Military Wiki
1st Cavalry Division Eugenio di Savoia
Active 1940–1943
Country Italy Italy
Branch Italian Army
Type Cavalry
Size Division
Part of Italian XI Corps
Nickname(s) Eugenio di Savoia

World War II

Federico Ferrari Orsi

The 1st Cavalry Division Eugenio di Savoia was an Cavalry Division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Eugenio di Savoia was mobilized in 1940, as a cavalry division and took part in the Invasion of Yugoslavia. The Division remained in Yugoslavia in the Italian XI Corps (Ljubljana) as an occupying force on the Dalmatian coast. After the Italian surrender the Division was disbanded in September 1943.[1]

Action in Yugoslavia

While in Yugoslavia, the 14 Alessandria Regiment is credited with having conducted the last cavalry charge by the Italian Army in World War II. On 17 October 1942 the regiment was encircled by a group of Josip Broz Tito's Partisans near Poloj in Croatia. That night the cavalry launched repeated saber charges against the partisans. Despite heavy casualties, the charge succeeded and broke through to safety.[2]


The Division had undergone a level of mechanization. Each division had two cavalry regiments, a highly-mobile infantry (Bersaglieri) regiment, an artillery regiment, and a light tank group. The squadrons of the cavalry regiments were horse-mounted and, other than a motorcycle company, the Bersaglieri were issued with bicycles. The light tank group had a total of 61 tanks. The tanks were typically L3s or L6s.[3] The Division was commanded by Lieutenant-General Federico Ferrari Orsi.[4]

Order of battle

  • 12. Alessandria Cavalry Regiment
  • 14. Cavalleggeri di Saluzzo Cavalry Regiment
  • 11. Bersaglieri Regiment (mot)
  • San Giusto Armored Battalion
  • 1. Artillery Regiment (mot)
  • 18. CCRR Section
  • 172. CCRR Section
  • 101. Mixed Engineer Company
  • 71. Medical Section
  • 57. Field Hospital
  • 58. Field Hospital
  • 59. Field Hospital
  • 91. Quartermaster section
  • 211. Mixed Motor Transport Group Command
  • 34. Light Transportation Section
  • 53. Light Transportation Section
  • 852. Light Transportation Section
  • 854. Light Transportation Section
  • 1. Transport Unit
  • 5. Road Movement Unit
  • Heavy Fuel Section
  • 5. Road Recovery Unit
  • 18. Field Post Office [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wendal, Marcus. "Italian Army". Axis History. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  2. "Flames of War". Flames of War. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  3. Mollo, p.87
  4. "The Generals of WWII". Generals.DK. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 209-10-04. 

Further reading

  • Dr Jeffrey T. Fowler - Axis Cavalry in World War II
  • George F. Nafziger - Italian Order of Battle: An organizational history of the Italian Army in World War II (3 vol)

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