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Italian Alpini in Aosta Valley 1945

The 4th 'Monte Rosa' "Alpini" Division was one of four divisions raised by Mussolini's Italian Social Republic. It existed from 1 January 1944 until 28 April 1945.

History[edit | edit source]

The Division was formed from Italian POW's in Germany (16%) and new conscripts from Nothern Italy (84 %). The Division was trained in Germany and was ready for combat in July 1944. The 20,000 men strong Division was then sent to Liguria and was from July to October 1944, part of the Army Group Liguria under Marshal Graziani. It made defensive preparations against a possible Allied landing and was also engaged in anti-partisan operations. In this period, many soldiers of the Division deserted.

In October 1944, the Division was sent to protect the Gothic Line and participated in the successful Battle of Garfagnana.
In February 1945 the larger part of the Monterosa Division was transferred to the Piedmont Alps, where it fought against French regular and partisan forces in the Second Battle of the Alps until the end of the war.

War Crimes[edit | edit source]

Four Italian officers of the Monterosa division were found guilty for the death of 33 forced labourers at Col du Mont Fornet in the Valle d'Aosta on 26 January 1945, who perished in an avalanche while forced to carry military supplies to a mountain outpost despite severe weather conditions. Two of the four officers were sentenced to a ten-year jail term but pardoned in a 1947 general amnesty.[1]

Commanders[edit | edit source]

  • Colonel Umberto Manfredini, 1 January 1944 - 23 March 1944
  • General Goffredo Ricci, 23 March 1944 - 15 July 1944
  • General Mario Carloni, 15 July 1944 - 20 February 1945
  • Colonel Giorgio Milazzo 20 February 1945 - 28 April 1945

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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