Bersaglieri: The Devil’s Griffins (A Visual History of Italy’s Elite Plumed Warriors)

Author(s): Paul Garson 

ISBN: 9781781557556
£17.50 £25.00
Through more than a century of service, Italy’s elite ‘Plumed Warriors’ have rightly earned the accolade ‘The Devil’s Griffins’.

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  • Over 300 unpublished photographs from the author’s private collection chronicle the ‘Plumed Warriors’ rise to equal status among the world’s military elite

  • 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

  • Profusely illustrated throughout, this is of much interest to historians, re-enactors and modellers, etc.

    Military historians have often regarded the roll of the Italian military as somewhat ‘bipolar’ and ineffective. During the First World War, Italy sided with the Allies, including Britain, France, Russia and the US against Germany and the Central Powers.

    During the Second World War, it signed on as a member of the Tri-Partite 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 in battle and one espoused both by its enemies and allies. However, a positive consensus appears when focusing on the Bersaglieri – translating as ‘sharpshooter’ – and acting as shock troops often leading both assaults and defences.

    As ‘The Tip of the Spear’, they would thus pay the price during the Italian Wars of Unification, the early colonial forays into Africa, the First World War, the Ethiopian War and lastly the Second World War with much Bersaglieri blood soaked up by European soil, 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    Over 300 images including rare unpublished photographs chronicle Italy’s elite ‘Plumed Warriors’.

    BOOK ISBN 9781781557556
    FORMAT 276 x 216 mm
    BINDING Paperback
    PAGES 192 pages
    PUBLICATION DATE 30 April 2020
    ILLUSTRATIONS 322 photographs



    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 twenty countries including Germany, Russia and Japan. Previous books have 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 travelled coast to coast.