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1st Bersaglieri Regiment
1° Reggimento Bersaglieri
Regimental coat of arms.
Active 31 December 1861 - 8 September 1943
1 January 1953 - 31 October 1976
18 September 1995 - 2000
22 February 2000 - present
Country  Italy
Branch Italian Army
Garrison/HQ Cosenza
Motto(s) "Ictu impetuque primus"
Anniversaries 18 June 1836
Col. Luigi Iorio
Ceremonial chief Ten.Col. Franceso Ferrara[1]

The 1st Bersaglieri Regiment (Italian language: 1° Reggimento Bersaglieri ) is a Bersaglieri military unit of the Italian Army.[2]

The Regiment is among the most experienced units of the Italian Army in missions abroad.[3] The War Flag of the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment is the War Flag with more decorations for military valour of the whole Italian Army.

History[edit | edit source]

Despite the Bersaglieri speciality can trace its origins back to 1836, until 1861 only Bersaglieri Battalions existed.[4]

1861-1915[edit | edit source]

The Bersaglieri Command of the 1st Army Corps of the Royal Italian Army was established on 16 April 1861; under the Bersaglieri Command were placed six Bersaglieri Battalions, which took part to the First Italian War of Independence, to the Second Italian War of Independence and to the Crimean War.[4] The Bersaglieri Command included I, IX, XIII, XIX, XXI, and XXVII Battalions, as well as a Depot Battalion.[3]

The I Battalion was established in 1848, and it included the 1st Company, i.e. the first Bersaglieri unit ever established.[3]

The Bersaglieri Command was renamed 1st Bersaglieri Command on 31 December 1861;[3][4] the Regiment, at first, did not have operational tasks, but only disciplinary and administration powers.[3] In 1865 VI and VII Battalions were moved from diestablished 4th Bersaglieri Regiment to the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment.[3] In 1866 the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment participated to the Third Italian War of Independence.[4]

The 1st Bersaglieri Regiment, after having acquired operational tasks, was moved to Turin on 1 January 1871. The Regiment consists of I, VII, and IX Battalions.[3] The Regiment took part in later years to Battle of Dogali and to the First Italo-Ethiopian War.[4]

The I Cyclists Battalion was established on 1 October 1910.[3] In 1911 the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment took part to the 1911 Italo-Turkish War.[4]

World War I and afterwards: 1915-1939[edit | edit source]

The 1st Bersaglieri Regiment did not take part to the Italian front. On 19 May 1915 the whole Regiment (with the exception of the I Cyclist Battalion) arrived in Libya. The Regiment gained the LV Battalion (established on 5 January 1915); the Battalion was sent to Misurata and fought in Ras-Bu-Kormar, Funduk ad in Marmarica.[5] In February 1916 the Regimental Command was repatriated leaving the Battalions, now autonomous, in Libya until 1918.[3] A provisional Company drawn from the Regiment was assigned to the expeditionary corps in Palestina in 1917.[5]

On 15 May 1918, the three autonomous Battalions were repatriated back in Italy and the 1st Regiment was reestablished and sent to Vicenza, which were reached by the LV Battalion on 7 July 1918; however, I, VII, and IX Battalions were assigned to the various Assault Groups and sent in various locations.[5]

The I Cyclists Battalion fought valiantly and was decorated with the Bronze Medal of Military Valour.[5]

During the World War I, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment was headquartered in Naples, and recruited from Cefalù, Frosinone, Ivrea, Lecco, Mondovì, Pesaro, Pistoia, Reggio Calabria, and Siena Districts, while it mobilized also from Avellino, Benevento, Campagna, Nola, Salerno, and Castrovillari Districts.[5]

The I Cyclists Battalion was disestablished in March 1919.[3]

The IX and VII Battalions were transformed in cadre units in 1920. The VII Battalion was re-established on 30 April 1923. From July 1924 to 1936, the Regiment was transformed in a Cyclists Regiment.[3] In 1926 the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment consisted of the Regiment Command, the I and VII Battalions, and Depot.[3]

In 1939, the IX Battalion was re-established within the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment and a Motorcyclists Company was added to the Regiment.[3] In April 1939, The Regiment took part in the Italian invasion of Albania.[6]

World War II: 1940-1943[edit | edit source]

Bersaglieri in Yugoslavia

The 1st Bersaglieri Regiment fought in the Western Front, in Albania, and in Southern France.[4]

With the breaking out of the World War II, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment was placed within the Celere Group of the 1st Army,[3] moving its headquarters in Naples.[7]

In November 1940, the IX Battalion crossed the Yugoslavian border; the VII Battalion was assigned to Division "Bari" and employed in border clashes. On 14 November, the I Battalion was assigned to the Alpine Division "Julia"; in Albania, the I and VII Battalions were employed on 17 November.[7]

As a whole, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment counter-attacked around Vrumbellake mountain, but soon retreated, in order to protect the left flank of the Division "Vicenza". From 29 November 1940 to 28 February 1941 the Regimental Command and the IX Battalion fought on the Greek front in Ezeke, Ocrida and Kalase mountain.[7]

On 22 January 1941, the IX Battalion was assigned to the III Army Corps; on 15 February, the remaining Regiment incorporated the 81st Replacements Battalion of the 5th Bersaglieri Regiment. In early March 1941, the Regiment supported the Armoured Division "Centauro", being tasked with the defence of Scutari.[7]

In April 1941, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment counter-attacked and on 17 April 1941 it reached Ragusa. After two more months, the Regiment came back in Italy on 24 June 1941. On 31 July 1941, the Regiment was assigned to the 8th Army, tasked with the defence of Southern Italy, and on 15 August 1941 it was moved to Calabria.[7]

A year later, in August 1942, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment was moved to Piedmont and, in November, in France around Draguignon. From January to August 1943 the Regiment carried out police operations; the II Battalion was moved to Nice on 28 April 1943 in order to deal with public order service, while in late June 1943 the Motorcycles Company participated to an important police operation around Entreveaux.[7]

Bersaglieri in Naples fought against German troops on 8 September 1943.[7] Due to the Armistice of Cassibile, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment was disbanded in Turin area.[3][4]

Between 1940 and 1943, the Regiment consisted of:[7]

  • Regiment Command;
  • Regimental Command Company;
  • I Cyclist Bersaglieri Battalion;
  • VII Cyclist Bersaglieri Battalion;
  • IX Cyclist Bersaglieri Battalion;
  • 81st Replacement Battalion;
  • 1st Anti-tank Company.

Cold War: 1953-1976[edit | edit source]

After the World War II, Bersaglieri Regiments were the infantry element of the armoured brigades, which were considered to be a quick reaction force.[8]p. 60 According to 1951 organic tables, Bersaglieri regiments had a Regimental Command, three Battalions and an Anti-tanks Company each.[8]p. 58

The 1st Bersaglieri Regiment was re-established on 1 January 1953.[4] The Regiment was subordinated to the Armoured Division "Pozzuolo del Friuli"; the Regiment included the I and VII Battalions and, since 1 March 1954, the IX Battalion.[3] While the Regiment as a whole was headquartered in Viterbo, I and VII Battalions were based in Rome and IX Battalion was based in Civitavecchia.[8]p. 70

In 1956 the Army structure was modified again. The new organization of a Bersaglieri Regiment consisted of a Regimental Command Company (Command Platoon, Signals Platoon, Services Platoon), of an Anti-tank Company (with three Platoons) and three Battalions. Each Battalion, in turn, consisted of a Command Company, 3 Bersaglieri Companies and 1 Support weapons Company.[8]p. 117

1958 was a year full of modifications. On 30 April 1958, the IX Battalion became IX Mechanized Bersaglieri Battalion and it was moved to the 4th Armoured Infantry Regiment. The following day, the I and III Tank Battalions were transferred from the 4th Armoured Infantry Regiment, making the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment and armoured unit, with two Bersaglieri Battalions (I and VII Battalions) and two Tank Battalions (I and III Battalions).[3]

In the late 1958, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment lost the I Bersaglieri Battalion and the III Tank Battalion to the 182nd Armoured Infantry Regiment "Garibaldi". The remaining structure consisted of Regimental Command, VII Bersaglieri Battalion and I Tank Battalion, with the name of 1st Armoured Bersaglieri Regiment.[3] At the end of 1958, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment was assigned to the Armoured Division "Pozzuolo del Friuli" in Civitavecchia.[8]p. 121

In January 1959, the Regiment was assigned to the Infantry Division "Granatieri di Sardegna",[4] headquartered in Aurelia, Civitavecchia. The I Tank Battalion was renamed IX Tank Battalion; on 24 May 1961 the two Battalions were renamed I Bersaglieri Battalion and XVIII Tank Battalion.[3]

The 1st Armoured Bersaglieri Regiment was moved to the Armoured Division "Centauro"[4] on 1 September 1964; the same day the Regiment incorporated the VI Tank Battalion.[3]

With the 1975 Italian Army reform, on 1 June the XVIII Tank Battalion was disestablished and on 1 August the Regiment was moved back to Granatieri di Sardegna Division. The 1st Armoured Bersaglieri Regiment was disbanded on 31 October 1976.[3][4]

Post-Cold War: 1995-present[edit | edit source]

The 1st Bersaglieri Regiment was re-established again on 18 September 1995, consisting of the 1st Bersaglieri Battalion "La Marmora"[3] within the Mechanized Brigade "Granatieri di Sardegna".[4]

The Regiment, reduced in numbers, was disbanded in 2000; in 2002 it was re-established by renaming the 18th Bersaglieri Regiment.[4]

Operations[edit | edit source]

Through its history, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment took part to several feats of arms.

19th Century[edit | edit source]

During the 19th century, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment fought in:

  • Third Italian War of Independence:
    • Battle of Custoza;
    • Battle of Borgoforte;
  • Battle of Dogali.

World War I[edit | edit source]

During World War I, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment fought in:

  • Battle of Piana della Sernaglia (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Fogliano (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Monte Sei Busi (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Sella San Martino (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Trincea delle Frasche (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Altopiano di Asiago (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Coston di Lora (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Monte Pasubio (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of M. Fior (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Marchesina (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Castagnevizza (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Piave (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Forcella Musis (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Forcella Campidello (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Lestans (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Sequals (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Caposile (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Fossalta (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Capo d’Argine (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Costellazzo (I Cyclists Battalion);
  • Battle of Vittorio Veneto (Regimental Command and I Cyclists Battalion).

Inter-war[edit | edit source]

From 1916 to 1939, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment fought in:

  • 1935-1936: Second Italo-Ethiopian War (the Regiment provided 16 Officers and 215 troops to several units);
  • 1939: Italian invasion of Albania (I Battalion)

World War II[edit | edit source]

During World War II, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment fought in:

  • Western Front
  • Albania
  • Italy
  • Southern France

Cold war to present[edit | edit source]

During and after Cold War, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment provided resources for:

Commanders[edit | edit source]

Bersaglieri of the Garibaldi Brigade during Exercise Allied Spirit at 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, Germany in 2016

During its periods of existence, the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment has been led by several Commanders.

1861-1943[edit | edit source]

  • Colonel Emilio Pallavicini di Priola (1861-1862);
  • Colonel Angelo Galletta (1862-1868);
  • Colonel Carlo Sirola (1868-1872);
  • Colonel Alessandro Ziani (1872-1876);
  • Colonel Giovanni Baulina (1876-1877);
  • Colonel Luigi Milanovick (1877-1883);
  • Colonel Carlo Ajmonino (1883-1888);
  • Colonel Matteo Albertone (1888-1892);
  • Colonel Marco Falta (1892-1896);
  • Colonel Francesco Bellini (1896-1898);
  • Colonel Giovanni Carlo Colta (1898-1901);
  • Colonel Giacinto Tua (1901-1905);
  • Colonel Carlo Miozzi (1905-1913);
  • Colonel G.Battista Milani (1913-1914);
  • Colonel Giuseppe Cassinis (May-7 November 1915);
  • Colonel Egidio Ferdinando Castellano (8 November 1915 – 19 February 1916);
  • Colonel Roberto Bertolotti (15 June 1918 – 26 June 1918);
  • Colonel Attilio Emanuele (1920-1921);
  • Colonel Aifremo Pelagatti (1921-1923);
  • Colonel Massimiliano Gusberti (1923-1926);
  • Colonel Francesco D' Agostino (1926-1927);
  • Colonel Amedeo Bracciaferri (1928-1932);
  • Colonel Giuseppe Molinaro (1932-1934);
  • Colonel GIulio Cesare Gotti Porcinari (1934-1937);
  • Colonel Tullio Bernardi (1937-1939);
  • Colonel Giuseppe Azzaro (1939-1940);
  • Colonel Giovanni Guidotti (1940-1941);
  • Colonel Giorgio Bonansea (1942-1943);
  • Colonel Vittorio Bizzarri (1 February 1943 – 8 September 1943).

1953-1976[edit | edit source]

1st Bersaglieri Regiment

  • Colonel G.Battista Calogero (1953-1954);
  • Colonel Piero Testa (1954-1955);
  • Colonel Pio Chirivino (1955-1956);
  • Colonel Ezio Greco (1956-1957);
  • Colonel Maurizio Federico (1957-1958);
  • Colonel Raffaele Nini (1958-1959).

1st Armoured Bersaglieri Regiment

  • Colonel Augusto Arias (1959-1960);
  • Colonel Giuseppe Palazzolo (1960-1961);
  • Colonel Alfredo Grossi (1961-1962);
  • Colonel Vittorio Lacatena (1962-1963);
  • Colonel Silvio Alquati (1963 1965);
  • Colonel Vito Martorana (1965-1967);
  • Colonel Aldo Giambartolomei 1967-1968
  • Colonel Cesare Quagliardi (1968-1969);
  • Colonel Adriano Salvadori (1969-1970);
  • Colonel Roberto Roberti (1970-1971);
  • Colonel Pasquale Fossataro (1971-1972);
  • Colonel Enrico Palanza (1972-1973);
  • Colonel Luigi Ramponi (1973-1974);
  • Colonel Sandro Romagnoli (1974-1975);
  • Colonel Pietro Pozzi (1975-1976).

1995-present[edit | edit source]

  • Lieutenant Colonel Biagio D'Angelo (1995-1996);
  • Colonel Nicola Toma (1996-1998);
  • Colonel Giancarlo Coscia (1998-2000);
  • Colonel Salvatore Ciancimino (2000-2002);
  • Colonel Giuseppenicola Tota (2005-2006);
  • Colonel Maurizio Angelo Scardino (2006-2008);
  • Colonel Angelo Scardino (2006-2008);
  • Colonel Francesco Maria Ceravolo (2006-2010);
  • Colonel Cosimo Orlando (2010-2011);[10]
  • Colonel Luciano Carlozzo (2011-2012);[10]
  • Colonel Fabrizio Arconi;[11]
  • Colonel Giancarlo Sciascia;[11]
  • Colonel Luigi Iorio.

Headquarters[edit | edit source]

Bersaglieri of the Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade on parade in Rome on 2 June 2007. On the soldiers' left arm the Brigade's emblem could be seen.

  • Cuneo (1861-1870);
  • Turin (1870-1887);
  • Ascoli Piceno (1878-1879);
  • Senigallia (1879-1880);
  • Rome (1880-1885);
  • Treviso (1885-1890);
  • Belluno (1890-1894);
  • Palermo (1894-1900);
  • Turin (1900-1907);
  • Sanremo (1907-1914);
  • Naples (1914-1943);
  • Rome (1953-1955);
  • Viterbo (1955-1958);
  • Aurelia (1958-2004);
  • Cosenza (2005–present).

Current organization[edit | edit source]

The 1st Bersaglieri Regiment consists of:

  • Regimental Command
  • Logistical Support Company "Falchi"
  • 1st Bersaglieri Battalion "La Marmora"
    • 1st Rifle Company "Leopardi"
    • 2nd Rifle Company "Leoni"
    • 3rd Rifle Company "Lupi"
    • 4th Mortars Company "Draghi"
    • 5th Anti-tank Company "Grifi"

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Cambio di comando del Primo Battaglione ‘La Marmora’" (in Italian). Cosenza Informa.it. 29 September 2017. http://www.cosenzainforma.it/notizia7376/Cambio-di-comando-del-Primo-Battaglione-La-Marmora.html. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  2. "1° Reggimento Bersaglieri" (in it). http://www.esercito.difesa.it/organizzazione/capo-di-sme/comando-forze-operative-sud/divisione-acqui/brigata-garibaldi/1-reggimento-bersaglieri. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 "1° Reggimento" (in it-IT). https://www.bersaglieri.net/1-reggimento-2/. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 "La Storia" (in it). http://www.esercito.difesa.it/organizzazione/capo-di-sme/Comando-Forze-Operative-Sud/Divisione-Acqui/Brigata-Garibaldi/1-Reggimento-Bersaglieri/Pagine/La-Storia.aspx. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 "1° Reggimento Bersaglieri" (in italian). http://www.frontedelpiave.info/public/modules/Fronte_del_Piave_article/Fronte_del_Piave_view_article.php?id_a=528&app_l2=527&app_l3=528&sito=Fronte-del-Piave&titolo=1%C2%B0-Reggimento. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  6. "Storia dei Bersaglieri – Bersaglieri di Roma" (in it-IT). http://www.bersaglieridiroma.it/?page_id=36. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 "1° Reggimento Bersaglieri" (in Italian). http://www.regioesercito.it/reparti/bersaglieri/rgtbers1.htm. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Ales, Stefano; Viotti, Andrea (2007) (in Italian). Struttura, uniformi e distintivi dell'Esercito Italiano 1946-1970. Rome: Ufficio Storico Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito. pp. 58,60,70,117,121. 
  9. "Cosenza, i bersaglieri del Primo reggimento tornano a casa". CosenzaInforma. 16 August 2017. http://www.cosenzainforma.it/notizia6567/Cosenza-i-bersaglieri-del-Primo-reggimento-tornano-a-casa.html#. Retrieved 13 October 2017. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fresca, Giulia (1 October 2011). "Il reggimento più decorato d’Italia dopo 14 mesi ha un nuovo comandante" (in Italian). Dazeba News. http://www.dazebaonews.it/italia/item/5841-il-reggimento-pi%C3%B9-decorato-d%E2%80%99italia-dopo-14-mesi-ha-un-nuovo-comandante-le-foto. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Cosenza, cambio al comando del reggimento Bersaglieri: arriva il colonnello Sciascia" (in Italian). Il Mattino. 18 July 2014. http://www.ilmattino.it/calabria/cosenza_cambio_al_comando_reggimento_bersaglieri_arriva_colonnello_sciascia-504396.html. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 

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