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Can someone explain the Italians?

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No, I don't mean their stereotypical national characteristics, I'm after an explanation as to how/why their TO&E translates into CM ;)

Whilst the US, German and Commonwealth units are broadly similar in terms of organisation, the Italians are completely different. Within the infantry formations, there are almost as many HQ units as there are infantry squads.

I understand that not being able to split teams reflects their lack of tactical flexibility at squad level, but why so many HQs? I'm used to keeping my HQ units out of harms way and maintaining proper C2, but if I do this with the Italians, I end up with only half my troops actually doing any fighting.

And let's face it, these boys need all the help they can get.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what CM is reflecting with this plethora of HQs and more importantly, offer some advice on the best way to use Italian infantry. The normal split-squad-overwatch-and-manoeveur tactics I'm used to employing aren't happening with Mario, Luigi and the gang.

Che cosa sta succedendo?

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Basically you have to think of the Italian "squad" as a half-platoon, itself of 2 squads. Since it functions like a platoon it has its own platoon HQ section, effectively. In action you should use each one as a mini platoon and not try to use it as one squad.

The tactical reality is that all pure infantry formations smaller than a company need to be flexible, because the company is the smallest infantry formation that can fight effectively on its own, in all stances. A platoon can defend, or perform one task for a company, but is not enough to protect itself and maneuver, both, against anything but tiny enemy elements (scouts, dust).

Once you accept that, the internal articulation of the company becomes a matter for dynamic "tasking". Which portions with which weapons get which roles has to change with the task, terrain, plan, and enemy. Trying to impose a rigid doctrine down to the squad and fireteam level is a non-starter. One squad cannot do much of anything alone.

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Thanks for the replies - I'm still struggling to find the best way to use the Italians on the attack, does anyone have any other useful tips?

Your Brixias are your striking/suppressing arm. They're splendid little weapons, and the Infantry Battalion gets 18 of them, enough, IIRC for two per platoon. Their surfeit of HQs means you can actually keep one layer of C2 active for most of them.

If you're picking QB forces and you really want to "fire and maneuver" on the enemy, choose an HMG battalion... The squads split nicely into firebase and maneuver elements...

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