6th Infantry Division Cuneo
|6th Infantry Division Cuneo|
|Engagements||World War II|
|Cuneo Division collar insignia|
The 6th Infantry Division Cuneo was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Division was formed 24 May 1939 in Milan city, largerly from the parts of 58th Infantry Division Legnano. Cuneo division was part of the III Corps, First Army that took part in the Italian invasion of France and the 26th Corps during Greco-Italian War.
During the Italian invasion of France, the Cuneo division was assigned to the Limone Piemonte area 10 June 1940, advancing to Tende by 21 June 1940, but armstice 24 June 1940 has happened before division can take any action. After fall of Himarë to Greek 22 December 1940, the Cuneo division was tasked to re-capture the town. For this purpose, it landed in Vlorë 28 December 1940, but has failed to reach assault positions. The Cuneo division fought a defensive battle at LLogara pass from 29 December 1940 until 31 January 1941, in appalling condition of mountain winter, with resulting frequent death due exposure. The units of Cuneo division was dispersed in February, 1941 among other, participating in combat from Vuno to Berat. 29 March 1941 the Cuneo division was withdrawn from the front line to the west bank of Drin river in Albania, to counter the threat of Yugoslavian army after the pro-axis coup in Yugoslavia has collapsed. The Cuneo division reinforced the gap in between 41st Infantry Division Firenze and 9th Corps in defensive line at Yugoslav border. After the Germany has entered the war against Greece 6 April 1940, the Cuneo Division has moved to original positions and started an offense toward Himarë 14 April 1941. The Greek defence line has collapsed 16 April 1941. 17 April 1941, the Cuneo advance through Himarë and Porto Palermo. 19 April 1941 Cuneo has captured a Piqueras village in Lukovë municipality, than Sarandë town by combined land and amphibious assault, and captured the southernmost Albanian town of Konispol 23 April 1941. The Cuneo Division remained in Greece as an occupying force, first in Igoumenitsa and Paramythia, later in Missolonghi and finally on Cyclades - garrisoning islands Naxos and Icaria (by garrison and coastal batteries), Samos (division headquarters), Andros, Santorini and Syros(garrison only), until the Italian surrender on 8 September 1943. It held off the German counter-attack until 21 November 1943, but was evacuated to Kuşadası in Turkey after the positions has become untenable. At the end of war, the remnants of Cuneo division were interned by the Allies in Bureij, Gaza Strip.
Order of battle
- 7th Cuneo Infantry Regiment
- 8th Cuneo Infantry Regiment
- 27th Legnano Artillery Regiment
- 24th CCNN Legion
- 6th Mortar Company
- 6th Engineering Battalion
- 24th Pioneer Battalion
- 6th Signal Company[nb 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 (Regiment of two Battalions). 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.
- Mulholland, John. "Axis Order of Battle 10 June 1940 - The Italian Invasion of France". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- John Carr,"The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-1941", p. 120.
- John Carr,"The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-1941", p. 95
- John Carr,"The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-1941", p. 198
- Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- Paoletti, p 170