Arditi was the name adopted by Italian Army elite storm troops of World War I. The name derives from the Italian verb Ardire ("to dare") and translates as "The Daring Ones".
Reparti d'assalto (Assault Units) were formed in the summer of 1917 by Colonel Bassi, and were assigned the tactical role of shock troops, breaching enemy defenses in order to prepare the way for a broad infantry advance. The Arditi were not units within infantry divisions, but were considered a separate combat arm.
The Reparti d'assalto were successful in bringing in a degree of movement to what had previously been a war of entrenched positions. Their exploits on the battlefield were exemplary and they gained an illustrious place in Italian military history. They were demobilized by 1920.
The name Arditi was also used by the supporters (often war veterans) of Gabriele D'Annunzio, during his occupation of Fiume in 1919-20. Their use of a uniform with black shirts and black fez was taken up by Benito Mussolini's paramilitary forces, called, in fact, Blackshirts.
From 1 October 1975 the flag of X Arditi Regiment (formed in 1942 in imitation of the IX Assault unit of the First World War) was adopted by the 9º Reggimento d'Assalto Paracadutisti Col Moschin (9th Parachute Assault Regiment Col Moschin). To this day operatives of Col Moschin and CONSUBIN Italian special forces are known as "Arditi Incursori" and are viewed as the heirs of the Arditi of World War I. Col Moschin is actually the name of a hill where the Arditi obtained a hard fought victory against Austrian troops during World War I.
The name is sometimes misapplied as a general term for Italian special units such as Bersaglieri.
Battle vs. ANZAC (by Samurai234)
5 ANZAC soldiers are inside a fort discussing a plan to invade their enemies fort.
"Sir, should attack now?" asks one soldier.
"No, they are going to be expecting us." says the leader. "I say we strike we they lower their defenses."
Meanwhile, 5 Arditi soldier are staring atop their headquarters, looking for the enemies. Suddenly, they hear a rocket fly through the air.
"Attento!" yells the Arditi leader.
The ANZAC decide to go into the trenches and take Arditi by surprise. One Arditi soldier fires his Cannone da 65/17 modello 13 at them, but misses. He decides to throw a Besozzi hand grenade at them instead. It blows up, and sends one ANZAC member flying of the trench. (3-4)
He pulls his Billhook and carefully walks across the trench. He is soon ambushed by the Arditi solider with his Trench Knife. The two swing and slash until they enter a lock. The ANZAC soldier then kicks the Arditi man in the knee, breaking the lock. He then slashes him in neck, killing him as blood gushes out the wound. (1-0)
The ANZAC leader tips his hat as sign of respect and leaves the trench, mourning the lives of those who were killed.
The Arditi and ANZACs may not have been too far apart in terms of training, but the latter's arsenal which dominated that of the former by miles brought the ANZACs a sweeping victory.
Battle vs. Stormtrooper (German Empire) (by SPARTAN 119)
A town in the French countryside, Spring 1919, Alternate universe where WWI continued into 1919
Ten Arditi, part of an Italian unit sent to the Western Front to support their French, British, and American allies, walked through the streets of a town in the French countryside behind German lines. The Arditi had broken through the German lines, but had been separated with the rest of their unit in the chaos of the attack.
As they turned the corner into the main square of town, the Arditi spotted a squad of German Stormtroopers, sent to reinforce the front, enter the square from the other side. One of the Arditi points his Carcano carbine at the group of Germans and fires a single shot, catching the Feldwebel leading the squad in the chest.
The Stormtroopers return fire, carbines and MP-18 submachine guns blazing. An Arditi is cut down by the hail of fire. One of the Arditi, armed with a Villar Perosa, fire of a swarm of bullets, killing two of the Stormtroopers who did not get to cover in time and pinned down the rest of them inside a cafe across the square, as the rest of his squad took cover in storefront on their side of the square. Unfortunately for the Arditi machine gunner, he is hit by a German rifle shot before he can take cover.
The Arditi regrouped, taking cover in the building. Once the squad had regrouped, they spread raised their weapons and unleashed a storm of suppressing fire. Then, they charged with shouts of "Avanti!" and "O la vittoria, o tutti accoppati". One of the Arditi, who had taken the Villar Perosa from the fallen gunner, fired the weapon from the hip, suppressing the Germans in the building.
As the Arditi reached about ten meters from the building, they threw several hand grenades into the building. The Thevenot grenades had a small blast radius, and thus only killed one German, who was unlucky enough to be standing right in front of the grenade. The blast blew his foot clean off, severing several major arteries and causing him to bleed out in seconds.
The other Germans in the building, however, were stunned by the sudden blast. One surprised stormtrooper was cut down by burst from Beretta M1918 submachine gun, as an Arditi burst in through the shattered window and plunged his dagger into the chest of a second German several times. The unfortunate victim of the blade fell face down on the floor as he coughed up blood.
The other four Germans taking cover in the building retreated out the back door, however, as the last one exited, he turned the corner and placed a tube around the corner of the building, back towards the Arditi.
From the tube shot a jet of flames- the German that had stopped to fire was as flamethrower operator attached to the stormtrooper unit. The flames engulfed the interior of the abandoned cafe that the Arditi had just entered. Four of the Arditi were ignited, writhing in agony as they succumbed to the flames and smoke.
The last four Arditi, who were outside the now-burning building, and flanked around it in the alleyway. Two of them turned the corner of an alley and caught the flamethrower operator by surprise. The man was struck several times by a spray of bullets from a Beretta M1918 and an M1915 pistol. One of the rounds struck the fuel tank, causing it to explode in a ball of flames.
"Got the cazzo", one of the Italians yelled in triumph, having avenged his fallen comrades.
The Arditi then continued their assault, into a house which the remaining three Germans were hiding. As they attempt to climb that stairs to the upper floor, a stick grenade drops down the stairs. Three of the Arditi manage to get out of the blast radius, but one is not so lucky, and is killed in the explosion.
Immediately afterwards, however, German peeks out and tried to fire his Luger, only to be hit with a burst from an M1918, killing him instantly.
The lead Arditi then charges up the stairs, only to be caught by surprise and hit by a burst from an MP-18 on the landing and cut down. The German with the MP-18 turns the weapon on the next Arditi, but the gun jams.
The Arditi uses this opening to jam the bayonet attached to his M1918- something the MP-18 did not have, into the Stormtrooper's chest, before with drawing the blade from the dying German. As he did so, the final Stormtrooper lunged at the Arditi with a combat knife, which the Arditi only barely blocked.
An extended knife fight, however, was prevented when the second Arditi fired his carbine, scoring a well-aimed headshot that took down the final German. The Arditi looked around and realized they were the last ones left.
They turned back towards the last known position of the Allied forces, hoping they could link back up with their comrades.
The Arditi won this clash of the WWI assault troops because of their slightly better tactics, but mostly because of their superior weaponry. The experts noted that, while the MP-18 had a larger magazine, the M1918 was less prone to jamming, giving the Arditi a clear advantage in one of the most important weapons in the fight, the submachine gun.