Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • it's 1917 and your position in the southern Alps between Italy and your home, the Austria Hungarian empire.

  • It's usually a beautiful place to be, but today the air is filled with war and anticipation.

  • Your here to fight now and you're prepared to do whatever it takes to battle your trader enemies.

  • The Italians.

  • Suddenly you hear the sound of an artillery barrage in the distance you go.

  • This is it.

  • The soldiers around you spring into action instantly and you get ready to join them.

  • But your officer motions for you and a few others to stay behind in the trench.

  • Fine.

  • It's almost scarier to be waiting behind like this, crouched below the ground as you hear grenades exploding all around you powerless to do anything, just hoping that none of your friends are the victims.

  • Still, you have to stand your ground.

  • That's when out of nowhere, a load of soldiers jump into your trenches.

  • Thean Tal Yin's looks like you're at the center of the battle, after all.

  • But what was going on?

  • This wasn't what was supposed to happen, or if the scenario you've run through and training, why was the enemy jumping into your trenches while the artillery attacks were still going on.

  • Must be some dirty new tactics.

  • Still, you're ready to fight.

  • You jump up finger on the trigger of your rifle, poised to attack.

  • That's when you notice something even stranger.

  • Now that you look at the enemy troops in front of you, you couldn't believe your eyes.

  • These guys weren't carrying guns or grenades with them.

  • Instead, they were armed with nothing but knives.

  • This definitely wasn't part of the drill.

  • The man in front flashes an evil granite.

  • You.

  • Italy isn't usually known for being the country with the bravest or most terrifying troops during the world wars.

  • No disrespect to them.

  • But the Italian military regularly underperformed.

  • Before World War One, the country was part of the triple alliance with Germany and Austria Hungary, but began the war as a neutral territory.

  • Then Italy joined the Allied powers, hoping for some sweet new territory in Austria, Hungary Oh, and at a later point refused to take on Germany who they were supposed to be fighting against.

  • It's all very confusing and messy, as if it wasn't bad enough to be so untrustworthy.

  • The Italian troops also had a reputation for having bad equipment and terrible leadership.

  • Even when they outnumbered their opponents, they tended to suffer heavy losses because of their ineffectiveness.

  • But despite its seemingly fickle in hopeless reputation, Italy did have one saving grace.

  • The terrifying knife fighting special forces troops known as the R D.

  • T.

  • You stare at the knife in front of you, sharpened long.

  • You weren't sure whether this unusual choice of weapons should be a relief for absolutely terrifying.

  • On the bright side, it meant these guys were absolutely insane.

  • But on the downside, well, it meant that they were absolutely insane.

  • Well, you weren't about to go down quietly.

  • It was war before you could stop to think about whether to shoot the man opposite flings himself that you forcing you to engage in vicious hand to hand combat with him.

  • Much to your surprise, he fights with immense skill and strength.

  • It's totally unlike anything you could have expected from the stories you were told about the notoriously bad Italian forces all around you.

  • There's fighting in chaos.

  • You can already see a soldier slitting the throat of your officer, now dropping to the ground as blood drips down him with an extra burst of strength.

  • You try to kick the man you're fighting away from you toe aim at him with your rifle, but he deflects your blow effortlessly and knocks you to the ground.

  • You brace yourself for the worst, but just then you hear the sound of shots being fired down from up above the trench.

  • Finally, some return to normal tea and technology.

  • After those crazy few minutes fighting with your hands, you just hope the people firing the shots are your men.

  • You look up and thankfully, you see your fellow Austrian Hungarian soldiers.

  • About time with your rifle still in hand, you get ready to take down as many of those crazy Italians as you can.

  • But before you know it, they knock the rifle out of your hands.

  • Great.

  • Now you're helpless completely at the mercy of mad men.

  • You wait for whoever's closest to cut to the chase and inflict the same treatment on you as your officer received.

  • Here it comes.

  • Unlike most Italian troops, the R D T were in elites, combat troops who actually knew what they were doing.

  • King Victor Emmanuel, the third sanctioned the group in 1917, probably after realizing just how hopeless the rest of the Italian Army Waas.

  • Most of the members started out is either small raiding parties in the Army.

  • Halpenny Mountain Groups, the Mountain Infantry known for a distinguished combat, or the Barzagli, every light infantry infantry corps with high mobility.

  • Over time, these creme de la creme soldiers evolved into their own group.

  • The R D T weren't just a regular unit or tied to a division.

  • Like the rest of the infantry.

  • They were in Elite Special Forces Group, created in the image of military legends like Cristofaro Baseggio and Giuseppe.

  • Umberto Bossi, R D T men boasted greater motivation and even better education than the rest of the slackers in the Italian Army.

  • And it didn't take long to see that their impressive background paid off.

  • These men were kicking ass.

  • As the war went on, in the state of most of the Italian army proved embarrassing.

  • There was a clear solution.

  • Get more soldiers to join the R D T.

  • The government created a specialized school for new rdd recruits, and nobody could join unless they passed with flying colors.

  • It wasn't an easy task.

  • The training exercises mimic the real life conditions of the war, which is another way of saying it was very dangerous and you'd have to be crazy to give it a go.

  • I'm not exaggerating.

  • The camps had a very high fatality rate.

  • After all, the word our DT literally means daring ones.

  • They also trained in some pretty niche stuff like fencing.

  • Not the first thing that comes to your head when you think of big, tough fighter guys.

  • But I guess it worked for them.

  • But there were plenty of perks to being a member.

  • They got their paws on the fancy gear, including heavy armor and state of the art weaponry.

  • Maybe not worth risking your life for.

  • But, hey, it's something.

  • They also get better pay, better rations, nicer accommodation and, most importantly, evolved They never had to sleep in those stinky and muddy trenches.

  • All of this might be nice and impressive, but it's far from the most interesting aspect.

  • What really set the R D T apart from anyone else was their style of combat.

  • And I'm not talking about fencing, not wants to hide behind guns or tanks.

  • The R D T preferred to engage in bloodthirsty hand to hand combat.

  • They didn't call themselves the daring ones for nothing and their weapon of choice.

  • Knives.

  • There you are, lying in the ground in the trenches, waiting for some crazy, knife wielding soldier to slit your throat and finally put an end to all this.

  • All you can hope for is that one of your men takes them out before they could take you out.

  • Adrenaline courses through your veins.

  • Yet nothing happens.

  • Nothing.

  • What are they playing at?

  • This isn't how the drill goes.

  • Looking around, you realize that most of the other guys from your troop haven't been killed either.

  • Despite the crazy glimmers in their eyes and the daggers in their hands, it seems like these savages they're going to spare you.

  • But why?

  • To your left, one of the men tries to kick the Italian guy holding him prisoner.

  • The next thing you know, his throats being slit your grimace and look away.

  • It seems like they're only killing the ones who resist.

  • So what are they gonna do with you?

  • What are your men above playing at?

  • It's about time they put your guns to good use.

  • you hear grenades exploding and shots being fired, but you're not sure your side is winning.

  • Three Italian seem to have full control, both inside and outside of trenches.

  • Well, at least you're not dead yet.

  • The prospect of being sent to a prisoner of war camp is a small comfort.

  • But you cross that bridge when it comes to it.

  • Then the firing stops.

  • That can't be good news.

  • Looking up, it seems like the Italians managed to take the rest of your troops as prisoners to Hopefully, they managed to take few casualties before things came to that.

  • The Italian soldiers restrain you all and settled down into the trench, muttering to each other in their language and leaving you wondering what's going on.

  • It's gonna be a long night.

  • The R D T used Pyongyang fighting knives, which sort of look like small swords.

  • Pretty cool until they're pointed at your chest.

  • Think of them as somewhere between a shock troop and an assault troop.

  • Generally, shock troops clear positions for the rest of the army while assault troops do the attacking.

  • But the Arditti did both.

  • They had a winning tactic.

  • They launch themselves into the trenches of the enemy when they were least expecting, and most often at night.

  • Another popular way to attack was by distracting enemy with an artillery barrage.

  • While some rdd soldiers threw grenades on top of the ground to cause chaos and attract attention, another sect would jump into the trenches, armed with Onley their knives.

  • Once they took the place under control, they'd wait in the enemy trenches with the troops held as prisoners until the rest of the Italian forces arrived.

  • So merciful, right?

  • But before you start thinking that they were just a bunch of softies for not killing their enemies, make no mistake, they had an ulterior motive.

  • The RTD received generous compensation from the Italian government in exchange for both the weapons of the enemy and the enemy themselves alive, safe to say they profited nicely from the war.

  • The R D T also had to show how different and special they were by fighting in much smaller groups than the rest of the Italian infantry troops.

  • They fought in units of around five officers, 41 non commissioned officers and 150 men.

  • But, you know, this is knife fighting demons.

  • We're talking about here.

  • The first we knew of them is their attack in August 1917 and Monta Franta on the Sanzo front between Italian and Austro Hungarian forces in classic R d T style.

  • The battle took place at night for the ultimate element of surprise.

  • With their impressive skills and aggression, the RTD succeeded in capturing 500 enemy soldiers.

  • They were merciful to taking many of the opposite side as prisoners, where possible or greedy, further rewards depending on your perspective.

  • Ultimately, their tactics played an important role in the victories of the Allies.

  • Just as trench warfare was reaching a stalemate and the war was dragging on, the RTD succeeded in breaking things up.

  • Just a shame that it all went to pot in the Treaty of Hirsi.

  • Yet make no mistake, the R D T were far from invincible.

  • They certainly took a high risk, high reward strategy, and it didn't always pay off.

  • Going all out on the offensive and neglecting the defensive isn't always a good strategy, and it left them highly vulnerable to counter attacks.

  • In fact, every attack between 1/5 and a quarter of the soldiers would end up as casualties hardly surprising considering they go around throwing grenades and jumping into enemy trenches, hoping for the best.

  • Also, sometimes military leaders would place them into defensive positions, even though they were trained for exactly the opposite purpose.

  • Thes were called experimental units, but they may have well has just gone with the name suicide missions.

  • One mission.

  • Every single Our DT soldier died but back to our poor, unfortunate Austro Hungarian prisoner.

  • As the Italians marched into their camp, the other soldiers began to cheer and clap for them, gazing at them as if they were gods immediately there, lavished with the best food and gifts.

  • Meanwhile, you and the rest of your men are whisked off to the prisons.

  • As you settle into your new home, you gloomily wonder if you should have focused on fighting with knives instead of rifles.

  • Maybe in the next war.

it's 1917 and your position in the southern Alps between Italy and your home, the Austria Hungarian empire.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 italian enemy war fighting infantry hungarian

How Insane Knife Fighting Shocked Troops of World War 1 (WWI)

  • 4 1
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/06
Video vocabulary