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- November 12, 1954
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Topics I've Started
25 June 2014 - 12:20 AMI was asked on another forum whether the members of CS would assist in researching the history of an eagle. I felt this was something some CS members would be willing to help. Below is the info/request. Is this a war trophy or a sculpture made post-war. If a war trophy, any pictures of when it was in Italian hands?
Construction on the military base at Jinja began c.1939, although the Ugandan battalion of the King’s African Rifles (KAR) did not actually occupy the barracks until it returned from the war c.1946. At the base of the flagpole in front of the old Headquarters building stands a large metal sculpture of an Italian Eagle. I was told that it was a Trophy taken during the 1940-41 campaign in Italian East Africa. I was there as an invited guest of the Ugandans, so I am somewhat reluctant to question the provenance of the sculpture.
I have not found any evidence that Ugandan Askari actually “captured” the Eagle from the Italians. I contend that the Eagle was one of many Prizes that were collected by the KAR Headquarters during the campaign and then presented as “Official Trophies” to each of the battalions after the war. (The Ugandan Rifles were later redeployed to fight the Japanese in Burma; the lucky devils!)
I can only imagine that the Eagle was originally displayed in a public piazza or garden; perhaps even in the Governor’s Palace Gardens at Asmara; in reality, it could have come from anywhere in Italian East Africa. Regardless, it has survived Independence, Idi Amin, Revolution, Invasion and Democracy when most similar symbols of European colonial rule in Africa were destroyed long ago.
I only took this one photograph. I recall the cement base being about 4 feet tall and the eagle being about 2.5 to 3 feet tall. Each feather is unique and individually welded onto a steel skeleton. It is not a solid statue; air can pass right through it. I could not identify the type of metal, but the rust indicates Steel. The paint was very thick. The engraving on the brass plaque was illegible due to years of polishing.
I have studied hundreds of photographs of comparable sculptures and I believe that this one is unique. Statues that were similar in size and style were commonly made of carved stone or cast bronze. They were displayed throughout Italy, the colonies and several were sent overseas as public gifts. Surviving examples them are still reasonably common.
A colleague will be returning to Jinja later this year and has promised to take several detailed photos of the Eagle.
Does anyone have a pre-war photograph of the Eagle sculpture? Does anyone know who made it?
02 March 2014 - 02:38 PMI have started this thread to discuss the Italian uniformi coloniale M40 that was worn in A.S. and A.O.I. To start:
Italian Colonial uniforms.jpg (300.31K)
Number of downloads: 42
The M40 uniform was based on the continental M33 (and its variations). The main differences was the material used and the lack of a waist belt. There was a winter and summer version, both shown in the picture above (from Viotti).
11 December 2013 - 04:43 PMThe Monte Cervino will attend the 2014 Camp Clark Battle of the Bulge event in Nevada MO (17-19 Jan) . While titled Battle of the Bulge, this event is open to any WWII reenactment units. It is a tactical held on the Missouri National Guard training site at Camp Clark. 180 reenactors attended in 2013, about average for this event. We had Russian, Canadians, Heer, SS, US (inf and airborne), and Spanish. This was the second year that the battaglione participated in this event.
As always, any Italians that wish to try this event are welcome to join us.
28 September 2013 - 01:28 PMAn individual on WAF posted a picture of an unusual ammunition belt. He was attempting to gain some information about it. I had not seen this type of belt before, but it is similar in concept to the paracadutisti belt of the Folgore.
Number of downloads: 40
It looks similar to a belt in U&A 202-203. Same style of design, but clearly not the same belt.
Here is the picture from page 151 of that issue of U&A.
Number of downloads: 43
26 September 2013 - 01:55 AMThis thread is to share sources for research into Italian uniforms and equipment. Please post any sources that might be useful to others.