59th Mountain Infantry Division Cagliari

59th Mountain Infantry Division Cagliari
Active 19391943
Country Italy Regno d'Italia
Kingdom of Italy
Branch Regio Esercito
Royal Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Vercelli
Nickname(s) Cagliari
Engagements World War II
Italian invasion of France
Greco-Italian War
General Antonio Scuero
Cagliari Division collar insignia

The 59th Mountain Infantry Division Cagliari was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. It was formed 5 April 1939 in Vercelli and dissolved 8 September 1943 in southern Peloponnese. Garrisoned in Vercelli, the division was made up almost entirely of men from northern Piedmont, especially from Vercelli and Ivrea.[1] Mountain divisions are not to be confused with the "Alpini" specialized mountain troops. The mountain divisions had pack horse artillery instead of the usual towed type.[2]


As part of the Italian I Corps, the Cagliari participated in the Italian invasion of France in June 1940. Initially (10 June 1940) staying on the border at the Mont Cenis-Monte Niblè-Rocciamelone line, the division have moved across border 15 June 1940, capturing Dents d'Ambin, Sommet de la Nunda, Pas de la Beccia and Col de Sollières around Mont Cenis lake by 17 June 1940. 21 June 1940 it reached Arc (Savoie) river valley and started advancing to Bramans and Le Planey (on Ruisseau d'Étache stream), capturing both 23 June 1940. Immediately attack was initiated to Val d'Ambin with the goal of Modane, but Franco-Italian Armistice signed 24 June 1940 has stopped the Cagliary division short of this goal. The division has remained in Arc (Savoie) river valley until end of September when it returned home to Italy.

21 January 1941, the orders were received to move to Albania. The Cagliari division has completed transfer to Berat 31 January 1941, joining Italian VIII Corps for the ongoing Greco-Italian War. First contact with the Greek forces was made 8 February 1941 near Berat, with the clashes at Mali i Tërpanit and Paraspuar following soon. 12 February 1941 the front has stabilised from Qafa e Bubësit to positions in valleys of Osum and Tomorrica rivers. 11 March 1941, after prolonged period of defence, the Cagliari division have commenced attacks to Bubës, capturing it 13 March 1941 - only to fail miserably in the assaults on Monastery Hill (Height 731) few kilometers south 14–19 March 1941, as part of the failed Italian Spring Offensive. As result of Greek units disengaging after the start of the Battle of Greece 6 April 1941, the Cagliari division have advanced to the rdge overlookin Këlcyrë Gorge from north 15 April 1941, overcoming some Greek rearguard resistance. 18 April 1941 it continued pursuit to Përmet, and reached a border stream of Perati 20 April 1941, where some Greek rearguard have tried to make a stand once more. After the end of active fighting, it was used as occupation force in Kalpaki. In June 1941, the division was transferred to southern Peloponnese. Main garrisons were established in Tripoli, Kalamata and Sparta, performing mopping-up and anti-partisan duties. The division have melted following announcement of the Armistice of Cassibile 8 September 1943.

Orders of battle

Order of battle (1940-1943)

Order of battle (8 September 1943)


  1. An Italian infantry division normally consisted of two infantry regiments (three battalions each), an artillery regiment, a mortar battalion (two companies) and an anti-tank company. A Blackshirt legion of two battalions was also sometimes attached. Each division had only about 7,000 men, The infantry and artillery regiments contained 1,650 men; the Blackshirt legion 1,200. Each company consisted of 150 men.[3]
  1. http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/fanteria/rediv59.htm
  2. 1 2 Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  3. Paoletti, p 170
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