What We Learned From Recreating WW II History

Previously on TFB we discussed the Lessons Learned from our WW II Squad Live fire which you can read about here, and watch the original episode here. In this episode of TFB TV we have a round table discussion from the actual participants and several subject matter experts who were present at the live fire as to what they experienced and what they went through. For many of us it was our first time extensively handling these WW II small arms in the manner that they were used, and in trying to recreate some of what those soldiers in 1941-1945 went through on an almost daily basis. We discuss smaller matters such as the safety on the M1s, to larger topics when it comes to fire and maneuver with an entire squad. The reenactors played an essential role here because they gave us some of the context of what soldiers then would have encountered.

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Transcript ….
[coming soon]


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.

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


  • Ark

    So you take all of those challenges and you add in extra goodies like:

    – The other guy shooting back

    – The enemy having more than one unit available, and trying to suppress and maneuver against you

    – Coordination with other units of your own

    – Radio communication and combined arms warfare on both sides (because there’s always somebody hanging out with a mortar waiting for a call)

    – Running out of ammo because you shot half of it earlier in the day

    – Nobody’s had water in a day

    – The guys you sent to “buddy rush” getting mowed down because they’re running in the open

    – The 17-year-old next to you screaming for help because he just got eviscerated by a burst from a machine gun

    Gets complicated quickly. It’s a wonder anyone manages to accomplish anything.

    • InfidelCrusader

      Weather has a pernicious way of adding to those complications.

    • Klaus

      Well said indeed…

    • KestrelBike

      Also probably being halfway around the globe from the only home you’ve ever known.

    • Ranger Rick

      Nothing adds to the festivities like a little artillery, especially if its your own and landing short?

  • Big Daddy

    I think they had at least 2 BARs in a squad. It would make a big difference.

    • Ranger Rick

      You are correct, US Army & USMC WW II tactics were based on a fire team concept as now with the BAR fulfilling the role of base of fire. The tripod M1919’s moved but not as depicted in this video. The MG’s provided the longer range fire on the objective.

      Also if the M1 rifles are failing as described, 99% of the time it is operator error (lack of maintenance or lube). Same goes for the 1919’s not to mention checking the timing . Of course I’ve seen active duty folks having difficulties with M60’s, M240’s and M249’s.

      Regarding ammo, besides the cartridge belts, most grunts grabbed a few bandoliers which came out of a can. A good majority of the ammunition used was AP rounds which just sliced through sand bsgs, bricks and trees.

      • Big Daddy

        Yep…..I think the Marines had 3. And like ya said the M1919 although not accurate laid down a lot of suppressive fire due to a long cyclic rate it was able to keep firing. The Germans had mostly bolt action rifles and relied on the M42 to lay down short bursts, they had slow firing rates from their troops other than the MG42 which had a very high cyclic rate. Also I would think the American troops would use the tree line and not attack in an open field like that.

        • Don Ward

          Well yeah. The participants wanted the audience to see the reenactors. Plus you needed to film everybody with clear visual lines for the cameraman. On real battlefields, you hardly ever see the enemy. And while that would be “realistic” it would make for a bad YouTube video.

          Think of this like a football scrimmage.

          • Big Daddy

            That’s pretty much what it looked like. I’ve seen a lot of WWII video and have done some study on it.

            There was a cable mini-series “Band of Brothers” about WWII 101st and their battle scenes were very realistic. So was “Saving private Ryan”.

        • Ranger Rick

          The MG 34 could lay down some serious lead also. When used on the Lefette tripod either MG was capable of sustained and accurate fire in excess of 1,000 meters and was then equipped with a 4 power optic. It also had a great “search” feature that was often employed at night.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Great salute to your fallen friend…Semper Fidelis.
    “And when he gets to Heaven,
    To St Peter he will tell;
    ‘One more Marine reporting,Sir–
    I’ve served my time in Hell.’ “

    • Brian Mead

      Too bad the green weenie also goes beyond the grave, because the hymn says the streets of heaven will be guarded by the United States Marines.

      • Pete Sheppard


  • Tassiebush

    Great once again!