Royal Italian Army (1940–1946)

Royal Italian Army (1940–1946)

This article is about the Italian Royal Army ("Regio Esercito") which participated in World War II.

The Italian Royal Army was reformed in 1861 and lasted until 1946. The Royal Army started with the unification of Italy ("Risorgimento") and the formation of the Kingdom of Italy ("Regno d'Italia"). It ended with the dissolution of the monarchy. The Royal Army was preceded by the individual armies of the various independent Italian states and was followed by the Italian Army ("Esercito Italiano") of the Italian Republic ("Repubblica Italiana").

Organization of the Army

The Italian Army of World War II was a "Royal" army. The nominal Commander-in-Chief of the Italian Royal Army was His Majesty King Vittorio Emanuele III. As Commander-in-Chief of all Italian armed forces, Vittorio Emanuele also commanded the Royal Air Force ("Regia Aeronautica") and the Royal Navy ("Regia Marina"). However, in reality, most of the King's military responsibilities were assumed by the Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. [Mollo, p.83]

Below Mussolini was the Supreme Command ("Commando Supremo"). The Supreme Command featured an organic staff which functioned through its defense ministries and through its various high commands. The defense ministries were based on function and included a Ministry of War, a Ministry of the Admiralty, and a Ministry of the Air. The high commands were based on geographic regions and included Army Group West, Army Group Albania, Army Group East Africa, Army Group Aegean, and Army Group Libya. [Mollo, p.83]

Below the Army Group were armies. Armies were typically composed of two or more corps, along with separate units directly commanded at the army level. The corps were then typically composed of two or more divisions, along with separate units directly commanded at the corps level.

The division was the basic formation of the Italian Royal Army. On 10 June 1940, the army had 59 infantry divisions, three National Security Volunteer Militia ("Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale", or MVSN) divisions, six mountain ("alpini") divisions, three mobile ("celere") divisions, two motorized divisions, and three armored divisions. In addition, there were estimated to be the equivalent of about nine divisions of frontier guard troops. [Mollo, p.83] There were also numerous colonial formations at or near the division level composed of troops from Italian Libya and Italian East Africa.

Impressive on paper, most Italian divisions did not have the full complement of men or materials. The armored divisions had nearly useless "tankettes" instead of tanks. Tankettes were great for parades and propaganda purposes, but not much more.

Binary infantry division

After a reorganization in 1938, Italian infantry division was known as "binary" division ("divisione binaria"). This is because Italian infantry divisions were based on two regiments instead of the more usual three. By comparison, German divisions had three infantry regiments. In addition to the two infantry regiments, the Italian infantry division included an artillery regiment, a mortar battalion, an engineer battalion, and a pack gun company. The division also had some division-level services and could have a division-level reserve infantry battalion.

The typical infantry regiment was composed of three rifle battalions. However, some regiments had as many as five battalions. By design, each regiment had 24 heavy machine guns, 108 light machine guns, 6 81 mm mortars, 54 45 mm mortars ("Brixia Model 35"), and 8 47 mm anti-tank guns ("Cannone da 47/32 M35").

The divisional artillery regiment typically had 36 field pieces by design. There was a horsedrawn battery of 12 100 mm howitzers. There was a horsedrawn battery of twelve 75 mm guns. And there was a pack horse mounted battery of 12 75 mm howitzers. In addition to the field pieces, there was a mechanized troop of eight 20 mm anti-aircraft guns. [Mollo, p.84] Much Italian artillery was obsolete and far too reliant on horse transport.

The mortar battalion typically had 18 81 mm mortars and the pack gun company had 8 47 mm anti-tank guns.

From 1 March 1940, an MVSN Legion of two battalions was attached to most infantry divisions. This was to increase the manpower available to each division and also to include Fascist troops. [Mollo, p.83]

Alpini division

The personnel for the mountain ("Alpini") divisions was drawn from Italy's mountainous Alpine region and tended to be of superior quality. In addition to being well trained for mountain warfare, they were expert in the handling of pack artillery.

The mountain divisions differed from a standard infantry division in that each regiment had its own artillery, engineering, and ancillary services associated with the regiment on a permanent basis. This made each regiment of a mountain division relatively self-supporting and capable of independent action. [Mollo, p.86]

By design, a mountain division consisted of a divisional headquarters, two mountain infantry regiments, an artillery regiment, a mixed engineer battalion, a chemical warfare company, two reserve mountain infantry battalions, and divisional services. The divisional headquarters included an anti-tank platoon.

Each mountain infantry regiment included its own headquarters company, with a platoon of flamethrowers. Each regiment also included three mountain infanry battalions and regimental services. At full strength, the firepower for a mountain infantry regiment was 27 heavy machine guns, 81 light machine guns, 27 45 mm mortars, 12 81 mm mortars, and 27 flamethrowers.

The artillery regiment was split between the two infantry regiments. Each regiment was provided with a battery of 75 mm howitzers. All were transported on pack animals.

Armored division

At the beginning of the war, the armored divisions were filled with L3 tankettes and, as a result, were incapable of providing the armored spearhead that the German tank ("panzer") formations could. Initially, a total of about 100 "medium" M11 tanks were available. But, while these vehicles were an improvement over the L3s, they were still more like "light" tanks. In addition, they were poorly designed (main armament in a "fixed" position), far too few, too under-gunned, too thinly armored, too slow, and too unreliable to make a difference.

By design, an armored division included one tank regiment, one artillery regiment, one highly-mobile infantry ("Bersaglieri") regiment, a divisional support and anti-tank battalion, and a mixed engineer company. The tank regiment could have between three and five tank battalions. At full strength, each battalion had 55 tanks. [Mollo, p.87]

Once sufficient numbers of the M13/40 tanks and its upgrades were available, Italian armored divisions began to possess some offensive capability. The Italians also developed several self-propelled 75 mm guns on the M13 platform when the evolution in tank artillery made the 47mm gun obsolete (it must be noted that in 1940 and '41 a 47mm gun was heavier than anything the British Army or the Wehrmacht could field, only the Red Army had larger caliber guns on some of their tanks). Like the dreaded German 88 mm gun, the Italians learned that a 75 mm anti-aircraft gun or a 90 mm anti-aircraft gun ("Cannone da 75/46 C.A. modello 34" or "Cannone da 90/53") made for a lethal "anti-tank" gun. While always in short supply, 57 of the 90 mm guns were ordered to be mounted on heavy trucks ("Autocannoni da 90/53") to enhance mobility.

Libyan division

In 1940, Italy had several divisions in Italian North Africa composed of troops native to Libya commanded by Italian officers. In many ways the Libyan divisions followed the make-up of a standard binary infantry division. Each Libyan division had two colonial infantry regiments. Each infantry regiment had three infantry battalion and an anti-tank company (4 47 mm anti-tank guns). The Libyan divisions also had an integral colonial artillery regiment and colonial engineering battalion. A typical Libyan division fielded 7,400 men (including 900 Italians). The artillery regiment by design included 24 65 mm, 12 75 mm, and 12 100 mm guns. [Jowett, p.9]

The "Maletti Group" ("Raggruppamento Maletti") was an "ad hoc" unit comprised of Libyan troops transported in trucks and was commanded by the unit's namesake, General Pietro Maletti. This partly motorized unit took part in the Italian invasion of Egypt in September 1940 and in the defense of the Nibeiwa Camp in December 1940 during Operation Compass. In addition to 2,500 Libyan troops in 6 battalions, the Maletti Group included a colonial artillery element and 2 battalions of armor: 35 M11 medium tanks and 35 L3 tankettes. [Walker, p.62]

"North Africa" division

During 1942, attempts were made to increase both the fire-power and the mechanization available at the divisional level. As a result, a new "North Africa 1942" ("Africa settentrionale 1942", or A.S.42) type division was developed. Similar to a standard infantry division, an "A.S.42" type division still had two infantry regiments, an artillery regiment, a mixed engineer battalion, a medical section, and a supply section. But the infantry regiments could vary greatly because the basic units making up the regiment were now an expandable company. The artillery regiment sometimes included a battery of German 88 mm guns. Mobility was increased and, in theory, an "A.S.42" type division was mechanized to a higher degree than standard infantry divisions. Unfortunately, in practice, few units had the full compliment of motor vehicles. [Mollo, p.86]

Italian motor vehicles, while in short supply, tended to be of better than average quality. British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery made use of a captured Italian vehicle. [Jarret, p.4]

Motor-transportable division

From the beginning of the war, some infantry divisions were theoretically fully mechanized and were desigated as motor-transportable divisions. Again, in practice, few units had the full compliment of motor vehicles. Other than being transported by motor vehicle, these divisions were organized like a standard infantry division, with two exceptions. Motor-transportable divisions had a larger compliment of mortars and they did not have a MVSN Legion. [Mollo, p.87]

In 1942, the motor-transportable divisions in North Africa were upgraded to become "North African" type motorized divisions. In spite of the upgrade, these divisions were still not fully motorized. The divisions tended to rely primarily on non-divisional sources for transportation and were, therefore, only part-time motor-transportable.

Motorized division

The motorized divisions were similar to the "North Africa" type division, but they included a regiment of highly-mobile elite riflemen ("Bersaglieri"). The "Bersaglieri" actually appear to have gotten the motocycles and trucks they were allotted. [Mollo, p.87]

Mobile division

Mobile ("celere") divisions were cavalry divisions that had undergone a level of mechanization. Each division had two cavalry regiments, a highly-mobile infantry ("Bersaglieri") regiment, an artillery regiment, and a light tank group. [Mollo, p.87] The squadrons of the cavalry regiments were horse-mounted and, other than a motorcycle company, the "Bersaglieri" were issued with bicycles. The light tank group had a total of 61 tanks. The tanks were typically L3s or L6s.

Divisions of the Royal Italian Army

The Regio Esercito fielded the following types of divisions: "Alpini" (Mountain), Armoured, Blackshirt, "Celere" (Fast), Coastal, Infantry, Libyan, Motorized, North African, Semi-Motorized, Airborne.

The most distinguished Italian divisions during the war, and those which saw most combat action, were (in parenthesis their main theaters of operation [Rodogno, pp.512-517] ) :

Alpini Divisions

* "1 Alpine Division Taurinense" (France, Montenegro)
* "2 Alpine Division Tridentina" (France, Greece, Albania, USSR)
* "3 Alpine Division Julia" (Greece, Albania, USSR)
* "4 Alpine Division Cuneense" (France, Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia, USSR)
* "5 Alpine Division Pusteria" (France, Greece, Albania, Montenegro)
* "6 Alpine Division Alpi Graie" (Montenegro)

Armoured Divisions

* "Italian 131 Armoured Division Centauro" (Greece, Sicily, Tunisia)
* "Italian 132 Armoured Division Ariete" (Libya, Egypt, Tunisia)
* "Italian 133 Armoured Division Littorio" (France, Yugoslavia, Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 134 Armored Division Freccia"
* "Italian 135 Armored Division Ariete II"
* "Italian 134 Armored Division Centauro II" (Armored Division M)

North African Infantry Divisions

* "Italian 17 Infantry Division Pavia" (Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 25 Infantry Division Bologna" (Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 27 Infantry Division Brescia" (Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 55 Infantry Division Savona" (Libya)
* "Italian 64 Infantry Division Catanzaro" (Libya)

Motorized Divisions

* "Italian 101 Motorized Division Trieste" (Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 102 Motorized Division Trento" (Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 3 Motorized Division P.A.D.A" (USSR)
* "Italian 136 Motorized Division Giovani Fascisti" (Libya, Egypt)

Airborne Divisions

* "Italian 184 Parachutist Division Nembo" (Sicily)
* "Italian 185 Parachutist Division Folgore" (Libya, Egypt)

= Blackshirt Divisions =

* "Italian 1 Blackshirt Division 23 Marzo" (Egypt, Libya)
* "Italian 2 Blackshirt Division 28 Ottobre" (Egypt, Libya)
* "Italian 3 Blackshirt Division 3 Gennaio" (Egypt, Libya)

Celere Divisions

* "Italian 1 Celere Division Eugenio di Savoia" (Yugoslavia)
* "Italian 2 Celere Division Emanuele Filiberto" (Yugoslavia)
* "Italian 3 Celere Division Amedeo Duca d'Aosta" (USSR)

Infantry Divisions

* "Italian 2 Infantry Division Sforzesca" (USSR)
* "Italian 3 Infantry Division Ravenna" (USSR)
* "Italian 4 Infantry Division Livorno" (France, Sicily)
* "Italian 5 Infantry Division Cosseria" (USSR)
* "Italian 7 Infantry Division Lupi di Toscana" (France)
* "Italian 12 Infantry Division Sassari" (Yugoslavia)
* "Italian 19 Infantry Division Venezia"
* "Italian 21 Infantry Division Granatieri di Sardegna" (France, Yugoslavia, Rome)
* "Italian 22 Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi" (Yugoslavia)
* "Italian 24 Infantry Division Pinerolo" (Greece, Albania)
* "Italian 26 Infantry Division Assiette"
* "Italian 29 Infantry Division Piemonte"
* "Italian 33 Infantry Division Acqui" (Greece, Albania)
* "Italian 40 Infantry Division Cacciatori d'Africa" (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia)
* "Italian 54 Infantry Division Napoli" (Sicily)
* "Italian 60 Infantry Division Sabratha" (Libya)
* "Italian 61 Infantry Division Sirte" (Libya)
* "Italian 62 Infantry Division Marmarica" (Libya)
* "Italian 63 Infantry Division Cirene" (Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 65 Infantry Division Granatieri di Savoia" (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia)
* "Italian 136 Infantry Division Giovani Fascisti" (Libya)
* "Italian 155 Infantry Division Emilia" (Montenegro)
* "Italian 156 Infantry Division Vicenza" (USSR)
* "Italian 158 Infantry Division Zara" (Yugoslavia)

Libyan Divisions

* "Italian 1 Libyan Division Sibelle" (Libya, Egypt)
* "Italian 2 Libyan Division Pescatori" (Libya, Egypt)

Motor-transportable Divisions

* "Italian 9 Semi-Motorized Division Pasubio" (USSR)
* "Italian 10 Semi-Motorized Division Piave" (France, Rome)
* "Italian 52 Semi-Motorized Division Torino" (USSR)

Coastal Divisions

* "Italian 206 Coastal Division" (Sicily)
* "Italian 207 Coastal Division" (Sicily)

Main Armaments

During the first years of World War II, Italy had only small light and medium tanks (L3/35, L6/40, M11/39, M13/40, and M15/42) tanks. These vehicles were quite on par with the Allied tanks available in 1940 (aside from their limited number and bolted armour) but were seriously out-classed by 1942. Only in summer of 1943 did the Italians develop a heavier tank (the P40) [] . But even while the P40 was in the same class as contemporary M4 Sherman only 5 P40s were ready for combat before Italy signed the armistice that same year. The Germans acquired and used the few P40s which were produced.

The Italian Army had good self-propelled guns (like the Semovente 75/18 and the Semovente 75/34) [] and some reliable armoured cars (like the AB 41) [] . While Semovente 75/18s were available in some numbers in North Africa, the more potent Semovente 75/34s, Semovente 90/53s, Semovente 105/25s, and Semovente 149/40 were available in limited numbers or not at all prior to the armistice. Like the P40, the Germans acquired the few better quality self-propelled guns manufactured prior to the armistice and even continued to manufacture some after the armistice.

The main infantry weapons were Carcano rifles, Beretta pistols and Breda machine gun.


History before WWII

Mussolini's Under-Secretary for War Production, Carlo Favagrossa, had estimated that Italy could not possibly be prepared for a war until at least October 1942. Although the Kingdom of Italy was considered a major power, Italian industry was relatively weak compared to other major powers in Europe. In 1940, Italian industry probably was no more than 15% of that of France or of the United Kingdom. The lack of a stronger automotive industry made it difficult for Italy to mechanize its military.

In the newly created Italian Empire, Italy had used most of the economic and military resources available during the conquest of Ethiopia from 1935 to 1936, during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939, and during the invasion of Albania in 1939. In the early 1930s, the Italian Royal Army successfully fought an Arab guerrilla war in Italian North Africa ("Africa Settentrionale Italiana", or ASI). The Italians fought another guerrilla war in Italian East Africa ("Africa Orientale Italiana", or AOI)) between 1936 and 1940.The Italian Royal Army remained comparatively weak in armaments. The Italian tanks were of poor quality. Italian radios were small in numbers. Much of the Italian artillery and weapons dated from World War I. Most important of all, the Italian generals were trained to the trench warfare of World War I and were not prepared at all for the new style of mechanized war based on the German "lightning war" model ("blitzkrieg").

From 1936 to 1939, Italy participated on the side of Spanish General Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. The 50,000 to 75,000 strong "Corps of Volunteer Troops" ("Corpo Truppe Volontarie", or CVT) was of significant assistance to the Spanish Nationalist cause and was involved in the Aragon Offensive and the "March to the Sea." Unfortunately for the Italian Royal Army, a large number of Italian weapons and supplies were utilized by the CVT or provided to Spanish Nationalists forces during this conflict.

In 1939, Italy conquered the small nation of Albania without difficulty and forced King Zog to flee. As would be expected, Italy suffered few casualties. But this occupation stretched to the limit the resources of the Italian Royal Army. In spring 1940, the available oil resources for possible military operations (of the Army and Navy) were for only one year. []

History during World War II

Unlike German dictator Adolf Hitler, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was officially only the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy. King Victor Emmanuel III remained Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Italian Royal Armed Forces. Hence, Mussolini needed the consent of the King (who always looked at France as the center of European politics) to declare war and enter the Second World War. Initially the King and his staff (conscious of the Italian lack of preparation to war) did not approve Mussolini's intentions, but when France was clearly defeated in June 1940, the Italian Royal Army ("Regio Esercito") was abruptly sent to war. [pp. 270-271, Lamb]

Mussolini made the mistake to believe that the United Kingdom would accept peace agreements with the Axis after France's surrender, and did not anticipate a long lasting war. Consequently, Italy entered the war inadequately prepared.

Initial campaigns

Italy declared war on 10 June 1940 and initially the Royal Army started a campaign with limited advances in the Alps against the French Army. But the French were not quickly defeated on this front and all advances came at a high cost to the Italian army. Only in July, after the French surrender to Germany, did the Royal Army initiate a limited campaign from Italian colonies in Africa (Libya and Italian East Africa) against the British in Africa (Egypt, Kenya, and the Sudan). Italian forces invaded into Egypt, Kenya, and the Sudan. In August, the Royal Army obtained a victory without German intervention when it successfully carried out the conquest of British Somaliland.

But soon Britain struck back. In December 1940, British and Commonwealth forces launched Operation Compass which, by February 1941, ended in the conquering of all of Cyrenaica and the complete destruction of a large Italian army. In January 1941, other British and Commonwealth forces launched an invasion of Italian East Africa. By November of that year, at the conclusion of the East African Campaign, the last organized Italian troops surrendered with military honors in Gondar while some Italian officers started a guerrilla war, mainly in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

In Europe, Mussolini wanted to imitate the German "lightning war" ("blitzkrieg"). This was the astonishingly fast way which Germany conquered Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Belgium, and France. Mussolini invaded Greece from Albania in October 1940. But the advances of the Royal Army were blocked by the Greek Army. Soon Greek counter-attacks forced the Italians onto the defensive inside Albania. In March 1941, prior to the German invasion of Yugoslavia, the Italian Royal Army launched an offensive against the Greeks which ended with few meaningful gains and at high costs.

German and Italian cooperation

After these setbacks, Mussolini accepted assistance from Hitler and the Royal Army was reinforced (and in some cases even trained to modern military tactics and organizations) by the powerful German Army ("Wehrmacht Heer"). The Royal Army even started to receive better and more modern armaments from the Italian industry, after the pressures from Mussolini to activate to the maximum the Italian "war machine".

The result was a combined German and Italian offensive during the spring and summer of 1941 throughout the entire Mediterranean area:

* In the Balkans, the Italian Royal Army conquered coastal Yugoslavia and, together with the Germans, finally defeated the Greek Army which was insufficiently aided by the British. On 3 May 1941, the Italian and German Armies held a military parade in Athens to celebrate their victory in the Balkans. In this parade, Mussolini for the first time boasted of an Italian Mare Nostrum, referring to the fact that the Mediterranean was becoming an Italian-dominated sea. Effectively, it remained practically Italian from December 1941, after the sinking of two English battleships in Alexandria by the Italian frogmen of Luigi Durand De La Penne, until the landings of the Americans in Algeria (Operation Torch) in November 1942.

* In North Africa, the Italian Royal Army was joined by German General Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps. A combined German and Italian force started a series of offensives and counter-offensives that culminated with the Axis victory of Gazala and Tobruk. By 1942, the Germans and Italians were driving towards Alexandria in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Mussolini sent an Italian army against the Soviet Union. In July 1941, the "Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia" ("Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia", or CSIR) arrived and assisted with the German conquest of Ukraine. By 1942, Italian forces in the Soviet Union were more than doubled to become the "Italian Army in Russia" ("Armata Italiana in Russia", or ARMIR). This army, also known as the Italian 8th Army," was deployed in the outskirts of Stalingrad where it was badly mauled during the Battle of Stalingrad.

In November 1942, with the arrival of the American Army in the Maghreb, the Italian Royal Army occupied Corsica and the French Provence up to the Rhone river. This was the last military expansion of Italy.


The Battle of El Alamein, lasting from July to November 1942, was the turning point of the war for the Italian and British Army. As Churchill wrote in his Memories: "...before El Alamein we had only defeats, after El Alamein we had only victories...". The Italian Royal Army fought this battle in a way that can be summarized by the sacrifice of the Division Folgore: the historian Renzo De Felice wrote that "...of the 5.000 "Folgore" paratroopers sent to Africa 4 months before, the survived were only 32 officers and 262 soldiers, most of them wounded. Before the surrender, they shot until the last ammo and the last hand-grenade...". [De Felice, p.115]

After the defeat at El Alamein, the Royal Army lost Libya in a few months. Tunisia, just occupied together with the German Army in November 1942, was lost in May 1943.

In July 1943 Sicily was invaded by the Allies and on September 8, 1943 Italy signed the Armistice with the Allies.

Army of the Badoglio government

Because of the chaotic way the Armistice was done, the Italian Royal Army ("Regio Esercito") suffered a terrible crisis of leadership between September and October 1943. The German occupation of Italy and of Italian positions in the Balkans and elswewhere was swift and often violent. There were 73,277 casualties in those months.

With King Victor Emmanuel II and Marshal Pietro Badoglio in command, the Royal Army entered the war on the side of the Allies. Fighting for what became known as the "Badoglio government," the Italian Co-Belligerent Army, the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Navy were formed.

Meanwhile Mussolini organized a new Fascist army in his "Italian Social Republic" ("Repubblica Sociale Italiana", or RSI) in northern Italy. This army was called the Italian National Republican Army ("Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano", or ENR). While it lasted until April 1945, the RSI never amounted to being more than a puppet state of Nazi Germany.


Nearly four million Italians served in the Italian Royal Army during the Second World War. Nearly one half of a million Italians (including civilians) died between June 1940 and May 1945.

The Royal Army suffered 161,729 casualties between 10 June 1940 and 8 September 1943 in the war against the Allies. There were an additional 18,655 Italian casualties in Italy (plus 54,622 Italian casualties in the rest of Europe) between September and October 1943. These casualties were suffered against the German Army ("Wehrmacht Heer") after the Italian Armistice.

There were about 12,000 casualties in the northern Italian guerrilla war ("Guerra di Liberazione") and in the "Army of Badoglio" on the side of the Allies. The Fascist army of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic ("Repubblica Sociale Italiana", or RSI suffered 45,424 casualties.

Nearly 60,000 Italian POWs died in Nazi labour camps, while nearly 20,000 perished in Allied Prisoner of War camps (mainly Russian: 1/4 of the 84,830 Italians officially lost in the Soviet Union were taken prisoners, and most of them never returned home).



* Lamb, Richard. "Mussolini as Diplomat"
*cite book| last = Jarrett| first = Colonel G. B.| title = West of Alamein| publisher =Sentry| date = 1971| location = Northridge, California
*cite book| last = Jowett| first = Philip| title = The Italian Army 1940-45 (2): Africa 1940-43| publisher =Osprey| date = 2001| location = Westminster, MD: ISBN 978-1-855329-865-5
*cite book| last = Mollo| first = Andrew| title = The Armed Forces of World War II| publisher =Crown| date = 1981| location = New York: ISBN 0-517-54479-4
* Rodogno, Davide. "Il nuovo ordine mediterraneo. Le politiche di occupazione dell'Italia fascista (1940-1943)". Nuova cultura ed. Torino, 2002
*De Felice, Renzo. "Mussolini l'alleato: Italia in guerra (1940-1943)". Mondadori Editore. Torino, 1990
*cite book| last = Walker| first = Ian W.| title = Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts: Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa| publisher =Crowood Press| date = 2006| location = Wiltshire: ISBN 1-86126-839-4

Recommended readings

* Blitzer, Wolf; Garibaldi, Luciano. "Century of War". Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. New York, 2001. ISBN 1-58663-342-2
* Guicciardini, Francesco. "The History of Italy". Princeton University Press. Princeton, 1984 ISBN 0-691-00800-0.
* Hart, Basil H. Liddell. "History of the Second World War." Putnam's Sons. New York, 1970
* Smith, Dennis Mack. "Storia d'Italia". Editori Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2000 ISBN 88-420-6143-3
* Weinberg, Gerhard. "A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II" New York, 2005 ISBN 0-521-44317-2

ee also

* Comparative military ranks of World War II
* Italian Army equipment in World War II
* MVSN (Blackshirts)
* Italian 132nd Armored Division Ariete
* Regia Aeronautica - Royal Italian Air Force
* Regia Marina - Royal Italian Navy
* Decima Flottiglia MAS
* Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
* Italian Co-Belligerent Army
* Italian Co-Belligerent Navy
* Italian Social Republic
* National Republican Air Force
* Italian Mare Nostrum
* East African Campaign
* Italian conquest of British Somaliland
* Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia
* Operation Compass
* Greco-Italian War
* Invasion of Yugoslavia
* Battle of Greece
* Battle of Gazala
* Yugoslavian Front (WWII)
* Axis occupation of Greece during World War II
* Italian war in Soviet Union, 1941-1943
* Italian Campaign (World War II)

External links

* [ Official Homepage of the Italian Army] it icon
* [ History and photos of WWII] it icon
* [ Regio Esercito]
* [ Axis History Factbook - Regio Esercito]
* [ The German High Command, reporting the repulse of desperate Russian counterattacks in the Donets Basin, credited Italian soldiers with throwing back the attackers]
* [ Berlin radio, credited on 10 November 1942 to Italian troops a repulse of a Russian attempt to cross the Don River]
* [ Radio Rome report the capture of 300 British parachute soldiers by part of the Bersaglieri]

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