38 Comments

    • It certainly looks like one of the old-style torches ( flashlights ) made from solid brass, formed brass sheet or steel sheet.

  1. Being from a volunteer unit, there might have been a shortage in the availability of certain equipment due to the demands from the front line at the time, hence the apparently personal ( civilian ) attire. Unless ( though unlikely ) this was actually a uniform of sorts denoting a particular unit? Stranger things have happened during wartime. Great caption, though :).

  2. Ooops! Sorry, in the rush to write a comment, I forgot to read the more extensive caption (just read the one just beneath the picture…).

  3. In WWI, and up thru WWII, the Albanians generally had a lot of blood feuds and were clan based. It was difficult to keep Albania a coherent, peaceful country post WWI – part of why the Italians took over. Albania didn’t have as strong a national consciousness at that point.

    No doubt he’s some sort of irregluar soldier. Maybe the Austrians struck a deal with a clan leader.

    After annexing Bosnia-Hercegovina, and next subjugating Serbia through (unacheived) victory in WWI, newly-formed Albania was probably next on Austria-Hungary’s list.

    • Italy even has its own Albanian speaking communities, particularly in the heel of the boot. a lot have been there since the Ottoman empire annexed Albania in about the fourteenth or fifteenth century, far, far longer than there has been a single state annexing the Italian peninsula.

  4. There is some sort of emblem on what looks like a pocket on his left side, almost looks like a rotary club logo. It can’t be that, but that is what it reminds one of. It is interesting that there is no rifle in the picture, and the pistol is held low, the focus of the photo was the man, not the weapon, which means something.

    Sometimes historical photos show unexpected clothing. The well known photograph of Billy the kid, when looked at closely, shows him wearing a sweater over a shirt that had a nautical theme. How did the young killer, a thousand miles from any ocean, a hundred mles from any river deep enough to get one’s knees wet, end up with a shirt like that and when was the last time a sweater was worn in a Western movie?

  5. O dear
    in this forum, of all noone seems to recoknice with pistol, he is carrying
    It is clearly a Steyer Han model 1912 and the clips is fot this model pistol

    • @Peter
      I doubt that:
      1) The M1912 would have an opening on top to feed the clip in. The sights look somewhat different, too, I’d say, but this is admittedly hard to tell.
      2) The ammo in the clips is longer and the clips only contain 5 rounds. The Steyr M1912 takes 7 round clips.

      http://www.hungariae.com/Stey12.htm

    • I’m puzzled as to how you could believe that clip of ammunition could possibly belong to a pistol. Even the shape of the clip itself is very characteristic of the Mannlicher design.

  6. Hate to spoil your joy, gentlemen. but the pistol seems like a Mauser Broomhandle, note octagonal chamber area with clip-loading thumb cut-out and small ring hammer, while clips are definitely M95 – for 11 mm clips the M.85 were either much higher/deeper whatever, rectangular almost and reaching almost as high as bullets, or M.88 style – low/shallow but blind, with no window. Then the M.86 clip was reduced in size to take 8 mm shells in M.88, and then the M.95 proceeded to have windows cut in the sides.

      • I converted to Eastern Orthodoxie 21 years ago. I’ve spent two summers 2 monthes both times in Albania working with the IOC (International Orthodox Charty ) building Orthodox Churches in Albania.

        Before communism it is estamated that 18% of Albanias population was Orthodox. Now that has dropped to less then 5%.
        Discounting the 15% nonbelievers who by and large are hold overs from communism. The remainder are followers of Islam.
        Did you look at the picture?
        It’s a pretty safe bet he’s Islamic. I’d be willing to wager the family farm on this one.
        Dean

  7. I am afraid to admit this in and around this crowd .. but I hate to try to even remember how times I have had the ole finger dead a– on the trigger and the sweat running down my leg (ok maybe not sweat! SO! hahahahaha) there are times when contrary to all current worldly advice in “CCW and “self Defense” “doctrine” presented as THE GOSPIL in the GAZILLION or more shooting courses be advertised, there are times when it is prudent to be “situationaly aware” and be ready; not be confused with a in a condition to “get ready”. Of course training training training and let the situation dictate response preperation. We got any 11B’s or 11F5’s or 11Z out there???? As a saying goes “Hey Thomas; is that gun your carrying loaded and isn’t that dangerous? ANSWER: YES .. why would I carry a gun that wasn’t dangerous??? The picture is a great one!

    • I believe you’re right about how unaccountably often soldiers in combat keep their trigger fingers at the ready ( on the trigger, not outside the trigger guard as military and civilian safety training normally dictates ). When one is embroiled in a battlefield situation, there are many obvious factors and situations that give rise to this, and conventional safety practices, even those designed to accommodate the battlefield, go out the window.

  8. I think he is striking a pose to make it appear as though he is in mid-draw…

    BTW, I’d be willing to bet that “flashlight/torch” is one of the old calcium carbide-types similar to the old miner’s headlamps.

  9. @ Thomas & DistalRadius :

    Sorry, my September 23rd, 2013 post @ 11:37 a.m. was meant as a reply to DistalRadius’ September 23rd, 2013 / 8:59 a.m. comment. Apologies for any momentary confusion this might have caused.

  10. Earl .. no apologies need … I was only commenting on how when “the ole timers’ in a unit did a lot of things in a combat area; the younger “cruits” got reamed for it until they showed the ole guys “a steadiness”. I remember a recon team sgt, had maybe 20-30 missions, refused to take a new guy on a five day mission: “I ain’t about to take a man out that has no experience”. My point .. there is only one way to become experienced. I imagine there are folks on this site that would absolutely go bananas if they had to walk a trail, in the rain, and mud with an Afghani, or Iraqi triber, El Salvadorian country kid sloggin along behind them with a FAL, M16, or M1 Carbine or AK47. hahahahaha

    • Exactly what I’ve experienced myself….being in an operational zone certainly changes the way a lot of things are normally done. Thanks, Thomas.

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