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Posted: 6/27/2002 10:47:03 PM EDT
This is probably a stupid question, but I'm wondering.

I know quite a bit about the European theater of WW2 and the weapons used there. However, I am less educated about the pacific theater, and while it was mostly a navy show, I was curious if the (I'm assuming mostly) Marines used the same weapons as their European counterparts (by which I mean the Thompson, the M1, M1A, M1903, BAR, etc). However, I'm also keeping in mind that the US had "Europe First" Policy during the war, so I have to wonder if perhaps the European theater troops got the better selection.

Pardon my ignorance, but I'm not sure where to look this up and I hate assuming things that are researchable (Like a lot of Hollywood filmmakers do).
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 11:50:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hpl:
This is probably a stupid question, but I'm wondering.

I know quite a bit about the European theater of WW2 and the weapons used there. However, I am less educated about the pacific theater, and while it was mostly a navy show, I was curious if the (I'm assuming mostly) Marines used the same weapons as their European counterparts (by which I mean the Thompson, the M1, M1A, M1903, BAR, etc).


I know they used the Iver Johnson machine gun in the Pacific theatre, and I know there were some other shortlived weapons being used there too, but none of their names come to mind right now.
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 11:54:13 PM EDT
The USMC were also blessed with the Reising (I believe it was model(s) 50 and 55?) SMG in 45 ACP...Look around for a picture and/or description of this POS....
Link Posted: 6/27/2002 11:58:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/28/2002 12:02:38 AM EDT by gardenWeasel]

www.qis.net/~pullen/History.htm

"Soon after production had started, the newly created Marine Corps parachute echelons became interested in the Model 41 due to the easy ability of removing the barrel, a good feature in parachute drops. It was soon adopted for paratroop use and saw action with the marines in the Soloman Islands. These weapons were procured directly from the Netherlands Purchasing Commission, which by this time had embargoed the export to their colonies due to the Japanese overrunning them. One of these rifles has been seen with "US" stamped on it, probably done at local level by an armourer.

The Johnson met with mixed reviews with the marines, so loving its high rate of fire and reduced recoil and some hating it.One of the reasons for its unpopularity was the method of field stripping and the number of small internal parts which were easy to lose. It was also easier to procure spares for Garands due to their standardisation throughout the US armed service at that time. One of the things the marines did like about the rifle however was the ability to "top up" the magazine with either single rounds or five round stripper clips. This an advantage over the Garand which could only be loaded with the eight round en-bloc clip. The Johnson could also be loaded with the bolt forward on an empty chamber. It also proved very accurate at long range and with the reduced recoil it was less tiring to shoot than the Garand. Recoil being noted as approximately one third less than the M1."
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 4:06:53 AM EDT
The Johnson Semi Auto rifle and light machine gun were invented by one MELVIN Johnson, and had nothing to do with the Iver Johnson company. The M41 rifle was used to a limited extent by the Marine Raider units, as was the LMG. The Marines' use of the Johnson may have been in part an example of Corps loyalty to one of their own, since Mel Johnson had been a Marine corps officer. As noted above most of the Corps pieces had originally been contracted for by the Dutch Govt. for use by their East Indies troops.

I owned a Johnson rifle for several years back in the 1960's. As I recall, Golden State Arms in Calif. had bought a bunch of them from the Dutch, and assembled them here in the States. The piece was short recoil operated, like the old square back Browning shotguns, and the barrel recoilled about 3/4 of an inch when you fired. It had a ten shot rotary mag, loaded from the side thru a slot under the ejection port, using 1903 Springfield clips, or single rounds. The LMG could also be loaded the same way, but generally was loaded by replacing the 25 shot mag that stuck out the left side of the reciever. That mag was a single stack unit, so it stuck out a LONG way.

In 1944, the LMG was redesigned , and the traditional bipod on the barrel was replaced w/ a funky looking monopod type deal, which when folded up comprised the fore end. Barrels on both the rifle and the LMG could be removed in about 30 seconds, which was an advantage on the LMG, but (I think) a disadvantage on the rifle. Inevietably the wear on the barrel retaining surfaces affected accuracy, and I never could get that Johnson of mine to shoot nearly as well as the garden variety M1 I also owned at the time.

All in all, the Johnsons were interesting pieces, but the Marines did the right thing when they mothballed theirs, and went to the M1 and back to the M1918 BAR.

Link Posted: 6/28/2002 4:16:47 AM EDT
If you wish to know who had what and how good was it, this is the book to get. It was written by one of America's preeminent Gunsmiths who also happened to be there. Brownell's has it.

Link Posted: 6/28/2002 2:13:00 PM EDT
With all due respect for everyone who served during WW2,

In the Pacific, the 7th Infantry was there!

7th Infantry Division

Link Posted: 6/28/2002 3:39:25 PM EDT
The only M1A I know of is the M14 clone made by Springfield Armory.

However, the guys who served in the Pacific used the same stuff as the guys in Europe, and some additional stuff as well.

Examples of the additional stuff are the Resing SMGs, Johnson rifles and Johnson LMGs used by the Marines, as well as the Boys antitank rifles used by the Marine Raiders. Other additional stuff includes things that came into use too late for the European theater, such as the M3 carbine (i.e., the night vision version of the carbine) and the M1C sniper rifle.
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 2:36:30 AM EDT
The shotgun was also used as a fighting weapon in the Pacific. In Europe it appears to be used more as a guard type of weapon, but it saw quite a bit of combat use on the islands.
Tuco
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 7:25:59 AM EDT
The Marines started the war with M1903s (M1903A3, IIRC). Maybe even a few M1917s were around. Later on, Marines used M1 Garands, Tommy Guns, Grease Guns, Johnson Rifles and MGs, M1, M2, and M3 Carbines.


Scott

Link Posted: 6/29/2002 7:42:17 AM EDT
Thanks all. I appreciate the help.
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 9:03:37 AM EDT
Some good WW2 era instruments from over here



They also started to air Band Of Brothers here this week, hopefully it will pick up the sales of older weapons.
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