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E carabinieri) i quali, tuttavia, quando il genere di servizio 10 consente sono messi in grado di consumare i pasti in famiglia previa sostituzione. I servizi interni di cui al precedente n. 5, specie per le Stazioni e i Reparti minori che dispongo- no di forza limitata, possono essere abbinati con servizi istituzionali nelta sede di breve durata. E carabinieri) i quali, tuttavia, quando il genere di servizio 10 consente sono messi in grado di consumare i pasti in famiglia previa sostituzione. I servizi interni di cui al precedente n. 5, specie per le Stazioni e i Reparti minori che dispongo- no di forza limitata, possono essere abbinati con servizi istituzionali nelta sede di breve durata.

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For the television series, see Carabinieri (TV series).
Carabineers Force
Arma dei Carabinieri
Heraldic symbol of the Carabinieri
Active13 July 1814
CountryKingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Italy
Italian Republic
TypeGendarmerie (carabiniers)
RoleMilitary police and general expertise in permanent service of public security; Armed force
Size110,400 members
Part ofMinistry of Defence
Garrison/HQRome, Italy
Motto(s)Nei Secoli Fedele
(Faithful throughout the centuries)
MarchLa Fedelissima (The Ever Faithful)
by Luigi Cirenei
AnniversariesJune 5, Carabinieri Day
Minister of DefenceElisabetta Trenta
Commanding GeneralGiovanni Nistri

The Carabinieri (/ˌkærəbɪnˈjɛəri/, alsoUS: /ˌkɛər-, ˌkɑːr-/,[1][2]Italian: [karabiˈnjɛːri]; formally Arma dei Carabinieri, 'Carabineers Force'; previously Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali, 'Royal Carabineers Corps')[3][4][5][6] are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic policing duties. It is one of Italy's main law enforcement agencies, alongside the Polizia di Stato and the Guardia di Finanza. As with the Guardia di Finanza but in contrast to the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri are a military force. As the fourth branch of the Italian Armed Forces, they come under the authority of the Ministry of Defence. In practice, there is a significant overlap between the jurisdiction of the Polizia di Stato and Carabinieri, who are contacted on separate emergency telephone numbers.[7] Unlike the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri have responsibility for policing the military, and a number of members regularly participate in military missions abroad.

Carabinieri have policing powers that can be exercised at any time and in any part of the country, and they are always permitted to carry their assigned weapon as personal equipment (Beretta 92FS pistols). They were originally founded as the police force of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the forerunner of the Kingdom of Italy. During the process of Italian unification, the Carabinieri were appointed as the 'First Force' of the new national military organisation. Although the Carabinieri assisted in the suppression of opposition during the rule of Benito Mussolini, they were also responsible for his downfall and many units were disbanded during World War II by Nazi Germany, which resulted in large numbers of Carabinieri joining the Italian resistance movement. In 2001, they were separated from the Army to become a separate branch of the Italian Armed Forces.

  • 1History
  • 2Organization
    • 2.2Specialist and Mobile Units Command Organization
  • 6Weapons
  • 7Vehicles and equipment


Early history[edit]

Inspired by the French Gendarmerie, the corps was created by King Victor Emmanuel I of Savoy with the aim of providing the Kingdom of Sardinia with a police corps. Previously, police duties were managed by the Dragoni di Sardegna Corps, created in 1726 and composed of volunteers. After French soldiers had occupied Turin at the end of the 18th century and later abandoned it to the Kingdom of Piedmont, the Royal Carabinieri Corps was instituted under the Royal Patents of 13 July 1814.[8]

The name derives from the French word carabinier, meaning 'soldier armed with a carbine.'[9]

The new force was divided into divisions on the scale of one division for each province. The divisions were further divided into companies and subdivided into lieutenancies, which commanded and coordinated the local police stations and were distributed throughout the national territory in direct contact with the public.[8]

Photo of a Carabiniere around 1875. The 'Medal of Italian Independence' is worn, indicating a veteran of the Risorgimento (The Wars for Italian Unification).

In 1868, the Corazzieri (mounted division) was formed – initially as an escort of honour for the sovereign, and since 1946 for the President of the Republic.[8] The Italian unification saw the number of divisions increased,[8] and on 24 January 1861 the Carabinieri were appointed the 'First Force' of the new national military organization.[8]

In May 1915 Italian troops marched to encompass South Tyrol, territory of their former allies the Austro-Hungarian empire, in the Fronte italiano campaign. The defenders had sufficient time to prepare strong fortifications there, and in the Carsotheatre to the east, and the Italian regiments, under overall command of General Cadorna, found themselves repeatedly repulsed in harsh fighting. The role of the Carabinieri was to act as barrier troops, setting up machine gun posts to control the rear of the attacking regiments and prevent desertion.[10]

1930s and 1940s[edit]

During the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini (1922–1943), the Carabinieri were one of the police forces entrusted with suppressing opposition in Italy.[11] During the same period, while part of the Italian African Police (mainly in the late 1930s), they were involved in atrocities[12][13][14][14][15][16] in colonial Italian East Africa during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. During World War II they fought in their function as military police against the Allied forces, and against Yugoslav partisans as part of the Italian occupation force in Yugoslavia.

After Mussolini was voted out of office on 25 July 1943, on the orders of the king he was arrested by the Carabinieri as he left the king's private residence in Rome and subsequently imprisoned on Campo Imperatore by Carabinieri forces. After the armistice between Italy and the Allies on 3 September 1943 and the country's split into the fascist Italian Social Republic in the north and the Kingdom of Italy in the south, the Carabinieri split into two groups. In southern Italy the Carabinieri Command for Liberated Italy was founded in Bari, mobilizing new units for the Italian war of liberation. These units were attached to the Italian Liberation Corps and the six Italian Combat Groups of the Italian Co-Belligerent Army, fighting with the Allied forces. In northern Italy the fascist regime organized the Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana (composed of Carabinieri, former colonial policemen, Guardia di Finanza and customs police), to employ it as a military police and rapid-deployment anti-guerilla force. GNR was later joined (but not taken over) by the Black Brigades which represented a new militant incarnation of the Fascist party.[citation needed]

Due to the role the Carabinieri had played in the downfall of Mussolini, and since one of the few units which fought the German occupation of Rome were the Granatieri di Sardegna regiments and the II Carabinieri cadet battalion, the Germans did not view the Carabinieri as loyal to the fascist cause[citation needed] and ordered the disbanding of all Carabinieri units in Axis-controlled territory on 7 October 1943. As German forces subsequently began to arrest and deport members of the Carabinieri to Germany for forced labour, large numbers of Carabinieri joined the Italian resistance movement. After the war the Carabinieri counted at least 2,735 fallen and 6,500 wounded, out of approximately 14,000 who had joined the Resistance in northern and central Italy. In Yugoslavia the Carabinieri formed a battalion of the Italian partisan Garibaldi Division, which fought alongside the Yugoslav partisans against German and Croatian Ustaše Forces. The battalion lost over 80% of its members in combat and was awarded the Silver Medal of Military Valor to commemorate the fallen.[17][18]

One notable act of heroism in this era came from Vice BrigadiereSalvo D'Acquisto, who was executed by the Germans in Palidoro (near Rome) during World War II. D'Acquisto exchanged his life for the lives of citizens due to be executed in retaliation for the killing of a German soldier; instead, he claimed responsibility and was executed for the offence.

Present day[edit]

Until 2000, the Carabinieri were part of the Italian Army. On 31 March 2000, they were separated to become the fourth branch of the Italian Armed Forces.[8]

In recent years Carabinieri units have been dispatched on peacekeeping missions, including Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In 2003, 12 Carabinieri were killed in a suicide bombing on their base in Nasiriyah, near Basra in southern Iraq, in the largest Italian military loss of life in a single action since the Second World War.[19]

At the Sea Island Conference of the G8 in 2004, Carabinieri were given a mandate to establish a Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units to spearhead the development of training and doctrinal standards for civilian police units attached to international peacekeeping missions.[20][21]

The State Forestry Corps was dissolved on 31 December 2016 and personnel with forestry police function were militarized and absorbed by the Carabinieri.


Senior Carabinieri General in VM 90 during the 2007 'Republic Day' parade in Italy.
Structure Specialist & Mobile Units Command

The corps is headed by the Comando, consisting of the Comandante Generale (a General), the Vice-Comandante Generale ( a Lieutenant General) and the Chief of Staff, all located in Rome. The Chief of Staff directs, coordinates and supervises all activities of the force. It directly supervises the Directors of Administration, Health, Engineering, the motor pool and the Veterinary Commission. On the Deputy Chiefs of Staff depend the National Center for Recruitment and Selection, the Administration National Center and the Legislation Office.[22]

Territorial Organization[edit]

The Carabinieri are organised on a territorial basis for law-enforcement missions. The territorial organization represents the core of the institution; it contains 80 percent of the force and is organized hierarchically in five inter-regional commands, 19 regional commands and 102 provincial commands, 504 Company Commands and approximately 5000 Station Commands (one or more for each Italian city). The territorial organization includes exceptionally a special force unit (100 military employees): Elliported Squadron 'Hunters of Calabria', exclusively used against the kidnapping and predominantly Calabrian mafia.

Specialist and Mobile Units Command Organization[edit]

Outside the territorial organisation, the Specialist and Mobile Units Command Palidoro (Comando delle Unità Mobili e Specializzate 'Palidoro', based in Rome) controls the Carabinieri Mobile Units Division, the Carabinieri Specialist Units Division and the ROS.

Carabinieri Specialist Units Division[edit]

See also: Carabinieri Specialist Units Division

The Carabinieri Specialist Units Division is the Carabinieri formation, established in 2001, dedicated to the performance of specialist police activities and the support to Territorial Organization. The Division directs, controls, and coordinates its own units, which carry out tasks related to the protection of Italian artistic heritage, to the currency protection, to the protection of Italian embassies abroad, to the health protection, to the labour policing, to Bank of Italy needs, to the Carabinieri forensics police services. In addition, the Division provides Carabinieri air support.

Mobile Units Division[edit]

The Carabinieri Mobile Units Division is located in Rome and has two brigades tasked with mass manoeuvres during emergencies, defending the nation and participating in military operations abroad. It supports public order and territorial control in urban areas, and contributes to the operations of civil authorities in terms of public safety. 1st Mobile Brigade, whose headquarter is located in Rome and includes six Regiments and four Battalions mainly employed in public order tasks. 2nd Mobile Brigade headquartered in Livorno includes the Gruppo di Intervento Speciale special forces group, the 1st Paratroopers Carabinieri Regiment 'Tuscania', and the 7th 'Trentino-Alto Adige' and 13th 'Friuli-Venezia Giulia' regiments, which are mainly engaged in international missions.

Special forces[edit]

See also: Gruppo di Intervento Speciale

The Gruppo di Intervento Speciale in one of the four Italian special forces.

Regolamento Generale Arma Carabinieri Pdf Free


The ROS (Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale or Special Operational Group) is an elite unit founded in 1990 to deal with organised crime (Mafia and others), subversive activities, terrorism and more complex types of crime. An anti-crime section is found in every city and district public prosecutor's office.

Special Tasks Departments[edit]


Special Tasks Departments are outside the ordinary organisational framework and are used for special missions:Corazzieri (Cuirassiers) are an elite corps and honour guard of the President of the Italian Republic, located in the Quirinal Palace. They are distinguished by their uniforms and height (the minimum height for admission is 1.9 m or 6 ft 3 in). They have almost no other everyday duties, although they may be seen patrolling occasionally. Other departments are in service to constitutional bodies such as the Presidency of the Republic, the Senate, Parliament, the Judiciary, the Prime Minister and the National Council of Economy and Labour. Carabinieri also perform military police and security duties for the Ministry of Defence, military high commands, the offices of the military judiciary and allied military organisations in Italy and abroad. They also have personnel attached to the Department of Public Security in various departments, as well as anti-Mafia and anti-drug investigative task forces. Carabinieri officers are charged with surveillance and security at Italian embassies and consulates abroad, performing the same services entrusted to the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group in United States diplomatic and consular offices.

Together with the Polizia di Stato and the Guardia di Finanza, the Carabinieri is also responsible for border control.[23]

Command Unit for environmental, agri-food and forestry protection[edit]

The specialized Comando unità per la tutela forestale, ambientale e agroalimentare has headquarter located in Rome and organized in 15 regional command and approximately 700 Station Commands on the territory. It counts 7,000 personnel involved in contrast of illicit agri-foodstuffs, environmental and biodiversity protection, contrast to poaching, contrast to all criminal organizations that, with their activity, affect the environment. In the Unit there are also 29 NOE (Nucleo Operativo Ecologico), nucleus highly specialized in complex investigations in environmental matters against organized crime.

War service[edit]

1st Paratroopers Carabinieri Regiment 'Tuscania'

The main battles in which the Carabinieri took part before World War I are:

  • Grenoble, July 5, 1815 (baptism of fire)
  • Battle of Pastrengo, 30 April 1848 – the Carabinieri Corps was awarded its first Silver Medal of Military Valor
  • Battle of Santa Lucia, 6 May 1848 – the Carabinieri Corps was awarded its first Bronze Medal of Military Valor
  • Battle of Custoza, 24–25 July 1848
  • Battle of Custoza, 24 June 1866
  • Capture of Rome, 20 September 1870 (together with the Bersaglieri)

For its contributions during the First World War, the Corps was awarded its first Gold Medal of Military Valor

In World War II, Carabinieri fought in the following battles:[18]

  • Battle of Klisoura on the Greek-Albanian front from 16 to 30 December 1940 Bronze Medal of Military Valor
  • Battle at Cafe Struga on the Albanian-Yugoslav front on 18 April 1941
  • Battle of Culqualber (Ethiopia), 6 August-21 November 1941 – Corps was awarded its second Gold Medal of Military Valor

From 1943 to 1945, the Carabinieri were accountable to the Control Commission of the Allied Military Government (AMGOT). Their reorganization and reform was organized by Colonel Arthur Young, a British police officer seconded as Director of Public Safety and Director of Security.


Dress uniform
A female carabiniere in uniform
See also: Uniforms_of_the_Italian_Armed_Forces § Arma_dei_Carabinieri_(Gendarmerie)

The Carabinieri were issued a distinctive uniform in black with silver braid around the collar and cuffs, edges trimmed in scarlet and epaulettes in silver. The mounted division had white fringes, and the infantry had light blue. Their headgear was a distinctivebicorne, popularly called the lucerna (in use only for historical uniform and ceremonies).[8]They still use a version of the historic uniform today for ceremonies.[8]

The full set of different Carabinieri uniforms today is presented here (in Italian).

Carabinieri MP Units wear a dark navy blue beret.


The State Color of the Carabinieri bears the following decorations:

  • 6 Cavalier Crosses of the Military Order of Italy
  • 3 Gold Medals of Military Valor
  • 3 Gold Medals of Army Valor
  • 5 Silver Medals of Military Valor
  • 4 Bronze Medals of Military Valor
  • 10 Gold Medals of Civil Valor
  • 1 Silver Medal of Civil Valor
  • 2 War Crosses of Military Valor
  • 4 Gold Medals of Civil Merit
  • 6 Gold Medals of Benemerited Public Security
  • 5 Gold Medals of Benemerited Service to Education, Culture and the Arts
  • 2 Gold Medals of Benemerited Service to the Environment
  • 1 Gold Medal of Service in the Earthquake of 1909
  • 1 Bronze Medal of Civil Defense Excellence 1st Class


In response to the many and diverse needs of the Carabinieri, the service provides for the use of various types of weapons that are divided into 'ordinary' and 'special' weapons and supplied to all staff as follows:

Ordinary weapons[edit]

  • Pistols: Beretta 92 (the standard service arm) – Beretta 8000 for officers
  • Submachine gun: Mod.PM 12 S2
  • Assault rifle: Beretta AR70/90
  • Light machine gun: FN Minimi

Special weapons[edit]

Used only by certain departments and under certain circumstances:

  • Pistol: Beretta 93R
  • Assault rifle: Beretta SC70/90
  • Assault rifle: M4 carbine
  • Submachine gun: Heckler & Koch MP5
  • Submachine gun: Steyr TMP
  • Shotgun: Franchi SPAS-15
  • Sharpshooter: Mauser SP66, MSG-90
  • Sniper rifle: Accuracy International AWM
  • Machine gun: Beretta MG 42/59
  • Shotgun: Benelli M4 Super 90

Vehicles and equipment[edit]

Until very recently the Italian police (including the Carabinieri) operated only Italian-made vehicles, but that changed with the introduction of Land Rover Defenders and Subarus into service. Normal Carabinieri patrol vehicles are dark blue with a white roof, with a red stripe along the side. Carabinieri license plates begin with 'CC' or previously with 'EI' (formerly Esercito Italiano, Italian Army), and a Carabinieri car is traditionally called a Gazzella (gazelle). Small or medium-sized cars are used for ordinary patrol work, with larger and more powerful vehicles being used for emergency response, highway patrol, and special services. The vehicles of the Carabinieri military police and mobile units are painted in NATO camouflage scheme as done with the other Italian Armed Forces vehicles.


Carabinieri Alfa Romeo 159
Carabinieri Land Rover Discovery II
  • Land Rover Discovery II e III e IV
  • Lotus Evora S


Carabinieri BMW R1100-RTP


Carabinieri AgustaWestland AW109N
  • Fixed-wing aircraft
  • Helicopters

Tactical vehicles[edit]


Carabinieri Mercedes Unimog 3000 – 5000 mobile labs for CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological & nuclear) activity
Carabinieri Iveco VM 90P Protected
  • Land Rover Defender 110 soft top
  • Iveco Daily 4×4 40.10WM 4×4 off-road light armored military truck


  • Offshore patrol boats
    • Motovedetta classe 800
    • Motovedetta classe N700
    • Motovedetta classe 600
  • Coastal patrol boats
    • Motovedetta classe 200
    • Motovedetta classe 100
  • Motorboats
    • Motovedetta classe 300
    • Motovedetta classe N100
    • Motovedetta classe T120
    • Motovedette classe S
    • Battello pneumatico Stinger

Special Vehicles[edit]

An Italian Carabinieri GEM e2 (called the Ovetti – 'little eggs') in Carabinieri service. Used for patrolling urban areas.
  • Snowmobile Polaris


  • A Carabiniere in everyday uniform

  • Carabinieri with capes

  • Summer dress

  • Carabinieri at a demonstration in Florence

See also[edit]


  1. ^'carabiniere' (US) and 'carabiniere'. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  2. ^'Carabiniere'. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  3. ^Paoletti, Ciro (2008). A Military History of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN978-0-275-98505-9.
  4. ^Peter G. Stone, Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly, Robert Fisk. The destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq. Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2008
  5. ^Richard Heber Wrightson, A History of Modern Italy, from the First French Revolution to the Year 1850., 2005
  6. ^A new survey of universal knowledge. 4. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1952.
  7. ^'It's 200 years old, but what is Italy's carabinieri?'. BBC News. 13 July 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  8. ^ abcdefgh'The ancient Corps of the Royal Carabinieri'. Carabinieri. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
  9. ^Online Etymological Dictionary url=''
  10. ^Thompson, Mark (2009). The White War. London: Faber. p. 227. ISBN978-0-5712-2334-3.
  11. ^Holmes, George; Holmes, Chichele Professor of Medieval History George (1997). The Oxford illustrated history of Italy - Google Books. ISBN9780198205272. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  12. ^'Massacres and Atrocities of WWII in the Axis Countries'. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  13. ^'Pétros, Ethiopia, Orthodox'. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  14. ^ abAdejumobi, Saheed A. (2007). The history of Ethiopia - Google Books. ISBN9780313322730. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  15. ^Mockler, Anthony (2003-01-01). Haile Selassie's war - Google Books. ISBN9781902669533. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  16. ^'The Pankhurst History Library'. Link Ethiopia. Archived from the original on 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  17. ^'Arma dei Carabinieri - Home - L'Arma - Curiosità - Non tutti sanno che... - R'. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  18. ^ ab'Arma dei Carabinieri - Home - > - EN - Military Operations'. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  19. ^'Arma dei Carabinieri - La strage di Nassiriya'. Retrieved 2016-04-17.
  20. ^Formed Police Units Workshop andSeminar, 'Archived copy'(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2007-05-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Issue Paper No. 2006-04, US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, January 2007.
  21. ^Arcudi, Giovanni; Smith, Michael E. (2013). 'The European Gendarmerie Force: A solution in search of problems?'. European Security. 22: 1–20. doi:10.1080/09662839.2012.747511.
  22. ^'Organizzazione Centrale'. Archived from the original on February 27, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  23. ^List of national services responsible for border control

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carabinieri.
  • (in English)Official Carabinieri website
  • (in English)FIEP - Italian Carabinieri
  • (in Italian)Carabinieri Association website

Arma Carabinieri Personale

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