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Old September 24, 2008, 06:46 AM   #1
alizeefan
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How much of an advantage was the garand ?.

I must start this thread by saying that I have no military experience ( and due to my govt's laws I would refuse to serve anyway ) but I have been wondering about how much of a difference the M1 made over say the Kar98k.

The reason I ask is that from shows I have seen by " experts " the germans viewed the rifleman as being there to support the machine gun with the MG as the main tactical element as opposed to most allied armies seeing the MG as being in support of the rifleman ( squad ).

Obviously in close confines the M1 ( I WILL try one before I die ) will have significant advantages over any bolt gun but in the general flow of battle with an MG42 laying down 1200+ rpm would the bolt action really have been at such a disadvantage in open battle ?. Just curious to know what you guy's think.
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Old September 24, 2008, 07:43 AM   #2
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A group of the real "Band of Brothers" came to visit the Kuwait Naval Base on the 18th and was asked about the M1 Garand.

One old gentleman referred to it as "The best [sic] weapon ever made!"

Of course, he might have been a bit biased.

There is a film of two soldiers in the late 1930s lying in the prone and firing at targets. One of them had a Springfield, the other a Garand.

The rapidity of fire there was evident for anybody to see. The Garand was just leaving the bolt-action guy in the dust. And the M1 had quicker recovery time between shots. The Springfield shooter had to "break position" each time to work the bolt.

Against the Japanese, the M1 must have been a very nasty surprise when it started showing up at Guadalcanal.
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Old September 24, 2008, 08:21 AM   #3
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A battlefield is a fluid situation. A rifleman can move around and seek to find a way past a fixed machine gun position. Even a machine gun nest can be suppressed by return fire, and troops on the move can have an advantage if they have semi-auto vs. an enemy with a bolt-action.

Sure, the MG42 was a helluva fine piece. Still, absent opening up as ambush, it's firing from a fixed postion and a fixed position is best known as "target for artillery".
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Old September 24, 2008, 09:54 AM   #4
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Obviously the Garand was the superior weapon of the two but the Garand wasn't as good as folks want to make them. The biggest down fall was the clip and mag. If you had been in any kind of exchange of fire, how much ammo do you have left? So now you are going to jump up and rush a position with a rifle that you don't have a clue how much ammo is in it? And it isn't the easiest to pull out the ammo that's in the rifle and replace it with a full clip especially while somebody is shooting at you. That's why the M-14 has a clip that you can take out and either put in a full one or reload. The M-14 capacity was also increased. There was also shooter fatigue with the larger 3006. While a better rifle than a bolt action, it certainly wasn't the best rifle ever made. And our troops today are finding out that the variant of the Garand, the M- 14, is one of the finest rifles in our arsenal. But it still boils down to application, application, application.
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Old September 24, 2008, 10:12 AM   #5
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The troops were actually very ticked off that they took the Garrand away from them and gave them the M14. They saw it as inferior to the proven battlefield weapon especially if they had been using it themselves in battle.

The M1 was a huge advantage in fact. It was the factor that really changed the face of war from trench warfare to mobile battles. Even more than the tank IMO it made a battlefield fluid because the tanks weren't always around.

A single machine gun can only shoot one direction at a time. If you have enough soldiers to outflank a fixed position gun and those soldiers have enough firepower to get the job done then that machine gun loses much of it's advantage. That's why you didn't see people hiding in trenches like they did in the first world war. It was a rare exception to see a few soldiers or even one soldier flank machine guns in that war. Think Sgt. York. But in WWII you could have the main portion of your men keep the machine gun occupied while a few men with the M1 or a Thompson flanked the position of the machine gun. And when they got into position they had the firepower to take out a machine gun nest in a hurry.

Going back to the Band Of Brothers remember how Winters got his Silver Star? His men followed the German trenches and easily wiped out all the German troops that manned those trenches because they had far more firepower. They flanked the positions of the main defense force guarding those big guns and they were able to take those big guns in large part because of their Garrands. That's a perfect example of the advantage the M1 gave the US soldier. Yes of course it took exceptional strategy and courage but the fact they could fire much faster than the German troops was a big factor.
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Old September 24, 2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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Advantage of the grand over the '98s???

Let me count the ways, Faster shooting, faster loading, better sights, more accurate, better ammo.

A semi would be faster to shoot then a bolt gun, talk to HP shooters who have used both in RF matches. Loading an 8 Rd clip in a grand is much faster then the 5 rd stripper clips in a bolt gun. The sights on the Garand (and M14) are the best I've seen on a standard military rifle. The Garand is more accurate then the Mauser in the standard military configeration. The 06 is a far better cart. then the 8mm Mauser. If you notice you just dont see the 8mm competing in rifle matches. The 06 is still doing it.

If you are gonna build a rifle, you can build a dern good rifle on the Mauser action, but looks like the topic is a military battle rifle compairson. I just dont want to give the impression the mauser action isnt any good, to the contrary, they make damn good, accurate rifles.
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Old September 24, 2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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The biggest advantage of the Garand was that we could build them faster and in greater quantity than the Germans could build the 98. Same goes for everything else, which is why we won the war.
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Old September 24, 2008, 12:46 PM   #8
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Had we built the Mauser 98(in a sense we did with the M1903, to the point Mauser sued for royalties)
But anyway, had we been producing M98's we still would have produced them faster and in greater quantity due to a greater number of factories and subcontractors that could have been brought to bear. We are bigger than Germany and have far greater industial capacity when fully ramped up.

The semi auto ment not having your sight picture disturbed for 8 shots, which is important with fleeting targets that bolt and dive and zigzag.

While the enblock clip was seen as the weak point of the rifle,with trained men, it was faster to reload than a Mauser when both went empty at the same time. While it was a difficult to do on the run, a enblock clip could be topped off while in the rifle, If of course there was no time you banged out 8 and took the approx 2 seconds to put another in.


There were a Few "Gas Trap Garands" used in the Battle of Corregidor, and yes they were a nasty shock to Arisaka Type 38 users...so much so that the captured ones went straight to Japan for testing, as well as trying to reverse engineer
the rifle at one point.

A few were still carried by choice by Advisors in Viet Nam ..alot of whom had seen combat in WWII or Korea a few years before.

While the technology of warplanes have made great leeps since WW1...and a Sopwith Camel would be no match for a F16, Small arms hasnt made that same leep. A Person with a WW1 infantry rifle can still easily kill a M16 armed soldier at an extended range.

There is really nothing that a M1 would face today that it didnt face in WW2,
Submachineguns, assault rifles, full power bolt actions, belt feds..they were all there. But yet most of the time our soldiers still bested thiers....some was luck, some was good equipment, and as today...a lot of it was the man behind that rifle that won the day.

So the M1's adversaries hasnt changed much, except in brand name and the use of more plastics, nor has a ememy combatant holding them.
So yes if you had to protect yourself with one, it would do just as good of a job as when it was THE issue rifle..the rest is up to you.

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Old September 24, 2008, 12:50 PM   #9
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Germany had a war going on with the Soviets at the same time you know. They had plenty of rifles. They just bit off more than they could chew. At the start of the war they had plenty of manufacturing capability. They just lost a lot of it because we could bomb the crap out of them. That's why we could build rifles faster. They couldn't touch us. We could bomb the crap out of them. So air superiority could be said to be the reason we won the war. We shouldn't forget that much of what we built is at the bottom of the Atlantic because it didn't make it to Europe. So it could be said that controlling the air space in the Battle Of The Atlantic won the war for us because that's what doomed the U-boats and the damage they did to our convoys. Without that advantage we could have lost far more of those rifles we built. And if Hitler had succeeded in capturing England and North Africa chances are we would not have been able to gain a foothold in Europe so it could be said that Patton won the war or that the Hurricanes and Spitfires won the war. It could certainly be said that breaking the German code was the reason we won the war because it made all the difference at El Alamien in N. Africa and it allowed the Allies to be ready for German air attacks on England. Or possibly the brave Brit pilots who rammed their fighters into the big German bombers just as they parachuted out of their planes was the key moment in winning the war because when the Germans saw that they knew they could never win the Battle Of Britain.

There were many, many reasons that could be said were the factor that made the difference. Of all the choices I'd say the breaking of the code was the biggest reason we won the war. It allowed us to win the big battles when we really needed to win. It put the Bismarck in range of the Allies, for example, which allowed that lucky shot that jammed her rudder allowing the heavy British battleships to finish it off. That could have made the difference in the Battle Of The Atlantic too. It also led to the Tirpitz being kept in a dock in Norway so it wouldn't be sunk too. Yes it was a constant threat and tied up a lot of naval power but it never fired a shot at the Allies so it wasn't really much of a factor despite being just as big as the Bismarck.

I just don't think it's so easy to narrow down the reasons for victory to one thing. And, again, if I was to choose one reason it would be the Ultra intercepts.
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Old September 24, 2008, 01:10 PM   #10
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Germany had a war going on with the Soviets at the same time you know.
The US provided massive amounts of aid to the Soviets, British, and Free French. The US also was prosecuting a full-scale war in the Pacific. All the while, the US economy never went to a full war mobilization (it topped out at 50% mobilization).

Germany did bite off more than it could chew, but it wasn't invading Russia. It was carrying out actions that resulted in the US getting involved. After that happened, it was largely a done deal.
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Old September 24, 2008, 01:14 PM   #11
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"So the M1's adversaries hasnt changed much, except in brand name and the use of more plastics, nor has a ememy combatant holding them.
So yes if you had to protect yourself with one, it would do just as good of a job as when it was THE issue rifle..the rest is up to you."



I dont think its adequate for today as i think about it. back then the sub machine guns were mixed in with the bolt action rifles. i dont know if theres any ratio out there to say now many there were per k98s, but i would figure they werent nearly as common. Today a 30rd mag with semi/full auto is standard, and every soldier has one.

Dont get me wrong I love the M1 and living everyday to acquire one. I always say it will be my SHTF rifle, and It will be if the SHTF. But ill be sure not to get too close to anybody.
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Old September 24, 2008, 01:14 PM   #12
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I don't think anybody is trying to exalt the Garand to "war winning" status all by itself.

I read somewhere that the vital inventions/equipment in WWII was the Jeep, the C-47 cargo plane, the P-51, the M1 Garand, and radar.

Ultra and the work at Betchley Park is probably the big one, as far as the ETO.

In the book "Dirty Little Secrets of WWII", the author points out that years after the war (late 1950s or 1960s, can't remember) a panel of German politicians were told about Ultra and the degree to which Germany's wartime codes and decisions were penetrated.

Even after that passage of time, the politicians were shocked and bewildered. They had no idea.

Stephen Ambrose wrote that the Germans did not particularly fear our infantrymen. Or our tanks. What they absolutely could not STAND was American artillery.

It was numerous. It was accurate. It possessed many specialized shells of high quality and very low dud rate. Any 2LT with a radio could bring down a torrent of accurate, deadly fire in minutes with little difficulty.
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Old September 24, 2008, 02:01 PM   #13
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Why some still carried the Garand in Nam is since the Garand doesn't have a magazine that extends, like a M14 or M16, and one needs to get really close to the ground, nothing beats a Garand.
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Old September 24, 2008, 02:29 PM   #14
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Germany did bite off more than it could chew, but it wasn't invading Russia. It was carrying out actions that resulted in the US getting involved. After that happened, it was largely a done deal.
Not quite true. The Russians had started to turn the tide of the war in the east before the US got involved.
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Old September 24, 2008, 02:29 PM   #15
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How much of an advantage was the garand ?
Immense, but it was not the only advantage we had. We had a country thousands of miles away that could turn out food, ships, planes, tanks, guns, ammo, etc, etc, without fear of Axis strikes. We delivered millions of tons of high explosives and incendiaries to targets within their industrial centers without having to fear retaliation. We sank their naval assets and destroyed their ability to stop us from delivering hardware wherever we wanted to. And yes, we had the Garand, as well as many other infantry weapons. But if you want an understanding of how we won WWII, you have to analyze the whole, not the parts.
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from shows I have seen by " experts " the germans viewed the rifleman as being there to support the machine gun with the MG as the main tactical element as opposed to most allied armies seeing the MG as being in support of the rifleman ( squad )
One basic difference in command and control: German army troops obeyed orders and were hesitant to act independently, American troops act more independently but occasionally lack coordination. German army troops were trained in tactics that centered around the most senior men directing platoon actions. This made the German units very difficult to break up and disperse, but made them susceptible to the death of their leaders. Squad tactics, as used by the US Army, were difficult for the Germans to control since they were so highly mobile. Different rules, different results. In general, German troops were very resilient due to the larger number of men in an operating unit, as opposed to US tactics where one or two men getting killed was difficult to deal with.
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a lot of it was the man behind that rifle that won the day
Nice ideal, in reality air support and artillery can be more effective in open areas than infantry, but inside a town it's the grunt that does the dirty work. Without the massive air bombing programs the Allies poured out on Nazi Germany, the Germans would have been better armed than we were. But just the sheer number of troops marshaled against the Germans spelled failure for their efforts. At the end of WWII it is estimated that 1/2 the adult male population of Germany was killed, wounded, or captured, as opposed to maybe 10% casualty rate for US troops.
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What they absolutely could not STAND was American artillery.
No infantryman likes artillery, even their own. In WWII, German artillery was in the front lines, very mobile and adaptable and could be directed very accurately and rapidly. Ours was more remote and had massive firepower, but often damaged the troops it was designed to help. Again, different rules, different results.
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I must start this thread by saying that I have no military experience ( and due to my govt's laws I would refuse to serve anyway)
Sorry if this offends you, but you are confusing the duty of a citizen soldier with self-serving politics and selfishness. It is the duty of a citizen to defend the nation, whether they agree with the particulars of the way it is run or not. For example, I served to defend this country's citizens' right to free speech so that they could insult me as I walked down the street in uniform. Ironic, isn't it? It is also your duty as a citizen to work within the political system to change what needs to be changed if you disagree with their policies and actions. If you do not participate in politics, it doesn't mean politics does not affect you.

Lots of ideas and facts that can be discussed at great length.
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Old September 24, 2008, 03:02 PM   #16
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Not sure I agree with the idea that German troops hesitated to act independently.

They were quite adept, no doubt out of necessity, of forming ad hoc battle groups in various situations. And they were offensive-minded and proactive. The typical German response to an attack, it was said, was to counterattack with whatever was available. The typical American response to an attack was to saturate the problem with whatever firepower was available. And usually what was available was huge.

I doubt they were allowed the freedom of action Americans were able to employ, but certainly far more than the Russians. I believe an American general commented that one of his 2LTs on the Elbe had more ability to make decisions and act than a Russian front commander.

Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration...

The Japanese, on the other hand, likely lost the war because their culture did not allow for a high degree of personal initiative in it's leaders.

The classic example is the Battle of Midway. American flight leaders took it upon themselves to make decisions on the spot where a Japanese in the same situation would more likely have asked higher for guidance. The result: our torpedo planes found their carriers because their leader decided on the spot to "go thataway".
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Old September 24, 2008, 03:44 PM   #17
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Not quite true. The Russians had started to turn the tide of the war in the east before the US got involved.
The US was "involved" long before December 7, 1941.

The US began supplying Russia not long after Germany invaded in June 1941, and was paid for doing so. Lend lease aid begain in October 1941. The German advance was stopped in December 1941 but the situation remained exceedingly precarious for the Russians until Operation Uranus kicked off in November 1942. The US was already into the third phase of supplying aid to Russia by that time.
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Old September 24, 2008, 04:30 PM   #18
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It was the Russians though that destroyed the German army. The army that the Americans and Brits faced in France and Germany was a mere shadow of what would have faced them if the Russians hadn't done the vast majority of the killing.

Oh, and the German advance was stopped before December '41

Siege of Leningrad Begins Sept 9 1941 – Three months before the entry of US into WWII. Germans never take Leningrad. Germans checked on Northern Front. Siege lasts until 1944.

Siege of Moscow Begins 30 September 1941 – Two and a half months before the entry of US into WWII. Germans held on Central Front. Russian counter-offensive begins on 5 December 1941. 1 Day before attack on Pearl Harbour.
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Old September 24, 2008, 04:56 PM   #19
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The Russians fielded over 12,000,000 men. The US fielded just over 300,000. The European war was between the Russians and the Germans. We gave the Germans another front to have to contend with, nothing more. The largest battles were between Russia and Germany. While we would like to think we were the prime source of the down fall of Germany, it was the Russians that took the heaviest losses and took back the most ground. We did supply the Russians with mega tons of supplies, most of which they still owe us for. But the Russians suffered the most at the hands of the Germans. The Jews slaughtered at the camps still don't make up the numbers of Russians lost at just Stalingrad. It's no wonder the Russians are so paranoid about anybody that they see as a threat...like us.
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Old September 24, 2008, 05:01 PM   #20
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I must start this thread by saying that I have no military experience ( and due to my govt's laws I would refuse to serve anyway

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Old September 24, 2008, 05:10 PM   #21
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Despite being "raised" on bot action from age 6, I was never as enchanted with that action as my dad was with it but he was biased against semiactions - maintained they were "less safe". Personally, my thinking was "safety" was between the ears of the shooter, not the rifle action.

Consequently, when the '03 Springfield I was inirially issued (which I liked - guns are like girls in that I never met one I couldn't find some likeable characteristics in them) in WWII was replaced with the M1 Garand, I was totally sold!!

However, my favorite semi-auto now is an M1A (semi-auto M14 civilian version) which has the advantage of detachable box magazine, better sights, and easier dissassembly for cleaning. Too bad they chose select fire for the military - I think that went a long way to kill it.





I can sure say if I were going into combat today, I'd sure rather carry a rifle that puts a .30 caliber bullet of 168 grains than a .233 caliber bullet at 68 grains in the target - even if the rifle is heavier to carry!!

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Old September 24, 2008, 05:56 PM   #22
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I love my Springfield, but if combat was looming, I would pick up my Garand first.

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German army troops obeyed orders and were hesitant to act independently,
I must disagree with this. The Germans were noted for their battlefield ingenuity and flexibility. They would constantly probe and counter attack when given the opportunity. Only when strictly ordered to a certain course of action was this flexibility lost.

The Russians probably would have beat Germany by themselves eventually. Maybe by 1947 or1948 or so. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Russians faced 80% of German military strength and output.

Anyone have any idea why we didn't supply M1s to the Russians?
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Old September 24, 2008, 06:00 PM   #23
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They just bit off more than they could chew. At the start of the war they had plenty of manufacturing capability. They just lost a lot of it because we could bomb the crap out of them. That's why we could build rifles faster. They couldn't touch us. We could bomb the crap out of them. So air superiority could be said to be the reason we won the war. We shouldn't forget that much of what we built is at the bottom of the Atlantic because it didn't make it to Europe.
Germany's war production actually increased as the war progressed (until right at the very end). Their problem was they tried too build to many different types of weapons. When the war ended, the Allies found one plant still building an engine for a Bismark class battleship. They didn't have any ships under construction to put it in.

The war was over before the US ever landed at Normandy. Russia took 20 million dead (military and civilian), but destroyed the German army in the process.

I heard an interview of a German officer after the war describing fighting the Americans at Normandy. The officer manned an anti-tank gun in the hedgerows just off the beach. When asked why the Germans lost the war he said that every time an American tank entered the hedgerows, his crew destroyed it. Another tank would enter and they would destroy it. Unfortunately, he ran out of shells before the Americans ran out of tanks.
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Old September 24, 2008, 06:02 PM   #24
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There's no doubt that the Russians were the main opponent of the Germans in WWII. The entire allied force on the western front was a fraction of what Russia put together. The Russians had almost as many soldiers killed in one day than the Americans did in the entire war including the ones lost fighting against Japan. At Kursk the Russians had 250,000 killed and another 600,000 wounded. That dwarfs the entire US involvement in the war. The Germans had 100,000 killed that day too BTW.

The US had about 290,000 killed in the entire war with about 670,000 wounded. Think about it. The Russians had almost that many casualties ON ONE DAY! People who think the US was the decisive factor in the war just don't know the story. In fact the US was barely a blip on the radar screen as far as the actual fighting went in Europe. It's no wonder the Russians got ticked when it came time to divide up Germany after the war. The western Allies got 3/4 of the pie but only did about 10% or so of the fighting. I'd be ticked if I was running Russia.

The second front helped as did the N. Africa campaign as did the Italy campaign and the southern France invasion. But by far the Russians bore the brunt of the fighting in WWII in Europe. It's not even close.

The US did bear a big part of the fight against Japan. But there were lots of other countries helping. And the fact is the US dominated Japan after Midway. Japan lost far more soldiers than the US did. They had almost a million more deaths than the US had and many of the US deaths were in Europe. Japan only had about 140,000 wounded which tells you a lot about the Japanese attitude toward life. The US controlled the air after Midway and espeically after the Marianas Turkey Shoot. The US faced green troops and the only real threat from the air was the kamikazes. The war was lost but Japan just refused to lay down and die. So they threw a lot of men to the lions and we killed them. They kept expecting another miracle like the one that stopped the Mongolian invasion of Japan. A cyclone stopped that monster army from taking Japan and the people of Japan expected to see another miracle. They saw a divine wind alright. But it wasn't blowing the right way for them. The shock wave from an atomic blast is a terrible wind indeed.

Also the idea that the Germans weren't effective if they lost their commanders is largely a myth that was created as propaganda during the war. The chain of command was followed closely by German troops so they pretty much always knew who was in charge. And the commanders in the field, even if it got down to a Sgt., had a lot of leeway in how they fought.
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Old September 24, 2008, 06:29 PM   #25
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The biggest down fall was the clip and mag. If you had been in any kind of exchange of fire, how much ammo do you have left? So now you are going to jump up and rush a position with a rifle that you don't have a clue how much ammo is in it? And it isn't the easiest to pull out the ammo that's in the rifle and replace it with a full clip especially while somebody is shooting at you.
Reloading a garand is a quick, one handed operation. Pull bolt back w/right hand to eject round in chamber, push clip release w/right thumb (one swift motion) and partially loaded clip pops up into your (right)hand. Insert fully loaded clip and you're good to go in much less time than it takes to read the instructions.

While the M14 has a 20 round magazine as opposed to the Garand's 8 round clip, the fact remains that you do not necessarily know how many rounds you have left in it either. Clip can be replaced as easily as the magazine and in about the same time frame so about only advantage (other than increased mag. capacity) is that you can replace magazine w/a round still in the chamber on the M14.

The Garand may not be the greatest rifle ever invented, but it was darn close in 1936 when John Garand developed it.

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Gun Owners note: The Second Amendment is not about hunting! Join NRA @: http://membership.nrahq.org/
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