With a spectacular parade of 80,000 men, the national association of members and former members of the Alpine Corps sealed its annual rally held in Pordenone, at the presence of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and various civil and military Authorities. A 100-year-old veteran of the African campaigns was paraded on a wheelchair, and so were the distinctive pack mules once used by the Corps.
Part of the Italian Army, the Alpine Corps is an elite force specialized in mountain warfare but performing a wide variety of tasks and missions.
The Corps had obviously a key role in World War I, which on the Italian front was fought on the Alps before moving to the Po Valley.
During World War II the Corps served with distinction in the Russian Campaign, suffering huge losses in the Red Army counter-offensive. This proved a fatal blow to Mussolini’s declining popularity. A song against the dictator was even written: “Down with Mussolini, the killer of the Alpine Corps soldiers !”
The Alpine Corps National Association gives a remarkable contribution to the emergency services and charitable initiatives, further boosting the Corps’ popularity.