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Did Italian Paratroopers jump with all their stuff?


New Member
Curiously I can't find a whole lot on this in the limited sources I know how to find.

So German units famously dropped without all their weaponry - these came down in pods and they were supposed to go find them.

Allied paratroopers dropped in full battle rattle but had the whole leg bag thing for their extra stuff (with variable reliability).

Italians, though, other than their LBE, were they set up to drop with some or all of their equipment at hand?

The only photos I've seen are either training jumps without any equipment, a late war photo of paratroopers on a plane but with what looks like British Airborne equipment, and photos of guys on the ground already.


Staff member
This is discussed in my book Infantrymen of the Air about the Italian airborne force.

The paratroops in all the armies in 1939-1940 jumped with minimal equipment (only pistols). All armies used weapon containers for rifles, heavier weapons, and other supplies.

In late 1940, the paracadutisti understood that this wasn't the best idea and began jumping with their rifles/submachine guns during training in 1941. A picture on p.203 of my book shows the paracadutisti preparing for a jump with weapons. There has been some research showing that a few of the German FJ units jumped on Crete with all their weapons. The first US drops in North Africa still used weapon containers for rifles, etc.

Pista! Jeff