28th Infantry Division Aosta

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This article is about the historic Italian 28th Infantry Division Aosta. For the currently active Italian Army brigade, see Aosta Mechanized Brigade.
28th Infantry Division Aosta
Active 1939–1943
Country Italy
Branch Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Palermo
Nickname(s) Aosta
Engagements Battle of Troina
28 div collar insignia.jpg
Aosta Division collar insignia

Early history[edit]

After the end of World War I the Aosta Infantry Brigade moved to Sicily and was garrisoned in the city of Palermo. In 1926 the brigade gained the 85th Infantry Regiment Verona and changed its name to XXVIII Infantry Brigade. Along with the 22nd Artillery Regiment the brigade formed the 28th territorial division "Palermo". It was reorganized in 1934, becoming the infantry division "Vespri". The Vespri division was renamed Aosta in 1939, replacing simultaneously 85th Infantry regiment for 171st CC.NN. assault legion.

Actions in Second World War[edit]

Map of Sicily showing divisional locations

The Aosta division was stationed on Sicily island from the moment of the formation. In June, 1940, it was tasked with the coast and airports defence on the west of Sicily. In 1939 the brigade was renamed 28th Infantry Division Aosta. The division remained based in Sicily and was tasked to defend the island against landings by Allied forces.

Allied invasion of Sicily[edit]

After Allied landings at Syracuse, Sicily the division positions were considered untenable and it retreated to the centre of the island to link with 26th Mountain Infantry Division Assietta. The division was badly mauled by US Army troops during the Battle of Troina 1–6 August 1943 in the North of the island. During one Italian counterattack, Lieutenant-Colonel Giuseppe Gianquinto's 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment of the 'Aosta' managed to take 40 American prisoners.[1] The remnants of the division were evacuated to Trento in mainland Italy between 9 and 12 August 1943. After the Armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces of 8 September 1943 the division was disbanded by German Forces.


On 20 September 1944 the Aosta was raised again as part of the Italian Co-Belligerent Army. The new unit was named Aosta Internal Security Division and consisted of the III and IV Internal Security Brigades. It has moved back to Sicily in November, 1944, and stayed there until the end of war.[2] On 15 August 1946 the Aosta Internal Security Division renamed and reformed as Aosta Infantry Brigade. With the expansion of the Italian Army after World War II the brigade was expanded to full division on 1 February 1948, but following a revision of strategy the Aosta division was reduced to brigade again on 21 February 1961.

Since then the name and traditions of the division are carried by the Aosta Mechanized Brigade in Palermo.

Order of battle[edit]

World War II[edit]

  • 28th Infantry Division Aosta
    • 5th Infantry Regiment Aosta
      • I Infantry Battalion
      • II Infantry Battalion
      • III Infantry Battalion
    • 6th Infantry Regiment Aosta
      • IV Infantry Battalion
      • V Infantry Battalion
      • VI Infantry Battalion
    • 171st CC.NN. Assault Legion Tremonti
      • 168th CC.NN. Battalion Ibla
      • 171st CC.NN. Battalion Vespri
      • 171st Support Company
      • 259th Machine Gun Company
    • 22nd Artillery Regiment Vespri
      • I Artillery Group
      • II Artillery Group
      • III Artillery Group
      • 328th Air-defense Artillery Battery
      • 365th Air-defense Artillery Battery
    • 28th Mortar Battalion
    • 12th Engineer Battalion
    • 28th Anti-tank Company (with 47/32 M35)
    • 9th Medial Section
    • 28th Medical Section
    • 16th Bakery Section
    • 35th Bakery Section
    • 82nd Carabinieri Section
    • 83rd Carabinieri Section [3][nb 1]

Post War[edit]

  • Aosta Infantry Division
    • 5th Infantry Regiment Aosta in Messina
      • I Infantry Battalion
      • II Infantry Battalion
    • 6th Infantry Regiment Aosta in Palermo (disbanded on 15 June 1955)
      • III Infantry Battalion (joined the 5th Aosta on 15 June 1955)
      • IV Infantry Battalion
    • 45th Infantry Regiment Reggio in Catania (disbanded on 15 June 1955)
      • I Infantry Battalion
      • II Infantry Battalion (joined the 46th Reggio on 15 June 1955)
    • 46th Infantry Regiment Reggio in Palermo (disbanded on 31 January 1959)
      • III Infantry Battalion
      • IV Infantry Battalion
    • 22nd Field Artillery Regiment in Palermo
      • I Artillery Group
      • II Artillery Group
    • 24th Field Artillery Regiment in Messina
      • I Artillery Group
      • II Artillery Group
    • XI Engineer Battalion
    • 11th Signal Company


  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]
  1. ^ The Battle of Sicily: How the Allies Lost Their Chance for Total Victory, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., Friedrich Von Stauffenberg, p. 263, Stackpole Books, 10/06/2007
  2. ^ http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/fanteria/rediv28.htm
  3. ^ 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.