as DLI e DLII. The following paragraph then discusses to which units the various gruppi were actually assigned. The DLI, DLII, and DLV are not listed. It appears the DLIII was lost at sea and then reconstituted.

Pista! Jeff
 
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Kustosz2137

New Member
Thanks Maurizio, a good recap of the unit.

Kustosz2137

Where did you find the information from Mehtidis? I have looked at the copies I have of his army lists for September 1943 but didn't find the DLV or the Cdo 133º. Did he write a different document other than the September lists? Now the 8ª Armata list has the 113º rgt. art. cor. at Mantova but this is most certainly a typo. At Rovereto he lists the depot of the 132º rgt. art. cor.

I did a little digging and this is where it gets messy. L'Esercito Italian verso il 2000 vol secondo, tomo II states on p.166 that the V e VI gruppi semoventi were part of the 133º rgt. art. cor. and were renamed DLV and DLIX. Okay, looks good. But then vol primo, tomo II states on p. 173 that the V e VI were part of the 131º rgt. art. cor. and renamed DLIII e DLIV. But wait, there is more. Terza offensiva p.430 lists the V e VI as part of the 132º rgt. art. cor. at Alamein. Okay, now a problem.

It can't get worse, can it? La meccanizzazione dell'Esercito fino al 1943 states in vol 1, p.488 that a total of 14 gruppi semoventi da 75/18 were organized during the war (V–VI, DLI–DLXII). This, along with Terza offensiva indicates that the V and VI weren't renumbered. In Gli autoveicoli da combattimento dell'Esercito Italiano vol secondo p.336 there is a paragraph that states the units of assignment of the gruppi semoventi. The DLV is listed as originally part of the 10º ragg. cor. and also states the V e VI were renumbered as DLI e DLII. The following paragraph then discusses to which units the various gruppi were actually assigned. The DLI, DLII, and DLV are not listed. It appears the DLIII was lost at sea and then reconstituted.

Pista! Jeff
Sorry for not responding so long, I kinda forgot to look up forum recently. Anyway, I've got this part about 131.rgmnt depot from "ITALIAN ARMY-REGIO ESERCITO ORDER OF BATTLE-ORDINE DI
BATTAGLIA, 20.00, SEPTEMBER 8TH, 1943-8 SETTEMBRE 1943
PART XVI - ARMOURED, MECHANISED AND MOTORISED UNITS" - I have this entire part saved in pdf format.
In case of V and VI groups I suppose that these were early names of DLI and DLII, as in many articles you can find them listed as part of Ariete division. They 've also expierienced some intricacies with assignment when arriving to Africa (at first they were intended for Littorio, but later assigned to Ariete), so this might be the case too.
 
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