In response to the Allied landings on the Italian soil, in September 1943, Mussolini was arrested and his government overthrown by Royalist forces loyal to King Victor Emmanuel III. Italy immediately sought an armistice with the Allies which was agreed in that same month. This led to a short period of confusion within the Italian armed forces with differing elements receiving contradictory briefings and orders that led to the Army in particular splintering into several factions.
With the country now divided and recognising their deficiencies in heavy armoured vehicles, the RSI and Kingdom of Italy have chosen divergent paths for the reconstruction of their armies. In the north, the fascist National Republican Army (Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano or ENR) have concentrated their mechanised forces into flying reinforcement columns, being designed to block any Allied breach in the defensive Gustav line. In the south, the Co-belligerent Italian Army (Esercito Cobelligerante Italiano or ECI) is forming more conventional armoured forces, utilising the Allied willingness to provided US and British tanks and walkers.
On both sides of the imposing Gustav Line, the more elite Italian formations are built around newly acquired Rift-tech equipment such as heavy armour and jump infantry.
With a largely infantry based force, the use of Rift-tech designed heavy armour is a logical development for the ECI. Selecting the British Galahad suits as a base, they have been adapted to carry stylised gladiatorial helmets befitting the Bersaglieri’s reputation. The Italians now look to their elite Bersaglieri units to provide armoured spearhead troops for their mechanised and close assault operations.