Archive for Italy (Fascist)

Italian Breda M37 HMG

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on May 10, 2020 by The Dude

This heavy machine gun appeared out of nowhere this last month. It’s manufactured by Breda in 1939. It all matches however the barrel has a 1938 roll date so I am assuming they dated the major parts upon manufacture and then assembled them later. It’s a dewat obviously but a nice one, with a moving bolt and a topcover that lifts to reveal the guts of the gun. A great back drop to my Carcanos!

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.

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 :)

Italian Beretta Model 38A

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , , on March 16, 2019 by The Dude

This is my Beretta MAB-38A SMG, in 9mm Luger. Much like the MP34ö in production quality, this was a well regarded weapon, used by many foreign armies including the Germans and manufactured into the 50’s. This particular example is pre-war and comes with the long 40 round magazine. Funny story was that I bought the magazine from a bloke in Bulgaria, but represented as an MP38 magazine. When it arrived it was plainly not that but I didn’t send it back as I thought it likely that one day I’d have the MAB-38. Here it is! It’s an interesting weapon, notably having two triggers. The forward one fires in semi-auto, while the rear one is full automatic.

Italian paratroopers of the Folgore Division equipped with the MAB-38

Carcano M38 Bayonet Sheath

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , on June 29, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)The Carcano M38 carbine was issued with a folding bayonet as seen here. The folding function was deemed a failure and the bayonet reverted to be fixed and issued with a sheath after a short time. It’s hard to find these live in the wild so I was thrilled (mildly) to see one drift past me and into my net.

Italian Carcano 7.35mm Ammunition

Posted in Ammunition with tags , , , , on April 16, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)The other day I bought a Carcano Model 38 Carbine in 7.35×51 calibre. When I get these rifles I try to get just a small quantity of representative ammunition for them. Here are two slightly different issues of the 18 round carton for this rifle. The first is manufactured by SMI, Società Metallurgica Italiana in 1939, the second by Sezione Pirotechnico R.E. in Bologna, also in 1939. This round was introduced because of feedback saying the 6.5 Carcano round performed poorly in Abyssinia in 1936. Typically the Italians screwed up and actually made this projectile lighter than the one it was to replace.

M38 Carcano Infantry Carbine

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on April 14, 2017 by The Dude

The Fucile di Fanteria Mod. 1938. The standard short rifle adopted by the Italian Army in 1938. The rifle is in 7.35×51mm calibre. This one is a bit of a bush pig, rough, mismatched stock but cheap. It was manufactured by Terni in 1939. The 7.35 round was adopted to give the Italians a heavier hitting round than the prior 6.5 Carcano. The rifle was unusual for incorporating a detachable folding bayonet, seen below or here.

Partisans of the Slovenian Cancarjeve Brigade in Ljubljana in May 1943. The rifles are captured Italian Carcano M38’s.

Italian Folding M38 Bayonet

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , on April 14, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)This is a cool, totally impractical and typically Italian bit of kit. It is the short folding bayonet intended for the Carcano M38 Carbine. I really don’t understand what they were trying to achieve here, avoiding inventory that may be lost, making their troops faster to get stabby. Either way it was a failure, soon discarded. The Italian troops were universally poorly equipped, led and supplied. I do not fault them for surrendering at the first opportunity.

Carcano M1891 Bayonet

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , on January 15, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)When I put a rifle back together I do my best to put the correct sling and bayonet with it, for completeness and to feed my OCD. A couple of months back I added a Carcano M91/41 rifle to the box and after a bit of searching, here’s the correct M1891 bayonet for it. A bit of a scrubber but I didn’t want to pay through the nose. This one is made by Terni.

Italian Breda 30 LMG Stripper Clip

Posted in Ammunition with tags , , , , on November 24, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946) Another bit of kit I’ll never get to use. The Italian M30 Breda Light Machinegun fired Carcano 6.5×52 rounds just like the standard Italian military rifles of the time. This is a stripper clip designed to refill the horizontally fed magazines for this gun.It holds 20 rounds.

Italian Carcano 6.5×52 Stripper Clips

Posted in Ammunition with tags , , , on November 24, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)Another small addition to my ammunition stock. These are stripper clips in Carcano 6.5×52 intended for the Carcano M91/41 service rifle as well as the Carcano M38 and other small arms. These fit this rifle here. Interesting side note, Lee Harvey Oswald put two of these into JFK in November 1963.



Commemorative Medal for the Ethiopian Patriots who Resisted the Italian Invasion and Occupation of 1935 to 1941

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)The last of the Ethiopian medals for the moment, this is a circular dark bronze medal with loop and isosceles trapezium-shaped ribbon bar bearing an Amharic inscription; the face with the heads of two warriors facing right, a flintlock rifle and bugle below, all within a cartridge belt; the reverse plain stippled; on a replaced ribbon in the Ethiopian national colours.

The medal was created after the Ogaden war of 1977-1978 with Somalia to commemorate the Ethiopian patriots who fought against Italian invasion and occupation between 1935 and 1941. It was designed by Colonel Tibebe Desta of the Ethiopian Air Force, a noted artist and imperial portrait painter, who organised the Grand Expo in Addis Ababa after the war with Somalia and was noted for his design of coins and medals both during the Imperial period and the Derg.

This example has the incorrect ribbon and is missing its suspension bar. Still a rare medal in any condition.

The Distinguished Military Medal of Haile Selassie I

Posted in Valour Medals with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)Another Ethiopian medal, this one a bronze trilobe medal with wreath and ribbon ring suspension; the face with a traditional Ethiopian portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie I wearing the Ethiopian Crown and circumscribed with the Amharic inscription in Ge’ez ‘Haile Selassie the First’; the reverse with crossed batons supporting a Trinity star circumscribed with an Amharic inscription in Ge’ez, on original ribbon mounted for wear with a clip with maker’s mark ‘MAPPIN & WEBB LD’ with one bronze palm bars denoting a second award of the medal. The medal was created to reward those engaged in military action against the invading and occupying Italian forces in the years 1935 to 1941 and was awarded both for acts of bravery in the face of the enemy and for long and distinguished service.

The Military Medal of Merit of the Order of St. George

Posted in Valour Medals with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)This medal is part of my small accumulation of WW2 Ethiopian medals. The Military Medal of Merit of the Order of St. George is a bronze trilobe medal with Trinity star and ribbon ring suspension; the face with an image of St. George on horseback slaying the dragon below the Amharic inscription ‘Hayal Kokebe Kibr’ (luminious star of victory); the reverse with a Trinity star with three crossed spears imposed above the date ‘1923’; three small edge knocks to the reverse, lower left, lower right and right; on original ribbon. The medal was instituted in 1923 and was the highest military decoration of Imperial Ethiopia, awarded rarely for acts of great bravery and outstanding military leadership in times of conflict.

Ethiopian 1941 Star of Victory Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)In 1941, with the help of British and Commonwealth troops attacking from British Somaliland, the Ethiopians were able to defeat and drive the Italian occupying army from their soil. I am interested in the East African campaigns in the Sudan, Somaliland and Ethiopia, especially the Battle of Keren.

The medal was made by Mappin & Webb, in London, and is in the shape of a Coptic Cross, surmounted by an Imperial Crown. The Star of the Trinity is in high relief in the centre. A loop is attached to the top of the medal, with a hanger, and a multi-striped red, yellow and green riband. The inscription in Amharic on the medal reads: “Star of Victory 1933 [Ethiopian calendar]. Unforgettable Achievement” and on the reverse “Star of Victory 1941”.


Ethiopian men, carrying captured Italian weapons, gather in Addis Adaba, in May 1941, to hear the announcement of the return of the Emperor Haile Selassie.

Italian Carcano M91/41 Rifle

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on July 1, 2016 by The Dude

This is what happens when you start running low on German rifles to buy. You start branching out a little. I say a little because this is still a WW2 Axis weapon but I realise I am drifting to the dark side.

This rifle is a 1941 dated M91/41 long rifle (fucile) in 6.5×52 calibre, manufactured by FAT (Terni). All matching, only thrown into a ditch once! No honestly, it’s a ugly Mannlicher like rifle that doesn’t deserve its post-war reputation for poor accuracy. Most of that comes from undersized commercial rounds fed to the surplus market. This example has its original straight bolt. I have read that unscrupulous importers bent the bolts on these rifles hoping to confuse buyers into thinking they were “Italian Mausers”.

Mussolini Propaganda Ashtray

Posted in Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on December 14, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesHere’s a particularly ugly bit of home decor. It’s a caricature of Benito Mussolini, intended as an ashtray and manufactured by Bassons Dummy Products of New York City in 1942. There’s one of Adolf and Tojo as well which I shall cast the Eye of Sauron onto and track down.


Italian Spanish Civil War Volunteers Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on April 30, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)This medal was issued to all the Italian Volunteers who served in the Italian Fascist forces in Spain. My one is missing its ribbon loop.

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The Abyssinian Campaign Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)This medal, missing its ribbon, commemorates the Italian invasion and defeat of Ethiopia in 1936.

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The Patriots Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)This medal was instituted in 1941 and awarded to all Ethiopian soldiers and irregulars who fought against the Italian occupation between 1935 and 1941. This medal can be found with palm devices on the ribbon to mark each year the fighter was engaged.

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The Refugees Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)This medal was created by Haile Salassie to reward the people who assisted the large number of refugees created by the invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 by the Italians and the subsequent struggle until 1941 to expel them.

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