This is coolbert:
Thanks to the tip from Professor Al we have yet one more piece of the puzzle the Italian military enigma.
The Battle of Keren. Part of the East African campaign from the Second World War.
English and their colonial allied troops in mortal combat with the Italian army and THEIR colonial troops [Ascari].
A definite British victory but only after prolonged and very difficult fighting.
The Italian when well led very capable of inspired combat [in this case fighting primarily a defensive battle].
"The Battle of Keren (Cheren) was fought as part of the East African Campaign during World War II. The Battle of Keren was fought from 5 February to 1 April 1941 between the colonial Italian army defending its colonial possession of Eritrea and the invading British and Commonwealth forces."
From the victors high praise for the vanquished. Superlative descriptions that go way beyond the ordinary:
"except for the German parachute division in Italy and the Japanese in Burma no enemy with whom the British and Indian troops were matched put up a finer fight that those Savoia battalions at Keren . Moreover, the Colonial troops [Ascari], until they cracked at the very end, fought with valour and resolution and their staunchness was a testimony to the excellence of the Italian administration and military training in Eritrea." - - Compton Mackenzie
That Italian military enigma most complex when considering the feats of arms by units such as Decima MAS, the two Italian Waffen SS brigades, and the Italian troops fighting at Keren.
When well led the Italian could and DID comport themselves with "valour, resolution and staunchness". YES indeed!!