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4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment

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Country  Italy
Type  Alpini
Branch  Italian Army
Role  Ranger - Parachutist
4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment
Active  1 Nov 1882 - 8 Sept 1943 1 Jan 1946 - 10 Oct 1975 25 Sept 2004 - today
Size  1 Battalion Monte Cervino Battalion

The 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment (Italian: 4° Reggimento Alpini Paracadutisti) is a Ranger type 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. Today the 4th Alpini Regiment is a special operations unit specialized in the airborne assault role. The 4th Alpini Regiment is the most decorated regiment of the Italian Army.



The 4th Alpini Regiment was formed on November 1, 1882. It consisted of the three battalions: Val Pellice, Val Chisone and Val Brenta, named after the valleys from which the battalions 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 regiments 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 I

    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 Period

    On September 10, 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 II

    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 September 8, 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.

    The Cold War

    After World War II the 4th Alpini Regiment was reformed in 1952 with the battalions Aosta, Saluzzo and Susa. In 1953 a fourth battalion was raised: the Mondovi. The 4th Alpini was the basis for the newly founded Alpine Brigade Taurinense. In 1962 the Mondovi 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 Alpini Formation and Training Center in Aosta. Four years later it was again subordinated to 4th Alpini Regiment. When Italy dissolved the regimental level in 1975 the remaining battalions came under the direct command of the Taurinense Brigade, with the exception of the Aosta which became a High Altitude Warfare training unit under permanent command of the Alpini Formation and Training Center. The Aosta received the regimental colours of the dissolved 4th Alpini Regiment and carried on its tradition and flag.

  • 4th Alpini Regiment with
  • Mondovi Alpini Battalion (raised in 1953, transferred to Alpine Brigade Julia in 1962)
  • Aosta Alpini battalion (under command of Alpini Formation and Training Center from 1963–1967)
  • Saluzzo Alpini battalion
  • Susa Alpini battalion
  • Today

    On September 25, 2004 the 4th Alpini Regiment was reformed as 4° Alpini Paracadutisti (Alpini Parachutist) Regiment in the city of Bolzano. The existing Alpini Parachutist Monte Cervino battalion was placed under the command of the reformed regiment. Today the 4th regiment is one of three Special Forces regiments of the Italian Army. The Alpini Paracadutisti have recently served in Iraq and one company is constantly deployed in Afghanistan. At the end of 2010 the unit moved to its new base in Montorio Veronese and in 2013 joined the new Army Special Forces Command (COMFOSE).

  • Regimental Command
  • Command and Logistic Support Company Aquile
  • Alpini Battalion Monte Cervino
  • 1st Alpini Parachutist Company
  • 2nd Alpini Parachutist Company
  • 3rd Alpini Parachutist Company
  • Decorations

    The 4th Alpini Regiment is the highest decorated regiment of the Italian Army.

  • 1x Knight Cross of the Military Order of Italy for service in World War I
  • 2x Gold Medals of Military Valor:
  • 1x for the conquest of Monte Solarolo, 25-27 October 1918
  • 1x for the Italian campaign in the Soviet Union, 1942-1943
  • 9x Silver Medals of Military Valor
  • 1x for the conquest of the saddle between Monte Nero and Monte Rosso, 19-21 July, 1915
  • 1x for the conquest and defense of the Austrian positions on Alpe di Cosmagnon, 10 September and 9-12 October 1916
  • 1x for the conquest of Monte Vodice, 18-21 May 1917
  • 1x for service during the battles of Monte Vodice, 26-30 May 1917, Monte Melette, 17-26 November 1917 and Monte Fior, 4 December 1917
  • 1x for operations on Monte Solarolo, 24-28 Octobre 1918
  • 1x for the defense of the Mecan Pass during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, 31 March 1936
  • 1x for service during the Greco-Italian War, 10 January to 23 April 1941
  • 1x for the refusal to surrender to German Forces after the armistice of September 1943 and the subsequent service with Yugoslav partisans in Montenegro, September to November 1943
  • 1x for service with the Italian Co-Belligerent Army during the Italian liberation campaign, 18 March 1944 to 8 May 1945
  • 1x Bronze Medal of Military Valor for defensive operations during the Greco-Italian War, 24-26 January 1941
  • 1x Silver Medal of Civil Valor for service after the 1957 Piedmont floods
  • 1x Silver Medal of Civil Merit for service after the 1908 Messina earthquake
  • References

    4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment Wikipedia

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