158th Infantry Division "Zara"

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158th Infantry Division "Zara"
158a Divisione Fanteria Zara.png
158th Infantry Division "Zara" insignia
Active1 September 1942– 9 September 1943
CountryItaly Kingdom of Italy
BranchItaly Royal Italian Army
EngagementsWorld War II
Mostrina - 291°, 292° "Zara".png World War II - Mostrina - 158° Rgt. Artiglieria "Zara".png World War II - Mostrina - CCCXX Btg. Genio Divisione "Zara".png World War II - Mostrina - Sanità Divisione "Zara".png World War II - Mostrina - Sussistenza Divisione "Zara".png
Zara Division gorget patches

The 158th Infantry Division "Zara" (Italian: 158ª Divisione di fanteria "Zara") was an infantry division of the Royal Italian Army during World War II. The Zara was formed on 1 September 1942 and named for the city of Zadar (Italian: Zara). The Zara was classified as an occupation infantry division. The division remained on the Dalmatian coast until it was disbanded on 9 September 1943 in the wake of the announcement of the Armistice of Cassibile.[1][2]


On 1 January 1936 the Zara Garrison Troops Command was raised in the Italian exclave of Zara. The Troops Command consisted of the Ground Command with two machine gun battalions and one Bersaglieri battalion, the Artillery Command with three artillery groups, and the Coastal Command with minor coastal defense units.[1]

World War II[edit]

During the initial phase of the Axis' Invasion of Yugoslavia the Troops Command remained passive until 12 April 1941, when its units entered Yugoslavia and occupied Biograd na Moru, Nin, Obrovac, Benkovac, Skradin and Knin, where the Zara units met the vanguard of the 133rd Armored Division "Littorio".[1]

On 1 September 1942 the Troops Command was reformed as 158th Infantry Division "Zara" and activated the 291st and 292th infantry regiments, and the 158th Artillery Regiment. The division was responsible for the Dalmatian coast south of Zadar, with units based in Knin, Split, Kaštela, Šibenik, Trogir and on the major islands along the coast. During its existence the division was engaged in anti-partisan activities, with heavy fighting occurring in Benkovac. After the announcement of the Armistice of Cassibile on 8 September 1943 the division was disbanded by invading German forces.[1][3][4]


  • 158a Divisione Fanteria Zara.png 158th Infantry Division "Zara", in Zadar
    • 291st Infantry Regiment "Zara" (former Ground Command/ Zara Garrison Troops Command)[3]
      • Command Company
      • Fusiliers Battalion "Diaz"
      • Bersaglieri Battalion "Zara" (replaced on 18 May 1943 by the Fusiliers Battalion "Traù")
      • Machine Gun Battalion "Spalato"
      • Anti-tank Company (47/32 anti-tank guns)
    • 292nd Infantry Regiment "Zara" (former Coastal Command/ Zara Garrison Troops Command)[4]
    • 158th Artillery Regiment "Zara" (former Artillery Command/ Zara Garrison Troops Command)
    • CCCXX Mixed Engineer Battalion
      • 158th Engineer Company
      • 258th Telegraph and Radio Operators Company
    • 158th Medical Section
      • 2x Field hospitals
      • 1x Surgical unit
    • 158th Supply Section
    • 113th Carabinieri Section
    • 141st Field Post Office

In 1943 the following units were attached to the division:[2]

  • 11th Bersaglieri Regiment
    • Command Company
    • XV Bersaglieri Battalion
    • XXVII Bersaglieri Battalion
    • XXXIII Bersaglieri Battalion
    • 11th Bersaglieri Motorcyclists Company
    • 11th Anti-tank Company (47/32 anti-tank guns)
  • 107th CC.NN. Legion "Rismondo"
    • CVII CC.NN. Battalion
    • 107th CC.NN. Machine Gun Company
  • 60th Guardia alla Frontiera Artillery Grouping


The names of five men attached to the division can be found in the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects (CROWCASS) set up by the Anglo-American Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force in 1945. The names can be found at: Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects from the Kingdom of Italy.

Commanding officers[edit]

The division's commanding officers were:[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "158ª Divisione di fanteria "Zara"". Regio Esercito. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Bollettino dell'Archivio dell'Ufficio Storico N.II-3 e 4 2002. Rome: Ministero della Difesa - Stato Maggiore dell’Esercito - Ufficio Storico. 2002. p. 347. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b "291° Reggimento di fanteria "Zara"". Regio Esercito. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  4. ^ a b "292° Reggimento di fanteria "Zara"". Regio Esercito. Retrieved 22 December 2021.