1st Infantry Division Superga
|1st Infantry Division Superga|
1st Infantry Division Superga Insignia
|Active||1940 – 1943|
|Country|| Regno d'Italia
Kingdom of Italy
Royal Italian Army
|Engagements||World War II|
|Curio Barbasetti di Prun|
1st Infantry Division Superga was a mountain infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. It was formed in 1940 in Torino (Turin), and was part of the 4th Army, Italian I Corps during the Italian invasion of France. The only difference between line infantry divisions and mountain infantry divisions was that the latter's artillery was carried by pack mules instead of the standard horse-drawn carriages. Italy's real mountain warfare divisions were the six alpine divisions manned by the "Alpini" mountain troops.
On 10 June 1940 the Superga division was assigned to France invasion force. Superga has captured the French village of Argentière 21 June 1940, reaching Battaileres pass and mount Argentiere summit 22 June 1940. On 24 June 1940, just before the armistice, the Division attacked the Ouvrage Pas du Roc in the Alpine Line. Supported by its neighbor, Ouvrage Arrondaz and others, the fort repelled the attack. The Division was moved from Turin to Naples in August, 1941. In March, 1942, division headquarters moved to Avola in Sicily island, while bulk of forces remained around Naples.
The Division was reorganized into assault and landing type in April, 1942 for the planned invasion of Malta. Between May 1942 and October 1942 main Division forces were concentrated around cities Formia and Gaeta.
The Superga Division was sent to Tunisia in November 1942, landing in Bizerte 11 November 1942. By 20 November 1942 it was fighting near Enfidaville Airfield. By 1 December 1942 the Superga Division has moved to Sousse-Sfax area. On 26 December 1942 it was deployed on the southern outskirts of Tunis. From late January, 1943 until 4 February 1943 it repelled an Anglo-American assault on Oued el Koukat depression. The second assault on positions of Superga division has started 23 February 1943. The Superga Division surrendered to the British forces 12 May 1943.
Order of battle
- 91. Basilicata Infantry Regiment
- 92. Basilicata Infantry Regiment
- 5º Reggimento artiglieria "Superga" (5. Superga Artillery Regiment)
- 2° Battalion - 75/18 mm guns
- 2° Battalion - 100/17 mm guns (mot)
- Mortar Battalion
- Anti-Aircraft Battalion
- 3 x Battery
- 1. Anti-Tank Battalion
- 101. Engineer Battalion
- 1. Signals Company
- 14. Pioneer Company
- 1. Carabinieri Section
- 2. Carabinieri Section
- 80. Field Post Office
- 50. Special Brigade
The force designated '50 Special Brigade' consisted of 6th Infantry Battalion (Regiment?), 557th (7th) Semovente Group, (75/18 Assault Guns), and the 15th Armoured Battalion from the Centauro Armoured Division plus 3 Artillery battalions - or 3d Artillery Group. [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.
- Jowett, Philip S. The Italian Army 1940-45 (1): Europe 1940-1943. Osprey, Oxford - New York, 2000, pp. 5-6, ISBN 978-1-85532-864-8
- Kauffmann, p. 178
- Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
- Paoletti, p 170