Helmets in the 28th Division?

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keith A
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Joined: 19 Jan 2012 16:51

Helmets in the 28th Division?

Post by keith A » 14 Sep 2013 18:38

I have just seen a picture in Merrill's Marauders (Osprey) of them being relieved by a Chinese Division. It states that this was the 38th Division but I was under the impression that the 38th wore American M1 Helmets. The troops in the photograph are equipped with British-type helmets. in addition one of the soldiers has an M1 or M1A1 Thompson! All my war photos show the Chinese armies in Burma with M1928 Thompson. Could this be the New 28th Division?

best regards

Keith

Edward Chen
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Location: New York City

Re: Helmets in the 28th Division?

Post by Edward Chen » 19 Sep 2013 02:18

Keith,

The answer is yes--those must be a number of X-Force New 38th Division troops wearing the WW1-style American M1917 helmet plus netting.
Despite the fact that New 38th Division troops were usually shown wearing the WW2-style American M1 helmet, it seems that most but not all of them did.
Historically it was New 38th Division troops (from the 2nd Battalion/113th Regiment) who were the first to link up with the American 5307th RCT (aka Galahad Force aka "Merrill's Marauders") at Walawbum on March 7, 1944. Thus "relieved," the 5307th RCT troops headed a short distance east from Walawbum, in preparation to continue advancing south along the Walawbum-Kamaing road.

I initially thought the Chinese troops in the photo in question to be from the X-Force New 22nd Division (who seem to be universally equipped with the M1917 helmet), as one battalion from the 64th Regiment arrived in the Walawbum area along with COL Rothwell Brown's 1st Provisional Tank Group on March 8, linking up with the 113th Regiment at Walawbum. However the 5307th RCT had already relocated by that time.

I've seen another photo, supposedly of machine gunners of New 38th Division's 112th Regiment defending the "Seton Block" in late May 1944, also in M1917's. These photos will be posted later.

Note that New 28th Division, belonging to Y-Force 71st Army, was not yet in combat in March 1944; Y-Force's offensive across the Salween River did not commence until two months later.

keith A
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Posts: 807
Joined: 19 Jan 2012 16:51

Re: Helmets in the 28th Division?

Post by keith A » 25 Sep 2013 16:32

Thanks Edward. That clears up my question and opens up several others... ;-) Most of the photos I have seen indicate the M1917 helmet was the most numerous in use with X-Force. I have certainly seen a few American helmets but for some reason (where they have been attributed to a unit) it seems the 112th regiment wearing them. I wonder how many M1 helmets were supplied? The staff officers of X-Force seem very keen to be photographed with them, to date I haven't seen one officer wearing an M1917.

best regards

Keith

keith A
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Posts: 807
Joined: 19 Jan 2012 16:51

Re: Helmets in the 28th Division?

Post by keith A » 25 Sep 2013 17:01

This photo seems to confirm it. The Chinese soldiers are presumably from the same unit but wearing different helmets.

http://www.history-of-american-wars.com ... AG0298.jpg

best regards

Keith

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