WWII Italian Bersaglieri (Desert)
The Bersaglieri, (Marksmen in English) are a speciality of the infantry corps of the Italian Army. They were originally created by General Alessandro La Marmora on 18 June 1836 to serve in the Army of the Kingdom of Sardinia, later to become the Royal Italian Army. They served on multiple fronts in the Second World War as each Italian armoured and motorized division was allocated one Bersaglieri regiment. Six of the 12 Bersaglieri regiments fought in North Africa, compiling an excellent combat record, impressing even Erwin Rommel with their courage and fighting spirit.
The Bersaglieiri stood out noticeably from their comrades in the Royal Italian Army. They had resisted wartime demands to dilute their recruitment standards, so each soldier was of above-average size and stamina, endured intense physical training, and had to qualify as a marksman. They also had their distinctive black capercaillie feathers adorning their helmets, which is still used as part of their dress uniform today.