Original “Axis & Allies” WWII Small Flag Lot - Belgium & Italy

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Lot of 2 Available. This is a lovely pair of small WWII era flags for Belgium and Italy. Although Belgium remained neutral during the war, they did fight against Italy in many skirmishes and battles, one of which being the Siege of Saïo.

The siege of Saïo or battle of Saïo took place during the East African Campaign of World War II. Belgo-Congolese troops, British Commonwealth forces and local resistance fighters besieged the fort at the market town of Saïo in south-western Ethiopia in 1941. The siege lasted for several months, culminating in an Allied attack on the Italian garrison thereby forcing it to surrender.

In the first months of 1941, British and Belgian colonial forces attacked Italian East Africa from the colony of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. By the end of March, they had seized the town of Gambela and begun containing retreating Italian forces, which were massing on a plateau in the mountain town of Saïo (presently Dembidolo) under the command of General Carlo De Simone and later General Pietro Gazzera. The British forces withdrew the following month and the Belgians advanced down the road to Saïo. The Italians repelled them and they were forced to hold their positions along a nearby brook. Almost no fighting took place in May as heavy rain bogged down the Belgians and turned their supply line from Sudan into mud, creating a food shortage. In early June, reinforcements arrived via river and the Belgians besieged the Italian supply depot at Mogi. Aggressive patrols, combined with the actions of the Ethiopian resistance and raids from the South African Air Force put increased pressure upon the Italian garrison.

At the end of the month General Auguste Gilliaert took charge of the Belgian force. He was instructed by the British to attack when an opportunity presented itself. On 3 July, he assaulted the base of Saïo Mountain and in the afternoon Gazzera sued for peace. On 6 July, the Belgians formally accepted the surrender of Gazzera, eight of his generals and over 6,000 Italian soldiers.

The Flags In This Lot:
- Belgian Tricolor 29” x 21”: The flag is in good condition with minor color loss and fading. The national flag of Belgium is a tricolor consisting of three equal vertical bands displaying the national colors of Belgium: black, yellow, and red. The colors were taken from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Brabant, and the vertical design may be based on the flag of France. When flown, the black band is nearest the pole (at the hoist side). It has the unusual proportions of 13:15.

- Kingdom of Italy Flag With Savoy Coat of Arms 16” x 13”: This flag is much smaller than the Belgian flag and is in similar condition with all colors dyed instead of being separate construction. The national flag of Italy, often referred to in Italian as il Tricolore, is a tricolor featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white and red, national colors of Italy, with the green at the hoist side, as defined by article 12 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic. The Italian law regulates its use and display, protecting its defense and providing for the crime of insulting it; it also prescribes its teaching in Italian schools together with other national symbols of Italy.

Both flags come ready to display in your EAME collections!

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