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16th Alpini Regiment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

16th Alpini Regiment
16° Reggimento Alpini
CoA mil ITA rgt alpini 016.png
Coat of Arms of the 16th Alpini Regiment
Active19 Sept. 1991 - 30 Nov. 2004[1]
BranchItalian Army
RoleMountain Infantry
Size1 Battalion
"Belluno" Battalion
Part ofCadore Alpine Brigade
1991 - 1997
Julia Alpine Brigade
1997 - 1998
1998 - 2004
Garrison/HQCaserma Salsa in Belluno (BL)
Motto(s)"Sunt rupes virtutis iter"[1]
Anniversaries23 April 1941 - end of the Greco-Italian War[1]
Cavaliere BAR.svg
Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg
Valor civile gold medal BAR.svg

1x Military Order of Italy
1x Silver Medal of Military Valour
1x Gold Medal of Civil Valour[1]
Alpini gorget patches

The 16th Alpini Regiment (Italian: 16° Reggimento Alpini) was a short lived (1991-2004) infantry training regiment of the Italian Army, specializing in mountain warfare. The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I and World War II.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ The Scramble For Norway - WW2 - 034 - April 20 1940
  • ✪ Kaiserschlacht - German Spring Offensive 1918 I THE GREAT WAR Week 191
  • ✪ Manfred von Richthofen's First Victory - American Volunteers in WW1 I THE GREAT WAR Week 113


April 20, 1940 We’ve all heard the expression “haste makes waste”, but when the haste is largely unplanned armed expeditions to combat an unforeseen invasion, the waste can be measured in human lives. I’m Indy Neidell; this is World War Two. Last week Germany invaded Norway, and by the end of the week had taken all major Norwegian ports, though at sea the German navy had not fared well against the British. The Allies are already landing forces of their own in Norway this week. Max Hastings has this to say about them: “The makeshift Anglo-French landing forces sent to Norway...defied parody. Almost every effective unit of the British army was deployed in France; only 12 half-trained Territorial battalions were available to cross the North Sea. These were dispatched piecemeal, to pursue objectives that changed almost hourly. They lacked maps, transport, and radios to communicate with each other, far less with London... “Imagine how we felt when we saw a towering ice-capped mountain in front of us... We South London boys, we had never seen a mountain before, most of us had never been to sea.” I mentioned in February that German General Niklaus von Falkenhorst had planned the Norway invasion with Baedeker tourist maps? Well, he isn’t alone. Since both sides are pretty surprised to find themselves fighting in Norway, both sides get a lot of their battlefield intelligence from Baedeker tourist guides. Both sides’ intelligence services are hard at work, though, in the Norwegian campaign. The Germans can read around a third of the British naval signals in the North Sea and thus can find and attack many ships they would otherwise have missed. As for the British, well, starting this week on the 15th, The Government Cypher and Signals School, which is at Bletchley Park, breaks the Enigma Key used by both the Luftwaffe and the German Army during the Norwegian invasion. We’ve talked before about Enigma, it’s the rotary encoding machine used by the Germans. Now, they key used here is relatively uncomplicated, and there are loads of messages sent through Enigma and received at Bletchley, and some of them take under an hour to de-crypt. This is a ton of information on pretty much everything, organization, supply, invasion plans and intentions. Winston Churchill will later call these “golden eggs”, but here’s the thing, British Intelligence is not yet at all prepared to make use of the information. They have no secure way of getting it to the army and navy commanders in the field; they can’t even really explain the nature of the source of their insight, they don’t have a collating and distribution process, and so, as Martin Gilbert succinctly puts it, “The breaking of the Norway Enigma Key, a triumph of cryptography, thus had no influence on the course of the Norwegian campaign.” Now, since all campaigns eventually have an end, it’s not really a spoiler to say that this one will too, whenever that may be, so he continues, “With the ending of the campaign, its use by the Germans was to be discontinued... In the intelligence war, Germany, not Britain, had been the victors in Norway.” As for the action in the field... At the end of last week, the Germans pushed out from Oslo east, north, and west. They now have some quick successes, forcing some Norwegians to surrender and others to cross into Sweden. But Norwegian General Otto Ruge is pretty well positioned between Randsfjord and Lake Mjosa to take on the German force heading for him, and the Luftwaffe is mostly grounded until the 17th by weather. But after that, with a Panzer battalion, the Germans take ground both east and west of the lake. Ruge’s basic plan is to stop the Germans in the passes leading from Oslo long enough for the British to arrive in force, but if the Germans can make their way up Gulbrandsdal, the Allies landing this week at Andalsnes to move on Trondheim would be threatened from the rear. On the 14th come small British landings at Namsos and Harstad. The Allies are thinking of what to do to free Trondheim and Narvik, but they will rule out direct assault. Instead they will build up from the landings at Namsos, Harstad, and Andalsnes. The weather is causing some serious hassles, though. At Namsos there is four feet of snow and no possible cover from any air attacks, and the British force that was to try to land at Ålesund is held back all week by the weather. Still, the main body of the British 24th Guards arrives in Harstad and on the 16th, the 146th Brigade lands at Namsos. On the17th, the British begin to land at Andalsnes. With the landings, you can see that Hitler’s orders now reflect uncertainty- on the 17th, he sends out the order to his men in Norway to ”hold out as long as possible”. The next day, the British 148th brigade lands at Andalsnes. Now, when they land there, Ruge demands- does not ask- for them to not move on Trondheim as planned, but help consolidate the Norwegian lines just south of Lillehammer. “However, the British troops were poorly equipped and trained, and were not helped much by the hurried loading of their transport ships, which meant vital supplies and weapons were either missing or left behind.” Another quote, from WW2 Day by Day by Donald Somerville, helps illustrate that further, “During the night part of the (French) 5th Demi-Brigade Chasseurs Alpins lands at Namsos. There has, however, been a mistake made with the equipment for this force and they lack some of the bindings necessary for their skis. This sort of elementary error is typical of the muddled way the whole Norwegian Campaign has been conducted and will go on being conducted on the Allied side.” By the 19th, the 146th, which has advanced to Steinkjer, is forced to retreat to Namsos. Side note here, the Anglo-French forces at Namsos are under the command of acting Major General Carton de Wiart, about whom you’ll hear more next week. Anyhow, at the end of the first week of allied landings, the Germans have complete air superiority and heavily bomb Namsos. There is no natural cover, as I said. Meanwhile, the Germans advancing from Oslo reach Lillehammer and Rena. As for the administration of the conquered territory, this is the Quisling situation. Germany’s ambassador to Norway, Curt Brauer, is maneuvering Vidkun Quisling from power only a few days after Quisling set up a new government. Hitler has written to Quisling thanking him for his service and promising him some sort of position in the new governing commission, but that’s not the same thing as being PM of a new Norwegian government. On the 15th, power is officially transferred from the Quisling Cabinet to an Administrative Council of 7 men that Hitler hopes will be able to work with Norway’s King Haakon. The Council is actually established by members of Norway’s Supreme Court and is chaired by Ingolf Christensen. At this point, to the world at large, Quisling is known as both a traitor and a failure. The occupation of Norway is just beginning, but there’s news this week from an occupation now well over two years old. The Chinese Winter Offensive had shown that China’s armed forces could do the occupying Japanese some real damage, and indeed the Chinese are still harassing the Japanese with guerrilla attacks in the Shanxi-Hebei region. Japanese General Tada Toshi has built moats and walls alongside the railway there, and even European style concrete pillboxes to try and protect it, but this still doesn’t do the job, so this month the First Japanese Army orders are, “Destroy enemy forces throughout southern Shanxi province and paralyze their activities at their sources, thus crippling Chiang’s (Kai-Shek) government and, at the same time, extending the Japanese-occupied area in order to expedite the creation of a peaceful and orderly North China.” Now on the 17th, the Japanese attack the north bank of the Yellow River at Monan. They face stiff resistance, but next week will capture Jincheng. And this week comes to an end, and as it does on April 20th, Adolf Hitler turns 51, making him the same age I am, and his mood turns as well, he is not only elated by success, he orders a new SS regiment created (Gilbert), to be called Nordland, and to be made up of Germans, Danes, and Norwegians. He has reason to be elated for the time being, for his invasion of Norway is so far a great success, as his forces advance, battering both the Norwegian defenders and the Anglo-French new arrivals. Something I read in Max Hastings’ “All Hell Let Loose” shows the general reaction of the locals to invasion. “The Norwegians displayed implacable hostility to their invaders. Even when compelled to acknowledge subjugation, they were unimpressed by explanations.” Ruth Maier, an Austrian Jew who had escaped the Nazis to Norway, but who will die in the gas chamber at Auschwitz two years from now, writes in her diary of watching some German soldiers telling the Oslo locals that the Poles had killed 60,000 German civilians in Poland before Germany invaded Poland to protect the rest of them. A Norwegian local asked the soldiers if they really believe that they are in Norway to protect the Norwegians, as it now says in the local papers. The soldiers say that they are, in fact, there to protect the Norwegians from the British. And this they do believe. We’ve talked in both this series and in B2W and War Against Humanity about the stunning effect of total propaganda; that to the world at large the German invasion of Poland was a dastardly act of unwarranted aggression, but to the average German civilian it was justified, or even necessary, because the Poles were killing all the ethnic Germans in Poland and planning to invade Germany. I mean, that’s what the papers and the radio had been telling them every single day all last summer. I mean, they wouldn’t lie about that, right? Why would anyone make that up? If you want to see more about the broadcast and control of information in the 20th century, check out our Between 2 wars episode about the explosion of the radio age right here. Our patreon supporter of the week is James Sinnott. James and our other Patrons provide us with the cash to finance all of the TimeGhost productions, so please consider also supporting us if you don’t already at or Don’t forget to subscribe; see you next time.



The regiment was formed on 19 September 1991 by elevating the existing Alpini Battalion "Belluno" to regiment. Between 1 October 1910 and 11 November 1975 the battalion was one of the battalions of the 7th Alpini Regiment. After the 7th Alpini Regiment was disbanded during the 1975 Italian Army reform the Alpini Battalion "Belluno", based in Belluno, became one the battalions of the Alpine Brigade "Cadore". As the traditions and war flag of the 7th Alpini Regiment were assigned to the "Feltre" battalion, the Belluno battalion was granted a new war flag on 12 November 1976 by decree 846 of the President of the Italian Republic Giovanni Leone.[2] The Silver Medal of Military Valour awarded to the 7th Alpini Regiment for the regiment's service in the Greco-Italian war, and the Gold Medal of Civil Valour awarded to the 7th Alpini Regiment for its service after the Vajont disaster, were duplicated for the new flag of the Belluno battalion.[3][4][5]

The main task of the regiment was to train recruits destined for the Alpini regiments based in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions of northern Italy. In January 1997 the "Cadore" brigade was disbanded and the regiment passed to the Alpine Brigade "Julia". Soon afterwards the Julia ceded the regiment to the Alpine Troops Command. With the suspension of compulsory military service the regiment was dissolved on 30 November 2004. During its short existence the regiment trained approximately 85,000 soldiers.


When the regiment was disbanded it had the following structure:

  • CoA mil ITA rgt alpini 016.png
    Regimental Command
    • Nappina blu - Regimental supports.png
      Command and Logistic Support Company
    • Nappina verde.png
      Alpini Battalion "Belluno"
      • Nappina verde.png
        77th Alpini Company
      • Nappina verde.png
        78th Alpini Company
      • Nappina verde.png
        79th Alpini Company
      • Nappina verde.png
        116th Mortar Company (in reserve status since 1975)

External links


  • Franco dell'Uomo, Rodolfo Puletti: L'Esercito Italiano verso il 2000 - Volume Primo - Tomo I, Rome 1998, Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito - Ufficio Storico, page: 512


  1. ^ a b c d "Le Feste dei Reparti - Aprile". Italian Army. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 12 novembre 1976, n. 846". Quirinale - Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Battaglione Alpini Belluno". Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  4. ^ "7° Reggimento Alpini". Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  5. ^ "16° Reggimento Alpini". Retrieved 8 December 2019.

This page was last edited on 14 December 2019, at 16:59
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