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eMedals-An Italian 24th Infantry Division Gran Sasso (later Pinerolo) Sleeve Badge

Item: EU13006

An Italian 24th Infantry Division Gran Sasso (later Pinerolo) Sleeve Badge

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An Italian 24th Infantry Division Gran Sasso (later Pinerolo) Sleeve Badge

Bronze gilt with black paint, unmarked, 48.7 mm x 61.8 mm, die-holes at all three points for uniform attachment, gilt wear and fine scattered chipping evident in the black paint, better than very fine.

Footnote: After the end of the First World War, the Pinerolo Brigade moved to Abruzzo and was garrisoned in the city of Chieti. In 1926, the brigade gained the 255th Infantry Regiment Arezzo and changed its name to XXIV Infantry Brigade. Along with the 18th Artillery Regiment the brigade formed the 24th Territorial Division in Chieti. In 1934, the division and brigade gained the name Gran Sasso and were forthwith known as 24th Infantry Division Gran Sasso and XXIV Infantry Brigade Gran Sasso. In 1935, the division was sent to Eritrea and participated in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The division operated in the Tigray Region and fought in the Battle of Shire. In 1939, the brigade lost the 255th Infantry regiment and was renamed 24th Infantry Division Pinerolo. This binary division consisted of only two infantry regiments (13th and 14th) and the 18th Field Artillery Regiment. In 1940, the Pinerolo took part in the Italian invasion of France. In January 1941, the division arrived in Albania, in order to stabilize the crumbling Italian front during the Greek counteroffensive in the Greco-Italian War. On January 18, 1941, the division was in Berat and entered the approaching front near Këlcyrë. The division fought defensive battles for the next month ending with the defense of Tepelenë. The division participated in the Italian Spring Offensive, and participated in a small offensive towards Ohrid in Macedonia during the German-led Invasion of Yugoslavia. In June 1941, the division transferred to Larissa in Thessaly, to suppress the growing Greek Resistance. During its time in Thessaly the Pinerolo division committed the Domenikon Massacre against Greek civilians. The division continued on anti-partisan duty until the Armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces of September 8, 1943. In the confusion after the armistice, the division was the only one in continental Greece to refuse German demands to surrender. While the Piemonte, Forlì, Modena, Casale and Cagliari divisions surrendered to the inferior German forces, the Pinerolo defended Larissa against German attacks and then retired towards the Pindus mountain range where it joined the Greek People's Liberation Army in fighting the Germans.

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