Patton’s Garand Quotes, Legitimate Approval or Hype?

The phrase, “In my opinion, the M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised” is possibly one of the more enduring and iconic of all quotes to emerge out of the Second World War in relation to American small arms. The quote itself stems from a letter from General Patton to a certain General Campbell of the War Department. Campbell was Chief of Ordnance in 1945, the department that then directed the production and design of everything from hand grenades to the 500 pound bombs being dropped by B17s on Fortress Europe. However what must be noted is that Patton goes on to say in the letter that just about everything else the U.S. Army was using was without equal in the world. By the way, there is another letter attributed to Patton, but this one directly addressed to Springfield Armory, in which he says, “I consider the M1 the greatest weapon ever made”. Obviously the more poetic of the two found its way into the history books.

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In fact, possibly due to this particular compliment, Springfield Armory commissioned an M1, just for Patton himself. Unfortunately it was never delivered to him because he died from complications in a car accident in 1945. Today the rifle is on display at the Cody Firearms Museum.

Apart from his ferocity on the battlefield as a master tactician, Patton was also known for his morale boosting speeches and tirades. Sometimes getting into alot of political trouble by making references to allying with the Soviets, or publicly humiliating soldiers suffering from Shell Shock (to which he later publicly apologized to his entire Third Army). What does this tell us about Patton’s attributions to the rifle? As much as this quote and others is overused when praising the M1, one could possibly argue that it was calculated hype, because he essentially bunches in the rest of the U.S. arsenal with the same compliment. However on the other hand, he singles out the M1 in his initial paragraph highlighting it’s significance. We’ll explore other quotes attributed to him, and their context, in the proceeding paragraphs.

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In addition we have this document, dated to April 1944, and known as a Letter of Instruction Number 2. In it Patton expounds his advice for his infantrymen in their tactical conduct on the battlefield, with very specific reference to the M1 rifle. He mentions numerous other small arms and light weapons, to include the 81mm, 60mm mortars, and machine guns, but nowhere else does he again single out a weapon system for its significance.

Headquarters
Third United States Army
APO 403 U.S. Army

3 April, 1944
Subject: Letter of Instruction Number 2
To: Corps, Division, and Separate Unit Commanders

III. Tactical Usages

….

b. The heavy weapons set the pace. In the battalion the heavy weapons company paces the battalion. In the regiment the cannon company paces the regiment, but it is the function of the rifles and the light machine guns to see that the heavy weapons have a chance to move. In other words, the rifles and machine guns move the heavy weapons in to do the killing.

f. The M-1 rifle is the most deadly rifle in the world. If you cannot see the enemy, you can at least shoot at the place where he is apt to be.

Again, on Page 339 of his autobiography there is another direct compliment to the M1, one of the other more often quoted sayings of Patton,

When you get to three hundred yards, your own small-arms fire, which is superior to anything now existing or which will probably ever exist, will neutralize that the enemy small-arms fire..

.Marching Fire: The proper way to advance, particularly for troops armed with that magnificent weapon, the M-1 rifle, is to utilize marching fire and keep moving.

However, in the same paragraph he has this-

The whistle of the bullets, the scream of the ricochet, and the dust, twigs, and branches which are knocked from the ground and the trees have such an effect on the enemy that his small-arms fire becomes negligible.

Volume of fire versus accuracy of fire has always been a hotly contested debate within many Infantry circles. During the Marine Corps’ M27 competition this was one of the advantages seen against the M249 SAW, in that only accurate effects on target, will more likely lead to killing or wounding enemy troops, and thus will carry an attack. I personally believe that a large volume of inaccurate or sporadic fire, will probably only embolden an enemy to increase his own rate of fire, and even further to end the attack he is being faced with. Patton is essentially arguing that there isn’t a need to actually have effective rounds on target, instead just make sure all your rounds get in the vicinity of the enemy. Taken with this spirit, one could even argue that Patton could have been somewhat delusional when it comes to the execution of small unit tactics. Indeed, on the next page the General proposes that, “The light machine guns [1919A4s] can be used while walking-one man carrying the belt, the other man carrying the gun”. I’ve pointed this out before, but shoulder firing a medium machine gun such as a M240B, or a PKM is probably more detrimental than anything else. But with a period M1919A4 that Patton is referencing, there is no shouldering, only hip firing, which quite quantifies “Spray and Pray”. Again, I find this somewhat illusionary and wishful thinking. Especially at the ranges in which small arms were employed in the European Theater of Operations.

Often we presume that the M1 gave American forces a superior advantage on the battlefield, being the first mass produced and mass issued semi-automatic rifle in military history. But could a rifle have really been the decisive? Would the war in Europe had lasted several months longer had American forces been equipped with the bolt action M1903A3, or even the M1917 Enfield? I would wager a bet that it wouldn’t have. After all, the Japanese Army lasted much longer than the German Army did, equipped with bolt action Type 99 rifles. Granted, there is historical evidence that Japanese banzai charges were typically successful when dealing with forces of similarly armed bolt action rifles. Firearms historian Philip Schreier tells us this

Before the M1 came along, Japanese “banzai charges” had been successful against infantrymen armed with bolt-action rifles, but when they came up against U.S. infantrymen armed with M1s, the Japanese’s charges often ended in catastrophes for the Japanese, as they were cut down by this formidable rifle’s .30-06 cartridge fired with eight fast presses of a trigger. Once emptied, the clip flew free as the action on the rifle locked back; this allowed soldiers to simply stuff in another clip of eight more rounds. Compared to other arms used at the time, this made the M1 Garand an impressive weapon when in the hands of trained infantrymen.

The use of semi-automatic Garands certainly helped stop Banzai charges in the beginning of the war, but Japanese officers realized what they were dealing with, and quickly changed tactics that completely excluded and even in some cases forbid banzai charges. Some of the most costliest islands of the entire campaign in the Pacific were Iwo Jima and Okinawa, where there were relatively no banzai charges at all. My point is that although the Garand contributed to stopping Banzai charges, the overall effect of the rifle was probably very minimal, because Japanese troops simply changed tactics better suited to the new warfare they were encountering, and with devastating results.

Arguably the sheer industrial and logistical capacity to produce everything from 1911s to B29 Superfortresses with reliable quality control is the true instrument that made a difference against the Axis Powers. With the M1 of course becoming a byproduct of that. Either way, I’m sure GIs were much more comfortable with a semi-automatic rather than a bolt action rifle platform in the Greatest Generation’s campaigns against tyranny.

Much thanks to Daniel Waters for contributing the document photographs published in this article!



Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia. You can also follow us on Twitter- @Silah_Report

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • gordon

    I posit that the M1 carbine is/was at least as good if not better. Of course, not at everything though.

    • Audie Bakerson

      The M1 had a reputation for terrible stopping power and reliability.
      Also the M2 conversion kits were already out at that time and were a flat upgrade.

      • ostiariusalpha

        The M1 rifles certainly seemed to have better quality control than the carbines. Also, the carbine’s magazine design was awful, and had a negative effect on the weapon’s reliability; a rather typical weak-link for many small arms.

      • gordon

        I mostly made my comment for conversational purposes. Of course it is just speculation from 75 years and thousands of miles distance. However, if one
        considers how many rounds were fired for every enemy taken out of
        action, they all had terrible stopping power. With this in mind I
        imagine that having 3x as many marginally wounding rounds and a rifle that would tire soldiers out less would have
        been better.

        • Audie Bakerson

          It was a contemporary reputation, deserved or not, for the carbine. Lots of veteran’s talk about it in their books from what I understand.

      • Dougscamo

        Do you mean the M1 carbine?….

        • Audie Bakerson

          Hence why I said M2 is a flat upgrade.

      • Lee Attiny

        think you may be confused. The M1 fired either a 30-06 or .308 cartridge depending on the variant. Stopping power was more than adequate.

        • CommonSense23

          The M1 rifle fired a 30-06. The M1 carbine was a different gun.

          • idahoguy101

            The U.S. Navy did later convert some M1 Garand rifles to 7.62 NATO

        • Audie Bakerson

          M1 CARBINE had a reputation.

          Hence why I said M2 is a flat upgrade.

    • Patton was fond of the M1 carbine, and kept one of his own.

      “This afternoon (we) did a lot of shooting on the stern. The new carbine is a lovely little thing and very accurate.”

      Maj. General George S. Patton, Jr. to his wife Beatrice, November 2, 1942. Written from the USS Augusta (CA31) while en route to the Operation Torch landings.

    • idahoguy101

      Great carbine with a too weak cartridge. Even so it was a great idea that worked

      • roguetechie

        It’s not so much the power of the 30 carbine round as the round nose fmj bullet which let it down.

  • whodywei

    Would love to see his opinion on AK-47.

    • idahoguy101

      It’s been suggested that Kalishnikov borrowed generously from the Garand. I have no personal opinion about this.
      I’m more curious of what Patton thought of the T-34?

  • Audie Bakerson

    Wonder how familiar Patton was with the MP/STG-44

    • Major Tom

      Considering the poor fit, finish, and material quality of most Sturmgewehrs encountered by the western Allies he probably knew of it but considered it a piece of garbage compared to American arms.

    • Dougscamo

      They were much more familiar with the MG 34 and 42….to the combined chagrin of generals and line troops….AND DISQUS SUCKS TODAY….just sayin….did someone empty a magazine into their server?…..

    • Joseph Goins

      His familiarity with it is irrelevant. The tactics used by the US military required a hit-hitting semiauto rifle with a full-size round.

    • roguetechie

      Personally, the gun I’m glad that the Germans put the effort into producing en masse was the stg44 and not the fg42.

      In some universe where they had the industrial capacity and the smarts to produce enough magazines and fg-42’s in even 50% of the quantities they had the stg44 and we could have been in serious trouble.

      Especially if they had built up 15,000+ to use in the battle of the bulge…

      To say the least Bastogne would be remembered entirely differently today.

      • idahoguy101

        Question… how would an FG-42 be much of an improvement over a Browning Automatic Rifle?

        • roguetechie

          Open bolt full auto closed bolt semiautomatic, weighs much less, and is much more compact.

          Further though, it also used standard 7.92mm ammunition rather than kurz ammo.

          While I’m a fan of the fg42 on it’s own though my comment was more in the vein of if one weapons system could have made a difference in the way the war turned out that would be it…

          My pick was based on the fg 42 being well suited for defensive warfare while also being quite powerful in offensive warfare as well.

  • The_Champ

    I’ve found that there is something of a consensus among modern military historians(as much as there can be a consensus) that World War Two was won with American Industrial Capacity and Russian blood.

    As wonderful a rifle as the M1 is, it had really nothing to do with the outcome of WWII.

    • Martin M

      It was pure industrial capacity and good leadership. The amount of material produced by the USA is simply staggering, dwarfing all other nations combined.

      To say Japan outlasted the conflict in Europe is negated by the Europe First policy.

      • gordon

        I once saw a comparison of industrial output, perhaps in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy, and it was something like Japan had a 6, Germany a 14 and the US 45. It was hardly an even match.

        • Tana

          Mistakes Hitler made #1655: Saying “The US has eight times the industrial capacity of you. What are you – chicken?” to Hirohito.

      • Dougscamo

        I agree with the second part of your comment completely…the first part….somewhat. Yep, we had an enormous industrial base….but it means nothing without the proverbial “Boots on the ground”….if one could ask the guys in the line, they would all have differing opinions of leadership….and not just “pure” industrial capacity….

        • Martin M

          Pure industrial capacity. Enough to equip US forces, British forces, and with plenty left over to give to Soviet forces.

          The M-1 Garand was a perfectly capable rifle, but it didn’t radically increase the capability of the US infantry. Infantry (equipment wise) is only as good as it’s constituent parts. That included grenades, sidearms, SMGs, light-medium-heavy MGs, all manner of artillery from mortars to heavy guns, bazookas, rockets, AT guns, uniforms, communications, transport, supply, and so on. US equipment was every bit as good as German equipment. The big difference was the quantity.

          One thing that is clear is that the Japanese Army suffered from terrible equipment. While there were a few gems, on the whole it was not good. Couple that to poor logistics, leadership, and limited manufacturing and they were doomed.

          • Dougscamo

            We will have to agree to disagree. The Allies…aka US…for a large portion of equipment….had nothing to compare to the MG42, the Nebelwerfers (sp?) mortars, Panther tanks (until too late to make any difference), the Panzerfaust AT shaped charge weapons…which were highly prized by our troops….and the 88mm AA/AT weapons So no, not all of our equipment was as good as the Nazis’.

            I will grant you that the majority of the wounds endured (on both sides) were from artillery/mortars.

            But when the enemy has to be closed with, the M1 was far superior to the 98 Mauser or any other combatant carried personal weapon….and closing with the enemy is the necessary element. If it weren’t then Spaatz and Harris (among others) would have been correct in the air war assessment….and Germany would have been bombed to the point of surrender….which didn’t happen of course….
            Quantity is great….but someone still has to be on the ground to carry it…

          • idahoguy101

            Spaatz and Harris were wrong about strategic bombing winning the war by itself. However bombing Germany did tie up large numbers of men and equipment that couldn’t be used elsewhere. The effect on the war front was indirect but significant.

            On the other hand… had the Kriegsmarine had four times as many submarines at the start of the war in the West, Britain would have had to sue for terms. England could not have continued at war with Germany.

            History is full of “what if’s”?

          • Dougscamo

            Too true….and even after the war, Churchill admitted that the U-boats were what he feared the most….
            Makes sense since it was an island nation….

          • idahoguy101

            Some German equipment was clearly superior. All of their antitank could destroy an M4 Sherman. The MG34 and MG42 GPMGs were superior to ours.
            In Tactical Aircraft and Howitzers the Germans were outclassed and outgunned. Artillery was the bigger killer in Europe.
            Tactical Aircraft destroyed most of the German supplies before it got to the troops.
            The 8th Air Force and the RAF Bomber Command tied down Germans to defending the Fatherland and repairing everything.

          • demophilus

            I agree that some German equipment was superior, (look at the Schmeisser!) but let’s not forget that the Panzerfaust and Panzershreck copied and improved on our bazooka, which was pretty solid. The ROF on the MG34 and MG42 was too high; when the Bundeswehr tweaked the MG42 to get to the MG3, they dropped the ROF.

            And let’s not forget that tactics and doctine matter; they not only influence weapon design, but vice versa. If you’re fighting with the 98k, you maybe want a higher ROF on your GPMG. If you have the Garand, the BAR and Ma Deuce, in the TOE, maybe you think the M1919’s ROF is good enough for its niche.

          • Dave

            Panzerschreck was a copy of bazooka (actually more inspired by it, than a copy) but Panzerfaust was not.

          • Georgiaboy61

            Re: “The M-1 Garand was a perfectly capable rifle, but it didn’t radically increase the capability of the US infantry.”

            That depends upon your definition of the word “radically”…

            The Great War (World War One) taught military strategists the futility of charging masses of men across no-man’s land into the mouth of enemy artillery and machine guns emplaced in trenches and behind barbed wire entanglements.

            After the mass slaughter in the mud of Flanders earlier in the war – which strained to the utmost the manpower reserves of all of the armies involved, in the last year of the war, some new thinking began to emerge.

            The Germans began to develop Sturmtruppen, elite heavy-armed raiding parties of storm troops designed to bypass enemy strongpoints and penetrate into the rear, collapsing enemy resistance from behind.

            The Americans – and some others as well, such as the Italians – began thinking in terms of what was in those days termed a “trench broom,” but what modern observers would call a sub-machine gun or automatic rifle.

            The U.S. Browning Automatic Rifle was one result of this line of thought – although it arrived too late to see much action (the BAR saw limited use in the last three months of the war in France) The user was intended to use “walking fire” with the BAR suspended from a sling and fired from the hip – in order to clear enemy trench lines and fortifications. The thinking behind the Thompson, Bergmann , Beretta and some of the other earliest SMGs was along the same line.

            After the conclusion of the war and the subsequent economic depression, most militaries went back to what they knew and could afford – the bolt-action rifle. All of the major powers already had them in their armories, along with sufficient stocks of ammunition. General officers, many being conservative types unaccustomed to change, saw no reason to upset the apple cart.

            Against the typical peacetime inertia and lack of funds, the Garand was a revelation – one so profound that it overcame even the reluctance of the peacetime U.S. Army ordnance corps and the small group of U.S. Army and Marine officers who determined how the ground forces would be armed. No less than General Douglas MacArthur had a hand in seeing the U.S. Rifle Caliber .30 M-1 “Garand” through to completion. The M-1 did encounter some resistance to bolt-action purists – especially within the USMC – but once the war started, the combat fire superiority of the Garand became apparent pretty quickly.

            Prior to the introduction of the Garand, which was the first semi-automatic (or self-loading) battle rifle issued to any major army, infantry were based around the machine gun. Since machine guns of that time (WWI, etc.) – especially water-cooled ones, tended to be heavy and difficult to emplace, this limited the mobility of the infantry to the rate at which their fire support could be moved. Troops could advance as quickly as their MGs and artillery could keep up, but not much faster or farther than that. The M-1 changed all of that.

            The Garand, whose rate of fire was several times faster than even a skilled bolt-action rifleman could manage, allowed infantry to engage in fire-and-maneuver tactics which freed them from being completely dependent upon and tied to the machine-gun. A skilled M1 man – better yet, a fire team or squad of them – could lay down a base of fire under which their platoon mates could fix, close with and destroy the enemy. The introduction of submachine guns and man-portable squad-level light machine guns made this form of maneuver warfare that much more-potent.

            The Germans and the Russians developed ideas comparable to our fire-and-maneuver concept, but not in exactly the same way. They tended to emphasize the use of the submachine gun – and later, the assault rifle – as opposed to a semi-automatic battle rifle. The Russians with their masses of infantry and tank-riders armed with PPSH-41 SMGs come readily to mind, or German infantry with their MP38/40s and later, their StG 44 assault rifles. Both nations fielded semi-automatic battle rifles later in the war, but not to the extent that the U.S. employed the Garand.

            Your point about the necessity of combined arms warfare is certainly correct, but we ought not to lose sight of the role the Garand played in allowing its development to happen in the first place. From the vantage point of the early 21st-century, it is sometimes tough to appreciate the impact that the M-1 Garand had upon infantry warfare of that era, but it was a real game-changer.

            You are certainly right about the generally abysmal quality of Japanese small arms. Very strange considering that the Japanese had their share of “wonder weapons” in WWII – most famously, the feared “Long Lance” oxygen-driven torpedo, and the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane.
            The Type 99 light machine gun was a formidable weapon – but it wasn’t strictly-speaking a Japanese design, since it was based upon the British Bren LMG, which was in turn a license-built version of the Czechoslovak ZB vz.26 light machine gun. The Arisaka bolt-action rifle is often dismissed by forearms historians as a mediocre design, but post-war testing confirmed that the quality of the Japanese steel used in the receivers was first-rate. Arisaka receivers were able to withstand enormously high proof pressures without failing.

          • int19h

            Soviets did a lot of R&D in semi-auto rifles long before the war. AVT and SVT were both designed and adopted before. In fact, SVT was well on its way to become the standard-issue infantry rifle, replacing Mosins; unfortunately for Soviets, the war came first, and then they just cranked out what they could as fast as they could (which was the cheaper bolt actions and straight blowback SMGs).

            Even so, there were something like 1.5 million SVTs manufactured all in all.

          • Georgiaboy61

            Never had the chance to handle or fire any of the Soviet weapons you mention, although – as a military historian – I have always wanted to do so. The SVT was a good weapon; several of the USSR’s top-scoring sharpshooters and snipers used them to get effect against the invaders.

          • int19h

            SVT was not super reliable, unfortunately. The problem is that the technical requirements from the military were very harsh on weight, and so the designers took a lot of effort to trim down as much as they could to conform to that. The result was a 8.5 lbs rifle, which is pretty impressive when you consider that it was firing a full-power rifle cartridge. But it was also sensitive to dirt and extreme cold, and somewhat fragile.

            This all could have been, and probably would have been, fixed, in normal circumstances. But the war effort didn’t leave much spare resources for such frivolous projects, especially considering how expensive the rifle was (more expensive than the standard-issue machine gun). By the time there was an opportunity to resume work on semi-auto rifles, Soviets have already seen MKb.42 and its intermediate cartridge, as well as .30 Carbine, and decided to proceed in that direction, abandoning SVT altogether (and eventually coming up with SKS).

          • Chilly Billy

            I would suggest reading “Shots Fired In Anger” by Lt. Col. John George before painting Japanese equipment as “terrible.” A veteran of the fight on Guadalcanal with the 132nd Infantry and Burma with the 5307th Composite Unit (Merrill’s Marauders), about half of George’s book goes into great detail on numerous Japanese weapons and assorted equipment. In quite a few instances this combat veteran believed the enemy gear superior to that issued American troops. The most glaring fault in Japan’s infantry arsenal? Ammo quality and poor waterproofing in storage/transit.

    • Dougscamo

      So your saying that all we had to do was keep giving the Soviets goods and nothing else?….Why did the Soviets push so hard for the Allies for a Second Front?….

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        Probably because during the 47 months of the Soviet war they lost, on average, 180,000 men a month (killed or missing – military only). They did a great job of killing Germans but weren’t so great at not being killed themselves.

        • Dougscamo

          I will not deny that the Soviets lost the most soldiers….probably due to tactics and ruthlessness that their generals demonstrated….a lack of regard for their soldiers…aka cannon fodder….
          That was not a tenet that the Allies possessed since they always had casualties on their minds (fight smarter, not harder, to use modern terms)….and not only American soldiers died….but many British and others as well….I learned as I got older and read more that the US did not win the war by themselves…despite common beliefs….
          But the face of Europe would be much different today had not the Allies….primarily with US supplies….not invaded….I think we would both agree on that…
          The individual soldier was the tool to liberate countries….in whatever capacity or weapon system was used….

          • int19h

            The number you should be looking is not how many Soviet soldiers were killed, but rather how many German soldiers they killed before dying.

            And if you look at Axis casualties across all fronts (including Japan!), 2/3 of them were suffered on the Eastern Front in Europe. In other words, Soviets did most of the dirty work.

            For the curious, the remaining 1/3 is mostly Japanese, inflicted mostly by US.

            So the second front in Europe didn’t actually account for all that much, in terms of actually delivering the fatal blow. Its purpose was primarily to tie up German troops and thereby reduce the rate of reinforcements to the real meat grinder in the East.

          • The_Champ

            I’ve read some interesting analysis on the second front and it seems that its impact wasn’t so much about the quantity of German troops it diverted from the eastern front, but rather the quality, as the bulk of the German Panzer forces were shifted west after Overlord.
            Apparently there were also periods of combat in the bocage of Normandy and during the Battle of the Budge where the western allies were facing casualties and attrition at rates equal to or worse than those on the eastern front.

          • dirtsailor

            Yes, we did. The rest is just revisionist propaganda. If the Brits and French hadn’t stuck their nose in where it didn’t belong, we wouldn’t have had to bail them out. Again.

          • Baggy270

            Seriously?

          • desertcelt

            That was somewhat of a blanket statement by Dirtsailor, but he is right in that much of Poland belonged to Germany before the Versailles Treaty stripped it away, something that I was never taught in school.

      • The_Champ

        Well let me rephrase it ever so slightly as I already did in one comment above: WWII was won PRIMARILY with American Industrial Capacity and Russian blood.

        To expand on that slightly, it was American Industry that supplied the western allies with the materials and logistics needed to win a global war, and it was those poor bloody Russian soldiers, thrown into the most horrific meat grinder in history, that bled the Wehrmacht dry.

        Yes, lots of other things at play, but those two are, in my opinion, the most critical points.

        • The_Champ

          I should that those poor Russian soldiers were often wearing American boots, rode to Berlin in American trucks, were often eating American food and burning American fuel, etc, etc. You get the point.

        • Dougscamo

          I’ll go for that….

    • Major Tom

      If it didn’t, why were the Germans so obsessed with “catching up” with the plethora of self-loading rifles encountered without fail against US troops? They didn’t commit to semi-autos like the G43 for mass production simply because they sometimes encountered Soviet conscripts with Tokarev SVT-40s. They loved using captured US small arms especially the Garand.

      • The_Champ

        I would argue many nations, starting even BEFORE World War One saw the advantage of self loading rifles, and attempted to implement them into their armed forces.

        That America was the first to do so, and did so En Masse, speaks a lot to their industrial capabilities more than anything else. Of course the Germans wanted self loading rifles, they didn’t need to run into American troops to realize that. Plenty of pictorial evidence showing those SVT-40s in German hands as well.

        Again I’m not slagging the Garand. I’m sure it gave many soldiers an edge in battle, and I’m sure the enemy often felt the sting of that edge. But it’s simply myth making to raise it up to the level of ‘war winning’ and ‘swaying the great tides of history’, in my humble opinion.

    • lostintranslation

      Max Hastings (Author: Armageddon…. The Battle for Germany 1944-45) would, most probably, concur with your comment regarding ‘Russian blood.’.

      • Dougscamo

        Read Hastings on “OVERLORD” where he states that the “Americans indeed possessed an excellent rifle” in the M1….and the British an “adequate one” in the Lee Enfield….
        He wasn’t too complimentary on many of the Allied generals however….

        • lostintranslation

          “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.”
          WSC

          • Dougscamo

            Good Ole Spencer….I actually remember him….loved him even if he did caution his generals that the British had more in common with the Greeks than Americans….just the guy that was needed in 1940 to keep the fight going…

    • ostiariusalpha

      Of course, the Soviets would have beaten the Germans at the expense of a lot less Russian blood if Stalin hadn’t been so busy murdering the officer corp.

    • Dougscamo

      The M1 was a tool for combat just as remarkable as the P-51 Mustang, B-24 Liberator, F4U Corsair, Navy Wildcat, Essex Class aircraft carriers, proximity fused artillery, etc. To say that it had NOTHING to do with the outcome is to ignore all of the people that were behind it or in the other tools….all products of our industrial capacity….
      Modern Military historians are far more focused on strategies and politics….far fewer concentrate on small unit actions….where the M1 proved its worth….

      • The_Champ

        I think the Garand was a great rifle, and I’m sure it gave American infantrymen an advantage in plenty of firefights and battles. But I contend that advantage was an almost immeasurable blip on the radar compared to the other factors that steered the course of the war.

    • Don Ward

      That’s only if you want to condense an event as complex and far-reaching as World War 2 into a simplistic, one sentence summary.

      • Dougscamo

        That isn’t technically correct to begin with….don’t recall Europe being too keen on the Soviets….especially Finland….BUT the sentence MIGHT fit on a bumper sticker…. 🙂

      • The_Champ

        Fair enough. You cannot condense that conflict down into one sentence. If I rephrased it a little more carefully, and said “WWII was won PRIMARILY with American Industrial Capacity and Russian blood” I would certainly be happy to defend that stance.

    • idahoguy101

      To the “poor bloody infantry” facing banzai charges in the Pacific the Garand was a life saver. Never argue against a weapon that provided a firepower advantage!

      • The_Champ

        When did I argue against the Garand? I’m sure the soldiers appreciated the weapon very much. I certainly love shooting mine.

    • n0truscotsman

      They could of fitted everybody with M1903s or 17s and the outcome wouldve been the same.

      • demophilus

        Maybe. IMHO, it might have required more BARs.

      • Dougscamo

        In the Pacific at the beginning of the war, US Marines were using the 1903 exclusively for shoulder arms….when the US Army arrived with Garands, the Marines stole them in a shameless manner….
        Wonder why they did that?….I guess because they were concerned for their own survival….and less concerned about “The Grand Strategy” that all are talking about….and then made the choice….

        • n0truscotsman

          It was developed, available, and in production, so adopting a repeating rifle to replace bolt-actions ones was a big ‘well, no s@&$.’

          • Dougscamo

            Disqus still is sucking wind. The point was it was NOT available to the USMC at the beginning due to the leadership of that branch. It was the troops in the field that immediately recognized the advantages of the M1 and took advantage of being able to steal a rifle that would give them a better chance of surviving….by killing the enemy.
            By anyone’s definition, all bolt action rifles used by line troops in the war were “repeating”….
            In 1930-1950 technology, the M-1 was the superior battle rifle….the true mass produced, accurate, and powerful semi-automatic that we now take for granted. But it was a life saver in the eyes of the troops on the ground…and they were the point of the spear…

    • The_Champ

      Jeeze, leave one little comment, come back the next day, and all of this is here now 🙂

      • Dougscamo

        Tough crowd….but Disqus sucked the day this started and is now catching up….got so many notifications I probably won’t ever get the chance to read the all….

    • Vegamania

      Maybe in the ETO, but no Russian troops or ships fought the Japanese. Russia declared war on Japan, only after it was beaten, to get it’s slice of the spoils.

    • desertcelt

      If it had nothing to do with the outcome, it certainly accelerated it.

  • Edeco

    Meh, don’t like him. More of a Smedley Butler fan. War is a racket; defend the coast.

  • clampdown

    At the outbreak of the war, the only area we had outright technological superiority was with the general infantryman’s rifle being the semi-automatic M1.

    It took us a few years to get around to replacing our geriatric P-40s, which were technically no match for a 109 or 190, with Mustangs and Thunderbolts in Europe…same in the Pacific, just with the Hellcat and Corsair replacing the Wildcat. The only American fighter that stayed in production from beginning to end was the P-38, primarily because it was one of the fastest things in the sky and a versatile platform. It’s just amazing what American industry was able to do in WWII, because we quickly eclipsed the best tech of the Axis in a year or two. The current state of American manufacturing does not bode well for us in a war of attrition.

    That said, we never really caught up with tanks, with the Soviets perfecting the tank needed to beat the Panzers in the T-34. In fact, you could make the argument that our tanks were all “second-class” right up to the Abrams.

    • CommonSense23

      The argument that the Sherman was inferior is right up there with the Ping on the Garand will get you killed.

      • Dougscamo

        “Non only so German MkV and MkVI tanks keep out a greater proportion of hits than Shermans but also they are far less likely to brew up when penetrated”….SHAEF Operational Research report ,1944.
        A Tiger could knock out a Sherman at a range of 4000 yards…the originally-gunned Sherman could not penetrate the Tiger frontal armor at all….

        • n0truscotsman

          http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2013/03/sherman-vs-tiger.html

          Nope

          While it is true the the 56-caliber 8.8cm on the Tiger was capable of higher penetration at longer distances, tanks didn’t clash with each other in a vacuum.

          Many other considerations decided the outcome of battles.

          • Dougscamo

            Of course….many considerations….but the SHAEF operational report was hardly made in a vacuum, it was made at the time of the conflict…
            As to the archive report (from what I could read), it addresses side armor penetration, not the FRONTAL armor that was referenced….so is the nope in agreement to the author’s…not my….statement or disagreement with the author?

      • idahoguy101

        M4 Sherman armor left a lot to be desired. Every German antitank weapon issued in 1944 could put a hole in an M4. That should tell use something!

        • n0truscotsman

          Every German AT weapon issued in 44 could defeat other Allied armor as well. The Pak40 was no slouch.

          By that time, the one that had the decisive advantage was the crew who could acquire and fire at the threat first.

    • Don Ward

      The Panther was an overweight piece of junk which would spontaneously combust if it went up a slight incline. The Germans weren’t even able to build a tank as technically advanced as the T-34 let alone a WunderWeapon like the M4 Sherman and all its variants.

      • Dougscamo

        If I’m not mistaken, the Tiger was the one with spontaneous fire problems due to its fuel lines…..

        • Wolfgar

          Ask any tanker from any army which tank they would rather be in when the shooting started and it was a universal agreement it would be the Tiger. Just saying!

          • Dougscamo

            As far as armor strength and firepower…roger that….but it still had fuel line and track problems….turret speed, road durability, and sheer numbers were places the M4 Sherman had the advantage….little solace unless they could get behind the Tiger….

          • Wolfgar

            Agree, but when push came to shove they all said they would have rather been in a Tiger.

          • Dougscamo

            I think I would have rather been at home….never did like getting shot at….much less with any caliber that doesn’t have a . in front of it…..

          • Wolfgar

            No argument here!

          • demophilus

            My uncle got shot out of 3 Shermans and lived, maybe on account it was easier to escape one. He said the way they beat Tigers was setting 3 or more Shermans against them to leverage terrain and cover, get a shot at the side or back. That, and call for artillery and air support.

          • Wolfgar

            Like the Soviets they could defeat a Tiger but it wouldn’t be a fun job. It was figured if they could loose five T-34 tanks to every one Tiger it was a victory…….. unless you were one of the five lol. I worked with an American tanker who’s tank was shot out with him in it and he then was taken prisoner. He later escaped but was again put back in to another tank which was again destroyed but this time he was severely wounded. He walked with a limp the rest of his life He had a lot of respect for the German tankers. Your uncle must have had the guy up stairs looking after him. After one time I think I would have been ready for the rubber room.

          • roguetechie

            Which they could with ease between being big, slow, having final drives that were a joke, and transmissions which were a bigger threat to the crew than incoming fire…

          • roguetechie

            Except they wouldn’t have of course, because between final drives that gave out under even routine movement extremely quickly, amazingly crap situational awareness for basically every crewman, glacial turret positioning speeds, oh and extremely poorly thought out layout and engineering choices which made basic every day tank maintenance and repair tasks into massive and slow undertakings if they were possible at all without heavy equipment and technicians…

            Realistically, they were terrible tanks which the tankers and tanks of the allies were more than a match for and actual historical evidence indicates they were not at all afraid of.

          • CommonSense23

            The Tiger was a great tank. Iff it could have been produced in any significant numbers. Was mechanically reliable. Had Germany had good logistics. And it shot first.

          • Wolfgar

            I think Michael Whittmann would disagree.

          • idahoguy101

            That’s why he was a Panzer Ace. But he was still hunted down by Sherman Firefly tanks in Normandy.

          • Wolfgar

            He was the highest ranking tank ace of any nation of the war and he did most of it in a Tiger. In Normandy he destroyed 14 British and American tanks, 2 anti-tank guns, 15 transport vehicles in only 15 minutes. No other tank but the Tiger could have done this.

          • Wolfgar

            He wasn’t hunted down he was ambushed when he went on a suicide mission. He new it was going to be a suicide mission but he went anyway. Propaganda can be very powerful.

          • Wolfgar

            The Panther had a much better situational awareness compared to the T-34. Your talking nonsense here. The T-34 was poorly balanced compared to the Panther and was very crude yet much more reliable. The allied tankers were very afraid of the Panthers and Tigers.

          • CommonSense23

            Until it breaks down.

      • Wolfgar

        The T-34 was not a marvel of technological advancement but a simple well thought out design with many of the features borrowed from the American Cristie tank the US ignored. The Panther tank still had teething problems when it was first sent into battle. It later became one of the, “if not the best” tank design of the war with the three best features of a tank, mobility, protection and firepower. To say the Panther was technically inferior to the T-34 is just stupid.

        • n0truscotsman

          Christie’s alleged ‘involvement’ or ‘contribution’ to the T34 is frequently mentioned when the soviet tank is brought up, but its not true.

          “It later became one of the, “if not the best” tank design of the war
          with the three best features of a tank, mobility, protection and
          firepower.”

          That ‘later’ never came. Even late war, the Panther was plagued with automotive issues which substantially reduced its reliability. Perhaps the best part about it was its 71-caliber 7.5cm cannon. Thats about it.

          The French evaluated Panthers post-war, and found them wanting. Their reliability was very poor.

          • CommonSense23

            People somehow don’t understand how important crew visibility, comfort, and reliability in a tank is.

          • n0truscotsman

            Yeah, but, “Krupp Stahl!!!”

          • DW

            Yep. Sherman have all of the above and much more such as good powertrain and crew survivabilty, yep people still talk about “ronson cooker” or “5 sherman for 1 panther/tiger” BS
            M4a3E8 is the overall Best medium tank in WW2 period. Best heavy tank would go to IS-2, but that is a little late to the party.

          • Wolfgar

            Even the M4A3E4 Sherman did not have better crew survivability than either the Tiger or the Panther. That was another stupid comment. The Sherman was a very reliable tank and with the British 17 pounder could take on a tiger. The M43E8 was still inferior to the Panther in both armor protection, and firepower.
            The IS-2 was not a better heavy tank and had a very slow reload.

          • DW

            what are you smoking? M4 Sherma/s crew survivability is LEGENDARY, US.First army did statistics in May of 1944 and showed of 456 distroyed, 129 died. That’s 0.28 deaths per tank destroyed. The british cruiser tanks (Cromwell/comet/challenger) is 0.56 death per destroyed tank. in comparison Polish regiment of T-34-85 is 1.8 per tank destroyed, and the germans around 1 per tank destroyed.
            M4A3E8 is inferior in armor and gun compared to a panther, yes, but is much more reliable, can cross terrain better (Source ironically from the German reports) and is adequately armed because 76mm HVAPs actually can penetrate the front of a Panther, without being inaccurate as ****as the SVAP of the 17pounders, which also produces way too much smoke to adjust trajactory or leaves aluminum fouling in the barrel.
            IS-2 is a better heavy tank then both the Tiger and the tiger II for protection, reliability and versatility once they learned to not load HE in 122 guns against heavy tanks. RoF of the 122mm isn’t that much slower than the 88 L/71 of the TigerII.

          • Wolfgar

            .

            Sherman tanks were not nearly as efficient or as armored as the
            primary German tank, the Panzer IV. This was a fact even before the
            upgrading of Panzer gun barrels and armor in 1943. Shermans were
            under-gunned when fighting German Tiger tanks and out-maneuvered when
            facing German Panther tanks. These disparities are shown in an account
            of the famous Lt. Colonel William B. Lovelady, commander of the 3rd Armored Division’s 2nd Battalion, retold by Lt. Colonel Haynes Dugan.

            “One of his Shermans turned the corner of a house and got off three
            shots at the front of a Panther, all bounced off. The Sherman then
            backed behind the corner and was disabled by a shot penetrating two
            sides of the house plus the tank.”[iii]

            Because of their insufficient armor, the insides of Sherman tanks
            were prone to catching fire during combat. This problem was compounded
            when fires ignited shells and other munitions inside a tank. Sherman
            M4’s were jokingly referred to by British soldiers as “Ronsons”, a brand
            of lighter whose slogan was “Lights up the first time, every time!”[iv] Polish soldiers referred to them simply as “The Burning Grave”.

            In the course of the war, tactics of coordination, as well as better
            ammo storage systems, were implemented to reduce the tank’s many
            deficits. Armored divisions also kept very efficient repair crews.[v]
            The faults of the Sherman were also balanced by the sheer number that
            could be manufactured and the speed of this production. Regardless of
            the reasons for the Sherman’s problems, individuals of the Third Armored
            division dealt with them in their daily lives. The Sherman M4 medium
            tank proved to be both a “death trap” for American soldiers and a poor
            defense against German tanks. However, its use by almost all of the
            Allied Forces was crucial to their ultimate success in WWII.

            Often the M4′s armor is compared to that of the Panther and the
            Tiger, where it fares poorly. The T34 however is compared and often
            touted as one of the best-protected tanks during the entire war.

            The truth is pretty simple and straight forward – The Sherman’s armor
            was nearly identical to the T34, later in the war it was even increased
            well beyond the T34′s armor. The Sherman offered around 50mm of frontal
            armor at a 45 degree angle, offering 70mm of armor in relative
            thickness. The T34 offered about 40mm of armor at a 45 degree angle, or
            56mm of relative thickness.

            Overall, the armor was inferior to that of the Panther or Tiger, but
            was superior to tanks that were more similar in usage – The T34 and the
            PzIV.

            The Sherman tank featured up to 50mm of frontal armor that was angled
            at around 45 degrees which was nearly identical to that of the T34
            which had . As a comparison, the PzIV Ausf G had frontal armor of only
            about 50mm at a 60 to 90 degree angle depending on upper/lower sides – A
            relative thickness of only 55mm. Additionally, the Pz V Ausf G
            (Panther) had 60mm to 80mm of frontal armor at a 55 degree angle – A
            relative thickness of 73mm to 97mm.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Because of their insufficient armor, the insides of Sherman tanks
            were prone to catching fire during combat.”

            *all* tanks were prone to catching on fire back then. T34s, Panzer IVs, etc, because the cause of most fires was the ammunition, not fuel.

            Those that claim the Sherman was more prone to catch fire isn’t supported by any evidence other than anecdotes.

            The Sherman wasn’t a ‘deathtrap’. The “ronsons’ statement has been refuted so many times, its not even funny at this point.

            https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/01/29/debunking-deathtraps-part-1/

            https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/04/28/from-the-editor-lights-first-every-time/

          • Wolfgar

            Yes even today there is controversy about the Shermans strength and weakness. I have never met a WW2 vet who was glad he was in a Sherman instead of a Tiger or Panther. I base my opinion from the men who were actually in the Shermans and fought in WW2. I’m sure there are other vets who would disagree but I have never talked to one.

          • Wolfgar

            Is-2 Tiger
            Rate of fire 4.88r/m 8.96/RM

            Reload time 12.30 seconds 6.70 seconds
            Accuracy 4.6m 3.4 m
            Aim time 3.40 sec 2.50 sec
            Ammo capacity 28 rounds 72 rounds
            Hull armor 100mm 150mm
            turret armor 100mm 100mm
            horse power 1280 1500
            speed 34 Km/h 38Km/h

            No, the Is-2 was not better than the Tiger LOL

          • DW

            Dude, are you talking about stuff from the game…

          • Wolfgar

            Dude right back at you. I have never payed a video game. I am one of the old farts who grew up with the men who actually were in those Sherman tanks you think were invisible LOL.

          • Wolfgar

            Invincible not invisible , LOL .

          • DW

            Because that RoF and aimtime is an arbitrary number ripped from the game, how the hell else do you think those stats even exist? Also the engine power is wrong, the armor value is wrong and you pretend to be “an old guy used to be a tanker”

          • Wolfgar

            It was the large HE
            shell the gun fired which was its main asset, proving highly useful and
            destructive as an infantry-killer. The most recognizable disadvantage
            of the D-25T gun was its slow rate of fire due the massive size and
            weight of the shells, only one to one and a half rounds per minute could
            be fired, initially.[14]
            After some modernizations and the additional semi-automatic drop breech
            over the previously manual screw, the rate of fire increased to 2–3
            rounds per minute.[14] According to Steven Zaloga, the increase amounted to 3–4 rounds per minute.[15]
            Another limitation imposed by the size of its ammunition in a
            relatively small vehicle was the ammunition stowage; only 28 rounds
            could be carried inside the tank, with a complement of 20 HE rounds and 8
            AP rounds the norm

          • Wolfgar

            To dismiss the German tank’s capability is to dismiss the courage and incredible task the allies had to face defeating them. And defeat them they did.

          • DW

            No, I did not dismiss German tank’s capability. But at the time they fight the shermans they do not have enough good crews, and the Tiger II/Panther and derivatives are all overweight to an extent. That is fact, and it still would not take anythiing away from the men fighting them (would anyone have know that crews in the Tiger/Panther/etc are conscripted noobs wqith little training before the fight? OFC NOT)

          • n0truscotsman

            I would say that it was a head to head tie between the Centurion and the “Easy 8”. Before I began reading more about WW2 armor, I didn’t realize the Sherman was modified to the extent that it was following the war. Very interesting.

          • Uniform223

            Israel used the Sherman up and into the Yom Kippur war.

          • Wolfgar

            It is very true, the T-34 suspension and chassis was taken directly from the Cristie tank. The Germans design was technically Superior to the T-34 but was more complicated as most western nations weapons are.
            The Panther and Tiger tanks were the result of the introduction of the T-34. The T-35-85 was the result of the introduction of the Tiger and Panther tank. Compared to the T-34-85 the Panther had better speed, armor protection, better optic sighting system , high quality periscopes and a panoramic range finder sight for the commander with a 360 degree view. The Panther had a far better situational awareness compared to the T-34-85 cloudy vision ports.The Panther had a more spacious crew compartment, better crew heating system, a turret basket which the T-34-85 lacked which the Soviet crew had to stand on crates which served as secondary ammunition storage bins.The Panther had a better crew communication system which the T-34-85 consisted of yelling at each other.The Panther had better escape hatches. The T-34-85 was poorly balanced which would stick the barrel into the ground if an emergency stop was needed.
            The T-34 had better fuel range and was more reliable. The Panther drive train was unreliable and crews needed to repair it with as much frequency as was needed to fuel.
            Technically the T-34 was not even in the same ball park as the Panther but quantity and reliability won the war.

          • Wolfgar

            By the way you mean the French who at the begging of the war had superior tanks in both quality and quantity and still got royally trounced in 6 weeks. I would not rely on their opinion too much LOL..

          • n0truscotsman

            Its not about relying on the opinion of the French.

            Its highlighting the fact that *only* the French considered the Panther to be a viable post-war tank, and discovered its obvious weaknesses.

            my point is that the Panther had a series of serious shortcomings that overshadowed its few good points (frontal sloped armor and the gun). But to explain this to the “krupp stahl!” crowd is a bit challenging.

          • Wolfgar

            I never stated it didn’t have any short comings and I was joking about the French. The Americans never valued the STG-44 and the Russians did. How did that work out for us? The Panther tank was a damn good design but needed a better drive train. For its time it was one of the best designed tanks compared to its contemporaries..

          • n0truscotsman

            “How did that work out for us?”

            Well, we utterly fornicated the canine, IMO. It would take us into the mid-to-late 1960s to have a army-wide issue of a true assault rifle in service.

          • Wolfgar

            ROTFLMAO 🙂

        • idahoguy101

          As Stalin is reputed to have stated; “quantity has its own quality”. The Russians built an estimated eighty-four thousand T-34 tanks. The Germans made about six thousand Mk5 Panthers to fight them. Even if the Panther was a perfect tank, it didn’t matter with those odds.

          • Wolfgar

            We were not discussing quantity but the how technically better or worse the Panther was to the T-34.

          • demophilus

            And between the US and Canada, add 49K Shermans…

    • Dougscamo

      Though it didn’t make it in time to make a significant impact, the Pershing wasn’t too shabby…..

      • idahoguy101

        Very few Pershing tanks saw combat in Europe. No net effect.
        The M36 Tank Destroyer with its American 90mm gun did kill Germans because it was the first available platform for the converted anti aircraft gun. But the TD Corps rarely get the credit it’s due.

        • Dougscamo

          I believe that that is what I said….no significant impact though there is a film out there somewhere (combat footage) of a Pershing using the 90mm taking on and defeating a Tiger. Memory ain’t what it used to be but you’re right in not much effect….less than 200 I think…don’t quote me.
          Donald Burgett…101st….had a lot to say about TD’s (SEVEN ROADS TO HELL)….he was at the Bulge with a company of them and they pretty much carried the most crucial days knocking out Panzers….before a constant defensive line could be formed….long before Abrams broke through the line to “relieve” Bastogne…(line closed behind him).
          Absolutely, the TD’s didn’t get the headlines….gotta read really deep to find mention of them but when you do what is said is good.

          • idahoguy101

            Bastogne was saved when the weather cleared for massive allied airpower. Before that they were running out of everything they needed to keep the Germans at bay.
            Once the weather cleared the Germans lost all of their vehicles for logistics.
            Yes, the TD’s did a fine job of killing panzer and all enemy vehicles at Bastogne!

          • Dougscamo

            Logistics are equally important to all….McAuliffe went high and right when some paratroopers destroyed a Panther that had been abandoned….said it was needed for the defense.
            The Germans’ logistics were weak….they were planning on using captured fuel to keep their tanks going but didn’t capture enough….thanks to Adolph the attack was really doomed to begin with….but it did get them out of their prepared positions to where they could be fixed and destroyed….
            Point of pride….had an uncle who won a Silver Star at Bastogne….never would talk about it until he was around my father who served in the Pacific in New Guinea and the Philippines….damn I miss them….

    • Dougscamo

      Sorry, Clampdown….if Disqus doesn’t start working well, I AM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND! And if it shows me the same notification that it has the last 7 times I checked their cheesy red balloon, I’m going to quit….
      That being said, most of what you have said, I inadvertently mirrored in one of my comments….my bad…but we are still on the same wavelength…carry on….

    • idahoguy101

      Those geriatric P-40s were pretty damn successful everywhere except in Northern Europe. That’s why they stayed in production. The Pacific. North Africa. India Burma. China. Australia. New Guinea. Russia. It wasn’t the best aircraft but it was good enough to not be underestimated. A lot of enemy pilots learned that lesson…. once

    • demophilus

      I think you’re forgetting the BAR, 105mm howitzer, and Ma Deuce, and maybe the Tommy gun, not to mention the B-17. We didn’t fight very well with the P-39, but the Russians did, using different tactics over different geography. And the P-40 wasn’t “geriatric”; it did quite well above 250 knots or so, using boom and zoom, or fighting out of a roll, or as part of a combined strike package with P-38s doing top cover. It was also in full production throughout the war, if only because by 1944-5 it was cheaper than a P-51 or P-47.

      And I don’t know that all our tanks were second class up to the Abrams. Some of the guys I knew liked the M48A5. IIRC, the Israelis did, too.

    • Fruitbat44

      I’m a little dubious about the T-34 being a “super-tank” some people proclaim. Think about it: medium length 76mm gun, 45mm thick frontal armour, 30mph speed and a two man turret. Not exactly the design specs of a super-tank.
      I think it gave the Nazi’s a shock when it first appeared on the battlefield because it was far better than anything else the Soviets had fielded previously. JIMHO of course.

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        The “super tank” was super because the Soviets built 59,000 T34’s and T34/85’s during the war. The real Soviet tank killer was the IS-2. The 122mm gun on the IS-2 could penetrate a Tiger II’s turret from 1500 meters.

        • int19h

          Well, and T-34 was surprisingly good for how cheap and easy to produce it was. Especially compared to German tanks.

          In other words, not the best tank per se, but the best tank for the buck.

  • GD Ajax

    The volume of fire problem with the M27 can easily be fixed by adopting casket magazines.

    • roguetechie

      And by easily fixed you mean by development of an entirely new lower receiver with a much shorter magazine well that somehow retains STANAG magazines…?

      Because as it is the current magazine well makes development of a casket magazine with a significantly increased capacity that also doesn’t increase the vertical height of a standard magazine is a very difficult task.

      The surefire 60&100 round mags are almost hilariously too tall for any kind of prone shooting, to say nothing of them not working well anyway.

      Point is, that solution solves absolutely nothing and actually creates a large number of problems some of which makes the original issue look simple.

  • thedarkknightreturns

    The M1 is a system some still have an irrational attachment to. It’s not a particularly good weapon and never was (plus it was chambered for the wrong cartridge, a quarter bore would have been a better choice) Modern .30-06 will destroy it. The mag fed M-14 stop gap that was sort of touted as a product improved Garand was one of the shortest lived rifles that saw any service in our military. The M14 is not a particularly good weapon either, completely useless in full auto, heavy, and not as reliable as legend would have folks believe. Both the M1 Garand and all it’s derivatives have the problem of being very open to the elements. On the other hand the M16 and its family are sealed off, except for the muzzle (which can be taped over) In my opinion the finest military small arms system ever fielded is the M16/AR15. Many others seem to agree, as there has been a very noticeable move toward some sort of AR platform rifle by quite a few countries over the last several years. I am counting the HK416, because, to me, it’s just a sort of refined take on the AR18s short stroke piston system, is basically just another AR piston rifle like the offerings from LWRC or LMT. I see no reason to muck with the simplicity of the DI guns. I believe the piston system is misapplied to the AR platform rifle. In my mind, the only theoretical advantage to a piston gun over DI, is that short barreled op-rod guns seem to really shine for suppressed use. But even still, I am not sure how much of an advantage one would practically gain vs say a Noveske switchblock setup. It’s interesting to note that the ze German uber gun maker we all know and love is now pushing the HK G28, a newer precision DMR system, and it is DI.

    • Dougscamo

      It was 1936 when developed and issued….not present….different times, different technology….

      • thedarkknightreturns

        True, but the M-14 was a ridiculous attempt to hang on to an outdated system, by dressing it up with a few more modern features. Not a surprise that it was very short lived. Despite the problems the M-16 had because of the gross mishandling of the program, many more M-16s were actually fielded during Vietnam than M-14s. Because frankly the M-14s were awful. They were heavy, the wooden stocks swelled and cracked in the jungle conditions. Most ended up being used on bases to train Marines in basic.

        • Dougscamo

          Dude….we are talking about the M1 Garand….in WWII….while I derail as many threads as the next guy……?

    • GD Ajax

      The HK G28 is not a DI system. It is the same gas piston as the HK 417, it basically is a slightly modified 417.

      • thedarkknightreturns

        I think you are right about it being a modified 417, I must have been thinking of something KAC makes.

    • idahoguy101

      The original chambering was the 276 Pederson cartridge. The Garand rifle have to redesigned for the standard .30-06, at the demand of Chief of Staff Douglas McArthur.
      If the 276 Pederson had been adopted it may still be in service today. A great “what if” question. We’ll never know…

      • thedarkknightreturns

        What if Indeed, .276 Pederson would have been the better choice back then.

        • demophilus

          I don’t disagree. But there’s something to be said for your GPMG and riflemen having the same ranging set, so the MG can print a beaten zone, and your rifles to do point targets and volley fire, especially if the MG team has to move…

  • Joshua

    In 1945 the M1 was a pretty good rifle.

    • mazkact

      Still is.Loaded en blocs in bandoleers are a beautiful thing.

  • Gary Kirk

    To Hell with all second guessing what they went through in that war.. Put your armchair ass there, see what you believe in then.. This division of what “was” best keeps us from moving forward.. Get over the old, move on.. Love what we have, but let our forces reap the benefits of advancement..

    • Uniform223

      This article is of course all in hindsight and meant to make the reader think.

  • Joseph Goins

    His stamp of approval was good for the tactics and weapons of the era. However, it isn’t a weapon that many professionals would want on today’s battlefield. (Don’t get me wrong: it’s still accurate, reliable, and hard-hitting.)

    • Dougscamo

      Oh hell no….wouldn’t want one now….unless that was all I HAD! There has been a lot of technology for the better since ’45….

  • idahoguy101

    The M1 Garand remains the best rifle of its era. On the level of the infantry squad it was a force multiplier compare to bolt action rifles. It gave the individual a firepower advantage over German and Japanese rifleman.

  • billyoblivion

    > Volume of fire versus accuracy of fire has always been a hotly contested debate
    > within many Infantry circles.

    AC-130 Spector pretty much wins that argument.

    The again it pretty much wins any argument that doesn’t involve a jet fighter or ground to air missile. Might even win a few of those if it can get an angle on the problem.

  • demophilus

    Seems Patton was quite the smooth talker, in spite of his other reputation. But then again, generals are like that, aren’t they?

  • demophilus

    A long time ago in another country I was trained as an infantry platoon commander, and we were trained to think in terms of “task environment”, “mission profile”, and “performance envelope”. And given the technology of the time, it’s sort of hard to argue that the Garand was not a great weapon to fill its spot in the TOE.

    And apart from WWII, let’s not forget what it did in Korea.

  • Fruitbat44

    Volume over individual accuracy counting for more on the battlefield seems counter-intuitive, but it does look like that’s the way it works.

    Interesting though about Patton’s comments “The whistle of the bullets.” In my experience (on the range!) bullets go “crack.”

    • Dougscamo

      Get off to the side….they do zing….

      • Fruitbat44

        Ah. Thanks for the info. I will mentally amend my previous to: “The whistle of the bullets.” In my experience (on the range!) bullets going overhead “crack.”

        • Dougscamo

          The first time I was shot at the crack over the top of my head was puzzling….the next shot….I figured it out….

  • WELLS SHANE

    BULL—- MY DAD FOUGHT IN EUROPE THE WHOLE WAR AND KOREA.

  • DW

    M1 Carbine masterrace.
    yes hindsight is 20/20

  • Dougscamo

    Disqus is sucking SO BAD…late notifications, emails, failing to post comments, etc….hope this gets to you!
    Yep….this is the one….I was working from memory…shoulda gone to YouTube….my bad…. the guy being interviewed in the clip (apparently he was there in some capacity) says that it was a Tiger….thus my memory….looks like even he wasn’t correct…..

  • DW

    Aha, so you do know where to find GOOD historical source. But how the hell did you miss the articles dissing Panther’s transmission, the pershing’s unreliable and underpowered engine, the low numbers of T26E4s made, the fact T26E4 never fought an equal, or IS-2 got high praise from Otto Carius saying their 122 russian bias gave him trouble?
    Read more into that site, you will learn why hindsight IS 20/20

    • Wolfgar

      I never dissed the Panthers transmission problems and if you would have read my remarks I commented many times about it. I have read Otto Carius remarks about the IS-2. The argument was which tank was more technologically advanced if you were paying attention and a better in tank combat.The American tanks had a better designed method of turning the turret and the main gun had gyroscopes which gave it an ability to shoot while on the move. The T-26 was under powered but was equal to the Panther. This was corrected after the war. The German tanks were more accurate with their set up but slower compared to the electrically powered turrets of the British and Soviet tanks. The T-34 had the fastest rotating turret of any tank during the war.
      .

      Germans used a hydraulic system, driven by power take-off from the main engine. This was a mechanically simple and a reliable system. The Germans used foot pedals to slew the turret — left pedal went left, right pedal, obviously, right. The gun was then laid with final precision using a manual hand wheel.

      American tanks used a hydraulic system, but drove it electrically.
      Instead of a PTO from the main power plant, like a tractor, the hydraulic system was energized by a pump driven by an electrical motor. Also, only the Americans applied stabilization gyroscopes to tank main armament, beginning with the M4 Sherman (on the early Sherman, in elevation only). This gave the tank a rudimentary shoot-on-the-move capability, and perhaps more usefully in tank fighting, reduced the amount of displacement needed to get on target after moving. When hydraulic system production threatened to constrain tank production, some American tanks were fitted with an electrical system also.The electrical substitute system was designed to have similar performance. American tanks used hand controls to slew the turret, and a foot pedal to fire the armament.

      British and Russian tanks rotated electrically.
      British tanks used spade grips for the controls to rotate the turret.
      The British had a mode switch which let the gunner control traverse on a“coarse” or “fine” setting. The T-34 used electric for coarse and manual for fine traverse. The T-34/76 used separate wheels for electric and manual, attached to the same traversing gear. In the T-34/85, though, the same handle was used as a lever for electrical control and a crank for manual

      The IS-2 was not designed to be a Tiger killer but as an infantry support break through tank like the IS-1 tank it replaced designed to destroy bunkers and entrenchments and it did this very well. Thus the large caliber,slow reload time, lack of armor penetrating ammunition and low ammunition storage capability.

      The Panther tank had more tanks lost do to mechanical failures than to enemy fire. If given enough time I still think the design could have been perfected but that is only conjecture on my part thus our debate.

      • DW

        The time needed to perfect the panther never came to be for the nazis, but many, many countries learned a lot from it. Notably the French which received lots of panthers post war as intrim tank, who also built ARL44 using Panther engines, and the AMX 50 ton series which used the same suspension and engine from the same manufacturer. But sadly all of these went nowhere and the 1st Gen of MBTs with little emphesis on armor became mainstream.

  • DW

    Read that blog you quoted above, it is more comprehensive. Many myth debunks are to be had.

  • Dave

    Patton’s emphasis on marching fire was partly for the psychological effect on the American troops. He was attempting to counter the tendency of US troops to dig in at every sign of resistance, and the fact that “they did not hate the enemy enough”. He was disturbed by the fact that most troops were reluctant to fire their rifles in battle, and was encouraging a generally gung-ho esprit in the Third Army. In fact, he recommended that ALL weapons, including mortars and MGs, fire continuously during the advance. The doctrine was fairly unique to Third Army with its emphasis on aggression and fluidity, and it should not be so readily discounted in the context of the time and place.

  • Mazryonh

    Patton’s appraisal of the M1 Garand being the “greatest weapon ever made” isn’t the only bit of breathless praise I’ve heard about that rifle. I’ve also heard that the M1 Garand was “the rifle that won World War 2.”

    If you ever hear someone say that, the thing to ask in response is always “Then why didn’t the M1 Garand win the Korean War?” which ended in an armistice and not a decisive American or UN victory. The M1 Garand was still standard-issue for US forces back then too.

  • Earl

    Patton didn’t get his ideas about weapons in a classroom or on a range. He got his ideas on the ground in combat. He knew what pistols could do b/c he used them… and killed men with them. He knew what rifles and machine guns could do b/c he faced them in WWI… along with the heavy weapons of that era. His opinion of the M-1 reflects actual experience, not mere emotionalism. It was justly regarded for it’s actual in the field effectiveness. The idea that all rounds should be fired… nice for the range. Nice for scoring targets. But in combat, firepower has it’s place. Only way the M-1 could have been better is w/ a 20 rd. magazine. But it did alright with the 8 rd. enbloc clip. The tried to come up w/ a equivalent rifle… but were not widely successful. Their STG-44 was a different idea… and actually better for combat. Of course it reflected changes on the ground that would later be reflected in the development of the ak-47 and M-16, etc.