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ID "mysterious" gun

August 6 2006 at 10:45 PM
Bob Lamoreaux 

Response to Mysterious automatic cannon


Hi, Eric! Long time since I've visited. According to Records in the British Public Record Office (Ref.: WO208/1604 110711), apparently referring to Bitish aid to the NEI: "300 anti-tank guns (20-mm) were delivered to Holland for the N.E.I. from Solothurn in September 1938, and a further 500 A.T. guns of unknown calibre were ordered from Solothurn towards the end of 1938. EARLY IN 1940 38 CASES OF ANTI-TANK MACHINE-GUNS OF UNKNOWN CALIBRE WERE SHIPPED FROM ITALY." (Emphasis added.) Unfortunately, I'm pretty much a "small arms" (rifles, pistols, submachine guns, machine-guns of .50 cal. and smaller) guy. I wonder if the photo shows either some version of a Solothurn or one of those Italian guns referenced.
The AAC/Miranda Brothers book manuscript has stalled at about page 139 as I got sidetracked on "The Machine Gun Cases" -- a number of small companies were rebuilding "deactivated" Hotchkiss and Marlin guns (as well as Vickers) and selling them to various purchasing commissions, notably the Netherlands Purchasing Commission and the Chinese (from about 1938 or 39 to 1942). (Van Karner Ordnance was one -- see de Vries & Martens -- Nederlandse Vuurwapens: KNIL En Militaire Luchtvaart 1897-1942). Apparently a number of Hotchkiss guns were delivered to the KNIL. These were in 7.62-mm Russian. (The caliber is a part of the interesting story.) Most of the remaining guns were "requisitioned" by the U.S. government as "scrap".
More about this later. Bob Lamoreaux

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