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I wanted to introduce myself, my book series and its first volume.

“Mussolini's War” series of publications is aimed to deal in a matter-of-fact way with the unfair, racist myth of the Italian being a cowardly soldier by birth. It will discuss in a substantive way the campaigns fought by the Italian forces on the ground, at sea and in the air during the reign of Benito Mussolini, the dictator. Reader-friendly language style, descriptions of previously neglected or unknown operations and actions, a lot of space devoted to the most important heroes of the events in question – the rank-and-file - all this makes these books dedicated to readers of all levels of historical knowledge and a guarantee of pleasant time spent reading. The painfully honest account of the weaknesses of the Italian military, in which however, we do not forget about the numerous examples of unprecedented heroism and endurance of the Italians, is based on references on the topic published worldwide, thanks to which we avoid mythologisation, which can often be noticed in other works. It is the first time that the subject is presented comprehensively in the English language.

Volume I is "East Africa 1940-1941 (land campaign): The Italian Army Defends The Empire In The Horn Of Africa" available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PC7FYMV (and every other marketplace)

When the Kingdom of Italy entered the war in Europe in June 1940, it did so only for a moment to hasten the fall of France and force Britain to the peace negotiations table. With each subsequent month it was turning out that the Italians had got involved in a war that was not going to have a quick and victorious end, and the state of their own unpreparedness for the conflict was shocking.

Due to the Italian colonial possessions, the war also spread to East Africa, so distant for Europeans. This is where the situation of the Italian forces turned out to be the most difficult. The troops fighting there, mostly consisting of natives, were disastrously poorly armed, trained only for the purposes of colonial warfare or maintaining internal order in the colonies, cut off from supplies by neighbouring French and British possessions, and the Italian high command lacked the abilities of waging regular campaign. The British Empire, too, began the battle for the Horn of Africa poorly prepared, but quickly realised the importance of this campaign, namely the safety of its own lines of communication across the Red Sea, the Nile and Africa. Having quickly mobilised its forces, it proceeded to eliminate the Italian threat in this part of the world.

This work presents in detail the campaign that lasted until November 1941, in which soldiers of about twenty nationalities from three continents fought on both sides for the colonial interests of Italy and Britain. The campaign in East Africa is not only about the frontline combat, it is also a brutal war between Italians and Ethiopian partisans. We also present issues such as the economic situation of Italian East Africa, the fate of the Italians inhabiting it, the history of the countries that constituted it after the campaign ended, and the Italian underground resistance, whose flame was smouldering up to the very armistice between Italy and the Allies.

Marek Sobski, a graduate of the University of Zielona Góra, is a historian. Author of several books (including some published in English like "Lictorian Fasces Over England. Regia Aeronautica In Action Against Britain 1940–1941" and the two-volume "Crickets Against Rats. Regia Aeronautica In The Spanish Civil War"), as well as articles in specialist magazines. Since late 2011, he has been a promoter of interest in the history of the Italian military in the first half of the 20th century, and his expertise has been made available to readers of the "Mussolini's War" blog and on social media.

Please wish me good luck!

Best regards,

Marek Sobski





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Welcome to the forum Marek, looks a good book , the Italians always seem to get a bad press but as you say there were numerous acts of heroism. I remember reading about an Italian tank driver who almost single handed re captured an Italian village , can't remember the exact details but it was some battle, they also had great uniforms too.     

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First review: https://comandosupremo.com/forums/index.php?threads/east-african-1940-194-by-marek-sobski.823/#post-3114

In preparation Vol. 2: "Mussolini's Eastern Crusade. Italian Expeditionary Corps In Operation Barbarossa" 😎

Color version of maps from "East Africa 1940-1941..." for download: https://files.fm/u/b8x6p4xrs

Photos of the book:








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Mussolini’s Eastern Crusade: The Italian Expeditionary Corps In Operation Barbarossa (Mussolini's War vol. 2) is now available: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GPYLYXC

Color version of maps for download: https://files.fm/u/aceva9jf8

Benito Mussolini was an exceptionally hot-headed politician. No wonder then that when reports from various sources began to reach him about the invasion of the Soviet Union planned by Adolf Hitler, in the blink of an eye he made the decision to accompany his friend in this new venture. The news of the enormous successes of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front only reinforced the decision to send representatives of the Italian armed forces to Russia in the form of the Expeditionary Corps (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia; CSIR). It was one of the most disastrous decisions of the Duce, which in time directly contributed to the collapse of the fascist regime, as the number of victims and brutality of the fighting in the east terrified the Italian public opinion, which never looked at war in such a total way as it was in the 3rd Reich or USSR.

In early July 1941, three Italian divisions and a Blackshirt Legion began their journey into the unknown. There, soldiers were to fight against a completely unknown opponent, among peoples and ethnicities of the Soviet Union oppressed by red terror and living on the verge of poverty. Italians also quickly understood that their enemy would be the climate, regardless of the season. Nevertheless, they proudly represented their country, and the period discussed in the book was indeed a time of heavy fighting, but also successes, which for Italian troops were so often missing in World War Two. At the same time, the first symptoms of impending catastrophe appeared. CSIR logistics turned out to be ineffective, the enemy's reserves of manpower seemed to be endless, and in terms of the quality and availability of weapons, he quickly began to outperform the Italians.

The book covers the first period of Italian involvement on the Eastern Front: CSIR's participation in Operation “Barbarossa” and the Soviet counteroffensive in the winter of 1941/1942. The basis for the decision to increase the Italian participation to the level of an entire army (the 8th Army, commonly known as Armata Italiana in Russia - ARMIR) is also presented. One of the chapters is also devoted to the aviation component, which was subordinated to the command of the CSIR.

1.Transfer of Corpo di Spedizione Italiano from Italy to the concentration area in Romania.


2. Corpo di Spedizione Italiano positions as of August 13, 1941.


3. Battle of Petrykivka (September 28-30, 1941).


4. March of Corpo di Spedizione Italiano over the Volchya River and the capture of Pavlograd.


5. The participation of Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in the capture of the Donetsk Basin.


6. Operation of the seizure of Gorlovka and Rykove by Corpo di Spedizione Italiano.


7. Italian offensive in the Tchasepetivka area.


8. Christmas Battle (December 25-27, 1941).




Next goal: France 1940 (land campaign)


Marek Sobski

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