Alpini and Mountain Artillery formations in World War I

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Alpini observation post on Monte Nero.

The Alpini (Italian for "alpines") are a specialised mountain warfare infantry corps of the Italian Army, which distinguished itself in World War I fighting in the Alps against Austro-Hungarian Kaiserjäger and the German Alpenkorps. The Alpini were supported by the Mountain Artillery, which both share the Cappello Alpino as identifying symbol. Below follow tables listing the regiments, battalions and groups, companies and batteries of the Alpini and Mountain Artillery active in World War I.

Alpini[edit]

History[edit]

The Alpini were founded in 1872 and their mission was to protect Italy's northern mountain border with France and Austria-Hungary. Recruited locally in the valleys of the Alps they were the trained in mountain warfare and based in locations along the Alpine arch. The regiments were numbered 1 to 8 from West to East and the regular battalions named for the locations of their depots, which served as training centers and for materiel storage. After the raising of the Belluno battalion on 1 October 1910 the Alpini numbered 79 companies in 26 battalions. Each battalion, with the exception of the Verona, consisted of three Alpini companies of one captain, four lieutenants and 250 men. The Verona was the only battalion to field four companies.[1]

After the outbreak of World War I in 1914 an additional 38 Alpini companies, numbered from 80 to 117, were raised from men, who had completed their military service in the preceding four years (i.e. completed it between 1910 and 1914). These companies were used to augment the regular battalions. Starting in early January 1915 each Alpini battalion activated a reserve battalion. Named after a valley (in Italian: Val or Valle) located near the regular battalion's depot, these Valle battalions were filled with men, who had completed their military service at least four years, but not more than 11 years earlier (i.e. completed it between 1911 and 1904). The companies of the Valle battalions were numbered from 201 to 281, with the numbers 227, 233, 237, 271, and 273 never assigned to a company (227th originally meant for the Val Pellice, but received the 224th Company instead; 233rd originally meant for the Val Dora, but received the 3rd Company instead; 271st originally meant for the Val Fella, but received the 8th Company instead).

After the Italian declaration of war against Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915 the Alpini were heavily employed in the mountainous areas of the Italian front. At the end of 1915 the depots began to raise new battalions with drafted men born in 1896. These battalions were named after mountains (in Italian: Monte) located near the regular battalion's depots and they received the 38 companies already raised in 1914. The new companies of these battalions were numbered from 118 to 157. One additional Monte company (158th for the Fenestrelle battalion), and the Monte Mandrone battalion (159th, 160th, 161st company) were raised later (see 5th Alpini Regiment for details about the Monte Mandrone).

Machine Gunner Companies[edit]

Alpini machine gunners operating a Fiat–Revelli Modello 1914.

At the outbreak of war each infantry and Bersaglieri battalion of the Italian Army fielded one machine gun section with two Maxim 1911 machine guns carried by horses. Alpini battalions fielded two machine gun sections with two Maxim 1911 machine guns carried by mules. After the outbreak of the war this proved quickly to be inadequate and in spring 1916 the army began to raise dedicated machine gunner companies (Compagnia Mitraglieri). These companies were attached to brigades, divisions and army corps, which deployed them with tactical units (regiments, battalions, companies) as needed. 2,277 Machine Gunner companies were raised and numbered continuously. The Alpini depots raised 50 companies equipped with six St. Étienne Mle 1907 machine guns each, and 119 companies equipped with six Fiat–Revelli Modello 1914 machine guns each.[2]

The St. Étienne Mle 1907 equipped machine gunner companies were the: 78th, 79th, 87th, 89th, 91st, 92nd, 116th, 117th, 121st, 133rd, 141st, 143rd, 166th, 167th, 176th, 190th, 191st, 192nd, 350th, 416th, 417th, 441st, 442nd, 456th, 467th, 491st, 492nd, 2021st, 2057th, 2101st, 2191st, 2207th, 2227th, 2230th, 2231st, 2232nd, 2233rd, 234th, 2235th, 2236th, 2237th, 2238th, 2260th, 2262nd, 2265th, 2266th, 2268th, 2284th, 2275th, and 2276th.

The Fiat–Revelli Modello 1914 equipped machine gunner companies were the: 201st, 202nd, 215th, 218th, 219th, 257th, 296th, 316th, 347th, 348th, 503rd, 504th, 505th, 506th, 507th, 508th, 509th, 526th, 527th, 557th, 558th, 559th, 560th, 617th, 625th, 636th, 637th, 638th, 639th, 652nd, 661st, 662nd, 663rd, 664th, 665th, 670th, 671st, 691st, 692nd, 693rd, 694th, 695th, 741st, 742nd, 745th, 799th, 817th, 819th, 820th, 821st, 880th, 890th, 891st, 932nd, 933rd, 934th, 935th, 936th, 938th, 979th, 980th, 981st, 982nd, 983rd, 1259th, 1260th, 1261st, 1284th, 1337th, 1351st, 1355th, 1356th, 1357th, 1358th, 1359th, 1374th, 1380th, 1388th, 1397th, 1411th, 1451st, 1452nd, 1457th, 1559th, 1560th, 1602nd, 1603rd, 1604th, 1620th, 1621st, 1622nd, 1634th, 1635th, 1636th, 1637th, 1638th, 1734th, 1740th, 1741st, 1742nd, 1743rd, 1744th, 1747th, 1771st, 1772nd, 1773rd, 1774th, 1775th, 1776th, 1777th, 1778th, 1779th, 1801st, 1802nd, 1830th, 1831st, 1832nd, 1833rd, and 1834th.

Skiers Battalions[edit]

Ski troops with their sled dogs on Adamello glacier.

During the war each Alpini battalion raised a skiers platoon from its ranks. Starting on 9 January 1917 the army began to combine these platoons in twelve skiers battalions (Battaglione Sciatori) of two companies and one train unit each. Each company had 18 dog sleds: six configured to carry wounded and twelve to carry the company's six Villar Perosa submachine guns with their ammunition. Each company also fielded a machine gun section with two Fiat–Revelli Modello 1914 machine guns.[3] Until the end of March 1917 twelve battalions and two autonomous companies had been formed and numbered from West to East. However already on 15 May of the same year ten of the battalions were disbanded or their men used to form seven regular Alpini battalions. Only the I and II Skiers battalion continued to serve on the glaciers of the Adamello-Presanella Alps and Ortler Alps. Ultimately both battalions were reformed as Alpini battalions in spring 1918. Until the end of the war a total of nine battalions were raised with men and companies of the former skiers battalions and their companies were numbered:[3]

  • from 282 to 286 for newly raised companies
  • from 290 to 311 for former skiers companies

The numbers 287, 288, 289 were not assigned. As an example: on 15 May 1917 the two newly raised 282nd and 283rd companies were combined with the 302nd company, which contained the remaining men of the V Skiers Battalion to form the Pallanza Alpini Battalion. The battalions were assigned to higher commands as follows:[3]

Army Battalion Company Fate[3]
1st Army I Skiers Battalion 1st Skiers Company Became the Alpini Battalion Monte Ortler on 24 February 1918
9th Skiers Company
II Skiers Battalion 2nd Skiers Company Became the Alpini Battalion Monte Cavento on 4 March 1918
10th Skiers Company
III Skiers Battalion 11th Skiers Company Alpini Battalion Monte Pasubio
25th Skiers Company
IV Skiers Battalion 12th Skiers Company
13th Skiers Company
24th Autonomous Skiers Company Alpini Battalion Monte Tonale
6th Army V Skiers Battalion 3rd Skiers Company Alpini Battalion Pallanza
4th Skiers Company
VI Skiers Battalion 14th Skiers Company Alpini Battalion Cuneo
15th Skiers Company
VII Skiers Battalion 5th Skiers Company Alpini Battalion Courmayeur
6th Skiers Company
VIII Skiers Battalion 19th Skiers Company Alpini Battalion Monte Marmolada
20th Skiers Company
4th Army IX Skiers Battalion 8th Skiers Company disbanded
23rd Skiers Company
X Skiers Battalion 7th Skiers Company
21st Skiers Company
22nd Autonomous Skiers Company
XII Army Corps XI Skiers Battalion 16th Skiers Company Alpini Battalion Monte Nero
17th Skiers Company
2nd Army XII Skiers Battalion 18th Skiers Company
26th Skiers Company

Initial operational deployment[edit]

The regimental commands of the eight Alpini regiments were disbanded in the first years of the war. Their officers were used to create regiment-sized Groups (Gruppo), which numbered twenty by the war's end (1° to 20°) and brigade-sized Groupings (Raggruppamento), which numbered nine by war's end (I to IX). For larger operations divisional commands were assigned groupings and the necessary support units, however these divisions were not part of the Alpini corps. By war's end the 52nd and 80th divisional commands had at one point or the other commanded two Alpini groupings, while the 5th and 75th divisional commands, which were tasked with static defense in the Giudicarie and Bergamasque Alps fielded almost exclusively Alpini Groupings.[4]

As an example for the operational deployment of the Alpini below follows the order of battle of the 52nd Division for the assault on Monte Ortigara on 10 June 1917.

52nd Division
Command of 1st and 2nd GroupNote 1 Command of 8th and 9th GroupNote 1 Divisional Reserve
  • 1st Alpini Group
    • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Spluga
    • Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Tirano
    • Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Stelvio
    • Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Valtellina
    • Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Vestone
    • 78th Machine Gunner Company
    • 79th Machine Gunner Company
    • 176th Machine Gunner Company
    • 456th Machine Gunner Company
    • 661st Machine Gunner Company
  • 2nd Alpini Group
    • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Ceva
    • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val Tanaro
    • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val Stura
    • Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Bicocca
    • Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Mondovì
    • 527th Machine Gunner Company
    • 693rd Machine Gunner Company
    • 694th Machine Gunner Company
    • 695th Machine Gunner Company
  • XIII Mountain Artillery Group
    • 13th Artillery Battery
    • 44th Artillery Battery
    • 62nd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • 8th Alpini Group
    • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Mercantur
    • Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Arroscia
    • Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Ellero
    • Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Clapier
    • 215th Machine Gunner Company
    • 662nd Machine Gunner Company
    • 691st Machine Gunner Company
  • 9th Alpini Group
    • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Verona
    • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Baldo
    • Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Bassano
    • Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Sette Comuni
    • 202nd Machine Gunner Company
    • 663rd Machine Gunner Company
    • 692nd Machine Gunner Company
  • XXII Mountain Artillery Group
    • 45th Mountain Artillery Battery
    • 47th Mountain Artillery Battery
    • 48th Mountain Artillery Battery

  • Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Cuneo
  • Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Saccarello
  • Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Dora
  • Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Marmolada
  • 10th Mountain Artillery Grouping
    • XXIII Mountain Artillery Group
      • 45th Artillery Battery
      • 46th Mountain Artillery Battery
      • 50th Mountain Artillery Battery
    • XXIV Mountain Artillery Group
      • 56th Mountain Artillery Battery
      • 60th Mountain Artillery Battery

The two commands were renamed I Alpini Grouping respectively IV Alpini Grouping on 20 July 1920

Military Awards[edit]

Medals of Military Valor awarded to a battalion for its conduct during the war are also listed in the table below. If more than one battalion distinguished itself in a battle they were collectively awarded a shared medal of military valor, but no matter the number of battalions awarded a shared medal, only one medal was pinned to the regiment's war flag.

1st Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 1st Alpini Regiment was based in Mondovì and recruited in the Ligurian Alps and Maritime Alps. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[5]

The regiment's battalions were awarded three Silver Medals of Military Valor during the war, one of which was shared between the Ceva and Monte Saccarello battalions.

1st Alpini Regiment, in Mondovì[5][6]
Ceva Depot Pieve di Teco Depot Mondovì Depot
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Ceva[7][8]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 1st Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 4th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 5th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Pieve di Teco

(disbanded on 14 March 1916 because of heavy losses)[9][10]

  • Nappina rossa.png 2nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 3rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 8th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Mondovì[11]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 2nd Alpini Company Note 1
  • Nappina verde.png 9th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 10th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 11th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val Tanaro[12]
  • Nappina bianca.png 201st Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 204th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 205th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Arroscia[13]
  • Nappina rossa.png 202nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 203rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 208th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val d'Ellero[14]
  • Nappina verde.png 209th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 210th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 211th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Mercantur[15]
  • Nappina bianca.png 98th Alpini Company (ex Ceva)
  • Nappina bianca.png 116th Alpini Company (ex Ceva)
  • Nappina bianca.png 121st Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Saccarello[16]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 107th Alpini Company (ex Pieve di Teco)
  • Nappina rossa.png 115th Alpini Company (ex Pieve di Teco)
  • Nappina rossa.png 120th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Clapier[17]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 114th Alpini Company (ex Mondovì)
  • Nappina verde.png 118th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 119th Alpini Company

Note 1: The 2nd Alpini Company, originally part of the disbanded Pieve di Teco battalion, was re-raised by the Mondovì depot and joined the Mondovì on 5 December 1916.

2nd Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 2nd Alpini Regiment was based in Cuneo and recruited in the Maritime Alps and Cottian Alps. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[18]

The regiment's battalions were awarded three Silver Medals of Military Valor during the war, one of which was shared between the Val Maira, Val Varaita, Monte Argentera, and Monviso battalions.

2nd Alpini Regiment, in Cuneo[18][19]
Borgo San Dalmazzo Depot Dronero Depot Saluzzo Depot
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Borgo San Dalmazzo[20]
  • Nappina bianca.png 13th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 14th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 15th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Dronero[21][22]
  • Nappina rossa.png 17th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 18th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 19th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Saluzzo[23][24]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 21st Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 22nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 23rd Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val Stura[25][26]
  • Nappina bianca.png 213th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 214th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 215th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Maira[27]Silver Medal of Military ValorSilver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 217th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 218th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 219th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Varaita[28][29]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 221st Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 222nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 223rd Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Argentera[30][31]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 99th Alpini Company (ex Borgo San Dalmazzo)
  • Nappina bianca.png 117th Alpini Company (ex Borgo San Dalmazzo)
  • Nappina bianca.png 122nd Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Bicocca[32][33]
  • Nappina rossa.png 81st Alpini Company (ex Dronero)
  • Nappina rossa.png 101st Alpini Company (ex Dronero)
  • Nappina rossa.png 123rd Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monviso[34][35]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 80th Alpini Company (ex Saluzzo)
  • Nappina verde.png 100th Alpini Company (ex Saluzzo)
  • Nappina verde.png 124th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Cuneo[36]
(formed with men of the VI Skiers Battalion)[3]
  • Nappina bianca.png 297th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 298th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 299th Alpini Company

3rd Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 3rd Alpini Regiment was based in Turin and recruited in the Cottian Alps and Graian Alps. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[37]

The regiment's battalions were awarded three Silver Medals of Military Valor during the war, one of which was shared between the Susa and Exilles battalions for the conquest of Monte Nero.

3rd Alpini Regiment, in Turin[37][38]
Pinerolo Depot Fenestrelle Depot Exilles Depot Susa Depot
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Pinerolo[39]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 25th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 26th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 27th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Fenestrelle[40][41]
  • Nappina rossa.png 28th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 29th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 30th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 158th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Exilles[42]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 31st Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 32nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 33rd Alpini Company
Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Susa[43]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina blu.png 34th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 35th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 36th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val Pellice[44]
  • Nappina bianca.png 224th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 225th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 226th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Chisone[45]
  • Nappina rossa.png 228th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 229th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 230th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Dora[46]
  • Nappina verde.png 3rd Alpini Company Note 1
  • Nappina verde.png 231st Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 232nd Alpini Company
Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Val Cenischia[47]
  • Nappina blu.png 234th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 235th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 236th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Granero[48]
  • Nappina bianca.png 82nd Alpini Company (ex Pinerolo)
  • Nappina bianca.png 125th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 126th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Albergian[49]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 83rd Alpini Company (ex Fenestrelle)
  • Nappina rossa.png 127th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 128th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Assietta[50]
  • Nappina verde.png 84th Alpini Company (ex Exilles)
  • Nappina verde.png 129th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 130th Alpini Company
Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Moncenisio[51]
  • Nappina blu.png 85th Alpini Company (ex Susa)
  • Nappina blu.png 102nd Alpini Company (ex Susa)
  • Nappina blu.png 131st Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Courmayeur[52][53]
(formed with men of the VII Skiers Battalion)[3]
  • Nappina rossa.png 303rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 304th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 305th Alpini Company

Note 1: The 3rd Alpini Company, originally part of the disbanded Pieve di Teco battalion, was re-raised by the Exilles depot and joined the Val Dora on 24 December 1916.

4th Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 4th Alpini Regiment was based in Ivrea and recruited in the Graian Alps and Pennine Alps. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[54]

The regiment's battalions were awarded one Gold Medal of Military Valor and five Silver Medals of Military Valor during the war, four of which were shared between the Intra and Val D'Orco, Aosta and Val Toce, Monte Levanna and Aosta, Monte Levanna and Val Toce battalions.

4th Alpini Regiment, in Ivrea[54][55]
Ivrea Depot Aosta Depot Intra Depot
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Ivrea[56][57]
  • Nappina bianca.png 38th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 39th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 40th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Aosta[58][59]Gold Medal of Military ValorSilver Medal of Military ValorSilver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 41st Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 42nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 43rd Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Intra[60]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 7th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 24th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 37th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val d'Orco[61][62]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 238th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 239th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 240th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Baltea[63][64]
  • Nappina rossa.png 241st Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 242nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 280th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Toce[65]Silver Medal of Military ValorSilver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 207th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 243rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 281st Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Levanna[66][67]Silver Medal of Military ValorSilver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 86th Alpini Company (ex Ivrea)
  • Nappina bianca.png 111th Alpini Company (ex Ivrea)
  • Nappina bianca.png 132nd Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Cervino[68][69]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 87th Alpini Company (ex Aosta)
  • Nappina rossa.png 103rd Alpini Company (ex Aosta)
  • Nappina rossa.png 133rd Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Rosa[70]
  • Nappina verde.png 112th Alpini Company (ex Intra)
  • Nappina verde.png 134th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 135th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Pallanza[71]
(formed with men of the V Skiers Battalion)[3]
  • Nappina bianca.png 282nd Alpini Company (newly raised)
  • Nappina bianca.png 283rd Alpini Company (newly raised)
  • Nappina bianca.png 302nd Alpini Company

5th Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 5th Alpini Regiment was based in Milan and recruited in the valleys of Northern Lombardy, which lie mostly within the Lepontine Alps, Bergamasque Alps and Livigno Alps. The recruiting area of the 5th Alpini extended to the Westerns shore of Lake Garda, with the recruiting area of the 6th Alpini Regiment commencing on the Eastern shore. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[72]

The regiment's Val Chiese battalion served from 1915 to August 1918 in the Val di Ledro and then in the battles of the Piave river.[73] The Edolo battalion served for the entire war in the Adamello range and adjacent Tonale pass area.[74]

In spring 1915 the regiment's Morbegno Depot formed the 1st Alpini Volunteers Company, while in Milan volunteers formed the 2nd Alpini Volunteers Company. The two companies were merged in October 1915 as 1st Volunteer Unit (Reparto Volontari) and fought in the Ortler area until March 1918 when the company was renamed 3rd Alpini Company and assigned to the Mondovì Battalion. The 3rd Company was originally part of the Pieve di Teco battalion, until battalion and company were disbanded after suffering heavy losses. The company was then reformed and assigned to the Val Dora battalion, until battalion company were disbanded after suffering heavy losses in the Battle of Caporetto. Also in spring 1915 the Edolo] Depor formed the 3rd Alpini Volunteers Company Val Camonica, which served in the Tonale-Adamello area until June 1918 when it was assigned as 311th Alpini Company to the Alpini Battalion Monte Cavento. In Brescia a large number of volunteers formed another Volunteer Unit, which after training at the Vestone Depot was known as the Volunteer Unit Vestone. The unit was attached to the Vestone battalion and served in the Lake Garda area until August 1916 when it was merged into the 1st Volunteer Unit.

In August 1915 the 5th Alpini Regiment organized the Autonomous Company Garibaldi, which was tasked to garrison the area around the mountain hut of the same name in the Adamello range. On 20 April 1916 the company was elevated to Autonomous Battalion Garibaldi and staffed with Alpini soldiers of the 5th Alpini Regiment. On 6 September 1916 the battalion lost its autonomy and was integrated into the 5th Alpini as Alpini Battalion Monte Mandrone.[75]

The regiment's Morbegno battalion was awarded a Silver Medals of Military Valor during the war.

5th Alpini Regiment, in Milan[72][76]
Morbegno Depot Tirano Depot Edolo Depot Vestone Depot
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Morbegno[77][78]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 44th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 45th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 47th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Tirano[79][80]
  • Nappina rossa.png 46th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 48th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 49th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Edolo[74][81]
  • Nappina verde.png 50th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 51st Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 52nd Alpini Company
Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Vestone[82][83]
  • Nappina blu.png 53rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 54th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 55th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val d'Intelvi[84][85]
  • Nappina bianca.png 244th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 245th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 247th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Valtellina[86][87]
  • Nappina rossa.png 246th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 248th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 249th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Camonica[88][89]
  • Nappina verde.png 250th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 251st Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 252nd Alpini Company
Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Val Chiese[73]
  • Nappina blu.png 253rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 254th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 255th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Spluga[90]
  • Nappina bianca.png 88th Alpini Company (ex Morbegno)
  • Nappina bianca.png 104th Alpini Company (ex Morbegno)
  • Nappina bianca.png 136th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Stelvio[91]
  • Nappina rossa.png 89th Alpini Company (ex Tirano)
  • Nappina rossa.png 113th Alpini Company (ex Tirano)
  • Nappina rossa.png 137th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Adamello[92]
  • Nappina verde.png 90th Alpini Company (ex Edolo)
  • Nappina verde.png 105th Alpini Company (ex Edolo)
  • Nappina verde.png 138th Alpini Company
Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Monte Suello[93]
  • Nappina blu.png 91st Alpini Company (ex Vestone)
  • Nappina blu.png 139th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 140th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Mandrone[75]
  • Nappina bianca.png 159th Alpini Company (ex Pinerolo)
  • Nappina bianca.png 160th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 161st Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Tonale[94]
  • Nappina rossa.png 285th Alpini Company (newly raised)
  • Nappina rossa.png 286th Alpini Company (newly raised)
  • Nappina rossa.png 293rd Alpini Company (former 24th Autonomous Skiers Company)[3]
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Ortler[95][96]
(former I Skiers Battalion)[3]
  • Nappina verde.png 306th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 307th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 308th Alpini Company
Nappina blu.png Alpini Battalion Monte Cavento[97][98]
(former II Skiers Battalion)[3]
  • Nappina blu.png 309th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 310th Alpini Company
  • Nappina blu.png 311th Alpini CompanyNote 3

Note 3: Former 3rd Alpini Volunteers Company Val Camonica

6th Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 6th Alpini Regiment was based in Verona and recruited primarily in the Vicentine Alps. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[99]

The regiment's battalions were awarded six Silver Medals of Military Valor during the war, one of which was shared between the Verona, Bassano, Monte Baldo, and Sette Comuni battalions for their conduct during the battle of Monte Ortigara.

6th Alpini Regiment, in Verona[99][1]
Verona Depot Vicenza Depot Bassano Depot
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Verona[100]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 56th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 57th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 58th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 73rd Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Vicenza[101][102]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 59th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 60th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 61st Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Bassano[103][104]Silver Medal of Military ValorSilver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 62nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 63rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 74th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val d'Adige[105]
  • Nappina bianca.png 256th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 257th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 258th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Leogra[106][107]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 259th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 260th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 261st Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Brenta[108][109]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 262nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 263rd Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 274th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Baldo[110]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 92nd Alpini Company (ex Verona)
  • Nappina bianca.png 141st Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 142nd Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Berico[111][112]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 93rd Alpini Company (ex Vicenza)
  • Nappina rossa.png 108th Alpini Company (ex Vicenza)
  • Nappina rossa.png 143rd Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Sette Comuni[113][114]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 94th Alpini Company (ex Bassano)
  • Nappina verde.png 144th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 145th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Pasubio[115][116]
(formed with men of the III and IV Skiers Battalions)[3]
  • Nappina rossa.png 290th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 291st Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 292nd Alpini Company

7th Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 7th Alpini Regiment was based in Belluno and its recruiting area covered most of the Bellunes Alps. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[117]

In spring 1915 the regiment's Feltre Depot formed the Alpini Volunteers Company Feltre, while the Pieve di Cadore Depot formed the Alpini Volunteers Company Cadore. In 1918 the two companies were merged into the Volunteer Unit Feltre-Cadore and assigned to the 4th Army.

The regiment's battalions were awarded two Silver Medals of Military Valor and two Bronze Medals of Military Valor during the war.

7th Alpini Regiment, in Belluno[117][118]
Feltre Depot Pieve di Cadore Depot Belluno Depot
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Feltre[119][120]Bronze Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 64th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 65th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 66th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Pieve di Cadore[121][122]
  • Nappina rossa.png 67th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 68th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 75th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Belluno[123][124]
  • Nappina verde.png 77th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 78th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 79th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val Cismon[125][126]Bronze Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 264th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 265th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 277th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Piave[127]
  • Nappina rossa.png 267th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 268th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 275th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Cordevole[128]
  • Nappina verde.png 206th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 266th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 276th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Pavione[129]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 95th Alpini Company (ex Feltre)
  • Nappina bianca.png 148th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 149th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Antelao[130]
  • Nappina rossa.png 96th Alpini Company (ex Pieve di Cadore)
  • Nappina rossa.png 150th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 151st Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Pelmo[131]
  • Nappina verde.png 106th Alpini Company (ex Belluno)
  • Nappina verde.png 146th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 147th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Marmolada[132][133]Silver Medal of Military Valor
(formed with men of the VIII Skiers Battalion)[3]
  • Nappina verde.png 284th Alpini Company (newly raised)
  • Nappina verde.png 300th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 301st Alpini Company

8th Alpini Regiment[edit]

The 8th Alpini Regiment was based in Venzone and recruited in the Carnic Alps and Carnic Prealps, and the Western side of the Julian Alps. During the war the regiment's battalions fought:[134]

In spring 1915 the regiment's Gemona Depot also formed the Alpini Volunteers Company Gemona-Cividale, which was disbanded in March 1917 after suffering heavy losses.

The regiment's battalions were awarded two Silver Medals of Military Valor, which were shared between the Gemona, Val Fella, and Monte Canin, respectively between the Tolmezzo and Val Tagliamento battalions. The Cividale and Val Natisone battalions were awarded a shared Bronze Medal of Military Valor.

8th Alpini Regiment, in Venzone[134][135]
Tolmezzo Depot Gemona Depot Cividale DepotNote 2
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Tolmezzo[136][137]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 6th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 12th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 72nd Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Gemona[138][139]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 69th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 70th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 71st Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Cividale[140][141]Bronze Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 16th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 20th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 76th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Val Tagliamento[142][143]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina bianca.png 212th Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 272nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 278th Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Val Fella[144][145]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 8th Alpini Company Note 1
  • Nappina rossa.png 269th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 270th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Val Natisone[146][147]Bronze Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina verde.png 216th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 220th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 279th Alpini Company
Nappina bianca.png Alpini Battalion Monte Arvenis[148]
  • Nappina bianca.png 109th Alpini Company (ex Tolmezzo)
  • Nappina bianca.png 152nd Alpini Company
  • Nappina bianca.png 153rd Alpini Company
Nappina rossa.png Alpini Battalion Monte Canin[149]Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Nappina rossa.png 97th Alpini Company (ex Gemona)
  • Nappina rossa.png 154th Alpini Company
  • Nappina rossa.png 155th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Matajur[150]
  • Nappina verde.png 110th Alpini Company (ex Cividale)
  • Nappina verde.png 156th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 157th Alpini Company
Nappina verde.png Alpini Battalion Monte Nero[151]
(formed with men of the XI and XII Skiers Battalions)[3]
  • Nappina verde.png 294th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 295th Alpini Company
  • Nappina verde.png 296th Alpini Company

Note 1: The 8th Alpini Company, originally part of the disbanded Pieve di Teco battalion, was re-raised by the Gemona depot and joined the Val Fella on 15 May 1916.
Note 2: As the depot was too close to the front it was moved to Casarsa in 1915.

Battle of Caporetto[edit]

The Battle of Caporetto and following retreat was devastating for the Italian Army, which lost 305,000 men. The Alpini units along the Isonzo front and in the Carnic Alps and Dolomites were badly mauled and 20 Alpini battalions had to be disbanded at the end of the battle. A further seven were disbanded two months later to bring the remaining battalions back up to strength. Worst hit was the 8th Alpini Regiment, whose units were all deployed in the Julian and Carnic Alps and had to retrat the farthest. Seven of its ten battalions had to be disbanded, and as the regiment's depots were all overrun by German and Austro-Hungarian troops it could not replenish its ranks. The other regiments, which were badly hit were the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Alpini, which lost between half and two-thirds of their battalions. The following battalions were disbanded:

18 Nov. 1917 22 Nov. 1917 25 Nov. 1917 30 Nov. 1917 9 Dec. 1917 15 Feb. 1918
1st Alpini Regiment[5] Nappina bianca.png Monte Mercantur
Nappina rossa.png Val Arroscia
Nappina verde.png Val Ellero
Nappina bianca.png Ceva Nappina rossa.png Monte Saccarello (re-raised 1 Aug. 1918)
2nd Alpini Regiment[18] Nappina bianca.png Val Stura
Nappina rossa.png Bicocca
Nappina bianca.png Monte Argentera
Nappina verde.png Monviso
Nappina verde.png Val Varaita
3rd Alpini Regiment[37] Nappina verde.png Monte Assietta Nappina rossa.png Val Chisone Nappina rossa.png Monte Albergian Nappina verde.png Val Dora Nappina bianca.png Val Pellice
Nappina rossa.png Courmayeur
6th Alpini Regiment[99] Nappina rossa.png Val Leogra
7th Alpini Regiment[117] Nappina verde.png Belluno
Nappina verde.png Monte Marmolada
Nappina rossa.png Val Piave
8th Alpini Regiment[134] Nappina rossa.png Gemona
Nappina rossa.png Monte Canin
Nappina verde.png Monte Nero
Nappina rossa.png Val Fella Nappina bianca.png Val Tagliamento
Nappina verde.png Val Natisone
Nappina verde.png Monte Matajur

Reorganization 1918[edit]

After the disastrous Battle of Caporetto the Chief of Staff of the Italian Army Luigi Cadorna was finally dismissed and replaced by Armando Diaz. Diaz reorganized the army and ordered the Alpini groups to be formed into permanent formations of three Alpini battalions, each battalion with its own machine gunner company, one mountain artillery group, two autonomous machine gunner companies, and a "reparto cannoncini d'accompagnamento" (loosely translated: small accompaniment cannons unit), with Italian copies of the Austrian 3.7cm Infantry Gun M.15.[152]

Likewise the Alpini groupings became permanent formations of two Alpini groups and one mountain artillery grouping, with two mountain artillery groups each. The Alpini groupings were combined in four divisions: the 5th and 75th static and tasked with the defense of front sectors in Western part of the theater, and the 52nd mobile and able to be deployed along the front as needed.[152][153]

III Army Corps[edit]

The III Army Corps was one of two army corps of the 7th Army, which held the front from Stelvio Pass to the Western shore of Lake Garda. The III Army Corps held the northern part of the front from the Stelvio to Monte Listino, while the XIV Army Corps held the front from Monte Listino to Lake Garda. The XIV Army Corps consisted in 1918 of the 6th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd divisions.[154][155]

5th Alpine Division[edit]

Formed on 24 May 1915 at the outbreak of war the 5th Alpine Division was formed initially by the infantry brigades Palermo and Cuneo, and the 27th Field Artillery Regiment. From its inception until the formation of the 75th Alpine Division the 5th Alpine Division garrisoned the front from the Swiss border through the Ortler Group to Tonale Pass and then through the Adamello Group to the Val Camonica. With the reorganization of the Alpini corps in 1918 the division ceded the III and V Alpini groups to the newly formed 75th Alpine Division and received the VII Alpini Group. For the rest of the war it focused on garrison the front from Gavia Pass to the Tonale pass and then through the Adamello Group and the Northern end of the Val Camonica.[153][156]

After the Battle of Vittorio Veneto and the following Austro-Hungarian retreat the units of the division advance from Tonale Pass into the Val di Sole on 3 November 1918. They reach Malè and Cles, while a detachment occupies the Mendel Pass overlooking Bolzano, before the Armistice of Villa Giusti comes into effect at 3pm on 4 November.

Division Grouping Group Battalion Regiment
5th Alpine Division[156] IV Grouping[157] 7th Group[158][159] Nappina rossa.png Val Baltea 4th Alpini
Nappina bianca.png Monte Mandrone 5th Alpini
Nappina blu.png Monte Cavento
Nappina artiglieria XI grp.png XI Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
19th Group[160][159] Nappina bianca.png Val d'Intelvi 5th Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Monte Tonale
Nappina verde.png Edolo
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XLVII Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
VI Grouping[161] 12th Group[162][159] Nappina bianca.png Monte Granero 3rd Alpini
Nappina bianca.png Pallanza 4th Alpini
Nappina verde.png Val Cordevole 7th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XLV Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
14th Group[163][159] Nappina bianca.png Borgo San Dalmazzo 2nd Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Fenestrelle 3rd Alpini
Nappina blu.png Moncenisio
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XXIX Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 1st Mtn. Artillery
VII Grouping[164] 8th Group[165][159] Nappina verde.png Monte Clapier 1st Alpini
Nappina bianca.png Pinerolo 3rd Alpini
Nappina blu.png Susa
Nappina artiglieria IV grp.png IV Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 1st Mtn. Artillery
16th Group[166][159] Nappina verde.png Monte Rosa 4th Alpini
Nappina verde.png Val Brenta 6th Alpini
Nappina bianca.png Tomezzo 8th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XXXI Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
75th Alpine Division[edit]

The 75th Alpine Division was formed on 1 June 1918 with the III and V Alpini Groupings, 42nd Territorial Militia Battalion and the 9th Mountain Artillery Grouping. From June to November the division patrolled the front in the upper Valtellina valley: from the Swiss border to Gavia Pass.[167][153] For the last Italian offensive at Vittorio Veneto the division ceded on 15 October 1918 the command of the V Grouping and the 15th Group to the XXVII Army Corps. The grouping received the 18th Alpini Group and together the units crossed the Piave river near Vidor on 31 October 1918. While the 18th Group fought its way up the Piave valley towards Mel, the 15th covered the right flank and positioned itself around Valdobbiadene.[168]

Meanwhile back in Valtellina on 3 November 1918 the III Grouping attacked Monte Scorluzzo and Monte Cristallo, the two mountains flanking the Stelvio Pass, and after three years of futile attempts finally managed to dislodge the few remaining Austrian defenders from the pass. By morning of 4 November the battalions of the III Grouping had descended from the pass and reached Prad am Stilfser Joch, Schluderns and the train station at Spondinig, thus cutting railway and road through the Vinschgau valley and with it the route of escape of Austria-Hungary's fleeing troops.[169]

Division Grouping Group Battalion Regiment
75th Alpine Division[167] III Grouping[169] 3rd Group[170][159] Nappina bianca.png Cuneo 2nd Alpini
Nappina blu.png Val Cenischia 3rd Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Monte Pasubio 6th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria VII grp.png VII Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
11th Group[171][159] Nappina bianca.png Val Tanaro 1st Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Val Maira 2nd Alpini
Nappina verde.png Val Camonica 5th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XXIV Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
V Grouping[168] 2nd Group[172][159] Nappina rossa.png Dronero 2nd Alpini
Nappina verde.png Saluzzo
Nappina verde.png Intra 4th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria XLI grp.png XLI Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 18th Field Artillery
15th Group[173][159] Nappina verde.png Mondovì 1st Alpini
Nappina bianca.png Val d'Orco 4th Alpini
Nappina verde.png Monte Ortler 5th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XLIII Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 1st Mtn. Artillery

52nd Alpine Division[edit]

The 52nd Alpine Division was formed on 10 January 1917 with the infantry brigades Grosseto and Pesaro, and the 11th Field Artillery Regiment. On 17 March of the same year the two infantry brigades were replaced by the 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th Alpini Group. Over the course of the year the division received infantry and Bersaglieri units for month long stints in the front line trenches, but its core units remained Alpini groups. After the Battle of Mount Ortigara the 2nd Alpini Group was replaced by the 3rd Group on 9 July and on 20 July 1917 the I Alpini Grouping (1st, 3rd Group) and IV Alpini Grouping (8th, 9th Group) were formally activated.[174][153]

After various changes due to the Italian retreat after the Battle of Caporetto and the reorganization of the Alpini corps, the division assumed its final organization on 6 March 1918:

Division Grouping Group Battalion Regiment
52nd Alpine Division[174] I Grouping[175] 1st Group[176][159] Nappina bianca.png Morbegno 5th Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Tirano
Nappina rossa.png Monte Stelvio
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XXX Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 2nd Mtn. Artillery
9th Group[177][159] Nappina bianca.png Verona 6th Alpini
Nappina bianca.png Monte Baldo
Nappina verde.png Bassano
Nappina verde.png Sette Comuni
Nappina artiglieria LIII grp.png LIII Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 2nd Mtn. Artillery
II Grouping[178] 5th Group[179][159] Nappina bianca.png Monte Spluga 5th Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Valtellina
Nappina blu.png Vestone
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png LVII Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
10th Group[180][159] Nappina bianca.png Val d'Adige 6th Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Vicenza
Nappina rossa.png Monte Berico
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XXXII Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery

80th Alpine Division[edit]

The 80th Alpine Division was formed on 20 September 1918 with the VIII and IX Alpini Groupings and the 1st Mountain Artillery Grouping. Assigned to the XXX Army Corps for the last Italian offensive at Vittorio Veneto the division was deployed on the Monte Grappa massiv and tasked to conquer Col dell'Orso, Monte Casonet, Monte Fontanasecca and Monte Solarolo. Attacking on 24 October 1918 the division sustained heavy casualties and failed to meet its objectives until 31 October when the Austro-Hungarian forces began to retreat along the entire front. Until then the VIII Grouping alone had lost 88 officers and 3042 troops - nearly half its starting strength. The enemy's retreat allowed the battalions to advance and take the division's objectives and continue onward to the city of Feltre.[153][181][182][183]

Division Grouping Group Battalion Regiment
80th Alpine Division[181] VIII Grouping[182] 6th Group[184][159] Nappina bianca.png Monte Levanna 4th Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Aosta
Nappina verde.png Val Toce
Nappina artiglieria III grp.png III Mtn. Artillery Grp.[153] 1st Mtn. Artillery
13th Group[185][159] Nappina bianca.png Val Cismon 7th Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Pieve di Cadore
Nappina rossa.png Monte Antelao
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XXV Mtn. Artillery Grp.[153] 1st Mtn. Artillery
IX Grouping[183] 17th Group[186][159] Nappina verde.png Exilles 3rd Alpini
Nappina blu.png Monte Suello 5th Alpini
Nappina verde.png Monte Pelmo 7th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria XV grp.png XV Mtn. Artillery Grp.[153] 1st Mtn. Artillery
20th Group[187] Nappina rossa.png Monte Saccarello 1st Alpini
Nappina rossa.png Monte Cervino 4th Alpini
Nappina verde.png Cividale 8th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XLVIII Mtn. Artillery Grp.[153] 3rd Mtn. Artillery

Independent Groups[edit]

Assigned to Group Battalion Regiment
9th Division 4th Group[188][159] Nappina bianca.png Feltre 7th Alpini
Nappina bianca.png Monte Pavione
Nappina bianca.png Monte Arvenis 8th Alpini
Nappina artiglieria X grp.png X Mtn. Artillery Grp.[154] 3rd Mtn. Artillery
Assigned to Group Battalion Regiment
21st Division 18th Group[189][159] Nappina bianca.png Ivrea 4th Alpini
Nappina blu.png Val Chiese 5th Alpini
Nappina verde.png Monte Adamello
Nappina artiglieria 1910.png XXII Mtn. Art. Grp.[154] 1st Mtn. Artillery

Geographical Distribution[edit]

Mountain Artillery[edit]

A Mountain artillery unit with a 65/17 mod. 13 cannon on Monte Padon firing at Austrian positions on the Sass di Mezdi.

In 1914 the mountain artillery consisted of two regiments with five mountain artillery groups of three batteries each. Additionally each group stored the material for a fourth battery. The 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment was based in the West of Northern Italy and tasked to support the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Alpini regiments, while the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment was based in the East of Northern Italy and tasked to support the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Alpini regiments. With the rising of tensions the army began to expand the mountain artillery and on 1 February 1915 the 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment was raised in Bergamo. It received the mountain artillery groups Oneglia and Bergamo from the other two regiments and was tasked to support the 1st and 4th Alpini Regiment. At the same time the 36th Field Artillery Regiment began to raise two additional mountain artillery groups.[190][191]

After the outbreak of World War I in July 1914 an additional 11 mountain artillery batteries, numbered from 51 to 65, were raised from men, who had completed their military service in the preceding four years (i.e. completed it between 1910 and 1914). Each group of the mountain artillery regiments was supposed receive one of these batteries, however for lack of cannons the 53rd, 56th, 60th, and 62nd batteries were not raised until November 1916. Three of these batteries were raised by the 36th Field Artillery Regiment to create the XIV Mountain Artillery Group, the first of 53 mountain artillery groups raised for the war.[190]

Additionally seven batteries equipped with 70/15 cannons were part of the mountain artillery, with six of these deployed in the Italian colonies (41st, 42nd, 43rd in Libya) and one attached to 1st Army. The latter of these batteries was designated 4th Special Battery, while the other six were numbered 41st to 46th.[191]

At the end of 1916 the mountain artillery had grown to 25 groups (I to XXIV, and XXVIII) with 82 batteries, which were numbered from 1 to 81, as the 4th Special Battery was not included in the sequential numbering of mountain artillery batteries. The mountain artillery continued to suffer from a lack of materiel as the army preferred to raise "batterie someggiatti" (loosely translated: pack animal carrying batteries) with the available 65/17 mod. 13 cannons. A mountain artillery battery required 195 horses and mules compared to 137 for a "batteria someggiatta" and therefore the army directed the available cannons to field artillery regiments tasked with raising of the latter type of batteries. In first year of the war 66 "batterie someggiatti" were raised compared to 25 mountain artillery batteries.[191]

In 1917 the mountain artillery added a further six groups (XXV to XXVII, XXIX to XXXI) and 18 batteries for a new total of 31 groups and 100 batteries with 379 65/17 mod. 13 cannons.[192] The size of the mountain artillery doubled in size in early 1918 when all the remaining 84 "batterie someggiatti" and associated groups were reformed as mountain artillery batteries.[192] At the same time each of the twenty Alpini groups received a mountain artillery group as fire support unit. The remaining mountain artillery groups were

Operational Deployment[edit]

Mountain artillery batteries were initially often deployed alone or in twos. As the war progressed the mountain artillery groups were deployed in regiment-sized Groupings (Raggruppamento Artiglieria da Montagna), which numbered twelve by the war's end (1° to 12°). From early 1918 onward each Alpini group received a mountain artillery group, while each Alpini grouping received a mountain artillery grouping with two mountains artillery groups. Thus 38 mountain artillery groups were permanently assigned to Alpini groups and groupings, with the remaining groups assigned to divisions and army corps.

1st Mountain Artillery Regiment[edit]

The 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment was based in Turin and recruited in Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. Three of the regiment's four groups were based in Turin - a fact reflected in the names of the groups, which combined the Italian name of the city "Torino" with the names of the Alpini battalions they were assigned to support. Only the Mondovì Group was based outside Turin. Until 1 February 1915 the regiment also included the depot in Oneglia with the Mountain Artillery Group Oneglia, which both were transferred on that date to the newly formed 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment.[193]

During the war the regiment's depots raised and trained the commands of nine mountain artillery groupings (Raggruppamento Artiglieria Montagna), the commands of 17 mountain artillery groups (Gruppo Artiglieria Montagna), and 37 mountain artillery batteries, which were each equipped with four 65/17 mod. 13 cannons. Furthermore, two commands of siege groups (Gruppo d'Assedio), and 14 siege batteries were raised and trained by the regiment.[193]

  • The regiment raised the following mountain artillery groupings: 1°, 2°, 3°, 4°, 5°, 9°, 10°, 11°, and 12°.[193]
  • The regiment raised the following mountain artillery groups: XV (66th, 67th, 68th bty.), XIX (14th, 51st, 55th bty.), XXII (47th, 48th, 49th bty.), XXV (82nd, 83rd, 84th bty.), XXIX (91st, 92nd, 93rd bty.), XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIII, XLIV, LII, LVIII, LXII, and LXV.[194][191]

During the war the regiment's groups fought:[193]

At the outbreak of war the mountain artillery groups lost their names and were numbered with Roman numerals instead. In the table below these Roman numerals are preceding the groups' names in brackets.

1st Mountain Artillery Regiment, in Turin[193][195]
Turin Depot Mondovì Depot
Nappina artiglieria I grp.png (I) Mountain Artillery Group Torino-Susa
  • Nappina artiglieria 1 btr 1910.png 1st Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 2 btr 1910.png 2nd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 3 btr 1910.png 3rd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 51 btr 1910.png 51st Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria IV grp.png (IV) Mountain Artillery Group Mondovì[196]
  • Nappina artiglieria 10 btr 1910.png 10th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 11 btr 1910.png 11th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 12 btr 1910.png 12th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 54 btr 1910.png 54th Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria II grp.png (II) Mountain Artillery Group Torino-Aosta[197]
  • Nappina artiglieria 4 btr 1910.png 4th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 5 btr 1910.png 5th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 6 btr 1910.png 6th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 52 btr 1910.png 52nd Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria III grp.png (III) Mountain Artillery Group Torino-Pinerolo[198]
  • Nappina artiglieria 7 btr 1910.png 7th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 8 btr 1910.png 8th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 9 btr 1910.png 9th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Note 1

Note 1: The group's 53rd Mountain Artillery Battery was not raised until November 1916 for lack of available 65/17 mod. 13 cannons.[190]

2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment[edit]

The 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment was based in Vicenza and recruited in the Veneto. Until 1 February 1915 the regiment also included the depot in Bergamo with the Mountain Artillery Group Bergamo, which both were transferred on that date to the newly formed 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment.[199]

During the war the regiment's depots raised and trained the commands of two mountain artillery groupings (Raggruppamento Artiglieria Montagna), the commands of 13 mountain artillery groups (Gruppo Artiglieria Montagna), and 35 mountain artillery batteries, which were each equipped with four 65/17 mod. 13 cannons. Furthermore, five commands of siege groups (Gruppo d'Assedio), and 21 siege batteries were raised and trained by the regiment.[199]

  • The regiment raised the following mountain artillery groupings: 6° and 8°.[199]
  • The regiment raised the following mountain artillery groups: XVI (69th, 70th, 71st bty.), XXI (78th, 79th, 80th, 81st bty), XXIII (50th, 53rd bty.), XXVI (85th, 86th, 87th bty.), XXVIII, XXX (94th, 95th, 96th bty.), XLIX, LIII, LIV, LXI, LXIII, LXIV, and LXVII.[194][191]

During the war the regiment's groups fought:[199]

At the outbreak of war the mountain artillery groups lost their names and were numbered with Roman numerals instead. In the table below these Roman numerals are preceding the groups' names in brackets.

2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment, in Vicenza[199][200]
Conegliano Depot Udine Depot Vicenza Depot Belluno Depot
Nappina artiglieria V grp.png (V) Mountain Artillery Group Conegliano
  • Nappina artiglieria 13 btr 1910.png 13th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 14 btr 1910.png 14th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 15 btr 1910.png 15th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 55 btr 1910.png 55th Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria VI grp.png (VI) Mountain Artillery Group Udine[201]
  • Nappina artiglieria 16 btr 1910.png 16th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 17 btr 1910.png 17th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 18 btr 1910.png 18th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Note 2
Nappina artiglieria VII grp.png (VII) Mountain Artillery Group Vicenza[202]
  • Nappina artiglieria 19 btr 1910.png 19th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 20 btr 1910.png 20th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 21 btr 1910.png 21st Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 57 btr 1910.png 57th Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria VIII grp.png (VIII) Mountain Artillery Group Belluno
  • Nappina artiglieria 22 btr 1910.png 22nd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 23 btr 1910.png 23rd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 24 btr 1910.png 24th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 58 btr 1910.png 58th Mountain Artillery Battery

Note 2: The group's 56th Mountain Artillery Battery was not raised until November 1916 for lack of available 65/17 mod. 13 cannons.[190][191]

3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment[edit]

The 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment was raised on 1 February 1915 in Bergamo. The regiment received the depot in Bergamo with the Mountain Artillery Group Bergamo from the 2nd Mountain Artillery Regiment and the depot in Oneglia with the Mountain Artillery Group Oneglia from the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment. The new regiment recruited in Lombardy and Liguria.[203]

During the war the regiment's depots raised and trained the commands of one mountain artillery grouping (Raggruppamento Artiglieria Montagna), the commands of 17 mountain artillery groups (Gruppo Artiglieria Montagna), and 44 mountain artillery batteries, which were each equipped with four 65/17 mod. 13 cannons. Furthermore, two commands of siege groups (Gruppo d'Assedio), and 19 siege batteries were raised and trained by the regiment.[203]

  • The regiment raised the following mountain artillery grouping: 7°.[203]
  • The regiment raised the following mountain artillery groups: XVII (72nd, 73rd, 74th bty.), XVIII (75th, 76th, 77th bty.), XXIV (56th, 60th, 62nd bty.), XXVII (88th, 89th, 90th bty.), XXXI (97th, 98th, 99th bty.), XXXII, XL, XLV, XLVI, XLVII, XLVIII, LV, LVI, LVII, LIX, LX, and LXVI.

During the war the regiment's groups fought:[203]

At the outbreak of war the mountain artillery groups lost their names and were numbered with Roman numerals instead. In the table below these Roman numerals are preceding the groups' names in brackets.

3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment, in Bergamo[203][204]
Oneglia Depot Genova Depot Bergamo Depot Como Depot
Nappina artiglieria IX grp.png (IX) Mountain Artillery Group Oneglia
  • Nappina artiglieria 25 btr 1910.png 25th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 26 btr 1910.png 26th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 27 btr 1910.png 27th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 59 btr 1910.png 59th Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria X grp.png (X) Mountain Artillery Group Genova
  • Nappina artiglieria 28 btr 1910.png 28th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 29 btr 1910.png 29th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 30 btr 1910.png 30th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Note 3
Nappina artiglieria XI grp.png (XI) Mountain Artillery Group Bergamo
  • Nappina artiglieria 31 btr 1910.png 31st Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 32 btr 1910.png 32nd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 33 btr 1910.png 33rd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 61 btr 1910.png 61st Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria XII grp.png (XII) Mountain Artillery Group Como
  • Nappina artiglieria 34 btr 1910.png 34th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 35 btr 1910.png 35th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 36 btr 1910.png 36th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Note 3

Note 3: The Genova group's 60th Mountain Artillery Battery and the Como group's 62nd Mountain Artillery Battery were not raised until November 1916 for lack of available 65/17 mod. 13 cannons.[190]

36th Field Artillery Regiment[edit]

The 36th Field Artillery Regiment in Southern Italy raised two mountain artillery groups. One the Mountain Artillery Group Messina fielded three mountain artillery batteries of the permanent army, while the XIV Group fielded three of the batteries activated in spring 1915 with reservists. During the war the regiment's depots raised and trained the commands of two mountain artillery groups (Gruppo Artiglieria Montagna), and an unknown number of mountain artillery batteries.

  • The regiment raised the following mountain artillery groups: XX (22nd, 33rd, 59th bty.) and LI.[191]
36th Artillery Regiment, in Messina
Messina Depot
Nappina artiglieria XIII grp.png (XIII) Mountain Artillery Group Messina
  • Nappina artiglieria 37 btr 1910.png 37th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 38 btr 1910.png 38th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 39 btr 1910.png 39th Mountain Artillery Battery
Nappina artiglieria XIV grp.png XIV Mountain Artillery Group
  • Nappina artiglieria 63 btr 1910.png 63rd Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 64 btr 1910.png 64th Mountain Artillery Battery
  • Nappina artiglieria 65 btr 1910.png 65th Mountain Artillery Battery

Other regiments[edit]

A further four mountain artillery groups were raised by two field artillery regiments: the 18th Field Artillery Regiment raised the XXXVI and XLI Mountain Artillery Groups together with their batteries, while the 30th Field Artillery Regiment raised the XLII and L Mountain Artillery Groups with their respective batteries.[194]

Geographical Distribution[edit]

Mountain artillery locations 1915

References[edit]

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