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Old September 24, 2012, 09:00 AM   #76
Mike Irwin
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OK, what the hell does a tank main gun have to do with this thread?

Absolutely nothing, so that's a complete non sequitor.

The reason no one copied the Lee Enfield is because the British government held the titles and patents on ALL of the technology associated with it.

Only the United States Army was stupid enough to think that it could use foreign patents any way it saw fit, and with no repercussions, and that's why the Mausers successfully sued the United States and won damages.

tahunua's commends about how the Mauser was marketed around the world are spot on. Mauser was a private company and could sell their rifles as they wished.

The British government had no interest in doing that, and thus did not.

Mauser, on the other hand, provided very lucrative package deals to nations who purchased its guns, not unlike Glock today.

The package deal was primarly that Mauser would provide rifles for testing and evaluation in the cartridge of the nation's choice. If the cartridge OR rifle was not up to the nations desires, Mauser would, largely on their own dime, alter or redevelop the gun and/or cartridge to meet that nation's specifications.

Mauser would then either manufacture the rifles for that nation, or would help that nation set up a home arsenal to manufacture rifles and cartridges under license.

Mauser was, in many ways, the Burger King of the armaments industry.

That doesn't, however, make their rifles the better combat weapons, it simply makes them prolific.

Regarding the Arisaka, you have GOT to be kidding.

Really all it had going for it was the inherent strength of the action and the fact that the Japanese were intelligent enough to copy the cock on closing feature.

They weren't, however, intelligent enough to copy the turned down bolt handle of later Mausers, meaning that of all of the bolt action rifles used in World War II the Arisaka had, by far, the slowest rate of fire and most awkward manipulation.

I can get 10 rounds down range with my 1903A3 in the time it takes me to get five rounds and five more reloaded with my Type 38.

The safety mechanism on the Arisaka is also a joke. The Japanese would have been better off going the French route and simply eliminating the safety. Instead, they chose a ludicrously complicated means of safing the rifle.

Regarding your experience with British rifles and their magazines, I would say that, of the feeding problems I've witnessed over the years, about 99% of them have been because they operator had no clue how to load rimmed cartridges into the magazine to prevent rimlock.

I'm seeing a lot of naysaing on your part that is long on opinion, but very, very short on reasoned argument and with no real facts in evidence at all, so it's rather curious that you're claiming the people who are supporting the Lee Enfield as the best bolt-action battle rifle are doing so simply out of collectors enthusiasm.

You should actually go back through and try READING this thread and absorbing the facts that have been presented, instead of glossing over them in your rush to deliver profound, "factually" based arguments such as "As far as the greatest bolt action battle rifle ever designed, you have to be kidding," and some blather about the barrel on a British tank.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:36 AM   #77
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;)

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, you need to let them have it and get out to the range. Let the shooting prove the point. Chill and take a walk on the beach.

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Old September 24, 2012, 10:27 AM   #78
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Opinion is one thing, but to base an entire argument on the premise of "Well everyone knows it, so there!" is crap.
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Old September 24, 2012, 10:54 AM   #79
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I have owned a few, shot plenty. I have been out blustered. I really don't care.
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Old September 24, 2012, 11:26 AM   #80
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If I may get off the rifle part and discuss the methods:

Yesterday I attended a Mouse Gun Match, pistol and rifle designed for speed more then accuracy (not my ideal, but I didn't run the match).

I was the only one shooting a bolt gun, and if I may brag a bit, I was pretty quick with my CZ 452. Not competitive with the 10/22s and such, but I did all right for a bolt gun.

Anyway, we got to taking about rapid fire with a bolt gun and the British method (mentioned in earlier post) of using thumb and trigger finger on the bolt and the middle finger on the trigger.

I wasn't a fan of this idea, shoot I have enough problems with trigger control using my trigger finger.

Anyway, one guy, using my CZ decides to try it. First time he ever tried this method.

I was quite impressed. I think it might warrant a little investigation and practice. Looks like one could get a bit faster with this method.

I'll give it a shot and see what happens. I figure the worst thing that could happen is I'd waste some 22 shells.
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Old September 24, 2012, 01:12 PM   #81
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MJ - I like your approach to this thread man.

GunPlummer - Not really bluster though is it, pretty solid logic. You managed to point out a mystery of British military procurement in that tank gun, well done, there have been quite a few over the years.

So what?

You seem to believe that this indicates some massive level of inertia of thought inherent in the British that does not occur in other nations. Ridiculous.

I suspect what the British guy was doing there was irony - central part of the British sense of humour, can easily be lost on people who use it less.

You are finding issues with rifles, or magazines, that likely spent decades in storage, may have been abused by previous owners etc. Of what complaints have been commonly heard about the Enfield, magazine issues was never one of them. In fact, apart from the crap bayonet on the No 4 and the ever controversial wandering zero on the No 5, combat troops really found no major problems with the rifles. The Enfield was always known for being a very reliable rifle.

As to your doubts about the quality of the rifles used for ''rapid fire'' as you put it - I don't think I quite get the point you are making? Those rifles will have been well maintained combat weapons, normal wear and tear but well maintained.

We are talking about battle rifles, not the strongest bolt action, not the most accurate bolt action, not the lightest, highest capacity, most reliable, not the longest, shortest, most ergonomic, cheapest, easiest to produce, market or anything else. The best bolt action battle rifle provides the best balance of features which give the infantry soldier the best tool.

The reasons why this is the Lee Enfield have been explained and they make very good sense.

If I were hunting deer, or slow firing at targets 1000 yards away - I will have a Mauser derivative thanks very much. Any other battlefield application, the Lee Enfield wins hands down.

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Old September 24, 2012, 01:28 PM   #82
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Now now, Scouse, EVERYONE knows that's not the case!

Discussion ended!


Right.
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Old September 24, 2012, 01:32 PM   #83
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Sigh, I will just have another look at MJ's L42 to make myself feel better.
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Old September 24, 2012, 01:50 PM   #84
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;) LOL

SCOUSE help your self it always makes me feel better too.




Cheers
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Old September 24, 2012, 02:19 PM   #85
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MJ,

Who fit the barrel on your No. 4 Mk I (T)?

I know that Holland and Holland supposedly did them all, but I have heard persistent rumors for years that John Rigby & Company also produced a VERY small number.
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Old September 24, 2012, 02:22 PM   #86
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I just want to make a statement about Mike's assessment of the Arisaka.
Quote:
Really all it had going for it was the inherent strength of the action and the fact that the Japanese were intelligent enough to copy the cock on closing feature.

They weren't, however, intelligent enough to copy the turned down bolt handle of later Mausers, meaning that of all of the bolt action rifles used in World War II the Arisaka had, by far, the slowest rate of fire and most awkward manipulation.
though I have yet to spend any trigger time with an Arisaka(C&R is a dead hobby in my neck of the woods apparently so they are few and far between) I have difficulty imagining anything worse than the 91/30 for WWI/WWII era battle rifles. I see how a straight handled cock-on-close would be kind of awkward but the arisaka family did compensate for the straight bolt handle by making it long, giving the shooter more leverage to cycle the bolt. the M91/30 has the shortest bolt handle I've ever seen and matching the lack of leverage with the very crude, rough surfaces of the mosin nagant, I would be much more inclined to say that this is the slowest firing of the lot.

not that the arisaka's are overly renowned for their fine lines and high quality machining either. this is all purely conjecture on my part as well, some day I hope to add one to the collection so I can actually have a real opinion about them.
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Old September 24, 2012, 02:30 PM   #87
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The British government had no interest in doing that, and thus did not.
Keep saying it loud enough and long enough and you may start to believe it. Goebbels called it "the big lie".

Actually, BSA was a private enterprise, and did market the Lee-Enfield to other militaries. Anyway, the governemnt of Siam bought some 20,000 Lee-Enfields(I believe they were called "Golden Tigers"), received the first shipment then rejected them as unfit for service. Had Mausers built for them instead.

Quote:
Opinion is one thing, but to base an entire argument on the premise of "Well everyone knows it, so there!" is crap.
Exactly, Mike. Exactly.

Here on TFL we must have the finest military minds on the planet, who have figured out what all the other military geniuses of the late 19th and early 20th Century could not see, i.e. that the Lee-Enfield was the rifle to own, not the Mauser.

Coming from a scientific background, I have seen plenty of research ruined by bias (I know what's best, if I yell loud enough I don't have to prove it!).
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Old September 24, 2012, 02:37 PM   #88
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"I have difficulty imagining anything worse than the 91/30..."

You know what, you're absolutely correct. Don't know why I brain froze on the 91/30.

They were a beast to manipulate. If the chamber got dirty or the brass got sticky, they were a nightmare.

Regarding a straight bolt handle and cock on closing -- that combination is, I feel the worst possible combination.

With the bent bolt handle you can get more than adequate leverage on the closing motion to make it go smoothly, but that's almost impossible to do with the Arisaka without either lifting your head OR rolling the gun to the side - both of which allow a better angle of attack and sufficient leverage to close the bolt.

But, both actions result in the same thing -- destroying the rifle's mount, requring the shooter to re-establish the aiming position and point all over again.


"high quality machining either"

Actually, right up through when Japan began engaging the Chinese in the early 1930s, the Arisaka was generally finished, polished, and blued to the best European standards.

It's tough to determine exactly when a particular Arisaka was made because so many of the records were destroyed in the fire bombings, but given its finish, lack of tooling marks, and general details, I'd have to say mine was made in the 1920s.
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Old September 24, 2012, 02:54 PM   #89
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"Actually, BSA was a private enterprise, and did market the Lee-Enfield to other militaries."

Yes, they did. AS a private company, by special permission of the Ministry of Defense, AND with the understanding that were war to come BSA would immediately drop all foreign contracts and re-establish production for the Crown.

However, there's a problem with your theory that the fact that BSA didn't flood the world with LEs somehow makes them the worst rifle ever conceived...

BSA didn't receive a Royal Warrant to start marketing it's guns to other military forces until AFTER World War I, when several things conspired against it success:

1. Anyone who wanted to arm their militaries cheaply could simply buy surrendered Mauser rifles from companies like Francis Bannerman -- by the pound.

That's pound weight, not pound Sterling...

2. The general consensus was that WW I had, well, ended wars. Few nations were looking to rearm.

3. For those nations that were looking to rearm in the interim, and especially during the financial crises of the Weimar Republic period, Mauser sold its rifles at cutrate prices, virtually at cost, as a means of keeping the plant operating.

So, it's not nearly as simple as you make it out to be.

As for the "scientific" spin on things...

So, do prove to us in the strictest scientific fashion, i.e., to the fourth decimal place, to the nearest grain, ounce, milligram, whatever, the Mauser's superiority as a battle rifle.

Remember, it must be in calculable, repeatable, numeric fashion only.

You can't taken into account such pesky trivialities as rate of fire, battlefield impact, world-wide usage, or anything like that.

Please do prove to us, so scientifically...

Because you're sure not doing it based on accurate historic facts.

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Old September 24, 2012, 02:56 PM   #90
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Sure, Mike, as soon as you prove that the LE was superior.
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Old September 24, 2012, 03:03 PM   #91
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Quote:
Here on TFL we must have the finest military minds on the planet, who have figured out what all the other military geniuses of the late 19th and early 20th Century could not see, i.e. that the Lee-Enfield was the rifle to own, not the Mauser.

Coming from a scientific background, I have seen plenty of research ruined by bias (I know what's best, if I yell loud enough I don't have to prove it!).
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I don't claim to be a military strategist, mechanical engineer or fine any kind of mind, in fact I think my time with military intelligence may have caused my IQ to slip a few points but one thing I have over the minds of a 1898 military arms survey is hind sight. at the time that all these weapons were being tested and sent into full production and fielding it was usually a carefully guarded secret what you were using and in many cases misinformation was sent in the form of propaganda to make everyone, from the soldiers issued them to the guys on the other end of the battlefields think that you had the best rifle available, therefore, you have the greatest chance of victory.
what we have today that nobody in the trenches of WWI had is the ability to shoot all of these weapons side by side and make an opinion of what the strong points are and what the weak points of the design are.

we may not like that ammo for arisakas is hard to find or replica slings for springfields cost as much as a Mosin Nagant. we may not like the straight pull on a K31 because we are too used to shooting our mausers or we may just not like what a certain rifle was used for(IE, S.S. stamped K98s) but small issues like this that affect our opinions of rifles today and create bias meant nothing to a man that was issued these rifles and as much ammo as he could carry. if you cut out everything except what happens at the firing line it is easy to draw an opinion based on side by side comparisons. this is why anytime I consider taking a mil-surp hunting I grab my enfield no4. based solely on how they behave on the range, I have come to the conclusion that while the enfield may not give me the best chance of making a perfect hit it does have the luxury of being able to line up a quick second shot if needed and at least in my case has proven reliable enough that I can trust it to function without fail.
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Old September 24, 2012, 03:14 PM   #92
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"Sure, Mike, as soon as you prove that the LE was superior."

I've already laid that out, in detail. As have others.

Far greater rate of fire, especially when compared to the K98 rifle of World War I with its lovely straight bolt handle.

Superior sustainable rate of fire due to a magazine capacity double that of the Mauser.

Ballistics and accuracy figures that were comparable to the Mauser of any stripe.



Now here's a meaty little tidbit...

Isn't it interesting that, when push came to shove, the Mauser was on the losing end of things quite a bit more often than the winning end?

If the Mauser truly was the best battle rifle of all time, it just goes to reason that the Germans should have crushed the Allies conclusively and permanently, resulting in A) WW I ending in a matter of weeks (von Schleifen, eat your heart out), and B) subsequently the world never sees WW II, where vaunted Mauser is most vauntedly mauled to hell and back again.

What's that saying?

The winner writes the history?

Here's a correlary (sp?)...

The loser NEVER has the best of anything, because it didn't make him the winner.



Oh, and regarding the finest military minds on the planet at TFL?

No, we just have individuals who have more than a little experience with all of the rifles put forth so far, and are able to judge them critically, assess their faults and their strengths, take into account their historical application and impact, and turn a blind eye towards the Homerism that seems to be so prevalent and which so often tends to drive conventional, but tremendously flawed, "wisdom."


"I grab my enfield no4. based solely on how they behave on the range"

Ah ah! Naughty!

If your range time can't be fully expressed in numeric tabulations, it didn't happen!
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Old September 24, 2012, 03:48 PM   #93
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I was never much good with math...or science...so sue me...
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:06 PM   #94
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alright Mike, I know we seem to be in the same trench as it were in this particular debate however I would like to point out the while you are true that the victor writes the history books the arguement(I'm not sure if you were being ironic or not) but by the end of WWII America was using more M1s than 1903A3s. semi autos, while in the right, properly trained hands, offers a huge advantage over a bolt action(despite the M1's En Bloc drawback). while Germany and Russia both also had Semi Autos(the K43 for Germany and the SVT40 for mother Russia) both parties felt that, for the same reasons mag disconnects were so prevalent in WWI was that giving a soldier a semi auto would cause him to fire wildly and waste ammunition. combined with complicated manufacture both parties produced them as support weapons and focused mainly on making the already proven bolt actions of their respective armies and really never issued them in force the same way America did.

also, Germany was spead way too thin to support the empire that Hitler wanted. since "Arian superiority" was law of the land, Germans were largely the only ones fighting(a couple exceptions, yes but the majority were german). oppositely however allied troops were not picky at all about who they let fight alongside them, Italians, free french, English, Australians, Canadians, India, China, Russians(enemy of my enemy in those cases), it didn't matter, if they wanted Germany or Japan out of the picture then they were all for it.

Germany was defeated by semi Autos and sheer, overwhelming numbers more than who had the best bolt actions in that case.
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:13 PM   #95
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WWII was not won or lost by who had the best rifle, nor was WWI, I would argue.
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:32 PM   #96
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Quote:
I've already laid that out, in detail. As have others.
Hearsay is not admissable in court, and is rejected outright in science. What you have here in this thread is a discussion of the merits of a given rifle, supported by others who fel you are right inspite of ample evidence to the contrary.
Quote:
Isn't it interesting that, when push came to shove, the Mauser was on the losing end of things quite a bit more often than the winning end?
Read what Scouse has to say about that
Quote:
WWII was not won or lost by who had the best rifle, nor was WWI, I would argue.
As for a relevant incident to dispell your myth- Dunkirk ring a bell? Those pesky losers chased the SMLE-carrying winners right off of the continent. Yep, sure, losers.

And in the longest-running war of the 20th Century, the winners used Mausers. Of course, the losers rearmed with Mausers and tried again.

Countries armed with Mausers: 30+
Kingdoms armed with Lee-Enfields: 1 (the rifle that lost the British an Empire).

But enough. It happened almost 100 years ago. You to yours, and I to mine.
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:36 PM   #97
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Details, details, Scouse!

Of course I am being tongue in cheek.

Rifles can win, of heavily influence, battles, such as at Mons in 1914.

But weight of a nation's economic capacity to prosecute a long-term conflict wins wars more often than not.

No where is that more clear than in world war ii.
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:48 PM   #98
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again I fail to see where it was laid out why the mauser was a superior design

mike has asked for substantiating arguements in close to half his posts and yet all I'm reading is "zealous enthuisiasts plugging their ears and screaming enfield is better despite hard evidence" as the argument in favor of the mauser when I again can see no hard evidence posted anywhere on this thread.

what made the mauser superior? that is all I am asking, you can say my rifle is not the best all you want but many have laid out the points where enfield is better than the competition but nowhere do I see a person give one feature that is superior except how many countries issued mausers.

the AK47 is the most heavily produced and issued assualt rifle in the world and yet it seems like all the mall ninjas at the gun range carry the AR15 rather than an AK clone... there is just as much, if not more tacticool, nonsense stuff available for the AK variants as there is for the AR15 so why wouldn't more people go for the AK? because the AR, in the end, is just a better design, despite it's military, select fire counterparts being issued to only 2 countries that I am aware of(the U.S. and Canada).
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Old September 24, 2012, 05:31 PM   #99
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Quite right Mike

I would also argue that total wars are won in the factories and farms and railyards as much as on the battlefields, and that generally on those same battlefields the superiority of one rifle over another is overshadowed by artillety, armour, air power, tactics, the overall tacitcal and strategic situation. Mons 1914 was an abberation in that riflemen won a major battle in a war which was dominated by artillery - that does not make it any less relevant to this particular debate.

That the British were kicked out of mainland Europe at Dunkirk is an argument for precisely nothing to do with rifles. What it is an argument for, is superior German handling of armour. Ask any tank expert in the world, who had better tanks at the outbreak of WWII, France or Germany, the answer, as surely as can ever be in such debates, is France. By a country mile. The Germans handled theirs better, concentrated them, coordinated with their airforce and fought a modern war. The French, and the British with them, tried to refight WWI. That is why Dunkirk happened, nothing whatsoever to do with the SMLE. Just as the fact that the Germans won the Battle of France does not mean they had better tanks.

You have picked a battle in which the rifle was not the decisive instrument of battle. Armour and German close air support is what was. Therefore, proclamations about rifles based on it, need to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt, surely?

Also, just to contradict myself a wee bit, if you look at what actually happened on the ground at Dunkirk, it doesn't stack up. The Germans halted their tanks, ostensibly to refuel and let the airforce finish off the British - these orders came from Berlin. Battlefield commanders realised this was mad and attempted to reduce the British beachhead with infantry as the primary attack arm. The artillery had not got close enough to provide enough support, so despite substantial close air support, the Germans were halted by British infantrymen - armed predominantly with the SMLE. The British escaped across the channel, manpower in tact. (Worth noting, that the final British evacuation was covered by a heroic last stand by French troops, fully aware they were sacrificing themselves for the British withdrawal.)

Ultimately a crushing victory for German combined armed tactics, not the Mauser rifle.

Again, rational, logical arguments have been laid out as to why several of us consider the Lee Enfield to be the best bolt action battle rifle in history, to accusations of being biased etc.

Our case has been stated, the only thing to refute it I have seen really has been the number of countries who adopted the Mauser vs the SMLE - in return this has been rebutted by the very reasonable explanation that the Lee Enfield was predominantly made for and by states, the Mauser by a private, profit making company. Makes sense to me.

Please, someone now tell me why the Mauser is better as a battlefield weapon.

EDIT - Nice analogy with the production figures for Kalashnikovs Tahunua

EDIT - Scorch, just picked up on your wee comment at the bottom there about loss of Empire. Nope, sorry, again doesn't wash. The British realised the world had changed and walked out, lowered flags with a nice ceremony, handed over power peacefully to successor state in the vast majority of what was once the British Empire. When independence movements tried to fight it out, they usually lost. True story.

Last edited by Scouse; September 24, 2012 at 05:40 PM.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:41 PM   #100
Mike Irwin
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Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,074
"Dunkirk ring a bell?"

Oh my...

Wow.

You've really given me something to think about, Scorch, with your "example" of Dunkirk.

Such as the fact that you apparently know nothing about the order of battle in France in 1940.

Tell you what.

Why don't you tell us why YOU think that Dunkirk is a tribute to the Mauser's superiority in that battle, and then, tomorrow, when I have a chance, I'll tell you A) how wrong you are, B) how little the German infantry figured in the battle that forced the British retreat to the Channel coast, and C) just how far away from Dunkirk most German infantry divisions were when Hitler called a general halt to the advance on the assurances by Goering that the Luftwaffe could destroy the Anglo-French positions.
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