2nd Blackshirt Division (28 October)

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The 2nd Blackshirt Division 28 Ottobre was an Italian Camicie Nere (Blackshirt) militia unit (similar to SS in Nazi-Germany), formed to participate in the Italian Second Italo-Abyssinian War against Ethiopia in the mid-1930s.

It was named 28 ottobre (Italian for "28 October") in honor of the Fascist March on Rome (28 October 1922).

Order of battle (1935-36)[edit]

"28 Ottobre" Blackshirts Division (Gen. Somma) with :

  • 114th Blackshirts Legion "Garibaldina"
    • 114th "Garibaldino" Blackshirts Battalion
    • 115th "Leonessa" Blackshirts Battalion
    • 114th MMG company
    • 114th pack-artillery battery
Memorial stone for the 125th Battalion, in Haddinnet, Ethiopia
  • 116th Blackshirts Legion "Alpina"
    • 116th "Alpino" Blackshirts Battalion
    • 125th "Ferreo" Blackshirts Battalion - they left a monumental stone in Dogu'a Tembien, a metres-wide phonolite with inscriptions. It is located on top of the Dabba Selama mountain, and was carved by soldiers that participated in the First Battle of Tembien[1]
    • 116th MMG company
    • 116th pack-artillery battery
  • 180th Blackshirts Legion "Alessandro Farnese"
    • 174th "Taro" Blackshirts Battalion
    • 180th "Alessandro Farnese" Blackshirts Battalion
    • 180th MMG company
    • 180th pack-artillery battery
  • 2nd Blackshirts MMG Battalion
  • 2nd Artillery Battalion (65L17 – Army)
  • 2nd 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-mules unit (1600 mules), and a mixed trucks unit (80 light trucks).
  • The division took actively part in the Italian war crimes in Ethiopia.[2]

Order of battle (1940)[edit]

"28 Ottobre" Blackshirts Division (Gen. Francesco) with :

  • 231. CCNN Legion
    • 131. CCNN Battalion
    • 132. CCNN Battalion
    • 135. CCNN Battalion
  • 238. CCNN Legion
    • 138. CCNN Battalion
    • 140. CCNN Battalion
    • 145. CCNN Battalion
  • 2. CCNN Anti-tank Company
  • 202. MG Battalion
  • 202. Artillery Regiment
  • 202. Mixed Engineer Battalion


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


  1. ^ Description of trekking routes in Dogu’a Tembien. In: Geo-trekking in Ethiopia’s Tropical Mountains - The Dogu’a Tembien District. SpringerNature. 2019. ISBN 978-3-030-04954-6.
  2. ^ Del Boca, Angelo. Il gas di Mussolini. Il fascismo e la guerra d'Etiopia.


  • Lucas, Ettore; Giorgio de Vecchi (1976). Storia delle Unità Combattenti della MVSN 1923-1943. Giovanni Volpe Editore. pp. 63–116 plus errata.
  • Madej, W.,V., Italian Army Order of Battle, 1939-1943,1981,Allentown, PA.
  • Madej, W.,V., Italian Army Order of Battle: 1940-44, 1990, Allentown, PA.