The Folgore Parachute Brigade
is the largest unit of paratroopers
) 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
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
Division resisted the attack of the British 131st (Queen's)... Read More