Folgore Parachute Brigade

Folgore Parachute Brigade

The Folgore Parachute Brigade is the largest unit of paratroopers of the Italian Army; a second smaller unit is the 4th Alpini Regiment " Monte Cervino ".

The Folgore operates as Light Infantry, with airborne drop and air transport capability, equipped of modest mechanization is framed in the Forces of Projection to the dependencies of 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 of the Royal Colonial Corps. To these were added the first battalion of Italian troops and the Carabinieri Parachute Battalion.

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

The Division Folgore

In the 1941 a Parachutist division was completed and was designated the 185th Parachute Division Folgore, it was trained for the assault on Malta in Operation Hercules. During course of the war in Africa it was engaged in ground combat operations in North Africa.

The " Folgore " division during the Second battle of El Alamein resisted the attack of the British 131st (Queen's) Infantry Brigade.

On 11 November of 1942 in fact, the battle by now concluded London Radio transmitted the famous official notice: From El Alamein the Folgore was withdrawn without being defeated on 3 November 1942, without water and transporting to arms own pieces tank destroyer. The survivors were reorganized into the 185th Folgore Parachute Battalion. To 14:35 of Day 6, after having exhausted all its ammunition, the remainder of the Division surrendered, but without having to show a white flag and without having to raise their hands while surrendering to the British.

Other Parachute Divisions

In Italy, meantime, a second School was opened in Viterbo and a new division, the Nembo (Nimbus or Rain Cloud) was being organized. a third division, the 183 Parachute Dvision Ciclone (Cyclone), was planned but the armistice of Cassibile interrupted the organization. After the war, " the Nembo " was absorbed by " the Folgore ".

The Brigade Folgore

Currently " the Folgore " is a Brigade, with six battalion sized Regiments, based in Livorno and stationed in Livorno, Pistoia, Siena, Pisa and Legnago (VR).

The Brigade is constituted around three basic weapon Regiments (183°, 186° and 187°), an Assault Regiment (the 9th Col Moschin), a Regiment Supply Unit (185°), the "Guastatori" Engineer Regiment (8th) and a Headquarters and Signals company.

Plus CAPAR of Pisa (Parachute Training Centre, former SMIPAR - Military Parachute School, in its turn former CAP).


** )
** )
** )
** 8° Parachutist Engineer Regiment in Legnago (Veneto)

23 October celebrates the anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein (1942).

Patron saint: Michael the Archangel (29 September).


Denomination of two distinguished units (for along period coexisting) of the Italian army: the Brigade Parachutists " Folgore " and the Division of Infantry (then Mechanized) " Folgore ".

Common heraldic elements to both units: the gladio winged of mostrine/fregi (integrated from a parachute for the Brigade Parachutists) and the yellow lightning bolt in the symbol of the unit (in red field for the Division of Infantry, in blue field for the Brigade Parachutists).Currently the Military Parachute School (CAPAR) is found in Pisa.


183th Division Parachutists " Nembo " was constituted in 1943 like the second Division Parachutists with the employment of new units and 185° the Regiment of " the Folgore "." The Nembo " was sent on the evening of 8 September 1943 to Sardinia where it was decimated by malaria.

Reraised but the 12/183° in the war of Italian liberation it fought in the battles of Filottrano, Grizzano Houses and in Operationthe Herring operation (these last ones in the Group of Combat " Folgore ", from it constituted after the reconfiguration of the Division due to the losses endured).

To the end of the Second World War II " the Nembo " was be used, like the Regiment before and Battalion before then, as Mechanized Infantry, passing for the centers of Belluno, Vicentina Villa, Cervignano of Friuli and Gradisca d' Isonzo. In this last center it remained until 1991, when it was reconstituted as the 183th Parachutist Battalion " Nembo ", within the Folgore Parachute Brigade. The same Folgore had been reconstituted in 1960 with instructors coming from the Nembo, formed into the Mechanized Division Folgore in Treviso.

In 1993 it was promoted to the rank of Regiment, and from 1991 it has participated to all the international missions that Italy has participated in.

185Th Regiment

The 185th Regiment is framed in the Brigade Parachutists " Folgore ", that it is in charge of the training and preparation of the unit, but depends, on the technical-functional plan and therefore for the employment on the land, from the Commando Operations of Special Forces (COFS), therefore as the other units of river basin FS/FOS of the Army, the Operating Group Incursori (GOI) of Military Navy, the Incursori Unit of the Aeronautics and for some functions also the Special Intervention Group (GIS) of the Police officers.

Previously unit of Parachute Artillery , and forming the basis of the Forces for Special Operations of Italian army, from the moment that its main tasks have become the recognition, the acquisition objects (both to you carried out in hostile territory) and the guide laser of “intelligent” devices uncouples to you from aerial carriers. Its employment, insomma, re-enters in relative the special operations to the operating function of the military intelligence and to the control of the fire finalized to I engage it of objects to you to high priority.

Officers, Non-commissioned officers and Troops of the unit are recruited by competitions announced publicly by the Army, but the possibility is previewed to feed the unit also with coming from staff at call (and previo verification of psycho-physical requirement) from other units of the Army. For being able to achieve the qualification of “Buyer” a much impegnativo of the duration of approximately two years (obligatory the attainment of the military licence of parachuting is previewed iter of training);

The Regiment has been engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq (where Sergeant Salvatore Marracino and Captain Nicholas Ciardelli lost their lives).

Folgore and Nembo RSI

After 8 September 1943 the Nembo and Folgore were constituted by the Italian Social Republic (RSI). These units fought at Anzio against the ally landing with the Nembo being used by the Germans in order to hold defensive positions, during which two thirds of its effectives were killed during the withdraw between Rome and Viterbo) and to the north to Moncenisio.


The Brigade has been employed in numerous peacekeeping missions in the recent years.
* Lebanon in 1982 (one of the first international missions of peace).
* In 1991 a Parachutist Tactical group was in Kurdistan in the picture of the mission of humanitarian aid “Italfor Airone”.
* From July 1992 the Brigade supplied personnel to the operation “Vespri Siciliani” (Control territory and defense of sensitive objects to you on the national ground).
* The Folgore participated Operation Restore Hope, in Somalia, from 3 December 1992 to September 1993.
* Parts of the Brigade have been employed many times over in the Balkans (Missions IFOR/SFOR in Bosnia and KFOR in Kosovo), with MNF in Albania and Mission INTERFETd to East Timor.
* The Folgore participated from August 2005 to September 2005 in Operation Babylon in Iraq.
* In August 2007 takes part in Operation Leonte 2 in Lebanon, under aegis of the UN (Resolution 1701), as a result of the War between Israel and Hezbollah of the summer of the 2006.


Medal of gold to the valor military of the army -
* Individual awards:
** Corporal Major Antonio ANDRIOLO 186th Parachute Infantry
** Second Lieutenant Pietro BRUNO 132d Transport Regiment
** Lieutenant Colonel Carlo Marecotti RUSPOLI, Prince of Poggio Suasa, 185th Parachute Infantry
** Lieutenant Colonel Luigi PASCUCCI 132d Transport Regiment
*Collective awards:
* 186th and 187th Parachute Regiments “Folgore” collective Medal for the battle of El Alamein [ [ the Medals of Gold to the Military Valor El Alamein] ] North Africa, 22 July - 12 October 1942
* 185° Parachute Artillery Regiment “Folgore” collective Medal for the battle of El Alamein [ [ the Medals of Gold to the Military Valor El Alamein] ] Battaglia di El Alamein, 23 October - 6 November 1942
* 185th Parachute Division “Folgore” - collective Medal for the battle of El Alamein [ [ the Medals of Gold to the Military Valor El Alamein] ] Qattara Depression, 4 November 1942


ee also

* Italian Army
* Paratroops

External links

* [ American Historian Praises The Role Of The Folgore In North Africa]
* [ Folgore Brigade on the official Italian Army site]
* [ National Association Parachutists of Italy]
* [ of the Division Situated Nembo]
* [ Squadron F]
* [ Site on the “FOLGORE” Parachute Brigade]

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