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 Post subject: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:25 pm 
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At different times, we have discussed the relative merits of Albanian Carcanos. Typically, they are all beat to heck and have been SOAKED in cosmolene. These came into the country in the 80s & were imported by Century Arms.

But how did a tiny country like Albania come to possess so many Carcanos?

Glad you asked! It's quite a story and gets rather involved, so I'll try to stick to the basics. In 1939, Mussolini served notice Albania would come completely under Italian control. King Zog & Queen Geraldine thought that a very bad plan & fled the country, taking most of the gold reserves with them.

Italy invaded Albania on April 7, 1939 and had the entire country under their control by April 10. Italian forces then consolidated their positions and in Oct, 1940, they used Albania as a springboard to invade Greece. Bad move! The Greeks counter-attacked and occupied the majority of Albania. Kicked some serious butt, they did!

Mussolini pleaded to Hitler for help, and Hitler was not pleased but sent divisions he had planned to send into the Eastern Front. By April, 1941, the Germans had re-taken Albania and also occupied Greece.

WW2 continued on other fronts, and in Sept, 1943, the Italian king surrendered. Germany took over Albania.

Accounts vary at this point. I have just read that Italian divisions who no longer needed to fight or occupy Albania made arrangements with the partisans to simply go home and leave their weapons.

Another account goes on to say the communist partisans "overwhelmed" five Italian divisions and "siezed" all weapons.

Strictly my own opinion, but I am prepared to believe the former account. Why would the communists continue to fight the Italians when all the weapons would just be handed over bloodlessly?

A "significant number" of Italian soldiers joined the communist partisans in their fight against the Germans.

But the fierce fighting in Russia was taking a severe toll on the Germans, and divisions were taken from Albania and Greece for that front.

By Nov, 1944 communist partisans had expelled the dwindling German forces from Albania.

It very much appears the Albanians came into enough Carcanos & other arms to equip five full divisions. Which amounts to a LOT of rifles! Which explains why we see so many of them.

Attached are a few period photos of the Albanain conflict.

Here are Germans with an Italian tankette. I believe this was taken after Italy surrendered.
Attachment:
zzAlbania1.jpg
zzAlbania1.jpg [ 69.02 KiB | Viewed 3746 times ]


Here is a partisan with Carcano and Russian DP light MG.
Attachment:
zzAlbania2.jpg
zzAlbania2.jpg [ 49.64 KiB | Viewed 3746 times ]


Female partisans.
Attachment:
zzAlbania3.jpg
zzAlbania3.jpg [ 147.28 KiB | Viewed 3746 times ]


In the center of this group is a Brit officer.
Attachment:
zzAlbania4.jpg
zzAlbania4.jpg [ 97.93 KiB | Viewed 3746 times ]


Notice the mixed equipment of these soldiers on parade. Carcanos and Mausers can easily be seen.
Attachment:
zzAlbanian5.jpg
zzAlbanian5.jpg [ 248.44 KiB | Viewed 3746 times ]


Firing practice. I hope this is a staged pic - doesn't look all that safe! "Don't raise your head, Enver!"
Attachment:
zzAlbanian6.jpg
zzAlbanian6.jpg [ 87.88 KiB | Viewed 3746 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 3:22 am 
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I need the Tankette!!

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 3:37 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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I mentioned King Zog & Queen Geraldine. Which got me some wisecracks in private conversations.

So! Everybody gets in on this! Here's a pic of King Zog.

Attachment:
zzZog3.jpg
zzZog3.jpg [ 205.82 KiB | Viewed 3721 times ]


Kinda puts me in mind of Inspector Cleauseau! :crzy: :rotflma:

And here is the un-lovely Queenie Geraldeeny!
Attachment:
zzZog2.jpg
zzZog2.jpg [ 51.4 KiB | Viewed 3721 times ]


She was actually quite a looker by Albanian standards! And not from Albania, either. I tried to find pics from an Albanian beauty pageant but no dice. I suspect the winners will be the girlz with the fewest children & most remaining teeth! :crzy: :rotflma:

And since the is a gun forum here we have loyal Albanian regular army soldiers with Italian M91 long rifles. Mussolini sent same with an aid package that included Zog giving him the entire country.

Attachment:
zzZog1.jpg
zzZog1.jpg [ 47.3 KiB | Viewed 3721 times ]


Not to be! Queenie Geraldeeny told her hubby to grab the gold and they beat it for the border! At least she got what SHE wanted! ;) SW

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:45 pm 
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....folks really need to read up on history more... :roll: :-?

.....as for King Zog-he shoulda zigged instead.... :rotflma:

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 11:25 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9ral ... Nagyappony


It was actually an interesting story. Queenie Geraldeeny's Mom was a wealthy American who married into Hungarian royalty. Who I suspect did what was needed to get her to say "I do"... they quickly noticed the wealthy part. And just as quickly pooped it away. The family fell on hard times, and Geraldine eventually wound up doing clerical work for wages until Zog noticed her.

She must not have had many prospects because he was quite a bit older and what a comb-over! :rotflma: Well, one of those will not stand in the way of true love, I guess. ;)

As for the gold that left Albania in the trunk of their custom Dusenberg ( I'm making that part up so it sounds more interesting - they probably had an old, beat up Citroen) it looks like that was blown moving from one place to another. They lived all over the world, and a king & queenie can't just rent a mobile home down at the Hi-Dee-Ho trailer park.

Zog died in France and his remains are still there. Seems nobody in Albania feels like choking up the $ to have him transplanted.

Geraldine lived on and named herself "Queen Mother of Albania" and her son the "rightful king".

Not that anybody bought it.

So we could become all famous and stuff by starting a "Send contributions here for the Transplant King Zog back to Albania fund"!! :bigrin: We would be golden in Albania! For all that's worth. :? Maybe. They might still be pi$$ed him & Geraldeeny beat feet with the gold & lived large on it.

Or we could send out for pizza. We should probably vote on it. :crzy: :jok: SW

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 3:21 am 
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I watched a show the other day and then I looked it up but the Russians and chinese left alot of Migs (17's and 19's I think) over there! A few anti aircraft and subs WW2 era are just sitting and rusting away.

Dang if i cant find the links. It must be on the other CPU.

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 3:30 am 
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Here is some Mig stuff.

Image

Image

I will take one two seater and a single seater please

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"People should not be afraid of their Government, the Government should be afraid of the people." - V

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote" - Ben Franklin


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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 3:31 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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The country is also known for concrete bunkers. Bazillions of them! They were built during the paranoid commie years as defense against an invasion they just KNEW was coming...

That never did. There's only so much in Albania people want to steal & it's a very small list. Zog & Geraldeeny pretty much got away with the last of it... the gold.

Other than that, what would anybody steal? Cosmolene? Cheep, nasty wine? Invade them for that? Nah. Let's just order pizza & get up a canasta tournament. :crzy: :rotflma: :fny: SW


**ETA** Pssssst!! Meester!! Your MiG pics are just red Xs! :-o Looks like that place won't let you hot link. E-mail 'em to me & I'll re-post them.

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:54 pm 
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I'd like to add to the Italy-Albania discussion.

During the 30's Albania became more and more under Italian control. There were numerous examples of this. The national bank of Albania was based in Italy, and it's reserves were held there. Albania heavily relied on trade with Italy. The Albanian army was basically taken over by Italy, and most the officers were Italian. Bridges and roads were built towards Yugoslavia and Greece, with the intent of future military action.

So when Italy "invaded" Albania, it wasn't so much an invasion after all. And Albania was the springboard into Greece in 1940-1 for the Italian army.

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Your comments are sincerely appreciated! Some of this obscure history has been largely ignored in favor of events in Western Europe.

Anything you'd care to add that concerns Greece during these years will be of interest, too! SW

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:42 pm 
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....I second that emotion... ;) :lol

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:55 pm 
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these are really interesting photos , thanks , enjoyed them and the history as well


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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:47 am 
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A bit more info on Albania.

Italy had designs on Albania even before WWI was through. Italy didn't like the French or anyone else moving troops around/through Albania, on the Salonika front.

Case in point was Essad Bey Pasha, a landowner and former Turkish general from Albania. Italy had removed him from southern Albania, and Frenchman Sarrail (head general of Salonika Army) brought him to Salonika. The French recognized Essad in his self-bestowed title of "President of the Albanian Government," and he set up a miniature government. "Several hundred Albanian irregulars" were trained in Italy and sent to Salonika, and Sarrail unexpectedly put them under Essad's command, angering the Italians.

On Sept 7, 1917, Essad and 500 men assisted a ragtag French division in capturing the town of Pogradec. They had 414 Austrians and Bulgarians captured, and a large amount of materials and ammo captured; 44 Frenchmen were killed and 131 wounded. After this victory, Essad raided behind enemy lines, where 156 prisoners were captured. His troops were familiar with the terrain and could fight well.

Instead of the French exploiting the good fortune of the Albanian sector, and flanking the Germans and Bulgarians at Monastir, Paris ordered them to cease operations. The Italians, and even the Greeks and Serbs were angry. They thought Essad was France's tool to end up exploiting Albania's resources. The Italians on June 3, 1917 had preemptively declared Albania independent. . . under protection of the Italian government. The Serbs demanded a regiment be moved to Pogradec, and the Italians most of their division moved to Valona on the coast; neither were moved.

This strain in the allies contributed to Sarrail's sacking later on. His actual political intrigue, though not including Essad in this instance, was also a reason. And it was another lost opportunity on a frustrating front.

Info from The Gardeners of Salonika by Alan Palmer, 158-161.

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:13 am 
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Greece will be a pain to write... it's pretty convoluted. I'll condense it.

The Allies land at Salonika because of half-promises on the Greek's part. Once they get there, Greece wants to remain neutral - Prime Minister Venizelos wants to join the Allies outright, while king Constantine is friendly to the Axis (though he can't be with Allied armies at Salonika.) A number of instances occur between the Allies and Greeks, the Allies basically violating their sovereignty, such as making ultimatums and so forth.

Eventually the Bulgarians advance on a few Greek strongholds, like Fort Rupel, which the Greeks evacuate without a fight. They are holding the line with a few Germans, and some Turks even come to help. Basically the loss of Greek lands without a fight, against their hated enemies, makes many Greeks join Venizelos' volunteer force, attached to the Salonika army.

The Allies pressure Constantine to abdicate, and there is a skirmish in Athens between Royalists and Allied marines in December 1916, as the Allies seek to seize equal munitions lost at Rupel. There is also some blockading of Greek ports. Eventually Constantine abdicates in June 1917, and soon the Greeks have a proper army that joins the Allies.

Soon after the Allies all-out attack in late 1918, the Bulgarians (numbering the most Central Powers troops) are in full retreat, and the Germans and Austrians can do nothing to halt the advance. The Germans realize the war is lost, and soon surrender, since the Allies can strike through the bottom of Hungary and Germany.

Again based on The Gardeners of Salonika.

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:16 am 
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Interesting stuff!! I've read up on Salonika, and disease was the big enemy there - to all involved.

I think there would be Italian militaria in abundance there, but I'm not even sure what language is spoken in Albania. A friend in Italy told me military items from Albania are frequently found at a militaria expo in Milan. SW

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:18 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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When Serbs were chased from Yugoslavia, didn't they pass through Albania? I need to dig out my WW1 books again.

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Great history lesson!! Awesome stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:08 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Found it. In 1915, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria invaded Serbia and drove the army ( with families and a large number of civilians) westward. Thousands perished on the way to Albanian ports where French ships took the survivors to Corfu. SW

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Yes, the Serbs went through Albania. They were attacked from multiple fronts, and instead of recreate the infamous battle of Kosovo Polje, chose to retreat through the mountains. Among the many perils, they were even ambushed on the way by Albanian guerrillas.

The Montenegrin army was surrendered by King Nikola during the battle of Mojkovac, against the Austrians, while the Serbs were retreating. For the people of Montenegro, there was nothing worse than surrender. Their whole society (at least until Nikola) was rampant with blood feuds, let alone endless raids on the "Turks" (which included Muslim Montenegrins.) The whole nation was made of proud warriors, and the King selfishly had them surrender. Needless to say, Nikola never got his kingdom back. But also, the Serbs had no army to oppose them as they took over Montenegro - basically occupying the country against the people's will. A few Montenegrins took to the hills to battle the new regime, but they were few.

BTW Albanians speak Albanian, they are their own ethic group. They also used to have many blood feuds.

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 Post subject: Re: Carcanos in Albania
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:05 pm 
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very interesting historical info , i must confess a huge knowledge gap in this realm , i appreciate those who are posting here


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