104th Motorised Division Mantova
|104th Motorised Division Mantova|
|Active||15 March 1942–21 October 1975
1 January 2003 - today
|Country|| Regno d'Italia
Kingdom of Italy
Royal Italian Army
|Engagements||World War II|
|Mantova Division collar insignia|
On 15 March 1942 the 104th Infantry Division Mantova was raised in Verona with the 113th and 114th infantry regiments and the 11th Artillery regiment. At first the division was based in Piedmont, then in Puglia and Calabria. The division consisted of the following units:
- 113th Infantry Regiment Mantova
- 114th Infantry Regiment Mantova
- 11th Artillery Regiment Monferrato
- 104th Mortar Battalion
- 79th Artillery Company
- 107th Mixed Signal Battalion
- 404th Searchlight Company [nb 2]
After allied forces had landed on the Italian peninsula and an armistice between Italy and the Allies had been signed, the division stayed loyal to the Italian King Victor Emmanuel III. Already on 26 September 1943 the divisions ceded part of the 11th Artillery Regiment to help form the Italian 1st Motorized Group under command of the 58th Infantry Division Legnano, which was to aid in the allied war effort. On 16 October its 113th Infantry Regiment joined the US Fifth Army and on 30 October 1943 the division received the 76th Infantry Regiment Napoli as replacement for the 113th.
In spring 1944 the division took command of the remnants of the 155th Infantry Division Emilia after they had been repatriated from combat against German forces in Dalmatia. At that point the divisions consisted of the following understrength units:
- 76th Infantry Regiment Napoli
- 114th Infantry Regiment Mantova
- 119th Infantry Regiment Emilia
- 120th Infantry Regiment Emilia
- 155th Artillery Regiment Emilia
- I Group/11th Artillery Regiment
At the beginning of fall 1944 the division was ordered to re-organize as a Combat Group destined for the frontlines in central Italy. The 76th and 114th infantry regiments and 155th artillery regiment were brought up to strength and equipped with British materiel. By spring 1945 the divisions was ready to join the British Eighth Army, but it arrived at the front just as the German forces in Italy were surrendering.
On 15 October 1945 the Combat Group Mantova regained its old name Infantry Division Mantova.
In 2002 the Italian Army raised three division commands, with one of the three always readily deployable for NATO missions. The army decided that each division should carry on the traditions of one of the divisions that served with distinction in World War II. Therefore on 31 December 2002 the 2nd Italian Division in Vittorio Veneto was renamed as Division Command Mantova.
In the 2013 Army reform it was decided to abolish the corps level in the Italian Army. Combat brigades will from 2014 onwards come under the three division commands. The Mantova Division will take command of the following brigades:
Together with the Acqui Division and the Tridentina Division the Mantova will come directly under the Armys Operational Center (Centro Operativo dell’Esercito or COE) once COMFOTER has been disbanded.
- The division never had the required amount of Motor Transport to move all its units at the same time and is sometimes referred to as a Semi Motorized Division
- 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.
- Paoletti, p 170