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eMedals-Italy, Kingdom. A 19th Infantry Division "Gavinana"  Italo-Ethiopian War Sleeve Badge

Item: EU16900

Italy, Kingdom. A 19th Infantry Division "Gavinana" Italo-Ethiopian War Sleeve Badge



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Italy, Kingdom. A 19th Infantry Division "Gavinana" Italo-Ethiopian War Sleeve Badge

(19° Divisione Gavinana). In die-stamped bronze gilt with navy blue enamels, measuring 49.2 mm (w) x 61.5 mm (h), die-holes at all three points for uniform attachment, intact enamels, residue evident in the recessed areas around the lettering, scattered gilt wear, very fine.


Footnote: The 19th Infantry Division Venezia was a mountain infantry division of the Regio Esercito, which was raised in 1934, to serve in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War under the name Gavinana division. The Gavinana division was staying in Eritrea near Ethiopian border in the Adi Quala and Enda-Ghergis. On October 3, 1935, it crossed the Mareb River as part of the Italian II Corps, thus beginning the invasion. On that day, it crushed an Ethiopian fortified position at De’āro Teklē. On October 4th, the Gavinana division captured the town of Ādī Ābun, and on October 6th, it captured an important road junction at the town of Adwa. The advance then largely stopped, as several battles were fought around Adwa, particularly at Inda Mīka’ēl to the south of the town. After the eventual Ethiopian counter-attack was stalled, the Gavinana division participated in the Second Battle of Tembien, starting on February 26, 1936 with an attack around Shire, Ethiopia. On March 2nd, it destroyed a large Ethiopian formation near Mai Nebri, Eritrea, and March 3rd, it was in pursuit of shattered Ethiopian troops along the Tacazze River, returning to Inda Silasē near Shire, Ethiopia on March 4th.

Between March 5th and 7th, it reached the town of Indabaguna and by March 9th, the Gavinana division had occupied Debarq, then arrived at Debat on April 2nd. It was relieved from front-line duties on April 22, 1936 and sent to Axum. For the rest of war, it participated in mopping-up operations around Mendefera. It was demobilized and reduced a brigade in July 1936, but again mobilized on April 15, 1939, under the 19th Infantry Division "Venezia" name. The only difference between line infantry divisions and mountain infantry divisions was that the latter's artillery was carried by pack mules instead of the standard horse-drawn carriages. Italy's real mountain warfare divisions were the six alpine divisions manned by the "Alpini" mountain troops. In October-November 1943, it had gradually transformed into the partisan Garibaldi division, fighting together with Yugoslav Partisans against the Axis.

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