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Legione Croata Autotrasportabile


Staff member
Posted 26 May 2004 - 07:29 AM by Barbarigo

Does anyone has any informations about this unit, that was part of Regio Esercito during IIWW?

Thanks in advance,

Posted 26 May 2004 - 08:47 AM by ADOLPHO87

Here you are, Barbarigo:
The Light Mobile Brigade (Italian-Croatian)

In July 1941, Italian General Antonio Oxilio requested an audience with Croatian Poglavnik Ante Pavelic. During their meeting, General Oxilio presented Pavelic with a letter from the Italian High Command, asking that a Legion, even a symbolic one, be formed by Croatia for service in the Italian Army on the Eastern Front. The fact was that the Italians felt slighted - 3 Croatian "Legions" (one army, one navy and one airforce) were serving with Germany in the Soviet Union, yet no Croatians served in Italian formations even though Italy was the nationalist Croatian government's first ally. The Croatians, although not pleased with this request, decided not to insult an ally, even though Mussolini's expansionist policies towards Croatia made Italy a dubious one at best. Therefore, on July 26th 1941, the Croatian Army Command issued the appropriate orders, and the "Light Mobile Brigade" (Laki Prijevozni Zdrug) came into being. The majority of the troops for the unit came from a battalion of volunteers that were intended as reinforcements for the 369th (Croat) Infantry Regiment that fought as part of the German Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union.

The Brigade was formed with 1100 soldiers, 70 NCO's and 45 Officers (1215 total), divided into 3 Infantry Companies, 1 Machine-Gun Company, 1 (81mm) Mortar Company and 1 (65mm) Artillery Battery. The Commanding Officer was Lt.-Colonel Egon Zitnik (a Croat).

The Brigade's first posting was in the city of Varazdin, in Croatia, where they trained, and awaited the Italians to organize their expeditionary force. The wait stretched on, as the Italians had many organizing problems. In the meantime, the Brigade performed sweeps in the Kordun, Banija and Bosanska Krajina regions of Croatia, searching for small groups of Yugoslav soldiers and bands of outlaws that were hiding in the forests and fighting against the new Croatian state.

On December 17th 1941, the Italians finally ordered the Brigade to travel to Italy where they received their full complement of weapons and transports. 3 Months of intense training exercises followed. At the end of the training schedule, the Legionnaires were visited by General Ugo Cavallerio of the Italian Headquarters Staff, and the Minister of Defense of Croatia, Marshal Slavko vitez Kvaternik. The Brigades battle flag was presented at this ceremony, and the men took their oath to Italy, Croatia, the Duce, the Italian King, and the Poglavnik.

The Brigade arrived on the Eastern Front on April 16th 1942, near the town of Harcjusk. Here they were attached to the Italian 3rd Rapid Division "Principe Amadeo Duca D'Aosta", and received the remainder of their equipment and transports (44 trucks, 3 automobiles and 6 motorcycles). On the 11th of May, near the town of Pervomajska, the Brigade fought its first battle, alongside the 63rd Blackshirt "Tagliamento" unit. 5 men were lost in this minor engagement.

The Brigade, during the next 10 months, fought around the towns of Stokovo, Greko-Timofejevka, and Veseli-Nikitovo. On July 11th 1942, the Brigade was transfered to the Italian XXXVth Corps. The very next day, with a battle-group of Blackshirts, the Brigade fought its way 30km deep into Soviet lines. Battles follow around Vladimirovka, Krasna Poljana and Fjodorovka. On July 28th 1942 the Brigade crossed the Donjec River at Lubanskoje. On August 25th 1942, the Soviets counter-attacked and the Brigade was involved in heavy fighting. The Croatians managed to hold their lines, inflicting 20 casualties and capturing 101 Russian soldiers. The Croatians lost 8 dead and 12 wounded. For this battle, the Brigade was awarded the "Sul Campo" decoration by the commander of the XXXVth Corps.

On December 19th 1942, the Brigade was holding Hills 210 and 168 near Hracin. Here they were surrounded by a massive Soviet attack, but continued fighting till December 21st 1942, when they ran out of ammunition and were over-run. There were no survivors and the unit was totally destroyed.

After the destruction of the "Light Mobile Brigade", the Italians sponsored the creation of a new "Legion" unit. It came into existance in May of 1943, only 4 months before the Italian collapse, as a 1,800 man strong infantry regiment, reinforced with its own replacement battalion and an artillery battalion of 2 batteries. This "Legion" was sent to northern Italy, to the Lake Garda area, and then the Italo-Slovene border area. After the Italian surrender, the men of the Legion were used to reinforce the existing German-Croatian Divisions, specially the 373rd "Tiger" Division.

From the Feldgrau.com website, article by Allen Milcic

This text was taken from this forum:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... c&start;=15

and look at this thread:

Ciao. :D

Posted 26 May 2004 - 09:09 AM by Barbarigo

WOW!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks a lot Adolpho!


Posted 26 May 2004 - 09:30 AM by ADOLPHO87

It was easier to find than something about that TL37 :cry:


Posted 26 May 2004 - 12:10 PM by FB

I was going to point you in the same exact directions that Adolpho posted here.

There is another site where I found some (very scarce) news about this unit, albeit it is referred to as Legione Croata, without Autotrasportata. There you can see how this unit met its fate.

here's the address (in Italian only I'm afraid):

Associazione Bersaglieri di Desenzano

Best regards

Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:04 PM by Alexderdrome

In the book Emme Rossa from Pier luigi Romeo Colloredo, you can find informations about this unit which conducted fightings with the LXIII Legione d'Assalto CCNN Tagliamento.

Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:04 PM by Alexderdrome

In the book Emme Rossa from Pier luigi Romeo Colloredo, you can find informations about this unit wich conducted fightings with the LXIII Legione d'Assalto CCNN Tagliamento.
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