British snipers

Discussion in 'General' started by Longlance, May 23, 2015.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I was a bit surprised by this but it reminded me of something that surprised me when I read it. In Battle Diary by Canadian Charles Martin (CSM The Queen's Own Rifles) he describes going out during the Normandy fighting to capture a prisoner to gain intelligence, with a small team equipped with running shoes, dark faces, Sten guns, knives, garrottes(!), and grenades. "Our weapons would be wrapped in cloth - no additional noises." He also describes them having received training not just in knife and garrotte but also judo. I'm not sure if these were specialized members of the regiment, but training with the kukri seems very much in line with this sort of thing.
    stolpi likes this.
  3. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Martin was part of the original cadre of Queen's Own who arrived in England in July 1941. They trained continuously until seeing their first action in Normandy. I suspect that as battle attrition caused them to absorb more and more replacement troops, the level of training and expertise never again reached the level seen in June 1944. In fact, by late 1944, fully trained Canadian infantry were in short supply.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I agree. But it seems like there would have been similar levels of training in other units kept in the UK that long, whether Canadian or British.
  5. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Of course they would. I'm unsure of the point you're making.

    The Calgary Highlanders arrived in the U.K. in November 1940 so presumably would have received similar, extensive training. Some have suggested that the particular personal choice of the kukri was less for fighting than it was a useful tool in helping to camouflage a sniping position. Kukri's were manufactured in Britain. Canadian forces still use them today and simply talk about their versatility as a tool and not a weapon.
  6. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    I would go along with that.
    a kukri is very similar in size to a gulack (spelling) and ideal tool for clearing undergrowth and cutting poles etc.
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    You'd think they'd have preferred axes...
  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    Also opening bean cans. I read that was what most bayonets were used for.

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