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WW1 very obscure weapondry stuff

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I am back from a trip to the archives mining the endless frustration of the place for nuggets of gold, and found a few cool things:

 

I found an AEF HQ document that stated that the 1st Corps would retain the 8mm chauchat's, but the 2nd and 3rd acorps would be issued the 30.06 models. To me this was pretty amazing. And that they would issue weapons in such a way (which makes sense in terms of rear echelon support, adds credence to the theory that the BAR was to be phased in by unit.

 

As to the chauchat belt and 30.06 pouch- I found good evidence that the AEF guys had no clue these were being developed in the usa. They totally questioned the need for the chauchat belt, and felt the standard french pouch would work for .30.06 mags as well, but they had a shortage of them so wondered if they should get some sent over as they needed something.

 

 

I also found a doc that showed that in the AoO in Germany (Feb 1919 I think) they had twenty five (25) pouches on M1910 hangers made up to carry BAR maqs so that every man could carry an extra or two in an assault. No final answer on it other than they asked for them to be made, and said they were delivered for field testing. TO which I can only assume means they didn't like it for some reason.

 

I found some good photos as well. nice one of a kerr sling in use at the front, and I think I may have found one of the older hospital corpsman's bag being used by a medic - but I have to go back and peer closely at everything to be sure.

 

The most frustrating item was a questionaire for the troops asking all about their opinions on various uniforms/ field gear. Unfortunatly, the file only had the questions... and there was not a clue as to where any responses may be.

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I am back from a trip to the archives mining the endless frustration of the place for nuggets of gold, and found a few cool things:

 

I found an AEF HQ document that stated that the 1st Corps would retain the 8mm chauchat's, but the 2nd and 3rd acorps would be issued the 30.06 models. To me this was pretty amazing. And that they would issue weapons in such a way (which makes sense in terms of rear echelon support, adds credence to the theory that the BAR was to be phased in by unit.

 

As to the chauchat belt and 30.06 pouch- I found good evidence that the AEF guys had no clue these were being developed in the usa. They totally questioned the need for the chauchat belt, and felt the standard french pouch would work for .30.06 mags as well, but they had a shortage of them so wondered if they should get some sent over as they needed something.

I also found a doc that showed that in the AoO in Germany (Feb 1919 I think) they had twenty five (25) pouches on M1910 hangers made up to carry BAR maqs so that every man could carry an extra or two in an assault. No final answer on it other than they asked for them to be made, and said they were delivered for field testing. TO which I can only assume means they didn't like it for some reason.

 

I found some good photos as well. nice one of a kerr sling in use at the front, and I think I may have found one of the older hospital corpsman's bag being used by a medic - but I have to go back and peer closely at everything to be sure.

 

The most frustrating item was a questionaire for the troops asking all about their opinions on various uniforms/ field gear. Unfortunatly, the file only had the questions... and there was not a clue as to where any responses may be.

 

Great information Johnathan! Thanks for sharing!

 

Chris


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and as I go through more- lots of talk of grenade carriers. they used the French apron type - and decided they did not like it as guys did not like lying on grenades, they fell out, and mde it harder to lie flat. They did like the bucket style.

 

BUT somone int he USA ordered scads of US M1917 apron carriers and 1918 belt hanging pouches (which they did not like as tey were too heavy on the belt). AEF sis not want them, but had some shipped over as a stop gap until they could get more "bulk bucket type" grenhade carriers. In fact there is mention of a specific grade bucket carrier which for the lif e of me I cannot figure out if it is any different from a standar d canvas bucket. And they bought a stop gap of 5,000 UK made Grenade buckets, which vanished in shipping so they were unable to evaluate them.

 

Ain't research fun?

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Interesting info on the Chaut-chauts.....that also helps explain why some guys liked them OK and others hated them....

 

...what divisions were in the 1st Corps again?


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Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

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I just got a 1917 US Grenade Manual that shows a drawing of the British Grenade Bucket. Also, with where it is reinforced, we may have to re-evaluate the ChauChat bag with the leather bottom. The British bucket has the bottom 1/3 doubled canvased. Also remember that uin Bannerman's and several other advertisements after the war, what is referred to as a US Chauchat Bag is described as a grenade bag...could be it was multifunctional as the grenade apron was designed for both hand and rifle grenades...the Chauchat bag my be what a similar WW2 bag was, a General Purpose Ammunition Bag!

 

Chris Fischer

F-Troop

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For what it's worth, I remember a conversation I had back in the late 1970's with a 91st Division veteran who said that on squad sized patrols, a couple of guys would carry extra grenades in collapsable canvas water buckets.

 

Not practical by today's standards maybe, but you use what you have at your disposal.

 

Best regards,

Paul


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