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Enemy Air-Borne Forces, Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 7, December 2, 1942
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the wartime U.S. War Department publication. 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 the spring of 1942, Italian parachutist headquarters was in Florence, and Tarquinia was still a large training center. There were probably 2 parachute regiments, each with 2,500 men, one quartered at Civitavecchia on the coast, 40 miles west of Rome, and the other in Viterbo 40 miles north of Rome. During several days in the middle of March, both are said to have rehearsed in the neighborhood of Viterbo for a projected attack on Malta. At least 7 battalions of Italian parachutists have been identified. Each battalion contained 29 officers and 297 enlisted men. Besides 3 companies armed with a total of 62 machine carbines and 54 light machine guns, each battalion contained a mining platoon or company for demolition work, a communication section with radio and visual signaling equipment, and a medical section. There were 203 rifles per battalion and all personnel were armed with pistols, daggers, and hand grenades.

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