Best Infantry Weapons of WW2

H/T War History OnLine.

Paratrooper in position with a MG 42 Machine gun. By Bundesarchiv Bild CC BY-SA 4.0

The most iconic and famous weapons of their time are not always the best or the most practical. However, this is a list of weapons in which each one was so far ahead of the competition, that soldiers in the battlefields of World War II would jump at any opportunity to capture an enemy that had them, even dumping their own equipment in favor of the new weapon.

Best Knife: American KA-BAR Knife

These American knives were the favorite ones for the Allies, but as American soldiers got captured, they became one of the favorite knives for the Germans too. What set them apart was their durability, since they were made from high carbon steel, which made them retain their sharpness after punishment that would have long since dulled a stainless steel blade.

Commemorative USMC Ka-Bar knife

They were so hard and sturdy, that they were used to open wooden supply crates instead of crowbars, and they were also used as can openers. Another advantage was that the knife was full tang, meaning that it was made with a single piece of steel. Fighting a war for years on unforgiving terrain can rot most knife handles off, but if that happened with this knife, one could still grip it by the metal handle that was a prolongation of the blade itself.

According to KA-BAR, the name was originally given to their line of knives in the early 1900’s when their company, that was called Union Cutlery back then, got a letter from a hunter thanking them because he survived an encounter with a grizzly bear, killing it with his Union Cutlery knife. The writing was smudged by the rain, and the only letters clearly discernible were K A Bar, so they decided to name their whole knife line after it.

The KA-BAR knife was the most popular knife of the US Marine Corps during and after World War II.

Best Pistol (tie): German Luger PO8 and American FN Browning GP-35

Both the Luger and the Browning “Hi-Power” shot 9mm rounds. While the Luger was very sensitive to dust and dirt, and had to be carried in a fully covered holster, the Germans didn’t make a fuss over it.

Ordnance Luger pistol of the Army of the Third Reich. By Luger_IMG_6768.jpg
CC BY-SA 2.0

During the war, several thousands of them didn’t have interchangeable parts because their manufacturing process was finished by hand after the Allies bombed the factories producing them, so repairing them on the field was an issue.

But do you know what the Germans, or any other soldier who got their hands on one of them, loved most? Their stopping power and precision was unparalled, the best of any other pistol hands down. And as a bonus, they loved its beautiful design.

Albania, field policeman with Italian soldiers holding a Luger PO8. By Federal Archives CC-BY-SA 3.0

What about the Browning Hi-Power? It was a simple, easy to disassemble and maintain, reliable semiautomatic pistol, and what set it apart from the rest is that it rarely jammed and it had a large capacity magazine that held 13 bullets. In comparison, most guns held only 8 rounds, including the Luger PO8.

Browning High Power, belonging to the Indonesian Marine Corps. By Dragunova CC BY-SA 3.0

Best Submachinegun (tie): Russian PPSh-41 and American Thompson M1928A1

The Russian-made PPSh-41, called “Papashaw” by the Allies, could be manufactured by workers with almost no experience, and its cannon barrels were often repurposed from old Mosin-Nagant rifles. Since all SMGs were meant to be used to “spray and pray” at close range, what soldiers wanted was a gun in which the mechanism was simple and that wouldn’t jam while in a pinch. This one fired 7.62mm rounds and was as simple as it got. It could be fired by people with little training and it could work for years without cleaning.

What about the Thompson “Tommy Gun”? Well, this was an iconic gun that was made famous by Prohibition era gangsters, and while the drum magazine was clunky, it sure was awesome to be able to fire 100 rounds into the enemy on full auto.

A Red Army soldier armed with PPSh-41 marches a German soldier into captivity after the Battle of Stalingrad, 1943. By Bundesarchiv, Bild BY-SA 3.0

But the drum loaders made the gun too heavy to aim from the shoulder and the reloading process too slow, so the later models came with a 30-round 9×19 Parabellum magazine. The best thing about the Tommy Gun was that one could shoot an entire magazine using their shoulder as support, because the gun was so well balanced that it had only a little recoil. Its accuracy was not too bad either, making it the preferred choice for up to nearly 500 feet away from a target.

A British soldier equipped with a Thompson M1928 submachine gun (drum magazine), November 25, 1940

Battle Rifle: American M1 Garand

The accurate and reliable Garand had a faster rate of fire than most rifles, in a time when really powerful chambered ammunition was always fired by bolt action rifles. When the war started, most countries only had single fire bolt action rifles, meaning that after firing each shot a soldier had to manually eject the cartridge using a small handle before he could load another round, also manually.

U.S. Army infantryman in 1942 with M1, Fort Knox, Kentucky

The Garand used its own gases for cycling the round and had an “en bloc” loading mechanism, in which both the cartridges and the clip were inserted as a unit into a fixed magazine within the rifle. It was more efficient than loading each shot separately, and it could fire 8 shots of .30-06 Springfield ammo in quick succession and with an excellent accuracy up to nearly 1,500 feet away.

Even though there were several models of submachine guns around, they were so inaccurate that firing them at a target at even a medium range would be a waste of ammunition. That is why battle rifles were still widely used.

Medium/Heavy Machine gun: MG-42

Since modern assault rifles did not exist during WWII, automatic weapons were a necessity for laying down heavy fire. The MG-42 was called Hitlersäge, or “Hitler’s bone saw” by the Germans. It was a belt-fed German marvel which eclipsed all other machine guns with its 1,500 rounds per minute rate of fire, which was totally unheard of at the time.

Wehrmacht reenactors with a MG 34 general-purpose machine gun mounted on a Lafette 34 tripod. By Simon Q CC BY 2.0

This weapon was very versatile, and came with a bipod for close range fights and a tripod for firing at a distance. It could even be turned into an improvised anti-aircraft weapon, able to make short work of any light aircraft while spitting its 7.92x57mm Mauser rounds–a role in which it was so effective, that attachable anti-aircraft sights for the MG42 became part of its standard kit.

The gun was also easy to service and clean, and should the need arise for the barrel to be changed, it could be done in mere seconds by the gun’s crew. This weapon was so powerful that German front line riflemen played a supportive role to machine gunners, who held the most devastating firepower on the team.

A German Waffen SS soldier involved in heavy fighting in and around the French town of Caen in mid-1944. He is carrying an MG 42 configured as a light support weapon with a folding bipod and detachable 50-round belt drum container.By Bundesarchiv, Bild BY-SA 3.0

Of all these weapons, some of them are still in use nowadays. For example, many American soldiers still use the original KA-BAR knives they inherited from their grandfathers. The Luger PO8 pistol remained in use by police forces in France as late as 1970. The FN Browning GP-35 is still being manufactured under license in Argentina for its police forces.

The PPSh-41 was given by the Soviets to communist guerrillas and was used during the Korean War. The Thompson 1921 model was used by the FBI until the late 70’s. The M1 Garand rifle is still used in some shooting competitions nowadays and has become the ceremonial rifle in most military parades. The MG-42 was used in the civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia, and its offspring, the MG-3, is currently used by many armies around the world.

MacArthur/Halsey Masterpiece in the Pacific – Operation Cartwheel

H/T War History OnLine.

A look at the master plan for the march through the Pacific and the toll it took on the fighting men of the United States and her Allies.

Within the first few months of Japan entering WWII, the country had spread its influence over the Pacific. It had successfully invaded many of the islands of the area ranging from the Philippines in the south to the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska in the north.

In January 1942, the Australian base on the island of Rabaul, part of what is now known as Papua New Guinea, was overrun by the Japanese, who then turned it into a significant base accommodating over 100,000 men.

In mid-1943, the Americans launched a serious counter-offensive using both land and sea forces. They attempted to drive the Japanese from some of the islands in the Pacific, thus cutting them off from their supply lines. In isolating these islands, they hoped the Japanese bases would be nullified, and the cost in men and materials to the Allied forces would be minimal.

US Marines hit three feet of rough water as they leave their LST to take the beach at Cape Gloucester, New Britain. 26 December 1943.

One island that was to be isolated was Rabaul. The plan was that isolating and neutralizing this base would remove the threat from the Bismarck Archipelago (including all of Papua New Guinea) and the Solomon Islands.  While this was being accomplished, a second front would attempt to drive through the central Pacific islands, including the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.

Operation Cartwheel, finalized in April 1943, was a land- and sea-based attack on Rabaul, with the objective of removing the Japanese from the island by March 1944. The plan called for a coordinated effort by two of the most decorated and famous leaders of American forces during WWII.

Flame throwers used to break down resistance in Japanese fortifications are shown being used by United States troops in the Southwest Pacific.

The land-based attack was led by General Douglas MacArthur, and the sea-based offensive was led by Admiral William Halsey. Facing these two military giants was General Hitoshi Imamura, who commanded Japan’s 17th Army based on Rabaul. He was reinforced by the 18th Army, which was also based on Rabaul and given the task of defending northern New Guinea.

The land-based forces led by MacArthur were to move through New Guinea and the southern Bismarck Islands while Halsey, with his naval forces, would come in via the Solomons. These two forces would form a pincer movement that would close in on the Japanese base on Rabaul.

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur smoking his corncob pipe, probably at Manila, Philippine Islands, 2 August 1945.

Operation Cartwheel commenced in June 1943, and by mid-September, the island of Lae was in American hands. The US then moved on to the island of Saidor on the western tip of New Guinea.  By October 1943, the naval forces under Halsey were ready to attack the west side of the Solomons and take the island of Bougainville, which was a mere 200 miles (322 kilometers) from Rabaul.

US troops approaching Japanese positions near Baguio

Imamura had sent around 37,500 men from the 17th Army to reinforce the garrison on Bougainville, and they were based at Buin in the south of the island as well as on many of the tiny islets off the coast of Bougainville.

On November 1, 1943, four days after New Zealand forces had overrun the Treasury Islands that lie south of Bougainville, US Marines landed on the north of Bougainville at Empress Augusta Bay.  The American Air Force bombed the Japanese positions while the navy sank Japanese warships in the bay.

A Japanese cargo ship burns off Luzon, Philippine Islands after being attacked by U.S. carrier planes.

This was all in support of American marines who made an amphibious landing. Three weeks later, the Americans had established a beachhead on Bougainville with the 3rd Marine Division and the 37th Army Division dug in.

At the same time, Halsey took a huge gamble as he ordered his fleet to attack the powerful Japanese fleet on Rabaul. This was risky as it meant the American aircraft carrier task force was in range of the Japanese air force. Halsey skilfully used the land-based aircraft at his disposal to keep the Japanese planes at bay, which gave the carrier-based American fighters space to launch wave after wave of torpedo and dive-bombers at the Japanese fleet.

Aerial view of an attack on a Japanese seaplane base

This forced the Japanese fleet to withdraw to Truk Island, some distance away. While the Japanese fleet was occupied and the Japanese planes kept confined, the Marines began launching their own air-raids against Rabaul.

By the 15th December, the Allied forces were ready to land on Arawe, on the southwestern side of Papua New Guinea. This drew the Japanese focus from Cape Gloucester on the northwest coast and allowed for an Allied landing there on 26th December. The Japanese counter-attacked, but by the middle of January 1944, the Allies had captured Cape Gloucester and its vitally important airfield.

Australian commandos in New Guinea.

In mid-February, New Zealand forces took the Green islands that are south-east of New Guinea and late in February the US forces took the Admiralty Islands. By March 20, 1944, the US was holding the Emirau Islands. Each of the Allied holdings was protected with airfields that effectively blocked the Japanese from advancing toward the west. By the end of March 1944, the Allies had encircled and effectively neutralized the 100,000 strong Japanese stronghold of Rabaul.

Operation Cartwheel is an example of a carefully planned and brilliantly executed military operation that met its objective handsomely. The island of Bougainville was taken by the American forces, but the Japanese garrison refused to surrender and held out till the end of the war, fighting against the Australians that were left to hold the island, post-December 1944.

Marines fire captured mountain gun during the attack on Garapan,

The recent history where China has established bases in the South China Sea has reminded America of the price that would have to be paid to neutralize island bases that have been designed to stop forces progressing across the world’s largest ocean.

These artificial islands, sophisticated electronics, and land-based aircraft are used to control access from Southeast Asia to the Philippines, and access to the Western Pacific.

Japanese cruiser Haguro and cargo ships under attack at Rabaul.

 

Read another story from us: Marines’ Secret Weapon in the Pacific: Navajo Code Talkers

 

These bases are supplied from the south coast of China, and at this time it would be a conundrum as to how to navigate a vital maritime highway without Chinese permission. If war were to come, the US would be back in 1944, trying to isolate island bases while also defending their base on the Philippines.

Once again, knowledge gained from history is essential when planning for the future.

 

Climate Change Not a Top Issue for Voters, Despite Push From Democrats

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Unfortunately for the DemocRat Party, most voters see globull warming or climate change or whatever it is called now as a scam.

Many Democrats have pushed to make climate change a key issue for voters in recent years, but it has “failed to gain traction as a voting issue in American elections,” according to a Politico report.

As a result, “Even Democrats this year rarely advertised on climate, running campaigns dominated instead by more immediate concerns about health care, immigration and jobs,” according to Politico.

President Donald Trump has undone many Obama-era climate policies, including his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, and meanwhile, voters do not appear to consider climate change a major issue heading into the 2018 midterms.

“It’s too remote. It’s not today. It’s not conflict,” California Gov. Jerry Brown (D.), said in an interview. “So that’s where we are, and climate change is not jobs, not taxes, it’s not violent crime. It’s not sex. And it’s not immigration.”

A survey from earlier this year by researchers at Yale and George Mason University found liberal democrats ranked global warming fourth among issues that would influence their vote. They rank health care, gun policies, and environmental protection ahead of climate change as voting issues.

“This is the base — this is what they’re all trying to gin up and appeal to, both at the primary level and as a way to get out the vote come November,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

Only 2 percent of American voters overall consider global warming the most important electoral issue, according to the Yale and George Mason study.

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s political organization initially focused on climate change before expanding to invest in campaigns for voter registration and impeaching Trump. In 2016, his organization NextGen Climate Action spent over $90 million on federal races. “In order to win on [climate change],” he said, “we have to win a bunch of elections.”

Gray Davis, a former Democratic California governor, said he is not sure if reducing carbon emissions helps campaigns. “It’s not clear to me whether it’s an election winning argument. It might be an election winning argument in some counties in California, and maybe in some of the other … states that tend to follow what we do. But it’s a little under the radar.”

Former vice president and presidential candidate Al Gore thinks the tangible impact of the weather will drive people to vote based on climate change. “I think that there is a new participant in the discussion, and that’s mother nature,” he said.

Gore has remained a prominent environmental activist. His campaign to shed light on global warming was documented in the 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth.

“And the increasing frequency and severity of these climate-related disasters almost every night on the news now is really driving further change that I think does give the issue great political significance,” Gore said.

Last summer, Gore compared fighting global warming to abolition and the civil rights movement. “The climate movement, not least in cities, is right now in the tradition of all the great moral causes that have improved the circumstances of humanity throughout our history,” he said. “The abolition of slavery. Women’s suffrage and women’s rights. The civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.”

Clarence Thomas Decries Partisanship at Judicial Confirmation Hearings: We Need Less ‘Spartacus’

 

 

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is 100% correct we need more Honorable and less Spartacus moments.

Sadly Honorable and the DemocRat Party are not even in the same galaxy.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued last week that the wrong values have been propagated during high court confirmations, saying the United States needs “people who actually ask the questions at confirmation hearings, instead of Spartacus.”

“How many people can you use, in leadership positions today, the word that I used about Brett [Kavanaugh]: honorable,” Thomas said during a Federalist Society event on Sept. 8. “Honorable. Not the honorable. Honorable. If we can use that word about more people who are in public life … think about the difference it’ll make. Then, you’ll have a legacy. We will have left the country in better shape, morally, structurally than we found it.”

Thomas’ “Spartacus” remark was a reference to Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), who during Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing announced he would release committee documents he said were confidential. Booker repeatedly said he would do so despite the possibility he could be expelled from the Senate, but the documents had in fact been cleared for public release the night before.

Booker said during the hearing, “This is about the closest I’ll probably have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment.”

Thomas was speaking with Leonard Leo, the president of the Federalist Society, at an event for members in Fort Worth, Texas, when he was asked to reflect on the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

“But as long as we’re looking at our interests, or scoring points, or looking cute, or being on T.V., especially the legal system, how do we maintain it? If you can’t debate hard issues honestly, with honor, with integrity, how do we keep a civil society?”

Thomas is not the only Supreme Court justice to speak out against the partisanship on display at the Kavanaugh hearings. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was appointed by a Senate vote of 96-3 in 1993, said Wednesday the way the confirmation hearings are going is “not right.”

“I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back the way it was,” she told a group at George Washington University.

A number of Senate Republicans also raised concerns about Booker’s actions during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Sen. John Cornyn (R., Tex.) responded in the moment to Booker, who is considered a likely 2020 presidential candidate, telling him, “Running for president is no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate.”

A full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is expected later this month.

 

Gillibrand: Call to Abolish, ‘Get Rid of’ ICE Taken out of Context

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is so full of crap I’m surprised her eyes aren’t brown.

Her comments were not taken out of context.     

 

Senator says agency should be given a ‘new name and a new directive’

Clinton Spreads ‘Four Pinocchio,’ ‘False’ Claim About Kavanaugh

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Wow stop the presses, Hillary Clinton is telling lies. Snark.

It would have been newsworthy if Hillary Clinton had been telling the truth something I doubt she is capable of doing.

Kamala Harris previously claimed the Supreme Court nominee was ‘going after birth control’

LMAO: Professor Shoots Himself To Protest Trump

H/T Clash Daily.

The sad part is this silly bastard shooting himself will most likely be used by the anti-gun crowd as a school shooting.

Have you heard that quote about being ‘educated into imbecility’? Here’s a real-world example.

One Professor at College of Southern Nevada really hates Trump. How much does he hate Trump?

He hates Trump with a violent intensity… he’s got a gun and he isn’t afraid to use it.

No. Don’t worry, he isn’t attacking Trump with the gun. That would be stupid and dangerous.

Trending: A Marine’s Widow Confronts Nike – ‘Meet Me & My Son At Arlington’

He’s just bringing it to school with him and discharging it…

At himself.

The sociology prof took a handgun into the bathroom on campus, taped a $100 bill to the mirror marked ‘for the janitor’ and shot himself in the arm to protest President Trump.

He was found where he collapsed: on the floor outside the bathroom. He was still alive, but bleeding. His .22 and one spent casing were both found on the bathroom floor.

Mark J. Bird, 69, was charged last month with discharging a gun within a prohibited structure, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, court records show. He was found bleeding from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his arm about 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 28 outside a bathroom in the Charleston campus K building.
[…] The sociology professor was hired Aug. 26, 1993, and was an emeritus faculty member at the time of the shooting, college spokesman Richard Lake said. Bird was not scheduled to teach any courses during the fall 2018 semester.

Bird was employed with the college as of Tuesday, although Lake said it was not clear what disciplinary actions, if any, would be taken against him.

Not to be a stickler here, but that administration might want to think twice about having anyone whose judgment doesn’t say ‘deliberately shooting yourself in a school is a bad idea’ teaching ANY class. Of any kind. Ever again.