18th Infantry Division Messina
|18th Infantry Division Messina|
|Engagements||World War II|
|General Silvio Bonini|
|Messina Division collar insignia|
The 18th Infantry Division Messina was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Messina Division took part in the invasion of Yugoslavia as part of the Italian XVII (Armoured) Corps and captured both Cetinje and Kotor and much of the Royal Yugoslav Navy. It remained in Yugoslavia as an occupying force, stationed in Herzegovina and carried out anti-Partisan operations. The division was disbanded by the Germans after the Italian surrender in September 1943.
Anti partisan operations
The Messina Division took part in Operation Alba which was an anti Partisan operations in Croatia carried out on the 12 August to he 2 September 1942, to destroy partisan groups in the Biokovo area 40 to 50 kilometres east of Split. Italian forces burned down 10 villages and killed and arrested several hundred people.
The Messina also took part in Operation Alfa between the 5 and 10 October 1942. The objective was to retake the town of Prozor which had been overrun by a strong Partisan force. The operation was under the command of the Italian VI Corps, which achieved all its objectives in 6 days.
General Silvio Bonini
Order of battle
- 93. Messina Infantry Regiment
- 94. Messina Infantry Regiment
- 2. Metauro Artillery Regiment
- 108. CCNN Legion (Blackshirts)
- 18. Mortar Battalion
- 118. Anti-Tank Company
- 18. Signal Company
- 20. Mining Company
- 48. Pioneer Company
- 49. Medical Section
- 190. Heavy Motor Transport Section
- 23. Supply Section
- 52. Carabinieri Section
- 53. Carabinieri Section
- 44. Field Bakery [nb 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.
- Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Hronologija oslobodilačke borbe naroda jugoslavije 1941-1945 (Belgrade, 1964), p.323
- Oslobodilački rat naroda Juooslavije 1941-1945, 2 Vols (Belgrade: 1965), p.298
- Le Operazioni delle Unita italiane in Jugoslavia 1941-1943 (Rome: Ministero della Difesa stato Maggiore dell' Esercito, 1978), pp.211-212
- Tomasevich, Jozo - The Chetniks Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1975, p.233.
- Paoletti, p 170