50th Infantry Division Regina
|50th Infantry Division Regina|
|Engagements||World War II|
|General Alessandro Piazzoni|
The 50th Infantry Division Regina was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Regina Division was a regular division of the Italian Army. The only combat it was involved in was when its 10th Regina Infantry Regiment was involved in the Battle of Crete in 1941. The rest of the division was used as an occupying force in the Dodecanese Islands. After the Italian surrender to the Allies in September 1943, the division fought against the Germans until October 1943.
Battle of Kos
The division together with British forces fought against the Germans in the Battle of Kos. The British forces on Kos numbered about 1,500 men, 680 of whom where from the 1st Bn, Durham Light Infantry, the rest being mainly RAF personnel, and ca. 3,500 Italians of the 10th Regiment of the Regina Division. On 3 October, the Germans effected amphibious and airborne landings known as "Operation Polar Bear" (Unternehmen Eisbär) and reached the outskirts of the island's capital later that day. The British withdrew under cover of night. They surrendered the next day. The fall of Kos was a major blow to the Allies, since it deprived them of vital air cover. The Germans captured 1388 British and 3145 Italian prisoners. On 3 October, German troops executed the captured Italian commander of the island, Colonel Felice Leggio, and one-hundred-and-one of his officers. This was done in accordance with Adolf Hitler's order of 11 September to execute captured Italian officers.
General Alessandro Piazzoni
Order of battle
- 9. Regina Infantry Regiment
- 10. Regina Infantry Regiment
- 309. Infantry Regiment
- 331. Infantry Regiment
- 50. Artillery Regiment
- 35. Coastal Defence Artillery Group
- 36. Coastal Defence Artillery Group
- 24. CCNN Legion
- 201. CCNN Legion
- 50. Mortar Battalion
- 50. Anti-Tank Company
- 23. Anti-Tank Company
- 46. Signal Company
- 91. Pioneer Company
- 250. Pioneer Company [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.
- Marcus Wendal. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- Anthony Rogers (2007), pp. 78-84.
- Leros, Churchill's folly
- Chronik des Seekrieges 1939-1945, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, entry on October 1943
- Massacres and Atrocities of WWII
- 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.