52nd Motorised Division Torino
|52nd Motorised Division Torino|
|Country|| Regno d'Italia
Kingdom of Italy
|Branch|| Regio Esercito
Royal Italian Army
|Engagements||World War II|
|Ugo de Carolis|
|Torino Division collar insignia|
The 52nd Motorised Division Torino was an Motorised Infantry Division of the Italian Army during World War II.[nb 1] The Division was formed from the expansion of the Torino Brigade in June 1940. It took part in the Invasion of Yugoslavia and was then sent to the Eastern front as pat of the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia or Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia (CSIR).
The Division was only Semi Motorised at this time which meant in practice was that an assortment of commercial vehicles with company logos intact were pressed into service. They arrived in southern Russia between July and August 1941, and were initially subordinated to the 11th Army. On 14 August 1941, they were then transferred to the control of the Tank Group 1. On 25 October 1941, Tank Group 1 was re designated as the 1st Panzer Army. Between 20 October and 2 November 1941, they were used in the assault on the city of Stalino (now Donetsk), an important steel center in Eastern Ukraine, and in occupying the neighbouring towns of Gorlowka and Rykovo, at the time also named Ordzhonikidze today Yenakiieve. The commander of the Torino, General Ugo de Carolis was killed in December and was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross.In late January, the Torino as part of the CSIR, played an important part in securing Izium (situated 125 km south-east of Kharkov), where it fought well.The Torino remained under control of 1st Panzer until 3 June 1942 when it was subordinated to 17th Army. In July 1942 they came under control of the 8th Italian Army a new force of ten Italian divisions, which formed the left flank of the German 6th Army during the Battle of Stalingrad. It suffered heavy losses in the Soviet offensive during the winter of 1942/43 and was destroyed in March 1943.
The surviving members returned to Italy and were disbanded in September 1943.
Order of battle
- 81. Torino Infantry Regiment
- 82. Torino Infantry Regiment
- 52. Torino Artillery Regiment
- Anti-Aircraft Battalion
- 26. Mortar Battalion
- 52. Mortar Battalion
- 52. Anti-Tank Company
- 171. Anti-Tank Company
- 52. Engineer Battalion
- 52. Medical Section
- 56. Motor Transport Section
- 52. Gasoline Supply Section
- 66. Carabinieri Section [nb 2]
- Ugo de Carolis, recipient of the German Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
- Italian participation in the Eastern Front
- Italian Army in Russia
- The division never has 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 (Regiment of two Battalions). 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 2009-04-11.
- Messe, 1947. Faldella, 1959. Mack Smith, 1979
- "Torino's commander, Brigadier General Ugo de Carolis, died in December fighting along the Mius River as part of First Panzer Army; the Germans posthumously awarded him the Knight's Cross. " Operation Barbarossa: The German Invasion of Soviet Russia, Robert Kirchubel, p. 86, Osprey Publishing, 2013
- "In larger battles in the Izium area ... the Italians, at the behest of the Germans, repeatedly provided individual combat groups, who stood the test in both defensive and offensive functions." The Unknown Eastern Front: The Wehrmacht and Hitler's Foreign Soldiers, Rolf-Dieter Müller, pp. 75, I.B.Tauris, 28 Feb 2014
- Paoletti, p 170