Dragon DRF70492 Italian Volunteer, 29.Waffen SS Grenadier Division (Italienische Mr. 1), Northern Italy, 1945 - "Sergio Martelli" (1:6 Scale)
"Neutrals never dominate events. They always sink. Blood alone moves the wheels of history."
- Italian Dictator, Benito Mussolini
The Italian Army of World War II was a "Royal" army. The nominal Commander-in-Chief of the Italian Royal Army was His Majesty King Vittorio Emanuele III. As Commander-in-Chief of all Italian armed forces, Vittorio Emanuele also commanded the Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) and the Royal Navy (Regia Marina). However, in reality, most of the King's military responsibilities were assumed by the Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini.
Below Mussolini was the Supreme Command (Comando Supremo). The Supreme Command featured an organic staff which functioned through its defense ministries and through its various high commands. The defense ministries were based on function and included a Ministry of War, a Ministry of the Admiralty, and a Mnistry of the Air. The high commands were based on geographic regions and included Army Group West, Army Group Albania, Army Group East Africa, Army Group Aegean, and Army Group Libya.
Below the Army Group were armies. Armies were typically composed of two or more corps, along with separate units directly commanded at the army level. The corps were then typically composed of two or more divisions, along with separate units directly commanded at the corps level.
The division was the basic formation of the Italian Royal Army. On June 10th, 1940, the army had 59 infantry divisions, 3 National Security Volunteer Militia (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN) divisions, 6 mountain (alpini) divisions, 3 mobile (celere) divisions, 2 motorized divisions, and 3 armored divisions. In addition, there were estimated to be the equivalent of about 9 divisions of frontier guard troops. There were also numerous colonial formations at or near the division-level composed of troops from Italian Libya and Italian East Africa.
Impressive on paper, most Italian divisions did not have the full compliment of men or materials. The armored divisions had nearly useless "tankettes" instead of tanks. Tankettes were great for parades, but not much more.
Pictured here is an Italian Volunteer, then serving with the 29. Waffen SS Grenadier Division (Italienische Mr. 1), deployed to Northern Italy during 1945 - "Sergio Martelli". Sold Out!