Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Moderator/Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
8,906 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read that this arsenal fell under 'German control' after the Italian capitulation in September 1943. Do any extant sources discuss how far that control extended? What did it entail? QC inspections? Control of distribution? Recipients? RSI supply only, or did any of the rifles (M41s) go to the Wehrmacht? I'd welcome any information on this you might have.
Thanks,
Pat
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
10,781 Posts
Rifles were assembled from parts remaining on hand which included parts sent from Terni when that plant was bombed into rubble by the allies. This is why you will very occasionally see an M41 with Terni star and crown that has an Armaguerra letter prefix to the serial number.

As far as what became of these rifles, my observation is that the majority were simply warehoused. The possibility exists that a very small number were issued to Volkssturm. Further, others could possibly have gone to Bulgaria as part of Germany's aid package to that ally.

I base that reckless statement on specimens in my collection. Ralph may have further information from his sources in Italy.

After the parts on hand were assembled into complete weapons, the machinery was broken down and shipped to Germany where it was melted down for use in other weapons. One of my Italian friends says the machinery was "stolen" by the Germans, and I can certainly see his point of view. SW
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,596 Posts
"German Control" is a relative term...already in 1941-42, A-G Cr. was already doing work for the German WaffenAmt, by producing Prototypes of the Koucky ( pron. "Koutski") Semi-Auto rifles, developed pre-war in ZB, in Czechoslovakia).

Several models of Gas operated SA rifles were produced, identified by "ZK" numbers, 41x,42x etc. (see SAOTW for Photos)...the design, which was very modern, did influence the Design of the Gew43, but the Czech/A-G guns were not proceeded with by Germany...after the War, a re-vitalized ZB tried out quantities of ZK481, using the experience gained with the A-G and Gew43 rifles. This too fell by the wayside, in part, due to the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, but the Vz52 SA rifle incorporates most of the ZK481 features.

After September 43, Cremona, being North of the "Line" was occupied by German Troops, and a lot of equipment and stocks of finished rifles were "Lifted" out to Germany by way of the former Austria. Production seems to have continued after some settling in of the New regime (RSI and Germany in the North) but from my latest Historical readings on the formation of Republican Military units in the North under German "permission", production for the Italian units was patchy at best...most of their arms were acquired by scrounging discarded rifles etc, and raiding old and forgotten Depots, and in one case, even tricking the SS out of a warehouse of Beretta MAB38 SMGs and ammo. ( Decima MAS stunt)

Arma-Guerra did not survive the end of the war, and its factory location ( abandoned for many years) is now a Housing re-development, after some 60-70 years.

For sure the Germans lifted most of A-G's equipment and Know-how by 1945, and what they could not take away, they destroyed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
For those of you who have my book, see page 211 for a writeup on Armaguerra, and page 111 for info on the ZK 391 "Italsky Model". My info was that at least part of the machinery from Armaguerra was moved up to Lake Garda and set up in tunnels along the lake; the road that goes around the lake has a number of tunnels and galleries that provided some protection against air attack. After the war the Cremona premises were used variously by companies that produced fire extinguishers and heavy construction machinery; the last occupant I can account for was a stationery shop that occupied a part of the premises but which closed in 1999. As of 2013, according to what I was able to research, the premises in Cremona were abandoned and in total disuse due to legal and environmental problems regarding the presence of asbestos. For anyone interested in looking up the premises on Google Earth, the old factory was located in Cremona, bounded by Via Castellone and Via Seminario. Ralph
 

·
Moderator/Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
8,906 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all of the very informative answers. Thanks for bringing my attention to the Armaguerra summary Ralph, I had only looked under the M41 section of your book for info.

Steve, your book indicates a QV-QZ serial range for German production (31 October 1943 - 31 October 1944). However, the 1943-1944 bridging range (as distinct from the 1943-'only' range preceding it) that you cite from DiGiorgio and Pettinelli shows this going back into the QL range. Does the latter include any part of the German supervised period that you know of?

Pat
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
10,781 Posts
Pat,

Seeing German production of M41s was 41,000+ I used 9,999 per letter block as a basis. QV to QZ is consistent with over 41,000 given that the letter blocks were all filled. I also discussed the matter with the author.

The 41,000 figure is cited from "Der generalbeauftragte fur italien des reichsministers fur rusting und kreigsproduktion, 10 dicembre 1944". I am not able to properly punctuate the German words. SW
 

·
Moderator/Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
8,906 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting Steve, thank you.
What's the month cut-off that would distinguish the 1943-1944 column from the strictly 1943 column, September?
Pat
 

·
Moderator/Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
8,906 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok. I was wondering why there is a '1943' listed serial number range, followed by a '1943-44' range listed in the book, instead of '44 simply following '43.
Best,
Pat
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top