Dragon StuG III F/8

New feature poster from Dragon for the #6620: StuG III F/8 Early Production Italy 1943:

#6620: StuG. III F/8 Early Production Italy 1943

#6620: StuG. III F/8 Early Production Italy 1943


 

26th Panzer Division

The following opinions are from German General Leutnant Linnarz, commander of the German 26th Panzer Division in Italy, concerning Allied airpower and its effects on German forces. Source: Defeat, Headquarters Army Air Forces, Office of the assistant chief of air staff–2, Washington, D.C., January 1946. Defeat was prepared by the Headquarters Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Intelligence Section to record the views of Allied air power from those who were on the receiving end.

OPINIONS OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL LINNARZ
Commanding General of 26th Panzer Division in Italy

26 JUNE 1945.

The following report is the result of several conversations with General Leutnant Linnarz who was the Commanding General of the crack German 26 Panzer Division in Italy.

The Role of Air Power

“Single battles, in my opinion, are not decisive; they are only apparently decisive. The same thing is true of air battles. The complete havoc wrought by Allied air power toward the end of the war when we no longer had an air arm worthy of the name, may give an entirely false impression of the role of air power in deciding the victory. Such overwhelming air supremacy is not so much the cause of Germany’s defeat, but the result and visible evidence of Germany’s defeat. The war was actually decided long ago, and if the German government had given up earlier, before air power had devastated the German cities, and before the Eastern and Western land armies had joined, the results of great decisive air and land battles preceding Germany’s military collapse would not have been known. The great destructive capacity of giant air armadas would not have been realized.

“In the same category as the overwhelming Allied air and ground offensive toward the end of this war are the battles of Vittorio, Venato and the rapid Allied advances in the Balkans at the end of the last war. There are no more battles in the old classic sense. In France we styled our reports in the old manner. The result of the impression was thus one of gigantic land battles and clever generalship, a totally false impression. In my opinion, the Allies are in danger of making the same erroneous interpretations of air victories.

Continue reading 26th Panzer Division

Macchi C.202 Folgore Italian Fighter

U.S. War Department WWII Recognition Guide for the Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore (“Thunderbolt”) fighter. The Folgore fighter aircraft was designed by Mario Castoldi and manufactured by Macchi Aeronautica. The Folgore served with the Italian Regia Aeronautica throughout WWII on all fronts. (The Folgore is also referred to as the MC.202.)

Macchi C.202 Folgore Italian Fighter WW2

Continue reading Macchi C.202 Folgore Italian Fighter

Panzerwrecks 13 (Italy, Vol. 2)

Panzerwrecks 13 by Lee Archer and William AuerbachPanzerwrecks 13: Italy 2, the latest volume in the well known Panzerwrecks photo-book series, has been released by authors Lee Archer and William Auerbach. Photograph features include: Weapons Dump – Italian Style; Nashorn 214; Elefants of 1./s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653; and Dug-in Panther Turret – Concealed Killer. Other highlights include: Recaptured Shermans from 760th U.S. Tank Battalion and NZ 19th Armoured Regiment; Sturmgeschütz IV fitted with concrete add-on armour; rare photos of the Panzerjäger Elefant, field modification of Sd.Kfz.10/4 halftrack with a 2cm Italian Scotti flak; T-34 tanks used in Italy; and AB41 armored cars surrendered to U.S. forces.

Panzerwrecks 13 lengthy Axis vehicle list includes: Elefant, Tiger I, Panther Ausf. A uparmored, Panther Ausf. A dug in, Panther Ausf. A, Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G, Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H, Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. J, Sturmgeschütz IV, Nashorn, Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G, Sturmhaubitze 42, Marder 38t, M4A1 Sherman, Sherman III (M4A2), T-34/76, 19.4cm Kanone 485 (f) GPF, StuG M42 mit 75/18 850 (i), StuG M42 mit 75/34 851 (i), StuG M43 mit 75/34 851 (i), StuG M43 mit 105/25 853 (i), 15cm Panzerwerfer 42, le.Zgkw 1t (Sd.Kfz. 10), Sfl. (Sd.Kfz. 10/4) für 2cm Flak (Scotti), Sfl. (Sd.Kfz. 10/5) für 2cm Flak, le.Zgkw 3t (Sd.Kfz. 11), Nbkw für 15cm NbW41 (Sd.Kfz. 11), 3.7cm Flak36 auf Sf (Sd.Kfz. 7/2), m.S.P.W. (Sd.Kfz. 251) Ausf. C, le.S.P.W. (2cm) (Sd.Kfz. 250/9) Ausf. A, and Pz.Sp.Wg.AB41 201(i).

More information can be found at: www.panzerwrecks.com.
 

Wreck of Italian Battleship Roma Discovered

The wreck of the Italian battleship Roma has been located by Italian Navy divers off the coast of Sardinia after a lenghty multi-year search. The battleship Roma was sunk by German aircraft on September 9, 1943 while underway to Malta to surrender to Allied forces. Italian Admiral Carlo Bergamini and over 1,300 sailors died when the battleship was sunk by the Luftwaffe.

Italian Navy Battleship Roma WW2
 

A Fifth Army Report from the Beachhead

Fifth Army reports from the Anzio beachhead during Operation Shingle:


 

Destroyed Marder III

German Marder III Destroyed in Italy during World War 2

Allied soldiers examine a Marder III destroyed on the road to Rome in Italy during WW2. (USAF Photo)


 

II Corps Lessons Learned

The commander of II Corps published the following comments concerning the combat lessons learned during the advance from the Garigliano River to Rome in Italy in 1943-1944:

HEADQUARTERS II CORPS

In the Field
16 June 1944

Subject: Lessons Learned.
To: Divisions and Separate Unit Commanders, II Corps.

1. A detailed analysis of lessons learned during the II Corps advance from the GARIGLIANO to ROME is being made. This study will be published at an early date. Rather than wait for the publication of the detailed compilation, I wish to give you my comments now so they can be acted upon during the present training period.

a. Towns must be taken from deep flank and rear.

b. The usual practice of battering towns with air and artillery serves little purpose and is extremely wasteful of ammunition and time.

c. The delay caused as by small enemy detachments is out of all proportion to the numbers and means at our disposal. Among other errors committed is our failure to leave roads soon enough and to make a wide enough envelopment or by-pass.

d. The combined use of armored and infantry units has been too cautious. The over-emphasis placed on fire power of tanks during the period when weather and terrain conditions prevented full use of armor has not been overcome and mobility has not been restored to its proper importance in the employment of tanks. Too often a column of tanks has remained inactive on a road, held up by a single SP or AT gun. The time lost waiting for infantry to arrive, deploy and attack the gun could have been reduced 50% or more by a rapid deployment and movement of the tanks or by a wide envelopment which would in most cases have resulted in the capture or destruction of the gun. Likewise, relatively large groups of infantry have been long delayed by a small enemy group with a machine gun or two astride a rod. Again, the time wasted waiting for the arrival and action of tanks could have been materially reduced by early and wide deployment.

e. Not enough use has been made of Air OP’s for reconnaissance purposes. Inasmuch as artillery targets have been relatively few during this pursuit phase, there should have been constant Cub air reconnaissance available to all leading elements.

f. In the long run, speed was made over the high ground, not over the roads or flat lands.

g. Too often commanders of all echelons waited for orders. The rapid advance made the maintenance of communications difficult and resulted in instructions being issued and received based on out of date information. Under such conditions commanders must act on their own responsibility, initiative and judgment. Inactivity is inexcusable.

2. We must be prepared mentally and tactically for a change in the character of combat when we next go into the line for we may encounter strong and bitter resistance. At some date or place the German may seek to make a stand but our constant pressure should greatly hamper him from getting set. The main bodies following our mobile advance detachments must be kept so in hand that they can be employed rapidly in accordance with simple and prepared plans.

3. Speed, not haste, is still the great factor.

GEOFFREY KEYES
Major General, U.S.A., Commanding.

 

A-20 Havocs and Spitfires

Douglas A-20 Havocs and Spitfires on a water-covered airfield in Italy during WWII. Despite the weather conditions, the airfield is still ready to be used for bomber and fighter missions against the Axis. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

A-20 Havoc and Spitfire in Italy
 

Sturmgeschütz at Cassino

Photographs of German Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) captured near Cassino, Italy, from Report of the New Weapons Board, Office of the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, Washington, D.C., April 1944.

Italian Fifth Army Area — Ordnance Materiel

Captured StuG III Self-Propelled Assault Gun near Monte Cassino, Italy

Captured German self-propelled gun. Later used as target for bazooka demonstration.

Cassino, Italy - German StuG III Self-Propelled 75-mm Gun

German self-propelled 75-mm PAK 40 AT gun captured near barracks north of Cassino.

Sturmgeschutz III (StuG III) near Monte Cassino, Italy

Rear view of German self-propelled 75-mm PAK 40 AT gun captured near barracks north of Cassino.

Damaged StuG III Captured German Panzer Cassino Barracks

Closeup of German self-propelled 75-mm PAK 40 AT gun captured near barracks north of Cassino.