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PostMaking Fog with the "Nebbiogeni" (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 02/09/21 4:12 am)
Our esteemed moderator asked me about the Italian "fog producers" of WWII.
Fog producers or Battaglioni Nebbiogeni were used to generate fog against attacking aircraft and also at sea.
The Battaglioni Nebbiogeni were highly appreciated by the Germans. In the summer of 1942 the Oberkommando der Wehrmact recruited them to protect their secret installations for rocket construction, the future V1 and V2, on Peenemunde, the small island in the Baltic Sea.
When on 8 September 1943 the PM general Badoglio and the king (no capital letter please) signed the unconditional surrender, the Nebbiogeni decided not to recognize it and then became part of the Repubblica Sociale Italiana Army.
In the final days of the war, the fog was no longer of use and they fought as infantry, some against the British and some against the Soviets. The last RSI flag in Germany was lowered on 3 May 1945. There were other small formations of the RSI in Germany.
About the Italians in the antiaircraft German Flak:
After the Hitler-Mussolini accord of 30 July 1944, 500,000 Italian military personnel taken prisoner by the Germans immediately after the September surrender were set free, but about 50,000/70,000 (no exact figure available) rejected the pact and remained in the prison camps.
The freed soldiers became free workers in the German industries. The luckiest were in agriculture, while many thousands volunteered for the German Army. These mostly joined the Flak and the RSI, but the German Authorities preferred to keep them as free workers or in the Flak inside Germany.
As you can expect in the new Italian lay-democratic-antifascist republic, Mussolini's accord with Hitler of 30 July 1944 has been canceled by the books and all the prisoners of September 1943 are considered part of the resistance (sic).
When at sea I had a seaman who was lucky enough to be freed on 30 July 1944 and went to work in a German factory and to "help" a beautiful young blonde war widow. When finally the war ended he tried to remain, but his Italian wife after some months through the Italian/Allied Authorities got the police to return him to Italy.
JE comments: This gives new meaning to the expression "fog of war." I presume that regardless of their methods, the Nebbiogeni created massive volumes of pollution. Their counterparts in the air threw out aluminum-foil "chaff" or "Düppel" to confuse the anti-aircraft radar. A truism: the detritus of war lasts far longer than war itself.