5 in stock
5 in stock
Rare Rare Rare
A super rare FN Mauser 1930 mid-length rifle made for Abyssinian Empire! This Model 1930 rifle 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 an extreme small quantity is available. The condition is fair. Please take a look at the pictures for examples. Get yours today!
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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