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Franchi
Posted - 10/05/2005 : 1:00:32 PM
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Any ideas on what [vvv] on a cal. 6.5 M38 short rifle, 1940 R.E. Terni buttstock would stand for?



DMala
Posted - 10/06/2005 : 12:48:52 PM
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Is this one of the recent imports from Albania ?




War is Peace
Posted - 10/06/2005 : 2:02:30 PM
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Originally posted by Franchi
Any ideas on what [vvv] on a cal. 6.5 M38 short rifle, 1940 R.E. Terni buttstock would stand for?
I found one of these rifles about 20 years ago and the first thing that came to mind when I saw the letters, "VVV", was the famous statement by Caesar, Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). I doubt that's the explanation, but the circa 1940 Italian Fascists were quite fond of the Roman Empire's glory days under Caesar.



Franchi
Posted - 10/07/2005 : 3:01:15 PM
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DMala, Rifle doesn't have any import marks,it is on an auction site, seller states it is from a collection. I have seen this mark on other Carcanos.
War Is Peace, I like your explanation, sounds like it could be this.



greggdw
Posted - 10/07/2005 : 3:18:17 PM
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i have found this mark on a german 98/40.i think it is a partizan marking.i think it was discussed a long time ago on the forum.



Franchi
Posted - 10/09/2005 : 6:56:25 PM
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While searching for more info on the "VVV" marking I found this tread I saved from a post on Tuco's in 2002, thought I read about the marking before. Shows how good my memory is.

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Old Post from 2002.
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Subject : "VVV" markings on M95 Rifle What does it mean?? Palefrei
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According to Hoffman and Schott's book on Military Rifle Marks, they are inverted "V's" which are Greek "L's" meaning "Laos-Likourgos-Lefteria" (the people-the King-Freedom). Greece recieved many Austrian weapons post WW1.
OTOH, they also claim that the circled "AOI" also seen on M88 and M95's is "Greek", but we are now pretty sure the AOI is Italian? I tend to think they are correct on the Greek "LLL".
Jack
A Mauser for me, A Mauser for you. All I want is a M1892....., Spanish
that is.
Jack Carnahan
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Subject : Veni Vidi Vici
Paul: I have seen this marking on several M1938 Carcano short rifles.
When I saw the initials ("VVV") it rang a bell in the back of my mind but I couldn't complete the thought. Like an annoying song you can't shake, those three letters followed me all day. Later that night I woke up from a sound sleep with the answer to the mystery: "Veni Vidi Vici". The English translation of Julius Caesar's famous quote is the commonly heard utterance, "I came, I saw, I conquered!" Perhaps this marking on stocks is a patriotic Italian rallying call or the mark of a special unit. Limited numbers of M95 Mannlichers were used by Italian troops, especially in the African Colonies.
This theory is strictly conjecture on my part. I have nothing to support it other than the convenient similarity in initials and the desire of Mussolini's Italian Fascist government to reestablish the greatness of Caesar's Empire.
Richard in NY [email protected]
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Thanks Richard, could be?
Jack
A Mauser for me, A Mauser for you. All I want is a M1892....., Spanish
that is.
Jack Carnahan
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The AOI markings are Definitely Africa Orientale Italiana (Italian East Africa)
The Abbreviation is an official one, used in documentation, news reports, etc of the 1935-41 period. The Italians did not use "Limited quantities" of M95 Mannlichers, unless you consider several Hundred Thousand rifles as a "limited quantity!!!". They also fielded several thousand M07/12 Schwarzlose MGs in both East Africa and Libia ( photo proof of capture at Bardia, 1941, by Australian troops).Italy even produced its own 8x50R ammo in the 1930s. As to the VVV (Lambda-lambda-lambda) marking: During the 1920-1940s period, Greece was a "Demokratia" ( a republic, under Venizelos); rifles of the period (Breda, Steyr-Mannlicher M1930 (MS Carbines)) have the Cross of St.George, (NO Crown) on the receiver, and the roundel "ELLENIKI DEMOCRATIA" on the butt ( Republic of the Hellenes); So any VVV marks either pre-date WWI, or are Post WW II; On M95 rifles, I would tend towards a Pre WW I (Greece became a Belligerant in 1917); M95 rifles would have been the fruit of the several Balkan Wars ( 1908-1913); several of the belligerants here used M95 Mannlichers ( Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia etc). JPS will probably have more detailed knowledge of Balkan affairs leading up to WW I.
The idea of VVV on Carcano rifles would be a Post WW II Greek inscription,
When the King of the Hellenes was re-instated to unite the people and the Army against the Communist threat ( 1944-4; The Italians in 1943 left large quantities of Carcano arms in Greece. The Veni-Vidi-Vinci statement ( Caeser at a battle in the Balkans, or alternately, against the troops of Cleopatra's half brother, in Egypt; the phrase is ascribed to both) sounds plausible, given the usual bombast of the Regime in Fascist Italy; but is unlikely, given that the Army was staunchly Royalist, and such a mark would have been applied to many rifles, if used by the Fascist Militia units. IMHO, the VVV mark is a Royalist Greek period mark, so it would be applied
pre WW I; but more likely Post WW II, during the Communist Civil war. I have a M30 MS (Model 03/14) carbine with writing in the finger grooves which give name, place and political organisation (communist resistance group) and date (1944).
Another Point, the pre-1910 mark of the Royal Army was Basileos Stratis (?) Elleniki ( Royal Greek Army), seen on some Greek Gras Rifles and early M88/90 Mannlichers ( found as a stock roundel); The more anti-communist sounding "People, King and Freedom" is more in keeping with late WW II and early civil war dating. Of course, the Lambda is the Shield emblem of the Spartan Warriors of Thermopylae ( Laconia, Leonidas, Lefteria) Laconia was the alternate name for Sparta, Leonidas was one of its two kings, and lefteria = freedom or liberty); Regards, Doc AV
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I have a M98/40 with the boxed VVV mark on the side of the butt stock. GREGgdw
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Gew 98/40 rifles being made in Hungary (7,9mm version of the 35M Turnbolt Mannlicher Hungarian Service rifle, adopted by Hungary as the 43M in 1943) these rifles were restricted to the troops in occupation in the Balkans (incl. Greece) to allow the use of kar98k in true Combat areas (Russian Front); so plausible for the rifle to have Greek triple lambda marking of late war/ civil war period. regards, Doc AV
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Yo Palefrei, Doc Av & company,
There is little question about the three Lambda's being a Greek cartouche. All of the usual has already been stated above. The problem is in determining the exact period or periods when the cartouche was in common use. Try as I may, I have never been able to confirm it's use during the WWI/pre WWI Imperial period. This cartouche usually, but not always, appears in a rectangle. It was certainly used at some point post WWI as it has occasionally turned up on Gew 98s and other rifles which were to be found in the Greek Army after WWI, during the Greaco-Turkish War (1921-23).
I find it very interesting that it has turned up on a Model 95 Mannlicher. Greece was one of the few original countries which purchased Model 88 and 95 Mannlichers from Steyr during the late 19th Century. The Greek connection with Steyr predates the invention of the Mannlicher when the Greek Army purchased 216,000 Model 1874 Gras rifles from Steyr in 1877. The problems begin when you attempt to tie down the details of the Greek 88 and 95 contracts! The turn of the Century Steyr catalog lists the Greek contract for the 216,000 Gras rifles, but makes no mention of the Model 88s or 95s? It is possible that the rifles were ordered AFTER this catalog was published, but in 1903, the Greeks adopted the Mannlicher-Schoenauer, so this is very unlikely. I have never been able to 100% identify a Greek Mannlicher, although I have a rifle in my collection that may be a Model 95 Greek Stutzen. The rifle has a V on either side of the receiver/barrel where the national marking normally appears on the right side of the receiver/barrel group (normally an A-H eagle, Hungarian coat of arms or a Bulgarian lion). It's completely matching, is chambered for the 8x50mmR cartridge, lacks any A-H acceptance marks on the barrel and has a fouled anchor cartouche in a circle on the stock. After struggling with this carbine for years, I have come to the conclusion that the Vs, might be upside down Lambda's. This will remain a theory until such time as I can independantly confirm this. Another Mannlicher marked in this fashion appeared here on the Forum a month or so ago and we had this discussion. The reason I believe this might be an original Greek Mannlicher is based on the markings of my Model 1874 Greek Gras, made by Steyr. The Gras lacks any "St. George slaying the dragon" marks what so ever. This may point to the possibility that the St. George markings found on the Mannlicher-Schoenauers might have been first introduced with the adoption of the Model 1903 rifle. The 1903 and 1903/14 M-Ss display a St. George cartouche on top of the stock wrist as well as a small mark on the side of the receiver and on issue bayonets. In addition, the Greek Army of this period tried to draw inspiration and tradition by taking their lineage back to the Classical days of Spartan military hegemony and the epic stand of Leonidas and the 300. If this Stutzen is original Greek issue, then it might also point to the Model 95 cartouche with three Lambda's as being Imperial and pre WWI. The last time I was in Greece, I went to the Army Museum in Athens. They had stacks of Gras rifles on display, along with Mannlicher-Schoenauers and later rifles, however, there was not a single Model 88 or 95 Mannlicher to be seen. Unfortuneatly, our trip to Athens corresponded with the Millenium celebration and the Museum staff was all on holiday! I had hoped to have a look at the portion of the collection which was not on display. Maybe next time.
In my opinion, it is going to take some hands on research in Athens to prove the case one way or the other. The problem with your M95 Palefrei, is that unless it is 100% matching and in the original chambering, then it is impossible to tell exactly what configuration the rifle was in when the cartouche was added. Greece acquired some additional number of Model 95 rifles from Bulgaria following the 2nd Balkan's War in 1913. In addition, following the Armistice in 1918, Greece, like everyone else, received large numbers of captured weapons from the Salonika Front from both Austro-Hungarian as well as Bulgarian forces. They were also given additional M95 Mannlichers as war reparations. These weapons were used during the war with Turkey. The movement of Model 95s around Eastern Europe during the period right after the war, includes a who's who of nearly every country that fielded and army. Now that all of this is as clear as mud, can you tell us more about your Model 95 which bares this cartouche? If luck is shining down on us, the national markings on the right side of the receiver/barrel group will have either Lambdas or St. George doing in the dragon. Most likely, it is going to be a post war, S marked, mix and match! That's about all I can tell you about this one. I wish I knew more. This one has bugged me for years. Have a great weekend!
Warmest regards,
JPS
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John,
I disassembled the M95 to look for markings. Unfortunately, this is a disabled model, with a hole drilled in the chamber. The bubba who had this rifle before me apparently attempted to patch it w/ JB Weld and fire it. Any marks there are long obliterated. The SN was a 4 digit number on the receiver, with a "V" apparently added later. Contrary to my other 4 M95 Steyr of various ilk, this one had no corresponding serial number on the barrel. The only other marks I found were a "K" in the bolt channel near the rear action screw, and a "+05" on the bottom of the barrel, inbetween the bottom bands of the rear sight base. No other markings on the stock either. Palefrei
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I have a Polish Wz.29 stock with a large "VVV" in a box. The proof of a Greek origin for "VVV" will come when we find several VVV rifles amonst the thousands of M1903 and 1903A3 Springfields brought back from Greece by the DoD and now being sold by the CMP. Regards, John Wall
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Not necessarily; the US military aid only started flowing AFTER the Korean War, when the Greek battalion in Korea was completely armed with US Equipment; prior to that, all the Greek equipment was made up of British, German and Italian WW II types, and some reconditioned original MS rifles
(FN made a batch of 6,5mm MS Ammo in 194. So the reason for the VVV mark would have long passed by the time the M1903s arrived. The fact that the VVV mark was found on a M98/40 is more significant, placing its use definitely after the rifle had passed to Greek hands ( 1945 onwards)...in the Civil war period. As to a Polish Wz29, with the markings, the same logic applies...wartime Axis equipment taken up by the Royal Hellenic Army from '45 onwards. Regards, Doc AV
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Hi Doc,
Not quite.
In March, 1945, the US Congress authorized US$300M in aid to Greece, half of which was supposed to be military aid. In 1947, with the declaration of the Truman Doctrine, the US and the Greek Army established a joint staff. In 1949, the newly retrained Greek Army, carrying US equipment, launched the second phase of the Greek Civil War and cleared Greek Communist forces (the KKE) from their mountain garrisons, forcing their remnants into Albania by September. Forty years later, capitalism's victory was finally complete when Albania sold all the KKE rifles to Century, who sold them to us, everyone making a healthy profit in the process! Best Regards, John Wall



DMala
Posted - 10/10/2005 : 4:12:53 PM
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Good discussions here!
 
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