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X Mas (Decima Mas) 1943/45 Italian Social Republic (Facist Army)--

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Waterloo 1815

Item Number: AP010

X Mas 1943/45 Italian Social Republic (Facist Army)

Date Released:  2004
Contents:  46 figures in 15 poses
Material:  Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Color:  Grey, Green
Average Height:  24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Since this unit is little known, a brief history lesson is in order. With the war going badly for Italy, Mussolini was overthrown on the 24th July 1943, and secret negotiations began with the Allies. On the 3rd September, an armistice with the Allies was agreed (announced on the 8th), and the first Allied troops landed in mainland Italy.  On the 12th, Mussolini was released from captivity by German paratroops, and a few days later the Italian Social Republic ('RSI') was declared, formed of that part of Italy still under German control. The King and Government had fled south, and on the 13th October declared war on Germany, and therefore on the fascist RSI too. With the Italian army disarmed and imprisoned, the RSI began raising its own forces from October that year, and these included a unit known as X Mas (pronounced 'Decima Mas' from the Roman X for ten).  This unit was to reach divisional strength, with in excess of 25,000 men, and proved itself to be a well-trained and well-motivated force.

Uniform and equipment of the X Mas was initially quite similar to the pre-armistice period, in large measure because supply was exceptionally difficult under German occupation.  The most popular uniform was the M1941 collarless wool tunic and baggy trousers in the paratrooper style, and most of the figures here as thus dressed, often with the common roll-neck jumper underneath.  Some however have the Sahariana jacket with the cape top which was also common.  Headgear was either the M1933 steel helmet or a wool beret, with both appearing in this set. All X Mas fighters had a metal badge on their left sleeve of similar design, and this too can be seen here.  Weapons were a mixture, which is not surprising given the difficulties under which they operated, but those depicted here are largely accurate.

You may notice that the pictures do not indicate the number of each pose, and this is because there are two versions of this set on the market. The original version contains only the figures shown in the first three rows, and contains four of each. The second version, released three years after the first, added the four poses shown in the bottom row. For this version there are two of each of the original figures plus six of each of the new ones, making a total of 46 figures. The new poses provide some more conventional choices and definitely improve the set overall, with no difference in quality or style between the two. The scores below reflect the second type set, but the original type only scored a '7' for the lower number of poses.