44th Infantry Division Cremona

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This article is about the historic Italian 44th Infantry Division Cremona. For the historic Italian Army brigade, see Cremona Motorized Brigade.
44th Infantry Division Cremona
Active 1939–1945
Country Italy
Branch Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Nickname(s) Cremona
Engagements World War II
Commanders
Notable
commanders

General Umberto Mondino;

General Clemente Primieri (1943-45)

The 44th Infantry Division Cremona was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II.[1]

History[edit]

In 1926 the brigade received the 88th Infantry Regiment Friuli and became the infantry component of the 20th Infantry Division Curtatone and Montanara. The same year the brigade was renamed as XX Infantry Brigade. On 24 August 1939 the 20th Infantry Division Curtatone and Montanara was split into the 20th Infantry Division Friuli and the 44th Infantry Division Cremona. The Cremona consisted of the 21st and 22nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Artillery Regiment and the XC CCNN Battalion Pisa.

Actions[edit]

During the Italian invasion of France 10 June 1940, the Cremona division was stationed in second echelon near Ventimiglia behind 5th Infantry Division Cosseria, under command of Italian XV Army Corps. The Cremona provided some fire support during hostilities. In March, 1941, the division received orders to transfer to Sardinia for garrison duty. When Italy and Germany occupied Vichy France in Operation "Anton" after the Allied landings in French North Africa the division was ferried to Southern Corsica on 8 November 1942 to occupy the island, while the 20th Infantry Division Friuli occupied Northern Corsica. On Corsica, the Cremona came under command of the Italian VII Army Corps.[2]

From 9 September 1943, in the aftermath of the Armistice of Cassibile, the Cremona started fighting German Sturmbrigade Reichsführer SS and 90th Panzergrenadier Division and the Italian 12 Parachute Battalion of the 184 Parachute Regiment,.[3] On the Cremona side were 20th Infantry Division Friuli and French Partisans. On 13 September elements of the Free French 4th Moroccan Mountain Division were landed in Ajaccio to support the Italian efforts to stop the 30,000 retreating German troops. The Cremona division fought in Zonza and Quenza, pushing north to Golo river and Sorbo-Ocagnano. During the entire fight German forces lost 700 men and 350 were captured. The evacuation of German forces during the night of 3 to 4 October from Bastia put an end to the fight.

After the end of operations on Corsica the division was sent as to Sardinia where the 90th CCNN Legion was renamed the 321st Infantry Regiment Cremona. In September 1944 the division was reduced to two infantry (21st, 22nd) and one artillery regiment (7th), armed with British weapons and materiel and renamed as Cremona Combat Group. The Cremona entered the front on 12 January 1945 as part of the British V Corps. When allied forces achieved a major breakthrough during the Spring 1945 offensive the Cremona advanced towards Venice to liberate the city, which the Cremona reached on 30 April 1945.

Orders of Battle[edit]

Order of battle (1940)[edit]

  • 21. Cremona Infantry Regiment
  • 22. Cremona Infantry Regiment
  • 7. Curtatone e Montanara Artillery Regiment
    • 1. Artillery group da 75/27
    • 2. Artillery group da 75/27
    • 3. Artillery group da 100/17
  • 90. Calabria CCNN Legion
    •  ??? CC.NN. Battalion "Indomabile"
    • 143 CC.NN. Battalion "C. Ricci"
    • 90a Machine gun company
  • 44. Mortar Battalion (da 81)
  • 144. Anti-Tank Company 47/32
  • 344. Anti-Tank Company 47/32
  • 144. Engineer Battalion
    • 77a Engineer company
    • 44a Telegraph/Radio mixed company
  • 44. Medical Section
  • 54. Medical Section
    • 33. Field Hospital
    • 84. Field hospital
    • 333. Field hospital
  • 54a. Supply Section
    • 54. Supply autogroup
      • 350a Mixed transport section
      • 355a Mixed transport section
  • 17. Bakery Section
  • 60. Carabinieri Section
  • 251. Carabinieri Section [nb 1][1]

Order of battle (1943)[edit]

  • 21. Cremona Infantry Regiment
  • 22. Cremona Infantry Regiment
  • 90. Calabria CCNN Legion
    •  ??? CC.NN. Battalion "Indomabile"
    • 143 CC.NN. Battalion "C. Ricci"
    • 90a Machine gun company
  • 7. Curtatone e Montanara Artillery Regiment
    • 1. Artillery group da 75/27
    • 2. Artillery group da 75/27
    • 3. Artillery group da 100/17
    • 4. 20mm Anti-aircraft battery
  • 64. Mortar Battalion (da 81)
  • 144. Anti-Tank Company 47/32
  • 13. Armored battalion (with motorized machine gun company)

Temporary reinforcements[edit]

  • Alpine Battalion "Monte Granero"
  • 113. Armoured car battalion
  • 131. Motorized anti-tank battalion 47/32
  • 515 Machine gun battalion
    • 661a MAchine gun company
    • 663a Cp. machine gunners,
    • 696th Cp. machine gunners,
  • 2. Pl. Motorized Engineers
  • 4. Pl. Motorized Engineers
  • 4a Company from alpine battalion "Mongioie"
  • 24. Artillery group (105/28)
  • 7. Corps Artillery Regiment
    • 2a. Artillery group
      • 127. Artillery Battery (149/13)
  • 437. Anti-tank battery 75/34 Mod. 97/38

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  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]
Citations
  1. ^ a b Wendel, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  2. ^ http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/fanteria/rediv44.htm
  3. ^ "Esercito Italiano: Divisione "NEMBO" (184^)". Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  4. ^ Paoletti, p 170
  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9.