Saturday 23 July 2016

Italian assault troops in WW1

I discovered an interesting WW1 commemorative Facebook Group called Arditi della Grande Guerra, which I assumed meant ‘The Brave of the Great War’.

Now, however, thanks to Elena Branca of the Red Cross, I know that the Arditi were a group of Italian assault troops – like the British Commandos and the American Navy Seals.   The Italian Arditi were formed on 29th April 1917.  Italy declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 23rd May 1915 and on Germany on 29th August 1916 and fought with the Allies on the Italian Front.

Fighting was fierce on the Italian front and many British were killed during WW1 and are buried in Italy, among them Vera Brittain’s brother.
The Arditi had a fighting song which is seen here on the left.