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I’m doing a deep dive into the Type “I” Carcano and am trying to find primary or reputable secondary sources and photos of it’s use in combat or it being issued to specific units. Based on what I’ve heard others say in books, online, and in print articles; the Type “I” was recovered in storage in the Philippines, Tokyo, and/or taken in combat on the Marshall Islands.

As far as its combat history, there is much to be desired here as well and isn’t well documented.

There were reports that the 61st Guard Force of the Imperial Navy defending the island of Roi-Namur in the Kwajalein Atoll, against the U.S. 4th Marine Division, were equipped with Type I’s.
According to Fred Honeycutt’s book on Japanese Rifles, the Type I rifle he used for the making of the book were acquired from a veteran who supposedly took them from a warehouse in Tokyo as a war trophy after the war.

Obviously, many Type I rifles brought back to the United States as war trophies were reportedly captured at Kwajalein Atoll, the Philippines, or from Japan at the conclusion of hostilities. We really don’t know a ton but regardless, many of them found their way to the U.S. as servicemen were returning home.

I would love some help identifying some of those sources, units, or photos.
 

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Japan Center for Asian Historical Records

Keywords: イ式小銃 伊式小銃, If you read “old style” Japanese.

Many records are of Navy and Air Service.

A Japanese friend of mine once told me he is difficult in understanding these old files. Unbelievable. I guess too much Kanji for him

I have a short article o Type I:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Japan Center for Asian Historical Records

Keywords: イ式小銃 伊式小銃, If you read “old style” Japanese.

Many records are of Navy and Air Service.

A Japanese friend of mine once told me he is difficult in understanding these old files. Unbelievable. I guess too much Kanji for him

I have a short article o Type I:
Thanks for sharing! In your article, there is a lot of information I’ve never seen before such as number of batches shipped, cost per rifle, negotiations on the design, and official designation of the rifle by the Japanese.

Do you by chance have annotations or specific sources for these? I would like to cross reference this with existing records or agreements (you mentioned you may have retrieved these from the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records).
 

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These were made by three different Italian manufacturers, you can tell which one made them by going by the letter prefix they used:
A to F were made by Sezione Fabbrica d'Armi Regio Esercito di Gardone Val Trompia (Royal Army Arms Factory Section of Gardone Val Trompia (60,000)
G to I were made by Fabbrica Nazionale d'Armi (National Arms Factory) (30,000)
J to L were made by Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta di Gardone Val Trompia (Arms Factory of Pietro Beretta of Gardone Val Trompia) (30,000)

These were all then shipped to Fabbrica d'Armi Regio Esercito di Terni (Royal Army Arms Factory of Terni) were they inspected by the Japanese and after acceptance were then sent to Civitavecchia for transport to Japan.

Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These were made by three different Italian manufacturers, you can tell which one made them by going by the letter prefix they used:
A to F were made by Sezione Fabbrica d'Armi Regio Esercito di Gardone Val Trompia (Royal Army Arms Factory Section of Gardone Val Trompia (60,000)
G to I were made by Fabbrica Nazionale d'Armi (National Arms Factory) (30,000)
J to L were made by Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta di Gardone Val Trompia (Arms Factory of Pietro Beretta of Gardone Val Trompia) (30,000)

These were all then shipped to Fabbrica d'Armi Regio Esercito di Terni (Royal Army Arms Factory of Terni) were they inspected by the Japanese and after acceptance were then sent to Civitavecchia for transport to Japan.

Patrick
Yeah, I have all the information you stated from the various Italian and Japanese firearms reference books talking about the Type I. Though, Honeycutt’s book mentions that they were shipped to Gardone for final inspection. If you have sources, that would help clarify. It makes sense that they would be sent to Terni and then to the seaport of Civitavecchia for practical reasons.

What I’m looking for is more specific to the Asian story. FIB48’s article mentions pricing, contract negotiations, ect. That’s what I would like to learn more about but would like to clarify where in the Asian records they are kept. Never seen those mentioned in any books.
 

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What I’m looking for is more specific to the Asian story. FIB48’s article mentions pricing, contract negotiations, ect. That’s what I would like to learn more about but would like to clarify where in the Asian records they are kept. Never seen those mentioned in any books.
Here are two documents from 1940.2.29 and 3.2, Japanese Army Selling and loaning government ordnance to another country.
2000 伊太利製改造小銃 (Italian-made modified rifles) ordered sent to the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China alone with 2000 type 30 bayonets. And 1000 same rifles ordered sent to the Mengjiang United Autonomous Government also paired with 1000 Type 30 bayonets.
They both were Japanese puppet governments.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here are two documents from 1940.2.29 and 3.2, Japanese Army Selling and loaning government ordnance to another country.
2000 伊太利製改造小銃 (Italian-made modified rifles) ordered sent to the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China alone with 2000 type 30 bayonets. And 1000 same rifles ordered sent to the Mengjiang United Autonomous Government also paired with 1000 Type 30 bayonets.
They both were Japanese puppet governments.
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Wow, this is fantastic! Thanks for providing this.

I would certainly like to use this information in an upcoming video and this certainly solves the question of what the Japanese called the rifles. I had never seen that before and helps explain where some of them ended up.

Did you translate this yourself, just out of curiosity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
中華民國新中央政府 means New government of Republic of China, which indicating the puppet regime under Japanese occupation Nanking, headed by Wang Jingwei.
For your article on the Type I, did you personally go through the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records or was it your friend? I will try my hand at using it but I'm not confident I'll be able to find much as I don't read or speak the language at all.
 

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Did you translate this yourself, just out of curiosity?
More files about イ式小銃.Here is the surrendered weapon list of the 186th airfield battalion under the IJA 13th Air Division on 1945.9.10. It shows they turned in 30 イ式小銃(Italian Type Rifle). The troops were stationed in the Nanking area.
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Yes, I translate 伊太利製改造小銃 to Italian-made modified rifles instead of Italy made modified rifle.Not much difference though.
These are from Wikipedia
中華民國新中央政府(汪精衛國民政府)
蒙古聯合自治政府(蒙疆聯合自治政府)
 

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There is a photo of Type I rifles being picked up by Marines on Roi Namur Island, Kwasjalein Atoll. I cannot seem to find the photo in my file of photos, but I used it as filler in an article I wrote on another issue for BANZAI back in 2017. If you want a copy of that send me an e-mail ([email protected]) and I will send you copy.

It pictures a Marine from the rear. He has one Type I over his right shoulder and has other examples in each of his hands.

Frank Allan
 

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Do you think it was still originally ordered by the Navy because of production priorities for the army and then they ended up going to any second line units as a necessity?
Here is the document of the purchase of the Italian rifles, it was issued by the 陸軍省 Japanese Ministry of Army (NOT the Navy)on July 1937, under the term of the Japanese-Manchuria-Italian Pact.
Roughly translated(maybe not all accurate):
Contact the Italian embassy military attache regarding the riffle purchasing.
1. The riffle needs to modify to be compatible with Japanese ammo and Type 30 bayonet.
2. Ordering 130,000 rifles for the price of 10,000,000 JPY.
3. Italy should start to deliver the order in Dec 1937, but it may be too soon to get it done.
4. Free of charge for 650,000 testing round.
5. This purchase is for the Manchukuo government training purpose.
The stamps show
陸軍大臣 Secretary of State for War 東條(英機) Tojo (Hediki)
陸軍省 監察課 Army inspection department
陸軍省 戰備課 Army readiness department
陸軍省 軍事課 Military Department of the Army
銃砲課 Firearms department

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Handwriting Font Material property Parallel Monochrome
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here is the document of the purchase of the Italian rifles, it was issued by the 陸軍省 Japanese Ministry of Army (NOT the Navy)on July 1937, under the term of the Japanese-Manchuria-Italian Pact.
Roughly translated(maybe not all accurate):
Contact the Italian embassy military attache regarding the riffle purchasing.
1. The riffle needs to modify to be compatible with Japanese ammo and Type 30 bayonet.
2. Ordering 130,000 rifles for the price of 10,000,000 JPY.
3. Italy should start to deliver the order in Dec 1937, but it may be too soon to get it done.
4. Free of charge for 650,000 testing round.
5. This purchase is for the Manchukuo government training purpose.
The stamps show
陸軍大臣 Secretary of State for War 東條(英機) Tojo (Hediki)
陸軍省 監察課 Army inspection department
陸軍省 戰備課 Army readiness department
陸軍省 軍事課 Military Department of the Army
銃砲課 Firearms department

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Wow, this is incredible.
 
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