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Appendix 4: Estimated Order of Battle of Italian Northern Army on 10 April 1941

(Showing units liquidated and those still to be dealt with.)1

Unit Prisoners Checked Location Remarks
Italian Troops
Savoy Grenadier Div (less MG Bn) 3,005 Liquidated Twenty officers taken at Massawa.
44 CCNN 534 Liquidated Eighteen officers taken at Massawa.
136 CCNN 854 Liquidated Twelve officers taken at Massawa.
150 CCNN 623 Liquidated
170 CCNN 302 Liquidated Seven officers taken at Massawa.
11 Legion CCNN 814 Liquidated Nine officers taken at Massawa.
5 Legion 114
Marines and miscellaneous coastal troops 3,584 Liquidated Taken at Massawa.
Colonial Troops
1 Col Div Liquidated Commander and staff taken at Massawa.
2 Col Bde (4,5,10, 151 Bns) 1,050 Liquidated Went to Ghinda where Eritreans deserted. Forty-seven officers taken at Massawa.
5 Col Bde (97,106 Tipo Bns) 281 97 Bn at Amba Alagi, rest liquidated Possibly split. Eight officers of HQ, taken at Massawa. Many prisoners taken by 4 Div. Very heavy casualties at Keren.

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Unit Prisoners checked Location Remarks
6 Col Bde (19,24,31,34 Bns) 927 Liquidated at or on way to Massawa Thirty-four officers from HQ, and all units taken at Massawa.
7 Col Bde (13,15, 21,45 Bns) 1 Unknown Presumably on southern front.
8 Col Bde (102, 108, 110 Bns) 55 HQBn Amba Alagi. 108 Bn was believed to have deserted mostly.
11 Col Bde (51,52,56,63 Bns) 1,499 Liquidated Officers from 52, and 55 Bns were found at Asmara. The remainder were found at Decamere where troops were disarmed and sent home by their own officers.
12 Col Bde (36,43,103 Bns) 133 Gondar road. Had probably been split. Prisoners from HQ and 103 Bn had been taken at Adi Ugri, while twenty-eight officers were taken at Massawa. Many prisoners had been taken by 4 Div. The balance was about one to two battalions.
16 Col Bde (22, 23,47, 53 Bns) 327 Gondar road Had suffered heavily at Barentu. All except 53 Bn were also reported at Nefasit, but none were identified at Massawa.
21 Col Bde (78, 79, 80 Bns) 227 Amba Alagi 80 Bn lost eight officers at Ad Teclesan. 79 Bn had not been identified, it had last been reported at Debra Tabor. 78 Bn was all captured at Adigrat.

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Unit Prisoners Checked Location Remarks
41 Col Bde (98, 99, 131, 132 Bns) 90 Liquidated Men were disarmed and sent home by their own commanders at Decamere.
42 Col Bde (35, 101, 111 Bns) 201 Liquidated 35 Bn was identified at Nefasit, and officers of 101 and 111 Bns were taken at Massawa.
43 Col Bde (44, 104, 113 Bns) 81 Gondar road Probably had many desertions in withdrawal from Om Hagar.
44 Col Bde (105, 107, 112 Bns) 225 Probably Liquidated Sixteen officers taken at Massawa.
61 Col Bde (50, 57, 85, 141 Bns) 2,228 Liquidated This brigade was split. HQ, was taken in Massawa. 141 Bn was captured complete in Adigrat.
Rizzio’s Command (26, 31 Bis, 41) 20 Amba Alagi No 4 Coy 31 Bis was captured at Quiha.
Unbrigaded (109 Bn) 10 Amba Alagi Two companies reported dispersed.


In all, a total of eighty-five Italian guns had been captured since the beginning of the advance from Keren. The number of artillery prisoners captured by the 5th Indian Division was one thousand one hundred and seventy-eight.


The number of prisoners from miscellaneous services was about three thousand.

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97 Col Bn, 109 Col Bn, 110 Col Bde, Rizzio’s Command All or part of 7 Col Bde, 79 Col Bde



102 Col Bde, 43 Col Bde All or part of 7 Col Bde, 12 Col Bde, 16 Col Bde


The number of prisoners is not complete, as many missed the forward check where units were noted, owing to rapid advance. Also the figures do not include those captured by the 4th Indian Division. A very large number must also be added for deserters who went straight home, and for casualties in killed and wounded.