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Italian Wwii Para Basic Equipment

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  • folgore
    replied
    Info on Samurai Gilet

    Salve Paolo

    Complimenti on great photos and also on your article in Milites on the samurai, great information. Just wanted to see if you have any more details on the "gilet samurai" you mentioned in your article. We have discussed this in the past but just wanted to see if you had any more information. The one I have is the same as you have pictured in your article. The only other ones I have ever seen are those in the original Folgore movie (with Mario Girotti in his starring role - later known as Trinity in the great spaghetti westerns). The samurai gilet in the Folgore movie however are different as you have mentioned (excuse quality for movie is not very clear). They have something of a backpack and do not have the grenade pouches but have longitudinal pouches instead. Do you have any information on these? I have attached a photo of mine and some from the movie (for the other readers possibly not familiar with the movie)

    Saluti

    Giacomo







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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    The reason is in the fact that Army, Navy and Air force and MVSN had different supply systems. It's a bit as happened with the items issued by the Japanese
    to their Army and Navy: sometimes, same items, but sometimes very different
    items for the same purpose. After the Armistice of Sept 8th 1943, these differences changed quickly.Ciao, PaoloM

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  • nmlawrence
    replied
    Paolo,

    Thankyou for the compliment. Its not perfect by any means, but it soon will be. Have been slowly getting the best reproductions for the representation. I suspect that serious collectors are gratefull that good repro's are few and far between. I collect a fair amount of equipment and items, but sadly, my pocket doesn't stretch to the prices original Folgore items are (I have one pair of guantlets, and one M39 fighting knife, which could, or more likely could not be Folgore issue)

    Thanks for pointing out that the Troops disembarking are not Folgore Paracadutisti. It is interesting footage nonetheless. The larking about on the documentary is a wierd thing to do in front of your captors.

    Its amazing to me how the different units all produce different equipment for the same job, as it were. It seems reminiscant of the differences between the Luftwaffe and the regular Heer on what they produced. With the San Marco producing the Samuari vest, the ADRA producing the 'Guitar case' and the Folgore producing a completely different pattern of webbing to those worn by the ADRA, were there liason difficulties between the branches within the Italian forces? They seem to have the same helmet, and boots, so why so different on the webbing?

    Neil

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    I took the same documentary from Discovery Channell: look well !! They don't wear grey green woollen M.41 uniforms, but grey blue M.41 uniforms, with
    berets bearing the 1st type R. Aeronautica red emblem. They were in fact, those disembarking from the ship, whose a couple with the 'guitar', complements of the 1st Bn Paracadutisti della Regia Aeronautica. In the same documentary you can see some of them, captured in Tunisia: one of them makes a funny caper for the British film !!!
    For what I know the 'guitar' has been issued to A.D.R.A.,R.Aeronautica paras
    and N.P.of the Royal Navy.Later, in the RSI period the 'guitar' became of
    common issue mainly by N.P. and other units of X^Mas.
    Great reenacting Neil! You look a perfect 'Folgorino' !!! Ciao, PaoloM
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Paolo Marzetti; 01-11-2016, 10:47 AM.

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  • nmlawrence
    replied
    Paolo,

    While looking through some documentarys i have, i noticed some footage purporting to be Italian Paratroops being disembarked from a ship. they wear Grigio-Verde M41 uniforms, but of interest was the 'Guitar' Beretta Case slung on their backs. US footage shows them later on, as POW's. The Mostrine seems to be Folgore/Nembo, as the footage is in colour, and there doesn't appear to be any red flame around the sword on the Mostrine (Although, this is early colour footage, it could've bleed out in post production, but my feeling is that as the Allies used Kodak film, noted for its red tones, the red would still be visible. German Agfa colour film leant heavily on green pigmentation)

    What i'm wondering is..

    a) What unit could these troopers be? Folgore or possibly ADRA.

    b) was the 'Guitar' beretta case ever issued to the Folgore?

    Neil
    Last edited by nmlawrence; 10-27-2008, 07:15 PM. Reason: edited for spelling mistakes.

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  • nmlawrence
    replied
    as there is a picture of a reenactor on this thread in his uniform, here is one of me in mine. Exscuse the green wrist band, its one you have to wear at shows in the UK...



    I have spoken to the IWM, and will be arranging a visit in December. they are too busy at the moment with a display. Will get pictures of the Helmets, sappers vest and anything else my eye should aspy!!!

    Neil

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Folgore very seldom used Samurai vests in North Africa,even if the reports
    say these items were still in use by the San Marco. The Folgore, at the beginning had very few MAB 38A s, so it is clear the Samurais were rarely
    issued. But there were. Cheers, PaoloM

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  • Jeff Leser
    replied
    Paolo

    Did the Folgore use the samurai vest? I haven’t seen any authenticated source that states/shows the para of the Folgore using such a vest. The Guastatori vest is seen in pictures from A.S., but I have never seen a samurai vest in A.S.

    Thanks!

    Jeff

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  • nmlawrence
    replied
    Guys,

    I'm gonna have to organise another visit as my camera runout of memory before i saw the Helmets. The Helmets werer missing the chinstraps but as i said, one had the oil-cloth nape guard, the other the nose guard.I will go with extra cards to take pictures of absolutley everything next time! They have a lot of tropical uniform that is never displayed, some never issued and still with the original Italian depot stamps and labels on them. Will also ask to have a look at every bit of webbing items they have. Knowing that they don't really know what they've got, then maybe we can find some Paratroop webbing there!!

    Neil

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Neil, interesting pictures..... Well, I perfectly know to whom they've
    been captured, and when. All this stuff has been owned by a 2nd Ltn of the
    Xth Regt Arditi that jumped in North Africa between 1942 and 1943 in one of
    the various sabot-para actions in that period. Xth Rgt Arditi, part of the Royal
    Army took part together with the A.D.R.A.( Arditi distruttori of the Regia Aeronautica) to various actions against the Allies in Algeria, Tunisia and the
    occupied Sicily.All the missions succeeded only in destroying a bridge , several
    trucks and a lot of enemy airplanes, but all the crews died or were captured,as
    the owner of the jump para suit and his jump boots.If I only knew the date of
    capture of the items, I could say the exact name of the former owner..., in fact
    I have the complete list, with names, of these Italian para commandos and of
    their missions.I wrote an article on the Xth Rgt Arditi and on the A.D.R.A. para
    saboteurs (extra well trained people!)I had the opportunity to know, when still
    in life one of the trainers of these paras.He accompanied in one mission
    over North Africa one patrol and directed the jump before returning in Sardinia
    with the S.M.82 airplane.This matter is really interesting.I discovered for example that the ammo gear of these units was different from the one used
    by the common paratroops of Folgore and Nembo.
    The one shown,original of the time, and with bad signs of use, has been
    published in one of my articles.It would be very interesting to have particulars
    and photos of the two Ital para helmets in the IWM (M.41 and M.42).If you
    can, take some pics of the two helmets we can finally know what the IWM
    has in its cellars, and of course I can help in correctly classifying everithing
    in the field of the Italian WWII airborne. Cheers, PaoloM
    Attached Files

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  • inno
    replied
    Originally posted by nmlawrence View Post
    During our day their, we were shown alot of original Italian items, including two Para helmets (One with the nose pad, the other with the oil-cloth at the nape) both captured at El Alamein and covered in sand still!!

    Neil

    It would be very interesting if you could add pictures of two helmets.

    Leave a comment:


  • nmlawrence
    replied
    Thanks Paolo,

    Look forward to this magazine editon! Wonder how i go about getting a copy sent to the UK?

    Here are some pictures i took at the IWM of the smock and boots we saw. these items are kept out of public view. Shame as they are in such perfect condition..



    Jumpsmock, captured in 1943. In possesion of the IWM since 1946.



    Paraboot. Not actually listed as an Italian Paratroopers boot, as they thought it was an American boot.



    Sole of the para boot. Sand still remains on the tread. The bottom of the sole has the brand name 'CRODA'. These boots are quite large. Size 43. There was nothing to suggest that they were captured along side the two smocks they have, as they had been mis-identified when intial catologing took place.

    Neil

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  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Originally posted by nmlawrence View Post

    What happened to it all? Was it all destroyed during the war? i know British forces used to set fire to a lot of captured equipment, so could this be the reason? Has any originals survived?

    On the subject of Italian Paratroop uniforms, i spent a great day at the IWM archives in Cambridge,UK last year. Poured over the original Para Smock they have (They actually have two, both captured during the desert campaign), as well as having the 'honour' of identifying an orginal pair of Para boots they had mis-labelled as US para boots. During our day their, we were shown alot of original Italian items, including two Para helmets (One with the nose pad, the other with the oil-cloth at the nape) both captured at El Alamein and covered in sand still!!. my one regret was that we didn't actually go through any field gear. The Archivist's themselves will admit that they know very little about Italian items, and were gratefull that my colleague and I were able to identify so much for them (M37 and M40 giacca, boots, etc).

    Getting back to the Folgore Webbing, were the buckles used similar to the 1907 leather gear, or more akin to British webbing attachments? Italian webbing equipment seems to have alot in common with Common Wealth cotton webbing equipment. (I'm aware that the Regia Marina did have a contract with some British suppliers pre war). I just wondered whether the fittings are similar.

    Neil
    Hi Neil, well the most part of the field gear has been left by the Folgore in
    El Alamein and in Tunisia. Probably the British set fire to the equipment even
    if some samples of this webbing have been found, very much damaged on
    the positions of the Folgore near El Alamein. I'll be able soon (as soon as
    published by me and other authors on the Italian magazine Uniformi & Armi a monographic article on the
    Folgore uniforms & equipment that will come out on the issue od December
    2008), to post some photos of this equipment recently found in the sands
    by some friends of mine...so be patient. In the meantime here below a picture
    of the buckle issued with this webbin' gear: bye PaoloM
    Attached Files

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  • nmlawrence
    replied
    Thanks Paolo, that clears that up.

    I've spent many an hour pouring over pic's of the Folgore and the webbing they used. The difficulty finding info has caused me many a headache.

    What happened to it all? Was it all destroyed during the war? i know British forces used to set fire to a lot of captured equipment, so could this be the reason? Has any originals survived?

    On the subject of Italian Paratroop uniforms, i spent a great day at the IWM archives in Cambridge,UK last year. Poured over the original Para Smock they have (They actually have two, both captured during the desert campaign), as well as having the 'honour' of identifying an orginal pair of Para boots they had mis-labelled as US para boots. During our day their, we were shown alot of original Italian items, including two Para helmets (One with the nose pad, the other with the oil-cloth at the nape) both captured at El Alamein and covered in sand still!!. my one regret was that we didn't actually go through any field gear. The Archivist's themselves will admit that they know very little about Italian items, and were gratefull that my colleague and I were able to identify so much for them (M37 and M40 giacca, boots, etc).

    Getting back to the Folgore Webbing, were the buckles used similar to the 1907 leather gear, or more akin to British webbing attachments? Italian webbing equipment seems to have alot in common with Common Wealth cotton webbing equipment. (I'm aware that the Regia Marina did have a contract with some British suppliers pre war). I just wondered whether the fittings are similar.

    Neil

    Leave a comment:


  • Paolo Marzetti
    replied
    Correct Neil what you say! It depends on how you wear this gear. You can wear the ammo pouches with the front buckle (and you'll have the 10 pouches
    on the sides and on the rear), or you can wear the ammo pouches with the rear buckle (and you'll have the 10 pouches on the sides and on front)!
    THe pouches tied and shut with laces were for spare MAB38 ammo that couldn't be closed either
    with the snaps or with the buttons, unless you didn't use a lace. We've to remember that these ammo
    pouches have been drawn mainly for Carcano '91 magazines, so other ammo couldn't be easily packed
    unless not adapted.
    Ciao PaoloM
    Last edited by Paolo Marzetti; 10-07-2008, 01:54 AM.

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