Breda Modello 30 (Breda 30) Light Machine Gun (LMG)
The Breda Modello 30 became the standard light machine gun of the Italian Army heading into World War 2.
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Prior to World War 1 (1914-1918), Breda Meccanica Bresciana (or simply "Breda") was a heavy industry supplier of locomotives. It was during the war that its direction changed when it joined under the FIAT label to help produce FIAT machine guns for the Italian war effort, thusly beginning the company's military ties with the Italian government. After the armistice of November 1918, Breda solidified its own weapons design and production, delving into the Light Machine Gun (LMG) category to supplement the heavy FIAT water-cooled machine guns then in use. This led to the Mitragliatrice Breda Tipo 5C of 1924 which became one of the first light machine gun offerings to emerge in the post-World War 1 world. It was adopted through 2,000 examples by the Italian Army under the designation of "Modello 24" and then was evolved through the models of 1928 and 1929.
In 1930, the design was revised again and emerged from testing as the "Modello 30" - known in its long form as the "Fucile Mitragliatore Breda Modello 30" and, as its name suggests, the weapon was adopted by the Italian Army in 1930 with manufacture peaking at 30,000 units. The Modello 30 sat in the same category as the American M1918 BAR, the Japanese Type 11 and Type 96 systems and the British BREN Light Machine Gun - intended as a portable squad-support weapon.