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Italian Libyan Colonial Division

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Title: Italian Libyan Colonial Division  
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Subject: Royal Corps of Colonial Troops, Italian Cyrenaica, Italian settlers in Libya, Italian Empire, Divisions of Italy of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War
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Italian Libyan Colonial Division

The Libyan Division was a formation of colonial troops raised by the Italians in their colony in Libya. It participated in the invasion of Italian invasion of Egypt. By December, the division was dug in at Maktila and was forced to surrender during Operation Compass.


Following the gendarmerie as auxiliaries, augmenting them with regular colonial units recruited amongst the indigenous peoples of Libya. By 1913 these comprised seven battalions of infantry, three squadrons of savari cavalry, one squadron of meharistes (camel troops), a mountain artillery battery and a section of camel artillery.[1]

By the 1930s the Libyan units had been brought together into the "Royal Corps of Libyan Troops" comprising infantry, cavalry, artillery, motorised troops and support services. A battalion of Libyan parachutists was raised shortly before World War II, the first force of this kind to be created in Africa. Libyans also served in zaptie (carabinieri), Sahariani (desert troops) and spahi (irregular cavalry) units

Order of Battle 3 October 1935

Libyan Division - Guglielmo Nasi

  • 1st Libyan Infantry Regiment
    • II Libyan Battalion
    • III Libyan Battalion
  • 2nd Libyan Infantry Regiment
    • IV Libyan Battalion
    • V Libyan Battalion
  • 3rd Libyan Infantry Regiment
    • VIII Libyan Battalion
    • IX Libyan Battalion
  • X Libyan Battalion
  • 1st Libyan Artillery Regiment

Order of Battle 10 June 1940

1 Libyan Division - General Luigi Sibelle

  • 1st Libyan Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Libyan Infantry Regiment
  • 1st Libyan Artillery Battalion
  • 2nd Libyan Artillery Battalion
  • Anti Tank Company
  • 1st Libyan Engineer Battalion


  1. ^ "Le Uniformi Coloniali Libiche 1912-42" Piero Crociani 1980
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