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Italian Wwii Para Basic Equipment

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  • PzV
    replied
    This is a very interesting thread and very good information on this rare gear and branch of service. I know quite a bit about the Fallschirmjäger (my father-in-law was one) but must admit have no knowledge of the Italian parachutist.

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    You're welcome!PaoloM

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  • Dubar1
    replied
    Thank you sir!!! just what was needed.

    Bob

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    NPs (1944)...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Paolo Marzetti; 03-12-2009, 02:49 PM.

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    I think the two following pictures may clarify this difficult matter.PaoloM
    Attached Files

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  • Dubar1
    replied
    Paolo,

    I see the belt/buckle used for the end flap, but isn't that a buckle I see in between those two pieces? If so, I don't see a belt for it.

    Bob

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Originally posted by Dubar1 View Post
    ...
    Is there a belt fastened to the barrel end of the pouch that uses the large buckle? Was this so the soldier could wear it as a belted item (ammo belt) once he removed the SMG?

    thanks,
    Bob
    Yes, correct !PaoloM
    Attached Files

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  • Dubar1
    replied
    Beautiful stuff guys!!! I have a couple of questions:

    In the picture on post #13 there appears to be a large buckle at the end opening. On post #60, the case appears wrapped around the figure.

    Is there a belt fastened to the barrel end of the pouch that uses the large buckle? Was this so the soldier could wear it as a belted item (ammo belt) once he removed the SMG?

    thanks,
    Bob

    Leave a comment:


  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    In the meantime, here's the MAB38A with cover, issued either to the Folgore
    or to the Nembo Divisions. Other models do exist.This, however is the one
    issued to the two para divisions.Cheers,PaoloM
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Paolo Marzetti; 01-11-2016, 10:50 AM.

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Yes, that was a particular case used only for jump purposes used either with
    real weapons or wooden training weapons.I'll touch this matter in a next article on the Italian magazine Uniformi & Armi, while dealing with parachutes
    and jump stuff. CiaoPaoloM

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  • folgore
    replied
    I forgot to mention one other item. The only actual period photos I have seen of MAB carrying cases (other than the ADRA or 'guitar' one) are the canvas ones used for parachuting which are altogether a completely different item which you pictured in your great ADRA article in U&A issue 33 which is another field item for which there is little to no information on.

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  • folgore
    replied
    I wish you lots of luck Paolo as I think everyone could benefit from your research and gaining access to the early post war information. It is really surprising how in other fields such as US and German we know the specifications of field equipment down to the correct color # of the webbing but we have little to zero information on italian field gear, ww2 or post war.
    As for the MAB, I am sorry I must have misspoken, what I meant to say was that the 'guitar' MAB case is the only one I believe to be 100% ww2. The other MAB canvas cases (standard ones with one or more poches) are the ones I am questioning having seen hundreds of them in wharehouses. Also, the only MAB cases I have ever seen period photos of in use are the 'guitar' (or maybe more correctly ADRA and XMAS) MAB cases. I have not seen any period photos of the others in use and may be the reason why hundreds of them were in wharehouses or that they are early post war items. Anyways, I too enjoy the equipment discussion and would like to keep it going. Maybe some of the other collectors will have input on this topic

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Hello Folgore! Well, it is not so easy to enter the post WWII Esercito Italiano
    records or official documents! I'm trying to enter them with the little help of
    my friends ( in the SMIPAR), but for the moment I know they too have troubles
    in organizing their own museum. I'm working on it however, considering the
    para stuff, has not yet been totally described and illustrated.About the
    'guitar' MAB case with built-in 6 mag.pouches, at the moment I've not seen
    repros (probably there are), however we've illustrated in this thread two good
    examples at #5 and #13 together with your one at #60. It is clear that if they've made repros of the Samurai (in this thread there's one of them illustrated, and really well made at #27), they should'nt have had troubles in making repros of the 'Guitar' !!!But not the same webbing !!!As for the Samurai!!!This may save the honest collector!
    Other fakes? Well, the khaki knee pads you can easily find on the market, are
    not fakes, but post WWII elbow pads (very different from the knee-pads).
    The M.41 jump black gloves (if they're padded inside with white lamb wool), are
    genuine WWII jump gloves used till exaustion by some units of the current Italian Army, till the end of the 70's. I too have the mag.pouches you show in
    the last photo: well, some people say they're ammo pouches for movie purposes, but considering the cut, the materials, the leather used, and also the small buckles, my opinion is that they're unused specimen of the RSI period.There are a lot of models of these ammo pouches, well illustrated also
    by photos of the time.
    I like this field of search, and I continue in searching....CiaoPaoloM

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  • folgore
    replied
    Samurai Gilet

    Thanks Paolo
    Yes, the movie is truly great, wish I could find a higher resolution DVD copy. I have actually seen one of the stills from this movie (the one with the paratrooper going under the tank) used in several military books and captioned as an original photo! They did a great job and I recommend it to anyone. As for the gilet samurai, it is what I always believed. Just wondering, the movie was produced in 1954 so I assume the filming was produced sometime 1953-54. I am trying to get an idea of when these items were produced and if there are any records or specifications available in the military archives. Being the post war period, the documents should theoretically be available unlike the wartime records.

    The first official unit was called the CSEP right? But this only consisted of a small experimental unit . It wasnt until the CMP was formed in 1947 I think and it was moved from Roma to Viterbo under the command of the famous Col. Izzo. Izzo left in 1950 and Caforio took over the CMP. The Btg Paracadutisti was then formed in 1953 along with a Cp Sabotatori. I am assuming that this is when some of this special equipment was developed. Just as a note, I have seen (in Italy and US), MAB pouches made from the same exact material, metallic snap buttons, and even stitching and thread (note the thread on the gilet I posted in predominantly off-white in color but the flaps over each mag pouch is stitched in red colored thread - something I have seen on several MAB pouches). It makes me believe that many of these 3 pouch MAB containers could probably be from this period as well. It would be wonderful if we could access some historical records from the Brigata Folgore to see.

    Just for comparisons, I have included pictures of the MAB case (the only ones I actually trust as being WW2 - mine actually is waffenamt stamped on almost each piece of leather) along with a set of original MAB pouches. I have seen many MAB carrying cases that people have sold as original but I am doubtfull as whether they are or not. Not that they were reproduced but I think people determine the difference between war time webbing and post war webbing material. I personally visited a salvage yard in Piemonte numerous times where I saw hundreds of MAB cases stacked up in the wharehouse. Right next to these were thousands of war time infantry grey-green leather belts, suspenders, bandoleers, etc. These were of the same identical canvas and stiching discussed above. Anyways, it would be great to have something posted on actual models and specifications of post war Italian field gear of the late 1940's to 1960.

    Just as a last note, I believe this is same issue as wartime vs postwar paratrooper knee pads (maybe even gloves???) especially when big wharehouse stocks are found, who is to know if this material is 1941 or 1948?

    Many Thanks for all your help

    Giacomo



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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Hi Folgore! Thanks for sharing your para items.A great display with nice
    M.41 camo para jump suit and M.42 para helmet, together with nice and rare
    para badges and brevets that I perfectly know.
    Well, the 'Samurai gilet' shown is an original item for the post WWII Italian
    paras, approx. issued in the '50s, even if the drawings date back to the war time, but none of these saw use with the WWII Folgore or Nembo paras.
    During the 'Divisione Folgore' movie , one of the best films ever produced
    just after WWII on the Italian paratroops (between me and you, there are
    many conceptual mistakes...) a lot of 'Samurai gilets' of post WWII production,
    were worn.There's also a model with a rear pack thought to collect explosives.
    There were no stuntmen in the most dangerous actions taken: they were real
    para-saboteurs of the time that portraied themselves against real tanks. Yes those
    'Samurai gilets' were quite different from the one you show, but they were original of the post WWII period. Ciao,PaoloM
    Attached Files

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