The colloquial name given to the Squadre d'Azione (Action Squad), the national combat groups, founded in Italy in 1919. Organized along paramilitary lines, they wore black shirts and patrolled cities to fight socialism and communism by violent means. In 1921 they were incorporated into the Fascist Party (see fascism) as a national militia. The SS in Nazi Germany and the followers of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists in the 1930s were also known as Blackshirts.
Subjects: World History.