Now you are probably saying right now.”WTF is this Grumpy?” And I would have to agree that this is not your average semi auto pistol.
So here is what I found out about it.
Somebody else wrote this one. AS you can guess. Since it is a whole lot better written than I could.
The model 1898 Schwarzlose was a self loading pistol definitely ahead of its time. It was simple, powerful (for the period; it was chambered for 7.63mm Mauser), and remarkably ergonomic. It used a short recoil, rotating bolt mechanism to operate, and very cleverly had one single spring which did the duties of primary recoil spring, striker spring, trigger spring, and extractor spring. Why it failed to become a commercial success is a question I have not been able to definitively answer – I suspect it must have been due to cost. Edward Ezell theorizes that it was unable to compete with the Borchardt/Luger and Mauser pistols because those were able to be made with much more economy of scale. It is really a shame, because the Schwarzlose 1898 is the best of all the pre-1900 handguns I have encountered.
Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk I (1903), Swedish Army Museum, Stockholm.
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|In service||MLE: 1895–1926
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||Second Boer War
World War I
Various Colonial conflicts
Irish War of Independence
Irish Civil War
World War II
Indonesian National Revolution
Greek Civil War
French Indochina War
Border Campaign (Irish Republican Army)
Mau Mau Uprising
Bangladesh Liberation War
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Nepalese Civil War
|Designer||James Paris Lee, RSAF Enfield|
|Weight||4.19 kg (9.24 lb) (Mk I)
3.96 kg (8.73 lb) (Mk III)
4.11 kg (9.06 lb) (No. 4)
|Length||MLE: 49.6 in (1,260 mm)
SMLE No. 1 Mk III: 44.57 in (1,132 mm)
SMLE No. 4 Mk I: 44.45 in (1,129 mm)
LEC: 40.6 in (1,030 mm)
SMLE No. 5 Mk I: 39.5 in (1,003 mm)
|Barrel length||MLE: 30.2 in (767 mm)
SMLE No. 1 Mk III: 25.2 in (640 mm)
SMLE No. 4 Mk I: 25.2 in (640 mm)
LEC: 21.2 in (540 mm)
SMLE No. 5 Mk I: 18.8 in (480 mm)
|Cartridge||.303 Mk VII SAA Ball|
|Rate of fire||20–30 aimed shots per minute|
|Muzzle velocity||744 m/s (2,441 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||550 yd (503 m)|
|Maximum firing range||3,000 yd (2,743 m)|
|Feed system||10-round magazine, loaded with 5-round charger clips|
|Sights||Sliding ramp rear sights, fixed-post front sights, “dial” long-range volley; telescopic sights on sniper models. Fixed and adjustable aperture sights incorporated onto later variants.|
The Lee–Enfield is a bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle that was the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empireand Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century. It was the British Army‘s standard rifle from its official adoption in 1895 until 1957.. It is often referred to as the “SMLE,” which is short for “Short Magazine Lee-Enfield”.
A redesign of the Lee–Metford (adopted by the British Army in 1888), the Lee–Enfield superseded the earlier Martini–Henry, Martini–Enfield, and Lee–Metford rifles. It featured a ten-round box magazine which was loaded with the .303 Britishcartridge manually from the top, either one round at a time or by means of five-round chargers. The Lee–Enfield was the standard issue weapon to rifle companies of the British Army and other Commonwealth nations in both the Firstand Second World Wars (these Commonwealth nations included Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa, among others). Although officially replaced in the UK with the L1A1 SLR in 1957, it remained in widespread British service until the early/mid-1960s and the 7.62 mm L42 sniper variant remained in service until the 1990s. As a standard-issue infantry rifle, it is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations, notably with the Bangladesh Police, which makes it the second longest-serving military bolt-action rifle still in official service, after the Mosin–Nagant. The Canadian Rangers reserve unit still use Enfield rifles, with plans to replace the weapons sometime in 2017–2018 with the new Sako-designed Colt C-19. Total production of all Lee–Enfields is estimated at over 17 million rifles.
The Lee–Enfield takes its name from the designer of the rifle’s bolt system—James Paris Lee—and the factory in which it was designed—the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield. In Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Southern Africa and India the rifle became known simply as the “three-oh-three“ or the “three-naught-three“.
- 1Design and history
- 2Magazine Lee–Enfield
- 3Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk I
- 4Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk III
- 5Pattern 1914/US M1917
- 6Inter-war period
- 7Lee–Enfield No. 1 Mk V
- 8Rifle No. 4
- 9Rifle No. 5 Mk I—the “Jungle Carbine”
- 10Lee–Enfield conversions and training models
- 11Special Service Lee–Enfields: Commando and Automatic models
- 12Conversion to 7.62×51mm NATO
- 13Production and manufacturers
- 14The Lee–Enfield in military/police use today
- 15The Lee–Enfield in civilian use
- 17See also
- 20External links
Design and history
The Lee–Enfield rifle was derived from the earlier Lee–Metford, a mechanically similar black-powder rifle, which combined James Paris Lee‘s rear-locking bolt system with a barrel featuring rifling designed by William Ellis Metford. The Lee action cocked the striker on the closing stroke of the bolt, making the initial opening much faster and easier compared to the “cock on opening” (i.e., the firing pin cocks upon opening the bolt) of the Mauser Gewehr 98 design. The rear-mounted lugs place the bolt operating handle much closer to the operator, over the trigger, making it quicker to operate than traditional designs like the Mauser. The action features helical locking surfaces (the technical term is interrupted threading). This means that final head space is not achieved until the bolt handle is turned down all the way. The British probably used helical locking lugs to allow for chambering imperfect or dirty ammunition and that the closing cam action is distributed over the entire mating faces of both bolt and receiver lugs. This is one reason the bolt closure feels smooth. The rifle was also equipped with a detachable sheet-steel, 10-round, double-column magazine, a very modern development in its day. Originally, the concept of a detachable magazine was opposed in some British Army circles, as some feared that the private soldier might be likely to lose the magazine during field campaigns. Early models of the Lee–Metford and Lee–Enfield even used a short length of chain to secure the magazine to the rifle.
The fast-operating Lee bolt-action and 10-round magazine capacity enabled a well-trained rifleman to perform the “mad minute” firing 20 to 30 aimed rounds in 60 seconds, making the Lee–Enfield the fastest military bolt-action rifle of the day. The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British Army—Sergeant Instructor Snoxall—who placed 38 rounds into a 12-inch-wide (300 mm) target at 300 yards (270 m) in one minute.Some straight-pull bolt-action rifles were thought faster, but lacked the simplicity, reliability, and generous magazine capacity of the Lee–Enfield. Several First World War accounts tell of British troops repelling German attackers who subsequently reported that they had encountered machine guns, when in fact it was simply a group of well-trained riflemen armed with SMLE Mk III rifles.
The Lee–Enfield was adapted to fire the .303 British service cartridge, a rimmed, high-powered rifle round. Experiments with smokeless powder in the existing Lee–Metford cartridge seemed at first to be a simple upgrade, but the greater heat and pressure generated by the new smokeless powder wore away the shallow, rounded, Metford rifling after approximately 6000 rounds. Replacing this with a new square-shaped rifling system designed at the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) Enfield solved the problem, and the Lee–Enfield was born.
Models/marks of Lee–Enfield Rifle and service periods
Model/Mark In Service Magazine Lee–Enfield 1895–1926 Charger Loading Lee–Enfield 1906–1926 Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk I 1904–1926 Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk II 1906–1927 Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk III/III* 1907–present Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk V 1922–1924 (trials only; 20,000 produced) Rifle No. 1 Mk VI 1930–1933 (trials only; 1,025 produced) Rifle No. 4 Mk I 1931–present (2,500 trials examples produced in the 1930s, then mass production from mid-1941 onwards) Rifle No. 4 Mk I* 1942–present Rifle No 5 Mk I “Jungle Carbine” 1944–present (produced 1944–1947) BSA-Shirley produced 81,329 rifles and ROF Fazakerley 169,807 rifles. Rifle No. 4 Mk 2 1949–present Rifle 7.62mm 2A 1964–present Rifle 7.62mm 2A1 1965–present
The Lee–Enfield rifle was introduced in November 1895 as the .303 calibre, Rifle, Magazine, Lee–Enfield, or more commonly Magazine Lee–Enfield, or MLE (sometimes spoken as “emily” instead of M, L, E). The next year, a shorter version was introduced as the Lee–Enfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I, or LEC, with a 21.2-inch (540 mm) barrel as opposed to the 30.2-inch (770 mm) one in the “long” version. Both underwent a minor upgrade series in 1899 (the omission of the cleaning / clearing rod), becoming the Mk I*. Many LECs (and LMCs in smaller numbers) were converted to special patterns, namely the New Zealand Carbine and the Royal Irish Constabulary Carbine, or NZ and RIC carbines, respectively. Some of the MLEs (and MLMs) were converted to load from chargers, and designated Charger Loading Lee–Enfields, or CLLEs.
Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk I
A shorter and lighter version of the original MLE—the famous Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee–Enfield, or SMLE (sometimes spoken as “Smelly”, rather than S, M, L, E)—was introduced on 1 January 1904. The barrel was now halfway in length between the original long rifle and the carbine, at 25.2 inches (640 mm).
The SMLE’s visual trademark was its blunt nose, with only the bayonet boss protruding a small fraction of an inch beyond the nosecap, being modeled on the Swedish Model 1894 Cavalry Carbine. The new rifle also incorporated a charger loading system, another innovation borrowed from the Mauser rifle’ and is notably different from the fixed “bridge” that later became the standard, being a charger clip (stripper clip) guide on the face of the bolt head. The shorter length was controversial at the time: many Rifle Association members and gunsmiths were concerned that the shorter barrel would not be as accurate as the longer MLE barrels, that the recoil would be much greater, and the sighting radius would be too short.
Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk III
The iconic Lee–Enfield rifle, the SMLE Mk III, was introduced on 26 January 1907, along with a Pattern 1907 (P’07) sword bayonet and featured a simplified rear sight arrangement and a fixed, rather than a bolt-head-mounted sliding, charger guide. The design of the handguards and the magazine were also improved, and the chamber was adapted to fire the new Mk VII High Velocity spitzer .303 ammunition. Many early model rifles, of Magazine Lee–Enfield (MLE), Magazine Lee–Metford (MLM), and SMLE type, were upgraded to the Mk III standard. These are designated Mk IV Cond., with various asterisks denoting subtypes.
During the First World War, the SMLE Mk III was found to be too complicated to manufacture (an SMLE Mk III rifle cost the British Government £3/15/-) and demand was outstripping supply, so in late 1915 the Mk III* was introduced, which incorporated several changes, the most prominent of which were the deletion of the magazine cut-off mechanism, which when engaged permits the feeding and extraction of single cartridges only while keeping the cartridges in the magazine in reserve, and the long-range volley sights. The windage adjustment of the rear sight was also dispensed with, and the cocking piece was changed from a round knob to a serrated slab. Rifles with some or all of these features present are found, as the changes were implemented at different times in different factories and as stocks of existing parts were used. The magazine cut-off was reinstated after the First World War ended and not entirely dispensed with until 1942.
The inability of the principal manufacturers (RSAF Enfield, The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited and London Small Arms Co. Ltd) to meet military production demands, led to the development of the “peddled scheme”, which contracted out the production of whole rifles and rifle components to several shell companies.
The SMLE Mk III* (renamed Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926) saw extensive service throughout the Second World War as well, especially in the North African, Italian, Pacific and Burmese theatres in the hands of British and Commonwealth forces. Australia and India retained and manufactured the SMLE Mk III* as their standard-issue rifle during the conflict and the rifle remained in Australian military service through the Korean War, until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR in the late 1950s. The Lithgow Small Arms Factory finally ceased production of the SMLE Mk III* in 1953.
The Rifle Factory at Ishapore, West Bengal, India produced the MkIII* in .303 British and then upgraded the manufactured strength by heat treatment of the receiver and bolt to fire 7.62×51mm NATO ammunition, the model 2A, which retained the 2000 yard rear sight as the metric conversion of distance was very close to the flatter trajectory of the new ammunition nature, then changed the rear sight to 800m with a re-designation to model 2A1. Manufactured until at least the 1980s and continues to produce a sporting rifle based on the MkIII* action.
Pattern 1913 Enfield
Due to the poor performance of the .303 British cartridge during the Second Boer War from 1899–1902, the British attempted to replace the round and the Lee–Enfield rifle that fired it. The main deficiency of the rounds at the time was that they used heavy, round-nosed bullets that had low muzzle velocities and poor ballistic performance. The 7mm Mauserrounds fired from the Mauser Model 1895 rifle had a higher velocity, flatter trajectory and longer range, making them superior on the open country of the South African plains. Work on a long-range replacement cartridge began in 1910 and resulted in the .276 Enfield in 1912. A new rifle based on the Mauser design was created to fire the round, called the Pattern 1913 Enfield. Although the .276 Enfield had better ballistics, troop trials in 1913 revealed problems including excessive recoil, muzzle flash, barrel wear and overheating. Attempts were made to find a cooler-burning propellant but further trials were halted in 1914 by the onset of World War I. This proved fortunate for the Lee–Enfield, as wartime demand and the improved Mk VII loading of the .303 round, caused it to be retained for service.
Pattern 1914/US M1917
The Pattern 1914 Enfield and M1917 Enfield rifles are based on the Enfield-designed P1913, itself a Mauser 98 derivative and not based on the Lee action, and are not part of the Lee–Enfield family of rifles, although they are frequently assumed to be.
In 1926, the British Army changed their nomenclature; the SMLE became known as the Rifle No. 1 Mk III or III*, with the original MLE and LEC becoming obsolete along with the earlier SMLE models. Many Mk III and III* rifles were converted to .22 rimfire calibre training rifles, and designated Rifle No. 2, of varying marks. (The Pattern 1914 became the Rifle No. 3.)
The SMLE design was a relatively expensive long arm to manufacture, because of the many forging and machiningoperations required. In the 1920s, a series of experiments resulting in design changes were carried out to help with these problems, reducing the number of complex parts and refining manufacturing processes. The SMLE Mk V (later Rifle No. 1 Mk V), adopted a new receiver-mounted aperture sighting system, which moved the rear sight from its former position on the barrel. The increased gap resulted in an improved sighting radius, improving sighting accuracy and the aperture improved speed of sighting over various distances. In the stowed position, a fixed distance aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) protruded saving further precious seconds when laying the sight to a target. An alternative developed during this period was to be used on the No. 4 variant, a “battle sight” was developed that allowed for two set distances of 300 yards and 600 yards to be quickly deployed and was cheaper to produce than the “ladder sight”. The magazine cutoff was also reintroduced and an additional band was added near the muzzle for additional strength during bayonet use. The design was found to be even more complicated and expensive to manufacture than the Mk III and was not developed or issued, beyond a trial production of about 20,000 rifles between 1922 and 1924 at RSAF Enfield. The No. 1 Mk VI also introduced a heavier “floating barrel” that was independent of the forearm, allowing the barrel to expand and contract without contacting the forearm and interfering with the ‘zero’, the correlation between the alignment of the barrel and the sights. The floating barrel increased the accuracy of the rifle by allowing it to vibrate freely and consistently, whereas wooden forends in contact with barrels, if not properly fitted, affected the harmonic vibrations of the barrel. The receiver-mounted rear sights and magazine cutoff were also present and 1,025 units were produced between 1930 and 1933.
Lee–Enfield No. 1 Mk V
Long before the No. 4 Mk I, Britain had obviously settled on the rear aperture sight prior to WWI, with modifications to the SMLE being tested as early as 1911, as well as later on the No. 1 Mk III pattern rifle. These unusual rifles have something of a mysterious service history, but represent a missing link in SMLE development. The primary distinguishing feature of the No. 1 Mk V is the rear aperture sight. Like the No. 1 Mk III* it lacked a volley sight and had the wire loop in place of the sling swivel at the front of magazine well along with the simplified cocking piece. The Mk V did retain a magazine cut-off, but without a spotting hole, the piling swivel was kept attached to a forward barrel band, which was wrapped over and attached to the rear of the nose cap to reinforce the rifle for use with the standard Pattern 1907 bayonet. Other distinctive features include a nose cap screw was slotted for the width of a coin for easy removal, a safety lever on the left side of the receiver was slightly modified with a unique angular groove pattern, and the two-piece hand guard being extended from the nose cap to the receiver, omitting the barrel mounted leaf sight. No. 1 Mk V rifles were manufactured solely by R.S.A.F. Enfield from 1922–1924, with a total production of roughly 20,000 rifles, all of which marked with a “V”.
Rifle No. 4
By the late 1930s, the need for new rifles grew and the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was officially adopted in 1941. The No. 4 action was similar to the Mk VI, but stronger and most importantly, easier to mass-produce. Unlike the SMLE, that had a nose cap, the No 4 Lee–Enfield barrel protruded from the end of the forestock. The charger bridge was no longer rounded for easier machining. The iron sightline was redesigned and featured a rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 200–1,300 yd (183–1,189 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments. This sight line like other aperture sight lines proved to be faster and more accurate than the typical mid-barrel rear sight elements sight lines offered by Mauser, previous Lee–Enfields or the Buffington battle sight of the 1903 Springfield.
The No. 4 rifle was heavier than the No. 1 Mk. III, largely due to its heavier barrel and a new bayonet was designed to go with the rifle: a spike bayonet, which was essentially a steel rod with a sharp point and was nicknamed “pigsticker” by soldiers. Towards the end of the Second World War, a bladed bayonet was developed, originally intended for use with the Sten gun—but sharing the same mount as the No. 4’s spike bayonet—and subsequently the No. 7 and No. 9 blade bayonets were issued for use with the No. 4 rifle as well.However, in McAuslan in the Rough, George MacDonald Fraser alleges that the Pattern 1907 bladed bayonet used with the SMLE was also compatible with the No. 4 rifle.
During the course of the Second World War, the No. 4 rifle was further simplified for mass-production with the creation of the No. 4 Mk I* in 1942, with the bolt release catch replaced by a simpler notch on the bolt track of the rifle’s receiver. It was produced only in North America, by Long Branch Arsenal in Canada and Savage-Stevens Firearms in the USA.The No.4 Mk I rifle was primarily produced for the United Kingdom.
In the years after the Second World War, the British produced the No. 4 Mk 2 (
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Colt Pythons with 6-inch (15 cm) and 4-inch (10 cm) barrels and nickel finish
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Colt’s Manufacturing Company|
|Variants||2.5-inch (6.4 cm), 3-inch (7.6 cm), 4-inch (10 cm), 6-inch (15 cm) and 8-inch (20 cm) barrel|
|Weight||38 ounces (1.1 kg) to 48 ounces (1.4 kg)|
|Maximum firing range||75 yrds|
|Feed system||Six-round cylinder|
|Sights||Rear adj.; front ramp|
The Colt Python is a .357 Magnum caliber revolver formerly manufactured by Colt’s Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut. It is sometimes referred to as a “Combat Magnum”. It was first introduced in 1955, the same year as Smith & Wesson’s M29 .44 Magnum. Now discontinued, the Colt Python targeted the premium revolver market segment. Some firearm collectors and writers such as Jeff Cooper, Ian V. Hogg, Chuck Hawks, Leroy Thompson, Scott Wolber, Renee Smeets and Martin Dougherty have described the Python as the finest production revolver ever made.
The Colt Python is a double action handgun chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, built on Colt’s large I-frame. Pythons have a reputation for accuracy, smooth trigger pull, and a tight cylinder lock-up. They are similar in size and function to the Colt Trooper and Colt Lawman revolvers.
The Colt Python was first introduced in 1955 as Colt’s top-of-the-line model and was originally intended to be a large-frame 38 Special target revolver. As a result, it features precision adjustable sights, a smooth trigger, solid construction, and extra metal. Pythons have a distinct appearance due to a full barrel underlug, ventilated rib and adjustable sights. Originally, Colt manufactured Pythons with hollow underlugs but left them solid to work as a stabilizing barrel weight. When the revolver is at full cock, just as the trigger is pressed, the cylinder locks up for the duration of the hammer strike. Other revolvers have a hint of looseness even at full-cock. The gap between the cylinder and forcing cone is very tight, further aiding accuracy and velocity. Starting in the 1970s each Python revolver was boresighted at the factory with a laser and was the first mass-produced revolver to do so.
End of production
In October 1999, Colt Manufacturing Co. announced the termination of its production of Python revolvers. In a 2000 follow-up letter to distributors, the company cited changing market conditions and the costs of defending lawsuits as the reasons for the discontinuation of the Python line as well as a number of other models. The Colt Custom Gun Shop continued making a limited number of Pythons on special order until 2005, when even this limited production was terminated.
Models and variants
The Python was originally available in two finishes: Royal Blue and Bright Nickel. The Bright Nickel model was discontinued with the introduction of the more durable satin stainless and mirror-polished Ultimate Stainless models. The stainless steel and Royal Blue finishes were offered until 2003 by Colt on the Python “Elite” model.
Pythons were available with 2.5-inch (6.4 cm), 3-inch (7.6 cm), 4-inch (10 cm), 6-inch (15 cm) and 8-inch (20 cm) barrels. The six-inch model was the most popular generally, and the 8-inch model was intended for hunting. A 3-inch barrel version is very collectible, although not rare.
The Python Hunter model, with 8-inch barrel and factory-installed 2X Leupoldscope, was made in 1980. The Python Hunter was the first field-ready handgun hunting package made by a major handgun manufacturer. The scope was mounted on the barrel using Redfield mounts and the gun was packaged in a Haliburton case. It was discontinued by 1990 and briefly offered as a “Custom Shop” model afterward. A Python Target model was made for several years in .38 Special only, in blue and nickel finishes.
Two variants of the Python were made in small numbers by Colt. The first was the Colt Boa of 1985, a limited production .357 Magnum revolver, made for the Lew Horton Distributing Company in Massachusetts. It used a Python barrel mated to a Trooper Mk V frame. Six hundred 6-inch revolvers and 600 4-inch revolvers were made, of which 100 were matched sets. Though it resembles a Python visually, it is substantially different internally. The second was the stainless steel Colt Grizzly of 1994, another limited production .357 Magnum revolver. It used a Python barrel mated to a Colt King Cobraframe. 500 of these revolvers were manufactured, with 6-inch Magna-Ported barrels and smooth, unfluted cylinders. The ported barrel includes a bear footprint. Similar to the Grizzly was the Colt Kodiak, which was a Colt Anaconda with a Magna-Ported Barrel and an unfluted cylinder. Approximately 2000 Kodiaks were manufactured.
According to Colt historian, R.L. Wilson, Colt Pythons have been collected by Elvis Presley and various kings in the traditional sense: “H.M. (His Majesty) Hussein I of Jordan ordered a limited number of Pythons with 4-inch and 6-inch barrels, as gifts to his selected friends. Casing and barrel were embossed with His Majesty’s crest. The Python for King Juan Carlos of Spain bore his name in flush gold on the sideplate. Among other celebrated recipients: King Khalid and Prince Fahd (Saudi Arabia), King Hassan (Morocco), Sheik Zayed (United Arab Emirates), President Anwar Sadat (Egypt) and President Hafez Assad (Syria).”
The Python immediately made inroads into the law enforcement market when introduced, with the 6-inch barrel being popular with uniformed officers and the 4-inch barrel considered optimum for plainclothes use. However, it has since fallen out of common use (along with all other revolvers) due to changing law enforcement needs that favor semi-automatic pistols. When law-enforcement agencies realized that the 9 mm semi-automatic pistols fire a round with similar characteristics to the .38 Special with higher capacity, they began a migration to these, and other, semi-automatic pistol cartridges. The move away from the Python is also being driven by the increasing number of law enforcement agencies which require officers to carry department-issue weapons (as a way to reduce liability).
The Colorado State Patrol issued 4-inch blue Pythons until their switch to the S&W .40 caliber autoloader. Georgia State Patrol and Florida Highway Patrol issued Pythons to their officers.
A Python, loaded with .357 Magnum semiwadcutter bullets, was used to murder Irish crime reporter Veronica Guerin in 1996, an act which resulted in the creation of the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Colt’s Python revolvers are still popular on the used market and command high prices.
Official Colt historian RL Wilson described the Colt Python as “the Rolls-Royce of Colt revolvers”, and firearms historian Ian V. Hogg referred to it as the “best revolver in the world”. However, the revolver is not without its detractors. The downside to the Colt Python’s precision is its tendency to go “out of time” with continued heavy shooting. This is a condition in which the cylinder does not turn in exact alignment with the forcing cone, so a shooter may be sprayed with burning propellant when the gun is fired, or the gun may not fire when used as a double-action. When this happens, the lockwork needs to be re-timed.
Author Martin Dougherty notes the weight of the Python as a drawback, as it is quite heavy for a handgun of its caliber, ranging from 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) to 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg). This makes it only 6 to 9 ounces lighter than Smith & Wesson‘s more powerful M29 .44 Magnum, which weighs 3.0 lbs in 6½-inch barrel configuration (1.36 kg).
But even then you are doing some pretty good shooting there partner!
|U.S. rifle, caliber .30, M1|
M1 Garand rifle. From the collections of the Swedish Army Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.
|Place of origin||United States|
|In service||1936–1959 (as the standard U.S. service rifle)1940s–present (other countries)|
|Used by||See Users|
|Designer||John C. Garand|
|Unit cost||About $85 (during World War II) ($1,200 in 2016 dollars)|
|Weight||9.5 lb (4.31 kg) to 11.6 lb (5.3 kg)|
|Length||43.5 in (1,100 mm)|
|Barrel length||24 in (609.6 mm)|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||40−50 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||2,800 ft/s (853 m/s)|
|Effective firing range||500 yd (457 m)|
|Feed system||8-round en-bloc clip, internal magazine|
The M1 Garand[nb 1] is a .30 calibersemi-automatic rifle that was the standard U.S. service rifle during World War II and the Korean Warand also saw limited service during the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to U.S. forces, though many hundreds of thousands were also provided as foreign aid to American allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely used by civilians for hunting, target shooting, and as a military collectible.
The M1 rifle was named after its Canadian-Americandesigner, John Garand. It was the first standard-issue semi-automatic military rifle.By all accounts the M1 rifle served with distinction. General George S. Patton called it “the greatest battle implement ever devised”.The M1 replaced the bolt action M1903 Springfield as the standard U.S. service rifle in the mid 1930s, and was itself replaced by the selective fireM14 rifle in the early 1960s.
Although the name “Garand” is frequently pronounced /ɡəˈrænd/, the preferred pronunciation is /ˈɡærənd/ (to rhyme with errand), according to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon’s designer. Frequently referred to as the “Garand” or “M1 Garand” by civilians, its official designation when it was the issue rifle in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps was “U.S. Rifle, Caliber 30, M1” or just “M1” and Garand was not mentioned.
- 2Design details
- 5Copies and postwar derivatives
- 6Civilian use
- 8See also
- 11External links
French Canadian-born Garand went to work at the United States Army’s Springfield Armory and began working on a .30 caliber primer actuated blowbackModel 1919 prototype. In 1924, twenty-four rifles, identified as “M1922s”, were built at Springfield. At Fort Benningduring 1925, they were tested against models by Berthier, Hatcher-Bang, Thompson, and Pedersen, the latter two being delayed blowback types. This led to a further trial of an improved “M1924” Garand against the Thompson, ultimately producing an inconclusive report. As a result, the Ordnance Board ordered a .30-06 Garand variant. In March 1927, the cavalry board reported trials among the Thompson, Garand, and 03 Springfield had not led to a clear winner. This led to a gas-operated .276 (7 mm) model (patented by Garand on 12 April 1930).
In early 1928, both the infantry and cavalryboards ran trials with the .276 Pedersen T1 rifle, calling it “highly promising” (despite its use of waxedammunition, shared by the Thompson). On 13 August 1928, a semiautomatic rifle board (SRB) carried out joint Army, Navy, and Marine Corpstrials between the .30 Thompson, both cavalry and infantry versions of the T1 Pedersen, “M1924” Garand, and .256 Bang, and on 21 September, the board reported no clear winner. The .30 Garand, however, was dropped in favor of the .276.
Further tests by the SRB in July 1929, which included rifle designs by Browning, Colt–Browning, Garand, Holek, Pedersen, Rheinmetall, Thompson, and an incomplete one by White,[nb 2] led to a recommendation that work on the (dropped) .30 gas-operated Garand be resumed, and a T1E1 was ordered 14 November 1929.
Twenty gas-operated .276 T3E2 Garands were made and competed with T1 Pedersen rifles in early 1931. The .276 Garand was the clear winner of these trials. The .30 caliber Garand was also tested, in the form of a single T1E1, but was withdrawn with a cracked bolt on 9 October 1931. A 4 January 1932 meeting recommended adoption of the .276 caliber and production of approximately 125 T3E2s. Meanwhile, Garand redesigned his bolt and his improved T1E2 rifle was retested. The day after the successful conclusion of this test, Army Chief of StaffGeneral Douglas MacArthur personally disapproved any caliber change, in part because there were extensive existing stocks of .30 M1 ball ammunition. On 25 February 1932, Adjutant General John B. Shuman, speaking for the secretary of war, ordered work on the rifles and ammunition in .276 caliber cease immediately and completely and all resources be directed toward identification and correction of deficiencies in the Garand .30 caliber.:111
On 3 August 1933, the T1E2 became the “semi-automatic rifle, caliber 30, M1”. In May 1934, 75 M1s went to field trials; 50 were to infantry, 25 to cavalry units.:113 Numerous problems were reported, forcing the rifle to be modified, yet again, before it could be recommended for service and cleared for procurement on 7 November 1935, then standardized 9 January 1936. The first production model was successfully proof-fired, function-fired, and fired for accuracy on July 21, 1937.
Production difficulties delayed deliveries to the army until September 1937. Machine production began at Springfield Armory that month at a rate of ten rifles per day, and reached an output of 100 per day within two years. Despite going into production status, design issues were not at an end. The barrel, gas cylinder, and front sight assembly were redesigned and entered production in early 1940. Existing “gas-trap” rifles were recalled and retrofitted, mirroring problems with the earlier M1903 Springfield rifle that also had to be recalled and reworked approximately three years into production and foreshadowing rework of the M16 rifle at a similar point in its development. Production of the Garand increased in 1940 despite these difficulties, reaching 600 a day by 10 January 1941, and the army was fully equipped by the end of 1941. Following the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Winchester was awarded an “educational” production contract for 65,000 rifles, with deliveries beginning in 1943.
The M1 Garand was made in large numbers during World War II, approximately 5.4 million were made.They were used by every branch of the United States military. By all accounts the M1 rifle served with distinction. General George S. Patton called it “the greatest implement of battle ever devised.” The impact of faster-firing infantry small arms in general soon stimulated both Allied and Axis forces to greatly increase their issue of semi- and fully automaticfirearms then in production, as well as to develop new types of infantry firearms.
Much of the M1 inventory in the post-World War II period underwent arsenal repair or rebuilding. While U.S. forces were still engaged in the Korean War, the Department of Defense determined a need for additional production of the Garand. Springfield Armory ramped up production but two new contracts were awarded. During 1953–56, M1s were produced by International Harvesterand Harrington & Richardson in which International Harvester alone produced a total of 337,623 M1 Garands. A final, very small lot of M1s was produced by Springfield Armory in early 1957, using finished components already on hand. Beretta also produced Garands using Winchester tooling.
The British Army looked at the M1 as a possible replacement for its bolt-action Lee–Enfield No.1 Mk III, but it was rejected when rigorous testing suggested that it was an unreliable weapon in muddy conditions. However, surplus M1 rifles were provided as foreign aid to American allies; including South Korea, West Germany, Italy, Japan, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Iran, South Vietnam, etc. Most Garands shipped to allied nations were predominantly manufactured by International Harvester Corporation during the period of 1953-56, and second from Springfield Armory from all periods.
Some Garands were still being used by the United States into the Vietnam War in 1963; despite the M14’s official adoption in 1957, it was not until 1965 the changeover from the M1 Garand was completed in the active-duty component of the army (with the exception of the sniper variants, which were introduced in World War II and saw action in Korea and Vietnam). The Garand remained in service with the Army Reserve, Army National Guard and the Navy, well into the 1970s or longer.
Due to widespread United States military assistance as well their durability, M1 Garands have also been turning up in modern conflicts such as with the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some military drill teams still use the M1 rifle, including the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Honor Guard, the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, almost all Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and some Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) teams of all branches of the U.S. military.
The M1 rifle is a .30 caliber, gas-operated, 8 shot clip-fed, semi-automatic rifle. It is 43.6 inches (1,107 mm) long and it weighs about 9.5 pounds (4.31 kg).
The M1’s safety catch is located at the front of the trigger guard. It is engaged when it is pressed rearward into the trigger guard, and disengaged when it is pushed forward and is protruding outside of the trigger guard.
The M1 Garand was designed for simple assembly and disassembly to facilitate field maintenance. It can be field stripped (broken down) without tools in just a few seconds.
The rifle had an iron sight line consisting of rear receiver aperture sight protected by sturdy “ears” calibrated for 100–1,200 yd (91–1,097 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments. The bullet drop compensation was set by turning the range knob to the appropriate range setting. The bullet drop compensation/range knob can be fine adjusted by setting the rear sight elevation pinion. The elevation pinion can be fine adjusted in approximately 1 MOA increments. The aperture sight was also able to correct for wind drift operated by turning a windage knob that moved the sight in approximately 1 MOA increments. The windage lines on the receiver to indicate the windage setting were 4 MOA apart. The front sighting element consisted of a wing guards protected front post.
During World War II the M1 rifle’s semiautomatic operation gave United States infantrymen a significant advantage in firepower and shot-to-shot recovery time over enemy infantrymen armed primarily with bolt-action rifles. The semi-automatic operation and reduced recoil allowed soldiers to fire 8 rounds as quickly as they could pull the trigger, without having to move their hands on the rifle and therefore disrupt their firing position and point of aim. The Garand’s fire rate, in the hands of a trained soldier, averaged 40–50 accurate shots per minute at a range of 300 yards (270 m). “At ranges over 500 yards (460 m), a battlefield target is hard for the average rifleman to hit. Therefore, 500 yards (460 m) is considered the maximum effective range, even though the rifle is accurate at much greater ranges.”
En bloc clip
The M1 rifle is fed by an “en bloc” clip which holds eight rounds of .30-06 Springfield ammunition. When the last cartridge is fired, the rifle ejects the clip and locks the bolt open. The M1 is now ready to reload. Once the clip is inserted, the bolt snaps forward on its own as soon as thumb pressure is released from the top round of the clip, chambering a round and leaving it ready to fire.Although it is not absolutely necessary, the preferred method is to place the back of the right hand against the operating rod handle and press the clip home with the right thumb; this releases the bolt, but the hand restrains the bolt from slamming closed on the operator’s thumb (resulting in “M1 thumb”); the hand is then quickly withdrawn, the operating rod moves forward and the bolt closes with sufficient force to go fully to battery. Thus, after the clip has been pressed into position in the magazine, the operating rod handle should be released, allowing the bolt to snap forward under pressure from the operating rod spring. The operating rod handle may be smacked with the palm to ensure the bolt is closed.
Contrary to widespread misconception, partially expended or full clips can be easily ejected from the rifle by means of the clip latch button. It is also possible to load single cartridges into a partially loaded clip while the clip is still in the magazine, but this requires both hands and a bit of practice. In reality, this procedure was rarely performed in combat, as the danger of loading dirt along with the cartridges increased the chances of malfunction. Instead, it was much easier and quicker to simply manually eject the clip, and insert a fresh one,which is how the rifle was originally designed to be operated. Later, special clips holding two or five rounds became available on the civilian market, as well as a single-loading device which stays in the rifle when the bolt locks back.
In battle, the manual of arms called for the rifle to be fired until empty, and then recharged quickly. Due to the well-developed logistical system of the U.S. military at the time, this wastage of ammunition was generally not critical, though this could change in the case of units that came under intense fire or were flanked or surrounded by enemy forces. The Garand’s en-bloc clip system proved particularly cumbersome when using the rifle to launch grenades, requiring removal of an often partially loaded clip of ball ammunition and replacement with a full clip of blank cartridges.
By modern standards, the M1’s feeding system is archaic, relying on clips to feed ammunition, and is the principal source of criticism of the rifle. Officials in Army Ordnance circles demanded a fixed, non-protruding magazine for the new service rifle. At the time, it was believed that a detachable magazine on a general-issue service rifle would be easily lost by U.S. soldiers (a criticism made of British soldiers and the Lee–Enfield 50 years previously), would render the weapon too susceptible to clogging from dirt and debris (a belief that proved unfounded with the adoption of the M1 Carbine), and that a protruding magazine would complicate existing manual-of-arms drills. As a result, inventor John Garand developed an “en bloc” clip system that allowed ammunition to be inserted from above, clip included, into the fixed magazine. While this design provided the requisite flush-mount magazine, the clip system increased the rifle’s weight and complexity, and made only single loading ammunition possible without a clip.
Ejection of an empty clip created a distinctive metallic “pinging” sound. In World War II, reports arose in which German and Japanese infantry were making use of this noise in combat to alert them to an empty M1 rifle in order to ‘get the drop’ on their American enemies. The information was taken seriously enough that U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Groundbegan experiments with clips made of various plastics in order to soften the sound, though no improved clips were ever adopted. According to former German soldiers, the sound was inaudible during engagements and not particularly useful when heard, as other squad members might have been nearby ready to fire. Seasoned U.S. infantry soldiers would sometimes purposely toss an empty en-bloc clip creating the same sound a Garand makes when it has fired its last shot and is empty, in an effort to draw out the enemy, with varying degrees of success.
Garand’s original design for the M1 used a complicated gas system involving a special muzzle extension gas trap, later dropped in favor of a simpler drilled gas port. Because most of the older rifles were retrofitted, pre-1939 gas-trap M1s are very rare today and are prized collector’s items. In both systems, expanding gases from a fired cartridge are diverted into the gas cylinder. Here, the gases meet a long-stroke piston attached to the operating rod, which is pushed rearward by the force of this high-pressure gas. Then, the operating rod engages a rotating bolt inside the receiver. The bolt is attached to the receiver via two locking lugs, which rotate, unlock, and initiate the ejection of the spent cartridge and the reloading cycle when the rifle is discharged. The operating rod (and subsequently the bolt) then returns to its original position.
The M1 Garand was one of the first self-loading rifles to use stainless steel for its gas tube, in an effort to prevent corrosion. As the stainless metal could not be parkerized, the gas tubes were given a stove-blackening that frequently wore off in use. Unless the gas tube could be quickly repainted, the resultant gleaming muzzle could make the M1 Garand and its user more visible to the enemy in combat.
Several accessories were used with the Garand rifle. Several different styles of bayonets fit the rifle: the M1905 and M1942, both with 16-inch (406 mm) blades; the Model 1905E1 with shortened 10-inch (254 mm) blade; the M1 with 10-inch (254 mm) blade; and the
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Since I have shot both of them a few times. From which I had a bad experience with both.
But if you folks out there are Happy with what you got. Then all I can say is this!
But if you want. Here is a pretty good video on the subject!
ME, I going shooting with my Sig Saur at the range!
Now I am willing to bet that a (hopefully) large part of the folks who Read this rantin /Blog of mine. Have never heard of this guy.
Which is a real pity. Since he is the only Non Commissioned Officer (Sergeant) that came the closest to give General “Old Blood & Guts” george Patton a stroke*. No kidding!
So here is his story. Mauldin came from a dirt Poor farming family. From the South West part of The Great Depression America. Who discovered that he was good at drawing things. So his family sent him to an Art School in Chicago.
Then he joined the Army National Guard and specifically the hard Fighting 45th Infantry Division. He then served in the brutal Italian Campaign of WWII.
During this time. He became part at first of the 45th Division’s Newspaper. He then moved up the feeding chain of journalism.
After the end of the war, He then came home and really made a name for himself as a cartoonist. Up until his tragic death took him.
So here is some of his work. To me they really ring true. As I firmly believe that the US Army in many ways NEVER CHANGES!
He won the Pulitzer Prize for this cartoon
- *He drew the Cartoons of Willie & Joe, Who were the classic example of what a WWII Infantry Soldier looked like. They never fit what Patton thought a good soldier should look like.
- Eisenhower had to literally tell Patton to leave him alone. Since he wa so good for the Infantry’s morale.
This is his story written by himself. I think that it is one of the best books about him and the US Army in WWII from the Enlisted Side.
here is some more on his life.
Bill Mauldin in 1945
|Born||William Henry Mauldin
October 29, 1921
Mountain Park, New Mexico, U.S.
|Died||January 22, 2003 (aged 81)
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Cartoonist, Infantryman, Actor|
|Spouse(s)||(Norma) Jean Humphries; Natalie Sarah Evans; Christine Lund|
|Children||Bruce, Tim (with Humphries); Andy, David, John, Nathaniel (with Evans); Kaja, Sam (with Lund)|
|Parent(s)||Sidney Albert Mauldin & Katrina Bemis Mauldin Curtis|
William Henry “Bill” Mauldin (/ˈmɔːldən/; October 29, 1921 – January 22, 2003) was an American editorial cartoonist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons depicting American soldiers, as represented by the archetypal characters Willie and Joe, two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field. His cartoons were popular with soldiers throughout Europe, and with civilians in the United States as well.
Childhood and youth
Mauldin was born in Mountain Park, New Mexico into a family with a tradition of military service. His father served as an artilleryman in World War I, and his paternal grandfather had been a civilian cavalry scout in the Apache Wars. After growing up there and in Phoenix, Arizona, Mauldin took courses at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts under the tutoring of Ruth VanSickle Ford. While in Chicago, Mauldin met Will Lang Jr. and became fast friends with him. Lang Jr. later became a journalist and a bureau head for Life magazine. Mauldin entered the US Army in 1940 via the Arizona National Guard.
World War II cartoonist
While in the 45th Infantry Division, Mauldin volunteered to work for the unit’s newspaper, drawing cartoons about regular soldiers or “dogfaces“. Eventually he created two cartoon infantrymen, Willie and Joe, who represented the average American GI.
During July 1943, Mauldin’s cartoon work continued when, as a sergeant of the 45th Division’s press corps, he landed with the division in the invasion of Sicily and later in the Italian campaign. Mauldin began working for Stars and Stripes, the American soldiers’ newspaper; as well as the 45th Division News, until he was officially transferred to the Stars and Stripes in February 1944. Egbert White, editor of the Stars and Stripes, encouraged Mauldin to syndicate his cartoons and helped him find an agent. By March 1944, he was given his own jeep, in which he roamed the front, collecting material. He published six cartoons a week. His cartoons were viewed by soldiers throughout Europe during World War II, and were also published in the United States. The War Office supported their syndication, not only because they helped publicize the ground forces but also to show the grim side of war, which helped show that victory would not be easy. While in Europe, Mauldin befriended a fellow soldier-cartoonist, Gregor Duncan, and was assigned to escort him for a time. (Duncan was killed at Anzio in May 1944.)
Mauldin was not without his detractors. His images—which often parodied the Army’s spit-shine and obedience-to-orders-without-question policy—offended some officers. After a Mauldin cartoon ridiculed General George Patton‘s decree that all soldiers be clean-shaven at all times, even in combat, Patton called Mauldin an “unpatriotic anarchist” and threatened to “throw [his] ass in jail” and ban Stars and Stripes from his Third Army jurisdiction. General Dwight Eisenhower, Patton’s superior, told Patton to leave Mauldin alone; he felt the cartoons gave the soldiers an outlet for their frustrations. “Stars and Stripes is the soldiers’ paper,” he told him, “and we won’t interfere.”
In a 1989 interview, Mauldin said, “I always admired Patton. Oh, sure, the stupid bastard was crazy. He was insane. He thought he was living in the Dark Ages. Soldiers were peasants to him. I didn’t like that attitude, but I certainly respected his theories and the techniques he used to get his men out of their foxholes.
Mauldin’s cartoons made him a hero to the common soldier. GIs often credited him with helping them to get through the rigors of the war. His credibility with the common soldier increased in September 1943, when he was wounded in the shoulder by a German mortar while visiting a machine gun crew near Monte Cassino. By the end of the war he received the Army’s Legion of Merit for his cartoons. Mauldin wanted Willie and Joe to be killed on the last day of combat, but Stars and Stripes dissuaded him.
In 1945, at the age of 23, Mauldin won a Pulitzer Prize for his wartime body of work, exemplified by a cartoon depicting exhausted infantrymen slogging through the rain, its caption mocking a typical late-war headline: “Fresh, spirited American troops, flushed with victory, are bringing in thousands of hungry, ragged, battle-weary prisoners”. The first civilian compilation of his work, Up Front, a collection of his cartoons interwoven with his observations of war, topped the best-seller list in 1945. After war’s end, the character of Willie was featured on the cover of Time Magazine for the June 18, 1945 issue. Mauldin made the cover of the July 21, 1961 issue.
After the war, Mauldin turned to drawing political cartoons expressing a generally civil libertarian view associated with groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. These were not well received by newspaper editors, who were hoping for apolitical cartoons. Mauldin’s attempt to carry Willie and Joe into civilian life was also unsuccessful, as documented in his memoir Back Home in 1947. In 1951, he appeared with Audie Murphy in the John Huston film The Red Badge of Courage, and in Fred Zinnemann‘s Teresa.
In 1956, he ran unsuccessfully for the United States Congress as a Democrat in New York’s 28th Congressional District. Mauldin said about his run for Congress:
“I jumped in with both feet and campaigned for seven or eight months. I found myself stumping around up in these rural districts and my own background did hurt there. A farmer knows a farmer when he sees one. So when I was talking about their problems I was a very sincere candidate, but when they would ask me questions that had to do with foreign policy or national policy, obviously I was pretty far to the left of the mainstream up there. Again, I’m an old Truman Democrat, I’m not that far left, but by their lives I was pretty far left.”
In 1959 Mauldin won a second Pulitzer Prize, while working at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for a cartoon depicting Soviet author Boris Pasternak in a Gulag, asking another prisoner, “I won the Nobel Prize for literature. What was your crime?”Pasternak had won the Nobel Prize for his novel Doctor Zhivago, but was not allowed to travel to Sweden to accept it. The following year Mauldin won the National Cartoonist Society Award for Editorial Cartooning. In 1961, he received their Reuben Award as well.
In addition to cartooning, Mauldin worked as a freelance writer. He also illustratedmany articles for Life magazine, The Saturday Evening Post,, Sports Illustrated, and other publications. He brought back Joe as a war correspondent, writing letters to the stateside Willie. He made cartoons of Willie and Joe together only in tributes to the “soldiers’ generals”: Omar Bradley and George C. Marshall, after their deaths; for a Life article on the “New Army”; and as a salute to the late cartoonist Milton Caniff.
In 1962, Mauldin moved to the Chicago Sun-Times. One of his most famous post-war cartoons was published in 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It depicted the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, with his head in his hands.
In 1969, Mauldin was commissioned by the National Safety Council to illustrate its annual booklet on traffic safety. These pamphlets were regularly issued without copyright, but for this issue the Council noted that Mauldin’s cartoons were under copyright, although the rest of the pamphlet was not.
In 1985, Mauldin won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Mauldin remained with the Sun-Timesuntil his retirement in 1991.
He was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame on May 19, 1991. On September 19, 2001, Sergeant Major of the Army Jack L. Tilley presented Mauldin with a personal letter from Army Chief of Staff General Eric K. Shinseki, and a hardbound book with notes from other senior Army leaders and several celebrities, including TV broadcasters Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw, and actor Tom Hanks. Tilley also promoted Mauldin to the honorary rank of first sergeant.
Mauldin drew Willie and Joe for publication one last time on Veterans Day in 1998 for a Peanuts comic strip, in collaboration with its creator Charles M. Schulz, also a World War II veteran. Schulz signed the strip “Schulz, and my hero…” with Mauldin’s signature underneath.
New Mexico native Mauldin frequently returned to his home state. On at least one occasion he made a few drawings on the wall of the El Paraqua restaurant in Española. The restaurant has since hung frames around these.
Death and legacy
Mauldin died on January 22, 2003, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease and a bathtub scalding. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on January 29, 2003. Married three times, he was survived by seven children. (His daughter Kaja had died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2001.)
On March 31, 2010, the United States Post Office released a first-class denomination ($0.44) postage stamp in Mauldin’s honor depicting him with Willie & Joe.
In 2005, Mauldin was inducted into the Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma by Michael Vance. The Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection, created by Vance, is located in the Toy and Action Figure Museum.
- Star Spangled Banter – 1941
- Sicily Sketchbook – 1943
- Mud, Mules, and Mountains – 1944
- News of the 45th (with Don Robinson) – 1944
- Up Front – 1944
- This Damn Tree Leaks – 1945
- Back Home – 1947
- A Sort of a Saga – 1949
- Bill Mauldin’s Army – 1951
- Bill Mauldin in Korea – 1952
- Up High with Bill Mauldin – 1956
- What’s Got Your Back Up? – 1961
- I’ve Decided I Want My Seat Back – 1965
- Bill of Rights Day Celebration – 1969
- The Brass Ring – 1971
- Name Your Poison – 1975
- Mud and Guts –1978
- Let’s Declare Ourselves Winners and Get the Hell Out – 1985
In April 2008, Fantagraphics Books released a two-volume set of Mauldin’s complete wartime Willie and Joe cartoons, edited by Todd DePastino, titled Willie & Joe: The WWII Years (ISBN 978-1-56097-838-1).
From 1969 to 1998, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (himself a veteran of World War II) regularly paid tribute to Bill Mauldin in his Peanuts comic strip on Veterans Day. In the strips, Snoopy, dressed as an army vet, would annually go to Mauldin’s house to “quaff a few root beers and tell war stories.” By the end of the strip Schulz had depicted 17 of Snoopy’s visits. Schulz also paid tribute to Rosie the Riveter in 1976, and Ernie Pyle in 1997 and 1999.
The films Up Front (1951) and Back at the Front (1952) were based on Mauldin’s Willie and Joe characters; however, when Mauldin’s suggestions were ignored in favor of making a slapstick comedy, he returned his advising fee; he said he had never seen the result.
Mauldin also appeared as an actor in the 1951 films The Red Badge of Courage and Teresa, and as himself in the 1998 documentary America in the ’40s. He also appeared in on-screen interviews in the Thames documentary The World at War.
Also here is some information about the 45th Infantry Division.
(I have served with some of these guys. They were some great guys and even better soldiers!)
45th Infantry Division (United States)
45th Infantry Division
45th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia.
|Branch||United States Army|
|Part of||Oklahoma Army National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
(Latin: “Always Forward”)
|Engagements||World War II|
|Troy H. Middleton
Dwight E. Beach
Philip De Witt Ginder
|Distinctive unit insignia (1920-46)|
|Distinctive unit insignia (1946-68)|
The 45th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army, part of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, from 1920 to 1968. Headquartered mostly in Oklahoma City, the guardsmen fought in both World War IIand the Korean War. They trace their lineage from frontier militias that operated in the Southwestern United Statesthroughout the late 1800s.
The 45th Infantry Division guardsmen saw no major action until they became one of the first National Guard units activated in World War II in 1941. They took part in intense fighting during the invasion of Sicily and the attack on Salernoin the 1943 Italian Campaign. Slowly advancing through Italy, they fought in Anzio and in Monte Cassino. After landing in France during Operation Dragoon, they joined the 1945 drive into Germany that ended the War in Europe.
After brief inactivation and subsequent reorganization as a unit restricted to Oklahomans, the division returned to duty in 1951 for the Korean War. It joined the United Nations troops on the front lines during the stalemate of the second half of the war, with constant, low-level fighting and trench warfare against the People’s Volunteer Army of China that produced little gain for either side. The division remained on the front lines in such engagements as Old Baldy Hill and Hill Eerie until the end of the war, returning to the U.S. in 1954.
The division remained a National Guard formation until its inactivation in 1968 as part of a downsizing of the Guard. Several units were activated to replace the division and carry on its lineage. Over the course of its history, the 45th Infantry Division sustained over 25,000 battle casualties, and its men were awarded nine Medals of Honor, twelve campaign streamers, the Croix de Guerre and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
- 3Commanding Generals
- 5External links
With the outbreak of World War I, troops of the National Guard were formed into the units which exist today, with the Colorado Guard forming the 157th Infantry Regiment, the Arizona Guard forming the 158th Infantry Regiment, and the New Mexico Guard forming the 120th Engineer Regiment. These units were attached to the 40th Infantry Division and deployed to France where they were used as “depot” forces to provide replacements for front-line units. They returned home at the end of the war. The Oklahoma Guard units that would later become the 179th Infantry Regiment and 180th Infantry Regiment were assigned to the 36th Infantry Division and would earn a combat participation credit during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign (26 September – 11 November 1918) in France as the 142nd Infantry.
|1923–1940 “Square” Organization 
On 19 October 1920, the Oklahoma State militia was organized as the 45th Infantry Division of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, and manned with troops from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The division was formed and federally recognized as a National Guard unit on 3 August 1923 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was assigned the 89th Infantry Brigade of the Colorado and Arizona National Guards, and the 90th Infantry Brigade of the Oklahoma National Guard. As a consequence of these militia roots, when the division was properly organized, many of its members were marksmen and outdoorsmen from the remote frontier regions of the Southwestern United States. The division’s first commander was Major General Baird H. Markham.
The 45th Infantry Division engaged in regular drills but no major events in its first few years, though the division’s Colorado elements were called in to help quell a large coal mining strike. The onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s severely curtailed its funding for training and equipment. Major General Roy Hoffman took command in 1931, followed by Alexander M. Tuthill, Alexander E. McPherren in 1935, and William S. Key in 1936. In 1937, the division’s troops were once again called up, this time to help manage a locustplague affecting Colorado.
The division’s original shoulder sleeve insignia, approved in August 1924, featured a swastika, a common Native American symbol, as a tribute to the Southwestern United States region which had a large population of Native Americans. However, with the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, with its infamous swastika symbol, the 45th Division stopped using the insignia. Following a long process of submissions for new designs, a new shoulder sleeve insignia, designed by a Carnegie, Oklahoma native named Woody Big Bow, featuring the Thunderbird, another Native American symbol, was approved in 1939.
In August 1941, the 45th Infantry Division took part in the Louisiana Maneuvers, the largest peacetime exercises in U.S. military history. It was assigned to VIII Corps with the 2nd Infantry Division and the 36th Infantry Division, camped near Pitkin, Louisiana. Still operating with outmoded equipment from World War I, the division did not perform well during these exercises. With poor weather and bad equipment, the undertrained 45th Infantry Division was criticized by officers who considered it “feeble”. In spite of these deficiencies, less than one month later, the men were recalled to the active duty force, much to their chagrin, because of concerns of an impending American entry into World War II.
World War II
On 16 September 1941, the 45th Infantry Division, under Major General William S. Keys, was federalized from state control into the regular army force. It was one of four National Guard divisions to be federalized, alongside the 30th, the 41st and 44th Infantry Divisions, originally for a one-year period. Its men immediately began basic combat training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Throughout 1942, it continued this training at Camp Barkeley, Texas, before moving to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, to undergo amphibious assault training in preparation for an invasion of Italy. It then moved to Pine Camp, New York briefly for winter warfare training, but was hampered by continuously poor weather. In January 1943 it moved to Fort Pickett, Virginia, for its final training. The division, now commanded by Major General Troy H. Middleton, a Regular Army soldier and highly distinguished World War I veteran, moved to the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation‘s Camp Patrick Henry to await combat loading on the transports.
The division’s two combat commands, the 89th and 90th Infantry Brigades, were not activated, as the army favored smaller and more versatile regimental commands for the new conflict. The 45th Infantry Division was instead based around the 157th, 179th, and 180th Infantry Regiments. Also assigned to the division were the 158th, 160th, 171st, and 189th Field Artillery Battalions, the 45th Signal Company, the 700th Ordnance Company, the 45th Quartermaster Company, the 45th Reconnaissance Troop, the 120th Engineer Combat Battalion, and the 120th Medical Battalion.
|1942–1963 “Triangular” Organization
The 45th Division sailed from the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation for the Mediterranean region on 8 June 1943, combat loaded aboard thirteen attack transports and five cargo attack vessels as convoy UGF-9 headed by the communications ship USS Ancon. By the time the 45th Division landed in North Africa on 22 June 1943, the Allies had largely secured the African theater. As a result, the division was not sent into combat upon arrival and instead commenced training at Arzew, French Morocco, in preparation for the invasion of Sicily. Allied intelligence estimated that the island was defended by approximately 230,000 troops, the majority of which were drawn mostly from weak Italian formations and two German divisions which had been reconstituted after being destroyed earlier. Against this, the Allies planned to land 180,000 troops, including the 45th Infantry Division, which was assigned to Lieutenant General Omar Bradley‘s II Corps, part of the U.S. Seventh Army under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, for the operation.
The division was subsequently assigned a lead role in the amphibious assault on Sicily, coming ashore on 10 July.Landing near Scoglitti, the southernmost U.S. objective on the island, the division advanced north on the U.S. force’s eastern flank. After initially encountering resistance from armor of the Herman Goering Division, the division advanced, supported by paratroopers of the 505th Parachute Regimental Combat Team, part of the 82nd Airborne Division, who landed inland on 11 July. The paratroopers, conducting their first combat jump of the war, then set up to protect the 45th’s flank against German counterattack, but without weapons to counter heavy armor, the paratroopers had to rely on support from the 2nd Armored Division to repulse the German Tiger I tanks. As the division advanced towards its main objective to capture the airfields at Biscari, and Comiso, German forces pushed back. For most of the first two weeks while the division moved slowly north, it encountered only light resistance from Italian forces fighting delaying actions. Italian and German forces resisted fiercely at Motta Hill on 26 July, however, and for four days the 45th Division was held up there. After this, the division was allocated to drive towards Messina, being ordered by the Seventh Army commander to cover the distance as quickly as possible. The 45th Division spent a few days in that city, but on 1 August, the division was withdrawn from the front line for rest and rear-guard patrol duty, after which the division was assigned to Major General Ernest J. Dawley‘s VI Corps, part of the U.S. Fifth Army, under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, in preparation for the invasion of mainland Italy.
On 3 September 1943, Italy surrendered to the Allied powers. Hoping to occupy as much of the country as possible before the German Army could react, the U.S. Fifth Army prepared to attack Salerno. On 10 September, elements of the division conducted its second landing at Agropoli and Paestum with the 36th Infantry Division, on the southernmost beaches of the attack. Opposing them were elements of the German 29th Panzergrenadier Division and XVI Panzer Corps. Against stiff resistance, the 45th pushed to the Calore River after a week of heavy fighting. The Fifth Army was battered and pushed back by German forces until 20 September, when Allied forces were finally able to break out and establish a more secure beachhead.
On 3 November it crossed the Volturno River and took Venafro. The division had great difficulty moving across the rivers and through the mountainous terrain, and the advance was slow. After linking up with the British Eighth Army, which had advanced from the south, the combined force, under the 15th Army Group, commanded by British General Sir Harold Alexander, was stalled when it reached the Gustav Line. Until 9 January 1944, the division, now under Major General William W. Eagles (replacing Major General Middleton who, struck down with arthritis, was sent to England to command VIII Corps in the Normandy invasion), inched forward into the mountains reaching St. Elia, north of Monte Cassino, before moving to a rest area.
Allied forces conducted a frontal assault on the Gustav Line stronghold at Monte Cassino, and VI Corps, under Major General John P. Lucas from 20 September, was assigned to Operation Shingle, detached from the 15th Army Group to land behind enemy lines at Anzio on 22 January 1944. For this mission, CCA (Combat Command A) of the 1st Armored Division was attached to the 45th Infantry Division. Landing on schedule, VI Corps surprised the Germans, but Major General Lucas’s decision to consolidate the beachhead instead of attacking gave the Germans time to bring the LXXVI Panzer Corps forward to oppose the landings.
One regiment of the 45th (the 179th Infantry) went ashore with the landings. In company with the British 1st Infantry Division, they advanced north along the Anzio-Albano road and captured the Aprilia “factory”, but encountered ingrained resistance from German armored units a few miles further on. Lucas then ordered the rest of the division ashore. The 45th Division was deployed on the southeastern side of the beachhead, along the lower Mussolini Canal.
On 30 January 1944, when VI Corps advanced from the beaches, it encountered heavy resistance and took heavy casualties. VI Corps was stopped at the “Pimlott Line” (the perimeter of the beachhead), and the fight became a battle of attrition.
The first major German counterattack came in early February, was against the British 1st Division. Two regiments of the 45th (the 179th and 157th Infantry) were sent to the Aprilia sector to reinforce the British. The 179th Infantry and a tank battalion of CCA tried to recapture Aprilia but were repulsed. Lucas then moved the rest of the 45th Division to the left-center of the perimeter, at Aprilia and along the west branch of the Mussolini Canal. For the next few months the 45th Infantry Division was mostly stuck in place, holding its ground during repeated German counterattacks, and subjected to bombardment from aircraft and artillery.
On 16 February, a major German attack struck the 45th, and nearly broke through the 179th Infantry on 18 February. Lucas sent famed U.S. Army Ranger leader Colonel William Orlando Darby to assume command of the 157th Infantry, and the Germans were repulsed. The next three months were spent on the defensive, with the 45th engaged in trench warfare, alike to that in World War I.
On 23 May, VI Corps, now commanded by Major General Lucian Truscott, went on the offensive, breaking out of the beachhead to the northeast, with the 45th Division forming the left half of the attack. By 31 May, the German defenses were shattered, and the 45th Division turned northwest, toward the Alban Hills and Rome. On 4 June the 45th Division crossed the Tiber River below Rome, and entered the city along with other VI Corps troops. Men of the 45th Division were the first Allied troops to reach the Vatican.
On 16 June, the 45th Division withdrew for rest in preparation for other operations. At this time, VI Corps was attached to the Seventh Army, under Lieutenant General Alexander Patch, itself part of the 12th Army Group under Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers. The 45th, 36th, and 3rd Infantry Divisions were pulled from the line in Italy in preparation for Operation Dragoon (formerly Anvil), the invasion of southern France. Dragoon was originally planned to coincide with the Normandy landings in the north, but was delayed until August because of a shortage of landing craft.
France and Germany
The 45th Infantry Division participated in its fourth amphibious assault landing during Operation Dragoon on 15 August 1944, at St. Maxime, in Southern France. The 45th Infantry Division landed its 157th and 180th regimental combat teams and captured the heights of the Chaines de Mar before meeting with the 1st Special Service Force. The German Army, reeling from the Battle of Normandy, in which it had suffered a major defeat, pulled back after a short fight, part of an overall German withdrawal to the east following the landings. Soldiers of the 45th Infantry Division engaged the dispersed forces of German Army Group G, suffering very few casualties. The U.S. Seventh Army, along with Free French forces, were able to advance north quickly. By 12 September, the Seventh Army linked up with Lieutenant General George S. Patton‘s U.S. Third Army, advancing from Normandy, joining the two forces at Dijon. Against slight opposition, it spearheaded the drive for the Belfort Gap. The 45th Infantry Division took the strongly defended city of Epinal on 24 September. The division was then reassigned to V Corps, under the command of Major General Leonard T. Gerow, for its next advance. On 30 September the division crossed the Moselle River and entered the western foothills of the Vosges, taking Rambervillers. It would remain in the area for a month waiting for other units to catch up before crossing the Mortagne River on 23 October. The division remained on the line with the U.S. 6th Army Group the southernmost of three army groups advancing through France.
After the crossing was complete, the division was relieved from V Corps and assigned to Major General Wade H. Haislip‘s XV Corps. The division was allowed a one-month rest, resuming its advance on 25 November, attacking the forts north of Mutzig. These forts had been designed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1893 to block access to the plain of Alsace. The 45th Division next crossed the Zintzel River before pushing through the Maginot Line defenses. During this time much of the division’s artillery assets were attached to the 44th Infantry Division to provide additional support. The 45th Infantry Division, now commanded by Major General Robert T. Frederick, who had previously commanded the 1st Special Service Force, was reassigned to VI Corps on New Year’s Day. From 2 January 1945, the division fought defensively along the German border, withdrawing to the Moder River. It sent half of its artillery to support the 70th Infantry Division. On 17 February the division was pulled off the line for rest and training. Once this rest period was complete, the division was assigned to XV Corps for the final push into German territory. The 45th moved north to the Sarreguemines area and smashed through the Siegfried Line, on 17 March taking Homburg on the 21st and crossing the Rhine between Worms and Hamm on the 26th. The advance continued, with Aschaffenburg falling on 3 April, and Nuremberg on the 20th. The division crossed the Danube River on 27 April, and liberated 32,000 captives of the Dachau concentration camp on 29 April 1945. The division captured Munich during the next two days, occupying the city until V-E Day and the surrender of Germany. During the next month, the division remained in Munich and set up collection points and camps for the massive numbers of surrendering troops of the German armies. The number of POWs taken by the 45th Division during its almost two years of fighting totalled 124,840 men. The division was then slated to move to the Pacific theater of operations to participate in the invasion of mainland Japan on the island of Honshu, but these plans were scrubbed before the division could depart after the surrender of Japan, on V-J Day.
- Total battle casualties: 20,993
- Killed in action: 3,547
- Wounded in action: 14,441
- Missing in action: 478
- Prisoner of war: 2,527
After the war, courts-martial were convened to investigate possible war crimes by members of the division. In the first case, dubbed the Biscari massacre, American troops from C Company, 180th Infantry Regiment, were alleged to have shot 74 Italian and two German prisoners in Acate in July 1943 following the capture of an airfield in the area. Lieutenant General George Patton, the Seventh Army commander, asked Major General Omar Bradley, commanding II Corps, to get the case dismissed to prevent bad press, but Bradley refused. A non-commissioned officer later confessed to the crimes and was found guilty, but an officer who claimed he had only been following orders was acquitted.
In a second incident, the Army considered court-martialling several officers of the 157th Infantry Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Felix L. Sparks after servicemen were accused of massacring German soldiers who were surrendering at the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. Some of the German troops were camp guards; the others were sick and wounded troops from a nearby hospital. The soldiers of the 45th Division who liberated the camp were outraged at the malnourishment and maltreatment of the 32,000 prisoners they liberated, some barely alive, and all victims of the Holocaust. After entering the camp, the soldiers found boxcars filled with dead bodies of prisoners who had succumbed to starvation or last-minute executions, and in rooms adjacent to gas chambers they found naked bodies piled from the floor to the ceiling. The cremation ovens, which were still in operation when the soldiers arrived, contained bodies and skeletons as well. Some of the victims apparently had died only hours before the 45th Division entered the camp, while many others lay where they had died in states of decomposition that overwhelmed the soldiers’ senses. Accounts conflict over what happened and over how many German troops were killed. After investigating the incident, the Army considered court-martialling several officers involved, but Patton successfully intervened. Seventh Army was being disbanded and Patton had been appointed Military Governor of Bavaria, placing the matter in his hands. Some veterans of the 45th Infantry Division have said that only 30 to 50 German soldiers were killed and that very few were killed trying to surrender, while others have admitted to killing or refusing to treat wounded German guards.
After the war
|Callsigns of the 45th Division 
Battalions of the Infantry Regiments
Regimental Tanks and Mortars
During World War II, the 45th Division fought in 511 days of combat. Nine soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during their service with the 45th Infantry Division: Van T. Barfoot, Ernest Childers, Almond E. Fisher, William J. Johnston, Salvador J. Lara, Jack C. Montgomery, James D. Slaton, Jack Treadwell, and Edward G. Wilkin. Soldiers of the division also received 61 Distinguished Service Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, 1,848 Silver Star Medals, 38 Legion of Merit medals, 59 Soldier’s Medals, 5,744 Bronze Star Medals, and 52 Air Medals. The division received seven distinguished unit citations and eight campaign streamers during the conflict.
Most of the division returned to New York in September 1945, and from there went to Camp Bowie, Texas. On 7 December 1945, the division was deactivated from the active duty force and its members reassigned to other Army units. The following year, on 10 September 1946, the 45th Infantry Division was reconstituted as a National Guard unit. Instead of comprising units from several states, the post-war 45th was an all-Oklahoma organization. During this time the division was also reorganized and as a part of this process the 157th Infantry was removed from the division’s order of battle and replaced with the 279th Infantry Regiment.
During this time, the U.S. Army underwent a drastic reduction in size. At the end of World War II, it contained 89 divisions, but by 1950, there were just 10 active divisions in the force, along with a few reserve divisions such as the 45th Infantry Division which were combat-ineffective. The division retained many of its best officers as senior commanders as the force downsized, and it enjoyed a good relationship with its community. The 45th in this time was regarded as one of the better-trained National Guard divisions. Regardless, by mid-1950 the division had only 8,413 troops, less than 45 percent[n 1] of its full-strength authorization. Only 10 percent of the division’s officers and 5 percent of its enlisted men had combat experience with the division from World War II.
At the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, the U.S. Army looked to expand its force again to prepare for major conflict. After the North Korean People’s Army invaded the Republic of Korea four understrength U.S. divisions on occupation duty in Japan were rushed to South Korea to stand alongside the Republic of Korea Army. These were the 7th Infantry Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, the 24th Infantry Division, and the 25th Infantry Division, which were all under the control of the Eighth United States Army. Due to drastic reductions in U.S. military spending following the end of World War II, these divisions were equipped with worn-out or obsolete weaponry and suffered from a shortage of anti-armor weapons capable of penetrating the hulls of the North Korean T-34 tanks.
Initially, the division was used to provide a pool of reinforcements for the divisions which had been sent to the Korean War theater, and in January 1951 it provided 650 enlisted fillers for overseas service. Later that month, it was given 4,006 new recruits for its three infantry regiments and artillery assets, and each unit created a 14-week training program to prepare these new soldiers for combat. Because of heavy casualties and slow reinforcement rates, the Army looked to the National Guard to provide additional units to relieve the beleaguered Eighth Army. At the time, the 45th Infantry Division was comprised overwhelmingly of high school students or recent graduates and only about 60 percent of its divisional troops had conducted training and drills with the division for a year or more. Additionally, only about 20 percent of its personnel had prior experience of military service from World War II. Nevertheless, the division was one of four National Guard divisions identified as being among the most prepared for combat based on the effectiveness of its equipment, training, and leadership. As a result, in February 1951, the 45th Infantry Division was alerted that it would sail for Japan.
In preparation for the deployment, the division was sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana, to begin training and to fill its ranks.After its basic training was complete, the division was sent to Japan in April 1951 for advanced training and to act as a reserve force for the Eighth United States Army, then fighting in Korea. The involvement of the National Guard in the fighting in Korea was further expanded when the 40th Infantry Division of the California Army National Guard received warning orders for deployment as well.
On 1 September 1951, the 45th Infantry Division was activated as the first National Guard division to be deployed to the Far East theater since World War II. Nevertheless, it was not deployed to Korea until December 1951, when its advanced training was complete. Following its arrival, the division moved to the front line to replace the 1st Cavalry Division, who were then delegated to the Far East reserve, having suffered over 16,000 casualties in less than 18 months of fighting.
Though the 45th remained de facto segregated as an all-white unit in 1950,individual unit commanders went to great lengths to integrate reinforcements from different areas and ethnicity into their units. By 1952, it was fully integrated.Additionally, in an effort to reduce the burden on the National Guard,[n 2] troops from the division were often replaced by enlisted and drafted soldiers from the active duty force. When it arrived in Korea, only half the division’s manpower were National Guard troops, and over 4,500 guardsmen left between May and July 1952, continually replaced by more active duty troops, including an increasing number of African Americans. Though the division was no longer an “All-Oklahoma” unit, leaders opted to keep its designation as the 45th Infantry Division.[n 3]
By the time the division was in place, the battle lines on both sides had largely solidified, leaving the 45th Infantry Division in a stationary position as it conducted attacks and counterattacks for the same ground. The division was put under the command of Eighth Army’s I Corps for most of the conflict. It was deployed around Chorwon and assigned to protect the key routes from that area into Seoul. The terrain was difficult and the weather was poor in the region. The division suffered its first casualty on 11 December 1951.
Initially, the division did not fare well, though it improved quickly. Its anti-aircraft and armor assets were used as mobile artillery, which continuously pounded Chinese positions. The 45th, in turn, was under constant artillery and mortar attack. It also conducted constant small-unit patrols along the border seeking to engage Chinese outposts or patrols. These small-unit actions made up the majority of the division’s combat in Korea. Chinese troops were well dug-in and better trained than the troops of the inexperienced 45th, and it suffered casualties and frequently had to disengage when it was attacked.
In the division’s first few months on the line, Chinese forces conducted three raids in its sector. In retaliation, the 245th Tank Battalion sent nine tanks to raid Agok. Two companies of Chinese forces ambushed and devastated a patrol from the 179th Infantry a short time later. In the spring, the division launched Operation Counter, which was an effort to establish 11 patrol bases around Old Baldy Hill. The division then defended the hill against a series of Chinese assaults from the Chinese 38th Army.
Final engagements and the end of the war
The 45th Infantry Division, along with the 7th Infantry Division, fought off repeated Chinese attacks all along the front line throughout 1952, and Chinese forces frequently attacked Old Baldy Hill into the fall of that year. Around that time, the 45th Infantry Division relinquished command of Old Baldy Hill to the 2nd Infantry Division. Almost immediately the Chinese launched a concentrated attack on the hill, overrunning the U.S. forces. Heavy rainstorms prevented the divisions from retaking the hill for around a month, and when it was finally retaken it was heavily fortified to prevent further attacks. The 245th Tank Battalion was sent to assault Chinese positions throughout late 1952, but most of the division held a stationary defensive line against the Chinese.
In early 1953, North Korean forces launched a large-scale attack against Hill 812, which was then under the control of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 179th Infantry.The ensuing Battle of Hill Eerie was one of a series of larger attacks by Chinese and North Korean forces which produced heavier fighting than the previous year had seen. These offensives were conducted largely in order to secure a better position during the ongoing truce negotiations. Chinese forces continued to mount concentrated attacks on the lines of the UN forces, including the 45th Infantry Division, but the division managed to hold most of its ground, remaining stationary until the end of the war in the summer of 1953.
During the Korean War the 45th Infantry Division suffered 4,004 casualties, consisting of 834 killed in action and 3,170 wounded in action. The division was awarded four campaign streamers and one Presidential Unit Citation. One soldier from the division, Charles George, was awarded the Medal of Honor while serving in Korea.
The division briefly patrolled the Korean Demilitarized Zone following the signing of the armistice ending the war, but most of its men returned home and reverted to National Guard status on 30 April 1954. Its colors were returned to Oklahoma on 25 September of that year, formally ending the division’s presence in Korea.
The division remained as a unit of the Oklahoma National Guard, and participated in no major actions throughout the rest of the 1950s save regular weekend and summer training exercises. In 1963, the formation was reorganized in accordance with the Reorganization Objective Army Divisions plan, which saw the establishment of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigade within the division. These brigades would see no major deployments or events, and were deactivated five years later in 1968. That same year, due to the perceived lack of need for so many large formations in the Army National Guard, the 45th Infantry Division was deactivated, as part of a larger move to reduce the number of Army National Guard divisions from 15 to eight, while increasing the number of separate brigades from seven to 18. In its place, the independent 45th Infantry Brigade (Separate) was established. The 45th Infantry Brigade received all of the 45th Division’s lineage and heraldry, including its shoulder sleeve insignia. Also activated from division assets were the 45th Field Artillery Group, later redesignated the 45th Fires Brigade, and the 90th Troop Command.
The 45th Infantry Division was awarded eight campaign streamers and one unit award in World War II and four campaign streamers and one unit decoration in the Korean War, for a total of twelve campaign streamers and two unit decorations in its operational history.
|French Croix de Guerre, World War II (With Palm)||Embroidered “Acquafondata“||1943–1944|
|European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer||Sicily (with Arrowhead)||1943|
|Naples–Foggia (with Arrowhead)||1943|
|Anzio (wirth Arrowhead)||1943|
|Southern France (with Arrowhead)||1944|
|Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation||For service in Korea||1952–1953|
|Korean Service Campaign Streamer||Second Korean Winter||1951–1952|
|Korea, Summer–Fall 1952||1952|
|Third Korean Winter||1952–1953|
|Korea, Summer 1953||1953|
|MG||Baird H. Markham||15 Feb 1923||6 Apr 1931|
|MG||Roy V. Hoffman||13 Jun 1931||13 Jun 1933|
|MG||Alexander M. Tuthill||14 Jun 1933||21 Oct 1935|
|MG||Charles E. McPherren||25 Nov 1935||29 Jul 1936|
|MG||William S. Key||29 Jul 1936||13 Oct 1942|
|MG||Troy H. Middleton||14 Oct 1942||21 Nov 1943|
|MG||Marion L. Finley||20 Nov 1943||23 Nov 1945|
|MG||William W. Eagles||22 Nov 1943||30 Nov 1944|
|MG||Robert T. Frederick||1 Dec 1944||10 Sep 1945|
|BG||H.J.D. Meyer||11 Sep 1945||7 Dec 1945|
|MG||James C. Styron||5 Sep 1946||20 May 1952|
|MG||David Ruffner||21 May 1952||15 Mar 1953|
|MG||Philip De Witt Ginder||16 Mar 1953||30 Nov 1953|
|MG||Paul D. Harkins||1 Dec 1953||15 Mar 1954|
|BG||Harvey H. Fischer||18 Mar 1954||27 Apr 1954|
|MG||Hal L. Muldrow, Jr||10 Sep 1952||31 Aug 1960|
|MG||Frederick Alvin Daugherty||1 Sep 1960||20 Nov 1964|
|MG||Jasper N. Baker||21 Nov 1964||31 Jan 1968|
Note: Similarity of dates for General Muldrow and commanders beginning with General Ruffner is because 45th Infantry Division, AUS, was retained in Korea while twin unit, 45th Infantry Division, NGUS, was activated in Oklahoma.
Now I have found the Gunny to be like a lot of Senior Non Commissioned Officers that I served with in the Army. All of them are the real crown jewels of the military.
As they are the folks who get things done. God Bless them all!
So here is some of his best on YOUTube.
This pistol is the one that was used to Kill the Archduke Ferdinand of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire & his wife in 1914.
This event in turn became the source of the First World War. Or as I call it, Europe’s first serious attempt at Suicide.
This what the Old boy looked like before he got shot. All by accounts he was a pretty decent guy.
This is what the punk / terrorist / freedom Fighter that pulled the Trigger looked like. He died in a Austrian prison from disease during the war.
So indirectly this nondescript looking semi automatic pistol. Is the root cause of the death of about 16 million. Also the First World War led in turn to WWII and the death of another 60 million. Give or take.
This was stolen via A Herd of The Turtles.com
Literally a Blast from the past!
I sure would not want to get hit by one of these soft lead musket balls!
Back back in the really / terrible old days of say the 1450’s to say the 1570’s Europe or Japan. Folks did not have the kind of firearms that we do not have today.
But this does not mean that they were stupid or anything even close to it. Now having discovered Gunpowder and what it can do. Thanks to the Chinese!
The ruling Class quickly began to invest on how to use it in their arguments with each other and the peasantry*. (*For most folks today that would of been us)
So the bright boys of the realm began to collectively to put their brains on this problem.
Here is what they came up with!
The Matchlock Musket
Okay here is what it is. Surprisingly enough. The have the basic form of today’s rifles. With a Lock to ignite the powder. The Stock to hold it up and aim with. Then the barrel to place the ammunition and help guide it toward its target.
As you no doubt have guess it already. This is a muzzle loading weapon and is a very slow and inaccurate weapon. But it was miles ahead of anything else out there at the time.
The major problems were the poor quality of gunpowder available, that you have a slow burning sulphur soaked cord near a lot of gunpowder. That and poorly bored barrels that cut down the musketeers accuracy.
Also the weather can really mess with the match. That and you could literally see the enemy coming from all the smoke.
So here is a video about how to load this puppy. Sorry its in French. But you will get the general idea about how slow reloading is.
Also if you really want to get a good taste of this era. You might also want to get the DVD of the 3 & 4 Musketeers that was made in 1974. Here is a little peek enjoy!
You also might like this one too.
Here is some more & probably better written information about the Matchlock
The matchlock was the first mechanism, or “lock”, invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm. Before this, firearms (like the hand cannon) had to be fired by applying a lit match (or equivalent) to the priming powder in the flash pan by hand; this had to be done carefully, taking most of the soldier’s concentration at the moment of firing, or in some cases required a second soldier to fire the weapon while the first held the weapon steady. Adding a matchlock made the firing action simple and reliable by a single soldier, allowing him to keep both hands steadying the gun and eyes on the target while firing.
The classic European matchlock gun held a burning slow match in a clamp at the end of a small curved lever known as the serpentine. Upon the pulling of a lever (or in later models a trigger) protruding from the bottom of the gun and connected to the serpentine, the clamp dropped down, lowering the smoldering match into the flash pan and igniting the priming powder. The flash from the primer travelled through the touch hole igniting the main charge of propellant in the gun barrel. On release of the lever or trigger, the spring-loaded serpentine would move in reverse to clear the pan. For obvious safety reasons the match would be removed before reloading of the gun. Both ends of the match were usually kept alight in case one end should be accidentally extinguished.
Earlier types had only an “S”-shaped serpentine pinned to the stock either behind or in front of the flash pan (the so-called “serpentine lock”), one end of which was manipulated to bring the match into the pan.
Most matchlock mechanisms mounted the serpentine forward of the flash pan. The serpentine dipped backward, toward the firer, to ignite the priming. This is the reverse of the familiar forward-dipping hammer of the flintlock and later firearms.
A later addition to the gun was the rifled barrel. This made the gun much more accurate at longer distances but did have drawbacks, the main one being that it took much longer to reload because the bullet had to be pounded down into the barrel.
A type of matchlock was developed called the snap matchlock, in which the serpentine was held in firing position by a weak spring, and released by pressing a button, pulling a trigger, or even pulling a short string passing into the mechanism. As the match was often extinguished after its relatively violent collision with the flash pan, this type fell out of favour with soldiers, but was often used in fine target weapons.
An inherent weakness of the matchlock was the necessity of keeping the match constantly lit. The match was steeped in potassium nitrate to keep the match lit for extended periods of time. Being the sole source of ignition for the powder, if the match was not lit when the gun needed to be fired, the mechanism was useless, and the weapon became little more than an expensive club. This was chiefly a problem in wet weather, when damp match cord was difficult to light and to keep burning. Another drawback was the burning match itself. At night, the match would glow in the darkness, possibly revealing the carrier’s position. The distinctive smell of burning match-cord was also a giveaway of a musketeer’s position (this was used as a plot device by Akira Kurosawa in his movie Seven Samurai). It was also quite dangerous when soldiers were carelessly handling large quantities of gunpowder (for example, while refilling their powder horns) with lit matches present. This was one reason why soldiers in charge of transporting and guarding ammunition were amongst the first to be issued self-igniting guns like the wheellock and snaphance.
The matchlock was also uneconomical to keep ready for long periods of time. To maintain a single sentry on night guard duty with a matchlock, keeping both ends of his match lit, required a mile of match per year.
The Janissary corps of the Ottoman army were using matchlock arms from the 1440s onwards. Improved versions of the arquebus were transported to India by Babur in 1526.
The matchlock appeared in Europe in the mid-15th century (the matchlock was obsolete around 1700 in Europe), with the idea of a serpentine appearing in an Austrian manuscript. The first dated illustration of a matchlock mechanism dates to 1475 (making it the first firearm with a trigger) and by the 16th century they were universally used. During this time the latest tactic in using the matchlock was to line up and send off a volley of musket balls at the enemy. This volley would be much more effective than single soldiers trying to hit individual targets.
China is credited with inventing both gunpowder and firearms but the matchlock was claimed to have been introduced to China by the Portuguese. Europeans refined the hand cannons that had arrived in Europe in the early 15th century and added the matchlock mechanism. The Chinese obtained the matchlock arquebus technology from the Portuguese in the 16th century and matchlock firearms were used by the Chinese into the 19th century. The Chinese used the term “bird-gun” to refer to muskets and Turkish muskets may have reached China before Portuguese ones.
In Japan the first documented introduction of the matchlock which became known as the tanegashima was through the Portuguese in 1543. The tanegashimaseems to have been based on snap matchlocks that were produced in the armory of Goa in Portuguese India, which was captured by the Portuguese in 1510.While the Japanese were technically able to produce tempered steel (e.g. sword blades), they preferred to use work-hardened brass springs in their matchlocks. The name tanegashima came from the island where a Chinese junk with Portuguese adventurers on board was driven to anchor by a storm. The lord of the Japanese island Tanegashima Tokitaka (1528–1579) purchased two matchlock rifles from the Portuguese and put a sword smith to work copying the matchlock barrel and firing mechanism. Within a few years the use of the tanegashima in battle forever changed the way war was fought in Japan.
Despite the appearance of more advanced ignition systems such as that of the wheellock and the snaphance, the low cost of production, simplicity, and high availability of the matchlock kept it in use in European armies until about 1720. It was eventually completely replaced by the flintlock as the foot soldier’s main armament.
There is evidence that matchlock rifles may have been in usage among some peoples in Christian Abyssinia in the late Middle Ages. Although modern rifles were imported into Ethiopia during the 19th century, contemporary British historians noted that along with slingshots the elderly used matchlock rifle weapons for self-defense and by the militaries of the Ras.
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In Taiwan under Qing rule the Hakka on Taiwan owned matchlock muskets. Han people traded and sold matchlock muskets to the Taiwanese aborigines. During the Sino-French War the Hakka and Aboriginals used their matchlock muskets against the French in the Keelung Campaign and Battle of Tamsui.
The Hakka used their matchlock muskets to resist the Japanese invasion of Taiwan (1895) and Han Taiwanese and Aboriginals conducted an insurgency against Japanese rule.
Tibetan nomad fighters used arquebuses for warfare during the Chinese invasion of Tibet as late as the second half of the 20th century. Tibetan nomads still use matchlock rifles to hunt wolves and other predatory animals. These matchlock arquebuses typically feature a long, sharpened retractable forked stand and are part of Tibetan traditional Nomad regalia. Some of these arquebuses are engraved with silver and gold inlays and/or have damascened barrels. Early 20th century explorer Sven Hedin also encountered Tibetan tribesmen on horseback armed with matchlock rifles along the Tibetan border with Xinjiang.