56th Infantry Division Casale

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56th Infantry Division Casale
56a Divisione Fanteria Casale.png
56th Infantry Division Casale Insignia
Active 1939–1943
Country Italy
Branch Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Forlì
Nickname(s) Casale
Engagements World War II
General Enea Navarrini[1]

The 56th Infantry Division Casale was a regular Infantry Division of the Italian Army during World War II. It was formed in 1939 in Forlì and was dissolved in September 1943 in Aetolia-Acarnania region of Greece. Majority of its men have originated from Romagna.


The Casale Division was sent to Albania on 14 March 1941 to reinforce the failing Italian Spring Offensive. It immediately fought in Shushicë. By 20 March 1941, it was included into Italian XXV Army Corps and was fighting in Tepelenë area.[2] The contact with Greek forces was lost soon after the start of Battle of Greece 6 April 1941, and Casale engaged in a cautious advance along Drin valley. On 18 April 1941, it encountered Greek rear-guard at Lumi i Kardhiqit, 19 April 1941 - reached Gjirokastër. 22 April 1941 the division reached Greek border near Delvinaki, where it met with German patrols. It was used for mopping-up operations in Zitsa, Negrades, and Paramythia.[3] After this task complete, the Casale was moved to the south of Ambracian Gulf, stopping in 1942 with garrisons in Agrinio, Amfilochia and Missolonghi. The division performed several anti-partisan raids in Agrinio, Kato Achaia, Chrysóvitsa (or nearby Chrysovítsa), and other locations. After Armistice of Cassibile announcement 8 September 1943, parts of 11th regiment joined Greek partisans while other sub-units of division have melted away under murky circumstances.

Order of battle[edit]

  • 11. Casale Infantry Regiment
  • 12. Casale Infantry Regiment
  • 311. Infantry Regiment
  • 56. Artillery Regiment
  • 23. CCNN Legion
  • 56. Mortar Battalion
  • 156. Anti-Tank Company
  • 56. Signal Company
  • 47. Pioneer Company
  • 60. Medical Section
  • 5. Supply Section
  • 41. Field Bakery
  • 48. Carabinieri Section
  • 49. 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". World War II Armed Forces – Orders of Battle and Organizations. Archived from the original on 4 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  2. ^ http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/fanteria/rediv56.htm
  3. ^ a b Marcus Wendal. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  4. ^ Paoletti, p 170
  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9. 
  • Jowett, Phillip. The Italian Army 1040-45 (3): Italy 1943-45. Osprey Publishing, Westminster. ISBN 978-1-85532-866-2.