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Queries for anyone knowledgeable!

(1) Milmart Legions were part of the Blackshirts; how were the Milmart Legions organised as part of MVSN?
(2) In 1943 the Italian troops at Augusta-Syracuse included a battalion of sailors and an air force battalion. How would these have been organised or were they just adhoc local formations?
This specialty was born on 16 April 1927 with the name Anti-Aircraft Artillery Militia; since 1930 called Militia for territorial anti-aircraft defense, (M.Di.CAT.). Since peacetime, anti-aircraft defense has been entrusted to the Militia for Territorial Anti-Air Defense (MDCAT). This specialty of the Militia was initially made up of 22 Legions which divided the territory of the State according to the importance of the cities and the military objectives to be defended against the offense of enemy air attacks. Every legion. armed a given number of batteries. The men who served in the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Militia wore the normal uniform of the CC.NN. and they were distinguished from the others by a particular frieze on the headdress and had black flames on the lapel threaded with the traditional orange-yellow color of the artillery weapon. The officers were drawn from retired categories of the Army artillery force, not subject to being mobilized with the Army in the event of war. The troop was made up of volunteer men, not having military obligations, very young men who were not yet drafted, war disabled men, mature family fathers returning from the 1915/1918 war, blind men with refined hearing destined to listen to aerophones. All personnel had for years been subjected to severe training in anti-aircraft shooting. The Anti-aircraft Artillery Militia, on 10 June 1940, consisted of 85,000 men; for the entire duration of the conflict, within the limits of its possibilities, of the availability of pieces and ammunition, suffering bloody losses, it defended the national territory from air raids on military objectives and on the defenseless populations of the cities, in collaboration with the squadrons of the Army Air Force also intended for territorial defense; even if this help was increasingly lacking due to the non-replaceable losses of aircraft and pilots. In 1935 it had 14 Legions and 10 autonomous Cohorts, dependent on the General Inspectorate M.Di.CAT. and from Cos. In 1939 the M.Di.CAT. was reorganized into 5 group commands of Di.CAT Legions. comprising 22 Legions at home and 4 in the colonies. From this date the Inspectorate on which Di.CAT depended. took the name of Anti-aircraft Military Command Maritime Artillery. In 1940, the M.Di.CAT. it changed its name once again to MACA, (Militia Artillery Against Aircraft). The MACA order in 1940 was as follows:

1° Gruppo di Legioni - Torino

Comandi di LegioneSedeBatterie complessive
1 LegioneTorino22
2 LegioneSavona3
3 LegioneGenova24
4 LegioneAlessandria7
2° Gruppo di Legioni - Milano

Comandi di LegioneSede
5 LegioneMilano30
6 LegionePiacenza6
7 LegioneBrescia2
8 LegioneVerona2
3° Gruppo di Legioni - Bologna

Comandi di LegioneSede
9 LegionePadova2
10 LegioneUdine2
11 LegioneTrieste2
12 LegioneBologna3
15 LegioneAncona3
4° Gruppo di Legioni - Roma

Comandi di LegioneSede
13 LegioneLivorno2
14 LegioneFirenze3
16 LegioneTerni2
17 LegioneCagliari6
18 LegioneRoma24
5° Gruppo di Legioni - Napoli

Comandi di LegioneSede
19 LegioneNapoli13
20 LegioneBari3
21 LegioneCatanzaro1
22 LegionePalermo13
Gruppi autonomi

Comandi di LegioneSede
I Gruppo autonomo di LibiaTripoli3
II Gruppo autonomo di LibiaBengasi3
I Gruppo autonomo A.O.I.?3
II Gruppo autonomo A.O.I.?3
Initially the batteries were numbered on a local basis, i.e. each Legion Command or Legion Group had a single numbering (e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd battery etc etc ) while in 1942 the batteries were renumbered with progressive national numbering which also included the Milmart anti-aircraft batteries (the Milmart coastal batteries retained the denomination with proper names e.g. Caracciolo battery) often with groups of numbers depending on the caliber. Over the years, MACA and Milmart had a notable increase in both numbers and quality even though the 88mm anti-aircraft batteries obtained from the Germans or bought from the Italians were always used only by the army. In 1943, however, the organization of the MACA on Italian territory was as follows:

In 1943, the MACA was therefore structured:


-Comando Scuola Centrale Milizia artiglieria contraerei-Nettunia Porto

-1º Gruppo di Legioni - Torino

--1ª Legione (Torino)

--2ª Legione (Savona)

--4ª Legione (Alessandria)

--6ª Legione (Piacenza)

-2º Gruppo di Legioni - Milano

--5ª Legione (Milano)

--25.a Legione (Milano)

-3º Gruppo di Legioni -Padova

--7ª Legione (Brescia)

--8ª Legione (Verona)

--9ª Legione (Padova)

--10ª Legione (Udine)

--11ª Legione (Trieste)

-4º Gruppo di Legioni –Firenze

--12ª Legione (Bologna)

--13ª Legione (Livorno)

--14ª Legione (Firenze)

--15ª Legione (Ancona)

--16ª Legione (Terni)

-5.o Gruppo Legioni-Napoli

--19ª Legione (Napoli)

--27.a Legione (Napoli)

-6.o Gruppo Legioni-Genova

--3.a Legione(Genova)

--24.a Legione (Genova)

-7.o Gruppo Legioni-Roma

--18ª Legione (Roma)

--26.a Legione-Roma

-8.o Gruppo Legioni(Bari)

--20ª Legione (Bari)

--21ª Legione (Catanzaro)

--28.a Legione (Chieti)

-9.o Gruppo Legioni-Palermo

-22ª Legione (Palermo)

-23.a Legione (Catania)

-17ª Legione (Cagliari)(autonoma)

However, a note is worth making and that is that the documentation regarding this specialty of the MVSN has remained very fragmentary and often the information also includes that regarding the army, navy and Milmart, making it difficult to filter the information of the MACA alone. Much of the information available at the EMS also has this peculiarity.

As regards your second question, during the war companies or battalions were often deployed to guard the navy and aviation structures existing on Italian soil. However, these were always with the exception of some cases of provisional units established even if with the impulse of the commands on local bases drawing from redundant personnel from the two arms.

All the best
Queries for anyone knowledgeable!

(1) Milmart Legions were part of the Blackshirts; how were the Milmart Legions organised as part of MVSN?
(2) In 1943 the Italian troops at Augusta-Syracuse included a battalion of sailors and an air force battalion. How would these have been organised or were they just adhoc local formations?

OOOPHHSSS.....Hammurabi sorry but in a hurry I posted the answer describing the MACA...now I'll post the right one about the MIlmart....thanks


The Coastal Defense Militia was born on 21 January 1935, from the Dicat soldiers who supplied personnel to the coastal defense batteries of the Royal Navy. The first denomination obtained for the newly formed specialty was Militia for coastal defense, (M. da Cos.). M. from Cos. it depended on the General Inspectorate M.Di.CAT . and from Cos. and included two Legions and two Cohorts. From (year) the General Inspectorate assumed the name of M.Di.CAT Command . and from Cos. From 1939 the name of the specialty was changed again, from M. da Cos. in MILMART, or Maritime Artillery Militia. The command on which it depended also took on the new name of Anti-aircraft and maritime artillery command. Heir to the traditions and tasks of the old Coast Artillery, it had replaced its specialty and absorbed the service, freeing the Army. Milmart was particularly entrusted with the land defense of maritime military strongholds including naval bases. organized into 10 Legions, with officers and volunteer troops recruited with the same criteria as those belonging to the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Militia, the Milmart absorbed over 25,000 men for the 1940/1943 war.

Coastal defense.

There were many CC.NN battalions. who, before or after being used in combat on the various fronts (France, Albania, Yugoslavia and Russia) provided surveillance and defense organization services on the Italian coasts. And this began even before Italy's entry into the war, since the time of non-belligerence.

The fighting battalions we report here certainly served in various periods and in different coastal areas:

Btg . CC.NN.
Dislocation area
XXX (Novara)
Cesarano area (Lecce)
XIV (Bergamo) and XV (Brescia)
in the Nicastro area
XXXIV (Savona) and XXXVIII (Asti)
S. Marinella area, Palo, Ostia
IX (Sondrio) and X (Voghera)
Calabrian area
CLV (Matera)
peninsula Salento
XXXIII (Imperia), XXXVI (Genoa), XXXV (La Spezia), LX (Pula)
VI (Vigevano), XLIX (Venice), LVIII (Trieste), LXI (Rijeka)
XLI (Trent)
in Calabria with the «Pistoia» division
LXII (Gorizia)
in Spezzano Calabrian
LXXVI ( Copparo )
LXXI (Faenza), LXXXI (Ravenna), XC (Pisa), LXXXV (Apuania)
LXXXVIII (Livorno), XCVIII (Grosseto), CLI (Bari), CVIII (Ancona)
CM (Pesaro), CXVII (Civitavecchia), CXL (Salerno), CXXIX (Pescara)
CXXXVIII (Naples), CXLV (Castellamare di Stabia), CL (Barletta)
CLIII (Brindisi), CLIV (Taranto), CLXIV (Catanzaro), CLXIII (Reggio Calabria)
CXLVI ( Consilina Room )2
1) after the Greek campaign and before going to Russia.

2) this Btg . CC.NN. it was transformed into a cycling battalion in May-June 1943, under the «Piceno» Division, and was destined, together with a battery of the 152nd divisional Artillery Regiment, for the mobile defense of the S. Pancrazio Salentino airport . He had previously served in the 210 8th Coastal Division, in the Nardò area (Lecce).

It should be noted that of these battalions, some had been reconstituted because they had been lost with the CC.NN Divisions. in the period November 1940 - February 1941 in Libya. From the same depot legions, in the same recruitment areas, new volunteers rushed to train them and offered to replace their brothers who had fallen or remained prisoners. Of the 24 battalions lost in Libya, 10 were reconstituted: LXXI (Faenza), LXXXI (Ravenna), CII (Perugia), sent with the 108th Legion to Albania, CXLIII (Benevento), destined to form the 90th Legion ), CL (Barletta), CLIV (Taranto), CXXIX (Pescara), CXXXVIII (Naples), CXL (Salerno, CXLV (Castellamare di Stabia). The above regarding the use of fighting battalions for coastal defense purposes. For this use specifically, another 81 CC.NN Coastal battalions were created. These battalions were made up of the Legions which once again functioned as a depot and had the same numbering as the Legion that formed them increased by three hundred (for example the 1st and 2nd Legions ) . Turin constituted the 301st and 302nd coastal battalions respectively) . to carry out garrison, bridge guard and garrison services within the national territory. Like the previous ones, these departments also took on the number of the Legion that formed them, increased by three hundred. With more modest tasks, 23 coastal centuries of CC.NN were also established.

The order of MILMART in 1939 was as follows:

Legion Commands
1 MILMART Legion
2 MILMART Legion
3 MILMART Legion
The Magdalene
4 MILMART Legion
5 MILMART Legion
6 MILMART Legion
7 MILMART Legion
8 MILMART Legion
9 MILMART Legion
14 MILMART Legion
Reggio Calabria
Groups autonomous :



Given the impossibility of defending Sicily only with the 6th, 7th and 8th MILMART Legion (the 9th MILMART Legion was in Pantelleria), 23 special Centurie CC.NN were created by the Sicilian Legions.

Legion Commands
166 Legion
50 , 51y , 52 , 53 , 54y , 55
168 Legion
58th , 59th
159 Legion
60 , 63
170 Legion
67 , 68
172 Legion
72nd , 73rd , 74th
173 Legion
174 Legion
76 , 77 , 78 , 79y , 80y , 81y , 82y


New Member
OOOPHHSSS.....Hammurabi sorry but in a hurry I posted the answer describing the MACA...now I'll post the right one about the MIlmart....thanks

Many thanks; very helpful and much more informative than WIKI. ;) A bonus to be told about the AAA formations as well! Impressive downloads.

I presume these were very different to COASTAL DIVISIONS, details of which can be found through WIKI. I was intrigued by their units including Anti-Paratroop Units: mobile units heavy on automatic weapons?
Hammurabi 70 the discussion regarding the coastal divisions is of a completely different aspect. The coastal divisions were not in fact emanations of the CCNN or the Militia but had been formed over the years by the army even if sometimes militia units had also been part of it. However, in the end they became a mixture of units of all types and many coastal battalions which were none other than former territorial militia battalions were part of them as they were also part of the Maritime Fortresses which, unlike the coastal divisions, were emanations of the Navy although even in this case army and militia units were part of it. The reconstruction of these units is far from easy also because it is not easy to find OOB in this regard and also because the individual units were continuously transformed. Keep in mind that finding certain information on Wikipedia is anything but an easy task...many times, in fact, the news circulating on those sites is incomplete or even untrue or outdated......anyway, it's a start.. ...
All the best
As regards the anti-parachute units, over 500 were formed with a consequent numbering starting from the northern regions and ending with those of the south... furthermore, as already mentioned previously, a mix of units from all the specialties of the army, navy and air force.....for example, in addition to coastal regiments and battalions, groups of foot cavalry, units of the Guardia di Finanza and the carabinieri, anti-tank artillery, field artillery, coastal artillery, companies of the coastal engineers, photoelectricians, anti-aircraft mortar companies, GAF batteries, ex-GAF machine gun companies and coastal machine gunners.
ALl the best