Author Topic: Annibale Bergonzoli (1884 -1973)  (Read 12823 times)

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Annibale Bergonzoli (1884 -1973)
« on: February 13, 2021, 09:48:00 AM »
Italian Lieutenant General Annibale Bergonzoli (1884 -1973) became a legend in his homeland. He went through the battles of the First World War, the Spanish Civil War, and the Second World War.

Between 1936 and 1939, on the orders of Benito Mussolini, he was part of the Corpo Truppe Volontarie (CTV), which fought on the side of General Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Bergonzoli commanded the 4th Infantry Division "Littorio" - veterans of the colonial wars in Africa. The rest of the division consisted mainly from volunteers of Blackshirts.

The fascist volunteers were not very active in the fighting, so after the defeat suffered by the Italian troops in the Battle of Guadalajara, Bergonzoli was the only Italian general in Spain who remained at his post. Mussolini replaced the others.

For his actions during the capture of Santander during the Northern Campaign, "beard" was awarded the Gold Medal "For Military Valor". In the future, he also received 2 silver and one bronze medals. He was one of the creators of the so-called Santonha Pact, when the Italians accepted the surrender of the Republican People's Army fighters from the Basque Nationalist Party in northern Spain. He also participated in the offensive on Aragon against the troops of the People's Army of the Republic.

During the Second World War, Bergonzoli, after the defeat of the Italians at Tobruk, on February 7, 1941, together with the remnants of the 10th Italian army, was captured by the British (more precisely, by the Australians from the 6th Division) in the Battle of Beda Fomm. He was taken first to India and then to the United States as a prisoner of war. He returned to Italy in 1946, settling in his hometown of Cannobio, where he lived until his death on July 31, 1973.