Best Pistol of WW2

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
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JTV
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by JTV » 17 Jan 2018 06:01

Sid Guttridge wrote: Given that this thread hasn't yet found anyone killed in conventional battle by any pistol...
I have heard of two such cases from veterans in here and read about one (personal war memoirs sort of book), so they did happen, but such cases appear to been very rare indeed.

Jarkko

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vladalex
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by vladalex » 17 Jan 2018 09:22

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi vladalex,
...

Hence my scepticism about any search for the "Best Pistol of WW2". It is like looking for the best item on the menu of the Titanic. We may find it, but it rather misses the point that nutrition wasn't a significant problem on the liner's maiden voyage.

On the other hand, tank maintenance was likely a major issue because the weapon was one of the decisive factors in the war and so serves some attention.

Cheers,

Sid.
Hi sid,
Your opinion from this post have 100% confidence with my opinion about the subject.
Thank you for delightfull comparisson with Titanic. I like it very much.

I do not tell you nothing about tanks, you are right, but I can't accept Gulo' s ideea to compare a fighting machine composed from 15000 pieces with any unnamed pistol with 30-40 pieces ...

Regards,
vladalex.

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vladalex
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by vladalex » 17 Jan 2018 09:35

[quote]I've heard about this situation in Vietnam. [quote] ... Hmmm, very interesting . And when was used P-38 there ?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Jan 2018 12:32

Hi Gulo and JTV,

Between you, you have sited five possible claims of the use of pistols in conventional combat. However, to have some evidential worth we would need some sources and details.

Can you supply some more information?

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Jan 2018 12:44

Hi Guys,

I should mention that I have carried a pistol on operations in Rhodesia in 1979. However, it was a secondary weapon after my G3 rifle. When you are young you tend to acquire any weapon going to look maximally warry! Fortunately, I never had cause or opportunity to use it as the Terrs were seldom careless enough to get close and my G3 was always sound on the rare occasions I needed it.

In Salisbury youth hostel I did meet one plump American pistol specialist who joined the police reserve specifically in order to use his pistol. His name was Ray and he was inevitably nicknamed "Raygun". He also never got the opportunity to use it. He was caught in a vehicle ambush, the guy sitting next to him was hit in the head and Ray was reportedly covered in his brains. Ray went back to the USA shortly afterwards.

Cheers,

Sid.

Gulo
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Gulo » 17 Jan 2018 13:53

Gentlemen, I did not want to talk about whether pistols are important in the war (of course they are not very important in comparison with a bigger weapon). As I said, the British had old revolvers and weak Italian pistols and it was probably not a big problem for them. I only mentioned talking with a man who really used pistols in a fight (because he was a partisan) so his opinion about pistols can be valuable. Probably a well-equipped first aid kit is more important to a TYPICAL soldier than a pistol. But of course we can also say that the rifle does not matter to 90% of soldiers. I read the memories of a soldier who said he bought the G3 just for decoration, to make an impression, because he only used 120 mm mortar.
PS
If the pistols are completely unimportant, it is absurd that for a long time the German army wanted corrections in Walther P38 and the Polish army wanted corrections in Vis 35. Maybe everyone unnecessarily liked small metal gadgets...?

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JTV
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by JTV » 17 Jan 2018 22:07

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Gulo and JTV,
Can you supply some more information?
I am not sure how useful these are, but what I can remember:

1. Guy named Laitila wrote his wartime memoirs years back. He fought as NCO in mortar platoon belonging to one of the Jaeger Battalions during Winter War. Early in the war (December 1939?) he and another soldier run into three Soviets in a forest and Corporal Laitila only had hand grenades and Parabellum pistol with him. Hence they threw hand grenades at the Soviets and Laitila shot one of them with his pistol.

2. Told by veteran who served in Armor Division in meeting of Tanker's Guild years ago: Armor Division was stationed in city of Äänislinna / Petrozavodsk most of Continuation War. One evening while walking in the city alone he was attached by two Soviets who had knives (partisans or common criminals - what is certain is that they were in civilian clothes) in an alley. They would have probably killed him, if he did not have a pistol - he shot one of the attackers which caused the another one to flee. He obviously did not have any other firearm with him at the time, which might explain why he was selected as a target.

3. Told by another veteran in a gunshop also years ago: He and another Finnish soldier had been captured in a battle by the Soviets sometime during Continuation War. The veteran had his own privately owned small .25 ACP caliber pistol in pocket and the Soviets who captured them did two mistakes - first they failed to inspect properly if their POWs had any weapons and then left their two prisoners with only one guard. At some point he succeeded slipping the pistol from his pocket inside a mitten (this happened winter-time) and shot the unsuspecting guard from point blank range. With the only guard gone they succeeded escaping and reaching their own unit.

Jarkko

EDIT: Fixed some typos.
Last edited by JTV on 18 Jan 2018 17:14, edited 2 times in total.

Gulo
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Gulo » 18 Jan 2018 01:30

Sid Guttridge wrote: Can you supply some more information?
From what I remember, German paratroopers only had a pistol during the jump because they could not jump with a long rifle. The rifles were dropped separately. So during the unfortunate Operation Mercury, they probably had to use pistols in combat before they found rifles. Maybe during earlier operations too. In addition, various special forces used pistols with silencers, but these were not typical battles. In Soviet tanks there were also holes for shooting pistols, if the enemy infantry approached the tank, but it was used this way? I do not know. And if you want to see a bit funny use of the pistol...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9rzNYc9cOc

Of course, it's just a movie, but maybe sometimes the pilots were in such situations.

Frederickvon
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Frederickvon » 22 Jan 2018 06:10

I don't see why such hate on pistols, they had their place. Were they shit compared to a full size rifle or submachine gun? Absolutely. But if you're a crew member of a mortar or machine gun, a tanker or pilot, a pistol could come in very handy. There are a million anecdotes out there of people defending themselves with a pistol in desparate situations. Certainly, they're better with than without. You can argue that a full-size rifle/submachine gun is ideal, but it can't be argued that a pistol is an effective self-defense/backup weapon, because it is.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Jan 2018 13:17

Hi Fredrickvon,

There is no hatred of pistols. My position is essentially one of indifference to a largely symbolic, secondary weapon of little combat value.

Are there really "a million anecdotes"? And are anecdotes useful evidence?

For example, many tens of thousands of pistols came down with airmen in WWII. How many were actually used? I don't know of any, though doubtless there are few, statistically insignificant, cases.

The pistol is certainly a back up weapon, but whether it was effective is another matter.

I would urge anybody with traceable evidence of their use in combat to put up sources here.

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Jan 2018 13:18

Hi JTV,

How can we trace these three incidents so that they can be used as evidence?

Cheers,

Sid.

ROLAND1369
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by ROLAND1369 » 22 Jan 2018 20:48

I can shed some light on the lack use of pistols by Aircrew during WW II. My father was a B 24 pilot who flew 28 missions. He told me the instructions to aircrew on use of their pistol was" it was only to be used to hold off any civilians and was to be immediately surrendered to the first UnNiformed German Official encountered". Obviously not always successful but still the facts. I concur with the lack of serious utility of a pistol as a serious combat weapon. This based on participation in two wars.

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JTV
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by JTV » 22 Jan 2018 21:34

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi JTV,
How can we trace these three incidents so that they can be used as evidence?
No offense intended, but what makes you think that they could be? Considering that average age of Finnish World War 2 veterans is now 93, changes are all three men may be dead by now. I also don't see what this would prove. We all know that pistols got issued in massive numbers and even if they played only a tiny role in producing casualties, it should not be a surprise that sometimes they were actually used to shoot somebody.

Jarkko

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jan 2018 14:45

Hi JTV,

Names, places, units, dates, documents, publications, etc., etc., all add to the verifiability and would be helpful.

Reported chance meetings by pseudonymous posters with untraceable individuals "years ago" at gunshops and guilds, and untitled war memoirs from "years back" don't give us much to go on and leave us with secondhand anecdotes of very limited value.

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Best Pistol of WW2

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jan 2018 14:48

Hi JTV,

Names, places, units, dates, documents, publications, etc., etc., all add to the verifiability and would be helpful.

Reported chance meetings by pseudonymous posters with untraceable individuals "years ago" at gunshops and guilds, and untitled war memoirs from "years back" don't give us much to go on and leave us with secondhand anecdotes of very limited value.

It is noticeable that though this thread has had 4,224 views so far, we haven't a single verifiable case of a pistol being used in combat put up on it.

I am as sure as you that some pistols must have been used in combat, but it is proving surprisingly difficult to find any verifiable cases.

Cheers,

Sid.

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