Italian Awards

    Italian Eastern Front Awards

    The Italian awards shown below were rendered to those men that fought on the Eastern Front.


    Illustrated above is a very nice and scarce WW2 Alpini hat with a M37 pattern eagle insignia. The number "8" attached to the insignia indicate that it belong to the 8th Alpini Regiment of the Julia Division. Below is a 1939 dagger with three rivet wooden handle and black scabbard normally used by Italian Paratroopers and black militias. In the center is the C.S.I.R. cross.

    Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia Messe Document

    CSIR Messe

    C.S.I.R. document written by General Messe to his men declaring a final farewell and officially recognizing them for their heroic acts in battle while serving under his command in Russia.
    This document was issued to his troops in the summer of 1942. The document has a C.S.I.R. circular seal with the House of Savoy Coat of Arms in the center follow by the facsimile signature General Messe.

    The document was designed by a former C.S.I.R. veteran Lieutenant Colonel Mario Mona who posted his signature on the bottom lower left side of the document. On the bottom right side has the printer's information "SA Grafitalia via Pizzi & Pythian Milano Rome." Mona was attached in the elite Bersaglieri, he went missing in action in Livorno on July 12--13, 1943. He was posthumously awarded the gold medal for military valor.

    Italian CSIR Cross

    Italian CSIR Cross Italian CSIR Cross

    Italian C.S.I.R. award was probably instituted in August 1942 and rendered to those troops that participated in the initial campaign of Operation Barbarossa. The cross is made of either silver, silver bronze or silver zama. The obverse is found in either off-white paint or enameled surrounded by a metal border outline. The reverse has the names of the Russian regions and the years that the Italian troops fought. In addition, the manufacturer's name and address is posted on the lower right side. For the silver cross an "800" mark is posted on the lower left corner side. The Ribbon is white and black.
    Above is an original white painted cross with silver metal outlines attached to a white/black ribbon. Notice that the reverse shows the names of the Russian regions and the years that the Italian troops fought. On top of the cross is the inscription "DNJEPR, DONETZ" and on the bottom is the dates "LUGLIO 941, LUGLIO 942." Perpendicular to the cross from left to right the inscription "BUG" and "DON." In the center it shows the "C.S.I.R." in large size letters. In addition just below the date it shows in small letters the manufacturer's name and address "LORIOLI MILANO ROMA, A PICOZZI MILANO."
    Post-production badges exist probably made and purchased for veterans. The post-war crosses are missing the manufacturer's name and address.

    Italian FRONTE-RUSSO Badge

    Italian Fronte Russo Badge

    The so-called Italian FRONTE-RUSSO honor badge was awarded in March 1943 to all those troops that served on the Eastern Front from 22 June 1941 to 5 June 1943. The badge was also awarded to Germans attached to the C.S.I.R. and 8th Army Corps. This attractive silver color badge shows the wreath with laurels (representing heroism) on the right side and thorns (representing suffering) on the left side, both touching the knot of Savoy at the top. The center of the badge shows two Cossack sabers crossing. At the base is a ribbon with the inscription "FRONTE RUSSO" highlighted in blue.

    Italian Fronte Russo
    On the reverse of the badge was the name and address of the manufacturing company "F. M. LORIOLI FRATELLI, VIA F. BRONZETTI 25, MILANO" and the manufacturing pattern number "MODELLO DEPOSITATO NO. 38." The badge was attached to the left pocket of the uniform via a pin. This die cast badge was sold for 6 Lira and was available directly from the only authorized manufacturing company the Lorioli Brothers. It came with a brown cellophane paper showing the manufacturer's logo and address.

    Italian Fronte Russo Italian Fronte Russo

    There exist two versions on the badge the difference is shown on the reverse. Above is a rare early issued Fronte - Russo badge. This badge has a needle pin with a catch and hinge that was placed in vertical position, which was later removed and replaced by a safety pin that follow the contour lines of the saber as shown in the second version.

    Italian CSIR Cross

    Italian Cross

    Troops of the Italian Expeditionary Forces in Russia were awarded with a black enameled cross for their participation on the Russian Front. The black cross shown on the top right side has the golden Italian Royal Eagle with the Arms of Savoy in the center and the inscription "C.S.I.R." (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia) just below the wings. The ribbon shows the Italian national colors: green/white/red. Italian medals were actually required to be purchased by the recipient for a small fee.

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