• Sprungeinsatz Monterotondo. 9./10. September 1943

    In May and June 1943, the main offices of the General Staff of the Royal Italian Army (SMRE) – the counterpart of the German Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) – were moved from Rome to Monterotondo, a small town with about 7500 inhabitants, located about 20 kilometers northeast of Rome.
    The city of Monterotondo was heavily fortified by moving to Piazza Militare (military base), as well as equipped with artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.
    After Italy had concluded an armistice with the Allies on 8 September 1943, the German leadership ordered the Italian General Staff in Monterotondo to be eliminated.
    On the morning of 9th of September 1943, 650 German paratroopers jumped over Monterotondo. Battles with the Italian defenders developed, not expected in this intensity and at the end of the day the Gericke battalion suffered 20% bloody losses, with 54 casualties alone. On the Italian side, 122 soldiers were killed.
    The author, Guido Ronconi, reserve officer of the Italian mountain troops, meticulously reconstructed the course of this commando operation on 9th of September 1943, among other things on the basis of previously unused Italian archival materials.
    With the battalion, three war correspondents, including two photo reporters, also jumped off.
    This is the reason, why many professional b/w photos exist of this operation. 93 of them has the author selected from the collection.
    With 99 b/w pictgures and about 13 maps.