Army of Italy: the number, shape and rank


The armies of different countries perform similar tasks, namely, they confront external and internal threats, protect the independence and territorial integrity of the state. Italy has its own armed forces. The army has been functioning since 1861. The article will review the history of the creation of the Armed Forces of Italy, the structure and size.

Start formation

In 1861, independent Italian states, namely Sardinia, the Neapolitan and Sicilian kingdoms, Lombardy, the duchy of Modena, Parma and Tuscany, located on the Apennine peninsula, were united. 1861 was the year of the formation of the Italian kingdom and the army. Italy took an active part in two world wars and several colonial. The division of Africa (events of 1885-1914) and the formation of colonies took place with the direct participation of the country's troops. Since the conquered lands should be protected from encroachments by other states, the composition of the Italian army was replenished with colonial troops, which were staffed by local residents of Somalia and Eritrea. In 1940 the number was 256 thousand people.

Twentieth century

After the entry of the state into NATO, the Italian armed forces of the Alliance repeatedly attracted to carry out their military operations. With the participation of the state army carried out air strikes on Yugoslavia, the support of the Government of Afghanistan and the civil war in Libya. In the 20s, military power for the Italian government became a priority. Serving urgent now needed not 8 months, but a year. In 1922, Benito Mussolini came to power, and the topic of fascism became the most popular.


To restore the Holy Roman Empire and to conclude a military alliance with Nazi Germany for the Italian government was a priority task. As a result of this vernal policy, the leadership involved the country in hostilities, and soon initiated a war with Britain and France. According to historians, the intensive development of the Italian army took place during the Second World War.

Post-war time

As a result of Mussolini’s aggressive policy, the country lost its colonies and in 1943 was forced to capitulate. As a result of repeated defeats on the fronts, Italy suffered significant losses. Nevertheless, the state did not stop it on the way to the formation of an efficient army. 6 years after the surrender, she will join the North Atlantic alliance and continue to develop her military-industrial complex.


About the structure

The composition of the Italian army is represented by ground forces (SV), naval and aviation forces. In 2001, the list was added to another military line - the Carabineers. The total number of the Italian army is 150 thousand people.

On land forces

This branch of the Armed Forces is represented by three divisions, three separate brigades (parachute and cavalry brigades, signalmen), air defense troops and four commands in charge of SO (special operations), army aviation, air defense and support.

The mining division of Trindentin is completed with two alpine brigades, Julia and Taurinens.

"Heavy" division "Friuli" - armored brigade "Ariet", "Pozzuolo de Friuli", mechanized "Sassari".

The division "Akui" in power is average. Includes the brigade "Garibaldi" and the mechanized "Aosta" and "Pinerolo." The elite infantry are the Bersaliers, highly mobile riflemen.

Since 2005, exclusively professional soldiers and volunteers have joined the infantry. Ground forces have Italian-made tanks and other armored vehicles. The state is supplied with artillery guns and air defense equipment from other countries. In addition, old German tanks are stored in military warehouses in quantities of over 550 units.


According to military experts, if we compare this military type of the Italian Armed Forces with the others, it has traditionally been a level higher since the Second World War. A fleet with a fairly high production and scientific and technical potential. Most of the combat craft of its own production. Italy has two newest submarines Salvatore Todaro (two more are being completed), four Sauro (besides, one is used as a training submarine), aircraft carriers Giuseppe Garibaldi and Cavour. Since the latter transport not only carrier-based aircraft, but also air defense equipment and anti-ship missile launchers, according to the Russian classification, these floating combat units are aircraft carrying cruisers. There are also modern destroyers in Italy in the amount of 4 pieces: two are “De la Penne” and “Andrea Doria”.

Air force

Despite the fact that the year of the creation of national aviation is officially considered to be 1923, Italy, having previously fought with Turkey, has already used airplanes. According to experts, this country was the first to conduct combat operations with the use of aviation. The war with Ethiopia, the First World War and the civil war in Spain did not go without the participation of Italian pilots. In the second world Italy entered with an aircraft fleet of more than 3 thousand units. However, at the time of the surrender of the state, the number of combat air units was reduced several times.

Today, Italy has the newest European Typhoon fighters (73 units), Tornado bombers (80 units), domestic-made MB339CD attack aircraft (28 units), AMX Brazilian (57 units), and American F-104 fighters (21 units) The latter, due to the highest accident rate, have recently been sent for storage.

About carabinieri

This military type was created much later than the rest. It consists of two divisions, one brigade and regional divisions. It is completed with helicopter pilots, divers, dog trainers, orderlies. In submission at command of armed forces of Italy and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The main task of the special task force is to confront armed criminals.


In addition, the unit as an integral part of the SV may be involved in carrying out general military tasks. Carabinieri have armored personnel carriers, light aircraft and helicopters.


To join the ranks of the Carabinieri is much more difficult than in the ground forces. Applicants must have high combat and moral-psychological training.

About ranks

In the army of Italy, in contrast to the Russian Armed Forces with its troop and ship ranks, each rank has its own ranks. The only exceptions were the ranks of the Air Force, which are identical to the ranks in the SV. In the air force such a rank as a brigadier general or major general is absent. The peculiarity of the Italian army is that the higher ranks have the prefix generale, and in aviation - comandante. Only in SV there is the rank of corporal - the title between corporal and private.

Corporals and corporals in the fleet are absent. There the ranks are represented by sailors and junior specialists. Such titles as foremen and ensigns, customary in the Russian army, were replaced in the Italian by feldbebel. For junior officers are three ranks. The ranks of Captain SV and the captain of the gendarmerie correspond to the commander of the squadron and the naval captain-lieutenant. In the Italian Navy, the rank of lieutenant does not apply; it is replaced by a midshipman.

It is noteworthy that in the naval ranks use the names of the type of ships. For example, such a rank as "captain of the 3rd rank" is equivalent to the captain of the corvette. If the rank is higher - the captain of the frigate. Of the five general ranks of the Carabineros only three. The highest ranks are represented by the district inspector general, the second commander (acting general) and the general.

The place for non-commissioned officers insignia became the sleeves, and the foremen were epaulets. In the Italian army, officers can be recognized by looking at the headgear and cuff sleeves. The officers on the band caps or on the left side of the caps have galloons that correspond to the rank held. If a fighter is dressed in a tropical jacket and shirt, which is also called sugar, then removable shoulder straps became the place for insignia.

About field and ceremonial clothes

As in other world armies, the Italian soldier is wearing a special camouflage suit to perform a field operation. The army of Italy until 1992 did not use its own colors. Until that time, the military command was organized by the United States Department of Defense. Recently, the military version of the camouflage Vegetato, which means “covered with vegetation”, has gained much popularity among the military.


Field equipment is represented by camouflage ponchos, the hood of which can be used as an awning. There is also a warm coat, which will replace the blanket if necessary. In the cold season, a soldier wears a woolen sweater, which contains a high collar with zippers. Shod military men in light leather boots with a soft high ankle boot. In order to ensure high-quality ventilation, the shoes were equipped with special grommet holes. To prevent sand and small stones from getting inside, gaiter made of nylon is provided in the field equipment. Wear them over pants and army boots. An integral part of the equipment is in the Italian army the backpack M-39 Alpini.


In the alpine backpack, as the mountain shooter is also called this hiking army bag, you can wear personal equipment, equipment and supplies. In addition to the field there is also a dress uniform. In the army of Italy, during the ceremonial events, carabinieri wear cocked corns with plumes. For each unit has its own ceremonial uniform. For example, soldiers of Sardinia, serving in the mechanized brigade of grenadiers, go to the celebrations in high fur hats.


Similar used by the English Guards. As in the special units of other countries, berets are used as headdresses in Italy. Green color is provided for soldiers serving in the navy. Carabinieri paratroopers wear red berets. The army of Italy, as the military experts are convinced, is developed to the extent that within the framework of the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance to solve a single task - to supply its soldiers for police special operations conducted by NATO on the territory of other states.

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