The Paracadutisti are the
The first units of Italian parachutists were trained and formed shortly before the
Second World Warin Castelbenito, near Tripoli, where the first Military school of Parachuting was located.
The first troops trained were two Libyan battalions, the Libyan Parachute Battalion and the 1st National Libyan Parachute Battalion, of the
Royal Colonial Corps. To these were added the first battalions of Italian armytroops and the 1st CarabinieriParachute Battalion (there were three Carabinieri Parachute Battalions). "1 BattalionRoyal Carabinieri paratroopers", formed on July 1 1940, used in Second World Waron the North African front ( 1941). The Italian Air Forcealso had parachute units.
Italy, the staff at Castelbenito was expanded into the School at Tarquinia and became the first elements of the future Division Folgore.
A second School was opened in
Viterboand a new division, the Nembo (Nimbus or Rain Cloud) was being organized. A third division, the 183 Parachute Division Ciclone ( Cyclone), was planned but the Armistice of Cassibileinterrupted the organization. After the war, " the Nembo " was absorbed by " the Folgore ".
1941a 5,000 man Parachute division was raised and was designated the 185th Parachute Division Folgore, it was trained for the assault on Maltain Operation Hercules. During course of the war in Africait was engaged in ground combat operations in North Africa from the July 1942until its destruction in 1943. after which a 185th Parachute battalion was raised from survivors.
The heroic behavior of the division " Folgore " during the
Second battle of El Alameinresisting the attack of six British divisions (two armored and four infantry) thus provoking the respect and the admiration of the English enemies. 11 Novemberof the 1942in fact, to battle by now concluded London Radio transmitted the famous official notice:
From El Alamein the Folgore was withdrawn without being defeated on
3 November 1942, without water and transporting to arms own pieces tank destroyer. The survivors were reorganized into the 185th Folgore Parachute Battalion. To 14:35 of Day 6, after having exhausted all its ammunition, the remainder of the Division surrendered, but without having to show a white flag and without having to raise their hands while surrendering to the British.
184th Division Parachutists " Nembo " was constituted in
1943like the second Division Parachutists with the employment of new units and 185° the Regimentof " the Folgore ". " The Nembo " was sent on the evening of 8 September 1943to Sardiniawhere it was decimated by malaria. Survivors formed the core of the German 4th Parachute Division.
Reraised but the 12/183rd in the
War of Italian liberationit fought in the battles of Filottrano, Grizzano Houses and in Operation Herring(these last ones in the Group of Combat " Folgore ", from it constituted after the reconfiguration of the Division due to the losses endured).
After the end of the
Second World War" the Nembo " was used, like the Regiment before and Battalion before then, as Mechanized Infantry, passing for the centers of Belluno, Vicentina Villa, Cervignano of Friuliand Gradisca d' Isonzo. In this last center it remained until 1991, when it was reconstituted as the 183th Parachutist Battalion " Nembo ", within the Folgore Parachute Brigade. The same Folgore had been reconstituted in 1960with instructors coming from the Nembo, formed into the Mechanized Division Folgore in Treviso.
In 1993 it was expanded to
Regiment, and from 1991it has participated to all the international missions that Italy has participated in.
The 183rd Ciclone Parachute Division was planned and the training center was established in early 1943 with four battalions forming, however, it was
overcome by eventsand was disbanded in accordance with the 1943 Armistice.
80th La Spezia Infantry Division - trained and equipped similar to the German Airlanding divisions, again for the Malta Invasion.
A number of parachute units were raised by the
RSIand were considered to be elite troops and fought well. The RSI Army (ENR), RSI Air Force, GNR, X Mas.
* RSI Army - raised the 350 man 'Nembo' Autonomous Parachute battalion which suffered 70 percent casualities at Anzio.
* RSI Air Force - raised a three battalion 'Folgore' Parachute Regiment which became part of the '
* GNR - 'Mazzarini' GNR Parachute battalion of 300 men. It mainly operated against
partisans in the Padovana Plains from August 1944 until 1945.
* Xa MAS - 'Nuotatori Paracadutisti' Parachute Battalion (Parachute Swimmers), which was formed by volunteers of the former
Italian Navy's San Marco Regiment's Parachute battalion. A flood of volunteers joined the battalion increasing it to over 1,400 men.
The modern Folgore Parachute Brigade
Currently " the Folgore " is a Brigade, with six battalion sized Regiments, based in
Livornoand stationed in Livorno, Pistoia, Siena, Pisaand Legnago(VR).
The Brigade is constituted around three Regiments of arm (183°, 186° and 187°), an Assault Regiment (the 9th Colonel Moschin), a Regiment Supply Unit (185°), the "Guastatori" Engineer Regiment (8th) and a Headquarters and Signals company.
Plus CAPAR of
Pisa(Center Training Parachuting, former SMIPAR - Military school of Parachuting, in its turn former CAP).
** 8° Parachutist Engineer Regiment in Legnago (Veneto)
23 Octobercelebrates the anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein( 1942).
Patron saint: Michael the Archangel (
29 september). Folgore
Denomination of two distinguished units (for along period coexisting) of the Italian army: the Brigade Parachutists " Folgore " and the Division of Infantry (then Mechanized) " Folgore ".
Common heraldic elements to both units: the
gladio wingedof mostrine/fregi (integrated from a parachutefor the Brigade Parachutists) and the yellow lightning boltin the symbol of the unit (in red field for the Division of Infantry, in blue field for the Brigade Parachutists).Currently the military school of parachuting (CAPAR) is found to Pisa.
Other Parachute units
4th Alpini Regimentis a light Infantry regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpiniare the mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII). Today the 4th Alpini Regiment is a Special Forcesunit of elite mountain infantry specialized in the airborne assault role.
Carabinieri- 1st Carabinieri Regiment "Tuscania"( Livorno) (or more properly the 1st Regiment Carabinieri "Tuscania") is a Special Forces unit of the Italian Carabinieri. It is formed from paratroopers and is part of the Carabinieri Second Mobile Brigade along with the 7th Carabinieri Regiment based on Laives ( BZ), the 13th Carabinieri Regiment based in Gorizia, and the Special Intervention Group, which is also a parachute trained unit. The Tuscania is currently based in Livorno, and has approximately 550 personnel.
Folgore Parachute Brigade
Paratrooper forces around the world
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