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FN ETHIOPIAN MAUSER Rifle M1930 Cal. 8mm
FN ETHIOPIAN MAUSER Rifle M1930 Cal. 8mm


 
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Rare Rare Rare
A super rare FN Mauser 1924 carbine made for Abyssinian Empire. This Model 1924 carbine features all markings like the Abyssinian Crest on top of the receiver and the Lion of Judah on the left side of the receiver. These rifles were never imported before to the US. Only a extreme small quantity is available. The condition is fair. Please take a look at the pictures.

History of the
FN 1924

Haile Selassie became regent of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1917 after his sister became empress, making him the crown prince. From the onset, Selassie was interested in modernizing his country. Abyssinia was one of the few African countries that had retained independence from European colonial powers. Unlike many African lands, Abyssinia had a functioning government, although based on an antiquated feudal system. Selassie correctly identified the strengths and weaknesses of his country and understood that in order to retain independence, a strong western style economy had to be fostered. A healthy economy would give the means to build a military that would hold western colonial powers at bay. As regent, he observed the First World War as it developed on the African continent. Once the war came to an end, colonial activities and expansion resumed. In 1922, Selassie acquired 1,302 obsolete rifles with 200,000 cartridges of various calibers from the French. The arms deal outraged both the British as well as the Italian governments. France was accused of violating the Brussels Act. In 1890 the Brussels Act was signed by a multitude of nations as an anti-slavery measure. The act banned arms sales to Africans or African nations involved, or possibly involved in slave trade. Abyssinia had however, renounced any slave trade by the time the arms deal took place and had adhered to the Brussels Act. The Brussels Act was a pretense; both London and Rome desired to keep Abyssinia unarmed as they controlled neighboring colonies, and insisted on an arms embargo. Selassie pushed to have Abyssinia accepted in the new League of Nations (1923). His experiences and dealings through the League of Nations clearly identified Abyssinia's friends. In 1924 he traveled to France (May 15) then to Belgium and Luxemburg (May 22-31). While in Belgium, Selassie visited Brussels including the Fonson stores and the Liège region, including an extended visit to FN. In 1925, Selassie purchased 100 surplus machine guns in Belgium, each equipped with 100,000 rounds. The arms sale was reported to the British solely as a courtesy.

British and Italian governments could not continue their justification of an arms embargo and attempted to sway the League of Nations into adopting an arms passage permit system. The British government ultimately informed the Tripartite powers in 1930 that it had decided that Abyssinia, as a member state of the League of Nations, had earned the right to arm itself. But the Tripartate powers, including Great Britain, still objected to the 12 to 16 percent of GDP that Ethiopia planned on spending on war material including small arms, ammunition, machine guns, armored cars, and light artillery pieces. 296 Selassie asked the Belgian government for assistance as he knew that Belgium and the Belgian Congo were no threats to his country. The great memories of his 1924 trip convinced him that industrious Belgium could help Abyssinia. Brussels government quietly acknowledged their support and agreed to provide military advisors. Six experi- enced officers under command of Major André Polet were sent to Abyssinia in February 1930. By August, 1300 of Abyssinia's best troops (Imperial Guard) were being trained by the Belgians. Four Swiss military advisors were sent to the border with Somaliland where Italians were encroaching onto Abyssinian territory. The Belgian government sent the plenipotentiary Minister M. Janssens as a delegate and representative for the coronation of Selassie to emporer in November 1930. Mr. Janssens remained in the capital, Addis Abbaba, and worked from the Belgian embassy where he reported about ongoing developments in the country. By the end of 1931 Fonson delivered new khaki uniforms. In December 1932, the Adis Abbaba government informed the Tripartite members that it planned on purchasing 10,000 Mauser rifles, 100 machineguns, Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns, and thousands of obsolete French rifles, all with ammunition stocks. The Oerlikon purchase was spurred on by the constant violation of airspace by Italian military aircraft. By February 1933, the Belgian advisors had trained 2,100 Imperial Guard soldiers and 150 cavalrymen. In April, sev- eral more advisors arrived from Belgium including one cavalry officer, three army officers, and four policemen to train local law enforcement. The amount of Belgian advisors was further expanded in October 1933, when seven more Belgian officers were hired. These arrived on September 12, 1934 under command of Major Dothee.

They set up in the city of Harrar and were tasked with forming and training two infantry battalions plus one cavalry squadron, one camel squadron, and one armored car squadron.

A Swedish advisor convinced Selassie in the summer of 1934 to open a military officers' school. He correctly as- sessed that a domestic school could fully address and educate officers about the specifics of Abyssinia's military situa- tion. The Swedish government agreed to requests for assistance and dispatched advisors to work as instructors in the military academy. These advisors, unlike all others, received half their wages from the Swedish government and the other half from the government in Addis Abbaba. Classes were well underway when Italy invaded, but no cadets had graduated. A perplexing historical twist took place in July 1935 when Germany agreed to loan Abyssinia three million Reichs- mark for the acquisition of arms. It is reported that this decision was made at the highest level from Hitler's office. The loan made it possible for Abyssinia to continue purchasing arms from Germany including 10,000 German Maus- ers, 10 million 7.92mm rounds, submachine guns, hand grenades, 30 anti tank guns, and airplanes. Germany broke its neutrality with arms sales and kept these dealings hidden from its Italian ally. The motives behind these dealings and Germany's stance towards Italy remain a mystery. The Belgian and Swedish advisors recognized the growing threat of an Italian invasion and the limited time to prepare the Abyssinians. It is no coincidence that Major Polet recommended the purchase of FN weapons. Selassie, being familiar with Fabrique Nationale, made it an obvious choice, in fact most military acquisitions were linked to Selassie's 1924 trip to Europe and his visits to arms makers. Major Polet made his recommendations to the Abyssinian government while keeping Minister Jannsens duly informed. The Abyssinian government did not have the technical expertise to accept the FN Mauser contracts, leaving this process, at the recommendation of their Belgian advisors, to the Belgian Foreign Inspection Service

It is not clear if the officers recommended the FN Model 1910 pistol, which they personally carried in Abyssinia. FN re. ported in 1959 that 17,500 rifles, 7,500 carbines and 600 BAR's were shipped from FN to Abyssinia between 1933 and 1936. The 7.92x57mm cartridge was selected as a result of the German Mauser purchases occurring at the same time. 298 The FN contracts (arms and ammunition) were shipped over a period of time: including after the invasion. This prompted a temporary hold on shipments as international agreements prohibited arms sales to nations at war. These shipments were, however, delivered in late 35 and early 36 after much political maneuvering while peace negotiations were ongoing; the nations were technically still at war. The Belgian military inspection service inspected the arms at FN, marking them on the receiver, bolt, and stock. These markings have always been confusing to collectors and a misconstrued conclusion circulates to this day; many incorrectly believe that the arms were not delivered to Ethiopia and were rerouted to the Belgian military" and used by the Belgian military during the German invasion of 1940. The FN rifles and carbines were marked with the Abysinnian crest, receivers were left in-the-white, and the receiver bridge was marked on the top with the contract number in order to be identifiable when placed in racks. Abys- sinia was the only country to number FN Mausers in this fashion. Both the carbine and rifle front sight bases were grooved for sight hoods. The rifle's features were typical of FN's base model. The carbines were ordered without side mounted sling swivels. The carbines' hand guards differed from FN's base carbine; the hand guard was extended to the front barrel band, similar to the Model 1924. The 10,000 German Mausers manufactured by Mauser Werke and purchased in 1935 were also delivered, totaling a reported 25,000 German Mausers delivered in 1933, 1934 and 1935.

Source: FN Mauser rifles by Anthony Vanderlinden



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