Royal Albanian Army

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Royal Albanian Army
Ushtria Mbretërore Shqiptare
Albanian Royal Army.png
Insignia of the Albanian Royal Army
Flag of Albanian Royal Army
Founded 1928
Current form Albanian Army
Disbanded 1939
Service branches Royal Infantry
Royal Artillery
Royal Engineers
Royal Navy
Royal Gendarmerie
Royal Guard
Royal Border Guard
Headquarters Tirana
Commander-in-Chief Zogu[1][2]
Marshal of Albania Zogu
Generals Xhemal Aranitasi
Gustav von Myrdacz
Military age 18 - 50
Conscription 18 month
Reserve personnel 29.860
Deployed personnel 15.600
Budget 21.3 million Franga in 1938
Foreign suppliers United Kingdom
Related articles
History International Gendarmerie
Italian invasion of Albania
Ranks Ranks (1929–36)
Ranks (1936–39)
Royal Albanian Army with Zogu

The Royal Albanian Army (Albanian: Ushtria Mbretërore Shqiptare) was the army of Albanian Kingdom and King Zogu from 1928 until 1939. Its commander-in-chief was King Zog; its commander General Xhemal Aranitasi; its Chief of Staff was General Gustav von Myrdacz. The army was mainly financed by Italy during period 1936–39.[3]


There were two rank systems, the first was replaced in 1936. The new ranks were used until 1939.

Ranks (1929–36)[edit]

Rank General Lieutenant-General Major-General Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Major
Royal Army
Albanian title Gjeneral Gjeneral-Leitenant Gjeneral-Major Kolonel Nënkolonel Major
Captain 1st Lieutenant Lieutenant Staff Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private
1st lieutenant Royal Guard.jpg
Kapiten Toger Nëntoger Rreshter Tetar Ushtar I Parë Ushtar

Ranks (1936–39)[edit]

English name General Lieutenant-General Major-General Captain Lieutenant Sub-lieutenant Sergeant Corporal First Soldier Soldier
Albania Royal Army.svg
Royal Army
Heads Royal Albanian Army Head Gjeneral.png Royal Albanian Army Head Gjeneral-Leitenant.png Royal Albanian Army Head Gjeneral-Major.png Royal Albanian Army Head Kapiten.png Royal Albanian Army Head Toger.png Royal Albanian Army Head Nëntoger.png Royal Albanian Army Head Rreshter.png Royal Albanian Army Head Tetar.png Royal Albanian Army Head Ushtar I Parë.png Royal Albanian Army Head Ushtar.png
Albanian title Gjeneral Gjeneral-Leitenant Gjeneral-Major Kapiten Toger Nëntoger Rreshter Tetar Ushtar i Parë Ushtar

List of weapons[edit]





Manpower and Equipment[edit]


Albanian soldiers move through a northern village during the Italian invasion.
  • 780 officers + 13,200 soldiers + 1,620 NCOs
  • Around 15,000 conscripts (1939)
  • 9 military districts
  • 12 infantry battalions
  • 2 motorized infantry squadrons
  • 9 engineers companies
  • 1,200 tribal officers + 29,860 tribal militia
  • 204 HMG
  • 10,700 carbines (Carcano M1891, Mannlicher, Mosin)
  • 1,104 revolvers (Glisenti M1889)
  • 16,196 rifles (Beretta Model 38 &1918)
  • 12 batteries of 65 mm Italian
  • 6 batteries of 75 mm Skoda
  • 2 batteries of 105 mm Italian
  • 2 batteries of 149 mm Italian (8 guns)
  • 1 coastal artillery battery in Durrës
  • 3 AA artillery batteries
  • Two Fiat 3000B tanks
  • Six Ansaldo CV.33 tankettes
  • Eight armored cars: 2 Bianchi, 6 Lancia IZM


  • 158 personnel
  • 2 gunboats (ex-German minesweepers type FM=Flachgehende Minensuchboote)
  • 170 t, 43/6/1.7 m, 14 kn., 76 mm gun, 2 MG
  • Built in 1918/19, bought c. 1925.
  • Shqipnja (ex-FM 16) & Skanderbeg (ex-FM 23)
  • 4 Italian MAS boats
  • Built & bought in 1926 in Venice
  • 46 t, 17 kn., 76 mm gun, 2 MG
  • Tirana, Saranda, Durres, Shengjin

Air Force[edit]

  • 5 aircraft (Albatros-Fokker L45),
  • Unknown number of personnel (some sources estimate around 15)


  • 131 (officers) + 440 (NCO) + 3,206 (soldiers)
  • 6 battalions (every battalion had 500 - 600 men)
  • Behind vehicles are the numbers that were in use by the Albanian army

See also[edit]



  • Piero Crociani, "Gli Albanesi Nelle Forze Armate Italiane (1939-1945)", Roma 2001
  • Bernd Fischer, "Albania at War, 1939-1945", London, 1999
  • Patrice Najbor, Histoire de l'Albanie et de sa maison royale (5 volumes), JePublie, Paris, 2008, (ISBN 978-2-9532382-0-4).
  • Patrice Najbor, La dynastye des Zogu, Textes & Prétextes, Paris, 2002
  • Time Magazine, April 17, 1939 (article "A Birth and a Death") & Albania: Zog, Not Scanderbeg (Monday, Jun. 17, 1929)
  • "Jane's Fighting Ships", London, various years
  • "League of Nations Armaments Yearbook", Geneva, various years 1924-1938
  • e-archives of Korrieri, Tiranë Gazeta and other Albanian newspapers
  • on-line articles of the Albanian Headquarters and General Staff website
  • on-line articles of Ushtria Gazeta (Army Gazette)

External links[edit]