domenica 15 settembre 2019

132nd Armoured Italian Division Ariete - Bolt Action -

In the last months I finally completed my Italian North African armoured division. One of the most famous Italian units ot that war theatre  was the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete.

From 1940 to 1942 It was involved in many important military operations  as: Operation Compass, Operation Crusader, the Siege of Tobruk, the Battle of Gazala and the battle of El Alamein.

During his service the division was equipped with different models of tanks … initially with CV35 ... below an imagine of a captured CV35 during the Greek campaign



The Tankette ... the nickname of the CV35s ... even if they were vulnerable also to "simple" British anti tank rifle, kept in service till 1940. I painted some of them with desertic camouflage because they are included into bolt action 1940-41 Italian Armoured reinforcement platoon ... below an exemplar in a attack against some 8th Army tanks



At the end of 1940 the division received some new M13 medium tanks to pass in the 1941 to new version of M14/41



Below a M14/41 (painted by Ivano) that is assaulting an English position



During the Battle of Gazala the Ariete received new replacement tanks ... the M40/75 semoventi assault guns ...the most successful action fought by Semovente 75/18 took place on 10 June 1942, south of Knightsbridge, during the Battle of Gazala. Thirty M3 Grant and ten M3 Stuart of 1st and 6th Royal Tank Regiment attacked a position held by the Ariete division but were repelled by Semovente da 75/18s as well as some M13/40s and gun trucks, losing three Grants and two Stuarts from 6th Royal Tank Regiment and twelve Grants and three Stuarts from 1st Royal Tank Regiment. The Italians lost two M13/40s.

Below three M40s in a typical cuneo formation against some English Mk IIIs ...


.... and against another 8th stronghold



During the Second Battle of El Alamein Rommel sacrificed the Ariete to cover the withdrawal of his army.  Rommel mourned the loss of the division, writing that its final action had been conducted with exemplary courage and that "in the Ariete we lost our oldest Italian comrades, from whom we had probably always demanded more than they, with their poor armament, had been capable of performing"

Ivano gave me the M14 and the AB41 so I started to paint other tanks to be able to create a Bolt Action Italian reinforcement platoon. This Saturday Ezio helped me with the scenario creating the effect of these photos




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