4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment

The 4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment (Italian: 4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti) is a Ranger-type[3][4][5] special forces regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain combat. The regiment is one of four regiments of the Army Special Forces Command. The regiment is a unit of the Italian Army's mountain infantry speciality, the Alpini, which distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II. The 4th Alpini Regiment is one of the most decorated units of the Italian Army, although its two Gold Medals of Military Valour were awarded to the regiment's currently inactive Alpini Battalion "Aosta",[6] respectively the currently active Skiers Battalion "Monte Cervino".[7]

4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment
4º Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti
CoA mil ITA rgt alpini 004.png
Coat of Arms of the 4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment
Active1 Nov 1882 - 8 Sept 1943
1 Jan 1946 - 10 Oct 1975
25 Sept 2004 - today
CountryItaly
BranchItalian Army
TypeAlpini infantry
Special Forces
RoleAir assault
Airborne forces
Close quarters combat
Counter-insurgency
Counter-Terrorism
Direct Action
Mountain warfare
Special operations
Size1 Battalion
"Monte Cervino" Battalion
Part of1st Alpine Division “Taurinense”
1935 - 1943
Taurinense Alpine Brigade
1946 - 1975
COMALP
2004 - 2013
Army Special Forces Command
2013 - today
Garrison/HQVerona (VR)
Motto(s)"In adversa ultra adversa"
Anniversaries18 May 1917 - Battle of Monte Vodice
Engagements"World War I"
Battle of Monte Adamello
Battle of Monte Vodice
Battle of Monte Solarolo
Battle of Monte Grappa
Battle of Monte Nero
Battle of Monte Pasubio
Battle of Cosmagnon
"World War II"
Battle of Nikolayevka
"War in Afghanistan"
DecorationsCavaliere BAR.svg Cavaliere BAR.svg Valor militare gold medal BAR.svg Valor militare gold medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg Valor militare bronze medal BAR.svg Valor civile silver medal BAR.svg BenemerenzaSiculo1908.png
2x Military Order of Italy[1]
2x Gold Medals of Military Valour
9x Silver Medals of Military Valour
1x Bronze Medal of Military Valour
1x Silver Medal of Civil Valour
1x 1908 Messina earthquake Medal of Merit[2]
Insignia
4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment gorget patches
Mostrina - 4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti.png
Mostrina - 4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti.png

HistoryEdit

 
Alpini Paratroopers of the 4th regiment in Afghanistan

FormationEdit

The 4th Alpini Regiment was formed on 1 November 1882. It consisted of the three battalions: "Val Pellice", "Val Chisone" and "Val Brenta", named after the valleys from which the battalion's soldiers were recruited. In 1886 the battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main logistic depot: "Pinerolo", "Aosta" and "Ivrea". In 1888 the "Pinerolo" was subordinated to the 3rd Alpini Regiment and in exchange the "Susa 2°" battalion was transferred from the 3rd to the 4th Alpini. In 1908 the "Susa" returned to the 3rd Alpini and in the city of Intra the "Pallanza" battalion was raised as substitute, with existing companies from other Alpini battalions. In 1909 the "Pallanza" was renamed "Intra" battalion. Thus the regiment's structure in 1910 was:

  •   "Ivrea" with the Alpini companies: 38, 39, 40
  •   "Aosta" with the Alpini companies: 41, 42, 43
  •   "Intra" with the Alpini companies: 7 (former "Aosta" company), 24 (former "Pinerolo" company), 37 (former "Ivrea" company)

World War IEdit

During World War I the regiment consisted of 10 battalions and saw heavy fighting in the Alps against Austria's Kaiserjäger and Germany's Alpenkorps. The battalions of the regiment in these days were (pre-war raised units in bold, followed by their first and second line reserve battalions):

  •   "Ivrea", "Val d'Orco", "Monte Levanna", "Pallanza"
  •   "Aosta", "Val Baltea", "Monte Cervino"
  •   "Intra", "Val Toce", "Monte Rosa"

The "Aosta" Battalion distinguished itself in 1917 during heavy combat on Monte Vodice and in 1918 on Monte Solarolo. During the war a total of 31,000 men served in the 4th Alpini. 189 Officers and 4,704 soldiers died during combat and 455 Officers and 10,923 soldiers were wounded.

Interwar PeriodEdit

On 10 September 1935, the "1st Alpine Division "Taurinense"" was formed and composed of the 3rd Alpini and 4th Alpini Regiments and the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment. The division participated in 1936 in the Italian conquest of Abyssinia.

World War IIEdit

In 1940 the regiment as part of the Taurinense division fought in the Italian attack on Greece. After the German invasion of Yugoslavia the "Taurinense" performed garrison duties in Montenegro were the regiment disbanded after the signing of the Italian armistice with the Allies on 8 September 1943. Most of its soldiers joined the Italian Partisan Brigade "Garibaldi", which operated in central Yugoslavia.

The reformed 4th Alpini Regiment participated in the liberation of Italy as part of the Partisan Piemonte Mountain Corps.

Cold WarEdit

After World War II the 4th Alpini Regiment was reformed in 1952 with the battalions "Aosta", "Saluzzo" and "Susa". In 1953 the "Mondovì" battalion was reactivated as fourth battalion of the regiment. The 4th Alpini was the basis for the newly founded Alpine Brigade "Taurinense". In 1962 the "Mondovì" was transferred to the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia to augment the Alpine Brigade "Julia" and in 1963 the "Aosta" battalion was transferred to the Alpine Military School in Aosta. Four years later it was again subordinated to 4th Alpini Regiment. With the Italian Army 1975 reform the battalions came under the direct command of the Taurinense. The "Aosta" battalion was assigned to the Alpine Military School and would have joined the Taurinense only in case of war. The "Aosta" received the regimental colours of the dissolved 4th Alpini Regiment and carried on its tradition and flag.

In the early stages of the Cold War the 4th Alpini Regiment consisted of the following units:

StructureEdit

 
Alpini of the 4th regiment abseiling from an AB205 helicopter during the Falzarego 2011 exercise

On 25 September 2004, the 4th Alpini Regiment was reformed as 4th Alpini Paratroopers) Regiment in the city of Bolzano. The existing Alpini Paratroopers Battalion "Monte Cervino" entered the regiment. Today the 4th Regiment is one of four special forces regiments of the Italian Army. The Alpini Paratroopers have recently served in Iraq and one company is constantly deployed in Afghanistan. In January 2011 the regiment moved to its new base in Verona and in 2013 joined the newly formed Army Special Forces Command (COMFOSE). The regiment's structure is as follows:[9]

  •   4th Alpini Paratroopers Regiment[10]
    •   Regimental Command
      •   Staff and Personnel Office
      •   Operations, Training and Information Office
      •   Logistic and Administrative Office
      •   Command and Logistic Support Company "Aquile"
    •   Alpini Paratroopers Battalion "Monte Cervino"
      •   1st Ranger Company
      •   2nd Ranger Company
      •   3rd Ranger Company
      •   80th Maneuver Support Company
    •   Operational Support Battalion "Intra"[11]
      •   Operational Support Company
      •   Training Company

The Command and Logistic Support Company fields the following platoons: C3 Platoon, Transport and Materiel Platoon, Medical Platoon, and Commissariat Platoon. The Operational Support Company consists of a C4 Platoon and a Mobility Support Platoon. Each Ranger company fields three platoons of 36 men. The Maneuver Support Company fields an Anti-tank Platoon with eight Spike MR anti-tank guided missiles launchers, a Heavy Mortar Platoon with three F1 120mm mortars and a Medium Mortar Platoon with three Expal 81mm mortars. The maneuver support company is equipped with a total of six F1 120mm mortars and six Expal 81mm mortars, allowing the mortar platoons to switch between calibres as needed.[10]

DecorationsEdit

The 4th Alpini Regiment is one of the most decorated regiments of the Italian Army.

See alsoEdit

  • Mino - a TV series about the regiment's "Aosta" battalion in World War I

External linksEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Franco dell'Uomo, Rodolfo Puletti: "L'Esercito Italiano verso il 2000 - Volume Primo - Tomo I", Rome 1998, Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito - Ufficio Storico, page: 466

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Bandiera di Guerra del 4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti". Presidential Administration of Italy. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  2. ^ "4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti - Il Medagliere". Italian Army. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Il Ranger". Italian Army. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  4. ^ "4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti". Italian Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  5. ^ "4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti". Italian Army. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Bandiera del 4° Reggimento Alpini Battaglione "Aosta"". Quirinale - Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Bandiera del 4° Reggimento Alpini "Taurinense" Battaglione Sciatori "Monte Cervino"". Quirinale - Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  8. ^ F. dell'Uomo, R. Puletti (1998). L'Esercito Italiano verso il 2000 - Vol. Primo - Tomo I. Rome: SME - Ufficio Storico. p. 467.
  9. ^ "4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti". Italian Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  10. ^ a b Scarpitta, Alberto. "Il potenziamento del Comando Forze Speciali dell'Esercito". Analisi Difesa. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  11. ^ Alberto Scarpitta (13 July 2020). "Il potenziamento del Comando Forze Speciali dell'Esercito". Analisidifesa.it (in Italian). Retrieved 31 March 2021.