Bolt Action returns with Campaign: Italy: Tough Gut next week. Read on for the first of two blogs giving you some historical inspiration for painting up your armies...

Bolt Action: Campaign: Italy focuses on the battles ranging from the Gustav Line in 1944 all the way to those of the Gothic Line in 1945, with the breakouts at Anzio and Monte Cassino of particular focus. Containing a host of scenarios to refight these famous battles, along with new units, special rules, and Theatre Selectors, this book contains everything players need to bring an end to the war and liberate Italy.

If you're looking to get started with an Italian army, look no further than Warlord Games' Italian Army plastic set, pictured below, with parts to customise 30 individual soldiers.

A photo the fully-painted miniature wargaming figures from Warlord Games' Italian Army set for Bolt Action

And for some historical inspiration and as a painting reference, check out this illustration by Stephen Andrew and caption from Osprey Publishing's The Italian Army: 1940-45 (3).

A fully-coloured illustration of a colonel, soldier and corporal from the WW2 Italian army

"Left: Colonnello, infantry, 1945.

The colonel wears the new uniform adopted by the RSI army in September 1944 but only seen in small numbers before the end of the war; most officers continued to wear pre-Armistice uniforms with new insignia replacing those of the Royal Army. His new type of service dress cap shows strong German influence; it bears the newly designed infantry badge and the red piping of that branch. On the tunic the officer’s rank is shown on the shoulder boards rather than on the cuffs as on the pre-Armistice uniform. The new triple red collar flame of the infantry bears the new badge of the ENR, a silver gladio sword and laurel wreath. Above his right breast pocket is the gilded honour badge issued to officers of the four divisions which were trained in Germany in 1943 and 1944. On the left breast pocket is the Russian Front honour badge given to survivors from Italy’s participation in Germany’s ‘anti-Bolshevik crusade’.

Centre: Soldato, 2nd ‘Littorio’ Infantry Division, 1944.

One of the four regular ENR divisions trained in Germany, the ‘Littorio’ was sometimes given the elite title of ‘Grenadier’ Division, but this was purely for propaganda reasons. His M1940 grey-green tunic, with the new triple red collar flames of the infantry, is worn with paratrooper pattern trousers. On the right breast he displays the silver other ranks’ version of the badge issued to all personnel of the four divisions trained in Germany. The M1933 helmet is painted the same shade of grey as German helmets; it is marked with the RSI eagle stencil on the front and a tricolour shield on the left. On his German Army belt he has a holstered Beretta M1934 and the gunner’s spares pouch for his MG42 light machine gun – German weapons were issued to most of these troops in an attempt to bring them up to modern standards.

Right: Caporale, 1st Bersaglieri Battalion ‘B.Mussolini’, 1944.

This unit, formed in Verona, was one of the first to volunteer to fight for the RSI regime and reached a strength of about 1,000 men. The corporal is wearing a drab wind jacket (note the belt loops, and the lace-up side vents) with his rank above the left breast pocket. The crimson double collar flames of the Bersaglieri have been embellished with white metal skull badges; another is worn on his pocket flap. Badges like these were widely worn, and many men of this unit would have displayed variations of them. His M1933 steel helmet has no decoration apart from the traditional cockerel feathers of the Bersaglieri. He is armed with a slung M1891/1938 Carcano carbine with folding bayonet, and carries a German case for belted MG42 ammunition."
- Philip Jowett, author of The Italian Army: 1940-45 (3)

Bolt Action: Campaign: Italy: Tough Gut is out next week,
17th August, in the UK and is out October in the US.

Pre-order now.

A footer banner for Tough Gut, showing a photo of miniature figures set up in a scene of soldiers advancing through barbed wire behind a tank, under the title "THE FIGHT CONTINUES!" and alongside the bullet points "NEW SCENARIOS, NEW UNITS, SPECIAL RULES"