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The Spanish Army in 1936

by Alberto Arzanegui
This article appeared in the bulletin El Miliciano , nr. 1 (1993). Translated by Wolf Broszies

Without the Spanish Army there would not have been an insurgency in 1936. The leadership of the insurgency was composed nearly entirely from officers of the Army. The insurgent regiments and its soldiers constituted the backbone of the  nationalist side in the Civil War. The parts of the Army staying loyal to the government were not used in the same way, many of its regiments being dissolved and incorporated into the new brigades of the republic. This article discusses the state of the Army  in the summer of 36, right up to the nationalist insurgency.

The Army had for most parts adopted a passive attitude towards the newly declared republic Republic. The new civilian authorities undertook a rapid reform, mainly reducing the number of officers. Thus, in just one year, the number of men serving had gone from 190 generals and 20,303 officers and NCOs to 72 and 13,032 respectively. However the reformes failed to achive their main goal, which was a reduction in budget, which despite the reforms had to be increased. This and other decisions created nothing but discontent among the professional military. The second goal of the reforms, to keep the Army in its barracks, was not fulfilled either: Due to the volatile and violent political situation ts services were constantly needed to maintain law and order. Moroccan troops intervened for the first time in the Peninsula during the Sanjurpo rebellion. This increased the political power of the Army and contributed to its image as the last stalwart of order.

Reform and military resources

In the spring of 1936 the Republic decided to reduce the size of the Army for several reasons:

  • reduce the state budget
  • reduced need for national defense due to the political situation in Europe
  • the desirability of the Army not being disproportionate to principles of a prudent national policy oriented towards the maintenance of peace abroad and the conservation and defense of order and public freedoms in the interior.

At least, these were the official given reasons and conditions. As as result of the reform, the Army was established as follows:

    • Infantry: 40 regiments, 8 mountain battalions, two assault regiments, four machine gun battalions, one cyclist battalion, the Presidential Guard battalion, and the War Ministry group.
    • Cavalry: 10 regiments, a machine cannon group, the Central Repository of Remonta with two deposits of breeding and dressage.
    • Artillery: 16 light regiments, one regiment on horseback, four heavy regiments, four coast defense regiments, two regiments and a mountain group, three mixed groups, two anti-aircraft groups, three groups of artillery information, four army corps and eight divisional parks.
    • Engineers: A regiment of sappers-miners, eight battalions and a group of sappers, a battalion of bridgeing engineers, two regiments of railroad engineers, a regiment of airdome engineers, a transport regiment, four mixed groups of sappers and telegraph engineers, Central Park of Automobiles and a Center of Transmissions and Technical Studies.
    • Intendance: Eight divisional groups and two companies for the Balearic and Canary Islands plus sections at naval bases.
    • Medical: Two commissions with four divisional groups each, sections for the cavalry division and the mountain brigades, companies for the archipelagos and mobile veterinary evacuation sections.
    • Other forces: Republican music band, train corps, 16 mobilization and reservation centers and 60 recruiting boxes.
  • Army of Africa:
    • Spanish Foreign Legion: two legions (regiment-sized) to three banderas (bataillon-sized) plus one of deposit. Six battalions of light infantry, two groups of machine guns, two artillery groups, a battalion of sappers, a transport battalion, three quartermaster groups, two medical groups and two sea companies.
    • Regular Forces Indigenous: five grupos with three infantry tanks, and one cavalry. Ifni Forces: Ifni battalion with three infantry tanks and one cavalry, and the forces of Cape Juby and Rio de Oro. Jalifian Forces: Five Mehalas and Jalalian Police.
  • Forces in Guinea: The five companies of the Colonial Guard.

Army Structure and Command

The supreme head of the Army according to the constitution was the Minister of War. He exercised his authority through the Ministry of War and recieved advice by the Superior Council of War. The Ministry consisted of a subsecretariat in charge of administration and a Central Staff to which he had responsibility for everything related to war.

In place of the old captaincias general, eight Amry divisions were created that were in charge of everything related to instruction, discipline, services, administration, etc., of the units organic to or permanently assigned to them. Apart from these divisions, there were garrisons and autonomous regions such as the naval bases of Cadiz, El Ferrol and Cartagena, and regions such as Asturias, Baleares and Canarias. In case of war, the divisions would be grouped into three army corps: First Army Corps composed from the 1st and 2nd divisions and the cavalry division, second corps fomr the 3rd, 4rth and 5th divisions, and thrid Army corps from 6th, 7th and 8th divison. Each division consisted of:

  • A divisional headquarters.
  • Two infantry brigades to two regiments of two battalions each. Each of these consisted of four companies of infantry, a machine gun company plus a section of supporting arms. The regiments were established with two active battalions but enough equipment to outfit its third battalion at mobilization.
  • A cavalry squadron, with an automatic weapons section and another of infantry cyclist.
  • A light artillery brigade composed of two regiments, one of cannons and another of howitzers, both consisting of two groups of three batteries each. The regiments also had the necessary weapons to constitute their third group.
  • A battalion of sappers-miners from three companies plus a park.
  • A division park, quartermaster, health and transmission groups and veterinary and lighting sections.

Independent of these divisions existed the troops of corps of army and army:

  • Two mixed mountain brigades. Each with a headquarters; four mountain battalions grouped in two half-brigades; a mountain artillery regiment with two groups of howitzers, to three batteries each; a company of sappers-miners and sections of services.
  • Two regiments of two battalions of light tanks of combat and four battalions of machine guns, all dependent on the weapon of Infantry.
  • Eight regiments of infantry, same as divisions, for naval bases and autonomous regions.
  • A cavalry division with: Headquarters; three brigades of cavalry to two regiments of two groups, and each of them with two squadrons of sabers and another one of automatic arms; a group of cyclist infantry from a rifle company and another from machine guns; a group of machine-gun-guns of two squadrons; an artillery regiment on horseback with three groups of three batteries; a company of sappers on horseback and services.
  • Four regiments of cavalry, four squadrons of sabers and one of automatic weapons.
  • Four regiments of heavy artillery formed by two groups of three batteries each.
  • Four regiments of artillery of coast, for the naval bases.
  • Three mixed groups of artillery (light and mountain).
  • Two Defense Against Aircraft (DCA) groups, each consisting of two anti-aircraft guns and an infantry machine gun company.
  • A regiment of sappers-miners, from two battalions to four companies each.
  • A battalion of pontoneros with four units of bridges.
  • A regiment of railways formed by three battalions of three companies.
  • Two autonomous mixed groups with a company of sappers and another of telephones.
  • An artillery regiment.
  • Four artillery parks of corps of army.

…and the rest of service units.

The African Army

The protectorate of Morocco was divided into two military districts: the Oriental (areas of Melilla and Rif) and the Occidental (Ceuta, Tetuan and Larache). Command fell to a division general and his staff with residence in Tetuan. The troops were as follows:

Eastern District :

  • 1st Legion of the Third. In Tauima (Melilla), with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Flags. Each flag had three companies of infantry and one of machine guns and machines of escort. During the war a fourth company will be added.
  • Groups of Regular Indigenous Forces Melilla nº 2 in Nador; and Alhucemas nº 5 in Segangán. Each had three infantry tanks and one cavalry. The infantry had three companies of rifles and one of machine guns, and of the cavalry three squadrons.
  • Eastern group of light infantry from Africa with battalions of hunters Melilla # 3 in Al Hoceima and Ceuta # 7 in Melilla. Each battalion has four companies of riflemen-grenadiers, one of machine guns, a section of machine of support, another of transmissions, another of workers and train of battalion.
  • Eastern group of artillery with its staff in Melilla and consisting of two groups, one in Melilla with three batteries of 105 mm and one of 155 mm, and the second in the Rif with three 105 mm batteries, all of them howitzers.
  • A mixed battalion of sappers-transmissions with four companies, two of each.
  • Group of machine guns of position of Melilla.

Western Circumscription :

  • 2nd Legion of the Third in Dar Riffien (Ceuta) with the 4th, 5th and 6th flags.
  • Groups of Regular Forces Indigenous Tetuán nª 1 in Tetuán, Ceuta nº 3 in Ceuta and Larache nº 4 in Alcazarquivir. Its structure was the same as the previous two with the exception of the cavalry, which in these were only two squadrons.
  • Western grouping of African hunters with battalions San Fernando nº 1 in Alcazarquivir, Las Navas nº 2 in Larache, Ceriñola nº 6 in Tetuán and Serrallo nº 8 in Ceuta. [At the time the Republic was established, there were five infantry regiments in Morocco, which were dissolved, numbers 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44. The latter gave rise to machine gun battalions No. 2 and No. 3, and the other four to eight battalions of hunters, who were numbered successively. During the ministry of Gil Robles, the numbers 4 and 5 were transformed into the groups of machine guns of position of Ceuta and Melilla.]
  • Western grouping of artillery with its first group of three batteries of 105 mm, one of 155 mm and another one of coast in Ceuta; and the second group in Larache with three 105 mm batteries. Also all of howitzers.
  • Mixed battalion of sappers.
  • Group of machine guns of position of Ceuta.

In addition, it would be necessary to include the service troops: quartermasters, medical, transport, etc, and two companies of marines in Ceuta and Melilla.

During the mandate of Gil Robles reinforced the artillery in the Protectorate with six new batteries: two of 75, two of 105, one of 150 and one of 155.

There were other forces on the African continent that were the Ifni Shooter Battalion, created on June 11, 1934 and with three infantry tanks (similar to regular groups) and one of my cavalry. The Forces of the Sahara, formed by three garrisons featured in Cape Juby (the largest with a disciplinary company), Villa Cisneros and La Agüera. Sections of the different weapons gathered about 500 men. The Jalifian Forces, born as palace guard of the Khalifa and that will form the pictures of the future Moroccan army. There were five mehalas: Tetuán nº 1, Melilla nº 2, Larache nº 3, Rif nº 5 and Gomara nº 6, with headers in Tetuán, Melilla, Larache, Villa Alhucemas and Xauen. Each taxi included three of me) for a total of 360 men. The Jalaphian police were made up of five mezzanines and were about 1,650 men. In Guinea there was a minimal garrison made up of the Colonial Guard. It was constituted by five companies distributed throughout the territory that fulfilled the functions of police. The troops of this unit were mostly indigenous.

Army Strength

The total numbers were as follows:

  • In the peninsular army, that is to say, the eight divisions, the two commandos of the Balearic and Canary Islands, plus the commandant exempt of Asturias, had on the paper 81 generals, 8,851 officers, 6,988 non-commissioned officers and 101,455 troops. The total was 117,385 men. There were also ten generals assimilated.
  • The Army of Africa had three generals, 1,683 officers, 1,572 non-commissioned officers and 30,383 soldiers. The total was 33,641.
  • The General Directorate of Morocco and Colonies had 527 officers, 246 non-commissioned officers and 12,713 troops. Total 13,486.
  • CASE personnel were 4,285 in the territorial army, 594 in Africa and 354 in the Residency forces.
  • In the Reserve there were 481 generals, 4 officers of staff, 97 officers of infantry, 21 of cavalry, 88 of artillery, 71 of engineers and 128 other auxiliary bodies. Complement officers were 1,930 infantry, 630 cavalry, 632 artillery, 158 engineers and 676 other corps. The number of retired military personnel was 13,642.

Mobilization

With the military reform the old structure of mobilization was discarded. Mobilization and Reserve Centers were created tak take over the task of organizing the individual soldiers and assigning them to their units. The soldiers, once they joined thre reserve, passed to a first situation of availability always belonging to the active units in which they served. In case of mobilization, these reserves would complete the templates of the existing units at first, to later unfold these units. Those in the second situation, depended on the mobilization center of their place of residence and would form if necessary reserve units in a number dependent on the nature of the mobilization. The Mobilization Centers were sixteen, one for each infantry brigade. Recruitment is done through 60 Recruit Boxes. The number of handlers for recruitment and replacement was as follows (for years):

1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933
142,901 140,275 150.116 153,885 139,139 144,615 148,522 148,423 149,140 157,359

The actual situation

In July 1936, the army units were not fully staffed. The summer period and rumors of uprising had led to a massive granting of permits. Then the real situation of the barracks, by divisions and regions:

Republican zone National zone
Infantry
I 2,957 58%
II 785 62% 2,860 56%
III 3,838 61%
IV 4.335 61%
V 382 55% 2.618 52%
SAW 1.643 84% 3.261 55%
VII 2.802 55%
Balearics 655 52% 729 57%
Canary Islands 1.475 58%
Artillery
I 1.632 54%
II 1,744
III 1.747 58%
IV 1.525 61%
V 792 36% 955 96% (?)
SAW 532 79% 1,242 fifty%
VII 1,174 56%
VIII 1.420
Balearics 836 70%
Canary Islands 1.008 [1]
Chivalry
II 395 62%
III 413 65%
IV 800 63%
V 347 55%
SAW 1,207 64%
VII 807 64%
Engineers
I 3.128 71%
II 284 67%
III 258 61%
IV 268 63%
V 488
SAW 233 55% 248 59%
VIII 212 fifty%

Equipment

As for the armament, the infantry had the rifle of own production Mauser M-1.893 of 7 mm. The most common machine gun was the Hotchkiss M-25 7mm and the heavy Hotchkiss M-14. Elite units (legions, hunters, marines and mountain troops) used the Star S 135 and Gollat ​​9m submachine guns. The mortars were either the Spanish Valero of 50 mm, or those of 81 mm that were copies of the French Brandt.

Most infantry guns were the old Schneider M-08 70mm mountain. The elite units were being equipped with the new Arellano L-32 45 mm. In addition to the organic artillery units, infantry units had some battalion-level pieces. Thus, each battalion of hunters, each flag of the Third, each taxi of Regulares and the Knights of Ifni had a piece of accompaniment. In the rest of the army, each battalion of infantry (three by regiment) and each battalion of mountain had the same thing.

Each DCA group had 8 pieces, the three mixed groups totaling 20 pieces and an unknown number of fixed pieces. In the garrison of Villa Cisneros there were two other cannons and each artillery grouping in Morocco had 28 pieces. If we add all the artillery crews gives us a total of 916 pieces of campaign in the territorial army, 88 in Africa, 192 in coastal regiments and 16 in anti-aircraft groups.

In artillery the basic unit was the four-piece battery. Like half Europe, it counted massively with the famous French barrel Schneider M-06 of 75 mm that represented about 60% of the whole park. In theory he had to equip only two of the groups in the light artillery regiments, although in practice he practically constituted all three. The light batteries in Morocco and those of the Islands had the modern Vickers M-22 of 105 mm manufactured in Spain. The mountain regiments and the group of Asturias had the Schneider M-19 mountain howitzer of 105 mm. The heavy artillery regiments had a group equipped with 150 mm Krupp M-13 guns and the other with 155 mm Schneider M-17.

The four regiments of coast artillery gathered in total 192 pieces mostly of fixed character. They were broken down as follows: Regiment No. 1 had 6 batteries with a total of 24 pieces, Regiment No. 2 had 13 batteries with 52 pieces, Regiment No. 3 had 16 batteries and 64 pieces, and Regiment No. 4 had 13 batteries with 52 pieces. There were also pieces of these characteristics in the mixed groups of the archipelagos, but the number of them is unknown. Of the total, 132 of them were between 101.6 and 381 mm of caliber. Many of them were old pieces from fixed ships, although there were some mobile batteries with Elswick Mark I 127 mm guns and some anti-aircraft parts. Precisely in this type of weapon, there were in acceptable number the Danish M-33 of 20 mm and the French machine guns Hotchkiss of 13.2 mm. The Spanish Army had no anti-tank guns.

The Spanish military industry was concentrated in Trubia, where the 45, 105 and 155 mm guns were manufactured, as well as modernizing those of 75. In Reinosa and Placencia de las Armas artillery pieces were also manufactured.

Between the two regiments of existing cars only had 20 operating cars: 10 Renault FT-17, 5 Schneider M-16 and 5 Trubia A-4, in addition, there were about 62 armored transports. All this stuff was really outdated. In contrast, the group of machine-gun-guns had 28 modern armored vehicles. They were a Spanish version of the 1 Tm Dodge truck and had two 8 mm machine guns.

Finally, the engineering units were equipped with French material from the Great War.

As has been said each infantry regiment had a reserve of arms to constitute its third battalion when it was decided, the light artillery regiments to constitute their third group and generally, the rest of units and bodies had the necessary material to equip up to 25% of its troops in time of peace. In addition, they had the regulatory reserves. In the divisional and army corps parks an enormous amount of arms and equipment was stored from the reserves for a mobilization and of the remnants that had produced the reduction of Azaña. The exact figures of this material are unknown, although it is estimated that no division park had less than 25,000 rifles and at least twice as many corpses, for a total of 400,000 to 500,000 in the whole army. The total quantities of machine guns and machine guns were 2,247 and 1,458 for the Territorial Army and 528 and 220 for the African Army.

Order of Battle in July 1936

Infantry Regiments

nº 1 Wad-Ras Madrid nº21 Valencia Santander

nº 2 León Madrid nº22 San Marcial Burgos

nº 3 Castilla Badajoz nº23 América Pamplona

nº 4 Covadonga Madrid nº24 Bailén Logroño

nº 5 Lepanto Granada nº25 San Quintín Valladolid

nº 6 Granada Sevilla nº26 Toledo Zamora

# 7 Pavia Algeciras # 27 Algiers Caceres

nº 8 Vitoria [2] Málaga nº28 La Victoria Salamanca

nº 9 Otumba Valencia nº29 Zamora La Coruña

nº10 Guadalajara Valencia nº30 Zaragoza Lugo

nº11 Alicante rate nº31 Burgos León

nº12 Vizcaya Alcoy nº32 Milan Oviedo

nº13 Badajoz Barcelona nº33 Cádiz Cádiz

nº14 Alcántara Barcelona nº34 Seville Cartagena

nº15 Almansa Tarragona nº35 Mérida El Ferrol

No. 16 Albuera Lerida nº36 Palma Palma

nº17 Aragón Zaragoza nº37 Baleares Mahón

nº18 Gerona Zaragoza nº38 Tenerife Santa Cruz

No. 19 Galicia Jaca nº39 Canarias Las Palmas

nº20 Valladolid Huesca nº40 Simancas Gijón

Mountain Battalions

nº 1 Chiclana Figueras nº 5 Flanders Vitoria

nº 2 Asia Gerona nº 6 Garellano Bilbao

nº 3 Madrid Seo Urgell nº 7 Arapiles Estella

nº 4 City Rodrigo Barbastro nº 8 Sicilia Pamplona

Combat Tank Regiments

nº 1 Madrid nº 2 Zaragoza

Battalions of machine guns

nº 1 Castellón nº 3 Almería

nº 2 Plasencia nº 4 Manresa

Cyclist Battalion Alcalá de Henares

Presidential Guard Battalion and War Ministry Group Madrid

Cavalry Regiments

nº 1 Castillejos Zaragoza nº 6 Numancia Vitoria

nº 2 Villarrobledo Palencia nº 7 Lusitania Valencia

nº 3 Calatrava Salamanca nº 8 Taxdir Sevilla

nº 4 Spain Burgos nº 9 Santiago Barcelona

nº 5 Farnesio Valladolid nº10 Montesa Barcelona

Aranjuez group of machine gunners

Light artillery regiments

No. 1 Getafe nº 9 Zaragoza

No. 2 Vicálvaro nº10 Calatayud

No. 3 Sevilla nº11 Burgos

No. 4 Granada nº12 Logroño

No. 5 Valencia # 13 Segovia

No. 6 Murcia nº14 Valladolid

No. 7 Barcelona nº15 Pontevedra

nº 8 Mataró nº16 La Coruña

Heavy artillery regiments

nº 1 Córdoba nº 3 San Sebastián

nº 2 Gerona nº 4 Medina del Campo

Mountain artillery regiments

nº 1 Barcelona nº 2 Vitoria

Regiment of artillery on horseback Campamento (Madrid)

Coastal artillery regiments

nº 1 Cadiz nº 3 Cartagena

nº 2 El Ferrol nº 4 Mahón

Mixed Artillery Groups

nº 1 Palma nº 3 Las Palmas

No 2 Tenerife

Defense Groups against Aircraft (ACD)

nº 1 Campamento nº 2 Zaragoza

Mountain artillery group Oviedo

Regiment of sapper miners Madrid

Regiments of railways

nº 1 Leganés nº 2 Leganés

El Pardo transmission regiment

Regiment of Aerostación Guadalajara

Battalions of Sappers

nº 1 Carabanchel nº 5 Zaragoza

nº 2 Sevilla nº 6 San Sebastián

nº 3 Valencia nº 7 Alcalá de Henares

nº 4 Barcelona nº 8 Gijón

Bridging Engineer Battalion Saragossa

Mixed groups sappers-telephones

No. 1 Palma nº 3 Tenerife

nº 2 Mahón nº 4 Las Palmas

TO/Es of Spanish Army units in July 1936

Unity Official Non-commissioned officers Troop
Rto. infantry 49 87 1.122 [3]
Bon. Montana 27 Four. Five 561
Bon. machine guns 22 42 362
Bon. cyclist 36 74 789
Rto. fighting cars 36 87 399
Gpo. War Ministry 10 17 342
Rto. chivalry 35 35 558
Gpo. auto-cannon 16 17 174
Rto. sappers 39 57 853
Bon. sappers 19 27 373
Rto. railways 38 57 779
Rto. transmissions 56 92 783
Rto. art. light 32 54 628
Rto. art. heavy 31 60 576
Rto. art. horse 44 79 967
Rto. art. Montana 3. 4 63 924
Gpo. DCA 13 22 237
Third Flag twenty-one 29 618
Tábor inf. Regular 18 twenty-one 473 [4]
Tábor cab. Regular 17 2. 3 317 [5]
Bon. Ifni Handles 31 38 1,166
Unity Rifles Fusam Machine guns Mortars Cannons
Bon. inf. 446 16 24 17 1
Bon. Montana 541 16 8 17 1
Bon. ametra. 156 4 24 4
Bon. cyclist 635 28 24 28
Rto. Cars [6] 569
Rto. cab. 595 fifteen 8 2
Rto. art. lig. 453 9 36
Rto. art. cab. 790 9 36
Rto. art. feet 266 6 24
Gpo. DCA 111 6 8

The provision of rifles. of sappers, of railroads, of transmissions and of bones. of sappers was 989, 556, 920 and 454 respectively. The gpo. of auto-machine guns had 214 rifles, 5 fusam and 28 vehicles.

Notes

  1. A figure that reflects both regions: the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
  2. Later it was called of Oviedo.
  3. This regiment is of two battalions.
  4. Of the total, 394 soldiers were Moors.
  5. Of the total, 260 were Moors.
  6. It had 67 vehicles.

Links

The Spanish Army’s Order of Battle in July 1936 from the Nafzinger Collection

The Official History of the US Military in World War II

The number of studies and books published by the US military on the Second World War alone fills a small library. Official histories do not only exist for the Army and the Navy, then the two arms of the US military, but also for the nascent forces of the Air Force and the Marines, and of course for countless other organisations like the Corps of Engineers or the Coast Guard. For brevitys sake, we will limit this bibliography to the classic trio of Army, Navy and Air Force. For further research have a look at hyperwar, the not always up-to-date, but always useful collection of links about military history.

The US Army in World War II

Better known as “The Green Books,” The U.S. Army in World War II consists of 79 volumes plus a reader’s guide. Unlike the official histories of some countries, these volumes were often written by professional historians, such as Robert R. Palmer, Forrest Pogue, or Bell I. Wiley, rather than staff officers.

As with official histories, every campaign is covered in great detail, often starting with descriptions from the front lines rather than with strategic plannings and the big picture. But the really valuable volumes are the ones dealing with what usually only gets experts exited.  That is to say, the volumes on to/e, logistics, medical service, and more.  The detail in these is often extraordinary, as  they delve into matters that, although largely invisible in most histories, were essential to shaping an army that could fight and win.

The US Army in WW 2 – Reader’s Guide

The War Department

Chief of Staff- Prewar Plans and Preparations, Mark Skinner Watson
Washington Command Post – The Operations Division. Ray S. Cline
Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare – 1941-1942, Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell
Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare – 1943-1944. Maurice Matloff
Global Logistics and Strategy 1940 – 1943, Richard M. Leighton
Global Logistics and Strategy 1943 – 1945, Robert W. Coakley and Richard M. Leighton
The Army and Economic Mobilization
, R. Elberton Smith
The Army and Industrial Manpower, Byron Fairchild and Jonathan Grossman

The Army Ground Forces

The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, Ken Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer and Bell I. Wiley
The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley and William R. Keast

The Army Service Forces

The Organization and Role of the Army Service Forces, John D. Millett

The Western Hemisphere

The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild
Guarding the United States and Its Outposts. Stetson Conn. Rose C. Engelman and Byron Fairchild

The War in the Pacific

Strategy and Command- The First Two Years, Louis Morton
The Fall of the Philippines, Louis Morton
Guadalcanal- The First Offensive, John Miller, jr.
Cartwheel – The Reduction of Rabaul, John Miller, jr.
Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, Philip A. Crowl and Edmund G. Love
Campaign in the Marianas, Philip A. Crowl
The Approach to the Philippines, Robert Ross Smith
Leyte: The Return to the Phillippines, M. Hamlin Cannon
Triumph in the Philippines, Robert Ross Smith
Okinawa: The Last Battle, Roy E. Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, John Stevens

The Mediterranean Theater of Operations

Sicily and the Surrender of Italy, LTC Albert N. Garland and Howard McGaw Smyth. Assisted by Martin Blumenson
Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West, George F. Howe
Salerno to Cassino, Martin Blumenson
Cassino to the Alps, Ernest F. Fisher, Jr.

The European Theater of Operations

The Supreme Command, Forest C. Pogue
Logistical Support of the Armies, Vol I, May 1941 – September 1941, Roland G. Ruppenthal
Logistical Support of the Armies, Vol. 2, Roland G. Ruppenthal
Cross Channel Attack, Gordon A. Harrison
Breakout and Pursuit, Martin Blumenson
The Lorraine Campaign, Hugh M. Cole
The Siegfried Line Campaign, Charles B. MacDonald
The Ardennes – Battle of the Bulge, Hugh M. Cole
The Last Offensive, Charles B. MacDonald
Riviera to the Rhine, Jeffrey J. Clarke, Robert Ross Smith

The Middle East Theater

The China-Burma-India Theater

Special Studies

Pictorial Record

The US Navy in World War II

Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Morison, already convinced of the value of personal involvement as a result of sailing experience while writing his biography of Christopher Columbus, wrote to President Roosevelt suggesting the preparation of an official history of the Navy in the war, and volunteering for the task. Both President Roosevelt and the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox agreed, and in May 1942 Morison was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, and assigned a staff of assistants, with permission to go anywhere and to see all official records. Morison’s reputation as a knowledgeable sailor (based on his analysis in the biography of Christopher Columbus) preceded him, and he was welcomed on a number of ships, eleven of them in all by the end of the war.

The result was a normal historical work, not a prescribed official history. Limitations of the History of U.S. Naval Operations are mostly due to its shortened period of publication. Some material, especially related to codebreaking, was still classified, and later in-depth research into particular occurrences in the war did clarify points that had been passed over rather lightly. Some rewriting was incorporated in the later printings of this series. This History of U.S. Naval Operations also intentionally avoided a certain amount of analysis, for instance deferring to other works for the causes of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. The intended audience for the work, to quote from the preface, was “the general reader rather than the professional sailor.”

The books can be downloaded free of charge for 14 days at archive.org.

Vol. I: The Battle of the Atlantic, September 1939–May 1943
Vol. II: Operations in North African Waters, October 1942–June 1943
Vol. III: The Rising Sun in the Pacific, 1931–April 1942
Vol. IV: Coral Sea, Midway and Submarine Actions, May–August, 1942
Vol. V: The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942–February 1943
Vol. VI: Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, 22 July 1942–1 May 1944
Vol. VII: Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls, June 1942–April 1944
Vol. VIII: New Guinea and the Marianas, 1944
Vol. IX: Sicily, Salerno and Anzio, 1943–1944
Vol. X: The Battle of the Atlantic Won, May 1943–May 1945
Vol. XI: The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944–1945
Vol. XII: Leyte, June 1944–January 1945
Vol. XIII: The Liberation of the Philippines, 1944–1945
Vol. XIV: Victory in the Pacific
Vol. XV: Supplement and General Index

The US Airforce in World War II

The US Airforce became an independent combat arm in 1947. Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was divided between the Army (for land-based operations) and the Navy, and Marine Corps, for sea-based operations from aircraft carrier and amphibious aircraft.

In March 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget ordering each war agency to prepare “an accurate and objective account”of that agency’s war experience. Soon after, the Army Air Forces began hiring professional historians so that its history could be recorded. An Historical Division was established in Headquarters Army Air Forces under Air Intelligence, in September 1942, and the modern Air Force historical program began. With the end of the war, Headquarters approved a plan for writing and publishing a seven-volume history. In December 1945, Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, Deputy Commander of Army Air Forces, asked the Chancellor of the University of Chicago to assume the responsibility for the publication of the history. Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Frank Craven of New York University and Major James Lea Cate of the University of Chicago, both of whom had been assigned to the historical program, were selected to be editors of the volumes. Between 1948 and 1958 seven were published.

Volume One: Plans and Early Operations January 1939 to August 1942
Volume Two: Europe: Torch to Pointblank August 1942 to December 1943
Volume Three: Europe: Argument to V-E Day January 1944 to May 1945
Volume Four: The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan August 1942 to July 1944
Volume Five: The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki June 1944 to August 1945
Volume Six: Men and Planes
Volume Seven: Services Around the World

Further Reading:

United States Army Air Force (“Craven and Cate”)
http://www.afhso.af.mil/booksandpublications/conflictindex.asp

United States Marine Corps

http://www.usmcu.edu/content/publications-0

(scroll down to bottom of page)

Italian Artillery Units in “War in the Desert”

When I was at the P.R.O. in London at little over a year ago, I look up a whole raft of captured Italian army documents. These confirmed what I had suspected that the WitD Italian OB. had some significant flaws. My question here is regarding Wavell’s War. Has the Italian OB been substantially revised for both North Africa and the East African territories?

I suppose I should give an idea of the kind of changes I thought were necessary and I hope somebody could give me a response whether these things have been considered before. There is much more than this, but I am only giving some examples.

Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata, tipo A.S

The 1940 Ordinamento or Army Reorganization Scheme laid out the war establishment of a North African corps artillery formation (raggruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata, tipo A.S.) as being two groups of 105/28 medium guns, two groups of 75/27 field guns, one group of 100/17 howitzers and one truck borne 75/27 CK anti-aircraft guns (near useless as AA guns, but having some value as a ground support weapon) …eventually. None were actually ever equipped to this standard, and the war establishment (TOE to Americans) was changed in the spring (?) of 1941 to three groups of 105s. If the Italian Army had fielded corps artillery formations with full establisment then a 2-3-6 rating of the present units in WinD would be justified, though they really should have an 8 movement factor. Below is a list of Italian corps artillery formation present in North Africa in December 1940 and my thoughts on how they should be rated.

10º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata

1x 2-3-6 Artillery III 10C

WitD has this formation starting in North Africa on the Sep I 1939 turn. Actually, it appears to have arrived in North Africa in several echelons during the period October-November 1939. It probably should arrive as a Nov I 1939 reinforcement. The raggruppamento consisted of the XVII and XXV artillery groups of 105/28 medium guns and VII artillery group equipped with 100/17 field howitzers. Italian artillery was probably the best service arm of that army but a 2-3-6 rating seems a little rich for twenty-four 105 mm guns and twelve 100 mm howitzers. This formation was fully motorized, though it did not have the command and control arrangements to be combat motorized in the Europa sense. I suggest a more accurate rating would be a 2-1-8 Artillery III.

20º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata
21º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata

2x 2-3-6 Artillery III 20C, 21C

These were both pre-war formations. The 21º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata was raised on October 1st 1937 and was sent to North Africa shortly thereafter. The beginning of the 20º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata has basically the same story, but exact dates are lacking. Both were deployed in North Africa on the Sep I 1939 as depicted in the WitD OB. In each formation, the artillery groups received numerical identifications organic to the raggruppamento. So the 105 groups were the I and II Groups and the groups equipped with the 75 mm guns were the III and IV groups. The Twentieth also had the 20º Gruppo da 75/27 CK, whose sterling qualities were discussed above. Likewise, the Twenty-First had the had the 21º Gruppo da 75/27 CK. I believe these two formations should be re-rated as 2-8 artillery regiments, but otherwise be deployed as listed in the WitD OB. They should not have any AA value.

22º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata

1x 1-2-6 Artillery III 22C

This raggruppamento was equipped exactly like the 10º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata that is with two groups (XLII, XLIII) of 105 mm guns and one group (I) of 100 mm howitzers. This however rates only a 1-2-6 in WitD. Though listed as a starting unit in North Africa, this was again part of the reinforcements sent to North Africa during the partial mobilization in the fall of 1939. This formation should be rated as a 2-1-8 Artillery III arriving on the Oct I 1939 turn.

23º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata

1x 1-6 Artillery III 23C

This formation never existed, so why does it show up in WitD? Does it get removed in Wavell’s War? The only artillery assets the XXIII Army Corps had available, came from detached units of other artillery regiments and raggruppamenti in North Africa. As many of these units are seemingly overstrength in comparison with their historic war establishments (e.g. TOE) as shown above, I can’t see any reason to have a counter for this hypothetical unit in the Italian OB.

25º Rappruppamento artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata

Does Wavell’s War finally give us the counter for this formation? It was quite a powerful artillery formation with four groups of 149/13 medium howitzers. Its artillery groups were the following: CV, CXXX, CXLVIII, AND CL (105, 130, 147, 150 pesenti campale) and it had therefore forty-eight 149 mm medium howitzers. It began disembarking in Tobruk on the 18th of December 1940 and completed its deployment in time to be trapped in the encirclement of Tobruk. It was destroyed when Commonwealth forces took Tobruk in January 1941. This formation should be a Dec II 1940 reinforcement and have a rating of 3-8 Artillery III.

Rappruppamento artiglieria di Manovra

This formation was formed in late(?) November 1940. It consisted of four groups of 100/17 howitzers stripped from the artillery regiments of the following divisions: Bologna (I/10º), Pavia (I/26º), Sabratha (I/42º) and Brescia (I/55º). It does not seem there were any plans to reunite these groups with their parent units at any time in the near future so we are not dealing with a temporary battlegroup. Forty-eight 100 mm howitzers gives you a combat value of almost 2. I think 2-8 rating is more accurate than a 1-2-8. Make them a Nov II 1940 reinforcement in Tripolitania.

5º Raggruppamento artiglieria d’Armata

1x 3-4-6 Artillery III 5A

I have not been able to confirm whether this formation was in North Africa at the start of September 1939. I suspect not. It is more likely its arrival was part of the partial mobilization caried out during the fall of 1939. It was equipped with forty eight of the antique 149/35 medium gun and consisted of the following groups: XIX, XX, XXI, and XXII. Now the the 149/35 had a very low towing speed, so the Italian army preferred to transport in other ways if possible. I believe on the desert that the guns were run up on to the decks of big trucks or trailers. (I have seen a photo of this long ago.) I am fairly certain that they did not have enough these kind of vehicles to move the complete raggruppamento at any one time however. The incremental transfer of this formation to Cyrenaica during the summer of 1941 would tend to confirm this. This formation was effectively destroyed in the Crusader battles. A question I have to those in the know, why is the 5º Raggruppamento artiglieria d’Armata rated as a 3-4-6? I was given to understand that four groups of 150s would work out a combat value of about 3 and that even if one were so generous to round up the combat value to 4, then because these groups were equipped with guns and not howitzers, it would be the attack factor that should be raised. Am I wrong? Is it fudged with something else factored in? Its been a long time since I last saw the Europa artillery algorithm. I suggest it should be re-rated as a 3-6 Artillery III. I thought of giving it a movement factor of fuve but the 3-6 is a better compromise. Best guess is it should be a Sep II 1939 reinforcement.

10º Raggruppamento artiglieria d’Armata

1x 2-1-6 Artillery III 10A

WinD has this formation starting in North Africa on the Sep I 1939 turn. Well, it didn’t exist then. It was mobilized in the spring of 1940 and took part in the Western Alps campaign of June 1940. In early July 1940, it was disbanded A new raggruppamento was raised in Tobruk (without any connection in personnel or equipment to the old one) on July 16 1940. It was commanded by Generale brigata Villanis. It was supposed to be equipped with four groups of 149/35 medium guns like the 5º Raggruppamento artiglieria d’Armata in Tripolitania. It never got them. In fact it never seems to have commanded any artillery units except those detached to it from from pre-existing formations already in Cyrenaica.
The only 149/35 guns serving in Cyrenaica were the sixteen belonging to one of the two Guardia alla Frontiera artillery raggruppamento based at Tobruk (ie. 30º Raggruppamento artiglieria di G.a.F. –> it is not presently shown in WinD). To my way of thinking, the best solution for this unit is for it to go directly into the force pool on the Jul II 1940 turn. Conceivably the Italian army could have sent the requisite artillery groups to North Africa if not forced to repeated reinforce/rebuild units already in this theatre of war. Like the formation above it should be rated as a 3-6 Artillery III.

The Artillery of the “Celere” Divisions

The celere divisions are another interesting subject. But since I have received a number of requests for information, I can only give a brief answer now. The 1º, 2º, and 3º Reggimenti artigleria per divisione celere in 1940 each consisted of three groups. The I and II groups were motorized and the III Group was horse drawn. However, each group had only two batteries of four guns (75/27). Thus the division had only 24 artillery pieces, which would make the division only self supporting in Europa. When disaster struck the 10th Army in North Africa, orders went out to strip these regiments from their divisions. They were chosen because they were fully trained to participate in the kind of mobile war Italy now faced in the desert. The horse artillery groups were left behind due to the obvious difficulties in supplying them with fodder and water in the desert.

The Italian high command issued a new war establishment for these regiments making them three groups strong, each with twelve guns. But it took some time before this was accomplished. For the first three or four months they were in the desert, these regiments were only 16 to 20 guns strong. Another thing, except for the 3º Reggimenti artigleria celere, these units did not serve as independent units during the Desert War. They replaced the artillery regiments stripped from the Tripolitania based divisions in the failed effort to save the 10th Army. As these regiments, even when expanded, remained fully motorized even in the Europa sense, their incorporation into a division made the latter a much more mobile force (than is shown WinD) How should be shown in WinD? Probably, initially as replacement factors with the present counters being place into the replacement pool. This allows the Italian player the historical option of either effectively incorprating them into his divisions (as replacements) or having them as independent units.

As for the three celere divisions, they each served in the Balkans Campaign with only their eight remaining horse artillery guns, though they were given fire support from other units. After the campaign the 3rd PADA Division was re-organized completely for Barbarossa. The 1st and 2nd Celere remained as they were until 1942 when the remaining batteries were combined under the 1st EdS Division. The 2nd EFTF was returned to Italy to convert to an armoured division. When that conversion was revoked, the division was left without any artillery at all. This remained the case up to September 1943, when the 2nd EFTF Division engaged the Germans in a running fight in Savoy.

The 5-8 rating for these divisions is probably too strong unless other units are being factored in.

Reggimento artiglieria a cavallo

The original Horse Artillery Regiment was formed in 1831 and served with the Italian army’s cavalry formations until October 1934 when the regiment was reorganized into the 3º Reggimento Artiglieria Celere «Principe Amadeo Duca d’Aosta» with two its former groups being transferred to the newly formed celere artillery regiments of the 1st «Eugenio di Savoia» and the 2nd «Emanuele Filiberto Testa di Ferro».

The horse artillery groups continued to serve with the celere artillery regiments up to the first months of 1941 when these were transferred to the desert as stated in my earlier posting (plus a significant number of these divisions’ support weapons too). The horse artillery groups continued to serve with the celere divisions. There is a bit of discrepency in what follows, but this is exclusively administrative in nature. The horse artillery groups were either reunited in a single administrative regiment in February-March 1941 or on July 1 1941. In any event, as can be confirmed by the Italian official history, each celere division had only one horse artillery group of eight guns when they took part in the Yugoslave campaign. What is clear that on the date cited above, the three horse artillery groups plus a newly organized command element were formed into a new tatical unit: 3º Reggimento Artiglieria di Cavallo «Principe Amadeo Duca d’Aosta».

At that point, both the 1st and 2nd Celere Divisions had no organic artillery whatsoever. I remember seeing amongst the captured Italian documents held by the Yugoslav government that these divisions had some batteries with them later but these now must have been batteria di formazione. There was never a 1st or 2nd Horse Artillery Regiment formed during the war thar I can find any trace of. The new 3º Reggimento Artiglieria di Cavallo «Principe Amadeo Duca d’Aosta» went to war in Russia with is three horse artillery groups still only having two batteries per group. This meant a strength of only twenty-four guns as the organic artillery strength of the division.

The heavy support weapons holdings of the re-organized 3rd Celere Division had been significantly augmented however. All this can be confirmed by looking at the documents reproduced in the volumes of the Italian official histories concerning the Russian front. In late spring of 1942, the 3rd Celere Division was again re-organized, this time as a divisione bersaglieri in form if not in title. The last units of horse artillery were removed from the division until July 1942. The Third Horse Artillery Regiment became an independent unit directly under the command of the Eighth Army HQ. It seems at this time, the regiment simply became the Reggimento Artiglieria di Cavallo at this time without name or number.

For much of the rest of the summer into the fall of 1942, the Horse Artillery Regiment (still 24 guns strong) served mainly in a battlegroup formed by it, the Raggruppamento a Cavallo, and miscellaneous other combat units. The Raggruppamento a Cavallo consisted of the former cavalry regiments and armoured cavalry group of the 3rd Celere Division. The Horse Artillery Regiment was destroyed in the Soviet winter offensive of 1942/43, but unlike some other unitsin the Eighth Army, it had a significant number of its survivors that were withdrawn from Russia in 1943.

In the summer of 1943, the 3rd Celere Division was rapidly being re-formed in northern Italy, far in advance of other formations destroyed in Russia. The Italian army seems to have reverted to the 1940 organizational scheme for celere divisions to rebuild it for horses and bicycles were far more available to it than trucks and gasoline in the summer of 1943. I have not been able to confirm it, it seems like however that at least the 3º Reggimento Artiglieria Celere «Principe Amadeo Duca d’Aosta» would have been reformed as it was in 1940.

This is my reckoning of the formations that horse artillery units served in during the war:

3x 5-4-8* Cavalry XX 1 EdS, 2 EFTF, 3 PADA (1939-1941)
3x 4-8* Cavalry XX 1 EdS, 2 EFTF, 3 PADA (spring 1941)
1x 5-8* Cavalry XX 3 PADA (summer 1941-early 1942)
1x 4-3-8* Cavalry XX Group RaC (early 1942-ealry 1943)
1x 5-4-8* Cavalry XX 3 PADA (summer 1943 – forming only)

Brigata Corazzata Speciale

The Brigata Corazzata Speciale had its origins in the Italian army in North Africa attempts to better co-ordinate and more effectively use their limited armoured forces in the summer of 1940. Armoured units in Italian North African were placed under the largely administrative control
of the Comando carri armati della Libia as of August 29th 1940. It does not seem to have played no operational role, but rather acted in an advisory capacity to the senior headquarters in North Africa on the use of these armoured vehicles. Under its authority were formed two raggruppamenti carristi were each formed from one medium and three light tank (eg. tankette) battalions. It is this Comando carri armati della Libia that seems the origin of the belief that there were plans to create a “Libyan armoured division”.

The one odd thing about this entity is the use of the term Libia in its name. Libia had been banished from the official lexicon of the Facist State when Libia was formally incorporated as part of Italy in November 1939. There was supposed to be no official recognition of its existence even as a geographical entity thereafter. So its use in this context is surprising and may in part account for the confusion spoken about above.

After the ‘advance’ to Sidi Barrani had been completed, plans were laid about creating an operational armoured formation in North Africa. This was to become Brigata Corazzata Speciale. Before speaking about its history, it is necessary to under something about italian armoured doctrine of this period (late 1940). The official war establishment of an Italian armoured division was revised after the Fall of France in 1940 and enacted early in 1941 was the following: headquarters, a reconnaissance unit, two armoured brigades, two artillery regiments and service units. Each armoured brigade was to consist of a medium tank regiment, a motorized bersaglieri regiment and a mixed AT/AA battalion. One of the artillery regiments was to be composed of two groups of M14 da 75/18 semoventes and two groups of 105 mm medium guns. The other artillery regiment was to consist of two groups of mixed 90/53 and 20mm anti-aircraft guns. The 90 mm guns were to be used in the anti-tank role as well.

However, even under the most favourable scenario for Italy, it is difficult to see how this kind of formation could have been fielded in the period 1941-42. Indeed, the Italian army came up with a provisional organization for a much smaller, but still useful armoured division early in 1941. This provisional war establishment consisted of one medium tank or ex-French tank equipped regiment, one light tank regiment (equipped mainly with tankettes), one motorized bersaglieri regiment, one artillery regiment with two groups (I, II) of 75/27 field guns, one group (III) of 100/17 howitzers, and mixed group (IV) of anti-aircraft guns plus minor support and service units. The schemes for Italian armoured formations were much more balanced than many other nations at this date. They may even have had some operational utility had they ever been deployed as planned, but this was not to be.

The Brigata Corazzata Speciale was to be formed in light of these plans. Both the Ariete and Centauro Divisions had started out as brigades, and only were later expanded into divisions. The Italian army still used the term brigade in its original meaning as a formation consisting of a number of regiments. The creator of the binary division in the Italian army admitted that these formations weren’t really divisions at all, but brigate mixta or mixed brigades. Thus the Brigata Corazzata Speciale should not be thought as the counterpart of a commonwealth brigade, but in Europa terms as a divisional group. Its organization was never finalized so total precision here is impossible, but was include at least one medium tank regiment, one motorized bersaglieri regiment, a motorcyslist bersaglieri battalion, some artillery units (at least two groups perhaps to be expanded into a regiment) and other units. Light tank (eg. tankette) units were certainly involved with this unit, but I have not been able to discover whether they were to be included in its permanent organization.

The organizing and intial training of this armoured brigade began in late November 1940 after some units to be incorporated into it were withdrawn from Egypt. At this point (1.12.1940), the brigade consisted of the I and III Medium Tank Battalions, XXI and LX Light Tank Battalions, one motorcycle bersaglieri battalion (probably formed from ex-divisional companies), one group of 75/27 field guns and one group of 100/17 howitzers (both stripped from the Savona Division). It was deployed in the Marsa Lucch and la Littoranea area. By early January 1941 the Brigata Corazzata Speciale had the following organization: HQ, one raggruppamento carrista (III and V Medium, LX Light Battalions), 12th Artillery Regiment <<Sila>> (ex-Savona Division with different TOE), one motorcycle bersaglieri battalion, one AT company and miscellaneous support and service units. The 10th motorized Bersaglieri Regiment was under orders to join the brigade, at which point the intention was to start calling it an armoured division. However, the worsening events never allowed the uniting of these two units.

If the brigade had been used vigorously at this point, even its disorganized condition, the rout of the Tenth Army might have been contained, but it was held back in reserve positions as something to valuable to use and lose. In the final battle at Beda Fomm, the Brigata Corazzata Speciale had the following untis assigned or attched to it (as of Feb. 5, 1941):

  • III and V Battaglione carri M13/40 (20 to 30 tanks each)
  • VI Battaglione carri M13/40 (45 tanks)
  • 12oReggimento artiglieria <<Sila>> (one
    group of 100/17 howitzers, one group of 75/27 field guns)
  • 1x battery of 105/28 (20th Corps Arty)
  • 1x battery of 75/27 AA guns (20th Corps Arty)
  • LXI Battaglione carri L3/35 (12 tankettes of which only 6 were runners)
  • one platoon of a motorcycle battalion
  • four armoured cars (no ID available)

As is well known to these circles, the italian forces were unable to push through the Commonwealth blocking forces and surrendered to them including the Brigata Corazzata Speciale. Had it not been destroyed at Beda Fomm and survived until mid 1941, this brigade would likely have been expanded to the provisional armoured division organization mentioned above. What it would have been called is pure speculation, but I think it would likely have been designated the 134 Divisione corazzata
<<Frecchia>>
(following in the number series for armoured divisions).

Here are my tentative suggestions on how the Brigata Corazzata Speciale
could be treated in an Italian OoB:

JAN I 1940

Special: Optional
Place in Cyrenaica Forming Pool:
1x 1-6 Support Group [III]                  (any)      (IA)
3x 1-8 Tank II                                              (any)      (3M, 5M, 6M) (IA)

JAN II 1941

Special: Optional Upgrade of Units in Cyrenaica Forming Pool:
Convert: 1x 1-6 Support Group [III]  (any)    (IA)

And 3x 1-8 Tank II                                     (any)      (3M, 5M, 6M) (IA)
And 1 Italian INF RP
To 1x 8* Armoured XX Gp                    Cor Sp    (IA)
And 1x 3-2-8 Tank III                              4                (IA)

MAR II 1941

Release from Cyrenaica Forming Pool:
1x 8* Armoured XX Gp                            Cor Sp    (IA)
1x 3-2-8 Tank III                                          4                (IA)

Available for Assembly:
1x 6-5-8* Armoured XX Gp                 Cor Sp      (IA)

JUN II 1941

Convert: 1x 8* Armoured XX Gp        Cor Sp       (IA)
And 1 Italian or German ARM RP
To: 1x 8 Armoured XX134 Fre (IA)

Available for Assembly:
1x 8-6-8 Armoured XX                            134 Fre     (IA)

Breakdown/Assembly Chart:

‘Divisional Breakdown for a 6-5-8* Armoured XX Gp

1x 8* Armoured XX Gp                          Cor Sp           (IA)
1x 3-2-8 Tank III                                        4                       (IA)
1x 2-10 mot infantry III                         10 B                (IA)

‘Divisional Breakdown for a 8-6-8 Armoured XX:

1x 8*Armoured XX                                   134 Fre         (IA)
1x 3-2-8 Tank III                                        4                       (IA)
1x 2-1-8 lt Tank III                                    (any)               (IA)
1x 2-10 mot infantry III                         10 B                (IA)

‘Divisional Breakdown for a 13-11-8 Armoured XX:

1x 8 Armoured XX                                    134 Fre       (IA)
2x 3-2-8 Tank III                                         4, any           (IA)
2x 2-10 mot infantry III                         10 B, any     (IA)
1x 1-2-8 Assault Gun III                         234                (IA)

Additional Libyan Divisions

When the British intelligence officers went through the papers of General Pescatori of the 2nd Libyan Division, they found much information on the organization of and plans regarding Italy’s colonial forces. Amongst these documents were studies on a proposal to raise two additional Libyan divisions regarding its technical, manpower and financial aspects. These the British authorities excerpted/summarized, copies of which were in the file I looked at the PRO.

There were real constraints on the availability of Libyan manpower for employment in military units. Of the estimated Libyan population of 786,000, there were some 100,000 men of military age. Only about 65,000 of these men of military age could likely be enrolled in the military. Political reasons (the antipathy of the population of Cyrenaica to the Italian colonial government, economic reasons (raising food) and the impossibility of getting the men of nomadic groups reduced the available manpower pool.

The war establishment of a Libyan Division consisted of a headquarters element, two groups of artillery (each with 12x 77/28 field guns), two 20 mm AA batteries (should have been 8 guns in each but there were only six in the winter of 1940/41 due to shortages), six Libyan infantry battalions organized into two raggruppamenti (equivalent to regiments in this case), a small mixed engineer battalion, and service units. At “normal distribution”, there was enough organic transport to lift almost two battalions. There was an augmented establishment provided for these divisions, which gave them the transport capacity to lift up to four of the infantry battalions.

The division was quite small, barely being over 7000 men in strength. With only 24 field guns, even though the Libyan gunners were good, these divisions did not have enough organic artillery to be rated as anything but self-supporting. Furthermore, the 1940 Ordinamento had merely ratified the provisional 1938 organizational schemes for formations in North Africa. Thus these Libyan divisions had no mortars and had only the weaker six gun AT battery found in all the North African type divisions. Simply put the Libyan divisions were short on firepower. It is clear from these documents that any additional “Libyan” division(s) would have been organized as per the establishment laid out above. The “Libyan Armoured Division” is a mirage. An additional Italian armoured division may well have been formed in Italian North Africa in 1941, but that’s another story.

The time factor was considered as well for raising these divisions. The Italian army estimated it required two full months to get Libyan troops with previous military experience functioning at a minimal acceptable level of military efficiency. With completely untrained manpower, it would take an additional three months intensive training to get them to a similar acceptable level of military efficiency. It was also estimated that it would take two months to collect the transport and draft animals necessary for these proposed divisions. This could partially overlap the period of raising the troops. No estimate was given about the time necessary to obtain the required equipment from the Italian mainland.

3rd Libyan Division (3a Divisione libica)

The 3rd Libyan Division was to be raised from existing non-divisional units (3460 Libyans), from trained men (3250 Libyans) not already called up in Italian North Africa, and a cadre of Italian officers and technical troops from the usual sources. The army in North Africa had the resources to clothe the troops, give them a rifle, provide most of the draft animals, and provide some of the other equipment. The rest would have to come from Italy. The total financial cost to the taxpayers of Italy, always an important consideration, for raising a third division was estimated at 60 million lire. My guess, not including the initial preparations of gathering equipment, provisions and draft animals, is that it would have taken four months to raise this division from the reservists and existing units..

4th Libyan Division (4a Divisione libica)

The 4th Libyan Division would have been more difficult to raise. The forming of the Third Division would have scraped the bottom of the barrel of trained reserves. There were a few thousand trained men left (3500 Libyans) could be utilized, but this was effectively the training reserve and if these were taken up then the reports state it would be impossible to provide any more replacements (complementari) for the existing formations. This factor, not surprisingly, was seen as a great obstacle to raising this division. Drawing upon the existing reserve stores would have brought down the cost of the raising of the Third Division, but the entire complement of weapons, equipment and other stores for the Fourth Division would have to have been provided by the metropolitan army in Italy. Total cost for raising this division was placed at 90 million lire. My estimate is that it would have taken nine months to a year to form this division from start to finish.

The documents have no reference to any decision having been taken whether to proceed with the raising of these extra divisions by the time disaster overthrew the Italian Tenth Army in Cyrenaica. The Italian military authorities did rebuild a significant number of the lost Libyan units in 1941/42, but only used them for garrison/security duties. The higher levels of organization: raggruppamenti and divisions were never restored.
Source: P.R.O., WO 208/4807

Could these division have been raised? Yes, especially the Third Libyan Division could have been formed sometime in 1941 if the Italians had not been annihilated in Cyrenaica. Thereafter, the Italian military authorities necessarily always gave higher priority to rebuilding of Italian units (for they had a greater potential combat strength). The Fourth Libyan Division really could not have been raised until the pool of trained manpower had been expanded, otherwise the rest of the colonial army risked being utterly unable to replace any losses. Thus it is possible the Fourth Libyan Division might have been able to formed in1942 if losses up to that date had not been too severe. Reading some of these documents, I am starting to come to the feeling that the original values assigned to Libyan units in WD may have been too generous.

The ID numbers assigned to the Libyan infantry raggruppamenti (shown below) are guesses, but well founded ones. It is possible these new divisions could have been organized in Sirtica or Cyrenaica, but the only remaining manpower and other resources necessary to form these divisions had to come from Tripolitania and therefore it is likely they would have been organized there.

MAY I 1941

Expend: 2 Lib Col RPs and 1 It Inf RP* and Place in Forming (Tripolitania Military Region):
2x 1-6 Infantry III 5 Lib, 6 Lib (Col)
1x 6* Infantry XX HQ 3 Lib (Col)

SEP I 1941

Full; Place in any City in the Tripolitania Military Region:
2x 1-6 Infantry III 5 Lib, 6 Lib (Col)
1x 6* Infantry XX HQ 3 Lib (Col)

Add to Breakdown Display:
1x 2-3-6* Infantry XX 3 Lib (Col)

JAN I 1942

Expend: 2 Lib Col RPs and 1 It Inf RP and Place in Forming (Tripolitania Military Region):
2x 1-6 Infantry III 7 Lib, 8 Lib (Col)
1x 6* Infantry XX HQ 4 Lib (Col)

SEP I 1942

Full; Place in any City in the Tripolitania Military Region:
2x 1-6 Infantry III 7 Lib, 8 Lib (Col)
1x 6* Infantry XX HQ 4 Lib (Col)

Add to Breakdown Display:
1x 2-6* Infantry XX 4 Lib (Col)

Options:

1. Increased mobility:

The Libyan divisions were always intended to become celere type formations. The 1st and 2nd Libyan
Divisions had been given sufficient additional resources by the fall of 1940 to achieve this status. It is possible that the 3rd and 4th Divisions could have been similarly enhanced.

Convert: 1x 2-3-6* Infantry XX any (Col) and: 1x SMP to:
1x 1x 2-3-8* lt Infantry XX any (Col)

Convert: 1x 2-6* Infantry XX 4 Lib (Col) and: 1x SMP to:
1x 1x 2-8* Infantry XX 4 Lib Col)

2. Increased artillery:

All Italian divisions that survived the winter of 1940/41 eventually saw their organic artillery substantially increased. This could have happened to the Libyan divisions, though the additional guns would have been less than those given to the metropolitan divisions.

Convert: 1x 1x 2-3-6* Infantry XX 3 Lib (Col) and 0.5 Italian RP to:
1x 1x 3-6 Infantry XX 3 Lib (Col)

Convert: 1x 1x 2-6* Infantry XX 4 Lib Col) and 0.5 Italian RP to:
1x 1x 2-3-6 Infantry XX 4 Lib (Col)

* At a Grand Europa level this would probably work out to something like 2.0 Libyan manpower points, 0.5 Italian manpower points, 1.0 Italian equipment point, and 0.5 Italian artillery points.

64th Catanzaro Truckborne Infantry Division

64a Divisione autotrasportabile “Catanzaro” tipo A.S.

The service history of the 64th Catanzaro Division was ill-starred throughout its brief existence. The 64th Catanzaro Division was formed in late May/early June 1940 in Cyrenaica. To form this new division, the 203rd Artillery Regiment and certain other the support and service troops of the disbanded 3rd CC.NN. Division “21 Aprile” were utilized. The majority of the troops however were newly raised and the division’s two infantry regiments (141st, 142nd) were completely green. It should have taken six months to work this division up to level acceptable for a combat formation, but it was not to get it.

On formation, the division was composed of the following elements:

  • 141st Infantry Regiment
  • 142nd Infantry Regiment
  • 203rd Artillery Regiment
  • 64th Machinegun Battalion
  • 64th Mixed Engineer Battalion
  • 64th Antitank Company

After only two months of training, the Catanzaro Division was activated for war service even though it was rated as being not capable of combat operations. In the “great invasion” of Egypt in September 1940, the Catanzaro was placed in reserve at Tobruk. Only after Italian forces had consolidated their positions in the Sidi al-Barrani area was the inestimable Catanzaro Division brought forward. On October 5th 1940, the Catanzaro Division, supposedly a semi-motorized formation, had 105 trucks on strength of which only 39 were working. The 63rd Cirene Division on the same day had 274 trucks on strength of which 192 were working. The situation in terms of weapons and other equipment was similar if not so bad. In true awareness of the unique qualities of this division, the Italian command chose not to deploy any units to reinforce the Catanzaro Division in its positions southeast of Buq Buq in the region of Alam Samalus. It was in these positions, the Catanzaro Division found itself at the start of Operation Compass. Fortunately for the men of the Catanzaro Division, the initial British attack did not fall upon them as had been the case in the original draft of the British operational plan.

After the destruction of the Italian forces in the military camps in and around Sidi al-Barrani, the remaining Italian forces in Egypt were ordered to withdraw back into Libya. While the Cirene Division (deployed to the south of the Catanzaro Division in the Sofafi area) was able to side slip the advancing Commonwealth forces using its greater mobility, the slow moving 64th Catanzaro Division was confronted by the 7th Armoured Brigade (plus some troops from the support group) as it began its retreat. The British 7th Armoured Brigade caught the Catanzaro a few miles west of Buq Buq. The divisional artillery engaged the tanks, either in a desultory manner or to some effect depending upon the sources you read. When the tanks closed, the mass of the division quickly surrendered showing its ill trained men (and bad officers) had no desire to fight. The lead elements of the retreating columns of the division managed to escape the collapse, and passed into the fortress of Bardia. These remnants showed they were of like mind of their former comrades, and played no role, that I know of, during the battle for Bardia. When the last troops in the fortress surrendered on January 6th 1941, the sorry history of the 64th Catanzaro Truckborne Infantry Division finally ended. There were no plans ever conceived to reform this miserable division.

As you can see below, I accept the current rating of the 64th Division in WitD. However, the rating given for the other 60 series division is not, I think, as accurate as it could be. The 60th to 63rd Divisions had been existence for some time, and were the best equipped of any of the Italian divisions at least in terms of transport. They had an Achilles heel, which was the fact they were still organized under the 1938 organizational scheme, and thus were woefully short of close support weapons even as compared to a standard Italian infantry division of 1940. Thus I give this class of divisions a 3-8 rating. The Catanzaro Division lacking training, transport, and anything resembling leadership amongst its officers is doing well to receive a 2-6 rating. The higher rating of the 60 series divisions is available to the Catanzaro on the assumption that further training would have allowed the Italian command to remove from the division of its cadre of misfits and incompetents and set up a proper training programme for the division

As for the Dec I 1940 Scenario, the 64th Catanzaro Division was deployed not in Buq Buq itself (eg. 19A:0519) but to the southeast of it in (19A:0619).

MAY II 1940

Place in Forming (Cyrenaica Military Region):
2x 1-8 Infantry III 141, 142
1x 8 Infantry XX HQ 64 Cat

AUG I 1940

Optional: Remove from Forming (Cyrenaica Military Region)
2x 1-8 Infantry III 141, 142
1x 8 Infantry XX HQ 64 Cat
and place instead in any City in Cyrenaica Military Region:
1x 2-6 Infantry XX 64 Cat

DEC I 1940

If not received in Aug I 1940 as optional reinforcement, then
Full; Place in any city in Cyrenaica Military Region:
2x 1-8 Infantry III
1x 8 Infantry XX HQ 64 Cat
Add to Breakdown Display:
1x 3-8 Infantry XX 64 Cat

Dec I 1940 Scenario Deployment

19A:0619:
1x 2-6 Infantry XX 64 Cat
(no other units in the stack)

Corpo Spedizione in Russia

I don’t have the information as to arrival times of Italian units on the Eastern Front an hand any more, but seem to recall that it was difficult to justify them all being available on the Jul I 1941 turn — some I think arrived after the 15th. But I can not confirm this. You may wish to consider historical alternatives. The Italian High command also considered other options as to the troops to be sent to the Eastern Front. They considered sending (1) a corps of two celere divisions and one armoured division or (2) a corps consisting of two armoured divisions and one celere division in addition to the option they finally chose.
I have suggestions as to the ratings of Italian units during the period of Total War.

9ª Divisione Autotrasportabile «Pasubio»
52ª Divisione Autotrasportabile «Torino»

These two divisions were part of the Italian army’s regular establishment and were complete at the start of the war. They had only a minor involvement in the Western Alps campaign of June 1940. During the period July 1940 to March 1941, they were were involved in hard training in northern Italy. This paid off in the Yugoslav campaign in the spring of 1941, were the divisions were considered to have performed very well.

It was on the basis of this performance and their intrinsic mobility they were chosen for service on the Eastern Front. These two divisions were re-organized in late June and early July 1941, as they prepared to be sent to the Eastern Front. The 9th Pasubio Division received the 5th Cosseria Division’s Mortar Battalion and an AT company from one of the Bersaglieri regiments. Its artillery regiment was fully motorized.

The 52nd Torino division got the 26th Assietta Division’s Mortar Battalion and the AT company from the Bersaglieri regiment of the 1st Eugenio di Savoia Celere Division. Its artillery regiment was also fully motorized. It is also reported that at sometime in 1941, 81 mm mortars replaced the 45 mm ones in the support company of each battalion of this and the Torino Division. This would be easy to dismiss this but there are some numbers to support it. There were 144x 81 mm mortars in the two divisions (72x in each) according to their establishments listed below, 9x 81 mm mortars in the 63rd CC.NN. Legion for a total of 153 mortars in active service in these formations.

CSIR is supposed to have had 189x 81 mm mortars in active service in the summer/fall of 1941 according to an annex in the logistical history of the Eastern front. The Celere division had none. It is possible that some of the chemical warfare units with CSIR converted into support units in the field as sometimes happened, but they normally became flamethrower units. So it could be possible. It should be noted that a fully equipped 1940 type autotrasportabile division had 45 of these mortars, a 1940 infantry division had 30, and a North African autotrasportabile division had but 12. As mortars were one of the most important killers on the World War Two battlefield, the great increase in the divisional holdings of these weapons must be reflected in the divisional combat ratings.

Leaving aside the question of the question whether the battalion support company had converted to 81 mm mortars, the two divisions had the following establishments during the period of Total War:

Pasubio Division

  • 6x infantry battalion
  • 2x mortar battalion (54x 81 mm)
  • 2x regimental mortar company (18x 81 mm)
  • 2x divisional AT company(16x 47/32)
  • one group of 100/17 howitzers (12x 100 mm)
  • 2x group of 75/27 field guns (24x 75 mm)
  • 2x battery of 65/17 infantry guns (8x 65/17)
  • 2x battery of 20 mm AA guns (16x 20 mm).

Torino Division

  • 6x infantry battalions
  • 2x mortar battalions (54x 81 mm)
  • 2x regimental cannon company (12x/later 16x 47/32)
  • 2x regimental mortar company (18x 81 mm)
  • 2x divisional AT company (16x 47/32)
  • one group of 100/17 howitzers (12x 100 mm)
  • 2x group of 75/27 field guns (24x 75 mm)
  • 2x battery of 20 mm AA guns (16x 20 mm).

Given the additional weaponry, the improvements in command and control arrangements, and the heightened combat readiness due to long training and some battle experience, some increase in the combat rating is required for Total War. At a minimum, this division should be rated as a 4-5-8 for Total War, and perhaps it should go to a 5-8.

2x 4-8 Infantry XX 9 Pas, 52 Tor (1940-1941)
2x 4-5-8 Infantry XX (1-6 Inf Cdr) 9 Pas, 52 Tor (1941-1943)

3ª Divisione Celere «Principe Amadeo Duca d’Aosta»
6º Reggimento bersaglieri
120º Reggimento artiglieria motorizzato

This division was also part of the Italian army’s regular establishment and was probably the best of the celere divisions. It could justifiably be called an elite division. It was part of the Italian army’s mobilization covering force in 1940 and took part in the Yugoslav campaign. It was expanded for service on the Eastern front. Its bersaglieri regiment, which had been a bicyclist unit, was converted to a motorized unit. It received the organic bersaglieri motorcycle companies from both the 1st and 2nd Celere Divisions to join its own. It took the organic AT company from the 2nd Celere Division. The division’s armoured cavalry group (III Gruppo Carri Veloci «San Giorgio») was either brought up strength/reinforced from the other two celere divisions. The Horse Artillery Regiment, as mentioned in a previous posting, was reformed to give it a divisional artillery regiment. The three motorcycle companies would eventually be re-organized as one battalion.

During its service on the Eastern Front during 1941/42, the division fought better than a statistical counting up of its elements would suggest. There was a synergy that accounts for its 5-8* suggested rating.

In the first few months of 1942 (e.g.. during TW) the 6º Reggimento bersaglieri and 120º Reggimento artiglieria motorizzato were sent out as part of a planned re-organization of the 3rd Celere. The rest of the new units did not arrive until the summer of 1942 The 120º Reggimento artiglieria motorizzato was a newly raised unit at the depot of the 20º Reggimento artiglieria divisionale «Piave». The Italian official history of the artillery service says it arrived in Russia on the February 15th 1942 and operationally joined CSIR in the second half of March 1942. It was fully motorized in the Europa sense and consisted of one group of 100/17 (12x 100 mm) and two groups of 75/27 (24x 75 mm).

The 6º Bersaglieri Regiment was detached from the 2nd Celere Division on January 20th 1942 and sent to Russia. The exact date of its arrival can be found in the Italian official history that is just on the CSIR operations, probably sometime in February. While it had been a bicyclist unit, the regiment as sent was now fully motorized. Its organic motorcycle and anti-tank companies were already serving with the 3rd Celere Division. The Feb I 1942 conversion in the SE Axis OB should be scrubbed. The process of conversion formally began on March 15th 1942. It was not completed until July 1942 when the horse borne units of the division were formally detached from the division. I think you are looking at a Jun I or Jul I 1942 conversion date in Total Victory with entirely revised values given to the successor units.

Its war establishment during most of Total War was the following:

  • 2x cavalry regiment
  • 3x  motorized Bersaglieri battalion
  • 3x Bersaglieri motorcycle company
  • 1x armoured cavalry group (61x CV3/35)
  • 1x horse artillery regiment (24x 75 mm)
  • 2x AT company (16x 47 mm)
  • 2x battery of 20 mm AA guns (16x 20 mm).

1x 5-8* Cavalry XX 3 PADA (1941-1942)
1x 6-10 mot Infantry XX 3 PADA (1942-1943)
1x 4-3-8 Cavalry XX Gp RTCR (1942-1943)
1x 2-10 mot Infantry III 6 Br
1x 1-8 mot Artillery III 120

30º Raggruppamento Artiglieria di Corpo d’Armata

This raggruppamento consisted of the following groups: LX (60º), LXI (61º), LXII (62º). Each group was equipped with twelve 105/32 medium howitzers for a total of thirty-six in this formation. The raggruppamento was fully motorized, but I have gone back and forth whether to make it combat/motorized in the Europa sense. On top of this, there is the “stripping” factor I have seen in every FitE/SE game I have played, where useful Axis allied combat units are used to support German stacks the reverse of what happened historically.

I suggest the following two rules in TW to take care of this, at least in part. Only command and control rules would fully take care of it entirely.

1. No artillery unit from Italy or an Axis allied country can provide support for German units. Italian and Axis allied artillery units are halved in strength unless stacked with a division (or equivalent in REs of non-divisional units) from their own country.

2. No Italian combat/motorized non divisional unit with a movement factor of 8 may move in the Exploitation phase unless it begins that phase stacked with an Italian division that is capable of exploitation movement. [This to counter the “stripping” factor and to take into account Italian operational doctrine.]

No additional rules, do not make it combat/motorized.

1x 2-1-8 mot Artillery III 30C

63ª Legione d’Assalto CC.NN.

This regimental sized unit consisted of two M.S.V.N. battalions and one army raised heavy weapons battalion (12?x medium MGs/9x 81 mortars/8x 47/32 AT guns). It appears not have been organically motorized, but usually was by the assignment of corps assets to do so. I would keep the counter as it was in Scorched Earth rather than a 1-6 Infantry III plus 1 RE transport counter.

1x 1-8 mot Infantry III 63 (MSVN)

Battaglione alpini sciatori «Monte Cervino»

No changes from SE Axis OB, keep as a Feb I 1942 reinforcement.

1x 1-8 Ski II MC

CIV Battaglione Mitraglieri di Corpo d’Armata

Italian machine gun battalions should be shown in Europa. They stand for themselves, but also for all the independent flame thrower, mortar, and chemical (converted in the field to the former two types) companies/battalions not presently shown. The 100 series battalions were fully motorized and can be considered combat/motorized for Europa.

1x 1-8 mot Machingeun II 104

IV Gruppo cannoni contraerei da 75/46 autocampali
XIX Gruppo cannoni contraerei da 75/46 autocampali

These two groups were not strong enough to be normally shown at the Europa level. However, I think they should be shown if people agree with the rationale I have come up with on how to represent Italian AA. There was originally a very long explanation of how Italian AA should be rated in this text, but I have cut it out because it was far too long to include in a message ostensibly about the CSIR. So given that other things are factored in, these two groups should be shown as 0-8 lt Anti-Aircraft II’s with AA strength of 1. The 75/46 was a good AT gun when pressed into service, but something has to be lost to give these units an AA factor.

2x 0-8 lt Anti-Aircraft II (AA=1) 4, 19

The following is my recommendation for Total War (an asterisk following the unit’s combat values means it is self supporting):

Suggested Italian Historical Force Pool for Total War:

2x 4-5-8 Infantry XX 9 Pas, 52 Tor
1x 5-8* Cavalry XX 3 PADA
1x 2-10 mot Infantry III 6 Br
1x 1-8 mot Infantry III 63 (MSVN)
1x 1-8 Ski II MC
1x 2-1-8 mot Artillery III 30C
1x 1-8 mot Artillery III 120
1x mot Machingeun II 104
2x 0-8 lt Anti-Aircraft II (AA=1) 4, 19

Suggested Italian Optional Force Pool for Total War:

1x 5-8* Cavalry XX 1 EdS
2x 4-8* lt Armour XX 131 Cen, 133 Lit