47th Infantry Division Bari

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47th Infantry Division Bari
47a Divisione Fanteria Bari.png
47th Infantry Division Bari Insignia
Active 1939 – 1944
Country Italy Regno d'Italia
Kingdom of Italy
Branch Flag of Italy (1860).svgRegio Esercito
Royal Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Bari, Italy
Nickname(s) Bari
Engagements World War II
General Ernesto Zaccone[1]
General Ernesto Zaccone


The 47th Infantry Division Bari was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. It was formed 15 September 1939 in Bari, and reformed to Internal Security Division "Aosta" 21 September 1944. The Bari Division drafted men in Bari and in the Salento.


The Bari division has embarked for Vlorë in Albania 28 October 1940, to help in ongoing Battle of Pindus. All the divisional sub-units were en route 31 October 1940, landed and engaged separately. The 140th infantry regiment have reached border positions at Leskovik 2 November 1940, while 139th infantry regiment was placed under command of 3rd Alpine Division Julia, reaching Konitsa on the Greek territory, where heavy fighting has started immediately. The Greek forces have tried to re-capture the key road junction of Perati Bridge on the back of 139th infantry regiment. Although holding positions and successfully counter-attacking from 4 November 1940, until 7 November 1940, the defeat of 3rd Alpine Division Julia by 8 November 1940, have resulted in the positions of 139th infantry regiment being stretched along Sarantaporos river to cover 3rd Alpine Division Julia retreat. The positions from Konitsa to Sarantaporos river were generally held 11–14 November 1940, but 15 November 1940, the Bari division have abandoned Greek territory and concentrated on the defence of the Perati Bridge. Heavy Greek attacks on Perati Bridge were repulsed 17–18 November 1940, but 20 November 1940, the Greek breakthrough nearby have resulted in chain reaction of failures of Italian defences. The defence of Perati Bridge has than degenerated to bloody massacre, with few Italian survivors fleeing to Leskovik and Cerckë, joining the 140th infantry regiment long entrenched there. The events of that day have served as an inspiration to the Alpini song "Sul Ponte Di Perati". 21 November 1940, the re-united division Bari have stood blocking the Perati-Përmet road in the Aoös valley. After severe fighting, the remnants of the Bari division were relieved from the front line duties in Këlcyrë area 29 November 1940. The new order were to build a fortification line from Bodar to Mount Dhëmbel. As Italian forces continued to retreat, the fortification come under Greek attack starting from 16 December 1940. The reserve units of Bari division were also transferred to stop the Greek breakthrough south of Qarrisht’ e Fratarit 23 December 1940. At the beginning of January, 1941, the Bari was concentrated in line from west outskirts of Këlcyrë up to Mal Trebeshinë. The Greek have started a heavy attack 2 January 1941, capturing Qafa e Kiçokut soon. By 8 January 1941, the position of the Bari were severely outflanked, forcing its retreat from Këlcyrë, resulting in Capture of Klisura Pass by Greek 10 January 1941, and setting the stage for the Battle of Trebeshina. Consequently, the Bari division have retreated north to Ball - Panarit line. The Greek ski-mounted light forces have continued to try to envelop the Bari positions from north to open way to Berat, resulting in a particularly violent clash 15 January 1941, but the front lines have stabilized nonetheless. After repulsing another Greek assault around Vinokash and Kajcë 29 January 1941, the Bari division was replaced by 51st Infantry Division Siena and sent to Roskovec for the reorganization.

5 March 1941, the Bari division was moved from the reserve to the second echelon, north of Qafa e Kiçokut. 9 March 1941, it was moved to Mali i Shëndëllisë mountain, between the 38th Infantry Division Puglie on the right and 59th Mountain Infantry Division Cagliari to the left, as part of Italian Spring Offensive. 13–14 March 1941, the Bari division have participated in "Apocalypse on Hill 731"[2] - a failed assault on Monastery Hill near Komarak, resulting in thousands of its ranks dead. 19 March 1941, the attacks on Monastery Hill were repeated (18th attempt in row) together with the 131st Armoured Division Centauro and 51st Infantry Division Siena, resulting in all Italian tanks destroyed or disabled, and all attacking Italian infantrymen been killed, wounded or captured. Due heavy losses, 23 March 1941, the division Bari was sent to the rear.

It has returned to the battle lines 14 April 1941 near Qafa e Kiçokut,as Battle of Greece have started. 16 April 1941, the Bari division have reached the Këlcyrë (captured 2 days before by 51st Infantry Division Siena) and 17 April 1941 - Përoi i Lemnicës. The division then travelled to Përmet and later Perati, where the contact with the Greek forces was re-established. The clean-up of the Perati area was performed 20–23 April 1943. After the end of the active fighting, the Bari division has stayed at Konitsa to Sarantaporos river, later in May, 1941 being used for mopping-up in the Aoös valley. Supported by a Battalion of the San Marco Regiment it was intended to be used in the assault on the island of Corfu. This was cancelled due to the losses on the mainland. They were later identified as the landing division for the proposed Invasion of Malta, which was also cancelled.[3] Instead of further fighting, in June, 1941, the division was called home to Apulia, where it performed coastal defence duties from the Brindisi to Taranto.

In September, 1942, the division was transferred to the Tuscany, where it stay between Livorno, Pisa, and on Elba island. Also, separate detachment from the division has reinforced the coastal defence site at Cecina. 5 December 1942, the division was transferred again to the Rome area, between Cesano (RM), Cecchignola and Centocelle. In April, 1943, it was sent to the Oristano area on the west coast of the Sardinia island. After Armistice of Cassibile 8 September 1943, the Bari division have participated in pursuit of Germans evacuating from Sardinia, having a minor clashes 17 September 1943. The Bari division was dissolved 21 September 1944, and its elements has formed the Internal Security Division Aosta 14 October 1944.

Order of battle[edit]

  • 139th Bari Infantry Regiment
  • 140th Bari Infantry Regiment
  • 47th Artillery Regiment
  • 152nd Salentina CCNN Legion
  • 47th Mortar Battalion
  • 47th Anti-Tank Company
  • 47th Signal Company
  • 55th Pioneer Company
  • Medical Section
  • Motor Transport Section
  • Supply Section
  • Carabinieri Section[nb 1][3]


  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. ^ Enrico Tagliazucchi and Franco Agostini. "Royal Italian Army". Archived from the original on 4 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  2. ^ The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-1941, pages 139-162
  3. ^ a b Marcus Wendal. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  4. ^ Paoletti, p. 170.


  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9.