Making HISTORY Come ALIVE WWII Squad Tactics LIVE FIRE

On January 28th, TFB TV undertook a daunting task. We wanted to try and recreate an organizationally correct U.S. Army Paratrooper squad, with the same small arms and live ammunition that squad would have used in 1944. Recreating World War II small arms has been done through reenactments and in the film industry, but these only involve blanks. Shooting World War II small arms at a square range go doesn’t very far in understanding how these weapons functioned in combat. But neither is truly using these small arms as intended. These M1 Garands, M1A1 Carbines, and 1919 LMGs were created to be used by American soldiers in accomplishing their task of assaulting Fortress Europe and conquering the Japanese in the Pacific theatre. They were adopted and issued to be used by entire units of men, working together to neutralize an opposing enemy force.

For us today, that leaves a number of questions unanswered. Such as how did the actual rates of fire work againest a group of advancing soldiers? What were the reload times under stress? What kind of malfunctions did those soldiers have to deal with? Just how accurate were these weapons while out of breath? You can’t research this through converted blank firing rifles, nor can you research this holistically through a calm setting on a square range.

To accomplish this task, we partnered up with a local reenacter group dedicated to bringing the Greatest Generation to life, and re-enlisted the skill sets of Infantry Marines who understood squad level fire and maneuver tactics, in addition to the ever present safety aspect of an entire group of men advancing while laying down suppressive fire. We ran several rehearsals before hand to drill the safety aspect home, in addition to hiring an EMT to be on standby in case of a situation gone very wrong.

We found out a number of interesting pieces of information, much of it we’ll cover later in additional videos on the topic. Note that if some of the scenes appear to be spliced from separate attacks, that is because they are. We ran two Live-Fires because we couldn’t get all the footage we needed in the first one.

Finally, we wholeheartedly dedicate this episode of TFB TV to Corporal Kevin Schranz. Schranz was a Machine Gunner in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines with Miles V. on two combat deployments to Afghanistan. He was an avid amateur historian of military history, and was especially fascinated by the Second World War. On September 28th of 2015, Kevin Schranz took his life. The M1 Garand in use by Miles V. throughout the episode belonged to him (his widow loaned it to us) and we believe it was a fitting tribute to a man who couldn’t be there himself. Although only his rifle was physically present he will always be with us in spirit.

 

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Miles V

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the Middle East & North Africa, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, feel free to message me at [email protected]


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  • Anton Gray Basson

    Video is private

  • BattleshipGrey

    Thanks for putting this together Miles and crew, well done.

  • noob

    Please accept my condolences for Kevin Schranz. It’s a terrible tragedy.

  • Tom – UK

    Good stuff, I love the two chaps who run out of ammo and decide to use pistols at 500m haha

  • Nicks87

    Looked like lots of fun.

  • Spencerhut

    Did you guys have fun playing war? Looks like you did. Any excuse to get out the old iron and have some fun I guess 🙂
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51629e1cc8dbaa3bb7a39bc30bc08a30cf12016492f1929b4da56d3cf62e3de1.jpg

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Thats a damn shame.
    The VA needs to do a better job, in general (I dont know the specifics of your friends case), helping vets deal with mental health issues.

    • Blake

      Understatement of the century. I have no military experience, but from just talking to veterans it’s horrific just how little they are supported once they get back home.

      • Sgt. Stedenko

        When you mission is to protect poppy production and prevent a pipeline from being built by non NATO countries, no wonder you come home messed up.

  • Vince

    Good stuff!!! Thank you to you and all who participated and contributed to this informative and useful video. Condolences to the family and friends of Kevin, it is particularly hard to lose someone you care about in that manner.

  • Scott Connors

    Sorry for your loss. Very interesting video. How about a followup with a group of German WWII reenactors? LAH National would probably be up for this!

  • .45

    Looks like fun. *Eyes Lee Enfield and Mosin Nagant in gun safe* Now I just need a few extra bodies and a field somewhere…

  • Tyree

    Very cool video. Interested in the malfunctions, hope to see more on that in the future.

  • Don Ward

    Great video. But why are “Marines” being used to fight Nazis Miles? That was Big Army’s job.

  • Gary Kirk
  • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

    Is “ASSUALT” (7:58) a french word? or oppErtunity?
    Very interesting video but i could not hear the “ping” (joking)
    I wonder how much ammo did these guys carried is a very large amount of fire

  • Rusty S.

    Outstanding, Miles! Needs more knife hand though…Really great captions as well. Would love to see this done for more eras in the future. Great job to all of you.

  • Tassiebush

    That was fantastic to see! A whole level above reviews in interesting! I’m just going to show my ignorance with some questions. I gather that in the real world context this would be done with extensive use of cover? I find myself pondering a few things regarding the context of each exercise. At what point is each one called off? Is there an assumption that the enemy breaks contact in the latter exercise? In the former what would follow? Have the enemy been destroyed or is this just showing the process of closing with the enemy before a final assault?
    Great job!
    It was moving to hear of Kevin Schranz. Sorry to hear that.

  • Karl Vanhooten

    Well done. Great action. Seems safety was foremost. I assume the guys in civvies with beanies and sunglasses were wearing ear plugs and using sunglasses for eye protection. However, I didn’t notice the reenactors using eyes and ears.