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Italian Invasion of Albania OOB (1939)

by Jim H

Italian Order of Battle for Albania

The Italian invasion force was built of ad hoc assembled units. It took the name of “Expeditionary Corps OMT” under command of General Guzzoni.

It was divided into three “groups” which had to land in successive times. The most important was logically the first, which was divided into four “columns”. Each column had its own landing harbor and a target inland on which to advance.

First Group (7 April 1939)

Column One:
(Commander: Col. Scattini, Landing point: S. Giovanni di Medua, Target: Scutari)

III Bersaglieri battalion
VI Bersaglieri battalion
XXVIII Bersaglieri battalion
Two companies of San Marco marine battalion

Column Two:
(Commander: Gen. Messe, Landing point: Durazzo, Target: Tirana)

II Bersaglieri Battalion
X Bersaglieri Battalion
XIV Bersaglieri Battalion
XVII Bersaglieri Battalion
XXVII Bersaglieri Battalion
I/47° Infantry Battalion
VIII Light Tank Battalion
X Light Tank Battalion
I Grenadier Battalion  (airlift)*
II Grenadier Battalion (airlift)*
One 65/17mm Battery
One AA Battery
* These battalions were airlifted to Tirana airfield after its conquest

Column Three:
(Commander Col. Bernardi, Landing point: Valona, Target: Fieri)

I Bersaglieri Battalion
XVI Bersaglieri Battalion
XL Blackshirt Battalion
LXXVI Blackshirt Battalion

Column Four:
Commander Col. Carasi, Landing point: Santi Quaranta, Target: Argirocastro)

XX Bersaglieri Battalion
XXXIII Bersaglieri Battalion
III Fast Tank Group “San Giorgio”
Two companies of San Marco Marine Battalion

Second Group (8 April 1939)

HQ 47° Infantry Regiment
II/47° Infantry Battalion
9th MG Battalion
I/6° “Aosta Lancers” Cavalry Battalion
II/4° “Genova Cavalry” Battalion
XVIII Heavy FA Battalion
CXV Heavy FA Battalion

Third Group (8 April 1939)

HQ 23th Infantry Division “Murge”
48° Infantry Regiment
III/47° Infantry Battalion
XCII Blackshirt Battalion
14° Field Artillery Regiment

The Conclusion of the Italian Invasion of Albania

Bersaglieri preparing to disembark from the port of Durazzo during invasion of Albania.

First Group, Column Two Bersaglieri preparing to disembark at the port of Durazzo.

Following the successful invasion of Albania, a large part of the units highlighted above returned to Italy and were substituted by others forming a permanent garrison.

Special thanks to Lupo Solitario for the OOB and Note.

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