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The Carcano rifle and the Breda 30 light machine gun had to be kept for a long time on a source of heat to work properly in extreme climatic conditions, and thus were often not capable of firing in the midst of battle.

Incidentally, these last two weapons were considered the deadliest among the Italian arsenal.

There was total absence of any portable anti-tank weapon, thus making hand grenades, machine guns and mortars the last resort against Soviet armour.

The heavy Breda M37 proved to be a slightly more reliable machine gun, though having an excessive weight and very slow rate of fire.

The old belt-fed Fiat 14 was also seen in small numbers, but was obsolete.

The Italian Army in Russia (Armata Italiana in Russia, or ARMIR) was an army-sized unit of the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito Italiano) which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II.

The ARMIR was also known as the 8th Italian Army and initially had 235,000 soldiers.

The Brixia Model 35 45mm mortar bombs had an inadequate explosive charge and fragmented poorly, and larger 81mm mortars modello 35 were rare.

The Aviation Command of the ARMIR had a total of roughly 64 aircraft.

The Vicenza Division was under direct command of the 8th Army and was primarily utilized behind the front on "lines of communications" duties, security and anti-partisan and to act as a reserve.

In addition to the ten divisions, the 8th Italian Army included the 298th and 62nd German divisions (the latter being sent to Stalingrad), a Croatian volunteer legion, and three legions of Italian Blackshirt volunteers (Camicie Nere, or CCNN).

While in many ways the mountain troops added greatly to the capabilities of the ARMIR, in other ways these elite mountain fighters were ill-suited to the vast, flat expanses of southern Russia.

Like the CSIR, the ARMIR included an Aviation Command (Comando Aereo) with a limited number of fighters, bombers, and transport aircraft.

The few tanks that were available still tended to be obsolete Italian models.

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