Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

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Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  zebra on Tue 28 Sep 2010, 7:04 pm

Apart from the old fashioned uniforms (which i'm sure you are all familiar with) does any one know if a more practical/modern uniform was worn if the Vatican was attacked? Pat.

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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  Sean on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 5:36 am

That is a vexing question that I have tried to research before, but everyone seems so hung up on the ceremonial dress they don't show the training or general duty uniform. I have seen an early grey uniform, pre-WWI, but no other detail. Oh yeah a dark blue Italian beret.

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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  Les-Art on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 8:02 am

Hi Pat,
Have a look at this website
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/swiss_guard/swissguard/compiti_en.htm
It has details about the swiss guard, in the section about their duties are some photos at the bottom of the page , image gallery, and one shows them in their normal duty uniform, dark blue with a large beret.

Since the current uniform was designed about 1914 I would think that , by tradition, this uniform would have been used during WW2. Of course to defend the Vatican ,if need be, they do/did have other armed units available.

There is another website, but I couldn't get it to work for me which apparently has some more colour photos.
www.guardiavizzera.org
Give it a do you might be luckier than me.

Is this any help?

Regards,
Les

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Here is the WW2 unifroms

Post  Les-Art on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 9:07 am

Pat,
Found this on the internet and I thinkl it pretty much covers what you wanted.
The Swiss Guards meeting pilots from the 3rd Squadron RAAF about 1945.
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http://i28.servimg.com/u/f28/13/98/25/75/sg_bot10.jpg
Of note is the fact that we have the two uniforms of the Swiss Guard, working uniform on the left and ceremonial on the right. The man on the left would appear to be a rank of some sort with the braid on his sleeves, probably an NCO.
Comparing the normal duty uniform with todays' version the only noticable difference is the cross-over front on the tunic.
Colour of the uniform are the same as today but would be guessing at the colour of the cuff braid.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Les

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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  Les-Art on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 9:19 am

Here is a good shot of two Guards in the normal duty uniform taken in 2008
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http://i28.servimg.com/u/f28/13/98/25/75/sg_nor10.jpg
The 'V' shape at the front of the tunic looks similar to the WW2 one, but not as noticeable.
They don't appear to be armed but I expect you could hide a few things up those sleeves Very Happy

Currently they have access to 9mm Berretta pistols and H&K MP5 machine guns.
As a matter of interest they are capable of fighting in defense of the Vatican wearing the ceremonial uniform and at various places around the compound fully loaded MP5's are hidden ready for action, should the occassion arise. The previously issued SMG was the Berretta machine pistol used by the Carabinieri, during WW2 I would think they were issued with the same weapons as the Italian Army.

Any Help?

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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  ChrisF202 on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 12:23 pm

Correct, the Swiss Guard have access to a wide range of modern small arms and infantry support weapons. All Guardsmen are required to have prior service in the Swiss Army. IIRC the small arms are the same as those issued by the Swiss Army; SIG SG550 rifle, SIG P220 pistol, etc. The Swiss Guard ranks are as follows: http://usarmyinsigniahomepage.110mb.com/swissguards.html rank insignia for Vice Corporal through Sergeant Major is worn on the cuffs while officers wear rank insignia on the shoulders. This is for the blue uniform pictured in the above post. The lowest rank is called Gardist.

The 130 member Vatican Gendarmerie Corps is manned by Italians but is under the control of the Vatican security director who also controls the Italian manned Vatican Fire Brigade. Gendarmes carry the usual Italian weapons; Beretta 92 pistols, the M12 submachine gun, etc. Their uniforms are similar to the Italian Carabinieri, but the rank structure is similar to that used by the Italian State Police.

Ok now on to World War II, at the time Vatican City/the Holy See had several other military units that were independent of the Swiss Guard which were later disbanded by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Vatican_City
All of the units were mobilized for the defense of Vatican City, but the Germans did not attack the Vatican directly. I have seen some photos of the Palatine Guards I believe wearing a greyish colored uniform complete with webbing, helmets, etc staring down German troops. I will see if I can dig these photos up. Check the above wikipedia link and the links in the article to the individual units.

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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  zebra on Thu 30 Sep 2010, 6:25 pm

Thanks everyone for replying and posting those links, i didn't realise there was so much information available, regards Pat.

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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  Sean on Mon 11 Oct 2010, 7:17 am

Same as above, but shows its earlier use.
http://i22.servimg.com/u/f22/12/22/09/10/578_0010.jpg
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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  Sean on Tue 19 Oct 2010, 7:31 am

You I had a picture somewhere. I think its from the 1940s, but cannot confirm.
http://i22.servimg.com/u/f22/12/22/09/10/palant10.jpg
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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  Les-Art on Wed 20 Oct 2010, 5:02 am

Hi Sean,
Any reason why you think this is a Swiss Guard, only asking as the other photos here and in the other websites seems to always show them wearing Blue Berets and uniforms.
I don't know what all the other Papal security forces looked like in working dress so it may be one of them.
Interested in the answer to this one.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Vatican - Swiss Guard uniforms WW2?

Post  Sean on Wed 20 Oct 2010, 5:12 am

Quite right, I am not sure.
I had it listed as a Palatine Guard.
Curses.

However, it is colourised so the artist may have been liberal in his interpretation.

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Swiss Guard Uniforms

Post  loveuniforms on Wed 25 Jan 2012, 2:51 pm

I'm new in this forum and I want to learn more about the uniforms of the Swiss Guards, including information on where I can buy one to add to my collection. Can any member give me a hint of where to go or where to find it? I wouldn't mind a used one as long as it is in good condition. Any information would be appriciated. thanks

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