136th Armoured Division Centauro II
|136th Armoured Division Centauro II|
|Active||1942 - 1945|
|Nickname(s)||Legionaria Corazzata 'M'.|
|Engagements||World War II|
The 136th Armoured Division Centauro II was an Armoured Division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Division had a number of different titles before settling on 136th Armoured Division Centauro II. It was formed in 1942 and started as the 1 Blackshirt Armoured Division M was re designated 136th Armoured Division M then 136th Legionary Armoured Division Centauro and finally Centauro II. In September 1943 it was in training near Rome and fought the Germans as part of the Corpo d'Armata Motocorazzato before surrendering.
The Division was the only CCNN Armoured formation and as such it was composed of hand picked fanatical Blackshirts, most having already seen heavy action in the Soviet Union and Libya. The Division was mobilised in 1942 with the intention of deploying to the Soviet Union as part of the Italian 8th Army. The Axis defeat on the Don river and during the Battle of Stalingrad however delayed their transfer. As they were originally intended to be a heavy division for use against the Soviet Union, it had been slated to receive German Panzers, Panther tanks and Stugs, none of these were delivered prior to the fall of Rome to the Germans, but some of the divisions units were at least in part equipped with Italian tanks and transport before the Italian surrender.
The Division was later used to reform the Centauro Division in the Royal Army, and remained loyal to the king.
Order of battle
- Leonessa Armoured Cohort
- Valle Scrivia Armoured Cohort
- Montebello Infantry Cohort
- Tagliamento Infantry Cohort. [nb 1]
- A Blackshirt Cohort consisted of two Battalions unlike a normal Infantry Regiment which had three battalions. Infantry Regiments contained 1,650 men, the Blackshirt 1,200, each company 150 men.
- Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- "Avanti!- Italian Armored Vehicles of the Second World War". Honved.com. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- Paoletti, p 170