1. BY THE INFANTRY
Standard weapons in the Italian infantry include a
revolver and two self-loading pistols. Certain noncommissioned
officers, such as members of machine-gun detachments,
are armed with the revolver, while officers
and warrant officers carry one of the two self-loading
(1) Revolver.—Bodeo, model 89: caliber, 10.35 mm (.41 in);
cylinder capacity, 6 rounds.
(2) Automatic pistol.—Glisenti, model 1910: caliber,
9 mm (.35 in); feed, 7-round magazine in butt.
(3) Automatic pistol.—Beretta, model 34: caliber,
9 mm; feed, removable 7-round magazine in butt.
b. Rifles and Carbines
Shortly before the present war, the Italians decided to
increase the caliber of their rifles and light machine guns
from 6.5 mm (.256 in) to 7.35 mm (.289 in), and a new
rifle and carbine of this caliber actually were introduced.
See (2) and (5) below. However, the change-over does
not seem to have progressed very far, and may even have
been postponed, since rifles of the 1938 pattern fitted with
a 6.5-mm barrel have been found.
(1) Rifle.—Mannlicker-Carcano, model 91, with
bayonet: caliber, 6.5 mm; feed, vertical box magazine holding
one 6-round clip.
(2) Rifle.—model 38: caliber, 7.35 mm. This is
similar to the model 91 rifle. The main differences are that
the model 38 has a larger caliber, is shorter, weighs less,
and has a light folding bayonet which normally is attached
to the barrel, but which can be removed and used as a dagger.
(3) Automatic rifle.—Revelli: caliber, 6.5 mm;
maximum rate of fire, 120 rpm (rounds per minute); effective
rate of fire, 40 rpm.
(4) Carbine.—Moschetto, model 91: caliber, 6.5 mm. This
is similar to the model 91 rifle, but has a shorter barrel,
a bent-down bolt lever, and a folding bayonet.
(5) Carbine.—Moschetto, model 38: caliber, 7.35. This
compares with the model 91 carbine much as the model 38
rifle compares with the model 91 rifle.
c. Light Machine Guns
Three different models of the same light machine gun are in service.
(1) Light machine gun.—Breda, model 30 and Breda,
model C. These are basically the same weapon. Caliber,
6.5 mm; feed, permanent box magazine (charger-loaded),
holding 20 rounds; weight (with magazine and bipod),
25 1/2 lbs; maximum rate of fire, 450-500 rpm; practical
rate of fire, 150 rpm.
(2) Light machine gun.—Breda, model 38. This differs
from the others only in its caliber, which is 7.35 mm.
d. Medium Machine Guns
(1) Medium machine gun.—Fiat, model 35: caliber, 8 mm;
feed, nondisintegrating metal belt which normally
holds 50 rounds but which can be assembled in various
lengths; maximum rate of fire, 600 rpm.
(2) Medium machine gun.—Breda, model 37: caliber,
8 mm; feed, 20-round plate charger; maximum rate of
fire, 450 rpm. This gun fires the same ammunition as the
Fiat model 35.
(3) Medium machine gun.—Breda, model 38: caliber,
8 mm; feed, 24-round vertical box magazine; maximum
rate of fire, 600 rpm. The Italians use this gun both as
an infantry machine gun and as a tank weapon. It is
standard in the following tanks: the 6 1/2 ton Light (1940),
the 11-ton Medium (1939), and the 13-ton Medium (1940).
e. Machine Carbine
The principal Italian machine carbine, which operates
like the American Thompson submachine gun and fires
pistol ammunition, is the Beretta, model 38: caliber, 9 mm;
feed, box magazine fitted underneath the body. There
are 3 different sizes of magazine, holding 10, 20,
and 40 rounds, respectively. Maximum rate of fire, 570 rpm.
f. Antitank Rifle
A widely used Italian antitank rifle is the Swiss Solothurn:
caliber, 20 mm (0.79 in); feed, magazine capacity
of 10 rounds, but normally loaded with 8 rounds only.
The entire magazine is ejected automatically when the
last round has been fired.
(1) Light mortar.—Brixia, model 35: caliber, 45 mm
(1.77 in); weight (with mounting), 34 lbs; magazine
capacity, 10 cartridges; maximum range (with ports
closed), 586 yds; maximum range (with ports open),
352 yds; rate of fire (without re-aiming between rounds),
(2) Mortar.—Model 35: caliber, 81 mm (3 in); total
weight, 129 lbs; weight of light bomb, 7 1/4 lbs; weight of
heavy bomb, 15 lbs; number of charges (light bomb), 7;
number of charges (heavy bomb), 5; maximum range
(light bomb), 4,429 yds; maximum range (heavy bomb),
h. Hand Grenades
(1) Hand grenade.—S.R.C.M., model 35: weight, 7 oz; weight of
explosive, 1.5 oz.
(2) Hand grenade.—Breda, model 35: weight, 7 oz; weight of
explosive, 2.1 oz.
(3) Hand grenade.—O.T.O., model 35: weight, 7.4 oz; weight of
explosive, 2.5 oz.
2. BY THE ARTILLERY
a. Antiaircraft Gun
The 20-mm Scotti is the Italian Army's standard light
antiaircraft gun. Muzzle velocity, 2,720 fs (feet per
second); maximum horizontal range, 5,900 yds; maximum
effective ceiling, 7,000 ft; theoretical rate of fire, 250 rpm;
practical rate of fire, 120 rpm.
b. Antiaircraft-Antitank Gun
The 20-mm Breda gun is used as a dual-purpose antiaircraft
and antitank weapon. Muzzle velocity, 2,750 fs;
maximum range, 6,000 yds; maximum effective ceiling,
8,200 ft; practical rate of fire, 120 rpm.
c. Antitank Gun
The Italian Army has a 47-mm antitank gun which it
also uses as an infantry-support gun. Muzzle velocity,
2,050 fs; maximum range, 7,000 yds; rate of fire, 12-14 rpm.
d. Field Gun
The 75-mm field gun—manufactured in models 06, 11,
and 12—is the standard light field piece. The British,
who have captured and used many of these weapons, report
that they stand up very well under constant use.
|| Model 06
||Models 11 and 12|
|| _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || 1,730 fs.|| || 1,675 fs.|
|| _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ || 11,200 yds.|| || 9,075 yds.|
|Rate of fire (theoretical)
|| _ _ _ _ || 8 rpm.|| || 8 rpm.|
|Rate of fire (practical)
|| _ _ _ _ _ || 4 rpm.|| || 4 rpm.|
In Libya the Italians have been making considerable
use of a new 75-mm self-propelled gun-howitzer, which
has a muzzle velocity of 1,430 fs and a maximum range
of 10,300 yds.