In World War Two, the Italians used many different types of webbing, depending on the branch of service you were with. The problem for the modern collector and reenactor is the catogorisation of these elements, along with their providence. There were many solutions to different ideas and requirements, and often done to specific service needs. Take for example the need for a pouch system for the Beretta MAB38a. The Army, Navy and Airforce all used these (Along with the PAI), but no universal pouch system was adopted, all three different arms coming up with something different, and in respect of the army, just copying the German triple pouch system they utilised for the MP40, although late in the game (Nothing existed for the Army before 1942, and photo's of the triple pouch system in use during WW2 are a rare find).
Systems employed by the Italians are truly inspired, and very modern in approach. The 'Samuri' vest system would not look out of place now, alongside modern flak vests and rigging systems. The Airforce produced the 'Guitar' case for the Beretta MAB38a, intially used as a drop bag, but then wrapped around the paratrooper as a webbing belt, with six ammo pouches in a vertical position. The airforce also produced a web system for the Carcano, used by the Airforce para's, or the ADRA, and in all fairness, is reminiscent of the type 58 pattern used by the British Army during the 60's and 70's. The Army also produced a webbing system for the Folgore Paratroops, and is much observed in contemporary photo's. However, no complete examples exist to this day, and there is no record of the pattern or who made them. Speculation remains as to what it was officially called, but some remnants have been found at the El Alamein battlefield, and our recreations are made using these as a model. Like all Italian webbing, no official designation or names are known for any of the webbing systems made and used, except for the standard 1907 pouch set.
The 1907 Pouch set. made in Dyed Grey-green leather, it was used in the first world war through to the end of the Second World war. It carries around 36 rounds of ammouniton (Held in a cardboard box of 3x 6 bullets in a clip. It was utilised originally with two sets of pouches, supported by a neck loop. However, in World War Two, only one set was worn. This has been explained by the reason that Mussolini believed battles only lasted twenty minutes, so a soldier only needs the ammunition for twenty minutes. Whether this is true or not is unknown, but it did leave the Italian soldier woefully under equipped for most of the battles he was to fight
The Snow camo carcano pouch. Intially produced in World War one, it had continued use in World War Two, most famously with the Monte Cervino Ski Battalion. Four seperate pouches, caring a total of 72 rounds are held on an integral belt, which is clipped to friction sliders to allow tightening. It is supported by a neck loop, attching to the D-rings above the pouches. No Bayonet frog is supplied, as the Monte Cevino used the folding bayonet carbine in most operations. However, there is at least on photo showing what appears to be a field made frog with bayonet held onto the belt.
The Folgore Carcano pouch set. Little is known about this sytem, except through period photgraphs and remnants found on the battlefields of North Arica. It is a ten pouch set, holding two clips per pouch (A total of 120 rounds), along with 6 grenade pouches. It has a variety of D-rings sewn onto it, to allow attachment of fighting knives and other bits and pieces. Some phot's show this set with Beretta magazines, and this appears to be 10 round mags, stuffed into the pouch then close with chord. Photo's of this happening seem to be a PR stunt or propoganda .
The so called 'Samuri' Vest, as its official designation is not known. this first seems to have been used by the San Marco Paratroops, as photo's exist showing the changing of guards with these troops wearing them. However, there also exists a photograph of Army Para's (Fologre) wearing them while training for North Africa or the proposed assault on Malta.. Photgraphs depicting an Army Paratroop sapper wearing the Sapper version are known for North Africa, but none so far exist showing this pouch system from that time. In total it holds 12 x40 round magazines (5 on the front and 7 on the back) with 6 grenade pouches. It is most famously seen being worn by the Decima Mas troops of the RSI period, along with members of the Nembo Paractroop division serving with the 4th Fallcshirmjager regiment.