22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi

The 22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Cacciatori delle Alpi was mobilized for war in June 1939 and was dissolved 11 September 1943.

22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi
22a Divisione Fanteria Cacciatori delle Alpi.png
22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi Insignia
Active1939–1943
Country Italy
BranchItalian Army
TypeInfantry
SizeDivision
Garrison/HQPerugia
Nickname(s)Cacciatori delle Alpi
EngagementsWorld War II
Insignia
Division collar insignia22 div alpi.jpg
Coat of Arms of the 51st Infantry Regiment "Alpi", 1939
Coat of Arms of the 52nd Infantry Regiment "Alpi", 1942

ActionEdit

When the Italian invasion of France started 10 June 1940, the Cacciatori delle Alpi division remained in reserve as part of the Italian 1st Army in Perinaldo-Pigna, Liguria-Castel Vittorio areas near the border with France. It was moved out of reserve 19 June 1940 and assigned an attack sector at Triora-Vallecrosia-Camporosso, but the war in France ended 24 June 1940 before the division saw combat.[1][2]

In the first half of January, the Cacciatori delle Alpi division was transferred to Albania, reaching Bubës, Qafa e Bubësit 18 January 1941. It concentrated around Berat city 19 January 1941, and reached a final destination in the sector between Qafa e Bubësit, Përroi i Branecit and river Osum 25 January 1941. 25 January 1941, the Greek forces attacked en masse over river Osum. On 28 January 1941, the severely decimated Cacciatori delle Alpi division gave the way and parts of division retreated north until reaching the Shkumbin river. A minor defensive battle was won by Italians at Mali i Firtit 9–10 February 1941, which stopped the Greek advance. With the start of the general Italian offensive on 15 April 1941, the Cacciatori delle Alpi division participated in an attack on Korçë, reaching Cerovë after some fighting. It crossed the Vjosë river near Përmet 21 April 1941, blocking the retreat route of Greek army. On 28 April 1941, it moved to Korçë and on to the Greek border around Mavri Petra mountain near Ersekë.

In July, 1941, the Cacciatori delle Alpi was transferred to Podgorica, Montenegro. In September, 1941, it moved again to the area between Split, Croatia and Šibenik. From 9 October 1941 until 9 November 1941, it saw some action against partisans on the Croatian-Serbian border. In December, 1941, the division was transferred to Metković, Croatia. Sporadic fights with partisans occurred from Dubrovnik to Gacko. The Division took part in Operation Trio between 8 April – 14 June 1942, which was an anti-partisan operation in Croatia with the objective of destroying partisan and Chetnik forces.[3][4] The Division was also involved in the Operation Foča between 5 – 12 May 1942. This operation was a follow-on from Operation Trio with the objective of destroying the forces in East Bosnia that had been forced into the Foča area by Operation Trio.[5]

The division was in the Ljubljana and Rijeka areas at the moment of Armistice of Cassibile, and was officially dissolved 11 September 1943 following self-disintegration.

The names of two Italian men attached to the Cacciatori delle Alpi Division can be found in the CROWCASS list established by the Anglo-American Allies of the individuals wanted by Yugoslavia for war crimes. [6]

Order of battleEdit

  • 51. Alpi Infantry Regiment
  • 52. Alpi Infantry Regiment
  • 1. Cacciatori Delle Alpi Artillery Regiment
  • 105. CCNN Legion (Blackshirts)
  • 22. Mortar Battalion
  • 22. Anti-Tank Company
  • 22. Signal Company
  • 22. Pioneer Company
  • 25. Medical Section
  • 26. Supply Section
  • 20. Field Bakery[7][nb 1]

NotesEdit

Footnotes
  1. ^ An Italian Infantry Division normally consisted of two Infantry Regiments (three Battalions each), an Artillery Regiment, a Mortar Battalion (two companies), an Anti Tank Company, a Blackshirt Legion of two Battalions was sometimes attached. Each Division had only about 7,000 men, The Infantry and Artillery Regiments contained 1,650 men, the Blackshirt Legion 1,200, each company 150 men.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Invasion of France 20 June, 1940". Commando Supremo. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  2. ^ http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/fanteria/rediv22.htm
  3. ^ Hehn, Paul N. - The German struggle Against Yugoslav Guerrillas in World War II, East European Monograph No. LVII (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1979), pp.122-27
  4. ^ Axis Order of Battle for Operation Trio
  5. ^ Colić, Mladenko - Pregled Operacija na Jugoslovenskom Ratištu 1941-1945 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski Institut, 1988), pp 53-55; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-501 roll 250/361-69).
  6. ^ (Name) PIVANO - (C.R. File Number) 191068 - (Rank, Occupation, Unit, Place and Date of Crime) - General, Ital. Army commander of "Cacciatori delle Alpi", Dubide Niksic (Yugo.) 10.8.41 - (Reason wanted) Torture - (Wanted by) Yugo.; Ruggero Vittorio - 148635 - General - "Cacciatori delle Alpi" Div., Ljubljana (Yugo.) 43 - Murder - Yugo. In: The Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects, Consolidated Wanted Lists, Part 2 - Non-Germans only (March 1947), Uckfield 2005 (Naval & University Press, facsimile edition of the original document at the National Archives in Kew/London), pp. 70, 71
  7. ^ Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  8. ^ Paoletti, p 170

BibliographyEdit

  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9.