Info needed on post WWII Italian Army

I need to ask 2 questions. Before I do, I have to tell you about the man below. His name is Mario Canaletti, he works at my company’s maintenance department. He was in the Italian Army in the 60’s. The following photos were taken in Verona in 1966. He was Caporale Majore in Gruppo Artiglieria 11 of 105mm and 250mm howitzers supporting American troops stationed in Italy. The headquaters was in Cremona.

He is wearing his old garrison hat with shoulder patches attached so not to lose them.

Question #1: Italy had her own small arms ammunition production. Did they also manufacture large calibre ammo for howitzers?
Question #2: Is there a website for Gruppo Artiglieria 11? Kind of a re-union website.


My Italian sucks so here your friend can sort our what he may need: … =&aq=f&oq=

Yes, Italy has it’s own artillery ammo manufacturing plants like
Bombrini Parodi Delfino, now Part of SNIA-BPD, Rome
Simmel Industries SpA, Castalfranco
ERBER, Torino

Thanks. I, not knowing much about artillery, wondered myself. 250 is much MUCH bigger than 105. It is possible that I misunderstood and wrote down the wrong number.

What I want to know is - is that beer they’re drinking with chow?? That’s the army I want to be in.


Ray - I am sure that they are drinking wine with their meal. That is quite ordinary in the Italian Army and Police. Also quite civilized. One place where they are way ahead of us.

Yes,italian factories also made big cal ammo

Mugnaioni is not far from where I live.It was primarly an ammo depot than an ammo factory.There are tons of ammo still there and the whole area of the old facilities is off limits.Anyway I am going to visit a private museum inside the area next week.Pics will be added

I suggest you to visit this website and write them your question about the 11th gruppo d’artiglieria.It is the website of the italian artillerymen association from Cremona.
I think your friend will be able to join this association

John and Ray…younger and not so young italian soldires prefer beer…

Pivi - those sure look to me like wine bottles on the table, not beer bottles?
Is that a new trend? Last time I was in Italy, we passed some sort of big deal going on with the police near the river in Rome - cops everywhere wearing big bullet-proof vests (not the type for under the clothes - the big ones that stop even rifle bullets), carrying mostly M1 Carbines, which was a surprise - I didn’t see a single Beretta M12 SMG although this was in 1979, so maybe too early. At any rate, it was lunch-time and all the guys were eating and drinking wine. We weren’t used to seeing that as drinking any kind of alcoholic drink even with your lunch is generally against regulations for American police (and military) - “drinking on duty” - and carries penalties.
None of them were rowdy or appeared the least bit intoxicated, by the way.

Beer is good too, but I’ll take a good glass of red wine over it any day.

protecting our democratic constitution on a Navy ship we got offered a traditional Northern European dish for lunch named “Labskaus” (I believe it is “lobscouse” or “lobscourse” in English) about every month or so. It is traditionally accompanied by BEER. The pulp they made was no thrill, but everybody got a 0,33 l bottle of beer handed out at the food counter, during the week, even out at sea. Imagine how many friends abstainers had that day!

Not many youngsters like drinking wine , especially while eating . They like drinking beer instead of wine.

In my days aboard ship we were offered a wide variety of drinks with our tasty meals.

  1. Water (flavored with diesel oil)
  2. Coffee (same flavor as above)
  3. Powdered milk (made with, you guessed it, water)
  4. On special occasions, what we affectionately called “bug juice”.

Bug juice - A substance not entirely unlike Kool-Aid which is served as a beverage aboard ship. Its color has no bearing on its flavor. Largely composed of ascorbic acid. Also used extensively as an all- purpose cleaner/stripper for bulkheads, decks, brass fire nozzles, and pipes.

There were rumors that Snipes drank straight diesel oil. That’s probably why most surviving Snipes are in Nursing Homes today.



Firstly, for anyone curious about “historian”, this is a resurrected post from the old forum, so it has this zombie look.
Secondly, to settle “wine” vs “beer” question, it is WINE, info is from THE man in the photo.

In response to some of the “historian” postings regarding the lunchtime libations:

Whatsa matta you!?!?

It’s VINO, not WINE!!!

And yea, BUG JUICE. With coal oil. Our XO banned caffeinated drinks, so options were canned apple juice or Hawaiian Punch. Except for coffee. Chiefs being Chiefs. And edited our movies. Memories.

Yes , they are drinking wine , it’s crystal clear .I only said that young and not-so-young italian soldiers prefer beer instead wine

A correction from Mario himself: it was 105mm and 155mm cannons, not 250mm.

Sksvlad ,

did you find the info you were looking for ?

Yes, Mario was happy to see web sites suggested by you and Alex, he started singing old military marches. Thanks.