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Non-standard, substitute standard, and captured weapons in British and Commonwealth service

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#31 Dave55

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:57 PM

I have learned through various sources about Arisakas, the Savage M99, Winchester M94, M95, and M07 carbines and various non-standard pistols in Great War use.


Hello,

Could you possibly post any information you have on any military use of Savage 99s? I'd be very interested in reading it. I've never heard of this before. One of my favorites. :)

Thanks,

Dave
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#32 TonyE

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 01:03 PM

Savage M99 muskets (i.e. with full length stock complete with bayonets) were used by the Montreal Home Guard in WWI in .303 Savage calibre. The rifles are now very scarce and the bayonets even more so. Full details can be found in Luke Mercaldo's new book "Allied Rifle Contracts in America" which covers these plus Pattern '14, M-N, Berthiers etc.

In the UK copies are available from me, PM for details.

Some Savage 99s also came to the UK in 1940 under the "Guns for Britain" scheme but I do not have a figure for how many.

Regards
TonyE

Edited by TonyE, 18 March 2012 - 01:10 PM.

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#33 Dave55

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:13 PM

Savage M99 muskets (i.e. with full length stock complete with bayonets) were used by the Montreal Home Guard in WWI in .303 Savage calibre. The rifles are now very scarce and the bayonets even more so. Full details can be found in Luke Mercaldo's new book "Allied Rifle Contracts in America" which covers these plus Pattern '14, M-N, Berthiers etc.

In the UK copies are available from me, PM for details.

Some Savage 99s also came to the UK in 1940 under the "Guns for Britain" scheme but I do not have a figure for how many.

Regards
TonyE


Thanks Tony.

I found this picture on the net. Straight grip and lever, sling swivels, military open sights. Very, very neat!

Dave

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#34 TTH

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:21 PM

More captured equipment was used in the Middle East than in any other theater of the Second World War. The main reason for that appears to have been sheer scarcity of standard equipment, which persisted well into 1942. I've done quite a lot of research on the 9th Australian Division, and from what I can make out I would say they were the champions of captured equipment use. This was especially so during the 1941 siege of Tobruk, when the famous "Bush Artillery," 2/12th Field Regt and 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regt, and the British AA brigade all used Italian artillery. Italian pieces definitely employed by the 9th in Tobruk were the 75mm M06/11 field gun, 100mm M1916 Skoda field howitzer, 105mm Schneider-Ansaldo M1913 field gun, 149mm M14/16 Skoda medium howitzer, Breda-Bohler M35 47mm anti-tank gun, and the Breda M35 20mm light AA gun. There were also a few 102mm AA guns (presumably Modelo 38), and perhaps one or two ancient 149mm Model A non-recoil heavy guns. The 9th also had some Swedish-made Bofors 37mm M36 anti-tank guns, purchased originally by the Egyptians.

Enemy infantry weapons employed by the 9th included German and Italian 81mm mortars, the Brixia 45mm light mortar, the Solothurn 20mm anti-tank gun, the MG34, the MP40, Breda M37 MG's, Fiat-Revelli M14/35 MG's, the Breda M30 LMG, and M1891 Carcano carbines with folding bayonet. As for vehicles, the 9th would hardly have been able to move at all if it hadn't had large numbers of ex-Italian trucks. Most of this enemy gear was the fruit of O'Connor's campaign.

Use of enemy and other non-standard equipment to supplement firepower remained traditional in the 9th Division to the end of the war. At Alamein, 9th Div units were well over-strength in heavy weapons thanks to an exceptionally aggressive salvage policy. Besides the usual enemy types, for Alamein the 9th had some Brownings (.303? .30?) and 7.92mm Besa guns salvaged from wrecked Allied tanks and aircraft. There were also a small number of American M3 37mm anti-tank guns, obtained God knows how. On Tarakan, the 9th definitely used some Japanese MGs (I saw a picture of what I think was a Type 92), as well as at least one Type 41 75mm mountain gun. (The crew of the weapon called themselves "1 Australian Tree-Felling Unit.")
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#35 TTH

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:24 PM

Thanks Tony.

I found this picture on the net. Straight grip and lever, sling swivels, military open sights. Very, very neat!

Dave

That's a beautiful shot, Dave.
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#36 skimmod

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:28 PM

Below is an extract from a letter from Major Sandilands from the 2nd Bn RSF.
dated 27/11/43 it describes him using a variety of German kit he picked up in Sicily.
hope it adds to your research.

ttfn

Iain

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In memory of the grandfather I never got to know and the battalion that sacrificed itself twice in two world wars near Ypres.
:poppy::poppy::poppy::poppy:
2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers


#37 Dave55

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 02:31 PM

Savage M99 muskets (i.e. with full length stock complete with bayonets) were used by the Montreal Home Guard in WWI in .303 Savage calibre. The rifles are now very scarce and the bayonets even more so. Full details can be found in Luke Mercaldo's new book "Allied Rifle Contracts in America" which covers these plus Pattern '14, M-N, Berthiers etc.

In the UK copies are available from me, PM for details.

Some Savage 99s also came to the UK in 1940 under the "Guns for Britain" scheme but I do not have a figure for how many.

Regards
TonyE



I had never heard of the .303 Savage cartridge either. Wiki has this info on it. Were the British rifles marked .301?

Non-compatibility with .303 British

As with any firearm, it is essential to use the correct type of ammunition. The .303 Savage and the .303 British cartridge are not interchangeable with each other. Neither the bullet diameter nor the cartridge dimensions are compatible. Attempting to use .303 Savage ammunition in a firearm chambered for .303 British (or .303 British cartridges in a .303 Savage weapon) is guaranteed to have serious consequences. Such attempts will severely damage the firearm and possibly injure the user. In the UK the .303 Savage was called the .301 Savage to avoid confusion.

.303 Savage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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#38 TonyE

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

As is so often the case, Wiki tells part of the story but not all of it!

I have a reasonable collection of early ammunition catalogues and it seems Eley Brothers decided to call it the ".301 Savage" initially, as they were the first British ammunition makers to offer the round. This in itself must have caused confusion as the guns are marked ".303 Savage", whether for Britain or not.

The 1902 Eley catalogue lists it as the .301 Savage. The Eley 1910 lists it as ".303 (.301) Savage" and by 1912 they list it only as the .303 Savage.

Kynoch do not list the round until 1905 when it is the .303 Savage which it remaimed until the last (undated) Kynoch catalogue c. 1960.

If you like I can post pictures of the round compared to a .303 British.

Interestingly, Westley Richards took the opposite approach. When they sold the 7.63mm Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" pistol in the UK they deliberately called it the ".303 Mauser" and had this engraved on the backsight to stimulate sales.

Regards
TonyE
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#39 Dave55

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

As is so often the case, Wiki tells part of the story but not all of it!

I have a reasonable collection of early ammunition catalogues and it seems Eley Brothers decided to call it the ".301 Savage" initially, as they were the first British ammunition makers to offer the round. This in itself must have caused confusion as the guns are marked ".303 Savage", whether for Britain or not.

The 1902 Eley catalogue lists it as the .301 Savage. The Eley 1910 lists it as ".303 (.301) Savage" and by 1912 they list it only as the .303 Savage.

Kynoch do not list the round until 1905 when it is the .303 Savage which it remaimed until the last (undated) Kynoch catalogue c. 1960.

If you like I can post pictures of the round compared to a .303 British.

Interestingly, Westley Richards took the opposite approach. When they sold the 7.63mm Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" pistol in the UK they deliberately called it the ".303 Mauser" and had this engraved on the backsight to stimulate sales.

Regards
TonyE


Interesting info. Thanks The .303 Mauser sounds a bit like how the 7x57 became the .275 Rigby in the UK :)

Dave
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#40 TTH

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:27 PM

The HG is well-known as a source of all sorts of strange weaponry, but I was totally unprepared for this when I found it on the net:Home Guard Picture Library

The caption for the top center picture (click to enlarge it) identifies the French rifles as Model 07/15 Berthier, but from the shape of the bolt handle & receiver I think one is actually an M1886/96 Lebel. The other is certainly a Berthier, but I can't be certain that it isn't an M1916. (Perhaps other people are better at Berthier recognition than I am?)

Here is more on this very strange subject, particularly on French ammunition that is still being found in Britain:
International Ammunition Association {iaaforum.org} - View topic - 8mm Lebel Bullets

This refers to an article in Shotgun News, but does not give the issue:The Guns of "Dad's Army:" What Became of Them? - Gun & Game - The Friendliest Gun Forum on the Internet

And finally, a comment on another thread by TonyE:British Home Guard with Lebel & Berthier

I had another net reference to a "Camembert" magazine for the MAC M31 fortress/tank MG that had also turned up in the UK recently, but I can't find it now. Tony, if you're reading this, can you give any further information or references?

Edited by TTH, 20 March 2012 - 03:32 AM.

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#41 TonyE

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:11 AM

As I mentioned in the linked thread, after Dunkirk many French rifles and machine guns were issued to the Home Guard. In the picture from the HG site the far rifle is a Lebel and the nearer one a M 1916 Berthier.

Much of the ammunition issued to the HG with the rifles was French, but we also ordered 8mm Lebel ammo from Greece (Greece had re-equipped with French arms after WWI). As it happens, I am writing an article at the moment on British ammunition purchases in the USA prior to Lend Lease and have in front of me copies of the British contracts ledger for that period.

In the midst of various orders to America is one for 2,00,400 rounds of 8mm Lebel, contract No.IWO/Misc/202 to Pouderies et Cartouches Hellene (PCH, Greek Powder & Cartridge Co) dated 28 January 1941. I don't have an authenticated example of the ammo supplied, but do have one from PCH dated 1924 which I believe is from this contract. It is circumstantial, but that particularround is quite commonly found in the UK so I think it is reasonable to think these were surplus rounds supplied in 1941.

Somewhere I have details of the recall of these weapons from the HG. I remember that the Devon HG had to deliver all their French weapons to the Daimler garage in Exeter where they would receive new 30-06 rifles.

As an aside, did you notice that the HG picture site perpetuates the mistake of calling the 30-06 Model 1917 rifle the "P.17"? Also on that site the Lewis gun is an ex-RFC observers gun and the case catcher bag and monopod are not "home made" either.

Regards
TonyE
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#42 TTH

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:51 AM

Thanks once more, Tony. I check a lot of gun and ammunition sites, and you seem to pop up on half of them. Did the HG weaponry include all the other standard French types (M1914 MG, FM24/29, MAS M36 and Berthier M07/15 rifles, Berthier carbines, MAC and Ordonnance pistols, 60mm and 81mm mortars) or is your information not that specific?

I'm a bit puzzled on the acquisition and disposal of these weapons. Many French troops evacuated at Dunkirk were sent back to France to fight again before the surrender; did they leave their weapons in the UK in expectation that their own army would re-arm them when they returned to France? I know that there were still some thousands of French troops left in Britain when the end in France came, including some troops evacuated from Norway. Most refused to join De Gaulle and were sent home. Did the British disarm them before repatriation? And what happened to the French weapons & ammo after the HG disposed of them? Were they stored and issued later to the Greeks or the Free French? Is there any literature on this, or is it still all in the records?

Edited by TTH, 21 March 2012 - 01:38 AM.
Forgot a word.

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#43 TTH

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:36 AM

During the course of the 1941 Syrian campaign, the under-equipped 7th Australian Division pressed a number of captured French items immediately into service. The relevant official Australian history volume, Greece, Crete and Syria, has references to Australian use of French "automatics" (FM 24/29?), 81mm mortars (presumably M27/31 Hotchkiss-Brandt) a "37mm gun" (M1916 TR infantry gun?) and the Hotchkiss MG (presumably M1914). The 6th Australian Division Cavalry Regiment, which also fought in Syria, put six captured French R35 Renault light tanks into service. Here are some links and photographs:
Australian Armour in the Middle East 1940-1942 by Paul D. Handel
Axis History Forum • View topic - The "Silent Seventh"
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#44 TTH

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:49 AM

Thanks very much, that's an interesting letter. The MP40 was quite popular with Allied troops, who were happy to use it if they could get the ammunition for it too. The Thompson was the standard SMG in the Mediterranean for most of the war, the Sten never being very common there with British troops (or popular, either). The Thompson had its admirers, but it was heavier than the MP40. By 1944, some British units in Italy (for example in 168th Brigade) were being issued with the American M3 "Grease Gun." The M3 took the same .45 ammo as the Thompson but was also lighter. I've also seen pictures of troops of 50th (Northumbrian) Div with captured Italian Beretta M38A SMGs.
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#45 leccy

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:29 AM

The Australians also used M11/39's alongside the M13/40's

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#46 TTH

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:50 PM

The 8th Army used considerable numbers of captured German and Italian guns in early 1942. The types in use included the Italian 105mm M1913 field gun, 75mm M06/11 series field guns, 47mm anti-tank gun, and 20mm Breda light AA. German weapons were the 37mm Pak 36 and 50mm Pak 38 anti-tank guns and the 28/20mm squeeze-bore anti-tank gun. Some French weapons were also in use (75mm M1897 field, 25mm M34 anti-tank, possibly 37mm M1916 TR). Most of these were with the Free French but some French guns were in Polish and British hands. Here is a fascinating assessment of these types by XIII Corps: Captured Guns in Use by 13 Corps, 17 February 1942 « The Crusader Project

Edited by TTH, 23 March 2012 - 12:54 PM.
Typo.

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#47 wowtank

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:19 PM

Sheets of toilet paper held together with an elastic band! Fairey Fulmar observers.
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#48 Andreas

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

Here is a fascinating assessment of these types by XIII Corps: Captured Guns in Use by 13 Corps, 17 February 1942 « The Crusader Project


Always nice to see someone interested in my site. Glad you found it useful.

All the best

Andreas
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#49 spider

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:33 AM

Sketch drawing by Ivor Hele, AIF official war artist, showing an unknown Digger of the 6th Div 2nd/AIF with a captured Breda captured in the first Libiyan drive.
http://cas.awm.gov.au/screen_img/ART21912

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Edited by spider, 25 March 2012 - 03:57 AM.

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Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#50 TTH

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:53 PM

Always nice to see someone interested in my site. Glad you found it useful.

It's a fascinating site, Andreas, and a Herculean effort! Let me know if you turn up anymore odd British weaponry information, and good luck with the book.
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#51 TTH

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:57 PM

One note on that page though, Andreas: I don't know where you got the caption on that photo of the 47mm gun (AWM?) but it's wrong anyway. The 47mm was an Italian weapon, not a German one, and it had a conventional bore. The Germans did use a 28/20mm squeeze-bore gun in the Desert, and the British used some captured examples of it.
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#52 Orwell1984

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:51 PM

I've always like the tale of how the RAF came to have a Cant Z.506 on strength.
BBC - WW2 People's War - The World's First Air Hijack!

The RAF's use of the HE 115 is also interesting. They had come from the Norwegian Air Force and were used for agent dropping. However one of the Norwegian 115's, F64 (BV 187) had been captured by the Norwegians from the Germans when it ran out of fuel and was seized and transferred to the NAF. So in a round about way the RAF was using a Luftwaffe plane.
http://www.luftwaffe...tikler/115.html

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Edited by Orwell1984, 24 March 2012 - 10:01 PM.

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#53 Drew5233

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:11 PM

There's a great picture on here somewhere taken from ATB's Rucksmarsch (sp) of a British DR with a MP40.
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#54 Andreas

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

One note on that page though, Andreas: I don't know where you got the caption on that photo of the 47mm gun (AWM?) but it's wrong anyway. The 47mm was an Italian weapon, not a German one, and it had a conventional bore. The Germans did use a 28/20mm squeeze-bore gun in the Desert, and the British used some captured examples of it.


Good point. I was wondering when I typed that, but then forgot to look into it.

It's from the AWM. More worryingly though, the text of the 13 Corps memo also indicates this as a squeeze-bore! Seems to have been a common misperception. Probably a misreading of the 47/32 meaning.

The 47/32mm Italian A/Tk is the most common of all and seems to have plenty of ammunition.


All the best

Andreas
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#55 spider

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:55 AM

http://cas.awm.gov.a..._img/P01260.002
DERNA, LIBYA. 1941-03. GUNNER R K BRYANT LOOKING THROUGH THE SIGHTS OF A 20/65 BREDA MODEL 35 20MM CANNON OPERATED BY 8 BATTERY, 2/3RD LIGHT ANTI AIRCRAFT REGIMENT. THIS UNIT WAS EQUIPPED WITH CAPTURED ITALIAN GUNS.

http://cas.awm.gov.au/thumb_img/P00219.015
A CAPTURED ITALIAN 20/65 BREDA 20MM ANTI-AIRCRFT CANNON MOUNTED AMIDSHIP, AFT OF THE 12 POUNDER HIGH ANGLE ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN THAT REPLACED THE AFT TORPEDO TUBES ON THE AUSTRALIAN V CLASS DESTROYER HMAS VENDETTA. ALSO SHOWN IS A CREWMAN HOLDING A CLIP OF 20MM AMMUNITION FOR THE BREDA.

http://cas.awm.gov.au/thumb_img/020622
TOBRUK, NORTH AFRICA, 1941-09-25. PRIVATE F. FRAZER (WITH CAPTURED ITALIAN BREDA 6.5MM MACHINE GUN) AND PRIVATE M. MONTA (WITH GLASSES) BOTH OF THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY SERVICE CORPS DOING THEIR TURN OF SENTRY DUTY ON THE CLIFFS HIGH ABOVE THE MEDITERRANEAN.
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Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#56 TTH

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:25 PM

Thanks, Spider, very good pictures.

There's no doubt that the AIF in the Middle East led everybody else in the use of captured and non-standard arms. Moreover, the Australians continued to use such weapons even when they had adequate supplies of standard equipment. Their philosophy it seems was twofold: 1) if it shoots, we'll use it; 2) you can never have too much firepower. Some British organisations, on the other hand (like 50th Div, which I studied), often let salvageable enemy and non-standard equipment alone because it presented paperwork problems. No doubt ammunition and maintenance concerns were part of the story too, but the Australians accepted those and shot whatever they could lay their hands on.
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#57 TTH

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:33 PM

That is great story, thanks. I actually read it many years ago in a collection called "The War in the Air," edited by (I think) Gavin Lyall. There were many great pieces about the RAF in the book. I lost my copy a long time ago, and I wish I still had it.

I see the Cant in British markings there, I wonder what (if any) use the RAF made of it. I'm familiar with the He115 story, too. A number of Dutch Fokker TVIII torpedo floatplanes escaped from Holland in 1940 and served in an RAF Dutch squadron for some time until the spares ran out. The Dutch also had some license-built Dornier Do24 flying boats in the East Indies, and some of them got away from the Japs in 1942 and served with the RAAF. Use of enemy aircraft in real combat roles was obviously tricky and seldom done, but I think these are the most important cases of it in the WWII RAF.
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#58 TTH

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:18 PM

The US was a major source of handgun supply for the British Empire and Commonwealth in WWII, as it had been in the previous war. American revolvers and automatic pistols were obtained through at least three main sources:

1) The British Purchasing Commission, which handled cash-and-carry contracts
2) Lend-Lease
3) The American Committee for Defense of British Homes, which ran the "Guns for Britain" donation drive in the US

Besides this, some British stores stocked American weapons for private purchases, and God knows how many US weapons were still hanging around in various places after seeing British service in the Great War. Many colonial and dominion police forces had been using American weapons for years, e.g. in Canada, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. What with one thing and another, most major US handgun types saw some British service in WWII.

Some of these were so numerous as to be accepted substitute standard weapons, or virtually standard. The most common and accepted types were the Smith & Wesson M & P (K200 or Victory) in .38, the Colt M1911 series, the Colt New Service revolver (widely used by the Home Guard, RCMP, etc), and the Smith & Wesson New Century/Military Hand Ejector in .455.

There were many other types, too, though, and here the best sources are Skennerton and Charles Pate's fine book on US military handguns. The Colt Official Police revolver in .38 was purchased and used in pretty large numbers, but for some odd reason it never seems to have had the British reputation of the very similar S & W M & P. The Colt Pocket Auto in .32 and .380 ACP was also pretty common; the Shanghai and Hong Kong Police forces used it, and so did British airborne forces (at least according to an old book about them I read years ago).

As to other models...well, it's almost easier to say what the British didn't use than to say what they did. According to Pate and Skennerton, the following were definitely part of the trawl:

1) Colt Police Positive revolver
2) Colt Officer's Model revolver
3) Colt Officer's Model Target revolver (a handful)
4) Colt Police Positive Special revolver (Unclear to me, but Pate's the expert)
5) Colt Single Action Army revolver (.45, .357, .38 Special)
6) S&W Regulation Police revolver (200 ordered for a mining firm)
7) Colt .38 Super (or Super Match?) automatic
8) Harrington & Richardson revolvers (.32, .38)
9) Iver Johnson revolvers (.32, .38)

Most of the revolvers were in .38 S&W, compatible with British .38 revolver ammunition, but some of the Colt New Service and SAA Army guns were in.38 Special, and sizable numbers of the S&W M&P were bought in the same caliber. The H & R and Iver Johnson guns are a bit murky when it comes to models. British police got a large order of H&R hinged-frame "Bobby" models in .32. A smaller number of H & R .38 hinged-frames were used as the Defender and there were a few .22's as well. The Iver Johnsons appear to have been mostly the so-called "Safety Automatic" hinged frame models. I have seen photos online of a standard Safety Auto in .32, and a Safety Auto Hammerless in .38, both with British markings. But H& R and Iver Johnson both made solid-frame revolvers too, so they may have thrown some other stuff into the grab-bag.

There are still more oddities, too. Pate mentions that the British Columbia Police and other Canadian police forces had the Smith & Wesson .38/44 Heavy Duty, a hell of a powerful pistol, and I think he also says somewhere that some Hi-Standard HD .22 automatics got into SOE hands through the OSS. And I seem to recall (Pate again?) that a few .25 Colt pocket autos made a similar journey.

Ian Fleming gave James Bond a Colt Detective Special early in his career so I thought the British might have had some during the war too, but I can't find any direct reference to them. The ever-reliable Wikipedia reports that the British got some .32 Colt Pocket Model revolvers as well, but offers no source for the assertion. Harry Palmer gets a ".32 Colt" revolver in The Ipcress File, but a fictional spy is not a government purchasing order.

This is by no means exhaustive of this complex subject. I'm just sketching the outline for those who know even less than I, and appealing for further detail and information from those who know more. Thanks all.

Edited by TTH, 25 March 2012 - 09:52 PM.

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#59 spider

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:07 AM

There's a great picture on here somewhere taken from ATB's Rucksmarsch (sp) of a British DR with a MP40.


One was apparently used on the Kokoda Track by an 6th Div soldier, bought back from the ME (Greece/Crete)
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Spider
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Sig Hector Warnes 2/11 Batt and 6th Div Sigs (2nd AIF) - Served: 16/04/1940 - 31/07/1943
Cpl Ivor J Warnes RAAF - Served: 06/11/1939 - 23/11/1944
 

 


#60 TonyE

TonyE

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:03 AM

I shall be giving a talk at the International Ammunition Association annual meeting in St.Louis on British WW2 ammunition orders in the United States prior to Lend Lease and have written an expanded article for the IAA journal.

It details as much as I know to date about these orders and covers mainly .303 inch, 9mm, .45ACP and .30-06 and includes example box labels etc. It also covers what might be described as "miscellaneous" pistol calibre orders, mainly to Remington.

These were three orders totalling 150,000 rounds of .25ACP. I believe, but have no proof, that much of this was for Free Polish aircrew who apparently had .25ACP pistols.

Other orders were for:
.38 Special 2,000,000
.38 "unjacketed" 2,000,000
.38 ACP 100,000
.380ACP 500,000
.32 Auto "Oil Proof" 60,000
.32 S&W "Oil Proof" Lead 5,000
.32" Short Colt 5,000
.38" Auto pistol "Oil Proof" M.C. 11,000
.38 S&W Oil Proof Kleebore 5,000
.38" Short Colt 5,000
.45 Colt Auto Pistol Oil Proof M.C. 5,000
.30" Mauser Auto Pistol Oil Proof M.C. 6,000
9mm Luger Auto pistol Oil proof M.C. 15,000
.450" Revolver 5,000
Three round clips for use with .45" 30,000

All descriptions are as shown in Ministry of Supply ledgers. "M.C." is "Metal Covered", i.e. jacketed.

Much if not all of this would be for the mixed bag of pistols that came to the UK under the "Guns for Britain" scheme.

AFAIK, all the above orders were to Remington and would have been packed in their normal commercial green boxes, but if anyone knows differently I would be very pleased to receive any information.

Regards
TonyE

Edited by TonyE, 26 March 2012 - 11:18 AM.

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