22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi
|22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi|
22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi Insignia
|Nickname(s)||Cacciatori delle Alpi|
|Division collar insignia|
The 22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Cacciatori delle Alpi was mobilized for war in June 1939 and was dissolved 11 September 1943.
As the Italian invasion of France started 10 June 1940, the Cacciatori delle Alpi division has stayed in reserve as part of the Italian 1st Army in Perinaldo-Pigna, Liguria-Castel Vittorio areas near the border with France. It was moved out of reserve 19 June 1940 and assigned an attack sector at Triora-Vallecrosia-Camporosso, but the war ended 24 June 1940 before the division has any combat.
In the first half of January, the Cacciatori delle Alpi division was transferred to Albania, reaching Bubës, Qafa e Bubësit 18 January 1941. It concentrated around Berat city 19 January 1941, and reached a definite destination in sector between Qafa e Bubësit, Përroi i Branecit and river Osum 25 January 1941. 25 January 1941, the Greek forces attacked en masse over river Osum. 28 January 1941, the severely decimated Cacciatori delle Alpi division gave the way and parts of division have retreated to the north until Shkumbin river. The minor defensive battle was won by Italians at Mali i Firtit 9–10 February 1941, and thus they managed to stop the Greek advance. With the start of the general Italian offence 15 April 1941, the Cacciatori delle Alpi division has participated in attack on Korçë, reaching Cerovë after some fighting. It crossed Vjosë river near Përmet 21 April 1941, thus blocking the retreat route of Greek army. 28 April 1941, it moved to Korçë and then to the Greek border around Mavri Petra mountain near Ersekë.
In July, 1941, the Cacciatori delle Alpi was transferred to Podgorica, Montenegro. In September, 1941, it has moved again, this time to area between Split, Croatia and Šibenik. From 9 October 1941, till 9 November 1941, it say some action against partisans on the Croatian-Serbian border. In December, 1941, the division was transferred to Metković, Croatia. Sporadic fights with partisans occurred from Dubrovnik to Gacko. The Division took part in Operation Trio between the 8 April – 14 June 1942, which was an anti partisan operation in Croatia with the objective of destroying partisan and Chetnik forces. The Division was also involved in Operation Foča between 5 – 12 May 1942. This operation was a follow on from Operation Trio with the objective of destroying the forces in East Bosnia that had been forced into the Foča area by Operation Trio.
Order of battle
- 51. Alpi Infantry Regiment
- 52. Alpi Infantry Regiment
- 1. Cacciatori Delle Alpi Artillery Regiment
- 105. CCNN Legion (Blackshirts)
- 22. Mortar Battalion
- 22. Anti-Tank Company
- 22. Signal Company
- 22. Pioneer Company
- 25. Medical Section
- 26. Supply Section
- 20. Field Bakery[nb 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.
- "Invasion of France 20 June, 1940". Commando Supremo. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- Hehn, Paul N. - The German struggle Against Yugoslav Guerrillas in World War II, East European Monograph No. LVII (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1979), pp.122-27
- Axis Order of Battle for Operation Trio
- Colić, Mladenko - Pregled Operacija na Jugoslovenskom Ratištu 1941-1945 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski Institut, 1988), pp 53-55; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-501 roll 250/361-69).
- Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Paoletti, p 170