Annibale Bergonzoli

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Annibale Bergonzoli
Annibale Bergonzoli.jpg
Nickname(s) "barba elettrica" (Electric Beard or Electric Whiskers)
Born (1884-11-01)1 November 1884
Cannobio, Italy
Died July 31, 1973(1973-07-31) (aged 88)
Cannobio, Italy
Allegiance  Kingdom of Italy
Service/branch  Royal Italian Army
Years of service 1911 - 1941
Rank Generale di corpo d'armata (Corps General)
Commands held Italian XXIII Corps

World War I:

World War II:

Awards Gold Medal of Valour
Military Order of Savoy

Annibale Bergonzoli (1 November 1884 – 31 July 1973), nicknamed "barba elettrica", "Electric Whiskers", was an Italian Lieutenant General during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. He commanded the defences of Bardia, Libya, after the short offensive into Egypt made by Rodolfo Graziani. At the end of 1940, a British offensive called Operation Compass, led by General Richard O'Connor, took Bardia forcing the Italians to retreat into Cyrenaica. Bergonzoli continued to command the XXIII Corps of the Italian Tenth Army during the retreat. In February 1941, after the disastrous defeat at Beda Fomm, Bergonzoli surrendered to Australian forces. He was held as a prisoner in India and the USA before being repatriated to Italy. Bergonzoli settled in his birthplace, Cannobio and died there in 1973.


  • 1928- Commanding Officer 78th Regiment Toscana
  • Commanding Officer 6th Regiment Aosta
  • Commandant Reserve Officer School at Palermo
  • 1935- Commanding Officer 2nd Celere Brigade Emanuele Filiberto Testa di Ferro
  • 1937-1939 General Officer Commanding 4 Infantry Division Littorio, Spain.
  • 1939-1940 General Officer Commanding 133 Armoured Division Littorio, France.
  • 1940-1941 General Officer, Commanding XXIII Corps, North Africa.
  • 1941-1946 Prisoner of War

Popular Culture[edit]

In the 1941 film, Love Crazy, starring Myrna Loy and William Powell, Powell's character refers to another character in the film, as looking like "General Electric Whiskers." This may be a reference to General Bergonzoli.