EOKA Cut-Down Beretta 38 SMG

This cut-down Beretta Model 38/44 submachine gun was made by the EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston) terrorist group, which fought in the late 1950s for Cyprus to be reunified with Greece, instead of being a British colony. It shows a clever use of a Bren gun barrel handle as a front grip, usable in the vertical position of locked back to be more concealable.

Many thanks to the Royal Armouries for allowing me to film this unique artifact! The NFC collection there – perhaps the best military small arms collection in Western Europe – is available by appointment to researchers. However, you can browse the various Armouries collections online.

20 Comments

  1. I’ve just had a quick look at the catalogue. It is brilliant and it seems a guaranteed way of losing many hours. It has over 100,000 entries. As an illustration of the draw: the first one I looked at is the head chopping block believed to have been used to chop the head off of the 11th Lord Lovat in 1747! So I had to look him up, and it turns out he was a throughly bad man; but the 14th Lord Loved formed and lead the Love Scouts in the 2nd Boer War, and they went on to become the British Army’s first sniper unit. His son lead a Commando unit ashore at the beginning of the seaborne D-Day assault and ordered his bagpiper to play the pipes while they were wading ashore. All that from one entry in a catalogue.

  2. The EOKA rebels can be considered as ”terrorist” from the british the same way can be considered as terrorist Americans under George Washington
    They both fight for their independance against the same conqueror whith a lot of victims and they suceed.
    A small detail in order to be historicaly corect.

    • Thanks for adding important detail, as seen from Greek side. Yes, terrorist and freedom fighter continues to be mutually interchangeable description for same person(s) depending on individual’s leaning.

      I suspect this weapon was picked by British or Canadians in Cyprus shortly after Turkish invasion in 1971 and follow-up division of island during attempt to separate both sides.

      • George Washington sent an expedition against the Iroquois
        in 1779 specifically targeting not only military but civilians as well.

  3. The bulk of these modified weapons are not intended for military purposes, but are pure murder weapons that could be easily hidden and used from loose fitting clothing. There was no soldier to soldier fighting during the campaign, 371 British service personnel. Some 200 killed by EOKA, the remainder in motor vehicle accidents, suicides, illness/disease, but it does not include the British military wives and children murdered, nor British civilians. While the records do not show the numbers of UK Police, or Cypriot Police (loyal Greeks and Turks) murdered. In total all such persons murdered by the EOKA, and including loyal Greek and Turk civilians number between 1,413 and 1,590??? It is not known how many have died in the various conflicts since 1962 but it must be a very substantial number. And today Turkey hold onto some 60% of the island, and the Greek Government still do not want anything to do with the fighters who want ENOSIS – union with Greece. the following from eleven years ago gives some idea of the immensity of the whole problem.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/5183952/The-forgotten-soldiers-buried-in-no-mans-land.html

    • I cannot help to mention it, but it somehow resembles situation in Palestine after WWII and shortly before June 1948. There also lots of British soldiers have ended their lives there, mostly without clearly described cause.

  4. I forgot to say that 41 of the British military and civil police who died, died so in a forest fire deliberately lit by EOKA. It is not known exactly home many Greek Cypriot civilians died, but six villages and a number of hamlets were destroy during the fire.

  5. Back about 1992 I was told by the makers of hushpower silencers for shotguns that they sold some of their .410 gauge silencers to greek cypriots for use on AK’s
    The silencer was all dural about 25 cms long and 35mms in diameter
    They were sold unthreaded so it was up to you to thread it
    They worked very well using the french 2 inch 410 g. or 12mm cartrige but I have no idea of their worth on an AK

  6. An interesting use of a bolt on piece from one gun enhancing another another. OTOH, the creator never saw the InRange video about pistol grip only shotguns. Clyde Barrow came up with his under the coat whippet guns even earlier, shortening the stock, but leaving a substantial portion of it intact. I’ve heard that Clyde was a gun guy, and did his own testing. Sort of like his life depended on it.

  7. The Cyprus troubles seem to have been even dirtier than is generally acknowledged.

    There is a short book on documented “false flags” by a pseudonymous “George Washington”
    It’s mostly appendices, detailing the references.

    Amongst the false flags are admissions of murders of moslem Cypriots, by Turkish state sector actors, to be blamed on Christian Cypriots to justify invasion and partition.

    I’m not suggesting that Eoka people weren’t all incapable of such acts themselves…

    Only that the attribution of responsibility is both dirtier and more complicated than official histories suggest.

    • Re Keith’s comments. We are discussing a problem of immense complexity, on both sides politics of the Far Left and the Far Right, with intervention from mainlanders of Greece and Turkey. As with anything of this nature, information can be and is manipulated to put totally different slants upon and situation, one side is depicted as being right and the other wrong, and vice versa. And situation within the Near and Middle East, such as the wholescale deportation of Anatolian Greeks from Turkey (and the Bolshevik deportation of the Southern Russian Greeks) after the invading Greek Army was defeated by the Turks. The deportation of the Turkish population of Crete. In both cases the home nations did not want them, so in turn off they went to North and South America, France and even Australia. Britain attempted to give Cyprus to Greece which had never claimed it in 1915, and again after the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. The whole modern sorry mess has cost since 1963 at least 12,000 lives, a similar number of those vanished, and several hundred thousand displaced from their homes. The vast bulk of casualties have been civilian. The US Ambassador to Cyprus was murdered by the ultra-right EOKA-B, following the US refusal to attack Turkey following the 1974 invasion. And in 2019 still a utter mess, compounded by the utter corruption of the Cyprus Government, compounded by the discovery of substantial gas and oil deposits off the Turkish Cypriot coast! And who suffers the poor bloody civilians just trying to live in peace.

  8. Many thanks to the Royal Armouries for allowing me to film this unique artifact! The NFC collection there – perhaps the best military small arms collection in Western Europe – is available by appointment to researchers.

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