Alpini
Overview
 
The Alpini, are the elite mountain warfare
Mountain warfare
Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the mountains or similarly rough terrain. This type of warfare is also called Alpine warfare, named after the Alps mountains...

 soldiers of the Italian Army
Italian Army
The Italian Army is the ground defence force of the Italian Armed Forces. It is all-volunteer force of active-duty personnel, numbering 108,355 in 2010. Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank destroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft...

. They are currently organized in two operational brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpini Corps Command. The singular is Alpino (Alpine).

Formed in 1872, they are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world. Their original mission was to protect Italy's northern mountain border with France and Austria.
Encyclopedia
The Alpini, are the elite mountain warfare
Mountain warfare
Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the mountains or similarly rough terrain. This type of warfare is also called Alpine warfare, named after the Alps mountains...

 soldiers of the Italian Army
Italian Army
The Italian Army is the ground defence force of the Italian Armed Forces. It is all-volunteer force of active-duty personnel, numbering 108,355 in 2010. Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank destroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft...

. They are currently organized in two operational brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpini Corps Command. The singular is Alpino (Alpine).

Formed in 1872, they are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world. Their original mission was to protect Italy's northern mountain border with France and Austria. In 1888 the Alpini were sent to their first mission abroad, in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, a continent to which they continued to return for various wars of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

. They distinguished themselves during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 when they fought a three year long campaign in the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 against Austro-Hungarian
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 Kaiserjäger
Gebirgsjäger
Gebirgsjäger, in English Mountain Riflemen, is the German designation for mountain infantry. The word Jäger is the traditional German term for rifleman...

 and the German Alpenkorps
Alpenkorps (German Empire)
The Alpenkorps was a provisional mountain unit of division size formed by the Imperial German Army during World War I. It was considered by the Allies to be one of the best units of the German Army.-Formation:...

 in what has since become known as the "War in snow and ice
Italian Campaign (World War I)
The Italian campaign refers to a series of battles fought between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Italy, along with their allies, in northern Italy between 1915 and 1918. Italy hoped that by joining the countries of the Triple Entente against the Central Powers it would gain Cisalpine Tyrol , the...

". During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Alpini fought alongside Axis forces principally on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

 and in the Balkans Campaigns.

Due to the reorganization of the Italian Army
Italian Army
The Italian Army is the ground defence force of the Italian Armed Forces. It is all-volunteer force of active-duty personnel, numbering 108,355 in 2010. Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank destroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft...

 after the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 in the 1990s, three of five Alpini brigades and many support units were disbanded. Currently, the Alpini are permanently engaged in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

.

1872 to 1887

In 1872, Captain Giuseppe Perrucchetti
Giuseppe Perrucchetti
Giuseppe Domenico Perrucchetti Giuseppe Domenico Perrucchetti Giuseppe Domenico Perrucchetti (13 July 1839 - 1916, was an Italian general and politician, the creator of the Alpini corps.He was born in Cassano d'Adda, in what is now the province of Milan in Lombardy. He studied architecture in the...

 published a study in the May edition of the journal, Rivista Militare ("Military Review"). In the study he proposed to entrust the defense of the mountain borders of the young Kingdom of Italy
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

 to soldiers recruited from these areas, who through their knowledge of the terrain and their connection to the area would be capable and highly motivated to defend it successfully. Perrucchetti drew heavily on the work of Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Agostino Ricci, who in 1868 had begun to conduct exercises in the mountains to study the feasibility of a special mountain infantry corps. Five months after Perrucchetti's publications the first 15 Alpini companies
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

 were formed by Royal decree nr. 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
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

, capable of defending Italy’s northern mountainous borders. Austria's surrender in the Austro-Prussian War
Austro-Prussian War
The Austro-Prussian War was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the...

 of 1866 resulted in Italy annexing the province of Venetia, the northern borders of which coincided in large part with the Alpine Arch
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. Prior to gaining the new northern borders, homeland defense was based on the so-called Quadrilatero
Quadrilatero
The Quadrilatero is the traditional name of a defensive system of the Austrian Empire in the Lombardy-Venetia, which connected the fortresses of Peschiera, Mantua, Legnago and Verona between the Mincio, the Po and Adige Rivers...

strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

. That outdated strategy, however, ignored the geopolitics
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

 of the new Italian kingdom - it called for primary defense of the Po Valley
Po Valley
The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain is a major geographical feature of Italy. It extends approximately in an east-west direction, with an area of 46,000 km² including its Venetic extension not actually related to the Po River basin; it runs from the Western Alps to the...

 region ("Pianura Padana") farther to the southwest, but left the Alpine region undefended (mainly considered a territory unsuitable for military operations).

It was an innovative idea to recruit inhabitants of Italy's mountain valleys - with their superior knowledge of mountain territories and adaptability to Alpine conditions - and then forming them into a special corps. Initially, the mountain regions were divided into seven military districts, each commanded by an officer and home to at least two Alpini companies. At first, each company consisted of 120 men. Soldiers were equipped with the Vetterli 1870
Vetterli rifle
The Vetterli rifles were a series of Swiss army service rifles in use from 1869 to circa 1890, when they were replaced with the Schmidt-Rubin rifles. Modified Vetterli rifles were also used by the Italian Army....

 rifle. In 1873 nine additional companies were raised bringing the total to 24 companies. In 1875 the companies doubled in size and were now composed of 250 soldiers and 5 officers, which were then formed into 7 Alpini battalions. Each battalion was named after one of the seats of the seven military districts:
Cuneo, 2° Mondovi, 3° Torino (Susa), 4° Torino (Chivasso), 5° Como, 6° Treviso, 7° Udine


In 1877, five Alpini mountain artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 batteries
Artillery battery
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...

 were formed and, in the following year, the Alpini had already grown to 36 companies of mountain infantry organized into 10 battalions. On November 1, 1882, the Alpini doubled in size to now 72 companies in 20 Alpini battalions. The 20 battalions and 8 Alpini mountain artillery batteries were now organized into six numbered Alpini regiments and two Alpini mountain artillery brigades. Each battalions was named after the area it was tasked to defend in case of war:
Regiment Garrison/HQ 1st Btn. 2nd Btn. 3rd Btn. 4th Btn.
1st Alpini
1st Alpini Regiment
The 1st Alpini Regiment was a light Infantry regiment 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.- Formation :...

Mondovì
Mondovì
Mondovì is a town and comune of Piedmont, northern Italy, located c. 80 km from Turin....

Alto Tanaro Val Tanaro
Tanaro River
The Tanaro , known as Tanarus in ancient times, is a 276 km-long river in northwestern Italy. It rises in the Ligurian Alps, close to the border with France and is the most significant right-side tributary to the Po in terms of length, size of drainage basin and discharge.-Source:The Tanaro proper...

Val Camonica
Val Camonica
Val Camonica is one of the largest valleys of the central Alps, in eastern Lombardy, about 90 km long. It starts from the Tonale Pass, at 1883 metres above sea level and ends at Corna Trentapassi, in the comune of Pisogne, near Lake Iseo...

2nd Alpini
2nd Alpini Regiment
The 2nd Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment 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...

Bra Val Pesio
Chiusa di Pesio
Chiusa di Pesio is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 80 km south of Turin and about 13 km southeast of Cuneo, on the border with France....

Col Tenda
Col de Tende
Col de Tende is a high mountain pass in the Alps, on the border of France and Italy.It separates the Maritime Alps from the Ligurian Alps. It connects Nice and Tende in Alpes-Maritimes with Cuneo in Piedmont....

Val Schio
Schio
Schio is a town and comune in the province of Vicenza situated North of Vicenza and East of the Lake of Garda. It is surrounded by the Little Dolomites and Mount Pasubio.-History:...

3rd Alpini
Fossano
Fossano
Fossano is a town and comune of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Cuneo. It is the fourth largest town of the Province of Cuneo, after Cuneo, Alba and Bra....

Val Stura
Stura di Demonte
Stura di Demonte is a 111 km long river in northwestern Italy . It is a tributary to the river Tanaro, which is a tributary of the river Po. Its source is in the Alps, near the border with France. It flows through Demonte and Cuneo before joining the Tanaro just east of Cherasco....

Val Maira
Mera River
The Mera is a river in Switzerland and Italy. Its source is near the Maloja Pass, in Graubünden, Switzerland. It flows west through the Val Bregaglia and crosses the Italian border near Soglio...

Monti Lessini
4th Alpini
Torino Val Pellice
Torre Pellice
Torre Pellice is a comune in the Province of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 45 km southwest of Turin. It is crossed by the Pellice river....

Val Chisone Val Brenta
Brenta River
The Brenta is an Italian river that runs from Trentino to the Adriatic Sea just south of the Venetian lagoon in the Veneto region.During Roman era, it was called Medoacus and near Padua it divided in two branches, Medoacus Maior and Medoacus Minor ; the river changed its course in early Middle...

5th Alpini
Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

Val Dora
Dora Riparia
The Dora Riparia is an Italian river, a left-hand tributary of the Po. It is 125 km long, with a 1,231 km² drainage basin. It originates in the Cottian Alps, close to the Col de Montgenèvre in France, where it is called the Piccola Dora...

Moncenisio Valtellina
Valtellina
Valtellina or the Valtelline valley ; is a valley in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, bordering Switzerland. Today it is known for its skiing, its hot spring spas, its cheeses and its wines...

Alta Valtellina
6th Alpini
Conegliano
Conegliano
Conegliano is a town and comune of the Veneto region, Italy, in the province of Treviso, about north by rail from the town of Treviso. The population of the city is of around 36,000 people. The remains of a castle that was built in the 10th century remain on a nearby hill...

Val d'Orco Val d'Aosta Cadore
Cadore
Cadore is a "comunità montana" in the Italian region of Veneto, in the northernmost part of the province of Belluno bordering on Austria, the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It is watered by the Piave River poured forth from the Carnic Alps...

Val Tagliamento


The numbers used earlier to distinguish the battalions were dropped while at the same time the companies were now numbered from 1 to 72. To distinguish the battalions, soldiers and non commissioned officers were issued thread tufts of various colors (called Nappina), which were added to the Cappello Alpino
Cappello Alpino
The Cappello Alpino is the most distinctive feature of the Italian Army's 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...

: white for the first, red for the second and green for the third battalion of each regiment. Special and 4th battalions were issued blue tufts. Soldiers of the Mountain Artillery units were issued a green tuft with a black patch in the middle onto which the number of the battery was written in golden numbers.

On June 7, 1883, the "fiamme verdi" (green flames) collar patch was introduced thus making the Alpini officially a specialty within the Italian infantry corps. The Cappello Alpino
Cappello Alpino
The Cappello Alpino is the most distinctive feature of the Italian Army's 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...

, with its black raven
Raven
Raven is the common name given to several larger-bodied members of the genus Corvus—but in Europe and North America the Common Raven is normally implied...

 feather, was also introduced. The distinctive headdress quickly led the Alpinis to be nicknamed "Le Penne Nere" ("Black feathers"). Officers hats replaced the black feather with a white eagle
Eagle
Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in...

 feather. At first the hat was a black felt
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

 hat, but with the introduction of the new green-grey uniform in 1910 the hat was changed to the distinctive grey felt hat that is still retained today.

The Alpini were also distinguished by green cuffs on their dark blue tunics and green piping on their light blue/grey trousers. When grey-green service uniforms were introduced for the Alpini in 1906 the distinctive green collar patches and Alpine headdress were retained.

The material, weapons, and equipment of each battalion were stored in the major village of a specific area they were tasked to defend in case of war. Soldiers of a battalion were only recruited from that area. In 1887, the battalions' names were changed from the areas defended to the names of local villages. Therefore, e.g., the Edolo battalion's soldiers were recruited in the vicinity of the village Edolo
Edolo
Edolo is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, located in the High Camonica valley.The comune is bounded by other communes of Corteno Golgi, Incudine, Lovero , Malonno, Monno, Ponte di Legno, Saviore dell'Adamello, Sernio , Sonico, Temù, Tovo di Sant'Agata , Vezza d'Oglio,...

 - where the batallion's arsenal
Arsenal
An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

, training ground, and officer's housing were located. This local recruitment led to a strong identification of the population with the Alpini units, as men from the same village were all drafted into the same company, and the companies from one valley were all part of the same battalion.

In 1887 the Ispettorato delle truppe alpine (Alpine Troops Inspectorate) was created in Rome, which took administrative command of all Mountain troops. This led to a reorganization of the Alpini: on August 1, 1887 the 7th Alpini Regiment was formed in Conegliano Veneto
Conegliano
Conegliano is a town and comune of the Veneto region, Italy, in the province of Treviso, about north by rail from the town of Treviso. The population of the city is of around 36,000 people. The remains of a castle that was built in the 10th century remain on a nearby hill...

 receiving two battalions from the 6th regiment. The number of battalions was increased by two to a new total of 22. On November 1, 1887 the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment was formed in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 with nine batteries, each equipped with four 75 mm howitzers. The new layout of the Alpini thus was:
Regiment Garrison/HQ 1st Btn. 2nd Btn. 3rd Btn. 4th Btn.
1st Alpini
1st Alpini Regiment
The 1st Alpini Regiment was a light Infantry regiment 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.- Formation :...

Mondovì
Mondovì
Mondovì is a town and comune of Piedmont, northern Italy, located c. 80 km from Turin....

Ceva
Ceva
Ceva, the ancient Ceba, is a small Italian town in the province of Cuneo, region of Piedmont, 49 km east of Cuneo. It lies on the right bank of the Tanaro on a wedge of land between that river and the Cevetta stream.-History:...

Pieve di Teco
Pieve di Teco
Pieve di Teco is a comune in the Province of Imperia in the Italian region Liguria, located about 90 km southwest of Genoa and about 20 km northwest of Imperia...

Mondovì
Mondovì
Mondovì is a town and comune of Piedmont, northern Italy, located c. 80 km from Turin....

2nd Alpini
2nd Alpini Regiment
The 2nd Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment 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...

Brà Borgo San Dalmazzo
Borgo San Dalmazzo
Borgo San Dalmazzo is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 80 km south of Turin and about 8 km southwest of Cuneo...

Vinadio
Vinadio
Vinadio is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 100 km southwest of Turin and about 30 km southwest of Cuneo, on the border with France...

Dronero
Dronero
Dronero is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 70 km southwest of Turin and about 15 km northwest of Cuneo at the entrance of the Valle Maira.-Main sights:...

3rd Alpini
Torino Fenestrelle
Fenestrelle
Fenestrelle is a comune in the Province of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 50 km west of Turin.It is home to the Fenestrelle Fort.-External links:*...

Susa I
Susa, Italy
Susa is a city and comune in Piedmont, Italy. It is situated on at the confluence of the Cenischia with the Dora Riparia, a tributary of the Po River, at the foot of the Cottian Alps, 51 km west of Turin.-History:...

Susa II *
4th Alpini
Ivrea
Ivrea
Ivrea is a town and comune of the province of Turin in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. Situated on the road leading to the Aosta Valley , it straddles the Dora Baltea and is regarded as the centre of the Canavese area. Ivrea lies in a basin that, in prehistoric times, formed a great lake...

Pinerolo
Pinerolo
Pinerolo is a town and comune in north-western Italy, 40 kilometres southwest of Turin on the river Chisone.-History:In the Middle Ages, the town of Pinerolo was one of the main crossroads in Italy, and was therefore one of the principal fortresses of the dukes of Savoy. Its military importance...

Aosta
Aosta
Aosta is the principal city of the bilingual Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps, north-northwest of Turin. It is situated near the Italian entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, at the confluence of the Buthier and the Dora Baltea, and at the junction of the Great and Little St. Bernard routes...

Ivrea
Ivrea
Ivrea is a town and comune of the province of Turin in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. Situated on the road leading to the Aosta Valley , it straddles the Dora Baltea and is regarded as the centre of the Canavese area. Ivrea lies in a basin that, in prehistoric times, formed a great lake...

5th Alpini
Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

Morbegno
Morbegno
Morbegno is a little town in the low Valtellina Valley in Italy, on the left side of the Adda river. It is part of the province of Sondrio of Lombardy. In 2007, Morbegno started a project to become a leader in sustainability, by involving the population in a participatory design process,...

Tirano
Tirano
Tirano is a town in Valtellina, located in the province of Sondrio, Northern Italy. It has about 9,044 inhabitants and is adjacent to the Switzerland-Italy boundary. The river Adda flows through the town....

Edolo
Edolo
Edolo is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, located in the High Camonica valley.The comune is bounded by other communes of Corteno Golgi, Incudine, Lovero , Malonno, Monno, Ponte di Legno, Saviore dell'Adamello, Sernio , Sonico, Temù, Tovo di Sant'Agata , Vezza d'Oglio,...

Rocca d'Anfo **
6th Alpini
Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

Bassano
Bassano del Grappa
Bassano del Grappa is a city and comune in the province of Vicenza, region Veneto, in northern Italy. It bounds the communes of Cassola, Marostica, Solagna, Pove del Grappa, Romano d'Ezzelino, Campolongo sul Brenta, Conco, Rosà, Cartigliano and Nove...

7th Alpini
Conegliano
Conegliano
Conegliano is a town and comune of the Veneto region, Italy, in the province of Treviso, about north by rail from the town of Treviso. The population of the city is of around 36,000 people. The remains of a castle that was built in the 10th century remain on a nearby hill...

Feltre
Feltre
Feltre is a town and comune of the province of Belluno in Veneto, northern Italy. A hill town in the southern reaches of the province, it is located on the Stizzon River, about 4 km from its junction with the Piave, and 20 km southwest from Belluno...

Pieve di Cadore
Pieve di Cadore
Pieve di Cadore is a comune in the province of Belluno in the Italian region Veneto, located about 110 km north of Venice and about 35 km northeast of Belluno.The painter Titian was born here, c. 1485...

Gemona
Gemona del Friuli
Gemona del Friuli is a comune in the Province of Udine in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located about 90 km northwest of Trieste and about 25 km northwest of Udine....

* (renamed "Exilles
Exilles
Exilles is a comune in the Province of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 60 km west of Turin, on the border with France...

"
in 1889)
** (renamed "Vestone
Vestone
Vestone is a comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy. It is bounded by other communes of Lavenone and Barghe.-External links:*...

"
in 1889)

1888 to 1914

Although created as a defensive force specializing in Alpine combat, in 1887 the 1° Battaglione Alpini d’Africa (1st African Alpini Battalion) was formed. The battalions four companies were formed from volunteers from all other Alpini battalions. As part of the Corpo Speciale d'Africa (Special African Coprs) the battalion was sent to Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 to take revenge for the lost battle of Dogali
Battle of Dogali
The Battle of Dogali was fought on 26 January 1887 between Italy and Ethiopia in Dogali near Massawa, in present-day Eritrea.On his own initiative, Ras Alula Engida, then governor of Emperor Yohannes IV, had attacked the Italian-controlled town of Sahati on the day prior...

. The battalion returned on April 27, 1888 to Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 having lost its commanding officer and 13 men to tropical diseases.

Back in Italy in 1888 eight mules were assigned to each Alpini company. The Vetterli 70 rifle was substituted by the newer Vetterli-Vitali mod. 70/87 rifle. Also with a general reorganization of the Italian militia system it was decided to assign 38 Alpini companies and 15 mountain batteries to active units of the Regio Esercito
Royal Italian Army
The Regio Esercito was the army of the Kingdom of Italy from the unification of Italy in 1861 to the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946...

 (Royal Italian Army). In 1892 the Alpini were the first troops to be issued with the new Mod. 91
Carcano
Carcano is the frequently used name for a series of Italian bolt-action military rifles and carbines. Introduced in 1891, this rifle was chambered for the rimless 6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano Cartuccia Modello 1895 cartridge. It was developed by the chief technician Salvatore Carcano at the Turin...

 rifle, which was replaced in 1897 by the Mod. 91TS version and remained in service until 1945.

When the tensions between Italy and Ethiopia escalated into the First Italo–Ethiopian War the 1° Battaglione Alpini d’Africa was reformed and sent gain to Eritrea. It was to become the first Alpini unit to engage in combat. Also four batteries from the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment were sent to Eritrea to augment the four brigades there under command of Oreste Baratieri
Oreste Baratieri
Oreste Baratieri was an Italian general and governor of Eritrea who led the Italian army and was defeated in the First Italo–Ethiopian War's Battle of Adowa.-Early career:...

. The battalions first engagement was on March 1, 1896 in the Battle of Adowa
Battle of Adowa
The Battle of Adwa was fought on 1 March 1896 between Ethiopia and Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia, in Tigray...

 in which it was badly mauled by superior numbers of Ethiopian troops. Over 400 of the battalions 530 men died including the commanding officer Lt. Col. Menini. After the battle the first Medaglia d'oro al valor militare (Gold medal for military valor) was awarded to a member of the Alpini corps: Capitan Pietro Cella and his Alpini from the 4th company occupied and held Amba Rajo (Rajo mountain) until March 2, thus securing the escape of the remnants of the beaten Italian Army. Capitan Cella and all his men died and for this sacrifice he was awarded the Medaglia d'oro al valor militare. After this disaster an Alpini expeditionary regiment with 5 battalions was formed and sent do Eritrea on March 7, 1896, but it saw little combat and was repatriated in June of the same year.

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

, a Mountain Artillery Battery was sent to China as part of the international relief force that lifted the siege of the International Compound in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 and afterwards remained on garrison duty in Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 until the end of 1901. On November 13, 1902 after a brief period of experimentation with ski
Ski
A ski is a long, flat device worn on the foot, usually attached through a boot, designed to help the wearer slide smoothly over snow. Originally intended as an aid to travel in snowy regions, they are now mainly used for recreational and sporting purposes...

s the Alpini began to form specially equipped and trained Compagnie Sciatori (Skiing Companies). After a heavy earthquake on September 8, 1905 in the Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

 region of Southern Italy Alpinis are sent south for three months to assist in the clearance and reconstruction efforts. The same happened in 1908 after the devastating Messina earthquake
1908 Messina earthquake
The 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami took some 100,000–200,000 lives on December 28, 1908 in Sicily and Calabria, southern Italy.-Quake:On December 28, 1908 from about 05:20 to 05:21 an earthquake of 7.2 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on the of city Messina, in Sicily. Reggio...

.

The year 1909 saw a massive expansion of the Alpini. On July 15 the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment regiment was formed in Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

 with four artillery groups and a total of 12 batteries. Already in 1908 two new battalions, the Tolmezzo and Pallanza (renamed Intra in 1909) had been formed and assigned to the 7° respectively the 4° regiment. On October 1, 1909, the “Tolmezzo” and "Gemona" battalions from the 7th Alpini regiment, along with the newly raised Cividale battalion became the three battalions of new 8th Alpini Regiment, which was stationed in the city of Udine. The first commander of the 8th Alpini regiment became Col. Antonio Cantore, who would become a legend to the Alpini during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. With the formation of the 8th regiment the Alpini now compromised 25 battalions in 8 regiments, 2 mountain artillery regiments, with 24 batteries organized in 8 groups and 75 reserve companies organized in 22 battalions. The reserve battalions were named after the valleys from where its soldiers, former Alpinis, were recruited (so called Valle battalions).
Regiment Garrison/HQ 1st Btn./Grp. 2nd Btn./Grp. 3rd Btn./Grp. 4th Btn./Grp.
8th Alpini
Udine
Udine
Udine is a city and comune in northeastern Italy, in the middle of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, between the Adriatic sea and the Alps , less than 40 km from the Slovenian border. Its population was 99,439 in 2009, and that of its urban area was 175,000.- History :Udine is the historical...

Gemona Tolmezzo
Tolmezzo
Tolmezzo is a town and comune in the province of Udine, part of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of north-eastern Italy.-Geography:Tolmezzo is located at the feet of the Strabut Mountain, between the Tagliamento River and the Bût stream. Nearby is the Mount Amariana...

Cividale
1st Mountain Artillery
Torino Oneglia
Oneglia
Oneglia was a town in northern Italy on the Ligurian coast that was joined to Porto Maurizio to form the Comune of Imperia in 1923....

Mondovì
Mondovì
Mondovì is a town and comune of Piedmont, northern Italy, located c. 80 km from Turin....

Torino-Susa Torino-Aosta
2nd Mountain Artillery
Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

Conegliano
Conegliano
Conegliano is a town and comune of the Veneto region, Italy, in the province of Treviso, about north by rail from the town of Treviso. The population of the city is of around 36,000 people. The remains of a castle that was built in the 10th century remain on a nearby hill...

Bergamo
Bergamo
Bergamo is a town and comune in Lombardy, Italy, about 40 km northeast of Milan. The comune is home to over 120,000 inhabitants. It is served by the Orio al Serio Airport, which also serves the Province of Bergamo, and to a lesser extent the metropolitan area of Milan...

Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

Belluno
Belluno
Belluno , is a town and province in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Located about 100 kilometres north of Venice, Belluno is the capital of the province of Belluno and the most important city in the Eastern Dolomiti's region. With its roughly 37,000 inhabitants, it the largest populated area...



In 1910 the last pre-war Alpini battalion was raised: the Belluno
Belluno
Belluno , is a town and province in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Located about 100 kilometres north of Venice, Belluno is the capital of the province of Belluno and the most important city in the Eastern Dolomiti's region. With its roughly 37,000 inhabitants, it the largest populated area...

in the city of the same name.

When Italy declared war on Turkey
Italo-Turkish War
The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 29, 1911 to October 18, 1912.As a result of this conflict, Italy was awarded the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan, and...

 in 1911 with the aim to conquer Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 Alpini units were once again assigned to desert combat. From 1911 until 1914, the battalions Saluzzo, Mondovi, Ivrea, Verona, Tolmezzo, Feltre, Susa, Vestone, Fenestrelle and Edolo along with the artillery groups Torino-Susa, Mondovì and Vicenza are employed for various durations in Libya. The first units to be sent to Libya were the Saluzzo (25 October 1911), Mondovì (3 November 1911), Ivrea (3 November 1911) and Verona (16 December 1911) battalions. When the unexpectedly stubborn Turkish resistance led to an embarrassingly slow advance of the Italian forces, reinforcements were sent to Libya. On October 18, 1912 Turkey and Italy signed the Treaty of Lausanne ending the war between their two nations, but Italy now faced a full scale rebellion by the local population and required more troops than during the war to suppress it. Therefore in October 1912 the Tolmezzo, Feltre, Susa, Vestone were sent to Libya and formed in Zanzur the 8° Reggimento Alpini Speciale (8th Special Alpini Regiment) under the command of Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Antonio Cantore. The last Alpini unit to leave Libya was the Feltre battalion. It arrived in Italy in August 1914, while in Libya the Bedouin rebellion continued unabated.

World War I

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the 26 peacetime Alpini battalions were increased by 62 battalions and saw heavy combat all over the alpine arch. During the war years the Alpini regiments consisted of the following battalions (the pre-war raised battalions are in bold; their first line reserve battalions, named after valleys (in Italian: Val or Valle) and their second line reserve battalions, named after mountains (in Italian: Monte) drawn from the same recruiting areas as the original battalions follow below the pre-war battalions):
Regiment
1st Alpini
1st Alpini Regiment
The 1st Alpini Regiment was a light Infantry regiment 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.- Formation :...

Ceva
Ceva
Ceva, the ancient Ceba, is a small Italian town in the province of Cuneo, region of Piedmont, 49 km east of Cuneo. It lies on the right bank of the Tanaro on a wedge of land between that river and the Cevetta stream.-History:...


Val Tanaro
Tanaro River
The Tanaro , known as Tanarus in ancient times, is a 276 km-long river in northwestern Italy. It rises in the Ligurian Alps, close to the border with France and is the most significant right-side tributary to the Po in terms of length, size of drainage basin and discharge.-Source:The Tanaro proper...


Monte Mercantur
Pieve di Teco
Pieve di Teco
Pieve di Teco is a comune in the Province of Imperia in the Italian region Liguria, located about 90 km southwest of Genoa and about 20 km northwest of Imperia...


Val Arroscia
Monte Saccarello
Mondovì
Mondovì
Mondovì is a town and comune of Piedmont, northern Italy, located c. 80 km from Turin....


Val d'Ellero
Monte Clapier
Col de Clapier
Col de Clapier is a high mountain pass over the mountain massif Mont Cenis in the Cottian Alps and Graian Alps between Savoy in France and Piemont in Italy. The bridle path goes from Bramans to Susa...

2nd Alpini
2nd Alpini Regiment
The 2nd Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment 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...

Borgo San Dalmazzo
Borgo San Dalmazzo
Borgo San Dalmazzo is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 80 km south of Turin and about 8 km southwest of Cuneo...


Val Stura
Stura di Demonte
Stura di Demonte is a 111 km long river in northwestern Italy . It is a tributary to the river Tanaro, which is a tributary of the river Po. Its source is in the Alps, near the border with France. It flows through Demonte and Cuneo before joining the Tanaro just east of Cherasco....


Monte Argentera
Argentera
Argentera is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 100 km southwest of Turin and about 60 km west of Cuneo, on the border with France. It consists of a series of sparse hamlets in the upper Valle Stura di Demonte...


Cuneo
Cuneo
Cuneo is a city and comune in Piedmont, Northern Italy, the capital of the province of Cuneo, the third largest of Italy’s provinces by area...

Dronero
Dronero
Dronero is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 70 km southwest of Turin and about 15 km northwest of Cuneo at the entrance of the Valle Maira.-Main sights:...


Val Maira
Maira
The Maira is an Italian river, a right tributary of the Po River, which runs through the province of Cuneo in eastern Piedmont. Its source is in the Cottian Alps near the Col de Mary on the French border...


Bicocca
Saluzzo
Saluzzo
Saluzzo is a town and former principality in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont region, Italy.The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated plain. Iron, lead, silver, marble, slate etc...


Val Varaita
Varaita
The Varaita is a 75 km river of the Province of Cuneo in north-west Italy. It is the first right tributary of the Po River....


Monviso
Monte Viso
Monte Viso or Monviso , is a mountain in the Cottian Alps in Italy close to the French border. Monte Viso is well known for its pyramid-like shape, and because it is higher than all its neighbouring peaks by about 500 m it can be seen from some distance, from the Piedmontese plateau and the...

3rd Alpini
Pinerolo
Pinerolo
Pinerolo is a town and comune in north-western Italy, 40 kilometres southwest of Turin on the river Chisone.-History:In the Middle Ages, the town of Pinerolo was one of the main crossroads in Italy, and was therefore one of the principal fortresses of the dukes of Savoy. Its military importance...


Val Pellice
Monte Granero
Monte Granero
Monte Granero is a peak in the Cottian Alps, in western Piedmont, northern Italy. It has an elevation of 3,170 m. It is located between the Val Pellice and the Valle Po, not far from the boundary with France....

Fenestrelle
Fenestrelle
Fenestrelle is a comune in the Province of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 50 km west of Turin.It is home to the Fenestrelle Fort.-External links:*...


Val Chisone
Val Chisone
The Val Chisone is one of the Occitan valleys of western Piedmont, situated in the Cottian Alps of north-west Italy.-Geography:Traditionally, the valley's entrances are considered the towns of Pinerolo and Sestriere...


Monte Albergian
Courmayeur
Courmayeur
Courmayeur is an Italian town and comune in the autonomous region of Aosta Valley, in northern Italy. It is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe, in the Graian Alps range, and is crossed by the Dora Baltea...

Exilles
Exilles
Exilles is a comune in the Province of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 60 km west of Turin, on the border with France...


Val Dora
Dora Riparia
The Dora Riparia is an Italian river, a left-hand tributary of the Po. It is 125 km long, with a 1,231 km² drainage basin. It originates in the Cottian Alps, close to the Col de Montgenèvre in France, where it is called the Piccola Dora...


Monte Assietta
Susa
Susa, Italy
Susa is a city and comune in Piedmont, Italy. It is situated on at the confluence of the Cenischia with the Dora Riparia, a tributary of the Po River, at the foot of the Cottian Alps, 51 km west of Turin.-History:...


Val Cenischia
Cenischia
The Cenischia is a mountain torrent which straddles the south-west French department of Savoie and the north-west Italian Province of Turin. Part of the Po basin, it is a left tributary of the Dora Riparia and forms the valley called the Val Cenischia which marks the boundary between the Graian...


Moncenisio
4th Alpini
Ivrea
Ivrea
Ivrea is a town and comune of the province of Turin in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. Situated on the road leading to the Aosta Valley , it straddles the Dora Baltea and is regarded as the centre of the Canavese area. Ivrea lies in a basin that, in prehistoric times, formed a great lake...


Val d'Orco
Orco
The Orco is an Italian river. It originates in the glaciers of the Piedmontese slopes of Gran Paradiso, and after about 90 km reaches the Po River near Chivasso...


Monte Levanna
Pallanza
Verbania
Verbania is a city and comune on the shore of Lake Maggiore, Piedmont, in northwest Italy, about north-west of Milan and about from Locarno in Switzerland.-Overview:...

Aosta
Aosta
Aosta is the principal city of the bilingual Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps, north-northwest of Turin. It is situated near the Italian entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, at the confluence of the Buthier and the Dora Baltea, and at the junction of the Great and Little St. Bernard routes...


Val Baltea
Dora Baltea
Dora Baltea or Doire Baltée , is a river in northern Italy. It is a left-hand tributary of the Po River, and is about 160 km long...


Monte Cervino
Monte Cervino Battalion
The Alpini Parachutist battalion Monte Cervino is the sole battalion of the Italian Army's 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment. The 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is one of the Italian Army's units. The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat...

Intra
Val Toce
Toce
The Toce is a river in Piedmont, Italy, which stretches the length of the Val d'Ossola from the Swiss border to Lake Maggiore into which it debouches near Fondotoce in the Commune of Verbania. The river is c. 76 kilometres in length and is formed in the upper Val Formazza by the confluence of a...


Monte Rosa
Monte Rosa
The Monte Rosa Massif is a mountain massif located in the eastern part of the Pennine Alps. It is located between Switzerland and Italy...

5th Alpini
Morbegno
Morbegno
Morbegno is a little town in the low Valtellina Valley in Italy, on the left side of the Adda river. It is part of the province of Sondrio of Lombardy. In 2007, Morbegno started a project to become a leader in sustainability, by involving the population in a participatory design process,...


Val d'Intelvi
Monte Spluga
Splügen Pass
The Splügen Pass is a high mountain pass which marks the boundary between the Lepontine and Rhaetian Alps....


Monte Mandrone
Tirano
Tirano
Tirano is a town in Valtellina, located in the province of Sondrio, Northern Italy. It has about 9,044 inhabitants and is adjacent to the Switzerland-Italy boundary. The river Adda flows through the town....


Valtellina
Valtellina
Valtellina or the Valtelline valley ; is a valley in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, bordering Switzerland. Today it is known for its skiing, its hot spring spas, its cheeses and its wines...


Stelvio
Stelvio Pass
The Stelvio Pass , located in Italy, at 2757 m is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps, slightly below the Col de l'Iseran .-Location:...


Tonale
Tonale Pass
Tonale Pass is a high mountain pass in northern Italy across the Rhaetian Alps, between Lombardy and Trentino.It connects Valcamonica and Val di Sole...

Edolo
Edolo
Edolo is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, located in the High Camonica valley.The comune is bounded by other communes of Corteno Golgi, Incudine, Lovero , Malonno, Monno, Ponte di Legno, Saviore dell'Adamello, Sernio , Sonico, Temù, Tovo di Sant'Agata , Vezza d'Oglio,...


Val Camonica
Val Camonica
Val Camonica is one of the largest valleys of the central Alps, in eastern Lombardy, about 90 km long. It starts from the Tonale Pass, at 1883 metres above sea level and ends at Corna Trentapassi, in the comune of Pisogne, near Lake Iseo...


Monte Adamello
Adamello-Presanella
The Adamello-Presanella Alpine group is a mountain range in the Italian Alps. It is part of the Southern Limestone Alps. It is located in the provinces of Trentino and Brescia...


Monte Ortler
Ortler
Ortler is, at above sea level, the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps outside the Bernina Range. It is the main peak of the Ortler Range. It is the highest point of the Southern Limestone Alps, of the Italian province of South Tyrol, of Tyrol overall, and, until 1919, of the Austrian-Hungarian...

Vestone
Vestone
Vestone is a comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy. It is bounded by other communes of Lavenone and Barghe.-External links:*...


Val Chiese
Chiese
The Chiese, also known in the Province of Brescia as the Clisi, is a 160 km Italian river which is the principal immisary and sole emissary of the sub-alpine lake Lago d’Idro, and is a left tributary of the Oglio....


Monte Suello
Suello
Suello is a comune in the Province of Lecco in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 40 km northeast of Milan and about 7 km southwest of Lecco. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 1,587 and an area of 2.6 km². Lago di Annone is located on its borders.Suello borders...


Monte Cavento
6th Alpini
Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...


Val d'Adige
Adige
The Adige is a river with its source in the Alpine province of South Tyrol near the Italian border with Austria and Switzerland. At in length, it is the second longest river in Italy, after the River Po with ....


Monte Baldo
Monte Baldo
Monte Baldo is a mountain in the Italian Alps, located in the provinces of Trentino and Verona. Its ridge spans mainly northeast-southwest, and is bounded from south by the highland ending at Caprino Veronese, from west by Lake Garda, from north by the valley joining Rovereto to Nago-Torbole and,...

Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...


Val Leogra
Monte Berico
Monte Berico
The Church of St. Mary of Mount Berico is a Roman Catholic and minor basilica in Vicenza, northern Italy. The church is a Marian shrine, and stands at the top of a hill which overlooks the city.-Origins:...


Monte Pasubio
Bassano
Bassano del Grappa
Bassano del Grappa is a city and comune in the province of Vicenza, region Veneto, in northern Italy. It bounds the communes of Cassola, Marostica, Solagna, Pove del Grappa, Romano d'Ezzelino, Campolongo sul Brenta, Conco, Rosà, Cartigliano and Nove...


Val Brenta
Brenta Valley
Brenta Valley is a valley located in Northern Italy....


Sette Comuni
7th Alpini
Feltre
Feltre
Feltre is a town and comune of the province of Belluno in Veneto, northern Italy. A hill town in the southern reaches of the province, it is located on the Stizzon River, about 4 km from its junction with the Piave, and 20 km southwest from Belluno...


Val Cismon
Monte Pavione
Pieve di Cadore
Pieve di Cadore
Pieve di Cadore is a comune in the province of Belluno in the Italian region Veneto, located about 110 km north of Venice and about 35 km northeast of Belluno.The painter Titian was born here, c. 1485...


Val Piave
Piave River
Piave is a river in north Italy. It begins in the Alps and flows southeast for into the Adriatic Sea near the city of Venice....


Monte Antelao
Antelao
Monte Antelao is the highest mountain in the eastern Dolomites in northeastern Italy, southeast of the town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, in the region of Cadore. It is known as the "King of the Dolomites"...

Belluno
Belluno
Belluno , is a town and province in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Located about 100 kilometres north of Venice, Belluno is the capital of the province of Belluno and the most important city in the Eastern Dolomiti's region. With its roughly 37,000 inhabitants, it the largest populated area...


Val Cordevole
Monte Pelmo
Monte Marmolada
Marmolada
Marmolada is a mountain in northeastern Italy and the highest mountain of the Dolomites ....

8th Alpini
Gemona
Gemona del Friuli
Gemona del Friuli is a comune in the Province of Udine in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located about 90 km northwest of Trieste and about 25 km northwest of Udine....


Val Tagliamento
Monte Arvenis
Tolmezzo
Tolmezzo
Tolmezzo is a town and comune in the province of Udine, part of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of north-eastern Italy.-Geography:Tolmezzo is located at the feet of the Strabut Mountain, between the Tagliamento River and the Bût stream. Nearby is the Mount Amariana...


Val Fella
Monte Canin
Cividale
Cividale del Friuli
-External links:*...


Val Natisone
Natisone
The Natisone is a river that flows for some time as a border river between Slovenia and Italy, continues in Slovenia and then crosses the border and continues in Eastern Friuli, in north-eastern Italy...


Monte Matajur
Monte Mataiur
Matajur is a 1642 meter tall mountain in the Julian Alps on the border between Italy and Slovenia. It is located on the border between the Isonzo valley and the Italian mountainous region known as Venetian Slovenia, with views over the Adriatic Sea...


Monte Nero


Most of the above battalions were regular Alpini battalions, while some were units raised for special tasks: in example the Monte Marmolada
Marmolada
Marmolada is a mountain in northeastern Italy and the highest mountain of the Dolomites ....

battalion was a Skiing
Ski warfare
Ski warfare, the use of ski-equipped troops in war, is first recorded by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus in the 13th century. The speed and distance that ski troops are able to cover is comparable to that of light cavalry.-History:...

 battalion tasked with combat on the Marmolada glacier
Marmolada
Marmolada is a mountain in northeastern Italy and the highest mountain of the Dolomites ....

.

The Alpini battalions were divided in 233 companies of 100 to 150 men each. The Alpini regiments were never sent into battle as a whole, instead single companies and battalions were given specific passes, summits or ridges to guard and defend on their own.

The war has become known as the "War in snow and ice
Italian Campaign (World War I)
The Italian campaign refers to a series of battles fought between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Italy, along with their allies, in northern Italy between 1915 and 1918. Italy hoped that by joining the countries of the Triple Entente against the Central Powers it would gain Cisalpine Tyrol , the...

", as most of the 600 km frontline ran through the highest mountains and glaciers of the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. 12 meters (40 feet) of snow were a usual occurrence during the winter of 1915/16 and thousands of soldiers died in avalanches. The remains of these soldiers are still being uncovered today.
The Alpini, as well as their Austrian counterparts: Kaiserschützen
Kaiserschützen
The Kaiserschützen were three regiments of Austro-Hungarian mountain infantry during the K.U.K. Monarchy.-History:...

, Standschützen and Landeschützen occupied every hill and mountain top around the whole year. Huge underground bases were drilled and blown into the mountainsides and even deep into the ice of glaciers such as the Marmolada
Marmolada
Marmolada is a mountain in northeastern Italy and the highest mountain of the Dolomites ....

. Guns were dragged by hundreds of troops on mountains up to 3,890 m (12,760 feet) high. Roads, cable cars, mountain railroads and walkways were built up, through and along the steepest of cliffs. Many of these walkways and roads are still visible today, and many are maintained as Via Ferrata
Via ferrata
A via ferrata or klettersteig is a mountain route which is equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders, and bridges. The use of these allows otherwise isolated routes to be joined to create longer routes which are accessible to people with a wide range of climbing abilities...

 for climbing enthusiasts. In addition, along the former frontline it is still possible to see what is left of hundreds of kilometers of barbed wire.

In this kind of warfare, whoever occupied the higher ground first was almost impossible to dislodge, so both sides turned to drilling tunnels under mountain peaks, filling them up with explosives and then detonating the whole mountain to pieces, including its defenders: i.e. Col di Lana
Col di Lana
The Col di Lana is a mountain of the Fanes Group in the Italian Dolomites, situated in Livinallongo del Col di Lana , a municipality of the Province of Belluno, in the Italian region of Veneto....

, Monte Pasubio, Lagazuoi, etc.

Climbing and skiing
Ski warfare
Ski warfare, the use of ski-equipped troops in war, is first recorded by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus in the 13th century. The speed and distance that ski troops are able to cover is comparable to that of light cavalry.-History:...

 became essential skills for the troops of both sides and soon Ski Battalions and special climbing units were formed. It was during these years that the Alpini, their spirit and their mules became famous, although at the cost of over 12,000 casualties out of a total of 40,000 mobilized Alpinis.

Many of the famous Alpini songs
Alpini songs
The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II. In addition they are also famous in Italy for their songs and choirs....

 originated during this time and reflect upon the hardships of the "War in Snow and Ice".

World War II

After World War I all battalions with the exception the pre-war battalions were dissolved. In 1919 the Alpini gained the 9th Alpini Regiment. In 1935 the fascist
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 government of Italy reorganized its Armed Forces, creating six Alpine divisions and forming two new Alpini regiments: the 11th Alpini Regiment and the 12th Alpini Regiment. The 5 Alpine Division Pusteria
5 Alpine Division Pusteria
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...

 formed of the 7th and 11th Alpini regiment was quickly dispatched to Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 were it participated in the Italian attack
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire...

 on Abyssinia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Italy fielded six Alpine divisions:
  • 1st Alpine Division Taurinense
    1 Alpine Division Taurinense
    The 1st Alpine Division Taurinense was a World War II light Infantry division of the Italian Army which specialised in Mountain Combat. The Alpini that formed the divisions are a highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army consisting of both infantry and artillery units...

  • 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina
    2 Alpine Division Tridentina
    The 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina was a World War II Mountain Infantry division of the Italian Army. The Alpini that formed the divisions are a highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army comprising both infantry and artillery units...

  • 3rd Alpine Division Julia
    3 Alpine Division Julia
    The 3rd Alpine Division Julia was a World War II light Infantry division of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpini that formed the divisions are a highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army comprising both infantry and artillery units...

  • 4th Alpine Division Cuneense
  • 5th Alpine Division Pusteria
    5 Alpine Division Pusteria
    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...

  • 6th Alpine Division Alpi Graie
    6 Alpine Division Alpi Graie
    The 6th Alpine Division Alpi Graie was a short-lived light Infantry division of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. The Alpini that formed the divisions where from the highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army comprising both infantry and artillery units.* 3rd...



Each division consisted of two Alpini regiments with three battalions each, one Alpine Artillery Regiment with three Artillery groups, one Mixed Engineer Battalion, one Logistic Battalion and some support units. The strength of each division was 573 officers and 16,887 NCOs and soldiers for a total strength of 17,460 men. Also each division had almost 5000 mules and 500 vehicles of various types at its disposal.

The divisions saw combat in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. One Alpini battalion was employed in East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

. In 1942, Tridentina, Julia and Cuneense division were sent to fight in the Soviet Union
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

. In Russia, instead of being deployed in the Caucasus mountains as expected, the Alpini were tasked with holding a front on the plains of the Don River. As a result of this disastrous strategic decision, troops armed, trained, and equipped for mountain warfare were pitted in the plains against tanks and mechanized infantry, to counter which they were neither equipped nor trained. Despite this, the Alpini held the front until January 1943, when, due to the collapse of the Axis front, they were encircled by the advancing Soviet Army. The Alpini were able to break the encirclement and fight their way towards the new line of the front established after the Axis retreat. Only about one third of the Tridentina division (4250 survivors of 15000 troops deployed) and one tenth of the Julia (1200/15000) were able to survive this odyssey. The Cuneense division was annihilated.

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's fascist government in northern Italy, the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

, had one division of Alpini, the 4th Italian "Monte Rosa" Alpini Division.

.

Structure

After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, five Alpine Brigades were formed and assigned to the IV (Alpine) Army Corps. Each brigade recruited its soldiers from specific parts of the mountainous areas of Italy thus creating a strong bond with the local populations.
  • Julia
    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 mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II....

  • Taurinense
    Alpine Brigade Taurinense
    The Alpine Brigade Taurinense is a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. Its core units are the Alpini, the mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II.The brigade’s name "Taurinense"...

  • Tridentina
    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 mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II...

     (dissolved 2002)
  • Cadore
    Alpine Brigade Cadore
    The Alpini Brigade Cadore was a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain warfare. Its core units were the Alpini, the mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II. The brigade was based in the...

     (dissolved 1997)
  • Orobica
    Alpine Brigade Orobica
    The Alpine Brigade Orobica was a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain warfare. Its core units were the Alpini, the mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II.- Constitution :The Orobica was...

     (dissolved 1991)




Their role in case of a Soviet attack was static defense along Italy's mountainous Northern border. After the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, all but the Julia and Taurinense Brigades were dissolved, thus leaving the following Alpini units, that still carry the "fiamme verdi" collar insignia:
  • as part of the Alpine Corps Command - COMALP
    COMALP
    - External links :*...

    :
    • COMALP Support Battalion
    • Alpini Formation Centre Aosta Battalion
      Aosta
      Aosta is the principal city of the bilingual Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps, north-northwest of Turin. It is situated near the Italian entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, at the confluence of the Buthier and the Dora Baltea, and at the junction of the Great and Little St. Bernard routes...

      • 6th Alpini Regiment  Bassano Battalion
        Bassano del Grappa
        Bassano del Grappa is a city and comune in the province of Vicenza, region Veneto, in northern Italy. It bounds the communes of Cassola, Marostica, Solagna, Pove del Grappa, Romano d'Ezzelino, Campolongo sul Brenta, Conco, Rosà, Cartigliano and Nove...

    • 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment  Monte Cervino Battalion
      Monte Cervino Battalion
      The Alpini Parachutist battalion Monte Cervino is the sole battalion of the Italian Army's 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment. The 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is one of the Italian Army's units. The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat...

        (a Special Forces
      Special forces
      Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

       unit)
    • "Tridentina
      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 mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II...

      " Division Command (without fixed units)
    • Alpine Brigade Taurinense
      Alpine Brigade Taurinense
      The Alpine Brigade Taurinense is a light Infantry brigade of the Italian Army, specializing in Mountain Combat. Its core units are the Alpini, the mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II.The brigade’s name "Taurinense"...

      :
      • Taurinense Brigade Support Battalion
      • 2nd Alpini Regiment
        2nd Alpini Regiment
        The 2nd Alpini Regiment is a light Infantry regiment 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...

          Saluzzo Battalion
        Saluzzo
        Saluzzo is a town and former principality in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont region, Italy.The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated plain. Iron, lead, silver, marble, slate etc...

      • 3rd Alpini Regiment  Susa Battalion
        Susa, Italy
        Susa is a city and comune in Piedmont, Italy. It is situated on at the confluence of the Cenischia with the Dora Riparia, a tributary of the Po River, at the foot of the Cottian Alps, 51 km west of Turin.-History:...

      • 9th Alpini Regiment  L'Aquila Battalion
        L'Aquila
        L'Aquila is a city and comune in central Italy, both the capital city of the Abruzzo region and of the Province of L'Aquila. , it has a population of 73,150 inhabitants, but has a daily presence in the territory of 100,000 people for study, tertiary activities, jobs and tourism...

      • 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment  Aosta Artillery Group
        Aosta
        Aosta is the principal city of the bilingual Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps, north-northwest of Turin. It is situated near the Italian entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, at the confluence of the Buthier and the Dora Baltea, and at the junction of the Great and Little St. Bernard routes...

      • 32nd Alpini Engineer Regiment  30° Battaglione
    • Alpine Brigade Julia
      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 mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II....

      :
      • Julia Brigade Support Battalion
      • 5th Alpini Regiment  Morbegno Battalion
        Morbegno
        Morbegno is a little town in the low Valtellina Valley in Italy, on the left side of the Adda river. It is part of the province of Sondrio of Lombardy. In 2007, Morbegno started a project to become a leader in sustainability, by involving the population in a participatory design process,...

      • 7th Alpini Regiment  Feltre Battalion
        Feltre
        Feltre is a town and comune of the province of Belluno in Veneto, northern Italy. A hill town in the southern reaches of the province, it is located on the Stizzon River, about 4 km from its junction with the Piave, and 20 km southwest from Belluno...

      • 8th Alpini Regiment  Tolmezzo Battalion
        Tolmezzo
        Tolmezzo is a town and comune in the province of Udine, part of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of north-eastern Italy.-Geography:Tolmezzo is located at the feet of the Strabut Mountain, between the Tagliamento River and the Bût stream. Nearby is the Mount Amariana...

      • 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment  Conegliano Artillery Group
        Conegliano
        Conegliano is a town and comune of the Veneto region, Italy, in the province of Treviso, about north by rail from the town of Treviso. The population of the city is of around 36,000 people. The remains of a castle that was built in the 10th century remain on a nearby hill...

      • 2nd Engineer Regiment  Iseo Battalion
        Lake Iseo
        Lake Iseo or Lago d'Iseo or Sebino is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy, Italy, fed by the Oglio river.It is in the north of the country in the Val Camonica area, near the cities of Brescia and Bergamo. The lake is almost equally divided between the Provinces of Bergamo and Brescia...

  • as part of other Military Commands:
    • 2nd Alpine Artillery Regiment  Vicenza Artillery Group
      Vicenza
      Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

    • 2nd Alpine Signal Regiment  Gardena Battalion
    • 24th Alpine Maneuver Regiment Dolomiti
      Dolomites
      The Dolomites are a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy. It is a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extends from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley...

      with two battalions


Geographical Distribution

Armament

Currently an Alpino is equipped with a Beretta SC70/90
Beretta AR70/90
The Beretta AR70/90 is a gas operated self loading assault rifle chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge, and is the standard issue service rifle of the Italian Armed Forces. The weapon also features grenade sights, and is designed to be fitted with a rifle grenade...

 assault rifle, usually fitted with an Aimpoint M3
M3
M3, M-3 or M03 may refer to:* M3 , a measure of the money supply* Metribolone* M3, a metric screw size- Science :* Cubic meter , a unit of volume* Messier 3 , a globular cluster in the constellation Canes Venatici...

 Reddot, a Beretta 92 FS
Beretta 92
The Beretta 92 is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and manufactured by Beretta of Italy. The model 92 was designed in 1972 and production of many variants in different calibers continues today...

 pistol, OD/82SE hand grenade
Hand grenade
A hand grenade is any small bomb that can be thrown by hand. Hand grenades are classified into three categories, explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades. Explosive grenades are the most commonly used in modern warfare, and are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time...

s, a Type III AP/98 bullet-proof vest and a 3rd generation night vision device.

The squad automatic weapon
Squad automatic weapon
A squad automatic weapon is a weapon used to give infantry squads or sections a portable source of automatic firepower. Weapons used in this role are selective-fire rifles, usually fitted with a bipod and heavier barrel to perform as Light machine guns...

 is the FN Minimi
FN Minimi
The Minimi is a Belgian 5.56mm light machine gun developed by Fabrique Nationale in Herstal by Ernest Vervier. First introduced in 1974, it has entered service with the armed forces of over thirty countries...

 or, alternatively, the Rheinmetall MG3
Rheinmetall MG3
The MG3 is a German general-purpose machine gun chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. The weapon's design is derived from the World War II era MG 42 universal machine gun that fired the 7.92x57mm Mauser round....

 (sometimes still called MG42
MG42
The MG 42 is a 7.9mm universal machine gun that was developed in Nazi Germany and entered service with the Wehrmacht in 1942...

).
Supporting fire can be provided also by M2 Browning (0.50") machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

, the Hirtenberger M6C-210 Commando 60 mm, man-portable light mortar or by the MO-120-RT-61
Mortier 120mm Rayé Tracté Modèle F1
The MO-120 RT-61 or MO-120-RT is a heavy mortar of French origin. It was designed by Thomson-Brandt as the successor for the MO-120 AM-50...

 120 mm heavy mortar.

Mobility is provided by the use of Iveco VTLM Lince
Iveco LMV
Iveco LMV is a 4WD tactical vehicle developed by Iveco, and in service with several countries.After its adoption by the Italian Army under the name VTLM Lince , it won the “FCLV” competition of the British Army as the Panther and has been adopted by the armies of Belgium, Croatia, Norway, Russia...

 4WD tactical vehicles, Puma 6x6
Puma (AFV)
The Puma light wheeled armoured fighting vehicle family consists of the Puma 6x6 and the Puma 4x4. The vehicles were developed and are produced by the Consorzio Iveco Fiat - Oto Melara of Italy for the Italian Army...

 Armored Personal Carriers and Bv 206 / Bv 206S
Bandvagn 206
Bandvagn 206 is a tracked articulated, all-terrain carrier developed by Hägglunds for the Swedish Army. It consists of two units, with all four tracks powered...

 all terrain tracked vehicles.

The anti-tank weapons are the Panzerfaust 3
Panzerfaust 3
The Panzerfaust 3 is a modern and disposable recoilless RPG anti-tank weapon developed between 1978 and 1985 and put into service by the Bundeswehr in 1992...

 rocket propelled grenade
Rocket propelled grenade
A rocket-propelled grenade is a shoulder-fired, anti-tank weapon system which fires rockets equipped with an explosive warhead. These warheads are affixed to a rocket motor and stabilized in flight with fins. Some types of RPG are reloadable while others are single-use. RPGs, with the exception of...

 and the MILAN 2
MILAN
MILAN " is French and German for "kite bird") is a European anti-tank guided missile. Design of the MILAN started in 1962. It was ready for trials in 1971, and was accepted for service in 1972. It is a wire guided SACLOS missile, which means the sight of the launch unit has to be aimed at the...

 and TOW II
BGM-71 TOW
The BGM-71 TOW is an anti-tank missile. "BGM" is a weapon classification that stands for "Multiple Environment , Surface-Attack , Missile ". "TOW" is an acronym that stands for "Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link, guided missile"...

 anti-tank guided missile
Anti-tank guided missile
An anti-tank missile , anti-tank guided missile , anti-tank guided weapon or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored military vehicles....

s. The later two will be replaced by the Spike
Spike (missile)
Spike is a fourth generation man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile with tandem-charged HEAT warhead, developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and in service with a number of nations....

 anti-tank guided missile over the next years.

In 1999 the artillery regiments have been issued with the FH-70
FH-70
The FH-70 is a towed howitzer in use with several nations.-History:In 1963 NATO agreed a NATO Basic Military Requirement 39 for close support artillery, either towed or tracked. Subsequently Germany and UK started discussions and design studies and in 1968 established Agreed Operational...

 howitzer. This has led to a great increase in firepower compared to the previously used OTO Melara Mod 56
OTO Melara Mod 56
The OTO-Melara Mod 56 is an Italian-made 105 mm pack howitzer built and developed by OTO-Melara. It fires the standard US type M1 ammunition.-History:...

 pack howitzer, but also reduced their versatility. Indeed they are not designated now as "mountain artillery", but as "Field Artillery (Mountain)" regiments.

Currently the Alpini are being provided with a small number of ARX-160rifles to field-test the designated standard rifle of the Italian Army in harsh and cold environments.

National Alpini Association

The ANA (Associazione Nazionale Alpini or National Alpini Association) is a registered society representing the "Veci
Veci
Veci is the nickname of the members on extended leave of the Alpini, a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, which distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II...

" or former members of the Alpini corps. As the "Veci" see themselves as merely "on leave" rather than veterans, the ANA is colloquially known to be the 10th Alpini Regiment. Since 1920 every year ANA organizes a national reunion the "Veci". Hundreds of thousands of Alpini congregate with family and friends to an Italian city for a weekend in the late spring to celebrate, drink heavily and have a good time while remembering old times.

Alpini in Media

  • Mino
    Mino (TV series)
    Mino was the eighth ZDF-Weihnachtsserie , and aired in 1986. The series was broadcast in Germany on ZDF, and consisted of 6 episodes. Broadcasting in Germany began on December 25, 1986. The series was also broadcast in Italy, and consisted of 4 episodes. Broadcasting in Italy began on December 28,...

    , an Italian TV series about the Aosta battalion in World War I
    World War I
    World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

  • Il sergente nella neve, a book by Mario Rigoni Stern
    Mario Rigoni Stern
    Mario Rigoni Stern was an Italian author and World War II veteran.His first novel Il sergente nella neve, published in 1953 , draws on his own experience as a Sergeant Major in the Alpini corp during the disastrous retreat from Russia in World War II...

     about the Vestone battalion (Tridentina Division
    2 Alpine Division Tridentina
    The 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina was a World War II Mountain Infantry division of the Italian Army. The Alpini that formed the divisions are a highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army comprising both infantry and artillery units...

    ) in World War II
    Italian Army in Russia
    The Italian Army in Russia was an army-sized unit of the Italian Royal Army which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II...

  • Mai tardi, a book by Nuto Revelli
    Nuto Revelli
    Nuto Revelli was an Italian essayist.-Life:Revelli was a freshly commissioned second lieutenant when, on 21 July 1942, he left Italy on one of the two hundred troop trains sent to the Eastern Front by Mussolini in an attempt to ensure that fascist Italy would share in what, at the time, with the...

     about the Tirano battalion (Tridentina Division
    2 Alpine Division Tridentina
    The 2nd Alpine Division Tridentina was a World War II Mountain Infantry division of the Italian Army. The Alpini that formed the divisions are a highly decorated and elite mountain corps of the Italian Army comprising both infantry and artillery units...

    ) in World War II
    Italian Army in Russia
    The Italian Army in Russia was an army-sized unit of the Italian Royal Army which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II...


See also

  • French Chasseurs Alpins
  • German Gebirgsjäger
    Gebirgsjäger
    Gebirgsjäger, in English Mountain Riflemen, is the German designation for mountain infantry. The word Jäger is the traditional German term for rifleman...

  • Polish Podhale rifles
    Podhale rifles
    Podhale Rifles is the traditional name of the mountain infantry units of the Polish Army. Formed in 1918 out of volunteers of the region of Podhale, in 1919 the smaller detachments of Podhale Rifles were pressed into two mountain infantry divisions, the 21st Mountain Infantry and 22nd Mountain...

  • Romanian Vânători de Munte
    Vânatori de Munte
    The vânători de munte |Huntsmen]]) are the elite mountain troops of the Romanian Land Forces. They were first established as an independent Army Corps in 1916 during World War I, and became operational in 1917 under Corpul de Munte designation....


Sources

Italian Army- The Alpini

COMALP- Alpine Troops Command

ANA Conegliano- History of Alpini units

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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