The Bersagliere Cyclist Companies, used for scouting purposes, form part of the Regiment. The Bersagliere undress cap is a red fez with a blue tassel. The Arditi, or Assault Detachments, correspond to the German Sturmtruppen. They were instituted in the Italian Army in 1917.
Emilia Arditi, Fraülein Hortensia Zirges, Miss Hildegard Werner, Miss Bertha Brousil, and Madame Rosetta Piercy-Feeny were all born during the decade 1830 to 1840, and were well known, but in 1840 and 1842 two violinists were born who were destined to hold the stage for many years and to exert a great influence in their profession.
The Italians have adopted an olive colour, commonly spoken of as "grigio-verde," or grey-green. The various Italian Corps, Regiments and Brigades wear distinctively coloured collars on their tunics which, except in the case of the Arditi, fit closely round the neck.
They also consist of picked men, and undergo a special training to accustom them to bomb-throwing at close quarters and to other incidents of the assault. In the course of this training casualties often occur. Only young unmarried men of exceptionally good physique can become Arditi. They are only used in actual attacks and never for the purpose of merely holding trenches.
Her final concert was given at Metropolitan Hall, New York, on May 2, 1852, the special occasion being the benefit of Signor Arditi, who had been the conductor of her performances in America. The audience was immense, the applause vehement. The marriage of Alboni to the Compte de Pepoli in 1853 caused a rumor that she was about to retire from the stage.
On the evening of the 26th the Piave was bridged in three sectors, and on the 27th three bridgeheads were in being; the first on the Upper Piave, in the hands of Alpini and French Infantry of the Italian Twelfth Army; the second on the Middle Piave, in the hands of Arditi and other troops of the Italian Eighth Army; the third further downstream, in the hands of our two British Divisions and the Italian Eleventh Corps.
First to cross the river on the night of the attack were boats carrying Engineers and detachments of Arditi. As they crossed, the river gorge was full of mist and they were not detected.
They are, therefore, known as "fiamme nere," or black flames. A large proportion of Arditi are Sicilians, and their fighting quality is very high. Certain detachments of Bersaglieri are also classified as Assault Detachments and wear low-cut tunics like the Arditi.
Valleria was the Margherita and Elena, Miss Annie Louise Cary the Marta and Pantalis, Signor Campanini Faust, and Signor Novara Mefistofele. Signor Arditi conducted.
They wore Sam Browne belts, too, and carried a pugnale like the Italian Arditi. I asked a Carabiniere on duty who they were. He smiled but did not know. "Perhaps Yugo-Slavs," he suggested. One of them overheard our conversation and came up to me saying, "Siamo Rumeni, Legione Rumena." Then followed a tremendous fraternisation. We shook hands all round and began to talk.