Italian Army Elite Units and Special Forces 1940-43
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
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This volume by leading Italian historian, Pier Paolo Battistelli, looks at the elite and special forces units of the Italian Army during World War II (1939-1945). This includes a vast array of troop types including paratroopers, assault engineers, sea-landing and swimmer units, long-range recce and ski units, and even hand-picked Fascist 'Mussolini' units. It also delves into the specialist tank and armoured units that were created to emulate the German armoured units. The Italian units discussed here enjoyed mixed success but the volume does draw attention to the incredible hard fighting done by some, particularly in the deserts of North Africa and the frozen wastelands of Russia. Illustrated with rare archival photographs and specially commissioned artwork this is a fascinating insight into a little-studied aspect of Axis forces.
Pier Paolo Battistelli earned his PhD in Military History at the University of Padua. A scholar of German and Italian politics and strategy throughout World War II, he is active in Italy and abroad writing titles and essays on military history subjects. A contributor to the Italian Army Historical Office, he is currently revising his PhD thesis for publication: The War of the Axis: German and Italian Military Partnership in World War Two, 1939-1943.