For ‘Barbarossa’ Mussolini sent to Army Group ‘South’ sector, the Corpo Spedizionario Italiano in Russia (Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia) of 60.000 men, formed by divisions ‘Pasubio’, ‘Torino’ —type 1938 divisions of 2 infantry and 1 artillery regiments— and 3rd Mobil ‘Principe Amedeo Duca d’Aosta’ —2 cavalry, 1 cycling Bersaglieri and 1 artillery regiments plus support units and an armoured group. Later on the 63rd Assault Legion ‘Tagliamento’ —formed by Black Shirts— joined the CSIR.
On July 1941 the Italian soldiers’ morale was high and the CSIR seemed quite impressive, according to their German counterparts, but their command, motorisation and armoured forces were completely inadequate and they also had a tremedous lack of artillery and AT guns.
In March 1942 Mussolini sent the II Army Corps made of divisions ‘Sforzesca’, ‘Ravenna’ and ‘Cosseria’ and the élite Alpine Corps composed of infantry division ‘Vicenza’ and Alpine divisions ‘Tridentina’, ‘Julia’ and ‘Cuneense’ plus more Black Shirt units gathered in the groups ‘· Gennaio’ and ‘23 Marzo’. The CSIR became the the XXXV Army Corps. This force of 227.000 men was comprised in the VIII Italian Army under field marshal Italo Gariboldi.
On August 1942 the VIII Italian Army took deffensive positions along the Don river, backed by some liaison German units. On November 11th, ‘Operation Little Saturn’ desintegrated almost immediately the II and XXXV Army Corps, leaving the Alpine Corps isolated. After more than 110.000 casualties, the remaining Italian forces re-grouped in the Ukraine and were sent home. “I don’t want to see not even another one soldier of our Allies in the eastern front”, Hitler declared after the débâcles of 1942-1943.
here are these 10 divisions and their commanders:
3rd Cavalry: Amedeo Duca D’Aosta
2nd Infantry (semi-mot): Sforzesca
3rd Infantry: Ravenna
5th Infantry: Cosseria
9th Infantry: Pasubio
52nd Infantry (semi-mot): Torino
156th Infantry: Vicenza
2nd Alpine: Tridentia
3rd Alpine: Julia
4th Alpine: Cuneese