History 06/03/20 “Savoia Cavalry”: how he fought the Italians in Hitler’s army at Stalingrad

the Morning of August 24, 1942 the Italian cavalry regiment “Savoia” cavalry unit attacked and defeated the infantry units 304 of the Siberian shelf. In Italian historiography the episode is entitled “attack in the desert must have Isboseth” Stalingrad and considered an example of fighting spirit and valor of the army of Italy. The regiment, founded in 1692, was an elite, and served as it came from the famous aristocratic families.

In the twentieth century it continued to be the cavalry, but now the horses were used for cavalry attacks, and for mobile movement across the battlefield. Armed with cavalry carbines in addition to the Carcano was a trophy PCA machines. However, during the battle in the desert except for small arms the soldiers of the regiment “Savoia” used the sword. The Italian victory over the Soviet soldiers contributed convenient for the action of cavalry terrain, surprise attack, and the desperate courage of the Italians.

the Alignment of forces before the battle

In mid-August 1942, the Red army carried out a counterattack at the junction of the 8th Italian and the German 6th army that took positions on the right Bank of the don. The offensive was successful and the gap broke the Soviet units. To stop the advance of the enemy, the Italian command decided to use the most fresh and mobile connection – Paul elite “Savoia Cavalry”.

on 23 August the division, consisting of seven hundred cavalry, reinforced machine-gun squadrons and two batteries of artillery after long March stopped for the night in the steppe near the don Cossack village Itbusinessedge. While the Italians were preparing to sleep, in the hundred meters from them, under the command of the commander of the Seraphim Merkulov dug in two battalions 304-th Siberian infantry regiment. Soviet soldiers placed the position in the wide lowland, and the third battalion of Siberians raspolojilI East main forces.

Start battle

Soviet soldiers waited for dawn and was preparing for a surprise attack on the cavalry. Merkulova, however, the plan fell through. At 3.30 in the morning in a field of sunflowers Italian patrol noticed a few people who were mistaken for Germans. A friendly hail of Italians soldiers responded with shots, and then hiding was pointless. Italy’s position began to fall the Soviet mines.

In the first minutes of the fight were injured and several senior officers of the regiment, and among the Italians began confusion. However, the “savoury” not in vain was considered the elite of the army, they recovered quickly and became organized to prepare for battle. This has helped the regimental commander, Colonel Alessandro Cazzaro. A descendant of aristocrats excellent Italian swearing ordered to deploy the regimental flag, after which all the troopers remembered that they were soldiers.

the turning point of the battle made a mistake Seraphim Merkulov. The commander, hoping that the enemy is demoralized, ordered soldiers to leave the trenches and advance on the hill, where the camp of the Italians. Battalion machine gunners were forced to stop shelling the enemy, which enabled the cavalry to line up for a counterattack.

the Regiment “Savoia Cavalry” attack

Three squadrons with drawn swords under mortar fire into a gallop and riding system ran on the Russian. White gloves with red scarves on the necks of the Italians machetes killed Siberians. The Russians broke down and began to flee to their entrenchments. At 9.30 the field of battle remained with the Italians, who defeated the two attacking battalions and forced the third to retreat.

the Losses on both sides known only in the Italian data. Regiment “Savoia” has lost 40 people dead and 80 wounded. On the Soviet side killed 150 soldiers, and from 600 to 900 people were captured. In honor of the victims was a Grand parade with drawn swords. Italian propaganda disseminated by their victory, however, for the Soviet and German commanders attack of savoises was an episode that does not have personsCSO strategic importance.

in the Fall of 1942, battered in the battles cavalry regiment practically ceased to exist and its commander Alessandro Cazzago returned Home and became one of the leaders of the anti-fascist movement. 302-second regiment was replenished with new fighters, and in November of the same year he broke four lanes of the German defense and moved 150 kilometers. Colonel Merkulov took into account their mistakes, and fought successfully, and was awarded the rank of major General.

Alexander Brazhnik

© Russian Seven

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