1st Blackshirt Division (23 March)

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The Blackshirt Division 23 March (Italian:Divisione CC.NN. "23 Marzo") was an Italian MVSN Blackshirt (Fascist) militia unit formed for the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.

During the Second World War it was encircled at Bardia and surrendered to the British forces in January 1941. It was named 23 Marzo (Italian, 23 March) in honor of the founding of the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento on 23 March 1919.

Order of Battle (1935–36)[edit]

  • 135th Blackshirts Legion "Indomita"
    • 135th Blackshirts Battalion "Indomito"
    • 88th Blackshirts Battalion "Cappellini"
    • 135th MMG Company
    • 135th pack-artillery battery
  • 192nd Blackshirts Legion "Francesco Ferrucci"
    • 190th Blackshirts Battalion "Pisa"
    • 192nd Blackshirts Battalion "Francesco Ferrucci"
    • 192nd MMG Company
    • 192nd pack-artillery battery
  • 202nd Blackshirts Legion "Cacciatori del Tevere"
    • 202nd Blackshirts Battalion "Cacciatori del Tevere"
    • 204th Blackshirts Battalion "Trotti"
    • 202nd MMG Company
    • 202nd pack-artillery battery
  • 1st Blackshirts MMG Bn
  • 1st Artillery Battalion (65L17 - Army)
  • 1st Special Engineers Company (mixed Blackshirts and Army)
  • 2 x Replacements Battalions


Additionally the division had a medical section, logistics section, and transport of a pack-mule unit (1600 mules), and a mixed trucks unit (80 light trucks).

Order of battle (1940)[edit]

  • 219. CCNN Legion
    • 114. G. Veroli CCNN Battalion
    • 118. Volsca CCNN Battalion
    • 119. N. Ricciotti CCNN Battalion
  • 233. CCNN Legion
    • 129. Adriatica CCNN Battalion
    • 133. Lupi di Matese CCNN Battalion
    • 148. Tavogliere CCNN Battalion
  • XLI Light Tank Battalion (CV3/33 & CV3/35 tanks)
  • 1. CCNN Anti-tank Company
  • 201. MG Battalion
  • 201. Artillery Regiment
  • 201. Mixed Engineer Battalion

Took part in the invasion of Egypt and was destroyed at Bardia, Libya, in January 1941.



  • Lucas, Ettore; de Vecchi, Giorgio (1976). Storia delle Unità Combattenti della Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale 1923–1943. Roma: Giovanni Volpe Editore. pp. 63–116. OCLC 797527296. 
  • Nafziger, George F. (1996). Black Shirt, Mountain, Assault & Landing Divisions, Corps Troops and the 1944 Liberation Army. The Italian Order of Battle in WWII: an Organizational History of the Divisions and Independent Brigades of the Italian Army. III. Ohio: West Chester. OCLC 39214181. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]