Luigi Frusci

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Luigi Frusci
Born 16 January 1879
Venosa
Died 1949
Allegiance  Kingdom of Italy
Service/branch  Royal Italian Army
Commands held General of Italian Army; Governor of Eritrea and Amhara
Battles/wars Second Italo-Abyssinian War;Spanish Civil War; Italian conquest of British Somaliland; East African Campaign.

Luigi Frusci (16 January 1879 – 1949) was an officer in the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) during the Italian conquest of Ethiopia and World War II. He was even Governor of Eritrea and Amhara (Ethiopia).


Biography[edit]

Ordine militare di Savoia
Ordine militare d'Italia
Medaglia d'argento al valor militare
Croce di guerra al valor militare
Medaglia commemorativa della guerra italo-austriaca (1915 – 18)
Medaglia commemorativa dell' Unità d'Italia
Medaglia interalleata della Vittoria

Luigi Frusci was born in Venosa in 1879 and soon enlisted in the Italian Army. He fought during World War I and -after Benito Mussolini took control of Italy- he enrolled in the National Fascist Party.

Frusci fought on the southern front for General Rodolfo Graziani during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. In April 1936, during the Battle of the Ogaden, Frusci commanded the center column of three columns attacking the Ethiopian "Hindenburg Wall". Later Frusci was the deputy commander of the Italian "volunteers" in the Corps of Volunteer Troops (Corpo Truppe Volontarie) during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and 1937.

In 1939 Frusci become Governor of Amhara in northern Ethiopia, and later governor of Italian Eritrea until 1941.

During World War II, Frusci was the main military commander in the Italian Eritrea Governorate. As a Lieutenant-General, he commanded Italian forces fighting in Eritrea during the East African Campaign. He fought in the Italian conquest of British Somaliland, conquering the capital Berbera.[1]

In mid-1940, Frusci oversaw the initial Italian attacks into the Sudan, conquering Kassala. Later in 1940, even when ordered to do so, he chose not pull out of the Sudan. Instead, he rebuffed the initial efforts of British and Commonwealth forces to retake the border towns. In November, an assault on Gallabat was stopped short of its goals, the attacking force was hit hard from the air, and the position was re-taken by Italian ground forces.

After the British and Commonwealth forces crossed the border and launched an offensive in January 1941, Frusci also oversaw the defensive actions at Agordat, Keren, and the rest of Eritrea.

With the fall of Eritrea, Frusci became a prisoner of war. In 1948 Frusci received from the Italian government the award "Commendatore dell'Ordine Militare d'Italia" [2] and the next year he died.

Command history[edit]

  • Inspector of Infantry
  • Colonel, Ogaden border region command, Italian Somaliland – 1935 to 1936
  • Deputy General Officer Commanding, (Corpo Truppe Volontarie), Spain – 1936 to 1937
  • General Officer Commanding, 20th Division Friuli, Spain – 1937 to 1938
  • General Officer Commanding, XX Corps, Libya – 1938 to 1939
  • Governor of Amhara, Ethiopia – 1939 to 1941
  • Governor of Eritrea – 1940 to 1941
  • General Officer Commanding, Eritrean Army, East Africa – 1940 to 1941
  • Prisoner of War – 1941 to 1945

Awards[edit]

Luigi Frusci received many awards (and medals). The most important were: "Ordine militare dei Savoia"; "Ordine militare d'Italia"; "War Silver Medal"; "Medaglia interalleata della Vittoria" and "Cruz de la guerra por la Unidad Nacional Española".

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Photos of the British Somalia conquest, with one at the bottom showing General Frusci
  2. ^ Medals given to general/governor Luigi Frusci

Bibliography[edit]

  • Goffredo Orlandi Contucci, A.O.I.- AFRICA ORIENTALE ITALIANA - La conquista dell'Impero nel ricordo del tenente Goffredo Orlandi Contucci - Edizioni MyLife, Monte Colombo/Coriano, 2009 ISBN 978-88-6285-100-8

See also[edit]

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Giuseppe Daodice
Governor of Eritrea
1940–1941
Succeeded by
none