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Post Info TOPIC: Check Your Books! Rare M1917 Pictures.
Vilkata

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Check Your Books! Rare M1917 Pictures.
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I have been emailing Obscurata a lot recently, and he has been telling me about an obscure Russian book he used to own, that delved into the history of USA armor in Nicaragua during the 1927-1933 'Constitutionalist War', in which a USA backed government, and US Marines, fought against Nicaraguan guerillas who were trying to free their country from 'conserative capitalist filth', and who eventually failed. (well, for the time being)

During the war, several famous US marines got high awards, and while it is not know about, quite a lot of US marines served there.

In fact, Obscurata has told me that his book describes six M1917s being used ad hoc, no historical transfer documents being turned in or anything of the sort, against the Nicaraguan Guerillas. This is entirely feasable, as even if there isn't a single USA document pertaining to this, almost HALF of the 950 M1917s were rotting in fields by the time this war came around. In fact, when the Marine Corps first tried out the idea of using tanks, they simply borrowed some M1917s from the military, on a verbal agreement! No paperwork, no records, no nothing. There were simply so many M1917s hanging around, and the military was so relaxed at that time, that no one really cared.

So, I find this idea fascinating. Because, as simple as it sounds... It would make the Constitutionalist War, the VERY first time US Tanks with US Crews fought in combat!!! The prior idea was that it was Stuart type tanks serving right around the beginning of WWII in the Philipines! I actually posed this information to some folks at another armor board, knowing that there are some hardcore Marines historians there, and they got angry at me!!! Presuming that I know more than they do! They said, flat out, that there are no military records of M1917s in Nicaragua, therefore there were none, and I'm an imbecile for thinking it. HAHA!!!

Supposedly, during one engagement, an M1917 got lost during battle, and broke down, and the crew left it where it was, and it was captured by guerillas, and it is even NOW in Nicaragua. Right now, Obscurata tells me, it is being restored so that it can be part of a pride parade soon.

Now, I obviously think Obscurata is telling the truth. The question is... How can we all prove it?

I know lots of you have heaps of obscure books referencing WWI armor. Look through them!!! Do you have any pictures or documents that pertain to this forgotten conflict? Quite a few pictures of US armor in Nicaragua during this war still exist. Even if it's not the most interesting war ever (about as interesting as the 1921 Rif War, in which FT-17s were eventually led against the forces of Abd el-Krim, a man who was imprisoned by Spain for saying he had sympathy for the German cause in WWI) it's still an interesting little conflict, especially because it would make it the FIRST time the USA fought with its own armor.

Thanks in advance!

---

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Tighe, Ron

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Will do! A fascinationg story, BTW!


- Ron



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Lusitanio

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Iíve known obscurata and Hajo for years as they both are big into the same sort of history things I am. I happen to have seen the M 1917 on display in Managua and I used to have some books with photos as I was very much involved with writing a book on the use of armor in Central America and China. My book is finished and I will look into printing it soon and it has a few photos but they are not as good as the more major ones in the older books. You people into old armor should talk to Hajo as he is the one restoring such things.

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eugene

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I will look into the matter since I have a book on early US tank actions

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Lusitanio

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Forgotten to say you should get "Motorization en de Amerikaanse Koloniale Oorlogen van 1900-1936" by Gijs van der Brink as it has the best covering of armor in the Constitutional War of anything I have see. Bad thing is it is very costly so it may be not an option. But that book is better for stuff about American armor in China in any case. Photos are not to many but they are better than none at all.

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