The Regio Esercito Group is an historical research group which attempts to bring alive the Italian forces of 1940-45. Members are encouraged to research facets of the Regio Esercito (Royal Italian Army) and bring it alive through the medium of living history.
The Regio Esercito Group strives to remember the exploits of our fathers and grandfathers, sent to a war many did not agree with, in an army hopelessly unprepared for modern mechanised warfare.
Despite this, like their fathers in WW1, they strived to do their duty, until overcome by thirst, starvation, and superior numbers. They did leave behind a creditable record, holding the line at El Alamein until their allies could withdraw, and in Russia, our Alpini, acknowledged by radio Moscow as unbeatable.
Our initial focus was Bersaglieri however we also have members portraying Alpini, Artillery, Infantry and San Marco Units. We are a non-political group aiming to recreate the life and experiences of the Italian soldier during World War II.
The Bersaglieri are a corps of the Italian Army created by General Alessandro La Marmora in 1836. The name Bersaglieri means "sharpshooters". They were created as a high-mobility, quick infantry unit, and can still be recognized wearing their helmets adorned with cockerel feathers or the striking soft cap fez.
70 Years on.....1941-2011
This year our focus is on early war North Africa. We will be portraying Artillery, Bersaglieri and San Marco Regiments.
The following dates highlight key events of 1941
3rd. Australian and British forces attack Bardia
5th. Bardia falls. 45,000 Italian soldiers are taken prisoner
21st. Tobruk garrison is attacked
22nd. Tobruk falls. 25,000 Italian soldiers are taken prisoner
5-7th. The battle of Beda Fomm. Italian retreat is cut off.
7th. Benghazi is occupied. The Italian Tenth Army surrenders.
ORDER OF BATTLE
ITALIAN ARMY IN LIBIA, DECEMBER 1940
5th Army (Gen Garibaldi)
Bologna, Savona, Sabratha Infantry Divisions
Pavia, Brescia, Sirte Infantry Divisions
23 Marzo, 28 Ottobre MVSN Divisions
10th Army (Gen Berti)
Marmarica, Cirene Infantry Divisions
Catanzaro Infantry Division 3 Gennaio MVSN Division
1st Libian Infantry Division.