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Og 44 Armaguerra Cremona And The Isotta Fraschini Smg the Italian advanced assault smg

#1 User is offline   DVX 

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 02:01 PM

In 1943, in the desperate research of modern weapons, the Italian army was looking for (among maaany other things) a very modern assault smg for infantry, like the contemporary German MP 43.
Responding to this request, the ingeneer Giovanni Oliani created an interesting "moschetto automatico" (automatic rifle), with a caliber of 9x19mm Parabellum. The prototype was produced by the company ARMAGUERRA of Cremona.
The prototypes and the tests were completed in 1944, so the new assault rifle received the name O(liani) G(iovanni) 44. This was the defintive assault smg that followed a previous prototype called OG43 (the OG43 vaguely inspired the Israelian UZI of 5 years later...).
The RSI war ministry asked the company to start a mass production, that, like many other Italian military productions of WW2, never started. However, a few specimens were produced towards the end of the war, and the foreplay for a larger production by the famous "Fabbrica d'Armi Beretta" had just started when the war finished.
This weapon, however, was an important "step forward" compared with s.machine-guns of the second World War; in fact the OG44 introduced a "slim frame" technology: that is, a configuration that has approximate a "L" shape influencing the weapon ballistics.
During the shot, the weight of the longest part of the weapon "moves" toward the bar, so as to balance the weapon during the burst. This great technique was later copied by famous sub-machine guns such as the Franchi LF57 and the WALTHER MP-L.
The OG44 was a blowback weapon with Selective Fire (with a cycle of 500 rounds per minute), and had ventilation holes along the barrel with a diameter of 1.5 mm.
It could be set with a fixed wooden stock or a retractile metallic one.
It used loaders of 25 shots, but to accelerate the use by the RSI armed forces it was also equipped with the common loaders for Beretta MAB 38, with 20, 30 and 40 shots.
The OG44 had a barrel 292 mm long, was 788 mm long itself, and had a weight of 3.5 kg with the wooden stock and without loader.

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#2 User is offline   DVX 

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 02:10 PM

Because I've started this discussion about the Italian assault smg, I'd like to add some information about another Italian smg almost unknown, more than the OG44, the Isotta Fraschini smg. The MAB 38 is very well known, the TZ 45 and the FNAB 43 are quite/a bit known, the OG44 is very little known and the Isotta Fraschini smg is almost unknown.
Also the name of this smg is simply "Isotta Fraschini" smg.
During the war IF company built, about military equipment, first of all aircraft engines, then AA mgs, and finally trucks.
The production of this smg, as often, in small numbers, started late in the war, a few months before the war was over. Surely this project was supervised directly by engineer Albertini, whose name appears on the breech of the few specimens survived (survived among an already low number of specimens producted).
The IF studied, since the second half of 1943 a new submachine gun that, as its main feature, should have very low times and costs of production: especially using techniques known in the aereonautical constructions, with sheet metal instead of milled one.
The IF factory of small firearms was in Cavaria, near Varese. When (following the fall of the front of the Po river and the subsequent rout of the Italo-German troops) the insurrection of the partisan forces erupted in Milan and Varese since april 25 1945, the IF factory was occupied by the insurgents and the production was stopped. The few IF smgs found at Cavaria on the production-line were taken by the local partisans. Before, thanks to company's registers, we know that the smgs had been delivered to the RSI Nembo paratroopers of the near ANR base of Tradate, and to the Xa MAS garrison in Sesto Calende; apparently no IF smgs were delivered to the XVI Black Brigade “Dante Gervasini” of Varese, or to other units of the Republican Army.
The IF smg size is 83 cm with the crutch explained, only 61 if that piece is folded. The weight is 3.5 kg including the empty loader, while the length of the barrel is 27 cm in total. About the rate of fire, it is assumed a value of six hundred and fifty or seven hundred shots per minute; more than a good value, however, for such a weapon, based on the premise of simplicity and speed of construction.

Because the photos I have are too big to upload here, have a look here: http://www.ww2incolo...0736#post180736
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#3 User is offline   arturolorioli 

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:59 AM

View PostDVX, on 14 October 2011 - 02:01 PM, said:

the Italian army was looking for ... a very modern assault smg for infantry, like the contemporary German MP 43.


Thanks for the nice contribution, late war italian SMGs are always a fascinating (and much controversial! :rolleyes: ) matter.

That said, AFAIK none of the italian weapons you name had anything to share with the german MP43. The MP43 was the "cover name" for what later become the remarkable StG44 assault rifle (i.e. a weapons using shortened rifle ammo, 7.92 x 33 in this case), while the italian weapons you name were just standard sub-machine guns using standard pistol ammo. As such, we are talking about two entirely different classes of weapons with different capabilities and addressing different operational requirements.

And I've never heard before of a weapon class named "assault SMG" anyway. They were just rather standard SMGs, even if much cheaper and faster to produce than the finely crafted MAB.38, but addressing exactly the same operational requirement.
Aighe-va

Arturo F.Lorioli
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#4 User is offline   Kris 

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:49 PM

View Postarturolorioli, on 15 October 2011 - 09:59 AM, said:

Thanks for the nice contribution, late war italian SMGs are always a fascinating (and much controversial! :rolleyes:/> ) matter.

That said, AFAIK none of the italian weapons you name had anything to share with the german MP43. The MP43 was the "cover name" for what later become the remarkable StG44 assault rifle (i.e. a weapons using shortened rifle ammo, 7.92 x 33 in this case), while the italian weapons you name were just standard sub-machine guns using standard pistol ammo. As such, we are talking about two entirely different classes of weapons with different capabilities and addressing different operational requirements.

And I've never heard before of a weapon class named "assault SMG" anyway. They were just rather standard SMGs, even if much cheaper and faster to produce than the finely crafted MAB.38, but addressing exactly the same operational requirement.
You are right that the MP.43 was a cover for the MKb 42(H), basically a full-auto carbine.
However, the MKb did take on the role of the MP. It was planned to replace the MP 40 (in infantry units, not the rear guard police forces) by this MKb. As it was essentially a compromise between an SMG and a rifle, it could perform both roles, though with certain small deficiencies. It was not as compact as a SMG and it did not have the range nor stopping power of a rifle.

An assault SMG is indeed a normal SMG, but it receives this name when used by frontline troops as Sturmtruppen. This was directly derived from Russian practice, where entire platoons were equipped with nothing but PPSh SMGs.

My point is that, even though an SMG and a MKb are different types, this difference is a grey area once you use an SMG with a reasonable effective range, such as the PPSh or the FNA-B or even the MOB 38.
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