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32nd Infantry Division Marche
Active 1939–1943
Country Italy Regno d'Italia
Kingdom of Italy
Branch Flag of Italy (1860).svgRegio Esercito
Royal Italian Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Nickname(s) Marche
Engagements World War II
Battle of the Neretva
Battle of the Sutjeska
General Riccardo Pentimalli
File:32 div collar insignia.jpg
Marche Division collar insignia

The 32nd Infantry Division Marche was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. The Marche Division took part in operations in Albania in March 1941. It then as part of the Italian XVII (Armoured) Corps took part in the Invasion of Yugoslavia and captured the towns of Dubrovnik and Metkovick. It remained in Yugoslavia as an occupying force until the Italian surrender to the Allies in September 1943.


Operation Weiss

The Division took part in the Battle of the Neretva (Operation Weiss) between 20 January and 17 February 1943, the objective was to retake the area occupied by the partisans centered on Bihać and engage and destroy as many of their units as possible. It is also known as the Fourth Enemy Offensive in Yugoslavia. It was the largest such offensive or operation carried out in Yugoslavia during the war in terms of troops employed and territory covered. The operation was a success with almost 12,00 partisans killed and 3,000 captured.[1]

Operation Schwarz

The Division took part in the Battle of the Sutjeska (Operation Schwarz) between May and June 1943, which aimed to destroy the main Yugoslav Partisan force, near the Sutjeska river in south-eastern Bosnia. Over 6,000 partisans were killed but the offensive was a failure. The failure of the offensive marked a turning point for Yugoslavia during World War II.[2]


General Riccardo Pentimalli

Order of battle

  • 55. Marche Infantry Regiment
  • 56. Marche Infantry Regiment
  • 32. Artillery Regiment
  • 49. CCNN Legion (Blackshirts)
  • 32. Mortar Battalion
  • 32. Anti-Tank Company
  • 32. Signal Company
  • 39. Pioneer Company
  • 39. Medical Section
  • 4. Supply Section
  • 32. Bakery Section
  • 35. Carabinieri Section
  • 36. Carabinieri Section [nb 1][4]



  1. An Italian Infantry Division normally consisted of two Infantry Regiments (three Battalions each), a Artillery Regiment, a Mortar Battalion (two companies), a Anti Tank Company, a Blackshirt Legion of two Battalions was sometimes attached. Each Division had only about 7,000 men, The Infantry and Artillery Regiments contained 1,650 men, the Blackshirt Legion 1,200, each company 150 men.[3]


  1. omasevich, Jozo - The Chetniks (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1975), pp.236ff; Brajović-Djuro, Petar V. - Yugoslavia in the Second World War (Belgrade: Borba, 1977), pp.109-14;
  2. "Axis order of battle Operation Schwarz". Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  3. Paoletti, p 170
  4. "1940 Infantry Division". World War II Armed Forces – Orders of Battle and Organizations. Archived from the original on 4 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  • Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98505-9. 

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