The Devil's Griffins—A Visual History of Italy’s Elite Plumed Warriors

Paul Garson

Formed in 1859, the Bersaglieri "sharpshooters” served as the "Tip of the Spear” paying the price in blood during the Italian Wars of Unification, the colonial forays into Africa, the First World War, the Ethiopian War and the Second World War. Over 300 images chronicle the "Plumed Warriors” rise to equal status among the world's military elite.
Date Published :
August 2020
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
323 color
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781557556
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 10.86 X 8.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Military historians have often regarded the roll of the Italian military as somewhat “bipolar.” During the First World War, Italy sided with the Allies including Britain, France, Russia and the U.S. against Germany and the Central Powers. During the Second World War it signed on as a member of the Tripartite powers joining Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The legacy of the latter often presents a less than positive appraisal of the Italian soldier’s performance…one espoused both by its enemies and allies. However a positive consensus appears when focusing on the Bersaglieri - translating as “sharpshooters" - and acting as shock troops often leading both assaults and defenses. As “The Tip of the Spear” they would thus pay the price during the Italian Wars of Unification, the early colonial forays into Africa, WWI, the Ethiopian War and lastly WWII with much Bersaglieri blood soaked up by European soil as well as the burning sands of Africa and frozen in the vastness of Russia. Over 300 images including rare unpublished photographs chronicle Italy’s elite “Plumed Warriors.”

About The Author

Paul Garson with some 30 years as a journalist, author, and photographer lives in Los Angeles. In addition to serving as editor of several national publications, and as a university instructor, travels have taken him to over 20 countries including Germany, Russia and Japan. Previous books have also focused on the World Wars, his features also appearing in the leading military magazines. His personal archives include over 3,000 original photos, documents, illustrations and artefacts. Also an avid motorcyclist, he has traveled coast to coast.

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