(Grease Gun)

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
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EKB
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by EKB » 13 Sep 2021 05:13

yantaylor wrote:
05 Sep 2021 20:13
Hi everyone.

Did the M3 Sub-Machine Gun ever replace the Thompson in WW2?, as rifle companies go, the squads were equipped with M1 Rifles and BARs, any SMGs seemed to be kept at company HQ and issued for patrol leaders. Did the M3 mainly get issued to truck drivers, despatch riders and tank crews?

Publicity photos taken at Exeter airfield on June 4, 1944. The soldier with the M3 submachine gun is Lt. Alex Bobuck, Battalion S-1, HQ3/506 PIR. The man checking his parachutes is Lt. Colonel Robert Wolverton.

Lt Alex Bobuck.png


Soldier in the pictures T/5 William Atlee, clerk and message runner, HQ3/506 PIR. Images dated June 4, 1944, except for top right photo made the next day. The soldier in the foreground at lower right is John Taormina.

T5 Bill Atlee.png

Six men on the same plane carried Thompson M1 submachine guns, including S/Sgt John Taormina (communications), T/4 Joseph Gorenc (Assistant S-3), T/5 Jack Harrison (radio operator), Pfc. Donald Ross (message runner), Pvt. Jesse Cross (recon section), and Pvt. Anthony Wincenciak (message runner). I just discovered that Taormina passed away a few months ago, aged 101 years.
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Hans1906
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by Hans1906 » 13 Sep 2021 21:42

Thanks to EKB,

for the excellent pictures, amazing visuals, the pictures touch very much, these pictures speak volumes, without question.

Is the photographer known at the time, did the photographer jump off with the paras ?


Hans
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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EKB
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by EKB » 14 Sep 2021 11:53

Hans1906 wrote:
13 Sep 2021 21:42
Thanks to EKB,

for the excellent pictures, amazing visuals, the pictures touch very much, these pictures speak volumes, without question.
Is the photographer known at the time

Hi Hans,

I don’t know the names of the camera crew. They made still photos and movie newsreel film over a two day period. They did not ride on the plane to France, but on June 4, 1944 they took pictures inside the cabin of the C-47 transport coded 9X-P and christened “Lady Lillian.”

In the first photo, notice the safety hazards that are not acceptable today. The airplane was fueled with 100 octane but several men are casually smoking. T/5 William Atlee has a cigarette dangling in his mouth and the muzzle of his M3 submachine gun is pointed directly at Pfc. Donald Ross, sitting across the aisle.

Ross is at the front of the line in the second photo.

Group 1.png
Group 2.png
Hans1906 wrote:
13 Sep 2021 21:42
did the photographer jump off with the paras ?

On June 5, 1944 the same group boarded a different C-47, coded 8Y-S called “Stoy Hora” and bound for Normandy. They had one passenger, BBC reporter Ward Smith. I’m not sure if he took pictures but he asked the army parachutists and C-47 crew chief to write their names in his notebook. The dispatch from Smith to the BBC be read here:

http://www.6juin1944.com/veterans/wardsmith.php
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ROLAND1369
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by ROLAND1369 » 14 Sep 2021 14:53

It is easy to see that these are pre assault staged photos. For the actual jump their weapons would have been secured to their harnesses. The M 1 rifles would have been broken down and secured within Griswold bags and secured under their reserve parachute and the M 3 SMG would have been slung over the shoulder at the on the right side and secured with cloth tape. As for the M 3 SMG being pointed at someone in the pic the bolt is most likely closed and with the ejection port cover closed is locked in this forward position and cannot move to the rear in order to strip a round from the magazine and fire. With the bolt in the cocked position a closed cover also locks the bolt in order to prevent firing. This action makes the M 3 safer than both the STEN and MP 38/40 both of which can be fired by dropping them.

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EKB
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by EKB » 15 Sep 2021 10:45

ROLAND1369 wrote:
14 Sep 2021 14:53
It is easy to see that these are pre assault staged photos.

Another clue that the first series of pictures was a dress rehearsal: the men did not blacken their faces, as they would the next day. On the night of the jump they wore bright silk neckties in the staging areas, to increase visibility in the dark. The airfields were not illuminated except for scattered studio lights used by the photographers.

Group 3.png


ROLAND1369 wrote:
14 Sep 2021 14:53
For the actual jump their weapons would have been secured to their harnesses. The M 1 rifles would have been broken down and secured within Griswold bags and secured under their reserve parachute

In most cases, yes. T/4 Joseph Gorenc carried his Tommy gun like this when he boarded C-47 code 8Y-S on June 5, 1944.

Group 4.png
Group 5.png


ROLAND1369 wrote:
14 Sep 2021 14:53
the M 3 SMG would have been slung over the shoulder at the on the right side and secured with cloth tape.

Well, the unidentified young man at left looks ready to open fire during the parachute descent. Maybe he was striking a pose for the photographer, but I believe the picture was made during Operation Varsity. The soldier on the right is T/5 Albert Krochka, photographer for RHQ/501 PIR, as he appeared in Normandy.

Group 6.png
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by Hans1906 » 17 Sep 2021 18:27

The photos are very similar to the photos of Robert Capa, for this reason, I asked about the photographer, thank you for posting.

Robert Capa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Capa

Capa was, and is a role model, just mentioning him makes me sad...


Hans
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by ROLAND1369 » 18 Sep 2021 16:06

RE: #20 Post by EKB » 15 Sep 2021, 11:45 If you examine the magazine well of the M 3 you will note that the magazine is not present, hardly ready to fire while desening. If this is indeed Varsity, by this time there were alternate methods of caring the weapons, the M1 Garands and BARs rifles were jumped rigged in the manner shown by the pic with the Thompson or in canvas weapon containers and the M 3s sometimes, due to their shortness were jumped with the magazine removed and placed across the top of the reserve parachute while held in place by the top Elastic opening bands. In the later case it would have been possible to lose the weapon if the reserve had to be used. It was also possible, due to the severe opening shock of the WW II T-5 and T-7, to be struck in the face by the weapon. I have jumped the M3 this way and the side mounted under the harness is safer and easier to deploy.

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EKB
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by EKB » 18 Sep 2021 21:23

ROLAND1369 wrote:
18 Sep 2021 16:06
RE: #20 Post by EKB » 15 Sep 2021, 11:45 If you examine the magazine well of the M 3 you will note that the magazine is not present, hardly ready to fire while desening. If this is indeed Varsity, by this time there were alternate methods of caring the weapons, the M1 Garands and BARs rifles were jumped rigged in the manner shown by the pic with the Thompson or in canvas weapon containers and the M 3s sometimes, due to their shortness were jumped with the magazine removed and placed across the top of the reserve parachute while held in place by the top Elastic opening bands. In the later case it would have been possible to lose the weapon if the reserve had to be used. It was also possible, due to the severe opening shock of the WW II T-5 and T-7, to be struck in the face by the weapon. I have jumped the M3 this way and the side mounted under the harness is safer and easier to deploy.

Right, I didn’t notice that the mag well was empty.

But it’s obvious that not everyone carried weapons tucked under the harness. More than a few men lost guns, helmets and other equipment stripped away by high winds or a violent parachute opening. Not all individuals secured the gear sufficiently, but there were complaints that certain pilots did not reduce air speed to safe limits for a combat jump. Uneven cloud cover and heavy flak contributed to disorientation and distress of some flight crews.

Post-war practice jump over Japan, note carry position of the Browning Automatic Rifle:

Group 7.png
Group 8.png
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by EKB » 18 Sep 2021 22:04

Hans1906 wrote:
17 Sep 2021 18:27
The photos are very similar to the photos of Robert Capa, for this reason, I asked about the photographer, thank you for posting.

Robert Capa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Capa

Capa was, and is a role model, just mentioning him makes me sad...


Hans

Agreed about Capa, but I liked Edward Steichen's choice of supervising a big film unit to get more output.

posting.php?mode=quote&f=71&p=2364350
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Avi ... aphic_Unit
https://www.history.navy.mil/content/hi ... -wwii.html

Steichen montage.png
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ROLAND1369
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by ROLAND1369 » 18 Sep 2021 22:42

#23 Post by EKB » Today, 22:23 Point taken. The drop zones on Fort Bragg are littered with assorted items of equipment after each drop. The pic of the BAR man was made in Japan after WW II and is the 11th Airborne Division, a legend of rowdiness even among the American Airborne divisions. When on occupation duty in Japan after WW II they committed so many acts of indiscipline(according to the peacetime standards of the peacetime army) that their commander, General Joe Swing, was told by MacArthur "take your thieves and go north". All 11th airborne soldiers, including their officers, had to have written permission from one of Macs staff officers to go south to Tokyo. the last real airborne unit in the US army. One of the problems with the transport pilots was that the best qualified went to fighters, the next best went to bombers, and the others went to transports.

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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by Hans1906 » 29 Sep 2021 14:57

Thanks to EKB, for learning about the photographer Edward Steichen, for me until today a unknown person.

Edward Steichen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Steichen

Very interesting information, how nice that you always learn something new here in the forum, very good!


Hans
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by LineDoggie » 29 Sep 2021 16:24

Hans1906 wrote:
09 Sep 2021 17:12
The American MP M3, and the various Beretta MPs were not shot, for good reasons.
Inferior stuff, who equipped his soldiers with this garbage, sent his men straight to hell.

Hans
Odd as the Wehrmacht used ALL the Beretta M1938 series SMG's they could lay hands on

Better designed Mags than the german MP28, 38/40 single position feed mags

Image

Image

Image
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Poot
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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by Poot » 29 Sep 2021 17:38

Great photos, LineDoggie.

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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by ROLAND1369 » 01 Oct 2021 01:15

RE post #23 18 Sep 2021, 22:23 As an aside the number 2 jumper and BAR jumper are making the poorest exit positions I have seen short of diving out. They look kike the fell out of the door.

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Re: (Grease Gun)

Post by Hans1906 » 01 Oct 2021 15:36

Thank you also for the interesting photos of the Beretta MPs in German hands before 1945.

We didn't shoot the one or two Beretta MPs of a German collector friend back in the late 1970s, for our own safety, we didn't trust that material.
Maybe it was better that way.

Beretta 38/44 and MP41 Comparison


Liste der Handwaffen der Wehrmacht https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der ... _Wehrmacht


Hans
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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