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Thread: Timeline of the 29th Waffen Grenadier-Division der SS

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    Post Timeline of the 29th Waffen Grenadier-Division der SS

    July 1943: July 8: Allies invade Sicily
    July 25: Italian King Victor Emmanuele II dissolves the Italian Fascist government & orders the arrest of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
    September 1943: Sept 3: Allies invade southern Italy
    Sept 8: Italian government under Badoglio announce armistice with Allies; German forces pour into Italy; disarming (and shooting) Italian Army soldiers.
    Sept 9:Badoglio government dissolved.
    Sept 12: In a daring commando raid, SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny and a small unit of SS and Luftwaffe parachute troops release Mussolini from Italian protective custody at the Gran Sasso hotel in the Abruzzi mountains. Mussolini is flown to Munich and browbeaten by Hitler to form a new Italian fascist state. In a pread from his military duties, SS-Oberstgruppenfüuhrer ('Sepp') Dietrich personally escorts Mussolini's mistress, Clara Pecatti, to Il Duce!
    Sept 18: Mussolini announces new Italian fascist state (in German-occupied Italy) headquartered in Salo - the RSI.
    Sept 24: Mussolini and Himmler meet; Himmler authorizes the recruitment of Italian ex-fascists into Waffen-SS. SS volunteers receive better pay & rations than italian fascist units and are completely independent of the Salo government - a clear indication that Mussolini is nothing to the Germans but a convenient figurehead. Recruitment efforts begin; much use made of fascist propaganda techniques, such as a 3-fingered, palm invard salute symbolizing "onore, corragio, fedeltá" (honor, courage, loyalty) and slogans such as "Per l'onore, per la vita" (For honor and for life)
    October 1943: SS volunteer legion of Italian fascists raised, partially from Italians interned in labor camps; unit strength 3,000, German officers & NCOs. Italian SS volunteers widely dispersed. Italian pro-Nazi infantry troops are sent to Troop Training Grounds Münsingen, antitank troops to Lecco. Italian SS officers sent to Ferrara to form an officers training battalion, while the SS Legion HQ, also known as "Formation Staff Hansen" stationed Pinerolo. while other fascist Italians join the RSI forces.

    "Debica" battalion formed from 400 Italian volunteers, Feldstetten POW camp, under a Major Fortunata.
    November 1943: Major Fortunata & 38 other Italian SS volunteers resign due to mistreatment by the Germans.
    December 1943: total units strength: 15,000? (sounds high) - members transferred to Debica training camp
    January 1944: training Biella & Vercelli, Italy
    Jan 22: Allies invade Anzio
    February 1944: anti-partisan operations; "Prima Brigata d'Assalto della Legione SS Italiana" offically established?
    March 1944: March 17: Vendetta (II Battalion, WGR 81) and Füsilier Battalion 29 (CO: Waffen-Sturmbannführer Sassi) sent to Anzio/Nettuno beach to combat Allied invasion; dispersed among German troops in company units. Germans note "Italian SS cooperation is extremely good."
    Mar 21: Other Italian SS units experience their first combat in antipartisan actions at Rora.
    April 1944: Vendetta and Füsilier Battalion 29 in action against Allies at Anzio/Nettuno beachhead. "Vendetta" suffers heavy losses - 340 men out of a compliment of 650, fighting with the 16th SS Division against the US 3rd Infantry Division. Other Italian SS units stationed at Spoleto in Umbria.
    May 1944: May 3: Himmler write "Because of the demonstration of courage and sense of duty displayed by the volunteers of the Italian SS, they are designated as units of the Waffen-SS with all the duties and rights that that implies."Unit members of SS Füsilier Battalion 29 "Debica" and II Battalion, Waffen-Grenadier Regt. 81 ("Vendetta" - under Waffen-Obersturmbannführer Frederico degli Oddi) permitted to wear black SS collar patches instead of the hybrid SS/Italian Army maroon. Of course, only 210 members survive to be awarded the distinction - but 22 also receive Iron Crosses and 50 are promoted.
    Other members of the brigade engaged in antipartisan operations, Lanzo valley/Turin area.
    June 1944: June 25: "Debica" transferred to Porlimpopoli. July 1944: Allied land in southern France; brigade units transferred to Northwestern Italy in defense/ Unit continues with antipartisan operations, Germanasca Valley & Mount Orisiera.
    September 1944: The Italian Fascist Party's "Militizia Armada" incorporated into Waffen-SS. Unit renamed "9 Waffen-Grenadier Brigade der SS (Italienische Nr.1)?". No unit cohersion as troops are constantly siphoned off in small kampfgruppe to fight Italian partisans.
    October 1944: Legion SS Italiana commanded by SS-Standartenführer Gustav Lombard (who replaced Hansen?) participates in antipartisan operations against the "Vinadio Fortress" near Turin (Valsassina?) alongside 11th RSI Brigade "Nera." Meanwhile, "Debica" battalion becomes part of SS-Kampfgruppe "Binz" on security duty, Trebbia valley.
    November 1944: stationed at Mariano Comese
    April 1945: divisional #29 given to division (a.k.a. Sturmbrigade)
    April 20: "Debica" stationed Nurebene?
    April 26: "Debica" retreats across Po river
    April 27: "Debica" retreats to Milan
    April 30: "Debica" surrenders to US Army at Gorgonzola
    May 1945: Remaining unit members surrender to Italian partisans; Italian SS members tried by various "Committees for National Liberation" at Canzo & Asso. Many Italian SS members summarily shot after questionable legal proceedings. Some accounts estimate 20,000 killed, but this number seems grossly inflated.

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    Post Re: 29th Waffen Grenadier-Division der SS timeline

    Well, my country was attacked by Italy,but Italian soldiers especially those who stayed loyal to Duce ,they were very brave .
    I believe that the war between us was some how a brother war.
    Maybe if Metaxas was not so loyal to king George,friend of British,maybe Hellas took part at the good guys side ,Axis i mean, and maybe the Axis won the war!!!!
    Interesting post!!!!

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