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Old January 27, 2014, 01:09 AM   #36
James K
Senior Member
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,384
I'll make this a separate post to avoid confusion.

I'll never say never, but I don't believe Italy ever sold Carcanos to the British in WWI, especially when Italy had need of every rifle they could find and even modified the old Vetterli rifles to use the Mannlicher magazine. I believe you are thinking of the purchase by Britain of large numbers of Japanese 6.5mm Type 30 and some Type 38 rifles. I don't know the exact numbers off hand but the British used them for training and Kynoch made ammunition for them; it still turns up at gun shows from time to time.

BTW, anyone questioning the courage and fighting ability of the Italian soldier needs to consider WWI, not WWII, when they never trusted their own leaders and never liked their German allies. But in WWI, the Italians fought the Austrians in the Alps, in some of the worst conditions and most bitter fighting ever seen in Europe. The Western Front was a picnic compared with the ice and snow and sub-zero cold of the eastern alps. World War I memorials in Italy with hundreds of names (compared with those from WWII with dozens) offer testimony to the guts of Italian soldiers in those horrible battles.

Jim K
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