The Paracadutisti are the paratroops of Italy.


The first units of Italian parachutists were trained and formed shortly before the Second World War in 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 army troops and the 1st Carabinieri Parachute Battalion (there were three Carabinieri Parachute Battalions). "1 Battalion Royal Carabinieri paratroopers", formed on July 1 1940, used in Second World War on the North African front (1941). The Italian Air Force also had parachute units.

Later in Italy , the staff at Castelbenito was expanded into the School at Tarquinia and became the first elements of the future Division Folgore.

The Divisions

A second School was opened in Viterbo and 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 Cassibile interrupted the organization. After the war, " the Nembo " was absorbed by " the Folgore ".


In 1941 a 5,000 man Parachute division was raised and was designated the 185th Parachute Division Folgore, it was trained for the assault on Malta in Operation Hercules. During course of the war in Africa it was engaged in ground combat operations in North Africa from the July 1942 until 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 Alamein resisting the attack of six British divisions (two armored and four infantry) thus provoking the respect and the admiration of the English enemies. 11 November of the 1942 in 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From El Alamein the Folgore was withdrawn without being defeated on 3 November 1942, without water and transporting to arms own pieces tank destroyer.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 1943 like the second Division Parachutists with the employment of new units and 185° the Regiment of " the Folgore ". " The Nembo " was sent on the evening of 8 September 1943 to Sardinia where 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 liberation it 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 Friuli and 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 1960 with instructors coming from the Nembo, formed into the Mechanized Division Folgore in Treviso.

In 1993 it was expanded to Regiment, and from 1991 it 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 events and was disbanded in accordance with the 1943 Armistice.

La Spezia

80th La Spezia Infantry Division - trained and equipped similar to the German Airlanding divisions, again for the Malta Invasion.

RSI Paracadusti

A number of parachute units were raised by the RSI and 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 'Arditi' Group.
* 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 Livorno and stationed in Livorno, Pistoia, Siena, Pisa and 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).


** )
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** 8° Parachutist Engineer Regiment in Legnago (Veneto)

23 October celebrates the anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein (1942).

Patron saint: Michael the Archangel (29 september).


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 winged of mostrine/fregi (integrated from a parachute for the Brigade Parachutists) and the yellow lightning bolt in 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

*The 4th Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpini are 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 Forces unit 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.

ee also

*Folgore Parachute Brigade
*Paratrooper forces around the world

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