So, do we put the gun into context or do we take it out of context and attempts to look purely at its technical capability (and do we ignore the guy using it)?
So, for the LE:
1. Complicated and costly to mfg.
If you can supply your troops with it what good is it?
Answer, Pattern 1914, easier to make and more made in short order, just as good technically.
2. Accurate enough to do the job?
Yep for standard infantry
No if you had a good shot. (unless you were lucky and got an accurate one)
3. Right Setup:
Nope, for the short range work a carbine would have done fine, semi auto even better.
Best there was (but then an M1 would have been even better with a clip)
5. Win the War
Nope, overall tactic, other weapons and their tactics, leadership and how good your logistics were and economic might. .
Summation: Some and some but not clearly superior in all aspects, even purely technical. Arisaka matched it.
Pretty much the same, hard to mfg, nothing wrong with it and had the same drawbacks. Call it a draw.
Again pretty much the same but it was easier to MFG than either of the above two.
It came out of the factory very accurate
Best Cartdige (30-06 still rules the world.
Probably number one overall with the A3 peep sight.
Still a draw
1914 and 1917:
Good rifles easier to mfg and loaded with the better Cartdige. politics kept the 1914 from being adopted as the LE was “good enough” and lets not spend any money.
2. Pattern 1914/M1917
3. Mauser/LE (Mauser technically better in some ways, lower capacity and a far too large Cartdige and as hard to mfg offset by the LE capacity)
All were wasted at 2500 yards capability when 800 was all that was needed, all should have been developed (or the LE dropped) and all should have been replaced by the time WWII came along (which the 1903 was though they could not make enough M1s for the needs and production continued as was the use).
In context the M1 was the best WWII rifle as the worst grunt could match the LE for rate of fire and was more accurate if needed. And running a bolt action rapidly cannot be done behind a tree, a berm or any other cover. You shoot, you duck, you reload and then you pop up again. You certainly y do not stand in full sight rapid firing you LE while everyone else on the battle field rips you to shreds.
Few fights required full sustained fire all the time, some needed none of it.
And if you read actually accounts of the troops using the M4/M16, they seldom use the select fire function (vas majority is semi auto)
Maybe I can put it another way. We do Red Flag (aerial) exercises up here.
The B52s in one were getting ripped to shreds.
Why? Because they were being forced to follow slight profiles that were planed BY THE FIGHTER JOCKS. That made the fighter jock look like wonder boys.
The last day the B52 guys got an ok to setup their own profiles the way they would in a real war.
What happened, the fighters could not find them, the one that did got electronically shot down by the rear guns as it passed behind the B52 tryng to get a shot as it only saw it at the last second.
Ditto the guy who sunk the US fleet in the Gulf using non convention but true capability of suicide and rocket equipped boats in swarming maneuvers? If you are going to discuss something it has to be put in its real world use and context. You can’t just separate it out into some pristine ideal setup and say its better.
So, how often did the so called rapid fire capability of an LE actually get used in a Battle vs an artificially crated and ideally setup training exercise?
How often did it really work with the conscripts that were inducted into the British Army after the losses of France, the far East, Greece, Cyprus (Crete?) and the Desert?
And if it was so good how come a bunch of Arisaka equipment troops whipped them out in Malaysia? (those LE troops the still proficient troops from long term training with the LE?) Reality it was crappy tactics.
In short did the so called technical superiority actually work on the real battlefield?
Did it wing battles as a result of that?
Did it loose battles as a result of that?