64th Infantry Division Catanzaro

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64th Infantry Division Catanzaro
Active 1939–1940
Country Italy
Branch Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Nickname Catanzaro
Engagements World War II

The 64th Infantry Division Catanzaro was an Infantry Division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Catanzaro Division was sent to Libya in October 1939, and took part in the Italian invasion of Egypt in September 1940. It was destroyed in the British counter offensive (Operation Compass) at Buq Buq in December 1940.

Libya[edit]

The Italian invasion of Egypt started in September 1940, with the objective of capturing the Suez Canal, but after the capture of Sidi Barrani on 16 September, the Italian Army formed a defensive line composed of big outposts separated by wide desert areas. On the nights of 7 December and 8 December 1940 the British Western Desert Force under the command of Major-General Richard O'Connor and comprising British 7th Armoured Division and Indian 4th Infantry Division reinforced by British 16th Infantry Brigade advanced a total of 70 miles (110 km) to their start positions for the attack.[1] On 9 December, the disposition of the forward Italian fortified positions were as follows: The 1 Libyan Division Sibelle was located at Maktila. The 2 Libyan Division Pescatori was located at Tummar. The "Maletti Group" was located at Nibiewa. The 4 " 3 January" Blackshirt Division and the Headquarters for the "Libyan Corps" were at Sidi Barrani. The 63 Infantry Division Cirene and the Headquarters for the XXI Corps were located at Sofafi. The Catanzaro were located at Buq Buq."[2] By the 11 December Buq Buq had been cleared of all opposition and many men and guns had been captured and the Catanzaro Division had been destroyed.[3]

Western Desert 1940

Order of battle[edit]

  • 141. Catanzaro Infantry Regiment
  • 142. Catanzaro Infantry Regiment
  • 203 Artillery Regiment
  • 64 Machinegun Battalion
  • 64 Mixed Engineer Battalion
  • 64 Antitank Company[nb 1][5]

Notes[edit]

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. ^ Playfair, p 266
  2. ^ Macksey, p. 68
  3. ^ Playfair, p 270
  4. ^ Paoletti, p 170
  5. ^ Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 

References[edit]

  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9.