• Get Paid to Write for Comando Supremo: We are looking for talented researchers/writers who are fluent in English and can write original content on Italy in World War Two. Please reach out to webmaster@comandosupremo.com if interested!

Were captured Allied weapons used much by Italy's foreign auxiliaries?

kolja

New Member
How common was it for Italy's foreign auxiliaries in Europe to be armed with Allied weaponry, and if so, what sorts were used and from what sources did they come?

I only know that some of Italy's Cossack auxiliaries on the Eastern Front used Mosin-Nagant rifles, either captured from the Soviets or brought with defecting troops.

In particular, I'd be curious to know if Italy supplied any of its European auxiliaries with captured British weapons. I know that the Germans/Vichy gave some Stens, Lee-Enfields, and even Brens to their Milice auxiliaries in France, so that's what got me curious.
 

DrG

Member
The MVAC were equipped with captured Yugoslav weapons, often made in France, instead I have not read of British weapons employed in Europe by Italian or auxiliary troops.
 

kolja

New Member
The MVAC were equipped with captured Yugoslav weapons, often made in France, instead I have not read of British weapons employed in Europe by Italian or auxiliary troops.

I'm not too familair with the Yugoslav arsenal of that period. Could you give any examples of weapons that were issued to MVAC from captured Yugoslav stocks?
 

DrG

Member
The MVAC was issued former Yugoslav Mauser rifles and Hotchkiss light machine guns (I assume M1909). Apparently this latter weapon was not from the Yugoslav Army, because from what I have read this armed force did not employ it.
 

kolja

New Member
Hotchkiss light machine guns (I assume M1909). Apparently this latter weapon was not from the Yugoslav Army, because from what I have read this armed force did not employ it.

I've read that the Greek Army used Hotchkiss M1926 machineguns (somewhat modified to their own specifications). Is it possible some of these were captured by the Italians in Greece, and were the ones issued to the MVAC?
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
I've read that the Greek Army used Hotchkiss M1926 machineguns (somewhat modified to their own specifications). Is it possible some of these were captured by the Italians in Greece, and were the ones issued to the MVAC?
It is possible. The Italian 65x52 Carcano round could be fired by the Greek weapons. The Greek 6.5x54 Mannlicher round could not be fired in the Italian weapons. Using the Greek Hotchkiss by the MVAC didn't require manufacturing new ammunition.
 

kolja

New Member
It is possible. The Italian 65x52 Carcano round could be fired by the Greek weapons. The Greek 6.5x54 Mannlicher round could not be fired in the Italian weapons. Using the Greek Hotchkiss by the MVAC didn't require manufacturing new ammunition.

I am not sure if the Greek-modified Hotckiss M1926s fired 6.5 Mannlicher, or 8mm Mauser. I have seen both claimed on the internet. But since 8mm Mauser was a standard German cartridge, I don't imagine the Italians/MVAC would have had to go to huge lengths to get some, assuming they needed it...
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Greek Hotchkiss were 6.5x54. Only the heavy machines were 8mm Lebel.
 
Top