What's New On Tom's Travel Blog?

Flickr has been improved! Almost all photos on this blog come from my Flickr Photostream. You can now go directly to a page that shows all of my Flickr photo sets by following this link. It's the easiest way to navigate in my on-line photos.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

El Alamein - The Italian Memorial and Cemetery

The Italian war memorial cemetery is the best marked of all the WWII monument at el Alamein.  A large set of stone arches stands beside the highway at the entrance to this final resting place for 4200 Italians.  There is also a small museum and rest facility.  In the background in this photo, you may notice a small mosque that marks the similarly identified Libyan memorial.

There is Fiat M13/40 tank near the entry to the path leading up to the memorial.

The path is lined with what appear to be individual unit memorials.

This is a very impressive memorial, with individual stones marking the graves, many of them marked "ignoto" (unknown.) and a large number of empty places for other remains that might have turned up during extensive recovery efforts spearheaded by Count Paolo Caccia Dominioni.  A veteran of the battle, Dominioni spent twenty years getting the monument built and the bodies recovered.

ItalianCemetery-17 ItalianCemetery-19


That's a bust of Count Dominioni over on the right side of the picture.

A large portion of the rear of the memorial is devoted to a chapel and the tower holds a large cross.


Back at the entrance portico, there are several memorials including this quote from Rommel.  It is dedicated to the 7th, 8th, 9th and 12th Bersaglieri (Italian light infantry) regiments.  He noted that "The German soldier amazed the world but the Italian Bersaglieri amazed the German soldier."

Also back at the entrance portico there is a small war museum.  It has some excellent maps, regimental flags and quite a bit of weaponry.

ItalianCemetery-06 ItalianCemetery-10

My favorite item in the museum was this six-round clip and cartridges that had obviously spent quite a few years buried in the sand.  Many sources point out that one of the disadvantages suffered by the Italians during WWII was their 1891 bolt action Carcano rifle.  (See this page about the Carcano, also.)  Original clips of this variety in good condition go for about $20-30 on eBay.

If you have read this far in this post, you probably are interested in more information.  There is an excellent story about the Italian monument at this website.  In addition, there is a very good overview of all the el Alamein monuments at this website.

No comments: