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"Italian Rock-Climbing Platoons" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A report on Italian Alpine troops trained for rock climbing in WWII, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 24, May 6, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


In mountainous country, difficult rock barriers occasionally present serious obstacles for infantry to overcome. To scale them, and thus open trails for the other troops to follow or to push through surprise attacks, has been effective in many campaigns.

The Italian rock climbers, although not necessarily mountain men, are usually volunteers, picked for their strength and hardihood. They are organized into platoons and trained by the Alpine regiments. Special equipment is carried: wind breakers, felt-soled leather shoes, ropes, screwrings, and hammers. They are armed with rifles, and presumably with light machine guns. The one month's course provides progressively more difficult courses of instruction in actual climbing, until they are able to scale vertical rock faces.


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