Archive for Italy (Fascist)

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 M91/41 Rifle

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

Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)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.


M1957 Commemorative Medal of the Campaign in Afrika

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , on June 3, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgThis medal, strictly speaking, is a non-German award, originating with the Fascist Italians. It was awarded to all of those Axis troops who served in the North African campaign. While it was not authorised for official wear by the German Wehrmacht, this particular example was issued by the post 1957 West German Government and omits the fascii and swastika.

rsz_italoafrika2 rsz_italoafrika1