Rifles of the Argentine Navy "La Armada Argentina",
Argentine  Marine Corp.
"Comandos de Infantria de Marina"  1950 - 1980

by Dan Reynolds

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 pattern.

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Around 1980 these rifles were withdrawn from service and the Modelo 1949 FN rifles were sold off as surplus in the USA about 1990.

 copyright 2000 Dan Reynolds