Legion Croata Autotransportabile Sleeve Badge WWII
Legion Croata Autotransportabile Sleeve Badge WWII - Legion Croata Autotransportabile Sleeve Badge WWII - Aluminum die struck badge, with Croatian Coat of Arms in the center, red lacquered shields, 44mm(w) x 58mm(h), unworn, in mint condition. Footnote: Legion Croata Autotransportabile (in Croatian, Lako Prevozni Zdrug Hrvatske Legije) was a Croatian Battalion (about 1300-1500 strength), composed entirely of Croatian Officers and Men, but formed on a basis of Italian demands, with purpose of sending Italian uniformed Croatian volunteers to the Russian Front. Battalion was sent to Italy in late 1941, to be trained and equipped; members wore Italian uniforms and insignia, with addition of the Croatian made aluminum sleeve badge sewn onto upper left arm of a tunic. Legion members also wore Italian helmets with Croatian Coat of Arms painted on the right side, and most of the equipment displayed painted Croatian Coat of Arms. Legion was sent to Russian Front in April of 1942, under the Command of Croatian Colonel Eugon Zitnik, as a part of Italian Division Principe Amedeo Duca d’Aosta. Not long after its arrival the Legion’s battle readiness was tested, notably in the Battle near Serafimovic, near Don, were it sustained considerable casualties. In mid December of 1942 when Red Army started Operation Little Saturn, the Legion, along with Italian Allies, found itself facing superior Soviet forces, and was decimated while attacking Soviet 18th. Armored Division near river Tihaja; remnants of the Legion, with Commander Zitnik, surrendered to the Red Army.