|4th Mountain Infantry Division Livorno|
Regno d'Italia |
Kingdom of Italy
Regio Esercito |
Royal Italian Army
|Engagements||World War II|
|General Domenico Chirielieson|
|File:4 division collar insignia livorno.jpg|
|Livorno Division collar insignia|
The 4th Mountain Infantry Division Livorno was an Infantry Division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Division was formed in October 1939, and was reformed in March 1942, for the planned Invasion of Malta. When the invasion was canceled it was transferred to Sicily in February 1943, and was planned to be shipped to North Africa but that order was cancelled.
The division was still in Sicily during the Allied landings and suffered heavy losses. 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.
Sicily[edit | edit source]
The Livorno Division was the only Italian mobile division in Sicily and was considered by the Germans and most Italians to be far superior to the other divisions, as they had originally been intended for the assault on Malta. It consisted of high quality troops and it had sufficient transport to move all of its infantry units simultaneously. They carried out a substantial counterattack and threatened to throw the invaders back into the sea. On 10 July Livorno infantry supported by the 155th Bersaglieri Motorcycle Company and a column of tanks poured onto Highways 115 and 117 and nearly retook the city of Gela, but guns from the destroyer Shubrick and the cruiser Boise destroyed several Fiat 3000 tanks (a variant of the French Renault tank). The Amphibious Battle of Gela was reported by an American newspaper: "Supported by no less than forty-five tanks, a considerable force of infantry of the Livorno Division attacked the American troops around Gela. The American division beat them back with severe casualties. This was the heaviest response to the Allied advance."  The Livorno regrouped made a further attempt to retake Gela two days later and the 3rd Battalion, 34 Livorno Regiment, is recorded by its Commanding Officer as having made a valiant effort in the Gela Beachhead. The survivors were withdrawn to mainland Italy in August 1943. It surrendered to the German forces in September 1943.
Commander[edit | edit source]
- Generale di Divisione Domenico Chirieleison
Order of battle[edit | edit source]
- 33. Livorno Infantry Regiment
- 34. Livorno Infantry Regiment
- 28. Monviso Artillery Regiment
- 4. Motor Tricycle Group
- 4. Mortar Battalion
- 4. Anti-Tank Battalion
- 4. Engineer Battalion
- 4. Signals Company
- 4. Training and Radio Company
- 7. Chemical Company
- 20. Pioneer Company
- 11. Engineer Battalion
- 12. Medical Section
- 13. Surgical Unit
- 68. Medical Section
- 20. Field Hospital
- 22. Field Hospital
- 63. Field Hospital
- 122. Field Hospital
- 8. Supply Section
- 4. Motor Transport Section
- 56. Bakery Squadron
- 10. Carabinieri Section
- 11. Carabinieri Section [nb 1]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- An Italian Infantry Division normally consisted of two Infantry Regiments (three Battalions each), an Artillery Regiment, a Mortar Battalion (two companies), an Anti Tank Company, a Blackshirt Legion (Regiment of two Battalions). Each Division had only about 7,000 men, The Infantry and Artillery Regiments contained 1,650 men, the Blackshirt Legion 1,200, each company 150 men.
- Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
- The New York Times, 13 July 1943, page 2
- Paoletti, p 170
- Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9.
[edit | edit source]
- In 1947, Lt. Col. Dante Ugo Leonardi, formerly commander of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment of the Livorno Division, published a little book entitled "Luglio 1943 in Sicilia" (July 1943 in Sicily). The account can be read here 
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