23rd Umberto Regiment


This World War I postcard from Italy portrays a mounted soldier of the 23rd "Umberto" Cavalry Regiment of the Italian army. The card displays the insignia of the six squadrons in the regiment, identified with the cities of Saluzzo, Monferrato, Lucca, Caserta, Piacenza, and Padua. The 23rd was one of four regiments in the First Cavalry Brigade of the First Cavalry Division; the Second Brigade of the division had another three regiments. The regiment took its name from Umberto I (1844‒1900), duke of Savoy and king of Italy. The 23rd Regiment was attached to the Eighth Corps of the Italian army. The Kingdom of Italy entered World War I on the side of the Triple Entente—Great Britain, France, and Russia—on April 26, 1915. Prior to the war, Italy was part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, but it switched sides after Britain, France, and Russia promised it, in the secret Treaty of London concluded in April 1915, territorial acquisitions in Europe and a share of Germany’s African empire in exchange for entering the war on the Allied side. In more than three years of fighting, chiefly on its northern border with Austria-Hungary, Italy lost more than 650,000 soldiers killed, 947,000 wounded, and 600,000 taken prisoner or missing in action. After the war, the Italians were bitterly disappointed by the meager gains they made at the Paris Peace Conference. Hard feelings toward their former Allies contributed to political instability in Italy, the rise to power of Benito Mussolini, and Italy’s later alignment with Nazi Germany in World War II.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

L. Salomone, Rome


Title in Original Language

23˚ Cavalleggeri Umberto I


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 postcard ; 9 x 14 centimeters


  1. Andrea Baravelli, “Post-war Societies (Italy),” in 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, edited by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson. http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/post-war_societies_italy.

Last updated: November 14, 2017