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Camicie Nere (The MVSN & CCNN Combat Units)

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CCNN Units in North Africa

In North Africa in 1940 the CCNN Divisions quickly showed the results of their poor organization and equipment. Although supplied with a cadre of combat experienced troops, and individually brave, they suffered from the lack of heavy weapons and poor command and tactics. The result of this was to cast doubt on them as viable combat troops, and provide ammunition for the Monarchists in the army who opposed the use of the MVSN as combat troops.
The CCNN Divisions were loosely modeled on conventional Italian Infantry Divisions; hence, the organization of the Legions differed from that given above and actually mirrored Infantry Regiment organization. The individual CCNN Battalions however were organized the same as above, rather than as conventional Infantry Battalions.

1st 23rd March CCNN Division
DIVISION HQ
219th CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
LEGION MORTAR COY (6 x 81mm Mortars)
LEGION GUN BATTERY (4 x 65/17 Inf Guns)
114th G. Veroli CCNN BATTALION
118th Volsca CCNN BATTALION
119th N. Ricciotti CCNN BATTALION
233rd CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
LEGION MORTAR COY (6 x 81mm Mortars)
LEGION GUN BATTERY (4 x 65/17 Inf Guns)
129th Adriatica CCNN BATTALION
133rd Lupi di Matese CCNN BATTALION
148th Tavogliere CCNN BATTALION
201st MG BATTALION
BATTALION HQ
3 MG COMPANIES (each HQ & 4 Platoons – 16 HMG)
1st CCNN ANTI-TANK COMPANY
COMPANY HQ
4 GUN PLATOONS (each 2 x 47/32 ATk Guns)
201st (ARMY) ARTILLERY REGIMENT
REGIMENT HQ
1 GRUPPO 12 x 100/17 Howitzers
2 GRUPPOs 12 x 75/27 Guns
2 BATTERIES 8 x 20mm AA
201st MIXED ENGINEER BATTALION
BATTALION HQ
ENGINEER COMPANY
SIGNALS COMPANY
XLI LIGHT TANK BATTALION
BATTALION HQ (4 L3/35 and L3 Carro Commando)
3 TANK COMPANIES (each 15 L3/35 & 1 Carro Commando)

Arrived at Taguria, Libya in mid 1940. Invaded Egypt as part of 10th Army in September 1940. Retreated to Libya in December 1940 and was destroyed at Bardia in January 1941.

2nd 28th October CCNN Division
DIVISION HQ
231st CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
LEGION MORTAR COY (6 x 81mm Mortars)
131st M.S. Marrone & G. Paolini CCNN BATTALION
132nd Monte Vekino CCNN BATTALION
135th Gran Sasso CCNN BATTALION
238th CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
LEGION MORTAR COY (6 x 81mm Mortars)
138th R. Padovani CCNN BATTALION
140th Aquilia CCNN BATTALION
145th Pisacane CCNN BATTALION
202nd MG BATTALION
BATTALION HQ
3 MG COMPANIES (each HQ & 4 Platoons – 16 HMG)
2nd CCNN ANTI-TANK COMPANY
COMPANY HQ
4 GUN PLATOONS (each 2 x 47/32 ATk Guns)
202nd (ARMY) ARTILLERY REGIMENT
REGIMENT HQ
1 GRUPPO 12 x 100/17 Howitzers
2 BATTERIES 8 x 20mm AA
202nd MIXED ENGINEER BATTALION
BATTALION HQ
SIGNALS COMPANY

Arrived at Garien, Libya in mid 1940. Invaded Egypt as part of 10th Army in September 1940. Elements of the Division were detached out to the Libyan units, including both Legion Gun Batteries (each 4 x 65/17), 2 Gruppos of Artillery Regiment (each 12 x 75/27), and the Engineer Company from 202nd Engineer Battalion. Division retreated to Libya in December 1940 and was destroyed between Sollum and Halfaya and at Bardia in January 1941.

3rd 21st April CCNN Division
DIVISION HQ
181st CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
71st Manfreda CCNN BATTALION
81st A. di Barbiano CCNN BATTALION
102nd Cacciatori di Tevere CCNN BATTALION
203rd CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
103rd Clitunno CCNN BATTALION
110th Picena CCNN BATTALION
143rd Clino Ricci CCNN BATTALION
203rd (ARMY) ARTILLERY REGIMENT
REGIMENT HQ
1 GRUPPO 12 x 100/17 Howitzers
2 GRUPPOs 12 x 75/27 Guns
2 BATTERIES 8 x 20mm AA

This Division was well below establishment and lacking many heavy weapons. It is sometimes described as equivalent in strength to a single Regiment (Legion) from another Division! In some accounts, it is not even mentioned! It arrived in Taguria, Libya in 1939. It invaded Egypt as part of 10th Army in September 1940. Retreated to Libya in December 1940 and was overrun and destroyed during the retreat.

4th 3rd January CCNN Division
DIVISION HQ
250th CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
LEGION MORTAR COY (6 x 81mm Mortars)
LEGION GUN BATTERY (4 x 65/17 Inf Guns)
150th G. Carli CCNN BATTALION
154th D. Mastronuzzi CCNN BATTALION
156th Lucania CCNN BATTALION
270th CCNN LEGION
LEGION HQ
LEGION MORTAR COY (6 x 81mm Mortars)
LEGION GUN BATTERY (4 x 65/17 Inf Guns)
170th Agrigentum CCNN BATTALION
172nd Enna CCNN BATTALION
174th Segesta CCNN BATTALION
204th MG BATTALION
BATTALION HQ
3 MG COMPANIES (each HQ & 4 Platoons – 16 HMG)
4th CCNN ANTI-TANK COMPANY
COMPANY HQ
4 GUN PLATOONS (each 2 x 47/32 ATk Guns)
204th (ARMY) ARTILLERY REGIMENT
REGIMENT HQ
1 GRUPPO 12 x 105/28 Howitzers
2 GRUPPOs 12 x 75/27 Guns
? ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTALION(12 x Motorized 75mm)
? ARTILLERY BATTALION(12 x 105/28 Howitzers)
204th MIXED ENGINEER BATTALION
BATTALION HQ
ENGINEER COMPANY
SIGNALS COMPANY

The Division arrived at Taguria, Libya in October 1939. Invaded Egypt as part of 10th Army in September 1940. Covered the retreat of remnants of 10th Army back to Libya in December 1940 and was destroyed at Sidi Barrani while doing so!

CCNN units would not return to North Africa until 1943, when the 10th Voghera M Battalion would be transferred from Albania to Tunisia, and attached to first the 136th Giovani Fascisti, and then later the 16th Pistoia Division. For more information, see the separate articles on CCNN M Units, and the 136th Giovani Fascisti Division.

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Comments

  1. Hi!
    I have a Round Copper Pendant that I think was from the Black Shirts. It is about 1″ Diameter with a Chain Hole at the Top. On one Side it has a Palm Tree, a Knife “X” on the handel on Top of (3)-Spears, and the Words “270 LEGIONC CCNN LIBICA INVINCIBILC”. On the other Side, it has a Map with (3) Places called “TRAPANI”, “AGRIGENTO” & “CNNA”. Around the Perimeter it has “VAMPA”FRECCE” & “LPVI”. The Map has (2) Arrows to the Right Side and (2) what looks like to me, “Long Dog Heads with their Mouths Open”.
    I have been trying to find out what this is since I have had it. It was in with some things that my Father had and was past down to me when he Past. My Dad was in WWII so, if that helps please let me know!
    Thanks!

  2. In the text about the “M” battalions it reads; “For further reading on the M units see the separate article on this website.”

    But I can’t find this article anywhere?

    Thanks in advance,
    Glenning

    • Glenning – This was John Moher’s article and it probably pertained to his website. I no longer have his email address to assist you. The text has now been deleted.

  3. Dan Montagano says:

    I would like to note that there is an omission in the list of CCNN units that served in Yugoslavia. The 81st CCNN battalion was active there and took part in battles fought against the Udarne Brigade at Dolnij Poloj during October of 1942. Incidentally, this was also the setting for the last Cavalry charge ever mounted by the Italian Army. And finally, the 81st battalion was designated a “M” battalion shortly before being sent to Yugoslavia.

    • I have discussed this RedShirt issue here before.The wife says that this is the name that the M Battalion soldiers identified themselves as.They were proud of it.