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The Italian Army of World War I


by David Nicolle, Illustrated by Raffaele Ruggeri

Italy's armed forces at the ready in a 1915 postcard. In the foreground the artillery, infantry, an Alpine soldier (in feathered hat), and a Bersaglieri (in plumed headgear). Behind them are a bugler and lancer; in the distance marines and colonial troops. The Italian navy is off shore, an airship and planes overhead. On the reverse are the lyrics of a patriotic Italian March by Angelo Balladori, lyrics by Enrico Mercatali. It ends with a call to the brothers of Trento and Trieste, Austro-Hungarian territory with large ethnic Italian populations.
Reverse:
Marcia Italica
D'Italia flammeggin le sante bandiere
Baciate dal sole, baciate dal vento,
Su l'aspro sentier di Bezzecca e di Trento
De l'alma Trieste, sul cerulo mar.
. . . 
Fratelli di Trento, Triestini fratelli,
La patria s'è desta alla grande riscossa!
Dell'aquila ingorda la barbara possa
Dai liberi petti domata sarà!


Parole di Enrico Mercatali
Musica di Angelo Balladori.
Casa Editrice Sonzogno - Milano. 1915.

Italy's armed forces at the ready in a 1915 postcard. In the foreground the artillery, infantry, an Alpine soldier (in feathered hat), and a Bersaglieri (in plumed headgear). Behind them are a bugler and lancer; in the distance marines and colonial troops. The Italian navy is off shore, an airship and planes overhead. On the reverse are the lyrics of a patriotic Italian March by Angelo Balladori, lyrics by Enrico Mercatali. It ends with a call to the brothers of Trento and Trieste, Austro-Hungarian territory with large ethnic Italian populations.

The Italian Army of World War I by David Nicolle, Illustrated by Raffaele Ruggeri

From Amazon:

The dilemma of the young Italian kingdom and the experience of her army in World War I (1914-1918) were unique among the combatant nations. Late to enter the war against the Central Powers, she faced a massively defended Austro-Hungarian front in the north, including strong mountain features, as well as distractions in the Balkans and a simultaneous rebellion in her Libyan colony. Costly and repeated battles on the Isonzo front culminated in the disaster of Caporetto in October 1917, followed by a remarkable revival and eventual victory in 1918. This concise study describes and illustrates the Italian Army's campaigns, organisation, uniforms, weapons and equipment – including the famous 'death companies' and Arditi assault troops.

Publisher: Osprey Publishing, 2003

Copyright: 2003 Osprey Publishing Ltd.