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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always wondered about this, as in what sources this was based on:

http://www.carbinesforcollectors.com/yugoserb1.html

Despite these slight improvements in the Serbs' logistical situation, in October 1915, their still rebuilding army was eventually smashed after being surprise attacked by an overwhelming combined force of invading German, Austrian and Bulgarian troops. Some 150,000 Serb fighting men successfully embarked on a long and difficult retreat southward across the mountains of south Serbia and Macedonia into Greece where the Allies re-equipped them with significant amounts of French gear such as the Rifle M1907/15 in 8mm Lebel and some Chauchat and Hotchkiss machine guns in the same caliber. The French also supplied a large number of Winchester Model 1907 .351 caliber semiautomatic carbines that France had initially purchased from the USA as aircraft armament before its airplanes were fully fitted with machine guns. These Winchester carbines were used by Serb special operations troops.
 

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Serbia
Number of rifles taken by Serbian Army:
80,000 of Fusil Mle. 1907-1915 (for infantry)
1,800 of Mousqueton Mle. 1890 (for cavalry)
10,000 of Fusil Mle. 1874-1880 (for non-combat troops)
3,838 of Fusil Mitrailleuse Mle.1915 CSRG
Patrick
 

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The French Army sent a team of Flag Officers to the USA at the beginning of the war to buy all the semi-autos rifles they could find on the civilian market, the guns were bought cash from the Winchester factory and from various dealers in the US, then ferried back to France on French ships. In October 1915, France ordered 300 rifles for aerial use, followed up over the next 12 months for orders totaling 2,500 more. By the end of 1916, over 1.5 million rounds of ammunition were sent to France. Between 1917 and 1918, France ordered 2,200 more, at a cost of $30 each, for trench assault use. These were specially modified by Winchester to automatic fire and were equipped with surplus Lee Navy bayonets. These were intended for special assault troops, there is speculation that the Harlem Hellfighters, the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment, which fought under French command, used these rifles to some extent. In 1916 or 1917, France supplied Serbian special operations troops with surplus Model 1907’s previously used as aircraft armament.
The French made their own magazines, the company that made these was Établissement Dupeyron, these 10 round magazines are marked Etts Dupeyron W-351
Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the additional information, but what are your sources?

I am familar with the previous threads here on Gunboards (#'s 34153, 34155, 34486 and others dating from the old forum) discussing the WWI use of 1907's; and I have references on the WWI orders from Winchester historians such as Herbert G. Houze's publications in American Rifleman (2003, Vol. 151 No. 5), his book "Winchester Repeating Arms Company: Its History & Development from 1865 to 1981", and Konrad Schreier Jr.'s 1990 article "Winchester Center Fire Automatic Rifles" in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center's journal, Armax Vol III No. 1. I would be more than glad to share specifics from such references (I have related a summary of such information on the wikipedia page for the Winchester 1907 rifle in hopes of expanding general public knowledge on the subject- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Model_1907)

What I would like to hear about are scholarly references (please include citations of your sources) from WWI historical pieces such as unit and campaign histories, general WWI arms books, etc.

Hopefully, someone can share some leads from the great body of knowledge accessible by the folks on this forum and show a guy where to hunt for the snippets of info present in the published literature. I'm seeking sourced-information, rather than off-the-cuff unsupported information-comes from being of a rather academic persuasion.
 

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This is the only information I know of which was passed down on this forum from fellow French firearm collectors. A big problem is most of the French records were destroyed or missing from the bombing of the arsenals during WWII. All we can do is try to piece things together from the weapons we have seen.
There could be information in the archives in France regarding these weapons, when I went there I was only looking at Mle.1886 "Lebel" information and some Berthier stuff. If I decide to go back this year I might see if they have anything relating to this weapon.
Patrick
 

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Other Supplies to the Serbian Enclave in Salonika

From researches done by others in the UK Public Records Office, regarding the use and acquisition of 7mm ammunition and rifles by the British Government ( specifically, the Admiralty-- Britain used 7mm M12 Steyrs from Chilean-ordered cruisers for Mine work at sea), it has arisen that a search for some couple of hundred thousand 7mm cal. Mauser rifles and several million rounds of 7x57 ammo was launched in Latin America in 1916-17,by the Admiralty, and even "Acceptance Teams" were arranged to check the equipment prior to payment.

Whatever came of it I don't know, and it seems that the records are absent on the outcome.
Brazil was mentioned, as the main source (???M1908 rifles???), but other 7mm nations in SA were also a possibility. The RN had already acquired and "accepted" a batch of 7,65mm Mausers via Chile (not a 7,65 country) but probably originating from Bolivia...these rifles are thought to have gone to the Belgian Army in Exile, or more likely, the Belgian Congo. There is indication of the Acceptance team going to Chile ( end of the Nitrate Railway from Bolivia) to inspect the (7,65) rifles.

The end result of the Salonika campaign was the entry of Greece as a Western ally in mid- 1917, the abdication of the (German) King, and the formation of "Demokratia Elleniki", and all the disasters which followed WW I ( Greco-Turkish war, etc).
By then, Greece and the Serbian Enclave were awash with French and British troops and materiel, fighting Austrians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Turks, with some smaller specialised German units in an area little bigger than one of the smaller NE States of the USA.

Go watch "Capitan Conan" (French film about the French Expeditionary Force against the Bulgarians...excellent settings, guns and uniforms. Period 1917-1919, including the Hungarian Communist revolt of 1918-19).

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
 
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