Originally Posted by erichcraciun
A fascinating thread gentlemen!
I am looking at the armament, German MG 42 and Intalian MPs, most of the men seem to be heavily armed, so my question, how well did these units do on the front: against the Allies and Partisans?
I have heard both good and bad reports. Perhaps it is mentioned here and I overlooked the commentary.
Thank you in advance.
Hard to answer in a single thread and depending what publications are read.
I will try to put a little in a nut shell for you.
The regular Army Units (4 Divisiones) had some problems with desertions when used in partisan warfare or rear guard activities. When used against allied forces the problem in those units stabilized. They were usually woven in between German units when used at the front because of the mistrust by the Germans. The Monte Rosa Division and later some units of the Italia Divisione participated in the last offensive( Operation Wintergarden) against the Allies in Northern Italy and pushed back the Allies and was deemed a success, but the German High command backed off and did not let it turn into bigger operation.
Units of Decima Mas ( Barbarigo) fought on the Nettuno/Anzio front also woven in with German units and fought a tough defensive action. They also fought with success on the Yugoslav border against Tito's well armed partisans . There were allied thoughts to keep them armed to insure disputed Italian areas would be kept out of Tito's hands after the German capitulation.
The Italian SS although a German Volunteer unit and not connected to the RSI
held an large area on the Anzio/Netuno beach head against US armor and received accolades in battle reports from the Germans. They had heavy casualties and many of the survivors were honored by with EK's and field promotions along with new SS title distinction. They fought mostly later agianst the partisans until the end when they were formed into Kampgruppes . Most fought to the end. Those captured by the Allies faired better than those captured by the partisans
The ANR or the National Republican Air Force was left to defend the airspace over Italy and scored many victories but the shear magnitude of Allied onslaught was hard to stem.
Italian Paratroopers which some fought as part of FJR4 . In general they fought both against the Allies in the defense of Rome and also against partisans , had high morale and made good account of themselves. Some Italian para troopers were sent to fight on the Russian Front , I believe they were a Reece unit.
The GNR or Republican National Guard fought a see saw battle with the partisans doing the dirty work and security operations. They were employed either directly or indirectly with German SS and Police/Security forces.
Autonomous Legione "Forli" fought against the Allies which many were decorated with EK I and IIs.
I am just giving you a bit off the top of my head.
There were so many different units some being autonomous it is hard to break it down in such short writing. It also depends who you read. Most Allied unit histories lack much mention of the RSI Forces not sure if for political reasons.