Italian guns



After a long debate, in August 1916 Italy sent an expeditionary corps in Macedonia (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Oriente  - CSIO), under the command of Lt.Gen. Carlo Petitti di Roreto. It was composed by only the 35th Infantry Division. Unlike other Italian Infantry Divisions it had not two Brigades - four regiments, but three with six regiments – exactly like a Bulgarian Infantry Divisions. In particular 35th Infantry Division was composed by :

-     “Sicilia” Brigade with 61st and 62nd Infantry Regiments,

-     Cagliari” Brigade with 63rd and 64th Infantry Regiments,

-     “Ivrea” Brigade with 161st and 162nd Infantry Regiments.

After the armistice another brigade was added : “Spezia” Brigade with 125th and 126th Infantry Regiments, built on 15th October 1918 with the “fourth battalions” of above regiments.

It hold first Krusa Balkan sector (August - December 1916), then the Cerna Loop Sector (January 1916 - October 1918).

According with Italian Official History of the World War I (L’esercito Italiano nella grande guerra 1915-1918, VIII/3) no gun of 35th Infantry Division was captured by the Bulgarian Army.

During the war, the Italian Army sent an expeditionary corps also in Albania, but it was employed against the Austro-Hungarian troops deployed there and did not fought against the Bulgarian Army.



            Strength of Italian Artillery in Macedonia during the war


During the whole war 35th Infantry Division had only eight mountain batteries, each with four 65mm M. 1913 quick-firing mountain guns (cannone da 65 A montagna) :

-      9th mountain artillery group with 22nd and 57th batteries;

-      16th mountain artillery group with 69th and 70th batteries;

-      18th mountain artillery group with 75th and 76th batteries;

-      20th mountain artillery group with 37th and 59th batteries;



            Field and heavy artillery was provided by French Army.


In Krusa Balkan Sector 35th Infantry Division was supported by :

-      24 Puteaux 75mm Mle. 1897 quick-firing field guns (2nd group/7th Field artillery Regiment and 2nd group/8th Field artillery Regiment);

-      4 Schneider 105mm Mle. 1913 L quick-firing heavy guns (4th battery);

-      4 De Bange 155mm Mle. 1881/1912 C howitzers (75th battery).


On August 1918 in Cerna loop Sector it was supported by:

-      36 Puteaux 75mm Mle. 1897 quick-firing field;

-      4 Schneider 105mm Mle. 1913 L quick-firing heavy guns;

-      28 De Bange 120mm Mle. 1878 L heavy guns;

-      12 De Bange 155mm Mle. 1881/1912 C howitzers.


Just before the beginning of Allied offensive, 35th Infantry Division sent all its heavy artillery (except 12 De Bange 155mm Mle. 1881/1912 C howitzers) to the Serbian Army.




ten. gen. Carlo Petitti

di Roreto

magg. gen. Ernesto Mombelli