WW2 ITALIAN PARATROOPER FIGHTING KNIFE. NEMBO DIVISION. DEDICATION BLADE.
184th Paratroopers Division Nembo or 184th Divisione Paracadutisti Nembo (Italian) was an Airborne Division of the Italian Army during World War II.
The Nembo was formed in December 1942 from the 185 Parachute Regiment from 185 paratroopers Division Folgore. The 183 Regiment was sent to North Africa, where it was destroyed. The 185 Parachute Regiment was sent to northeastern Italy to fight Yugoslav Partisans, and was later sent to Sicily, where it fought against the Allied invasion there. It also fought on the mainland when Sicily was evacuated. The rest of the division was sent to Sardinia in June 1943. After the Italian surrender, a significant part of the Nembo went over to the German side, eventually becoming the basis of the 4th Fallshirmjager Division.
Nembo was sent to Yugoslavia in the spring of 1943, on Anti-Partisan operations near the Italian border city of Gorizia In June 1943, the 183 and 184 Parachute Regiments were sent to Sardinia to defend the island against what was expected to be the main Allied landing. The 185 Parachute Regiment was sent to Calabria
When the Allies landed in Sicily in July 1943, the 185 was sent to reinforce the island but it arrived too late to affect the outcome. It was selected to form the rear guard and protect the withdrawing Italian and German forces, which were evacuating to the mainland. After the allied landings in Southern Italy the division engaged the British 8th Army in the Aspromonte massif, with a notable battle fought against Canadian troops on 8 September 1943.
After the Armistice between Italy and Allied Armed Forces the 12 Parachute Battalion of the 184 regiment and the majority of the 3 Parachute Battalion of the 185 regiment sided with the retreating Germans and formed part of the new 4th Fallschirmjager Division, while the rest of the division joined the Italian Co-Belligerent Army. In January 1944, the Allies launched Operation Shingle, and the division fought against them in the landings at Anzio.
This fighting knife is the M39 model. The handle is wood and has a Italian Paratroopers badge inset into the handle, this would have been done by the original owner after issue. The blade has a professional acid-etched inscription to both sides, one side has the word NEMBO the other side has the inscription "8/9/43 Per l'onore D'Italia which roughly translates to "8 September 1943 For the Honour of Italy". The date has has a couple of connotations one of which is the date that the Nembo Division fought a major battle with Canadian troops and the other is the date when the announcement of the capitulation of Italian Troops to the Allied forces causing the Nembo paratroops to divide themselves between capitulation and fighting on with the German Paratroops.
This is the first time that I have encountered a Italian Paratrooper Fighting knife with such an inscription.