Italian M91/38 Carcano Cavalry Carbine

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , on March 14, 2020 by The Dude

Just when I thought I was done with Carcano’s I get a call from Sean, who has scavenged up this interesting little variant, the M91/38 Cavalry Carbine (Moschetto Modello Cavalleria).

Chambered in 6.5×52, and equipped with a permanently affixed long spike bayonet, it was intended for the use of horse cavalry units and fitted into a leather saddle scabbard.

Interestingly the setup with the bayonet is almost identical to the Japanese Type 44 Cavalry carbine. I expect that designers kept an eye on what each other were producing and stole ideas that appealed to them. The gun is manufactured by Terni. Interesting that the barrel is proofed 36-XIV, meaning it was manufactured in 1936, the 14th year of Mussolini’s rule.

Japanese Type 4 Ceramic Grenade

Posted in Grenades with tags , , on March 2, 2020 by The Dude

The late war and rather desperate innovation of the Type 4 hand grenade. These grenades were invented in late 1944 in response to Japan’s collapsing raw material supplies. The US submarine and air blockade had run the Japs out of steel at this point. The weapon is pretty simple, a ceramic or porcelain vase shape, with a crimped 5 second detonator made from a blasting cap. These were handed out to all the home defence organizations as well as to troops out in the inner chain of islands like Iwo Jima and Saipan. The style varies a lot because it was left to the individual pottery to decide.

An M91/28 Carcano Reissued by the Jerries

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

My friend Andrew bought this rifle only a couple of months ago. I wondered if he was drunk, since he doesn’t collect rifles that aren’t a K98. I knew, if I was patient, I’d end up owning it. And here you go! This Carcano M91/28 (Moschetto Modello Mod. 91/28) in 6.5×52 shows stock markings indicated that it was issued to the Italian Navy. Markings on the stock and receiver, including the dirty bird, plus the blued bolt, indicate it was captured by the Germans, inspected and reissued. This completes my Carcano group as I have a 91/41 Carcano here and a 91/38 here.

Man it’s great having a picker like Andrew :)

A Czech VZ-23 in German use

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

Here is an pretty rare rifle, the Czech VZ-23 Mauser, produced by Brno. The rifle was manufactured using a German Karabiner 98AZ base, resulting in a 550mm long barrel. The newly independent Czech arms industry only made these for a short period before moving on to the improved VZ-24. Signs of German reuse in WW2 include a stamping on the receiver under the wood-line and the blued bolt.

An Embroidered Postcard from France

Posted in Paper with tags , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

These postcards were very popular, especially with the British troops, during WW1. This particular one has a personal connection being sent by a soldier with the surname of Birchall.

“With my best wishes to you and all in Garston. Yours with kind regards, L. Cpl J. Birchall.”

It is sent to a Nellie Tomas in Garston. Likely one I found in Garston on Ancestry, born in 1900. No sign of a marriage tho so Romeo was unsuccessful.

A Birchall Masonic Medal

Posted in 1919-1938 Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

Along with the military medals, occasionally drifts a Masonic medal. This one is the 1930 Royal Masonic Hospital Charity Jewel from 1930. It was awarded to Worshipful Brother J. Birchall of the Robinson Lodge (2046) in Maidstone, Kent.

A Birchall in the Liverpool Regiment

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on February 22, 2020 by The Dude

Another ordinary pair of Squeak and Wilfred, the two most common ww1 service medals. These belonged to Private 202702 John Birchall of the Liverpool Regiment.