Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade

Brigata Bersaglieri "Garibaldi"

Coat of Arms Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade
Active 1 November 1975 - 1 July 1991
8th Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi
1 July 1991 - 1 September 1994
8th Bersaglieri Brigade Garibaldi
1 September 1994 - today
Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade
Country Italy
Allegiance Italian Army
Branch Army
Type Brigade
Role Bersaglieri
Part of Acqui Division Command
Garrison/HQ Caserta
Colors dark red
Engagements Bosnia SFOR
Kosovo KFOR
Afghanistan ISAF
Iraq Multinational force in Iraq
Lebanon UNIFIL
Brigadier Luigi Scollo

The Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade is a mechanized infantry brigade of the Italian Army, based in the south of the country. Its core units are the Bersaglieri, the elite infantry corps of the Italian Army.


Garibaldi Mechanized Brigade battalions in 1989

The brigade was activated during a major reorganization of the Italian Army: in 1975 the regiment level was abolished and battalions came under direct command of newly formed brigades, which combined units from different arms. On 1 November 1975 the Garibaldi Mechanized Brigade was activated one month after its sister brigades the Manin Armored Brigade and the Mameli Armored Brigade had been activated with the disbanded regiments of the Ariete Armored Division.

The brigade's headquarters was in the city of Pordenone. The brigade's name was chosen to honor the Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi. The brigade's sister brigades in the Ariete Armored Division, the Manin Armored Brigade and Mameli Armored Brigade, were named in honor of Daniele Manin and Goffredo Mameli, both heroes of the Italian unification. The Ariete was part of the 5th Army Corps based in North-Eastern Italy. The 5th Army Corps was tasked with defending the Italian-Yugoslavian border against possible attacks by either the Warsaw Pact, or Yugoslavia or both. The Ariete Armored Division was based in the middle of the potential front. The brigade's authorized strength was 4,733 men (272 officers, 637 non-commissioned officers and 3,824 soldiers) consisted of the following units:

On July 1, 1976 the brigade added the 11th Bersaglieri Battalion Caprera in Orcenico Superiore. With the abolition of the divisional level in the Italian Army on October 1, 1986 the Garibaldi came under direct control of the 5th Army Corps.


With the end of the Cold War and the following massive reorganization of the Italian Army the brigade was transferred to the South of Italy. The brigade finished the move south to the city of Caserta and declared full operational capability on 1 July 1991. Along with the move the brigade changed its name to 8th Bersaglieri Brigade Garibaldi to reflect the changed composition of its subordinated units:

Following the move the brigade became the first brigade in Italy to fully professionalize. From 1992 onwards all soldiers of the brigade were professional soldiers or long term volunteers. During the later 1990s the brigades composition changed slightly as a result of the massive reduction of forces after the Cold War and the Armys desire to preserve the names of the most decorated units of the Army. Therefore, most units changed names, although garrison and composition of the units did not change. The brigade itself shed the number from its name 1 on September 1994. The changes to the brigades units over the coming years follow below:


Today the Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade is one of two brigades of the Italian Army equipped with tracked vehicles. It has been employed in Karbala Iraq during the Iraq War and in Herat in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. Currently its structure is:

All regiments are battalion sized.


The tank regiment is equipped with Ariete main battle tanks, the cavalry regiment with Centauro tank destroyers and Puma 4x4 wheeled armored personnel carriers. The Bersaglieri regiments field a mix of Dardo infantry fighting vehicles and Lince light multirole vehicles. The artillery regiment is equipped with PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.


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