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Staff member
Posted 13 December 2004 by Lupo Solitario

Hi all

I hope not to offend anyone but I noted it's often used some uncorrect system when speaking about italian units. I believe it's not easy for an anglo find some description about it, so I've thought to write some short note.

battalions are always indicated with roman numbers: it's X and not 10th, VIII and not 8th and so on.

regiments use arabic numerals, 132nd Tank, 8th Bersaglieri, etc.
divisions use arabic, 132nd Ariete, 25th Bologna, etc.
corps roman numbers, XX Corps, X Corps

a cavalry battalion is a Gruppo Squadroni (short form Gruppo), an artillery battalion is a Gruppo
a Raggruppamento is a more or less provisional unit which dimensions can oscillate from regiment to division

italian armor units can be indicated as Carri (Tank) or Corazzato (Armored). The difference is that a Tank is an only-armor unit while an Armored is a mixed one (tanks+infantry+artillery+...)
the correct succession for italian in WWII is (example):

X Tank Battalion
132nd Tank Regiment
132nd Armored Division "Ariete"

there's no way to tell a unit equipped with tanks from one equipped with armored cars only by name

A Short Italian Military Glossary.


Alto : High
Appostamento : Post/position/placement
Arditi : Shock Troops (or Commando in WWII speech)
Armi Accompagnamento : Support Weapons
Artieri: Pioneer
Artigliere (Artiglieria) : Artilleryman, Gunner
Autocannoni : Vehicle mounted gun
Autonoma : Autonomous
Autoportati : Vehicle mounted
Autotrasportabile : concept: indicates a unit which can be used as motorize but has no truck/vehicles as standard dotation
Aviotransportato : Airborne


Battaglione : Battalion
Batteria : Battery
Bersaglieri : Sharpshooters (right but I avoided to translate it)
Brigata : Brigade


Calibro : Caliber
Camicie Nere : Blackshirt
Campo Trincerato : Entrenched Field/Base
Cannone (Cannoni) : Gun (Pl)
Capopezzo : Gun Leader
Caposaldo : Stronghold
Carabinieri : Military Police (in italian army have a slaightly larger role than in other armies)
Carrista : Tanker
Cavalleria : Cavalry
Celere : Fast (better not translate it, indicates a mixed mounted/motorized unit)
Cinta Fortificata : Fortified Perimiter
Collegamenti : Connections/signals
Colonna : Column (indicates Kampfgruppe/Combat Group)
Comando : Command or Headquarters
Compagnia Company
Controaerei (C.A) : Anti Aircraft (Ab)
Controcarro (C.C) : Anti Tank (Ab)
Corpo : Corps
Corazzato : Armoured
Costiero : Coastal


Da Posizione : for position/fixed (if after "Artiglieria" in the sense of static Arty, big fixed guns)
D’Armata : Of the Army
Divisione : Division


Elementi di Trincea : Trench Elements (pieces - tracts)
Esplorante : Exploration/Recon


Fanteria : Infantry
Fosso : Pit/ditch
Forze : Forces
Fucile : Rifle


Guardia alla Frontieria (G.a.F) : Frontier Guards (Ab)
Genio : Engineer
Granatieri : Grenadiers
Gruppo (Gruppi) : Group (Pl)
Guastatore : Combat/Assault Engineer/Soldier



Indipendente : Independent
Intendenza : Quartermaster




Leggeri : Light
Legione : Legion
Libica : Libyan


Manovre : Maneuvers
Marini : Marines?!? doesn't exist in italian!
Maro: Marine (Single Soldier)
Medi : Medium
Misto : Mixed
Mitraglieri : Machine Gun(ner)
Mortaio : Mortar
Motorciclisti : Motorcycle
Motorizzato : Motorised



Obici : Howitzers


Paracadutisti : Paratroopers
Pesante Canpale : Heavy Field
Piazzaforte : Stronghold
Piccolo : Small/Little
Plotone : Platoon
Postazione : Enplacement


Quartier Generale : Headquarters


Raggrupamento : Battlegroup (good idea could a way to translate it!)
Reggimento : Regiment
Reticolato : Wire fence
Ricognizione : Recconnaisance
Riserva : Reserve


Sahariano : Sahara
Segnali : Signals
Settore : Area
Sezione : Section
SomEggiata : Packed
Speciale : Special
Squadrone : Cavalry Company
Statico : Static
Superiore : Superior


Trinceramenti : Entrechments
Truppe : Troops




X, Y, Z
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