Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rommel’s Italian savior

Most histories mention the Italian military in derogatory terms .They didn’t have modern equipment,they lost a lot of battles,their officers did not perform adequately  etc 
This is an example of the Italians saving the Germans for a change…

Speed, flexibility, reliability and security are the characteristics required of any signal system. Without these it cannot provide the means whereby immediate and accurate information is supplied to commanders and timely and effective execution of operational and administrative plans can follow. These characteristics are of especial importance under desert conditions where distances are great and dispersion considerable, where there are constant and rapid changes in the situation and where units and formations move frequently from one command to another.
The following examples of the misuse of routine may serve as a guide to [the] proper use [of radio-telephones]:
a) In June 1942 an Italian Second Lieutenant in a radio intercept company was awarded the German Gold Cross for “Saving the 15th Panzer Division in the Western Desert near Bir Hachem.” The 15th Panzer Division was cut off from its supply trains and was almost out of fuel and ammunition. The Italian intercepted a conversation in the clear between two British commanders concerning their intended actions in disposing of the unfortunate German division. This information enabled the German commander to collect and fuel a few of his tanks and break through the encircling British forces to reach his supply trains, and so to extricate his whole division.
So it seems the Italians weren’t always a burden for the Germans.


  1. I can think of other occasions. Most importantly breaking the US attache's code:

    Nice idea for a blog. I have added it to my links. Look forward to your future posts.



  2. Everyone knows about the Fellers telegrams ,thats why i posted this little known event.
    Thanks for your kind words.