Nigerians Chasing Italians Like Cheetahs Hunt a Bull - WW2 - 081 - March 14, 1941

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Nigerians Chasing Italians Like Cheetahs Hunt a Bull - WW2 - 081 - March 14, 1941 5

An Italian offensive into Greece is prepared, just as the Germans are preparing to also attack Greece via Bulgaria. Meanwhile, a daring and spectacular dash is made by the Nigerian Army.

Written and Hosted by: Indy Neidell
Produced and Directed by: Spartacus Olsson and Astrid Deinhard
Executive Producers: Bodo Rittenauer, Astrid Deinhard, Indy Neidell, Spartacus Olsson
Creative Producer: Joram Appel
Post-Production Director: Wieke Kapteijns
Research by: Indy Neidell
Edited by: Iryna Dulka

Colorizations by:
- Daniel Weiss

- Bundesarchiv

A TimeGhost chronological documentary produced by OnLion Entertainment GmbH.

💬 Comments on the video


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Author — World War Two


The Nigerian aspect of the war is one of the reasons why I love this channel. I never even knew there were Nigerian participation at all. Makes me wonder just how much was left out of the mainstream!

Author — Dickson Phua


Could you believe 90% of Nigerians don’t know about this 😳😶

Author — K Moses


Italian soldier : Ethiopia is OURS FOREVER
Nigerian soldier: hold my jollof rice for a minute

Author — BOSS MAN


One hypothesis supported by some historians about how the Nigerian troops advanced so quickly in Ethiopia, is because Mussolini thought emails from a Nigerian prince were legit.

Author — Duke of Lorraine


*Italians unable to advance in Greece.*
Mussolini: "FINE, I'LL DO IT MYSELF."

Author — David Beach


And to think of that lend lease, Britain wouldn't be able to finish paying it back until Dec 2006!

Author — nuttyjawa


the title made me giggle. W H Y A R E Y O U R U N N I N G

Author — Ethan W Monster


Germany, we are the best at blitzkrieg! Nigerians: Observe.

Author — SanitaryCockroach


Saw a portrait at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, of a Nigerian pilot who sponsored himself from Nigeria to Great Britain in order to fight for the British. When the war was over, a policy was made to abolish racial discrimination in recruitment, but in reality, there was an official consensus to deny Blacks such as that pilot enlisting into the Royal Air Force.

Author — James Namo


Imagine how confusing it was

So some austrian guy in control of germany declares war on poland so you as a Nigerian are sent to east Africa to fight the Italians

Author — jake kn


Thanks so much for the amazing story of the Nigerians - something I had never heard of. Even the wikipedia pages just say things like "During the East African Campaign, the 12th African Division attacked from Kenya into Italian Somaliland and then advanced into Ethiopia." No hint that this was *the fastest advance in history* and a story no-one else seems to have ever told.

Author — Marcel Podstolski


Royal West African Front my great granddaddy served 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬

Author — jesustheguyfrom mexico


Nigerian chads showing everyone how its done

Author — Konstanty Krzemien


This week in the Greco-Italian War, is marked by the opening of the major Italian Spring Offensive, the last attempt to defeat the Greek forces that had advanced deep into Albanian territory:

The offensive, codenamed 'Operation Spring', concentrated along the 32 km-long (20 mi) central sector, against which the Italians threw the entire 11. Army (Gen. Carlo Geloso). At the central 5 km-long (3 mi) frontline, the Italians deployed VIII. Army Corps (Corps Gen. Gastone Gambara) consisted of five front-line divisions, plus two battalions of blackshirt troops. Behind it, Army Corps 'Ciamuria' (Corps Gen. Carlo Rossi) deployed four divisions. At Tepelenë, 29th Infantry Division 'Piemonte', and 131st Armoured Division 'Centaur' acted as reserve forces. Additional fifteen battalions of infantry, alpini and blackshirt troops of IV. Army Corps (Corps Gen. Camillo Mercalli), were deployed between the rivers Vjosë and Seman. The Italian plan anticipated that VIII. Army Corps was to make a thrust across Desnices valley, seize Këlcyrë (Klisura), drive on along the line Këlcyrë - Përmet, invade Greece, take the Greek town of Κonitsa, and eventually Ioannina, the capital of Greek Epirus region.

The Greeks deployed XI Infantry Division (Μaj. Gen. Christos Zygouris) with eight battalions, opposite the Italian IV. Army Corps, and I (Maj. Gen. Vassilios Vrachnos), VI (Maj. Gen. Nikolaos Markou), ΧVII (Col. Socrates Demaratos), XV (Maj. Gen. Panaghiotis Spiliotopoulos) infantry divisions with nineteen battalions, opposite the Italian VIII. Army Corps. The 14, 000 Thessalians of I Infantry Division that held the line Trebeshinë - Këlcyrë in particular, would absorb intense pressure.

The Italian attack began at 0600 hours on Sunday, March 9, with Mussolini closely observant. Within the next two-three hours, tens of thousands of artillery shells hit the Greek positions. 190 planes also pounded the Greek entrenchments.
At 0800 hours, the Italians launched a primary attack and at 0900 hours the main effort began against hills 731 and 717. Hill 731, was strategically located 20 km (12.5 mi) N of Këlcyrë (Klisura) at the feet of Trebeshinë mountain, and stood at the heart of the Greek defensive line. Both 717 and 731 were defended by the troops of II/5 btn under the Gold Cross of Valour recipient, Maj. Dimitrios Kasslas.

Despite the intense Greek artillery fire, the first Italian troops (elements from 59th Infantry Division 'Cagliari' under the overall command of Div. Gen. Paolo Angioy) managed to reach the steep slopes of both hills, but the Greeks counter-attacked the oncoming Italians with fixed bayonets under the cover of dense smoke, and toppled them.
By late afternoon, the Italians had launched four attacks against Hill 731, all repulsed by the Greek defenders. Μaj. Kasslas was able to re-establish communication with the higher echelon of command only at 1930 hours. Col. Themistocles Ketseas' order was a simple one: 'You shall hold your positions to the last man.'
Hill 717 ('731's watch-dog' according to a Greek officer), was eventually captured and held firmly by the Italians, despite a series of repeated Greek efforts to retake it.
A new Italian attack was launched against hills 1308 and 1030, to no avail. At the same time, a diversionary Italian assault on hills 709 and 710 was repulsed by the Greeks.
The attack launched by elements from 38th Infantry Division 'Puglie' (Div. Gen. Alberto D'Apone) against Hill 1110 (Mali Spandarit) was also checked.
The attack launched by the Italian 2nd Infantry Division 'Sforzesca' (Div. Gen. A. Ollearo) against Qafa e Mezhgoranit, was successful. The Italians took the ridge and the town of Mezhgoran, fortified it, and turned it into a forward base of operations and supply.

On Monday, March 10, the Italian attack began at 0645 hours with tens of thousands of artillery shells hitting the Greek positions.
At 0850 hours the Italians attempted to break the Greek defence line again at Hill 1308 while simultaneously assaulting Hill 731. The Greeks held their positions.
Further to the N, the Italian 11th Alpini Regiment (Col. Giuseppe Zappini) from 5th Alpini Division 'Pusteria' (Div. Gen. Giovanni Esposito) attacked and seized a portion of Hill 1110 (Mali Spandarit) defended by elements from the Greek XI division (Μaj. Gen. Christos Zygouris). The Thessalonians of 13th Infantry Regiment (Col. Vassilios Kampanis) from XI division, were ordered to counter-attack immediately; the men fixed bayonets, rushed headlong into the Italians and toppled them, the battlefield was left strewn with alpini killed and wounded.

Gen. Vrachnos in his 'Order of the Day' statement, demonstrated the high morale of the Greek defenders in the initial stages of the Italian offensive:
'Fighters of I Division!
Before your relentless heroism all enemy efforts have been crushed.
Before your iron lines three fresh enemy divisions have been beaten off inside two days.
I'm so proud to say I lead Warriors!'

On the contrary, the Italian morale had plummeted. Corps Gen. Camillo Mercalli, CO of IV. Army Corps, reported on the condition of the Italian army:
'On the 9th and 10th of this month (March) I saw units -even whole battalions, for hours and hours, even for days, despite the most violent and heavy continuous shooting by our artillery and infantry, advance only a few metres forward and then pin themselves to the ground. One infantry regiment preferred to remain all day under the deadly fire of the enemy's mortars and suffer great losses, rather than make that step forward which not only would have ensured the occupation of its objective, but would also have saved it from such painful and unnecessary sacrifices. One tends to think that there is no will there, or even worse, no heart! I cannot believe it! I do not want to believe it!'
(End of Part 1)

Author — Αποστόλης Μ.


I'm so happy that the contributions of my country Nigeria to the war were not forgotten. My great grandfather fought in Burma and even here people don't remember that we participated in the war

Author — Kadir Kaita


In Holland, on March 6, the Germans sentenced eighteen members of the Dutch resistance to death; they were executed seven days later. On their way to the place of execution in the sand dunes, they sang, alternating psalms with the Dutch national anthem. To show the Dutch people that they were not forgotten, British aircraft dropped more than four thousand tons of Dutch tea from Batavia, in two ounce bags. Each bag bore the message: ‘Greetings from the Free Netherlands Indies. Keep a good heart. Holland will rise again.’ In Poland, after the murder by Polish patriots on March 7 of a Warsaw actor, Igo Sym, who had declared himself to be an ethnic German, the Germans seized 160 hostages. When those who had killed Sym did not give themselves up, seventeen of the hostages were shot, among them two former teachers at Warsaw University, Professor Kopec, a biologist, who was executed with his son, and Professor Zakrzewski, an eminent historian. Also in Poland, or in what had been Poland until September 1939, death was now the punishment even for singing the Polish anthem. On March 14 the local German newspaper in Poznan reported that two Poles had been sentenced to death for this ‘crime’; they were Edward Lembicz, a thirty-six-year-old saddler and Jan Mikolacyzcyk a twenty five year old carter

Official looting, too, had continued throughout German-occupied Europe, at times on a substantial scale. In February and March 1941, Goering visited Paris four times; during the course of his visits he removed fifty-three works of art from private Jewish collections, including one painting each by Goya, Rembrandt, Teniers, Rubens, Boucher and Frans Hals. When a local German official objected that this was illegal, Goering replied: ‘The highest jurist in the State is me’.

Author — merdiolu81


As a Nigerian never have I heard or thought during my school days that Nigeria participated in the second world war it is in our history. I guess now my school days has just began.

Author — Ace Hardware 1477


Do something about the Nigerians, they are the most interesting part of this video

Author — Aldrey Menezes


Africans defending africa.from italians ..keep it up.

Author — Oludum Mo