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The 56th Infantry Division Casale was a regular Infantry Division of the Italian Army during World War II. It was formed in 1939 in Forlì and was dissolved in September 1943 in Aetolia-Acarnania region of Greece. The majority of its men originated from Romagna.

56th Infantry Division Casale
56a Divisione Fanteria Casale.png
56th Infantry Division Casale Insignia
Active1939–1943
CountryItaly
BranchItalian Army
TypeInfantry
SizeDivision
Garrison/HQForlì
Nickname(s)Casale
EngagementsWorld War II
Commanders
Notable
commanders
General Enea Navarini[1]

ActionEdit

The Casale Division was sent to Albania on 14 March 1941 to reinforce the failing Italian Spring Offensive. It immediately fought in Shushicë. By 20 March 1941, it was assigned to the Italian XXV Army Corps and was fighting in Tepelenë area.[2] Contact with Greek forces was lost soon after the start of the Battle of Greece on 6 April 1941, and Casale engaged in a cautious advance along the Drin valley. On 18 April 1941, it encountered the Greek rearguard at Lumi i Kardhiqit, and by 19 April 1941 had reached Gjirokastër. On 22 April 1941 the division reached the Greek border near Delvinaki, where it met with German patrols. It was used for mopping-up operations in Zitsa, Negrades, and Paramythia.[3]

After this task was completed, Casale was moved to the south of the Ambracian Gulf, with garrisons in Agrinio, Amfilochia and Missolonghi by 1942. The division performed several anti-partisan raids in Agrinio, Kato Achaia, Chrysovitsa, and other locations. After the Armistice of Cassibile was announced on 8 September 1943, parts of the 11th regiment joined Greek partisans while other sub-units of the division melted away.

Order of battleEdit

  • 11. Casale Infantry Regiment
  • 12. Casale Infantry Regiment
  • 311. Infantry Regiment
  • 56. Artillery Regiment
  • 23. CCNN Legion
  • 56. Mortar Battalion
  • 156. Anti-Tank Company
  • 56. Signal Company
  • 47. Pioneer Company
  • 60. Medical Section
  • 5. Supply Section
  • 41. Field Bakery
  • 48. Carabinieri Section
  • 49. Carabinieri Section [nb 1][3]

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.[4]
Citations
  1. ^ Enrico Tagliazucchi and Franco Agostini. "Royal Italian Army". World War II Armed Forces – Orders of Battle and Organizations. Archived from the original on 4 April 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  2. ^ http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/fanteria/rediv56.htm
  3. ^ a b Marcus Wendal. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  4. ^ Paoletti, p 170
  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9.
  • Jowett, Phillip. The Italian Army 1040-45 (3): Italy 1943-45. Osprey Publishing, Westminster. ISBN 978-1-85532-866-2.