Italian invasion of Albania

jwsleser

Member
Staff member
Darren

This is from the Italian Wiki site Occupazione italiana dell'Albania (1939-1943). The info and the sources used looked good. This is a campaign I have very little on, so I will go through CSv1 and see if I can find anything. That will take some time.

Do you have specific questions?

Pista! Jeff

Corpo di Spedizione Oltre-Mare Tirana (OMT) - Gen. Guzzoni
Forze albanesi in campo
  • Stato Maggiore - Gen. Aranitasi (Tirana)
  • I Zona - Ten. Col. Bega (Milot)
    • Battaglione fanteria "Deja"
    • Battaglione fanteria "Daijti"
    • Battaglione fanteria "Korata"
    • 2 batterie artiglieria da montagna (2 pezzi da 65/17)
    • 1 compagnia genio zappatori/minatori
    • 1 stazione radio
  • II Zona - Ten. Col. Vulagaj (Milot)
    • Battaglione fanteria "Tarabosh"
    • Battaglione fanteria "Gramos"
    • 1 battaglione Gendarmeria Reale Albanese
    • 2 batterie artiglieria da montagna (2 pezzi da 65/17)
    • 1 stazione radio
  • III Zona - Ten. Col. Kuku (Valona)
    • Battaglione fanteria "Tomori"
    • Battaglione fanteria "Kaptina"
    • 1 battaglione Gendarmeria Reale Albanese
    • Batteria artiglieria da montagna "Semani" (2 pezzi da 65/17)
    • 1 sezione artiglieria da montagna (2 pezzi da 65/17)
    • 1 plotone genio zappatori/minatori
    • 1 stazione radio
  • IV Zona - Col. Topalli (Saranda)
    • 2 battaglioni Guardie di Frontiera
    • 1 battaglione Gendarmeria Reale Albanese
    • 1 stazione radio
  • Presidio di Durazzo - Mag. Kupi (Durazzo)
    • 1 battaglione Guardie di Frontiera
    • 1 battaglione Gendarmeria Reale Albanese
    • 1 plotone fanteria di marina
    • 1 batteria artiglieria da montagna (2 pezzi da 75/13)
    • Batteria artiglieria costiera "Prandaj" (4 pezzi da 75/27)
    • 1 compagnia genio zappatori-minatori
    • 1 stazione radio
 

Darren Marshall

New Member
The sources about the italians KIA are confused, in Wikipedia they say 700 but i think the number are incredibly high! 5 months ago i was in the Marina Militare Archives and according to the original documents the losses for the Regia Marina are only 9 men.
I've to go in the Army Archives in the next days, i will look for the losses of the army, but i don't think are 700 like wikipedia say!
 

sultanbev

New Member
These are my notes on the Albanian army, written back in 2007ish, for an unpublished book on WW2 neutral armies:
CHAPTER ONE - ALBANIAN ARMY 1939

1.1 ALBANIAN ARMY 1938-1939

The Albanian Army consisted of:

13,980 troops on paper, 8,000 in uniform in practice, plus 3,131 men in the Gendarmerie. Organised as:

9 Military Districts
1 Royal Guard Group (1 Royal Guard Battalion)
6 Frontier Guard Battalions
1 Gendarmerie Regiment:
10 district HQ, 31 sub-divisional HQ, 251 post HQ
(equating to 4-5 Gendarmerie Infantry Battalions)

12 Infantry Battalions (possibly in 4 Regiments?)

SUPPORT UNITS


Army Support

Included:

1 Divisional HQ

12 Mountain Artillery Batteries, each: 2x 65mm Schneider mountain guns, pack mules
6 Artillery Batteries, each: 4x 75mm Skoda M1905/08 field guns, truck portees
2 Field Batteries, each: 4x 105mm Italian howitzers, horse limbers
2 Heavy Artillery Batteries, each: 4x 149mm Italian howitzers, horse limbers
1 Coastal Artillery Battery at Durres

3 AA Batteries, each: 4x AAMMG or 75mm?

9 Engineer Companies, each: Coy HQ (2 rifle secs)
3 platoons, each: 4 rifle/engineer/signals secs

2 Motorised Infantry Squadrons, each: Sqdn HQ (2 rifle secs, 1 lorry)
3 Troops, each: 3(12 man) rifle secs, 3 lorries, 3 LMG

2 Tank Troops, each: 3x CV33 tankettes

Infantry Regimental Support

Infantry Regiment HQ (6 rifle secs, 2 Italian rifle secs, horses) with possibly:

1 Mortar Company: Coy HQ (1 rifle sec)
3 platoons, each: 3x 45mm mortars, 3 hand carts or pack mules

1 Mounted Scout Platoon: 3(12 man) rifle secs, 3 LMG, horses, sabres

1 Machine Gun Company: Coy HQ (2 rifle secs)
3 platoons, each: 4 MMG teams, pack horses

Gendarmerie Regimental Support

Regiment HQ (6 rifle secs, police stations) with possibly:
1 Scout Platoon: 3(12 man) rifle secs, 3 LMG, cars, lorries
1 HQ Defence Platoon: 1(6 man) rifle Pl HQ sec, 4(10 man) rifle secs, 2 LMG

Royal Guard Group Support

Regiment HQ (6 rifle secs, 1 Italian rifle sec) with:
1 Ceremonial Company: in native dress like Greek Evzones

1 Cavalry Squadron: Sqdn HQ (3 rifle secs, horses, sabres)
3 Troops, each: 3(12 man) rifle secs, horses, sabres, 3 LMG

1 Artillery Battery: 4x 75mm Skoda M1905/08 field guns, 152 men, horse limbers

1 Band

MAIN COMBAT ELEMENTS

Infantry Battalion, Frontier Guards Battalion

Btn HQ (3 rifle secs, 1 Italian advisor sec)
Scout Platoon: 3(12 man) rifle secs, possibly on small horses

3 Companies, each: Coy HQ (3 rifle secs)
3 platoons, each: 1(2 man) Pl HQ team, 2(11 man) rifle secs, 2(9 man) rifle secs, 2 LMG

1 Support Company: Coy HQ (1 rifle sec)
2 platoons, each: 4 MMG

-----------------------------​
Gendarmerie Infantry Battalion

Btn HQ (4 rifle secs)

4 Companies, each: Coy HQ (2 rifle secs)
3 platoons, each: 1(6 man) rifle Pl HQ sec, 4(10 man) rifle secs, 2 LMG

-----------------------------​

Royal Guard Battalion (562 men in 1934)

Btn HQ (3 rifle secs, 1 Italian advisor rifle sec)

1 Armoured Company: Coy HQ (2x Lancia IZ armoured cars)
1 platoon: 4x Lancia IZ armoured cars
1 platoon: 2x Fiat 3000B tanks

2 Infantry Companies, each: Coy HQ (3 rifle secs)
3 platoons, each: 1(2 man) Pl HQ team, 2(11 man) rifle secs, 2(9 man) rifle secs, 2 LMG

1 Support Company: Coy HQ (1 rifle sec)
2 platoons, each: 4 MMG
-----------------------------

Notes
sec = section (or squad)
No radios available at all.
Infantry sections have no anti-tank grenades.
The Albanian army of King Zog was organised by the Italians, who manipulated it by having advisers at many levels, thus preventing it being an effective force when the Italians invaded on April 7th 1939.

The Gendarmerie were British led and trained up to the late 1930s, and put up an initial effective resistance to the Italians.
Gendarmerie had only 50 rounds per man for their rifles.

Details of company and battalion level organisations are provisional, based on Italian organisations.
LMG is 6.5mm Breda M1930. Rifles are Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5mm M1891 bolt action type. There were 204 MMG available in total.

The Infantry Division may have disappeared by 1938.
The 65mm gun batteries appear to be attached 1 per infantry battalion.
--------------------------
Note these are formatted for wargaming purposes and publishers requirements, and was written in 2007, so may not compare well with the Wiki entry shown above.
Sources include:
Bernd J Fisscher, Albania at War 1939-1945, Hurst & Company, London (1999)
Dipl-Ing Franz Kosar, Light Field Guns, Ian Allan Ltd, Shepperton, (1974)
J. Lee Ready, World War Two, Nation by Nation, Arms & Armour Press, London (1995)
Ronald Tarnstrom, Armed Forces Handbook, Balkan Battles, Trogen Books (1998)
Susan Cross, private email on Albanian Guard forces (21st April 2007)
https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=89769

Mark
 

diciassette2000

New Member
From ""lettera personale al Capo del Governo in data 8 aprile 1939 di Sua Eccellenza Genrale Guzzoni" and ""lettera personale al Generale Pariani in data 12 aprile 1939 di Sua Eccellenza Generale Guzzoni......
....Le perdite complessive nei tre giorni 7,8, 9 aprile ammontarono a 93 uomini e precisamente:
-ufficiali 1 morto e 9 feriti
-sottufficiali 1 morto e 8 feriti
-truppa 10 morti e 64 feriti
di cui il 60% appartenente alla marina
...................
.... The total losses in the three days of 7,8, 9 April amounted to 93 men and precisely:
-officiers 1 dead and 9 wounded
-non-comissioned officer 1 dead and 8 injured
-soldiers 10 dead and 64 wounded
of which 60% belonging to the marina
......
all the best
Maurizio
 
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