battle of pont saint louis
[71][107] The Italian defensive attitude changed with the collapse of Paul Reynaud's government, in France, on 15 June. Immediately after the declaration of war, the French authorities put up posters in all the towns near the Italian border ordering all Italian citizens to report to the local police by 15 June. Even today, they were unable to pass, and stopped in front of the first French strong point that resisted. [57] French engineers destroyed the transportation and communication links across the border with Italy using fifty-three tons of explosives. [21] On 22 May 1939, Italy and Germany signed the Pact of Steel joining both countries in a military alliance. [143] Near the coast the French had the greatest concentration of forces, about 38,000 troops. Italian aircraft then bombed the French barracks there. [157] One battalion diverted to Termignon to meet up with the Battalion Susa, while the rest proceeded towards Modane. On 19 June, Mussolini ordered his generals to seek contact with the enemy, and at 2050 hours Roatta sent a directive to "undertake small offensive operations immediately [and t]o make contact with the enemy everywhere, to decisively harass enemy forces as harshly as possible. The Alpine Corps did not take its ultimate objective, Bourg-Saint-Maurice. 767 Squadron of the British Fleet Air Arm, based in Hyères, attacked Genoa; these attacks, however, inflicted little damage and casualties. Italian Military Jokes - Battle of Pont Saint-Louis Like us on Facebook! On 21 June they bombed the port in a daylight raid and a subsequent night raid. The Italian invasion of France (10–25 June 1940), also called the Battle of the Alps,[a] was the first major Italian engagement of World War II and the last major engagement of the Battle of France. [143][144], On 18 June, the staff of the Regia Marina conducted a study which showed that a landing on Malta was not feasible, despite the island's paucity of defences. He began by claiming that the freedom of a country is proportional to the strength of its navy. General Roatta believed that Mussolini curbed his intentions because the military had failed to break the French front line and Mussolini was thus "demonstrating his sportsmanship". At the armistice they let the Redoute's garrison march out with honours of war. [172] The Italians also had an insufficient number of sappers and poor intelligence of French gun emplacements, making the elimination of the forts impossible. [119][136] The crew of the Italian torpedo boat Calatafimi, which was in the area of Genoa escorting a minelayer, were taken by surprise by the French attack. [150] By the armistice the central column had occupied Séez, but the Italians never brought up the artillery required to reduce the Redoute Ruinée, reinforced in the meantime. An Italian outpost was surprised, resulting in the death of an Italian NCO and a further two soldiers being wounded. [131], On 16 June, Marshal Graziani gave the order for offensive operations to begin within ten days. This was accepted by Badoglio at the first meeting of the several chiefs of staff during the war, on 25 June. "[148] At 1745 hours that day, Graziani ordered Army Group West: The Germans have occupied Lyon, it must be categorically avoided that they arrive first at the sea. [65][96], A German officer who visited the Alpine battle sites after the armistice remarked that the Blitzkrieg tactics that had served Germany well in northern France would have been difficult in the Alpine terrain, which has been called "perhaps the most unsuitable of all conceivable theatres of operation". In April Britain began strengthening their Mediterranean Fleet to enforce the blockade. On 27 May, Anglo-French forces trapped in the north began the Dunkirk evacuation, abandoning their heavy equipment in the process. [154] Early that morning, Italian troops crossed the French border at points all along the front. The last Italian aerial operations against France were undertaken on 19 June by aircraft of the 2a and 3a Squadre Aeree and Sardinia against targets in Corsica and Tunisia. On the evening of 24 June, an armistice was signed at Rome. When Italy entered the war, sectors I and V were placed under the command of XV Corps, sectors II, III and IV under II Corps and sectors VI, VII, VIII, IX and X under I Corps. The French managed to reoccupy all the lost territory in the Second Battle of the Alps (April–May 1945). [42], By mid-1940 Germany had revised its earlier preference for Italy as a war ally. They advanced through the Col des Lacs Giaset and advanced down the valley of the Ambin. [157], The central column began its descent through the Col des Lacs Giaset shortly after noon on 21 June. MAS539 was able to get within 1,800 metres (2,000 yards) of the Algérie and Foch before firing its torpedoes although without success. Roatta ultimately convinced Mussolini that it was too late to change the demands. [163], On 17 June, the day after he transmitted a formal request for an armistice to the German government, French Foreign Minister Paul Baudoin handed to the Papal nuncio Valerio Valeri a note that said: "The French government, headed by Marshal Pétain, requests that the Holy See transmit to the Italian government as quickly as possible the note it has also transmitted through the Spanish ambassador to the German government. Kaufmann and Kaufmann say that the French positions at Bourg-Saint-Maurice were held by 5,500 troops. [180] Italian casualties amounted to 631 or 642 men killed, 2,631 wounded and 616 reported missing. The aftermath of the treaty saw the increasing ties between Italy and Germany, and Mussolini falling under Adolf Hitler's influence from which "he never escaped". By three-o'-clock tonight [i.e., 3:00 a.m.], you must attack along the whole front from the Little Saint Bernard to the sea (per questa notte alle 3 dovete attaccare su tutta la fronte dal San Bernardo al mare). On 21 June, with a Franco-German armistice about to be signed, the Italians launched a general offensive along the Alpine front, the main attack coming in the northern sector and a secondary advance along the coast. [36], On 23 January 1940, Mussolini remarked that "even today we could undertake and sustain a ... parallel war", having in mind a war with Yugoslavia, since on that day Ciano had met with the dissident Croat Ante Pavelić. Both armistices came into effect at thirty-five minutes past midnight (0035 hours)[x] on 25 June. [3] Balkan and Mediterranean hegemony was predicated by ancient Roman dominance in the same regions.

The most intense air-to-air combat of the campaign took place over southern France on 15 June, when Italian BR.20s and CR.42 engaged French D.520s and MB.151s. Lacking sufficient landing craft, the Regia Marina had commandeered fishing boats and pleasure boats. The results of the action were unimpressive: fifteen civilians killed and no industrial targets damaged.[100]. The Italians reported taking 153 prisoners. The amphibious assault had to be called off for logistical reasons—engine failures, overloaded boats, rough seas. Tunnels in the cliff wall behind the post contained a magazine, living quarters, and an escape tunnel, like a Maginot ouvrage on a much smaller scale. [130], Prior to the Italian declaration of war, the British Royal Navy and the French Marine Nationale (the French National Navy) had planned to sortie into the Mediterranean and provoke the Regia Marina (the Italian Royal Navy) into battle: the British by sending the Mediterranean Fleet towards Malta (in a move that also sought to test the effectiveness of the Italian air and submarine forces)[n] and the French by attacking shore targets in the Gulf of Genoa, the Tyrrhenian Sea, along southern Italy, Sicily and the Dodecanese. The French negotiators were the same who had met with the Germans. Although treated in accordance with the laws of war by the Italians, they probably fell into German hands after Italy's surrender in September 1943. Seeing the destruction that lay before him and British cannon fire not letting up, Chastenoye had no choice but to send out an officer out at 3:00 pm to suggest terms. On 15 June, the French finally permitted Haddock Force to operate.


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