The 5th Alpini Regiment (Italian: 5° Reggimento Alpini) is a light 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.
The 5th Alpini Regiment was formed on November 1, 1882. It consisted of three Battalions: Val Dora, Moncenisio and Valtellina, named after the valleys and localities from which their soldiers were recruited. In 1886 the Battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main logistic depot: Morbegno, Tirano, Edolo and the newly formed Vestone.
During World War I the regiment consisted of 16 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): Morbegno, Val d'Intelvi, Monte Spluga, Monte Mandrone
Tirano, Valtellina, Stelvio, Tonale
Edolo, Val Camonica, Monte Adamello, Monte Ortler
Vestone, Val Chiese, Monte Suello, Monte Cavento
On September 10, 1935 the 2nd Alpine Division “Tridentina” was formed and composed of the 5th Alpini and 6th Alpini Regiments and the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment.
In September 1942 the “Tridentina” division under the command of General Luigi Reverberi was sent together with the Alpini divisions Julia and Cuneense and other Italian units to the Soviet Union to form the ARMIR (Armata Italiana in Russia or Italian Army in Russia) and fight alongside the Germans against the Red Army. Taking up positions along the Don River the Italian units covered part of the left flank of the German Sixth Army, which spearheaded the German summer offensive of 1942 into the city of Stalingrad.
After successfully encircling the German Sixth army in Stalingrad the Red Army’s attention turned to the Italian units along the Don. On January 14, 1943 the Soviet offensive Operation Little Saturn began and the three Alpini division found themselves quickly encircled by the rapidly advancing armoured Soviet Forces. After 12 days of heavy fighting the Julia and Cuneense divisions were completely annihilated. The remnants of the Tridentina were able to break the Soviet encirclement in the epic and desperate Battle of Nikolayevka on January 26, 1943 allowing the 4,250 survivors (out of 15,000 troops deployed) to reach German lines.
The few survivors of the 5th regiment were repatriated and after the signing of the Italian armistice with the Allies on September 8, 1943 the regiment dissolved in the vicinity of the Italian city of Brixen.
After World War II the 5th Alpini regiment was reformed on January 1, 1953 in the city of Meran with the battalions Tirano, and Edolo and became the sole Alpini regiment in the newly formed Alpine Brigade Orobica. When Italy dissolved the regimantal level in 1975 the battalions came under the direct command of the Orobica Brigade and a third battalion Morbegno was formed. The traditions and regimental colours of the 5th Alpini were given to the Morbegno battalion, which carried them until the 5th Alpini regiment was reformed on August 8, 1992.
Today the 5th Regiment consists of the “Morbegno” battalion, the regimental command and a logistic support company. The regiment is based in Sterzing in the province of South Tyrol, making it the north most based regiment of the Italian Army and is part of the Alpine Brigade Julia. Regimental Command
Command and Logistic Support Company
Alpini Battalion Morbegno
44th Alpini Company "L’Ardita"
45th Alpini Company "L’Fer"
47th Alpini Company "L’Audace"
107th Mortar Company "Là Dove Voglio"
262nd Anti-Tank Company "Val Brenta"
The Alpini companies are equipped with Bv 206S tracked all-terrain carriers, Puma 6x6 wheeled armored personnel carriers and Lince light multirole vehicles. The mortar company is equipped with 120mm mortars, while the anti-tank company fields Spike anti-tank guided missile systems.