Annibale Bergonzoli

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Annibale Bergonzoli
The Campaign in North Africa 1940-1943- Personalities E2294.jpg
Bergonzoli in 1941
Nickname(s) "barba elettrica" (Electric Beard or Electric Whiskers)
Born (1884-11-01)1 November 1884
Cannobio, Italy
Died 31 July 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 XXIII Corps
Battles/wars

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 World War I, the Spanish Civil War and World War II. In 1940 He commanded the defences of Bardia, Libya. In February 1941, after the disastrous Battle of Beda Fomm, Bergonzoli surrendered to Australian forces.[1] 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.

Career[edit]

  • 1906 - Entered the Royal Italian Army
  • 1906 - Student at the Military Academy of Modena
  • 1907 - Promoted Sottotenente (2nd Lieutenant), 53rd Infantry Regiment
  • 1908 - Student at the Military School of Pavia
  • 1909 - Promoted Tenente (1st Lieutenant)
  • Student at the Higher War School
  • 1911-1912 - Tenente (1st Lieutenant), fought in the Italo-Turkish War
  • 1914-1918 - Fought in World War I
  • 1915 - Promoted Capitano (Captain), Staff Officer in the IX Division
  • 1917 - Promoted Maggiore (Major), Liaison Officer in the High Command of the Allied Armies in the Middle East
  • 1917 - Commanding Officer of the "1st Assault Division" Arditi unit
  • 1918 - Promoted Tenente Colonnello (Lieutenant Colonel), Chief of Staff of the XXV Division
  • 1920 - Promoted Colonnello (Colonel)
  • 1920 - Commanding Officer of the XVII Division
  • (Fascists gain control and reform the army)
  • 1928 - Commanding Officer of the 78th Regiment "Toscana"
  • Commanding Officer of the 6th Regiment "Aosta"
  • Commandant, School of Subofficers (and Reserve Officers) at Palermo
  • 1935 - Promoted Generale di Brigata (Brigadier General)
  • 1935 - Commanding Officer, 2nd Celere (Mot.) Brigade "Emanuele Filiberto Testa di Ferro"
  • 1935-1936 - Fought in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War
  • 1936-1938 - Fought in the Spanish Civil War
  • 1937 - Promoted Generale di Divisione (Major General)
  • 1937 - General Officer Commanding, 4th Infantry Division "Littorio"
  • 1939 - General Officer Commanding, 133rd Armoured Division "Littorio"
  • 1939-1941 - Fought in World War II
  • 1940 - Promoted Generale di Corpo d'Armata (Lieutenant General)
  • 1940 - General Officer Commanding, XXIII Corps
  • 1941 - Became a Prisoner of War at the Battle of Beda Fomm
  • 1941–1946 - Prisoner of War
  • 1947 - Named Generale di Corpo di Esercito (Lieutenant General) in the (Republican) Italian Army
  • 1947 - Retired

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Antony Beevor (5 June 2012). The Second World War. Little, Brown. p. 181ff. ISBN 978-0-316-08407-9. 

External links[edit]