Anybody know what the Swiss Guard carries?


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MacPelto
April 1, 2005, 01:16 PM
With the Pope being in the news so much lately, I got to wondering - does anybody know what the Vatican Swiss Guard carries in the way of small arms? I mean besides halberds. Do they have pistols concealed in their little medieval outfits? Do they use long guns? Heavier munitions? Anybody actually seen them at work/training?

Mac

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WT
April 1, 2005, 01:25 PM
The ones that wear school bus yellow and purple uniforms, designed by Michelangelo, carry the halberd. There are others in the background wearing blue-gray uniforms who carry Beretta 9mm handguns or Beretta M12 9mm submachineguns.

Just past the Bronze Doors next to the Bernini columns on the right is an armored booth containing light machineguns. When the pope appears snipers are placed on the roof.

The Vatican Police also carry Beretta handguns.


Edit: one website I checked noted that the SG carries H&K smg's. When I last visited The Vatican I saw Beretta smg's.

Onmilo
April 1, 2005, 01:31 PM
The Swiss 'mercenaries' are funded and equipped by the Swiss government.
Current Swiss Military items predominate.

OH25shooter
April 1, 2005, 01:49 PM
Why don't the Italians guard the pope? :confused: When in Rome.....

entropy
April 1, 2005, 02:03 PM
Why don't the Italians guard the pope?

This is a holdover from mideval times when potentates (which the Pope was one of in those days) didn't trust their own citizens to guard them. If Romans guarded the Pontiff, it would have been easy for some plotting Cardinal (back in that era, quite common) to have the house guard spy on or dispatch him.
The Swiss, being neutral and having the best trained troops at the time, were a natural choice for the Vatican Guard, and have served most loyally for several hundred years.
Oh, BTW, they carry the M1542 halberd backed by the M1640 SchweitzerSchwerde and M1641 Bollock dagger. It's rumored that they may, in light of recent events, be soon carrying firearms. :neener:
Seriously, they are very well armed and well trained. Not to be trifled with, to be sure.

WT
April 1, 2005, 02:06 PM
The Vatican is an independent country. Having foreign police enforcing the laws is not widely accepted. The Rome police patrol on the Italian side of the border which is simply a white painted line across the plaza.

The Swiss Guardsmen take a personal oath of loyalty to the pope. Who would the Italian police be loyal to?

That said, the Rome police and Italian military do provide support for special occasions. Transgressors of The Vatican are handled by the Italian courts and prisons per various treaties between the 2 countries. See link.

http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/treaty.htm

The biggest problem The Vatican has is the pickpockets that work St. Peter's.

Trebor
April 1, 2005, 02:59 PM
One of the Swiss Guards murdered another guard a few years ago. IIRC, the news stories at the time indicated that the murder weapon was the issue HK handgun. I bet a google search would turn up some articles on the murder.

io333
April 1, 2005, 03:10 PM
http://jelley.wustl.edu/~rebillot/italy/roma/tn/swiss_guard.med.jpg

io333
April 1, 2005, 03:11 PM
The uniforms are a little fruity if you ask me.

50 Freak
April 1, 2005, 03:14 PM
I think their quite "tactical" :evil:

jlwatts3
April 1, 2005, 03:16 PM
IO333,
I agree but tell them that. You'd probably get skewered. :neener:

Sistema1927
April 1, 2005, 03:17 PM
Back in the 1930's, there was a special run of 100 K-31 rifles made specifically for the Swiss Guard.

lockedandloaded
April 1, 2005, 03:59 PM
The official handgun for the Vatican Guards is the Swiss SIG P-220 9mm designated the M-75 in the Swiss Army.

I have an extensive collection of books and magazine articles dealing with this subject, and believe it lists somewhere the entire "arsenal" of them.

Here is a link to a very good story detailing one of the darkest days in the Swiss Guard: http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=swissguard

PART II
http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=swissguard2

PART III
http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=swissguard3

No_Brakes23
April 1, 2005, 04:00 PM
Sistema1927 said...
Back in the 1930's, there was a special run of 100 K-31 rifles made specifically for the Swiss Guard.Now, you know some cruffler has ants in pants over getting ahold of one of those.

Hell, I think it is pretty neat.

Tall Man
April 1, 2005, 04:00 PM
The Vatican is an independent country.
The Holy See (Vatican City) is not a country. It is a principality - the world's smallest, as a matter of fact. Said another way, it is an independent state.

The distinction between a country and a principality/state is significant enough to warrant correction here.

TM

jhisaac1
April 1, 2005, 04:08 PM
It kind of puts a new spin on:
"In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them."

lockedandloaded
April 1, 2005, 04:14 PM
Principality, Country, or how about a "Duchy" (sp) such as Lichtenstien?

GEM
April 1, 2005, 05:50 PM
How about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick?

dasmi
April 1, 2005, 05:55 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard

Read up.

No_Brakes23
April 1, 2005, 07:44 PM
From the above link:
Their working uniform is more functional, consisting of blue coveralls with a black beret.

That's more like it. And SIG pistols, c'mon now, that ony makes sense, nationality wise. I am a bit surprised they don;t use 550s, though. Guess they wanted a subgun and pistol only.

MacPelto
April 1, 2005, 10:19 PM
Thanks for all the info, fellas...been doing some digging on my own, too.

Can someone tell me what the rifles in the picture are? This is them in training -

http://www.schweizergarde.org/image/fas.jpg

Mac

Jim K
April 1, 2005, 10:35 PM
OK, Tall Man, what is the difference between a country and an independent state? AFAIK, the Vatican meets every definition of a "country", small as it is. It has a defined territory, a capital city, national borders, its own police, its own army (the Swiss Guards), its own treasury, its own passports, its own government, its own foreign policy. It coins its own money which is recognized as a legal currency in other nations. It sends ambassadors to other nations and receives their ambassadors. It is an absolute monarchy, but that is neither here nor there as far as its being an independent country.

That is not true of other so-called "independent states" like Monaco, the old Soviet Republics, Tibet or, for that matter, Ohio.

Jim

MudPuppy
April 1, 2005, 10:49 PM
Those rifles look like SiGs to me--maybe 552s?

Logan5
April 2, 2005, 01:57 AM
Hmmm, I want to say 550s/SSG90s.
I seem to recall that the Vatican has additional armed security services distinct from the Swiss Guards, that have their own arms selection process. Still, where else are you going to get genuine military armored halberd training? That's no joke crowd control. Brilliant job, provided one is a Schweizer Staatsb├╝rger. (hah, I had no idea I could umlaut on THR...)

Walt Rauch
April 2, 2005, 08:00 AM
The non costumed Swiss bodyguards carry Glock Model 17 pistols.

jobu07
April 2, 2005, 08:53 AM
The single most important and deciding factor into what is a country and what is not is whether or not other nations recognize thier soveriegn authority within their "borders." Since most every major nation in the world recognizes Vatican City as a nation state, i'd say they qualify.

MrMurphy
April 2, 2005, 08:57 AM
Considering at the time of their design by Michelangelo there was no "hiding" on the battlefield, looking good and/or stylish was a very good thing, so that's why the Swiss Guards are so colorful. They WANT you to be able to see them (same reason why the Brits wore red and the French wore light blue later in history).

lockedandloaded
April 2, 2005, 09:09 AM
Those rifles in the picture are the current Swiss Army assault rifle called a Sturmgewehr 90, or Stgw90.

The semiauto equivalent is the SIG 550.

30 cal slob
April 2, 2005, 09:34 AM
Didn't I read something about not bringing arms into the house of the Lord?

Wonder how ministers justify packing heat (morally speaking).

Not that I'm against it all.

When I go to church I have to make sure that I don't drop loose ammo into the offering plate when it's my turn to drop some change into it. ;) Just curious.

Peace, love, hope, and full mag of .45 ACP hollowpoints. :D

El Tejon
April 2, 2005, 09:39 AM
Think they tote Zig Zauers. However, didn't the Swiss Guard who purportedly murdered a comrade there use a Glock? IIRC, it was a privately owned weapon.

The_Antibubba
April 2, 2005, 12:00 PM
I thought Gran Marino was the smallest country?

Hey, is it true that the Swiss Guard's WP grenades actually emit incense? :D

Redneck Revolver
April 2, 2005, 01:03 PM
actually the rifles in the picture looked like stg57's to me.

zpo
April 2, 2005, 07:18 PM
I don't know if this is true or not, but I was told that the bands of cloth and way the outfit was cut was to hide movement, so when in a fight, it would be difficult to "read" the Guards movements. But it may not be true.

Harry Paget Flashman
April 2, 2005, 09:35 PM
With due respect to lockedandloaded, the links provided (www.ianpaisley.org) might be taken with a grain of salt. The rhetoric in that website doesn't take the high road with regard to anything "catholic". Which is not to say that what was reported couldn't be factual but IMO the tone and tenor of that website give me doubts.

Posted as friendly feedback.

thorn726
April 2, 2005, 09:58 PM
boy guys, NIT pickers.
you know , if we had called US states provinces, and if countries all over weren't called states, would any of this matter?

it's the Vatican. they got there own guards. hahaha.

anyway, interesting, i never knew about the Swiss , makes a ton of sense not to be using the Italian govt.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
April 7, 2005, 02:47 AM
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/swiss_guard/index.htm

Here's the rundown on the Swiss Guard from the Source.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
April 7, 2005, 04:43 AM
With due respect to lockedandloaded, the links provided (www.ianpaisley.org) might be taken with a grain of salt. The rhetoric in that website doesn't take the high road with regard to anything "catholic". Which is not to say that what was reported couldn't be factual but IMO the tone and tenor of that website give me doubts.


Ian Paisley is a strongly anti-Catholic, unionist-Protestant leader from Northern Ireland.

I am suprised the information presented in that website is as tame as it is.

lockedandloaded
April 7, 2005, 01:04 PM
Those links I gave for Ian Paisley just happened to show up in a search engine for details. His whole rhetoric on the situation is one of the conspiracy issues. Specifically, a homosexual love triangle within the Vatican. Preposterous, but he detailed the facts well.

crt360
April 7, 2005, 01:36 PM
Hammer time!

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