The Steppe Sacrifice (Book)

Outside Italy not much is known about the Italan Expeditionary Corp in Russia, and about the terrible experience of sacrifice and valour made by the Alpini (Elite Italian Mountain Infantry) during a 350 km retreat on feet, from 17 to 31 January 1942, over 40 degrees below zero, fighting with sidearms only against the attacks of the Russian T34 and the Russian partisans.

Only a few books, out of the mamy written by the Italian survivors, have been translated in English.

I recently found a new release written in English by the nepew of two survived veterans:

Hope Hamilton - Sacrifice on the Steppe
This book would provide a good insight on Italian participation on Eastern Front in World War II, given the fact that wartime propaganda reduced that role to a caricature.
Some comments about the contents from the publisher are here:
http://www.casematepublishing.com/title.php?isbn=9781612000022

Here you can also read a preview of the preface of the book (PDF file)
http://www.casematepublishing.com/dlc/9781612000022/9781612000022-CH1.pdf

For those of you who want to know more about those really epic facts, heare are some books translated in English:

Mario Rigoni Stern - The Sergeant in the Snow
published in 1953 in Italian and the following year in English, The Sergeant in the Snow draws on his own experience as a Sergeant Major in the Alpini corp during the disastrous retreat from Russia in World War II
http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Sergeant_in_the_Snow.html?id=sH0WCtUIXDIC

Here is a comment of a non-Italian reader:
http://www.saloforum.com/index.php?threads/war-nerd-on-the-sergeant-in-the-snow-by-mario-rigoni-stern-italians-on-the-eastern-front.893/

Eugenio Corti - A few Returned - Twenty-eight Days on the Russian Front, Winter 1942-1943
Another personal account of the Italian retreat in Russia by a twenty-one-year-old second lieutenant of an Italian infantry division

Eugenio Corti - The Red Horse
Although Eugenio Corti had a personal experience about the Russian campaign (see the previous book), the Russian campaign itself is only marginally touched in his novel “The Red Horse”, a big but intensive kind of Italian version of War and Pace, that anyway deserves to be read. A comment on the book contents is also included in the herwith following link.

I whish you good reading

That is, in the Western World…Russian know very well the ARMIR-CSIR history, as almost each and every Soviet family has had at least one loss in the war.

Unlike in Yugoslavia, Italian troops behaved so correctly with enemy soldiers and civilians, that almost all Russians still have great respect and affection for us (not only for sex!).

A few anecdotes:

[ul]
[li]Italian Alpini Divisions are maybe the only enemy unit expressely quoted by Soviet Authorities: in March, 1943, after Stalingrad and the Axis retreat from the Volga to HQ in Lvov(on the Bielarus-Ukrainian border), Radio Moscow announced: “Of all Fascist (no distiction between Nazis and Fascists, in Russian language) Invaders and Occupants of our Motherland, only one can still deserve a hope of getting back home alive: the Italian Alpini”[/li][li]In the National Great Patriotic War Museum in Moscow, the exhibition is splitted in various Halls, one for each Front. In the Volga-Don Front Hall, any piece of German ordnance and weapon is labellled “belonging to a German Fascist invader”…only exception: a Beretta MAB submachine gun, labelled "Italian-made MP, found incidentally on the River Don…[/li][li]In the same museum, another specimen of the same Beretta MAB can be found in the “Those who helped us” Hall, where the Salerno Landing has more space than Operation Overlord in Normandy (Salerno is in Italy, you know…), and Italian Partisans are more thoroughly described and honoured than the French or Czechoslovakian ones…this Beretta is evidently more valuable than the other ones, as the label goes “Wonderful and perfectly working piece of Italian craftsmanship, belonging to a Glorious Italian Freedom Fighter”…:roflmao:[/li][/ul]