Monday, 7 December 2015

Soviet Satellite Country Ammunition - Albania

Examination of Albanian Ammunition Production/Inventory

As most of you who have been following this blog, you'll note that the Soviet Ammunition posts usually, if not always, refer to obsolete weapons or what would now be considered surplus/dated projectiles.  This is because the data is pulled from a technical manual from the early '50s.  Its a unique piece of history, one I hope to keep in as good a condition as I received it.  But, that aside, the manual is more or less composed of 2 to 3 separate manuals collated together.  The first two were small arms projectiles and large projectiles/rockets/etc.  

However, the third part focuses on the many satellite nations that were under Soviet influence Post-WW2.  It offers what I believe to be a particularly fascinating look at minor nations, or how they were viewed by Allied intelligence while keeping with the ammunition/projectile theme.

So without further ado, let's begin with Albania.


 Albania has no native munitions industry, and is consequently entirely dependent on imported ammunition.  The currently troublesome problem of procuring the necessary ammunition for the Albanian Army's various foreign-made weapons may be expected to become less serious as standardization on Soviet Army equipment progresses.  Concrete figures can not be given on the degree to which standardization has been complete, but probably a sizeable percentage of Albanian Army weapons and ammunition now is Soviet World War II materiel.  Czechoslovakia, as well as the USSR, is believed to be a manufacturing source of Albanian ammunition.  The Czech products quite possibly include items of both Czech and Soviet design.

Stocks of ammunition obtained in World War II from other foreign countries, chiefly Germany and Italy, also are to be found in the Albanian Army.  These will probably be of little or no significance after the next few years.

Glossary of Albania Terms

Baj hoka - Cannister
Bombe flakse - HE Bomb
Bombe nxehse - Incendiary Bomb
Brishke - Bullet
Ckrej - Fire (or discharge)
Department i armëve - Ordnance department
Fishëk - Cartridge
Fysheksh - Cartridge case
Gracka për ustarë - Booby traps
Gremisje - Demolitions
Giyle topi - Shell
Landë, luftëe - Munitions
Municione - Ammunition
Tartarake - Machine gun
Top fushuer - Mortar
Topa kundratankore - Antitank guns
Topa të rendë - Artillery (guns)

Inventory Overview

A. Small Arms Ammunition

Information on Albanian small arms ammunition manufacture is completely lacking.  The quantities held by the country are presumably Soviet, Italian, German, and possibly British stocks of World War II origin.

B. Mortar Ammunition

Mortar ammunition probably consists mainly of Soviet 82mm and 107mm rounds.  Some Italian 45mm shells, and possibly some 81mm ammunition of German, French, and Italian origin, may be on hand.  Definitive evidence on the subject is not found.

C. Artillery Ammunition
It is believed that the Albanian Army is entirely dependent on the USSR and Czechoslovakia for replacement supply of artillery ammunition.  Caliber sizes are thought to range up through 203mm, although quantities of the heavy calibers of ammunition probably are quite small.  Soviet weapons are now considered standard in most artillery categories, and complete standardization on Soviet artillery weapons and ammunition is likely for the future.  Soviet artillery rounds to be found in Albania at present are of the following calibers: 37mm, 45mm, 76mm, 85mm, 122mm, and 152mm.  Specific types furnished to Albania in these calibers are not known.

In addition to the Soviet and Czech-made ammunition, Albania is thought to hold very limited reserve stocks for certain German and Italian World War II weapons.

D. Rockets

No information on Albanian use of rockets is available.  The possibility of the Albanian Army having such ammunition, of course, cannot be ruled out.

E. Pyrotechnics

While pyrotechnics undoubtedly exist in the Albanian Army, specific information on the subject is not available at present.

Next Time: Bulgaria

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