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When Italy joined the war Mussolini famously boasted that the Italian army had eight million bayonets standing at the ready. In truth the Italian army was significantly smaller than that with a massive number of troops who were conscripted into a war they neither believed in nor understood. This resulted in their fighting ability varying greatly, with much of the rank and file lacking proper equipment, transport and even motivation. Still, there were several key battles in North Africa and the Eastern Front where they did performed well.

 

The Italian standard issue rifle was the Carcano Model 1891 as used in World War I with a shortened version was introduced in 1941 (the M91/41); this along with the M38 Carbine, was intended to replace the M1891 – the shorter barrels being far more practical for the infantry to carry and manoeuvre. These latter two weapons are represented in our new plastics. Also represented is the M91/38 cavalry carbine, the excellent 9mm Beretta M38 sub-machine gun and the Breda Model 1930 light machine gun. This light machine gun suffered from a slow rate of fire, the same small calibre ammunition as the squad’s rifles, and a mechanism prone to jamming and breakage.

 

Camicie Nere (Blackshirts) Militia

 

The MVSN or Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (Voluntary Militia for National Security) was made by the Fascist Party into a paramilitary organization similar in concept to the German SS. The rank and organizational terminology used by the MVSN was very close to that of ancient Rome, with legions, centuries, cohorts, maniples and so on. Mostly concerned with territorial security and counter-partisan activities, in wartime the Camicie Nere were organized into ‘assault legions’ that were fielded alongside regular army infantry divisions to reinforce them and as a way to ‘politicize’ the Regio Esercito. The quality of these militia units varied immensely, ranging from barely trained village bullies to veterans of the Spanish Civil War and highly motivated ‘Giovani Fascisti’ (young fascists).

 

By adding this set to your collection you will be able to build 30 Italian infantry to add to your forces. The uniform of this nation changed several times during the course of the war and the pattern depicted on these model is uniform that  best represent a wide array of troops, from a wide range of theatres. Included in the sculpts is the M37 or M40 tunics as well as the Camiciotto Sahariana pullover smock for added variety.

Bolt Action - Italian Army & Blackshirts

£35.00 Regular Price
£27.99Sale Price
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