Italian Motorcycle units references (1940-41)

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by clww2, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. clww2

    clww2 New Member

    Hello to all,

    My grandfather was the captain of a Bersaglieri motorcyclist company in North Africa under the XXIII Italian Corp leaded by Lieutenant Annibale Bergonzoli. He died of wounds just after the fall of Bardia and all his unit's documents were destroyed.

    Very little references can be found in italian official documents about his unit: I hope that British documents (war diaries, after action reports or regimental histories) could be helpful in giving more details.

    I only know that his unit - which was part of XXIII corp's troops - was in the front line during the italian advance to Sollum and Sidi Barrani and was involved in patrol action during the siege of Bardia (maybe they also supported Catanzaro division at Buq Buq in mid december). At this moment I only found very little references in 11th hussars' war diaries (M/C captured or watched during patrol actions), but I cannot find other publicy available documents/reports.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. bitoque

    bitoque Junior Member

    He probably was in 23. Bersagliere company, an XXIII corps asset.
    But those m/c units are a big confusion... see this link for a bit more information...or disinformation :)
    Bersaglieri Motorcyclisti Compagnia - Comando Supremo

    Don't know where i got it from, but maybe composition was:
    Bersaglieri motociclisti btl: 3 coy: each on 3 plat of 4 squad of 7 men and 1 mg plat of 4 squad
    36 lmg, 12 mg

    No other hard info, sorry.


  3. clww2

    clww2 New Member

    Yes, my grandfather leaded the 23rd company from June 1940 (Siena, 5th Bersaglieri headquarters) to the 1st/2nd of January.

    Many thanks for the above post: I think that it is the most precise reconstruction of motorcycle units order of battle during the 1940-1941 campaign. Unfortunately right now I did not found any official report at the Military Historical Archives in Rome: just in Bergonzoli's accounts of operations in Sidi e Barrani, oct 1940 (fondo Graziani at National Archives in Rome) the 23rd company is reported as the one involved in the attack to Sollum (and to Sidi Barrani with other two motorcycle companies). This is the only official source I found about the company's actions in the whole 1940-41 campaign, apart some generic reference to motorcyclist contribution in some newspaper (mid september 1940).

    As for the British units that could have been faced motorcycle companies, maybe that war diaries of Support Group's motorized infantry (1st KRRC, 2nd Rifle Brigade) for dec 1940 - jan 1941 and 3rd Coldstream for sept 1940 could be investigated... But I could not guess which documents could be useful to find some references.

    Anyone can help?

    Best regards,

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