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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.]


The year that Hitler invaded Poland, the Italians were reported to have had 2 battalions of trained parachutists in Libya with a total strength of 504 men. In April 1940 a battalion of 280 native parachutists was said to be stationed at Castel Benito; it operated in 8-man sections led by a noncommissioned or a commissioned officer, and each section was transported in modified S-81 aircraft. However, up to the spring of 1941 the Italians were still counting their parachutists in terms of hundreds instead of thousands.

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