5th Alpine Division Pusteria

5a Divisione Alpina Pusteria
5a Divisione Alpina Val Pusteria.png
Coat of Arms of the 5th Alpine Division Pusteria
Active31 December 1935 – 8 September 1943
BranchRegio Esercito
RoleMountain Infantry
Size17,460 men
Part ofItalian Alpine Corps
EngagementsSecond Italo-Abyssinian War
World War II
Battle of France
Greco-Italian War
Giovanni Esposito

The 5th Alpini Division Pusteria was a light Infantry division of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II. The division was formed in 1935.

Order of battle[edit]


The 5 Alpini Division Pusteria was dispatched in 1935 to Eritrea where it participated in the Italian attack on Abyssinia. The division played a primary role in the Battle of Amba Aradam and the Battle of Maychew.

On June 21, 1940 (one day before the French surrender) the “Pusteria” division began to advance in southern France with other Italian units during the last days of the Battle of France.

The division was then sent to Albania, where it participated in the Italian attack on Greece.

After the invasion of Yugoslavia the “Pusteria” was sent to Montenegro where the division was decimated greatly in heavy fighting against Yugoslavian Partisans. On 1 December 1941 this division was victorious against Partisans in the Battle of Pljevlja.

In August 1942, the division was repatriated and after two months of rest participated in Case Anton, the Axis occupation of Vichy France. Afterwards the Pusteria took up garrison duties in the southern region of Provence.

After the signing of the Italian armistice with the Allies on September 8, 1943, part of the division surrendered to German forces in Southern France while other units managed to return to the Italian region of Piedmont where they disbanded.

The names of two Italian men attached to the Pusteria Division can be found in the CROWCASS List established by the Anglo-American Allies of the individuals wanted by Yugoslavia for war crimes. [1]


  1. ^ CIPRIANI Nanni - 190931 - Col. Italian Army, O.C. of Bn. Bolzano, Pusteria-Div., 11.41, Cetinji-Savrick, Podgorica (Yugo.) 7., 11.41 - Murder - Yugo. and ESPOSITO Giovanni - 190952 - General, Italian Army, Div. "Pusteria", Montenegro, Savnik (Yugo.) 1941 - Murder - Yugo. In: The Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects, Consolidated Wanted Lists (1947), Naval & University Press, Uckfield 2005; Part 2 - Non-Germans only, p. 60 and 62 (facsimile of the original document at the National Archives in Kew/London).