13th Infantry Division Re

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13th Infantry Division Re
Active 1937–1943
Country Italy
Branch Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Nickname(s) Re
Engagements World War II
Battle of the Neretva
Insignia
Collar patch
(mostreggiatura)
13 Infantry Division Re.jpg

The 13th Infantry Division Re ("King") was an Infantry Division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Re Division was mobilized in June 1940 in Friuli

Actions[edit]

Division Re was deployed with security duties 10 June 1940, in Cerkno - Idrija - Črni Vrh, Idrija - Most na Soči region.[1] It remained in area until 28 March 1941, than it was assigned to the front line with the defensive duty. When the Invasion of Yugoslavia has started 6 April 1941, the Re division has rapidly captured Stregna. From 6 April 1941 until 10 April 1941, it overcome the heavy resistance at Ravnik pri Hotedršici to capture Ledine, Idrija and Pečnik. 11 April 1941, the Yugoslavian resistance has collapsed, and Re division was able to capture Žiri and Goropeke. 14 April 1941, the "Re" division has entered Ljubjana.

Anti-Partisan Operations in Croatia[edit]

Italian armored car with sign "Re" in Yugoslavia, August 1943.

From May, 1941, it was transferred to an occupation force in Croatia. The battles with Yugoslav Partisans of increasing intensity were fought in November–December 1941 at Štirovača forest, Divoselo (Croatia), and Žuta Lokva, resulting ultimately in the Battle of the Neretva. It was fought initially at Gospić, Otočac and Bihać. The Yugoslav Partisans has launched a major assault on Korenica and Udbina from 2 January until 15 January 1942. These attacks were fended off by division Re, and in February–March, 1942, it participated in the mopping-up operation in the same area. The culmination of Battle of the Neretva for division Re was the Operation K, between 23 – 28 March 1942, carried out over six days by the Italian V Corps. The objective was to break through to and relieve the surrounded garrisons in Titova Korenica, Udbina and Donji Lapac the operation was successful and the division suffered only light casualties.[2] In April, 1942, the Yugoslav Partisans has launched an assault on Mogorić and Bihać. Pressure was such what he garrison of Bihać had to be evacuated in June, 1942. All lost positions were recovered by the end of June, 1942, after fierce fighting.

From July, 1942, the Re division was transferred to Slovenia border to help in mopping-up. Operation Provincia di Lubiana between 12 July – 7 August 1942, was an anti-partisan operation to clear Partisans from the mountainous area north west of Delnice near the border with Slovenia. The objective was to destroy their supply bases and alienate the local population against the partisans. The operation was part of a larger anti-partisan operation. The Division carried out a scorched earth campaign by destroying the local harvest, burning 1,000 homes. They were also involved in the murder of 200 civilians and interning another 2,500 men and women in a concentration camp.[2] In August, 1942, the fighting has continued near Križpolje and Markovac hills near Dubica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. In September, 1942, further fighting has happened in Saborsko municipality near Lička Jesenica village, and in Plaški, Dabar, Lika-Senj County, Lešće (near Otočac). In October, 1942, the Re division have stormed a major partisan camp at Krš, Croatia. Further defensive battles has continued between Gračac and Medak, Croatia to defend a railroad line Ogulin-Split, Croatia. In January, 1943 the battle with Yugoslav Partisans has continued in Kapela Korenička, Croatia. In February - March, 1943, the focus of fighting has shifted to Jelovi vrh in Lika-Senj County and to Pavlovačka Draga in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Afterward, the intensity of fighting was reduced, and the division Re was ordered to return to Italy 28 August 1943.

Back to Italy[edit]

The division Re was officially dissolved 8 September 1943, but some division sub-units has participated in defence of Rome 8–10 September 1943. All division parts were soon surrendered to the Germans though.[3]

Commander[edit]

General Benedetto Fiorenzoli

Order of battle[edit]

  • 1. Re Infantry Regiment
  • 2. Re Infantry Regiment
  • 23. Timav Artillery Regiment
  • 75. CCNN Legion
  • 13. Semoventi Battalion
  • 13. Mortar Battalion
  • 13. Anti-Tank Company
  • 34. Mixed Carabinieri Section
  • 35. Mixed Carabinieri Section
  • 13. Engineer Company [3][nb 1]

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. ^ http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/fanteria/rediv13.htm
  2. ^ a b H.L. deZeng IV. "Anti-Partisan Operations in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945". Axis History. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  3. ^ a b Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  4. ^ Paoletti, p 170
  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9.