Izzo, Giuseppe

Date of birth:
May 23rd, 1904 (Presicce, Italy)
Date of death:
May 19th, 1983 (Rome, Italy)
Nationality:
Italian (1860-1946, Kingdom)

Biography

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Period:
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
Awarded on:
December 1939
Cruz de Guerra Cross
Period:
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
Awarded on:
December 1939
Medalla de la Campaña de España 1936-1939
Period:
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
Awarded on:
December 1939
Cruz Roja Del Merito Militar
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant Colonel
Unit:
184ª Divisione paracadutisti "Nembo"
Awarded on:
1945
Action:
"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, in action against enemy Axis forces on 19 April 1945. Lieutenant Colonel Izzo's outstanding accomplishments, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations."
"At dawn of 19 April 1945 the Paratroopers under the command of col. Izzo launched an attack. The enemy position had been organized into a series of strongpoints that could only be approached by passing through a heavily mined open ground. The avenues of approach were completely swept by a powerful enemy fire. After a preliminary artillery barrage fire, the attack began. This was followed by tenacious and furious fights in which the Italians got the upper hand and managed to wrest the position from the enemy. However, shortly thereafter, the enemy returned, with renewed violence with a series of counter-attacks that lasted the whole day. Both during the attack and during the counterattack of the German Paratroopers col. Izzo remained at the head of his troops, a shining example for his men. He constantly tried to be present where the situation was more critical and engaged in the most heated body to body fight.
In the course of this mortal struggle, col. Izzo was wounded, but his indomitable courage, his solicitude for his men and his tenacious will to repel the enemy kept him on the scene of the fight. Only after all the counter-attacks were repelled and after he had the absolute certainty that all the objectives had been perfectly consolidated, he decided to undergo medical threatment. The taking and maintaining of positions doubled the offensive spirit of his men and so demoralized the Germans that they abandoned the entire defensive line along the river Caiano. With the withdrawal from this line, one of the main lines of approach towards Bologna was opened. The extraordinary heroism in combat of col. Izzo was an important factor in the defeat of the enemy and contributed to the final success of the 15th Army Group in Italy."
Details:
General Orders: Headquarters, Fifteenth Army Group, General Orders No. 27
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Unit:
V Battaglione, 185ª Divisione paracadutisti "Folgore"
Awarded on:
1947
Action:
"As a Battalion commander, Izzo showed firmness and serenity in a particularly delicate situation, while scouting the enemy lines to identify the most probable directions of an enemy attack. The enemy offensive was placed at the head of the small tributary and Izzo's battalion strenuously counterattacked with hand grenades. Izzo was severely wounded but remained at the frontline until the end of the victorious action. "
— El Himeimat - Naqb Rala 24 October 1942
Medaglia d'argento al Valore Militare
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Unit:
184ª Divisione paracadutisti "Nembo"
Action:
"Commanding a battalion of paratroopers, Izzo received the order to conquer a formidable enemy position which played a key role to the entire defensive system enemy on the Bologna frontline and defended by the best troops. Well aware of the sacrifices, Izzo decided to attack at the front of his soldiers. After a vicious man-to-man battle, he managed to occupy and hold it, despite five furious German counterattacks who were determined to win her back at any cost. In the struggle without giving any room away, as a commander, he turned into a simple paratrooper and took up the machine gun. He fired without any shelter until a shell exploded just a few meters away, mutilating him gravely. But he did not abandon the fight, remained in the lead of his troops who, in the bright example of the commander, found the desperate energy for the victory, which marked the most beautiful page of the paratroopers of the "Nembo" and that reconfirmed the value of the soldier of Italy. Magnificent figure of commander and soldier."
— Grizzano (BO) 19 April 1945.
Medaglia d'oro al Valore Militare
Ordine della Corona d'Italia - Cavaliere

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