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Churchill's Martinis

I've got an update for those of you who read the blog about fake Martini Henry rifles being sold in Afghanistan. The Afghans are knocking out and selling fakes of the historic British firearm to cash in on a story that hundreds of examples of the real thing ended up in the country illegally after they should have been scrapped in the late 1800s. The rifles were supposed to have been sawn up to make them unusable but legend has it that Afghan craftsmen cleverly re-assembled the scrap parts and the rifles were turned on their former owners. Well, it looks as though the guy who put the botched scrapping story in the public realm was no less a personage than Winston Churchill. The story features in a book he wrote in 1897 called "The Malakand Field Force". I haven't managed to come across any earlier mentions of this illegal arms operation.

 

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