Blackshirts
Overview
 
The Blackshirts were 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...

 paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 groups in Italy
History of Italy as a monarchy and in the World Wars
This articles covers the history of Italy as a monarchy and in the World Wars.-Italian unification :Modern Italy became a nation-state during the Risorgimento on March 17, 1861 when most of the states of the Italian Peninsula and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies were united under king Victor...

 during the period immediately following 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...

 and until the end of 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...

. Blackshirts were officially known as the Voluntary Militia for National Security (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN).

The term was later applied to a similar group serving the British Union of Fascists
British Union of Fascists
The British Union was a political party in the United Kingdom formed in 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley as the British Union of Fascists, in 1936 it changed its name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists and then in 1937 to simply the British Union...

 before World War II, to the SS in Nazi Germany, and to members of a quasi-political organization in India
Blackshirts (India)
Blackshirts are members of the anti-religious atheist quasi-political organization Dravidar Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, founded by "Periyar" E V Ramasamy. The members wear black shirts to mock and protest the saffron vestments of Hindu religious leaders, and sadhus as black is generally associated with...

.
Inspired by the military prowess and black uniforms of the Arditi
Arditi
Arditi was the name adopted by Italian Army elite storm troops of World War I. The name derives from the Italian verb Ardire and translates as "The Daring Ones"....

, Italy's elite storm troops of World War I, the Fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 Blackshirts were organized by 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....

 as the military tool of his political movement.
Encyclopedia
The Blackshirts were 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...

 paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 groups in Italy
History of Italy as a monarchy and in the World Wars
This articles covers the history of Italy as a monarchy and in the World Wars.-Italian unification :Modern Italy became a nation-state during the Risorgimento on March 17, 1861 when most of the states of the Italian Peninsula and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies were united under king Victor...

 during the period immediately following 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...

 and until the end of 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...

. Blackshirts were officially known as the Voluntary Militia for National Security (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN).

The term was later applied to a similar group serving the British Union of Fascists
British Union of Fascists
The British Union was a political party in the United Kingdom formed in 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley as the British Union of Fascists, in 1936 it changed its name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists and then in 1937 to simply the British Union...

 before World War II, to the SS in Nazi Germany, and to members of a quasi-political organization in India
Blackshirts (India)
Blackshirts are members of the anti-religious atheist quasi-political organization Dravidar Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, founded by "Periyar" E V Ramasamy. The members wear black shirts to mock and protest the saffron vestments of Hindu religious leaders, and sadhus as black is generally associated with...

.
Inspired by the military prowess and black uniforms of the Arditi
Arditi
Arditi was the name adopted by Italian Army elite storm troops of World War I. The name derives from the Italian verb Ardire and translates as "The Daring Ones"....

, Italy's elite storm troops of World War I, the Fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 Blackshirts were organized by 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....

 as the military tool of his political movement. The founders of the paramilitary groups were nationalist intellectuals, former army officers and young landowners opposing peasants' and country labourers' unions. Their methods became harsher as Mussolini's power grew, and they used violence and intimidation against Mussolini's opponents. Inspired by the Redshirts
Redshirts
Redshirts or Red coats is the name given to the volunteers who followed Giuseppe Garibaldi in southern Italy during his Mille expedition to southern Italy, but sometimes extended to other campaigns of his...

 of Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

, they wore black shirts, or black turtleneck sweaters.

History

The Blackshirts were established as the squadristi in 1919 and consisted of many disgruntled former soldiers which may have numbered 200,000 by the time of Mussolini's March on Rome
March on Rome
The March on Rome was a march by which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party came to power in the Kingdom of Italy...

 from October 27 to October 29, 1922. In 1922 the squadristi were reorganized into the milizia and formed numerous bandiere, and on 1 February 1923 the Blackshirts became the Volunteer Militia for National Security (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN), which lasted until the Italian Armistice in 1943. 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...

, located in the areas of northern Italy occupied by Germany, reformed the MVSN into the Republican National Guard (Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana, or GNR).

Organization

Benito Mussolini was the leader, or Commandant-General
Commandant
Commandant is a senior title often given to the officer in charge of a large training establishment or academy. This usage is common in anglophone nations...

, of the blackshirts, but executive functions were carried out by the Chief of Staff, equivalent to an army general. The MVSN was formed in imitation of the ancient Roman army
Roman army
The Roman army is the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome , the Roman Republic , the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine empire...

, as follows:

Basic organization

The terms after the first are not words common to European armies (e.g., the Italian battaglione has cognates in many languages). Instead, they derive from the structure of the armies of ancient Rome.
  • Zona (zone
    Zone
    -Places:France* Any of several divisions during the German occupation of France during World War IIGermany* The Zone , a derogatory term for the German Democratic RepublicGreece...

    ) = division
    Division (military)
    A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

  • Legione (legion
    Roman legion
    A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

    ) = regiment
    Regiment
    A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

    , each legion was 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...

     unit consisting of a small active cadre and a large reserve of civilian volunteers.
  • Coorte (cohort
    Cohort (military unit)
    A cohort was the basic tactical unit of a Roman legion following the reforms of Gaius Marius in 107 BC.-Legionary cohort:...

    ) = battalion
    Battalion
    A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

  • Centuria (centuria
    Centuria
    Centuria is a Latin substantive from the stem centum , denoting units consisting of 100 men. It also denotes a Roman unit of land area: 1 centuria = 100 heredia...

    ) = company
    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...

  • Manipolo (maniple
    Maniple (military unit)
    Maniple was a tactical unit of the Roman legion adopted from the Samnites during the Samnite Wars . It was also the name of the military insignia carried by such unit....

    ) = platoon
    Platoon
    A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

  • Squadra (squad
    Squad
    In military terminology, a squad is a small military unit led by a non-commissioned officer that is subordinate to an infantry platoon. In countries following the British Army tradition this organization is referred to as a section...

    ) = squad


These units were also organized on the triangular principle as follows:
  • 3 squadre = 1 manipolo (maniple)
  • 3 manipoli = 1 centuria (centurie)
  • 3 centurie = 1 coorte (cohort)
  • 3 coorti = 1 legione (legion)
  • 3 legioni = 1 divisioni (field division)
  • 3 or more legioni = 1 zona (zone - an administrative division)

Territorial organization

The MVSN original organization
MVSN original organization
The original organization of Mussolini's MVSN by Royal Decree on 1 February 1923 was as follows:1st Zona Hq Torino* first Sabauda - Torino * second Alpina - Torino * third Subalpina - Cuneo...

 consisted of 15 zones controlling 133 legions (one per province
Provinces of Italy
In Italy, a province is an administrative division of intermediate level between a municipality and a region .-Overview:...

) of three cohorts each and one Independent Group controlling 10 legions. In 1929 it was reorganized into four raggruppamenti, but later in October 1936 it was reorganized into 14 zones controlling only 133 legions with two cohorts each, one of men 21 to 36 years old and the other of men up to 55 years old, plus special units in Rome, on Ponza
Ponza
Ponza is the largest of the Italian Pontine Islands archipelago, located 33 km south of Cape Circeo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It also the name of the commune of the island, a part of the province of Latina in the Lazio region....

 Island and the black uniformed Moschettieri del Duce ("The Leader's Musketeers", Mussolini's Guard) and the Albanian Militia
Albanian Militia
The Albanian Militia was an Albanian fascist paramilitary group formed in 1939 following the Italian invasion of Albania in April 1939, part of the Italian Blackshirts . It was recruited from Italians living in Albania and later on Albanians were also recruited...

 (four legions) and Colonial Militia
MVSN Colonial Militia
MVSN Colonial Militia were colonial military units of the Italian Fascist MVSN organization based in the Italian African colonial possessions of Italian North Africa , and in Italian East Africa...

 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...

 (seven legions).

Special militias were also organized to provide security police
Security police
In some countries, including the United States, security police are those persons, employed by or for a governmental agency, who provide police and security services to those agencies' properties....

 functions, these included:

Security militia

  • Anti-aircraft and Coastal Artillery Militia, a combined command which controlled two militias:
    • Anti-Aircraft Militia
    • Coastal Artillery
      Coastal artillery
      Coastal artillery is the branch of armed forces concerned with operating anti-ship artillery or fixed gun batteries in coastal fortifications....

       Militia
  • Forestry Militia
  • Frontier Militia
    Border guard
    The border guard, frontier guard, border patrol, border police, or frontier police of a country is a national security agency that performs border control, i.e., enforces the security of the country's national borders....

  • Highway Militia
    Highway patrol
    A highway patrol is either a police unit created primarily for the purpose of overseeing and enforcing traffic safety compliance on roads and highways, or a detail within an existing local or regional police agency that is primarily concerned with such duties.Duties of highway patrols or traffic...

  • Port Militia
  • Posts and Telegraph Militia
  • Railway Militia
  • University Militia
    University Militias
    The University Militias also known as I.M.E.C. are at present a method to fulfill compulsory military service in Spain. In it, militiamen undergo military training in the Reserves until the drill of the militia is professional....


Ethiopian Campaign

During the 1935-36 Abyssinian Campaign
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...

 seven CCNN Divisions were organized:
  • 1st (23rd of March) CCNN Division
  • 2nd (28th of October) CCNN Division
    2nd Blackshirt Division (28 October) (Italy)
    The 2nd Blackshirt Division 28 Ottobre was an Italian Camicie Nere militia unit formed for the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.It was named 28 ottobre in honor of the Fascist March on Rome ....

  • 3rd (21 April) CCNN Division
    3rd Blackshirt Division (21 April) (Italy)
    The 3rd CCNN Division was one of the seven Black Shirt militia Divisions that were organized and fought in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War....

  • 4th (3rd of January) CCNN Division
    4th Blackshirt Division (3 January) (Italy)
    The 4th CCNN Division "3 Gennaio" was one of seven Black Shirt Divisions that were organized and fought in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War...

  • 5th (1st of February) CCNN Division
    5th Blackshirt Division (1 February) (Italy)
    The Italian 5th Blackshirt Division 1 Febbraio was an Italian CCNN Blackshirt militia unit formed for the Second Italo-Abyssinian War under the command of Gen...

  • 6th (Tevere) CCNN Division

The first six Divisions were sent to Ethiopia and participated in the war.
  • 7th (Cirene) CCNN Division
    7th Blackshirt Division (Cirene) (Italy)
    The Italian 7th Blackshirt Division Cirene was an Italian CCNN Blackshirt militia unit formed for the Second Italo-Abyssinian War under the command of Lt. Gen. Guido Scandolara. The division was deployed in Libya during the war against Ethiopia to threaten the Suez Canal should the British close...

     - The 7th CCNN Division "Cirene" was never deployed overseas or even fully equipped before it was disbanded.

Organization of 1935 Blackshirts divisions

  • Divisional HQ
  • 3 x Legions each with:
    • 1 Legionary Machine Gun Company with 16 Machine Guns
    • 2 Legionary Infantry Battalions, each with:
      • 1 Machine Gun Company with 8x8mm Breda Machine Guns and
      • 3 Infantry Companies each with 9 Light Machine Guns and 3x45mm Mortars
      • 1 pack-artillery battery with 4x65mm L17 each.
  • 1 x Artillery Battalion (Army) with 3 batteries (65/17)
  • 1 x Engineers company (mixed Army and Blackshirts)
  • 2 x Replacements Battalions (1 Infantry, 1 Mixed)
  • 1 x Medical Section
  • 1 x Logistics Section (food)
  • 1 x Pack-Mules unit (1600 mules)
  • 1 x Mixed Trucks unit (80 light trucks)


The Blackshirts Rifle Battalions had three rifle companies but no MMG company. The rifle companies had three platoons (three squads with one LMG each). Each Legion had a MMG company with four platoons of three weapons each (plus two spare ones). The Blackshirts replacements battalions were organized as the Blackshirts Rifle Battalions, but its platoon were overstrength (60 men each) and with only 1 x LMG in each platoon.

Blackshirts division organization - 10 June 1940

  • Division Command
  • 2 Black Shirt Legions - each
    • 3 Battalions
    • 1 81mm Mortar Company
    • 1 Accompanying Battery 65mm/17 Mtn guns
  • 1 Machine Gun Battalion
  • 1 Artillery Regiment:
    • 2 Artillery Groups (75mm/27)
    • 1 Artillery Group (100mm/17)
    • 2 AA Batteries 20mm
  • 1 Mixed Engineering Battalion
    • 1 Ambulance Section Sanita
    • 3 Field Hospitals (Planned when available)
    • 1 Supply Section
  • 1 Section Mixed Transport

Spanish Civil War

Three CCNN Divisions were sent to participate in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 as part of the Corpo Truppe Volontarie
Corpo Truppe Volontarie
The Corps of Volunteer Troops was an Italian expeditionary force which was sent to Spain to support General Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War...

. The Blackshirt (Camicie Nere, or CCNN) Divisions contained regular soldiers and volunteer militia from the Fascist Party. The CCNN divisions were semi-motorised.
  • 1st CCNN Division "Dio lo Vuole" ("God Wills it")
  • 2nd CCNN Division "Fiamme Nere" ("Black Flames")
  • 3rd CCNN Division "Penne Nere" ("Black Feathers")


The 3rd CCNN Division was disbanded and consolidated with the 2nd CCNN Division in April 1937 after their defeat at Guadalajara
Battle of Guadalajara
The Battle of Guadalajara saw the Republican People's Army defeat Italian and Nationalist forces attempting to encircle Madrid during the Spanish Civil War...

. After the campaigns in Northern Spain in October 1937, the 2nd CCNN Division was consolidated with the 1st CCNN and renamed the XXIII de Marzo Division "Llamas Negras".

World War II

In 1940 the MVSN was able to muster 340,000 first-line combat troops, providing three divisions (1st, 2nd and 4th - all three of which were lost in the North African Campaign) and, later in 1942, a fourth division ("M") and fifth division Africa were forming.

Mussolini also pushed through plans to raise 142 MVSN combat battalions of 650 men each to provide a Gruppo di Assalto to each army division. These Gruppi consisted of two cohorts (each of three centurie of 3 manipoli of 2 squadre each) plus Gruppo Supporto company of two heavy machine gun manipoli (with three HMG each) and two 81 mm mortar manipoli (with 3 Mortars each).

Later 41 Mobile groups were raised to become the third regiment in Italian Army divisions as it was determined through operational experience that the Italian arm's binary divisions were too small in both manpower and heavy equipment. These mobile groups suffered heavy casualties due to being undermanned, under equipped and under trained. The three divisions were destroyed in combat in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. The MVSN fought in every theater where Italy did.

Ranks

Mussolini as Comandante Generale was made Primo Caporale Onorario (First Honorary Corporal) in 1935 and Adolf Hitler was made Caporale Onorario (Honorary Corporal) in 1937. All other ranks closely approximated those of the old Roman army as follows:

Generals:
  • Comandante Generale
    Commandant
    Commandant is a senior title often given to the officer in charge of a large training establishment or academy. This usage is common in anglophone nations...

     = General (Commander-in-chief
    Commander-in-Chief
    A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

    )
  • Luogotenente Generale Capo di S.M. = First Lieutenant General of the S.M. (Chief of Staff)
  • Luogotenente Generale = Lieutenant General
  • Console Generale = Brigadier General


Commissioned Officers:
  • Console Comandante = Colonel (Commander of a Legion)
  • Primo Seniore = Lieutenant Colonel
  • Seniore = Major (Commander of a Cohort
    Cohort (military unit)
    A cohort was the basic tactical unit of a Roman legion following the reforms of Gaius Marius in 107 BC.-Legionary cohort:...

    )
  • Centurion
    Centurion
    A centurion was a professional officer of the Roman army .Centurion may also refer to:-Military:* Centurion tank, British battle tank* HMS Centurion, name of several ships and a shore base of the British Royal Navy...

    e = Captain (Commander of a Centuria
    Centuria
    Centuria is a Latin substantive from the stem centum , denoting units consisting of 100 men. It also denotes a Roman unit of land area: 1 centuria = 100 heredia...

    )
  • Capomanipolo = First Lieutenant
  • Sottocapomanipolo = Second Lieutenant
  • Aspirante Sottocapomanipolo = Officer Cadet


Other Ranks:
  • Primo Aiutante = Master Warrant Officer
  • Aiutante Capo = Chief Warrant Officer
  • Aiutante
    Adjutant
    Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO , normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.An Adjutant...

     = Warrant Officer
  • Primo Capo Squadra = First Sergeant
  • Capo Squadra = Sergeant (Squad
    Squad
    In military terminology, a squad is a small military unit led by a non-commissioned officer that is subordinate to an infantry platoon. In countries following the British Army tradition this organization is referred to as a section...

    /Section
    Section (military unit)
    A section is a small military unit in some armies. In many armies, it is a squad of seven to twelve soldiers. However in France and armies based on the French model, it is the sub-division of a company .-Australian Army:...

     Leader)
  • Vicecapo Squadra = Corporal
    Corporal
    Corporal is a rank in use in some form by most militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. It is usually equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-4....

     (Vice Squad Leader)
  • Camicia Nera Scelta = Black Shirt Private First Class
  • Camicia Nera = Black Shirt Private

Legacy

The ethos and sometimes the uniform were later copied by others who shared Mussolini's political ideas, including Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 in Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, who issued brown shirts to the "Storm Troops" (Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

) and black uniforms to the "Defense Squad" (Schutzstaffel
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

, also colloquially known as "Brownshirts", because they wore black suit-like tunics with brown shirts), Sir Oswald Mosley
Oswald Mosley
Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, was an English politician, known principally as the founder of the British Union of Fascists...

 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (whose British Union of Fascists
British Union of Fascists
The British Union was a political party in the United Kingdom formed in 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley as the British Union of Fascists, in 1936 it changed its name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists and then in 1937 to simply the British Union...

 were also known as the "Blackshirts"), William Dudley Pelley
William Dudley Pelley
William Dudley Pelley was an American extremist and spiritualist who founded the Silver Legion in 1933, and ran for President in 1936 for the Christian Party.-Family:...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (Silver Legion of America
Silver Legion of America
The Silver Legion of America, commonly known as the Silver Shirts, was an American fascist organization founded by William Dudley Pelley on January 30, 1933, coincidentally, the same day Adolf Hitler, whom Pelley admired, seized power in Germany....

 or "Silver Shirts"), in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 the Camisas Doradas or "Golden Shirts", Plínio Salgado
Plínio Salgado
Plínio Salgado was a Brazilian politician, writer, journalist, and theologian. He founded and led the Brazilian Integralist Action, a far-right political party inspired on the Italian Fascist movement....

 in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (whose followers wore green shirts), and Eoin O'Duffy
Eoin O'Duffy
Eoin O'Duffy was in succession a Teachta Dála , the Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army , the second Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, leader of the Army Comrades Association and then the first leader of Fine Gael , before leading the Irish Brigade to fight for Francisco Franco during...

 in the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 (Army Comrades Association or "Blueshirts"). "Blueshirts" can also refer to Canadian fascists belonging to the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party and to the members of Falange Española, the most influential party within Franco's dictatorship in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The paramilitary fascist Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

 members in Romania wore green shirts.

See also

  • Blackshirts
    Albanian Fascist Party
    The Albanian Fascist Party was a fascist movement which held nominal power in Albania from 1939, when the country was conquered by Italy, until 1943, when Italy capitulated to the Allies...

     - Albania
  • Blueshirts
    Parti national social chrétien
    The Parti National Social Chrétien was a Canadian political party formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. The party identified with anti-semitism, and German leader Adolf Hitler's Nazism. The party was later known, in English, as the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party or National Unity...

     - Canada
  • Brownshirts
    Sturmabteilung
    The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

     - Germany
  • Blackshirts
    Blackshirts (India)
    Blackshirts are members of the anti-religious atheist quasi-political organization Dravidar Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, founded by "Periyar" E V Ramasamy. The members wear black shirts to mock and protest the saffron vestments of Hindu religious leaders, and sadhus as black is generally associated with...

     - India
  • Blueshirts - Ireland
  • Greenshirts
    Greenshirts
    .The Greenshirts was the name used for followers of Eoin O'Duffy's openly fascist National Corporate Party following the split from Fine Gael. In 1936 O'Duffy led a volunteer Irish Brigade for Franco in the Spanish Civil War and retired on his return. Without him both the Greenshirts and National...

     - Ireland
  • Gestapo
    Gestapo
    The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

     - Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

  • Redshirts - Italy
  • Goldshirts
    Gold shirts
    The Revolutionary Mexicanist Action , better known as the Gold shirts , was a Mexican fascist paramilitary organization in the 1930s.The group was founded by general Nicolás Rodríguez Carrasco in 1933 with the official title of Acción Revolucionaria Mexicana...

     - Mexico
  • Greyshirts
    Greyshirts
    Greyshirts or Gryshemde is the common short-form name given to the South African Gentile National Socialist Movement, a South African Nazi movement that existed during the 1930s and 1940s...

     - ethnically Dutch South Africans
  • Greenshirts
    Iron Guard
    The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

     - Romania
  • Blackshirts
    British Union of Fascists
    The British Union was a political party in the United Kingdom formed in 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley as the British Union of Fascists, in 1936 it changed its name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists and then in 1937 to simply the British Union...

     - United Kingdom
  • Silvershirts
    Silver Legion of America
    The Silver Legion of America, commonly known as the Silver Shirts, was an American fascist organization founded by William Dudley Pelley on January 30, 1933, coincidentally, the same day Adolf Hitler, whom Pelley admired, seized power in Germany....

     - United States
  • Black Brigades
    Black Brigades
    Black Brigades were one of the Fascist paramilitary groups operating in the Italian Social Republic , during the final years of World War II, and after the signing of the Italian Armistice in 1943...

  • Blue Shirts Society
    Blue Shirts Society
    The Blue Shirts Society also known as the Society of Practice of the Three Principles of the People , the Spirit Encouragement Society and the China Reconstruction Society , was a secret clique in the...

     - Republic of China
    Republic of China
    The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

     (Kuomintang
    Kuomintang
    The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

    )
  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Paramilitary
    Paramilitary
    A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

  • Political color
  • Political uniform
    Political uniform
    A number of political movements have involved their members wearing uniforms, typically as a way of showing their identity in marches and demonstrations...

  • Squadrismo
    Squadrismo
    Squadrismo was the use of violence by Italian Fascist gangs from 1918 - 1922. Squadrismo consisted of fascist squads who were led by the Ras...

  • Integralismo
  • Black Shorts parody of the blackshirts in the writings of P.G. Wodehouse

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