The files of 90.lei.Afrika-Div. contain some information on the Italian units it encountered after moving from the main battle area to the rear area around Agedabia and el-Agheila. Below the information and assessment of the 3rd ‘A.S.’ (North African – Africa Settentrionale) battalion, which was formed from detachments of 1st ‘Bafile’ battalion of the Italian San Marco marines regiment.
Men of the 3rd Battalion San Marco Regiment in North Africa. Undated but probably Winter 1941/42. Marina Militare
The information is from a document dated 21 Dec. 1941, and signed by Oberst Marcks, the commanding officer of Schuetzenregiment 155, which had taken over the Aphelia – Mersa el-Brega sector, and from Feldgrau.com (at this link). The battalion was not at full strength, as it had only the 3rd rifle company of the Bafile battalion, and had not yet received most of the gun reinforcements. The battalion was not involved in combat during Operation CRUSADER when it provided rear-area security in the Agedabia sector. It did conduct operations under German control during the counter offensive, fighting as infantry support to the Afrika-Korps at Antelat.
Order of Battle, 3rd Battalion San Marco, December 1941
Marines Battalion San Marco
About 500 men
1x Rifle Company
1x MG Company
1x Command Company
12x light machine guns
3x light mortars 4.5cm
12x heavy machine guns
2x AT guns (most likely Boehler 4.7cm)
Appears to be fully ready for action. Battalion subordinated to Sabratha Division, under orders to await further instructions in el-Agheila. Subordinated temporarily to my command.
Colonel and Regimental CO