Folgore Parachute Brigade

Folgore Parachute Brigade

Folgore Parachute Brigade

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The Folgore Parachute Brigade is the largest unit of paratroopers (paracadutisti) of the Italian Army; a second smaller unit is the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment. The name Folgore is Italian for lightning.

The Folgore (Thunderbolt) operates as Light Infantry, capable of both air-landing and parachute operations, and has a marginal mechanized role. It is part of the Projection Forces under the 1° Commando FOD.


The first units of Italian parachutists were trained and formed shortly before the Second World War in Castelbenito, near Tripoli, where the first Military school of Parachuting was located.

The first troops trained were two Libyan battalions (one composed by "nationals", i.e. Italian elements, the other by Libyan elements of the Royal Colonial Corps). To these were added the first battalion of Italian troops and the Carabinieri Parachute Battalion.

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

The Folgore Division

In 1941, a Parachutist division was completed and was designated the 185th Airborne Division Folgore. The division trained together with their German allies for the planned assault on Malta in Operation Hercules which did not eventuate. During course of the North African Campaign, it was engaged in ground combat operations.

During the Second battle of El Alamein the Folgore Division resisted the attack of the British 131st (Queen's)...
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