Original WWII Royal Italian Army Engineers Officer Peaked Visor Cap - 2nd Regiment
Original Item: Only One Available: A genuine WWII Italian 2 gold band strap visor hat, indicating the rank of Major of the 2nd Sapper Regiment. Offered in very good condition and free of moth damage. Leather chinstrap and visor complete. Size is approximately and 56cm (US 7cm).
The Engineer Corps was founded on 11 June 1775 as the "Royal Corps of Engineers" ("Corpo Reale degli Ingegneri") of the army of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. With the integration of the engineer units of the Italian states conquered during the Second Italian War of Independence the Corps was elevated on 11 January 1861 to a service branch of the Army and became the "Arma del Genio". In 1915 when Italy entered World War I the Royal Italian Army fielded six regiments and two battalions:
- 1st Sapper Regiment in Pavia
- 2nd Sapper Regiment in Casale Monferrato
- 3rd Telegraph Engineer Regiment in Florence
- 4th Bridging Engineer Regiment in Piacenza
- 5th Mining Engineer Regiment in Turin
- 6th Railroad Engineer Regiment in Turin
- Specialist Engineer Battalion
- Aviation Engineer Battalion (transferred to the Corpo Aeronautico Militare at the outbreak of hostilities)
During the war the Engineer Branch expanded and created new types of units:
- Sapper Companies were mostly employed to build the trenches along the Isonzo front - expanded from 43x to 236x companies
- Flamethrower Companies - 9x were raised
- Telegraph Companies tasked with managing the military's communications - expanded from 24x to 139x companies
- Telephone Companies tasked with laying and maintaining phone cables along the front - 57x companies were raised
- Bridging Companies - expanded from 12x to 26x companies
- Mining Companies tasked with building defensive positions in the Alps - expanded from 20x to 53x companies
- Lagunari Companies tasked with providing transportation in the Marano lagoon and on Lake Garda and Lake Idro.
Besides these also transport, ropeway, photography and poison gas companies were raised during the war.
In May 1940 when Italy entered World War II the branch fielded 18x engineer regiments, which contained a mix of sappers and signalers, and two mining, two bridging and one railroad engineer regiment. During the war each division received a mixed engineer battalion providing sappers and signalers. After the war the branch was rebuild as part of the Italian Army, fielding three pioneer, one bridging, one railroads and one fortification engineer battalion, along with mixed engineer battalions for the army's divisions and sapper companies for the army's brigades. In 1953 the signal units were split from the engineer branch to form their own service branch.
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