At the end of WW2,
the U.S. Navy began to provide ships, planes, and other equipment to Latin
American Navies as part of the American Governments policy of increasing
its influence at the start of the Cold War period. Surplus WW2 material
was sold at give away prices or given outright. With it came American
instructors and advisors and political influence.
The Argentine Navy
in this period was considered to be antagonistic to Presidente Juan Peron,
a former Army General, and a fascist style dictator. The Navy and
its Marines were armed with M1909 and M1891 Mausers in 7.65mm. The
Navy of Chile was sold the heavy cruiser USS Brooklyn which it renamed
the Bernardo O'Higgins. Argentina was sold a heavy cruiser of the
same class which it named the Belgrano. The Belgrano came fully equipped
including several hundred US .30 Rifles M1903 with bayonets of the M1942
The Marines were
rearmed with SAFN Modelo 1949 7.65mm 10 shot semi auto rifles. The
Navy was supplied with several thousand Fusil Garand .30 M1 rifles, along
with M19095E1 and later M1 bayonets, during the course of the 1950's.
About 1962, both of these rifles types were converted to 7.62x51mm using
detachable 20 shot magazines. FN converted the Modelo 1949 rifles,
and Beretta converted the M1 Garands to BM59 types. M1905E1 and M1
bayonets were modified to fit the converted M1 rifles.
Around 1980 these
rifles were withdrawn from service and the Modelo 1949 FN rifles were sold
off as surplus in the USA about 1990.