The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations. Hosted by George Lepre.
Komi
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The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Komi » 18 Mar 2021 15:06

How common was it for Axis collaborators or foreign volunteers to be issued with captured American or British weapons? I think I recall seeing a photo of a French Milice member carrying a Sten, but I'm having trouble tracking it down now. I've read that the Japanese issued some of their puppet troops in Southeast Asia with captured Lee-Enfields and Springfield 03s.

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Poot
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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Poot » 18 Mar 2021 19:12

You're touching on a relatively smaller aspect of the wider use of Beutewaffen in the Wehrmacht. Very frequently, collaborationist or co-belligerant parties would use small arms which had been in use by their respective nations' militaries prior to conquest/annexation. You're correct, I've also seen photos of Milice and French Police using Stens, but more typically French carbines and rifles during the period of occupation. Ostruppen were frequently photographed armed with captured Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifles, while a number of other photos exist of volunteers similarly armed.

Captured foreign small arms filled an important gap in the Wehrmacht's logistical train. Far more troops served in support roles than in active combat roles. While they needed to be armed, their duties usually consisted of performing static and uncontested duties in non- or low threat areas, in which ammunition expenditure would be either extremely low, or non-existent. For tasks like this, using captured small arms made sense as it meant that first line arms would still go to combat troops, where they were needed most.

Here are two photos that I found here on the forum, in a thread on collaborationist Serbian forces. They show two border guards, one with a captured British No.1 Mk.III Lee-Enfield rifle, and the other with a captured French MAS-36 rifle. No doubt these were captured weapons that were pressed into use by collaborationist forces after being supplied by the Wehrmacht.

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Komi
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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Komi » 18 Mar 2021 19:51

Thanks Poot. Yes I'm aware that the use of captured weapons extended beyond simply those of Britain and America ... however in this instance I wanted to narrow my focus to weapons from those two specific countries, as I've already seen a quite a lot of evidence for the use of Allied weaponry from other countries (e.g. Soviet Russia, Poland, and France) by collaborators.

Interesting to see those photos.

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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Poot » 19 Mar 2021 00:45

I vaguely recall seeing a photo of a Japanese solider or sailor with what appeared to be a U.S. Model of 1917 rifle, but I don't remember where I saw it. The Philippine Army used several of the M1917s, so it also could have been captured from them.
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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Komi » 19 Mar 2021 10:37

Poot wrote:
19 Mar 2021 00:45
I vaguely recall seeing a photo of a Japanese solider or sailor with what appeared to be a U.S. Model of 1917 rifle, but I don't remember where I saw it. The Philippine Army used several of the M1917s, so it also could have been captured from them.
I've read that Filipino collaborators (e.g. the honour guard for Jose P. Laurel) used Springfields leftover from captured American/Philippine stocks, so that wouldn't surprise me to also see M1917s in the hands of the Japanese.

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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Sturmschwein » 20 Mar 2021 00:54

There is one photo which shows a member of the POA with a Sten. The photo is from an Ost-Batallion in Italy

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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by LineDoggie » 20 Mar 2021 03:24

Poot wrote:
19 Mar 2021 00:45
I vaguely recall seeing a photo of a Japanese solider or sailor with what appeared to be a U.S. Model of 1917 rifle, but I don't remember where I saw it. The Philippine Army used several of the M1917s, so it also could have been captured from them.
try several hundred thousand

the US M1917 was the Std Rifle of the Philippine army, purchased in 2 orders in the 1930's
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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by LineDoggie » 20 Mar 2021 03:27

Komi wrote:
18 Mar 2021 15:06
How common was it for Axis collaborators or foreign volunteers to be issued with captured American or British weapons? I think I recall seeing a photo of a French Milice member carrying a Sten, but I'm having trouble tracking it down now. I've read that the Japanese issued some of their puppet troops in Southeast Asia with captured Lee-Enfields and Springfield 03s.
Image
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Facu90 » 22 Mar 2021 07:14

Croatian with sten gun
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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by Knouterer » 24 Mar 2021 08:09

SOE and the Americans dropped about a quarter of a million small arms on France and the Low Countries, and a very large percentage, maybe as much as half, fell into the hands of the Germans and collaborators. There are many pictures of Milice members carrying Brens, Stens and Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifles.

During the "Englandspiel" in 1942-43 alone, when the Abwehr had captured and turned SOE agents in the Netherlands, 3,000 submachine guns, 7,000 pistols, and 300 machine guns were dropped in their lap, plus grenades, 15 tons of explosives and half a million rounds of ammunition.
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Re: The use of captured British or American weapons by collaborators?

Post by LineDoggie » 24 Mar 2021 16:56

German troops in Denmark surrendering M1 Carbines, Stens, Beretta M38's,

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"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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