Article 1116

Title of the article



Scotoni Giorgio Renato, Candidate of historical sciences, associate professor, sub-department of Russian history, Voronezh State Pedagogical University (86 Lenina street, Voronezh, Russia),

Index UDK



Background. In Italy the interaction beetween the Italian 8th army and the German command in 1942–1943 is a little-known topic of the war on the Soviet-German front. Today an increasing interest in history of the Second World War makes the study of various aspects of the German-Italian military cooperation undeniably urgent. The purpose of this work is the question of the ideological prejudices of the German command in assessment of the Italian allies on the Stalingrad theatre of operation in summer 1942.
Materials and methods. The research methodology was based on the crosscontrol of published literature, latest research and materials from the the Italian archives. The author describes the course of military operations in the so-called “First defensive battle on the Don” and, using unpublished documents, shares the experience of the German-Italian cooperation.
Results. The author raises the question of subordination of the 8th Army’s command in its relations with the Wehrmacht – that is the “hierarchy between allied” – in connection with the theory of national socialism. The author considers critical aspects of the cooperation with the German command – from racial factors to weakness of the Royal Army – and shows that the image of Italians in the opinion of a Wehrmacht’s “ideological warrior” was the first reason for a decline in the dynamics of co-operation between the 35th Italian Corps and the Army Group “B”.
Conclusions. By analyzing a large number of archival documents concerning the interactions between the chief of German Liasion group gen. Tippelskirch and the command of the 8th Army, the author describes what does it means to be a “satellite” in the real fight. The dependence of the 8th Army from the support of the Wehrmacht prevented equal relations in the German-Italian military cooperation, and only exacerbated the ideological prejudices of the allies.

Key words

Second World War, Russian front, racial theory, Italian 8th Army

Download PDF

1. Istrebitel'naya voyna na Vostoke. Prestupleniya vermakhta v SSSR 1941–1944 [The destructive war in the East. Wehrmacht’s crimes in USSR 1941–1944]. Eds. G. Gortska, K. Shtanga. Moscow: AIRO, 2005, 96 p. Available at:
2. Stato maggiore dell’esercito, Ufficio storico (USSME) [General staff of the army, historical department (USSME)]. Roma, 2000, 832 p.
3. Rochat G. Le guerre italiane 1935–1943 [Italian war 1935–1943]. Torino, Einaudi, 2005, 460 p.
4. Gli italiani sul Fronte russo [Italians on the Russian front]. Bari: De Donato, 1982, 570 p.
5. Adam V. Katastrofa na Volge [The catastrophe on the Volga]. Smolensk: Rusich, 2001, 480 p. Available at:
6. Schlemmer T. “Invasori non vittime” Laterza [“Invaders are no victims” Laterza]. Bari, 2009, p. 155.
7. Messe G. La guerra al fronte russo: il Corpo di spedizione italiano [The war on the Russian front: the Italian expedition corps (CSIR)]. Milano: Rizzoli, 1964, 398 p.
8. Valori A. La campagna di Russia: Csir – Armir 1941–1943 [The campaign in Russia: Csir – Armir]. Roma: Grafica Nazionale, 1950–1951, vol. 2, 814 p.
9. Longo L. E. Giovanni Messe. L’ultimo maresciallo d’Italia [Giovanni Messe. The last marshal of Italy]. Roma: Ufficio Storico Stato Maggiore dell’Esercito, 2006, 665 p.
10. Archivio Ufficio Storico Stato Maggiore dell’Esercito (AUSSME) (Arkhiv Istoricheskogo Byuro Genshtaba Armii) [Archives of the historical department of the General staff of the Army].
11. Tolloy G. Con l’armata italiana in Russia [On the Italian army in Russia]. Torino: De Silva, 1947, 236 p.


Дата создания: 07.07.2016 15:36
Дата обновления: 26.09.2016 08:40