World War 2
Italy in WW2

How many soldiers did Italy have in World War 2?

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July 27, 2007 2:56AM

In June 1940, Italy's mobilised strength was 1,630,000.

This would later rise to a peak of 2,363,000.

Mussolini once boasted of 8 million Italian bayonets but that was

not credible or achieveable. At the outbreak of the war the Italian

army had a strength of 73 divisions made up of 106 infantry

regiments, 12 light infantry regiments, 10 mountain regiments and

12 cavalry regiments, 5 armored regiments, 32 artillery regiments

and 19 engineer regiments. The average Italian infantry division

was little smaller than the American infantry division. And out of

the 73 infantry divisions, only 20 were fully manned and equipped.

The problem with the Italian army was its equipment. It had 7,970

artillery pieces but only 246 had been manufactured since 1930.

Many had been upgraded with pneumatic tires replacing old wooden

wheels. Their aircraft, trucks and tanks were even more out of

date. Their tanks were too small to combat a modern mechanized

army. Source: "The Italian Army; 1940-45", Part 1, by Osprey

'Men-at-Arms' series.

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