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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The "TUC" Matching '37 Izhevsk, UK's Trades Union Congress & the SCW connection!

This might be a new break-though when it comes to Mosins and the Spanish Civil War, or it might be nothing....

So I bought this rather unique Spanish Civil War M91/30 (more on it: http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?356200-Factory-Matching-1937-Izhevsk-M91-30-with-some-very-unique-(trial-)-features ) One of the unusual features was the "TUC" or "Tuc" mark that was carved into the stock.

I went on a search for any association relation between TUC and Spanish Civil War. What I found is perhaps too great of a coincidence to not be connection.

TUC happens to be abbreviation for UK's "Trade Union Congress". It turns out they had pretty significant involvement in the whole Spanish Civil War:

The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 posed a serious challenge for the leaders of the British trade union movement. Influential figures such as Sir Walter Citrine (General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress) and Ernest Bevin (the secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union) were by this time well aware of the danger posed by the rise of fascism in Europe. At the same time, they were concerned that the civil war might draw Britain into a new European conflict less than twenty years after the end of the Great War, and they feared that its political impact would strengthen the Communists within their own ranks. Critics on the left – both then and since – criticised them for not doing enough to assist the democratically-elected government of the Spanish Republic in its struggle against Franco’s Nationalist rebels. The release of the TUC papers on the Civil War in online digital format means that readers can now examine the unpublished records of the key debates and gain a better understanding of why Citrine, Bevin and others acted in the way that they did............Citrine, Bevin and the Labour party’s leaders initially supported the controversial policy of Non-Intervention, whereby no arms would be sold to either side in Spain. This policy was backed by the Conservative-dominated British “National Government”, but more pertinently by the newly-elected French Popular Front government of the Socialist Prime Minister Leon Blum.........Between October 1936 and June 1937 Citrine and Bevin rethought their position, under considerable pressure from the LSI and IFTU, and eventually both the TUC and Labour repudiated Non-Intervention.
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/explorefurther/digital/scw/more/buchanan/




Now this is where it gets interesting:

The civil war presented a two-fold challenge to Citrine’s vision of a highly controlled, bureaucratic labour movement. First, the civil war inspired many British workers to “do something” to help their brothers in Spain: this might range from raising funds, to offering voluntary industrial labour, and even to joining the 2500 Britons who volunteered to fight in the International Brigades.
So here's my theory. What are the chances that this "TUC" marked and scrubbed M91/30 is one of those rifles used by these British volunteers that went off to fight in the SCW?

It's pretty certain that for logistics they would want to use the common gun used in SCW and they would certainly be more then inclined to scrub any commie insignia off their service weapons. It could be the explanation behind some of these "scrubbed" SCW M91/30!







Also, this website is a GOLDMINE for searchable historic documentation on the Spanish Civil War: http://contentdm.warwick.ac.uk/cdm/...in/field/all/mode/exact/conn/and/order/nosort
 

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Just playing devil's advocate here, but why would a trade union or its members want to bother with scrubbing Mosins after they got to Spain to fight, when the USSR would be their ostensible ally? I doubt there would have been any significant number of Mosins in Britain in 1936-37, especially new ones at the time. Are there any photos of British volunteers with Mosins in the SCW, or any record of them? Britain had already enacted some pretty draconian gun laws by then, so they would not have brought their weapons with them to Spain by and large. The letters I saw on the butt look to me to be more like what one would see if a name or initials had been applied by an individual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just playing devil's advocate here, but why would a trade union or its members want to bother with scrubbing Mosins after they got to Spain to fight, when the USSR would be their ostensible ally? I doubt there would have been any significant number of Mosins in Britain in 1936-37, especially new ones at the time. Are there any photos of British volunteers with Mosins in the SCW, or any record of them? Britain had already enacted some pretty draconian gun laws by then, so they would not have brought their weapons with them to Spain by and large. The letters I saw on the butt look to me to be more like what one would see if a name or initials had been applied by an individual.
Well commies were always "allies" of the west purely by the virtue of fighting a common enemy. Other than that, on ideological level they were enemies as well.

http://contentdm.warwick.ac.uk/cdm/singleitem/collection/scw/id/2232/rec/2

http://contentdm.warwick.ac.uk/cdm/compoundobject/collection/scw/id/16856/rec/15
 

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I don't think a member of the Trade Union Congress (first thing on Wikipedia that comes up) would have abbreviated "union" in the Spanish way of hand printing though. My vote is that it just stands for Tuc, perhaps a name.

This from a Spanish site primer on handwriting, lol. At least the hombre had good handwriting:

Text Font Calligraphy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think a member of the Trade Union Congress (first thing on Wikipedia that comes up) would have abbreviated "union" in the Spanish way of hand printing though. My vote is that it just stands for Tuc, perhaps a name.

This from a Spanish site primer on handwriting, lol. At least the hombre had good handwriting:

View attachment 768396
What you see in the pic is not a lower "leg" of the lower case "u" it's actually just a scratch. BTW that's not "Spanish way" that's standard format hah get this out. See the "leg"? ;)
 

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Lower case. You are seeing what you want to see. We are all guilty of it.

Edited: I just magnified it, and it does indeed have a lower case tail into the body of the letter. There appears to be a scratch that goes from the tail up towards the 'c' as well. Definitely lower case. My Spanish teacher in high school printed exactly like that on the chalk board.
A
lso why would the TUC go to the trouble of issuing or using scrubbed receivers and then put their initials on it? My brother did that in 7th grade. He soaped a window on Halloween night -- with his initials. Next morning we stopped at the store on the way to school, and there was "DCP" on the window. Obviously his work. My mother grounded him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lower case. You are seeing what you want to see. We are all guilty of it.

Edited: I just magnified it, and it does indeed have a lower case tail into the body of the letter. There appears to be a scratch that goes from the tail up towards the 'c' as well. Definitely lower case. My Spanish teacher in high school printed exactly like that on the chalk board.
A
lso why would the TUC go to the trouble of issuing or using scrubbed receivers and then put their initials on it? My brother did that in 7th grade. He soaped a window on Halloween night -- with his initials. Next morning we stopped at the store on the way to school, and there was "DCP" on the window. Obviously his work. My mother grounded him.
Maybe this will help. It's a dig that depressed the wood lower, rather then removed wood to form a lower case "u".




The scratch that makes it look like the "leg" of a lower car "u" in some shots actually forms a "ghost" number 7 like figure

 

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Looks like a screwdriver punch to me, but if you want to call it a jig be my guest. The "c" is cut out. Tuc had a knife and a screwdriver. Maybe he was a member of the Trade Union Congress though.
 

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Not sure what that means, but in my experience of researching nonstandard marks. I have never stumbled across the answer in the first entry of a Google. The TUC is about the first one I came across when I Googled Spanish Civil War and Tuc. It's just never that easy to find the right answer.
 

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That a member of the trade unions congress were to sign up for one of the international brigades is possible, I find the idea highly unlikely. TUC membership was made up of bureaucratic higher ranking officials of the various unions affiliated to it, not the actual laborers themselves. The said laborers would have been more likely to join than a well paid union bureaucrat.


Here is some history on their structure and policy:

The Parliamentary Committee grew slowly, confining itself to legal matters, and ignored industrial disputes. In 1916 Harry Gosling proposed that organized labour needed an administrative machine. Following the railway strike of 1919, Ernest Bevin and G. D. H. Cole proposed a new system. The Parliamentary Committee became the General Council, representing thirty groups of workers. The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress became chief permanent officer of the TUC, and a major figure in the British trade union movement.The system was successfully implemented by Fred Bramley andWalter Citrine. By 1927 the TUC had the making of a trade union bureaucracy similar to the civil service.[SUP][5]
[/SUP]During the First World War, the Trades Union Congress generally supported the aims of the British Empire. However, in 1915, national conference voted against the introduction of military conscription.

Also not that early in their history the TUC aligned with communists so a member loyal to the TUC would probably have no interest in removing "commie markings"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
While we are on the subject pga, are you familiar with the NCL cartouche that has been found on some SCW rifles? Similar to your TUC, but also not confirmed.
I have not been aware there is NCL mark on SCW, but the source in the OP references the involvement of both TUC and NCL

The formation of a National Council of Labour (NCL) consolidated this authority by creating a forum in which Citrine, Bevin and the other trade union leaders could make policy on an equal footing with Labour party politicians. The NCL played a particularly important role in deciding how the movement should respond to the complex, sudden, and increasingly frequent international crises of the later 1930s.

The TUC archives attest to the many debates over Non-Intervention during this period, not only within the TUC’s General Council and the NCL, but also at specially-summoned “labour movement conferences” of the Labour Party, trade unions and the co-operative movement. However, during the Civil War the TUC was also closely involved in raising money from affiliated unions for its “Spanish Workers Fund”.
So now we have two British orgs abbreviations that are coincidentally found on SCW guns.
 

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I have not been aware there is NCL mark on SCW, but the source in the OP references the involvement of both TUC and NCL



So now we have two British orgs abbreviation that coincidentally are found on SCW guns
Yep. Pretty cool. The NCL cartouche while not confirmed to actually be National Council of Labour can be found on at least 4 examples. It can be found here: http://scwmosin.weebly.com/ncl-cartouche.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep. Pretty cool. The NCL cartouche while not confirmed to actually be National Council of Labour can be found on at least 4 examples. It can be found here: http://scwmosin.weebly.com/ncl-cartouche.html
Very interesting. I think when you couple these two marks together along with the historical evidence from the UK website, that sets a pretty strong case for these guns being somehow tied back to those British orgs and possibly the volunteer legions. What would be the odds of SCW guns having been observed with the exact abbreviations of two different UK orgs that are documented to be involved in SCW, yet those two abbreviations having nothing to do with those orgs? I'd say astronomically slim.
 

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Oh give me a break. It was made with a screwdriver and a pocket knife, PGA. It isn't coupled with anything....Assigning meaning to that mark is not responsible. It looks like you just Googled "Tuc" and then "Spanish Civil War", and then came up with a theory. Which in fact you did. I know because that is exactly what I did.

Yes, it fits - because of the search parameters you used.

https://www.google.com/#q="TUC"+"Spanish+Civil+War"

Perhaps you should ask Tuc at Survivor's SKS Boards if he marked up a 91-30 in his collection. I did. Found him in 45 seconds. Waiting on his response. I hope he didn't do it, but he has purchased Mosins at the Charlotte Gun Show in the past, And it is just as likely him as any other theory on those letters.

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=10787.0

I got this one by just searching "TUC" "Mosin Nagant". You can prove or speculate almost anything depending on what search parameters you use. You should know better.

If I carve "Abraham Lincoln" on the side of mine will you document it as American used?
PGA you are usually such a stickler for people using correct terms. You pick out mistakes and pounce on them. You have harshly corrected new collectors or collectors who are just plain excited about their finds. To see you doing this now is just...embarrassing. You are grasping at straws. Because you want it to be true doesn't make it so.

So let me get this straight: The T.U.C., a British Labor organization, send enthusiastic working class anti-Fascists to fight the Fascists on the side of the Royalists and the Soviet Union. They somehow get hold of some (or at least one) Soviet Mosin rifles. Virtually brand new at the time. Then they scrub them because they despise the Communists so much (even though fighting alongside them every day) or is it just Russian Communists? I am getting confused...Then they carve stamp, alter, whatever their rifle(s) with their own initials with pocketknives or screwdrivers.

And this somehow is supposed to tie what is likely a legitimate SCW rifle to the Brits in some way? I think you are doing your rifle a disservice here.

And I hope that Tuc at Survivor's SKS Boards isn't the one who marked it up. Or some other Tuc in some other place.

Wood Shotgun
 

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While this thread has sparked an interesting discussion, I think it is safer not to use it as an absolute that any of these markings are associated with the Trade Union Congress or the National Council of Labour, until more examples are shown and more research has been done. In reality we only have 1 hand carved Tuc stock and around 4 NCL stamped rifles. What should NOT be gathered from this thread is that these rifles were sent as aid from Britain. (sometimes people get confused)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh give me a break. It was made with a screwdriver and a pocket knife, PGA. It isn't coupled with anything....Assigning meaning to that mark is not responsible. It looks like you just Googled "Tuc" and then "Spanish Civil War", and then came up with a theory. Which in fact you did. I know because that is exactly what I did.

Yes, it fits - because of the search parameters you used.

https://www.google.com/#q="TUC"+"Spanish+Civil+War"

Perhaps you should ask Tuc at Survivor's SKS Boards if he marked up a 91-30 in his collection. I did. Found him in 45 seconds. Waiting on his response. I hope he didn't do it, but he has purchased Mosins at the Charlotte Gun Show in the past, And it is just as likely him as any other theory on those letters.

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=10787.0

I got this one by just searching "TUC" "Mosin Nagant". You can prove or speculate almost anything depending on what search parameters you use. You should know better.

If I carve "Abraham Lincoln" on the side of mine will you document it as American used?
PGA you are usually such a stickler for people using correct terms. You pick out mistakes and pounce on them. You have harshly corrected new collectors or collectors who are just plain excited about their finds. To see you doing this now is just...embarrassing. You are grasping at straws. Because you want it to be true doesn't make it so.

So let me get this straight: The T.U.C., a British Labor organization, send enthusiastic working class anti-Fascists to fight the Fascists on the side of the Royalists and the Soviet Union. They somehow get hold of some (or at least one) Soviet Mosin rifles. Virtually brand new at the time. Then they scrub them because they despise the Communists so much (even though fighting alongside them every day) or is it just Russian Communists? I am getting confused...Then they carve stamp, alter, whatever their rifle(s) with their own initials with pocketknives or screwdrivers.

And this somehow is supposed to tie what is likely a legitimate SCW rifle to the Brits in some way? I think you are doing your rifle a disservice here.

And I hope that Tuc at Survivor's SKS Boards isn't the one who marked it up. Or some other Tuc in some other place.

View attachment 768452

You haven't been paying attention. All I said in my last post is that with the addition information from mat!_SW about NCL it building a pretty strong case that there is some connection to the British Labors org. Building a case does not mean it's absolutely true, it simply means it points in that direction.

My theory on why some of the guns were scrubbed is a separate theory all together.

So let me get this straight: The T.U.C., a British Labor organization, send enthusiastic working class anti-Fascists to fight the Fascists on the side of the Royalists and the Soviet Union.
Yes the historic documentation I posted, which you apparently didn't bother to read, says pretty clearly that this was exactly what was happening. 42,000 international volunteers fought in SCW. Of those at least 2,500 were British nationals.
 
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