The Cappello Alpino is the most distinctive feature of the Italian Armys Alpini troops uniform. The Alpini are light Infantry troops, specializing in mountain combat, initially the Cappello was only issued to the Alpini, but soon the Cappello was adopted by the Alpini Corps support units like Artillery, engineers. Today the Cappello is issued to members of 15 Army regiments,3 battalions, thanks to the black raven feather, which is carried on each Alpini soldiers Cappello, the Alpinis are known as Le Penne Nere in Italy. A nickname the Alpini quickly adopted for themselves, on June 7,1883, the Fiamme Verdi collar patches were introduced thus making the Alpini officially a specialty within the Italian infantry corps. At the same time the issuing of the Cappello Alpino began, the Cappello Alpino is made of grey felt a quarter of an inch thick. In the front the rim is flattened to protect the face from rain, on the left and right side four small metal encrusted holes allow for an exchange of air.
Around the lower half of the top section a green-grey leather band. Inside the Cappello has a black leather band where Cappello. When in combat the feather will be placed on the side of the helmet. Officers above the rank of captain originally wore a white eagle feather, non-commissioned officers and officers up to the rank of captain continue to carry a black eagle feather. The feather is approximately 10-12 inches long and is carried with a slight backward, the fregio is a coat of arms indicating the wearers regiment. It is black for soldiers, golden for officers, both variants are sewn to the front of the Cappello, soldiers serving on a permanent basis are issued the golden variant of the fregio too. The nappina is a piece of wood, on which a tuft of colored wool threads is sewn. The piece of wood contains a hole, in which the feather is sheathed. Also a thin bended wire juts out from the wood to allow the nappina to be latched onto the side of the Cappello Alpino. Soldiers of the Mountain Artillery units were issued a green tuft with a patch in the middle onto which the number of their battery was written in yellow.
Officers below the rank of general and non-commissioned officers wear a golden colored metal wrap, further nappinas were issued in various colors and forms. For an overview of the nappinas of all Alpini battalions see the article about the Alpini
4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment
The 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is a Ranger type infantry regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain combat. The Alpini are an infantry corps of the Italian Army. Today the 4th Alpini Regiment is a special operations unit specialized in the assault role. The 4th Alpini Regiment is the most decorated regiment of the Italian Army, the 4th Alpini Regiment was formed on November 1,1882. It consisted of the three battalions, Val Pellice, Val Chisone and Val Brenta, named after the valleys from which the soldiers were recruited. In 1886 the battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main depot, Aosta. In 1888 the Pinerolo was subordinated to the 3rd Alpini Regiment, in 1908 the Susa returned to the 3rd Alpini and in the city of Intra the Pallanza battalion was raised as substitute, with existing companies from other Alpini battalions. In 1909 the Pallanza was renamed Intra battalion, during the war a total of 31,000 men served in the 4th Alpini. 189 Officers and 4,704 soldiers died during combat and 455 Officers and 10,923 soldiers were wounded, on September 10,1935 the 1st Alpine Division Taurinense was formed and composed of the 3rd Alpini and 4th Alpini Regiments and the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment.
The division participated in 1936 in the Italian conquest of Abyssinia, in 1940 the regiment as part of the Taurinense division fought in the Italian attack on Greece. Most of its soldiers joined the Italian Partisan Brigade Garibaldi, which operated in central Yugoslavia, the reformed 4th Alpini Regiment participated in the liberation of Italy as part of the Partisan Piemonte Mountain Corps. After World War II the 4th Alpini Regiment was reformed in 1952 with the battalions Aosta, Saluzzo, in 1953 a fourth battalion was raised, the Mondovi. The 4th Alpini was the basis for the newly founded Alpine Brigade Taurinense, four years it was again subordinated to 4th Alpini Regiment. The Aosta received the colours of the dissolved 4th Alpini Regiment and carried on its tradition. The existing Alpini Parachutist Monte Cervino battalion was placed under the command of the reformed regiment, today the 4th regiment is one of three Special Forces regiments of the Italian Army. The Alpini Paracadutisti have recently served in Iraq and one company is deployed in Afghanistan.
At the end of 2010 the unit moved to its new base in Montorio Veronese and in 2013 joined the new Army Special Forces Command
The Alpini, are an elite mountain warfare military corps of the Italian Army. They are currently organized in two brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpine Troops Headquarters. Established in 1872, the Alpini are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world and their original mission was to protect Italys northern mountain border with France and Austria. In 1888 the Alpini deployed on their first mission abroad, in Africa, during World War II, the Alpini fought alongside the Axis forces, mainly across the Eastern Front and in the Balkans Campaigns. After the end of the Cold War, the Italian Army was reorganised in the 1990s, three out of five Alpini brigades and many support units were disbanded. Currently, the Alpini are deployed in Afghanistan, in 1872, Captain Giuseppe Perrucchetti published a study in the May edition of the Military Review. In the study, he proposed to assign the defence of mountain borders of the recently established Kingdom of Italy to soldiers recruited locally, thanks to their knowledge of the surroundings and personal attachment to the area, they would be highly capable and better motivated defenders.
Perrucchetti drew heavily on the work of Lieutenant General Agostino Ricci, five months after Perrucchettis article, the first 15 Alpini companies were formed by Royal decree no.1056. The units became active on October 15,1872, making the Alpini the oldest active Mountain Infantry in the world, at first the Alpini were organized as a militia, capable of defending Italy’s northern mountainous borders. Austrias surrender in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 resulted in Italy annexing the province of Venetia, prior to gaining the new northern borders, homeland defence was based on the so-called Quadrilatero strategy. That outdated strategy, ignored the geopolitics of the new Italian Kingdom and it called for primary defence of the Po Valley region farther to the southwest, but left the Alpine region undefended. Recruiting Italys mountain valleys locals and organising them into a corps was indeed an innovative idea. They possessed superior knowledge of mountain territory and greatest adaptability to Alpine conditions, at the beginning, the mountain regions were divided into seven military districts, each commanded by an Officer and home to at least two Alpini companies, each consisting of 120 personnel.
Soldiers were equipped with the Vetterli 1870 rifle, in 1873 nine more companies were added, thus totalling 24. In 1875, the companies doubled in size, having 250 soldiers and 5 officers, on November 1,1882, the Alpini organisation doubled in size to 72 companies and a total of 20 Alpini battalions. The latter plus 8 Alpini mountain artillery batteries were now organized into six numbered Alpini regiments, Special Bn. and Fourth Bn. were issued blue tufts. Soldiers of the Mountain Artillery units were issued a green tuft with a patch in the middle onto which the number of the battery was written in golden numbers. On June 7,1883, the green flames collar patch was introduced, the Cappello Alpino, with its black raven feather, was introduced at that time
16th Alpini Regiment
The 16th Alpini Regiment was a short lived light infantry training regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain warfare. The Alpini are an infantry corps of the Italian Army. The regiment was based in the city of Belluno and consisted of the single Belluno battalion, the main task of the regiment was the training of the recruits for the Alpini regiments based in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions of northern Italy. First subordinated to the Alpine Brigade Cadore it passed to the Alpine Brigade Julia after Cadore was dissolved in 1997, soon afterwards Julia ceded the regiment to the Alpini Corps Command. With the suspension of military service in Italy the regiment was dissolved on November 30th,2004. During its short existence the regiment trained approximately 85,000 soldiers, regimental Command Command and Logistic Support Company Alpini Battalion Belluno 77th Alpini Company 78th Alpini Company 79th Alpini Company 116th Mortar Company 16th Alpini Regiment on vecio. it
18th Alpini Regiment
The 18th Alpini Regiment was a short lived light Infantry training regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. It was based in the city of Meran and consisted of the single Edolo battalion, first subordinated to the Alpine Brigade Tridentina it was ceded on March 1st,1998 to the Alpine Corps Command. The Alpini are an infantry corps of the Italian Army. The main task of the regiment was the training of the recruits for the Alpini regiments based in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region of northern Italy, with the suspension of compulsory military service in Italy the regiment was dissolved on September 30th,2004. it - page is in Italian
Alpine Brigade Julia
The Alpini Brigade Julia is a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. Its core units are the Alpini, the infantry corps of the Italian Army. The brigade’s name Julia alludes to the Julian Alps were the brigade is based, the Brigade carries on the name and traditions of the 3rd Alpine Division Julia. The Brigade supplies the headquarters and most units to the Multinational Land Force, component parts from the other two countries are the Slovenian 10th Motorized Battalion and the Hungarian 1st Light Infantry Battalion. The Julia was constituted on 15 October 1949 in the city of Udine, for the next 30 years the Julia remained the largest brigade of the Italian Army. In 1975 the regimental level was abolished by the Italian Army, the remaining units came under direct control of the Julia Brigade. Each Alpini battalion had 5 companies and a strength of around 1,000 men, with the exception of the Val Tagliamento Alpini Battalion. The Val Tagliamento fielded no less than 16 full strength companies for a strength of almost 2,500 men.
The only brigade which would have seen combat in such a case would have been the Julia, the other Alpini brigades would remain static. The Cadore would have defended the Piave valley and the Tridentina the Puster valley, while the Orobica had a special mission and the Taurinense would remain in reserve. The Julia Brigade however was expect to the first Italian unit to encounter enemy forces as it was based closest to the line of advance of Warsaw Pact forces. Both battalions were to be supported by the Belluno Mountain Artillery Group in Pontebba, the Gemona was tasked with blocking the Canal Valley right at the border, while the Cividale was tasked with defending the Naßfeld Pass and thus securing the left flank of the Gemona battalion. The biggest battalion of the Italian Army the Val Tagliamento Alpini Battalion was based in Tolmezzo shortly before the Southern end of the Canal Valley, the Val Tagliamento was supported by the Conegliano Mountain Artillery Group and Udine Artillery Group based in Udine and Tolmezzo.
An attack through the Canal valley was considered to be the most likely scenario, W33 Nuclear shells for the 27th group were stored in Reana del Rojale at the Italian Army ammunition depot San Bernardo. The 27th group was ordered to turn the Canal valley into a fiery hell if the Julia would have been overrun, the group fielded two firing batteries with 4 artillery systems per battery and had 140 nuclear artillery shells to fulfil its task. In the 1980s the W33 nuclear artillery shells were replaced with fewer, to aid in the defence of the narrow mountain valleys the 4th Army Corps re-activated some fortifications of the World War II era Alpine Wall. In the area of operation of the Julia the task of maintaining and manning the fortifications fell to the Val Tagliamento Alpini Battalion, on 26 September 1992 the Val Tagliamento Battalion was dissolved. In August 1992 the battalions took the names of historical Alpini regiments to carry on the regimental traditions, each regiment consisted of one of the brigades Alpini battalions and an additional support company
The Italian Army is the land defence force of the Italian Armed Forces of the Italian Republic. The armys history dates back to the unification of Italy in the 1850s and 1860s, during the Cold War the army prepared itself to defend against a Warsaw Pact invasion from the east. Since the end of the Cold War the army has seen extensive peacekeeping service and combat in Afghanistan, the headquarters of the Army General Staff are located in Rome, at the back of the Presidential Palace. The army is a force of active-duty personnel, numbering 99,042 personnel in 2016. The Italian Army originated as the Royal Army which dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy following the seizure of the Papal States and the unification of Italy. In 1861, under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy was invited to take the throne of the independent kingdom. Italian expeditions were dispatched to China during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, the Italian Royal Armys first real taste of modern warfare was during World War I.
Most of the actions were fought in northern Italy and the Royal Army suffered many casualties, Italian discipline was harsher, with punishments for infractions of duty of a severity not known in the German and British armies. On paper, the Royal Army was one of the largest ground forces in World War II, though in reality it could not field the numbers claimed, due to their generally smaller size, many Italian divisions were reinforced by an Assault Group of two battalions of Blackshirts. Reports of Italian military prowess in the Second World War were, almost always and this perception was the result of disastrous Italian offensives against Egypt and the performance of the army in the Greco-Italian War. Both campaigns were ill-prepared and executed inadequately, Italian medium M11, M13, M14 and M15 tanks were at a marked disadvantage against the comparatively heavily armed American Sherman tanks, for example. There were too few weapons, obsolete anti-tank guns. When the Soviet offensive Operation Saturn began on December 12,1942 the Italian 8th Army was quickly crushed, in North Africa, the Italian 132 Armored Division Ariete and the 185 Airborne Division Folgore fought to total annihilation at the Second Battle of El Alamein.
Although the battle was lost, the resistance of the Italian soldiers at the Battle of Keren in East Africa is still commemorated today by the Italian military. After the Axis defeat in Tunisia the morale of the Italian troops dropped, the sagging morale led to the overthrow of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini by King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy 15 days later. The Italian Co-Belligerent Army was the army of the Italian royalist forces fighting on the side of the Allies in southern Italy after the Allied armistice with Italy in September 1943. The Italian soldiers fighting in this no longer fought for Benito Mussolini as their allegiance was to King Victor Emmanuel and to Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio. The kingdom was replaced by a Republic in 1946 and the Royal Army changed its name to become the Italian Army, initially five infantry divisions were active, including the newly renamed Infantry Division Friuli
2nd Alpini Regiment
The 2nd Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain combat. The Alpini are an infantry corps of the Italian Army. The regiment itself was reformed in 1963 as a unit, however. In 1992 the regiment was raised again and today it consists of only the Saluzzo Battalion. The 2nd Alpini Regiment was formed on 1 November 1882 and it consisted of the three battalions, Col Tenda, Val Schio and Val Pesio, named after the valleys and localities from which their soldiers were recruited. In 1886 the Battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main depot, Borgo San Dalmazzo, Vinadio. The Saluzzo battalion saw the regiments first action in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911, during World War I the regiment consisted of 10 battalions and saw heavy fighting in the Alps against Austria’s Kaiserjäger and Germany’s Alpenkorps. As part of the 5 Alpine Division Pusteria the Saluzzo battalion fought in 1936 in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, at the time the regiment consisted of 160 officers and 5,046 NCOs and soldiers for a total strength of 5,206 men.
The regiment had 23 horses,1,242 mules and 109 transport vehicles at its disposal, the division was sent to Albania, where it participated in the Italian attack on Greece. Taking up positions along the Don River the Italian units covered part of the flank of the German Sixth Army. After successfully encircling the German Sixth army in Stalingrad the Red Army’s attention turned to the Italian units along the river Don, on 14 January 1943, the Soviet offensive Operation Little Saturn began and the three Alpini division found themselves quickly encircled by the rapidly advancing armoured Soviet Forces. The Alpinis held the front on the Don, but within three days the Soviets advanced 200 km to the left and right of the Alpini, on the evening of 17 January the commanding officer of the Italian Mountain corps General Gabriele Nasci finally ordered a full retreat. At this point the Julia and Cuneense divisions were already heavily decimated, as the Soviets had already occupied every village bitter battles had to be fought to clear the way.
On the morning of 28 January the last men of the 2nd Alpini Regiment had walked 200 km, fought in 20 battles, temperatures during the nights were between -30°C and -40°C. During the 28th the last remnants of the regiment were annihilated by Cossack forces, the survivors were repatriated and after the signing of the Italian armistice with the Allies on 8 September 1943 the regiment dissolved. After World War II the Saluzzo battalion was reformed on 23 November 1945 as part of the 4th Alpini regiment and it carried on the traditions and regimental colours of the 2nd Alpini. On 31 October 1974 the regiment was disbanded in the 1974 restructuring of the Italian Army, after the disbandment of the regimental level in the Italian Army, the Saluzzo battalion came under direct control of the Taurinense brigade. On 28 August 1992, the 2nd Alpini Regiment was recreated again, today the 2nd Regiment consists of the “Saluzzo” battalion, the regimental command and a logistic support company
Alpine Brigade Tridentina
The Alpini Brigade Tridentina was a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain warfare. Its core units were the Alpini, the infantry corps of the Italian Army. The Tridentina Alpine Brigade carried on the colours and traditions of the WWII era 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina, the brigade was based in the eastern half of the Italian province of South Tyrol. The headquarters was in the city of Brixen, the Tridentina was constituted on 1 May 1951 in the city of Brixen. The brigade was based in the region and drew the majority of its recruits from it, the brigade was tasked with defending the Puster Valley, ensuring that invading Warsaw Pact troops would be unable to cut the vital supply line over the Brenner Pass. To aid in the defense of the part of the pre-WWII fortifications of the Alpine Wall were reactivated and upgraded. In 1953 the 21st Frontier Defense Regiment was attached to the brigade, the companies of the Val dAdige Alpini Battalion were transferred to the Val Cismon Alpini Battalion of the Alpine Brigade Cadore.
In 1975 the Italian Army abolished the regimental level and battalions came under command of the Armys brigades. In the same year the Verona Mountain Artillery group was dissolved, the only brigade which would have seen combat in such a case would have been the Julia. The other Alpini brigades would remain static, the Julia would have defended the Val Canale, the Cadore, and the Piave valley, while the Orobica had a special mission, and the Taurinense would remain in reserve. The Tridetina was tasked with defending the Puster valley at all costs, the Tridetina was the second strongest Alpini brigade. Furthermore, in the village of Elvas near Brixen the 1st Heavy Artillery Group Adige was based, the Adige group was armed with M115 howitzers and during peacetime part of the 3rd Missile Brigade Aquileia. The Adige group had two firing batteries with 4 artillery systems per battery and 140 nuclear artillery shells to fulfil its task, the Rovigo itself lost its nuclear capability in 1986 and in the same year the US Army left Site Rigel.
To aid in the defence of the mountain valleys the 4th Army Corps re-activated some fortifications of the World War II era Alpine Wall. On 23 August 1986 the Val Brenta, with the exception of the 262nd Alpini Company, was disbanded, the 262nd Alpini Company was disbanded in 1991. In 1991 the reserve battalions Val Brenta and Bolzano and the Asiago Mountain Artillery Group were dissolved, the Mountain Artillery Group Vicenza passed to the direct command of the 4th Alpine Army Corps. With the suppression of the Alpine Brigade Orobica in 1991, that Brigades remaining units passed to the Tridentina, in August 1992 the Anti-tank Company and the 262nd Alpini Company were dissolved and the battalions took the names of historical Alpini regiments to carry on the regimental traditions. Each regiment consisted of one of the brigades Alpini battalions and a support company
3rd Alpini Regiment
The 3rd Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain combat. The Alpini are an infantry corps of the Italian Army. The 3rd Alpini Regiment was formed on November 1,1882 and it consisted of the three battalions, Val Stura, Val Maira and Monti Lessini, named after the valleys and localities from which their soldiers were recruited. In 1886 the battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main depot, Fenestrelle. In 1908 the composition of the regiment changed, the Pinerolo battalion was moved from the 4th Alpini Regiment, the 3rd regiment saw its first action in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911, fighting Ottoman forces in the Libyan desert. During World War I, the regiment consisted of 13 battalions and saw fighting in the Alps against Austria’s Kaiserjäger. The division participated in 1936 in the Italian conquest of Abyssinia, in 1940 the regiment, as part of the Taurinense division, fought in the Italian attack on Greece.
Most of its soldiers joined the Italian Partisan Brigade Garibaldi, which operated in central Yugoslavia, on June 25,1944 the 3rd Alpini regiment was recreated in Southern Italy with the battalions Piemonte and Monte Granero. Along with the 4th Bersaglieri Regiment it formed the 1st Italian Brigade of the Italian Liberation Corps, after the Bersaglieri regiment had suffered heavy casualties the two regiments were merged on 30 September 1944 to form the Special Infantry Regiment, which entered the Legnano Combat Group. The Combat Group was equipped with British weapons and materiel and fought as part of the Polish II Corps on the left of the British 8th Army near the river Idice. After World War II, only the Susa battalion was reformed on November 23,1945 as part of the 4th Alpini regiment and it carried on the traditions, on November 23,1993 the 3rd Alpini Regiment was recreated and the Susa became its single battalion. Today the 3rd Regiment consists of the battalion, the regimental command.
The regiment is based in Pinerolo, in the Province of Turin, the 3rd regiment was based in Kabul as part of Italys contributions to ISAF until August 2007, when it was replaced by the 7th Alpini Regiment. The mortar company is equipped with 120mm mortars, while the anti-tank company fields Spike anti-tank guided missile systems, Italian Army Alpine Brigade Taurinense Official website
8th Alpini Regiment
The 8th Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpini are an infantry corps of the Italian Army. During World War I the regiment consisted of 10 battalions and saw fighting in the Alps against Austria’s Kaiserjäger. The mortar company is equipped with 120mm mortars, while the anti-tank company fields Spike anti-tank guided missile systems