Italian contribution to the Siege of Leningrad, World War Two.
Consider this to be a new one on me. Devoted readers to the blog also?
Italian naval commando unit, motor-torpedo-boat squadron. Lake Ladoga. Intercept and interdict Soviet shipping. Prevent the besieged city of Leningrad from being re-supplied!
"The XIIª Squadriglia Squadriglia MAS . . . was a formation of the Italian Royal Navy . . . which served on Lake Ladoga as part of the Axis siege of Leningrad during World War II."
Click on image to see an enlarged view. An Italian motor-torpedo-boat [MTB] of the World War Two era. As was active on Lake Ladoga during the Siege of Leningrad.
Actions of the XII MAS on Lake Ladoga inconclusive. From the wiki entry:
"Following its 1000-mile journey [via railroad] to its area of operations, XII MAS served on Lake Ladoga for a 90-day period, making 59 sorties, and engaging in 17 actions, during which they sank a Soviet gunboat (Bira class) and a merchant ship of 1300 tons. Despite the skill and enthusiasm which the MAS brought to this corner of the Eastern Front, they were unable to stop, or even seriously inconvenience, Soviet efforts to maintain supply route to Leningrad"
Soviet military intelligence [GRU] before, during and after the Second World War having a grudging admiration and respect for Italian naval commando units. As described by the Soviet era defector Suvorov:
"before the Second World War Italy's technology was at an incredibly high level . . . achievements, especially in the sphere of aviation, submarines and high-speed launches, were really amazing . . . the Italians were the unrecognized geniuses of military and naval technology." - - Suvorov.
ITALIAN NAVAL COMMANDO UNITS DURING WW2 EVEN TRAINING AND PREPARING FOR A MISSION TO SABOTAGE NAVAL AND MERCHANT SHIPPING VICINITY NEW YORK HARBOR. AN ATTACK WHICH DID NOT COME TO FRUITION BUT ENVISIONED AND IN THE WORKS TO SOME EXTENT.