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Hi all ,

 

As for the reenacting part , our group will do a Rifle platoon impression of the 4th ID ( normandy period )

 

But i still have some important questions to be solved!

 

This is what i understand about a standard infantry Rifle squad :

 

1 Staff sergeant (squad leader )=> M1 Garand or Thompson SMG

1 Sergeant ( assistant leader ) => M1 Garand or Thompson SMG

7 Rifle men => M1 Garand and 1-2 M1 Carbines

1 Auto Rifle men => BAR

1 Assitent auto rifle men => M1 Garand/M1 carbine

1 Ammo bearer => M1 Garand/M1 carbine

 

I will be participating as a BAR gunner so naturally i wield a BAR ammo belt around my waist.

 

As for my 2 assitents , What is their setup ? also a BAR ammo belt around their waste , but with a M1 Garand bandoleer around their neck

OR

Each have a Garand ammo belt around their waist and an ammo bag with BAR magazines ?

 

Thanks and every comment or help is possible to make this a historical correct rifle platoon.

" You can manufacture weapons and you can purchase ammunition,

But you can't buy valor and you can't pull heroes off an assembly line ".

 

-Sergeant John B. Ellery-

U.S. 1st Infantry Division

 

Hang Tough my friend!

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Cobrahistorian
Hi all ,

 

As for the reenacting part , our group will do a Rifle platoon impression of the 4th ID ( normandy period )

 

But i still have some important questions to be solved!

 

This is what i understand about a standard infantry Rifle squad :

 

1 Staff sergeant (squad leader )=> M1 Garand or Thompson SMG

1 Sergeant ( assistant leader ) => M1 Garand or Thompson SMG

7 Rifle men => M1 Garand and 1-2 M1 Carbines

1 Auto Rifle men => BAR

1 Assitent auto rifle men => M1 Garand/M1 carbine

1 Ammo bearer => M1 Garand/M1 carbine

 

I will be participating as a BAR gunner so naturally i wield a BAR ammo belt around my waist.

 

As for my 2 assitents , What is their setup ? also a BAR ammo belt around their waste , but with a M1 Garand bandoleer around their neck

OR

Each have a Garand ammo belt around their waist and an ammo bag with BAR magazines ?

 

Thanks and every comment or help is possible to make this a historical correct rifle platoon.

 

I'm sure it varied by unit and by what was comfortable for the assistant BAR man. In our unit, our assistant BAR guy had original BAR bandoliers with extra magazines. They do exist, but are pretty hard to find these days. Best advice I can give there is to research as best you can. An ammo bag, BAR belt or BAR bandoliers could all be considered historically correct!

 

Jon

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

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I think usually officers/non coms got the carbines too didn't they?

If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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I think usually officers/non coms got the carbines too didn't they?

Yeah i think so , inclusive the M3 smg, but this is just a simple example how we would do it.

Only thing to figure out is the BAR assistents setup , i think you can't do much wrong in either way with my possible examples.

" You can manufacture weapons and you can purchase ammunition,

But you can't buy valor and you can't pull heroes off an assembly line ".

 

-Sergeant John B. Ellery-

U.S. 1st Infantry Division

 

Hang Tough my friend!

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No one in a rifle squad carried a carbine.period. It was 11 Garands and a BAR.The only carbines in a rifle platoon were carried by the officer and the platoon guide,

 

The Asst Gunner ans Ammo bearer were initially issued both a rifle ammo belt AND a BAR belt- rifle for daily garrison type use, BAR for combat, however, the extra BAR belts were eliminated in a change to the T/O - (Off the top of my head I think the Jan 44 change but maybe the june 44 one). Once in Normandy there was a great shortage of BAR belts.

 

As to the TSMG- no one was issued them in a rifle company. Six M3's were allocated to the rifle company for special purpose use. For patrols, urban fighting, etc.

 

There were NO BAR bandollers issued in WW2. They were a WW1 thing. NO, they would not have just picked one up someplace as there was no way to get them to Europe as they were not an issue item.

 

The extra BAR mags and ammo were carried in the genenic ammo carrying bag. Everyone would have been issued one of them, the ammo bearer two.

 

And to all the guys that are going to chime in and say they wore whatever they wanted etc etc etc can - yeah, OK, fine. Throw out the T/O&Es which is the official list of what they would have. You do that you might as well give them all sten guns, mountain jackets and paratrooper boots. There was no Fedex in WW2 for guys to buy stuff on line. Most riflmen never had a chance to go anywhere they could get anything that was not being issued in their area. Yeah they can trade with a neighboring unit, but how often is that really going to happen?

 

With the one in a million excpetion On they are not going to get anything that was not in the supply chain. And the odd stuff is going to get weeded out in the show down inspections before they left the USA, and especially before they boarded a ship for Normandy. Before embarkation they checked and double checked what you were going to carry not only to make sure you have everything, and that it was in good shape, but to prevent guys from carrying stuff they did not need that would weigh them down.

 

So stay with the regulation items, and change them up ONLY when you have a very good reason for doing so. Like adding on the toggle ropes for the 4th ID. If you have to start making up some story as to how they "might have had X' start hthinking twice.

 

(ceavat- this is off the top of my head, but I had just read through every rifle company cange from 1938-1945 so it is pretty fresh. Go findat T/O&E 7-17 and work from that.

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No one in a rifle squad carried a carbine.period. It was 11 Garands and a BAR.The only carbines in a rifle platoon were carried by the officer and the platoon guide,

 

The Asst Gunner ans Ammo bearer were initially issued both a rifle ammo belt AND a BAR belt- rifle for daily garrison type use, BAR for combat, however, the extra BAR belts were eliminated in a change to the T/O - (Off the top of my head I think the Jan 44 change but maybe the june 44 one). Once in Normandy there was a great shortage of BAR belts.

 

As to the TSMG- no one was issued them in a rifle company. Six M3's were allocated to the rifle company for special purpose use. For patrols, urban fighting, etc.

 

There were NO BAR bandollers issued in WW2. They were a WW1 thing. NO, they would not have just picked one up someplace as there was no way to get them to Europe as they were not an issue item.

 

The extra BAR mags and ammo were carried in the genenic ammo carrying bag. Everyone would have been issued one of them, the ammo bearer two.

 

And to all the guys that are going to chime in and say they wore whatever they wanted etc etc etc can - yeah, OK, fine. Throw out the T/O&Es which is the official list of what they would have. You do that you might as well give them all sten guns, mountain jackets and paratrooper boots. There was no Fedex in WW2 for guys to buy stuff on line. Most riflmen never had a chance to go anywhere they could get anything that was not being issued in their area. Yeah they can trade with a neighboring unit, but how often is that really going to happen?

 

With the one in a million excpetion On they are not going to get anything that was not in the supply chain. And the odd stuff is going to get weeded out in the show down inspections before they left the USA, and especially before they boarded a ship for Normandy. Before embarkation they checked and double checked what you were going to carry not only to make sure you have everything, and that it was in good shape, but to prevent guys from carrying stuff they did not need that would weigh them down.

 

So stay with the regulation items, and change them up ONLY when you have a very good reason for doing so. Like adding on the toggle ropes for the 4th ID. If you have to start making up some story as to how they "might have had X' start hthinking twice.

 

(ceavat- this is off the top of my head, but I had just read through every rifle company cange from 1938-1945 so it is pretty fresh. Go findat T/O&E 7-17 and work from that.

 

+1 to what Jon said.

 

BAR Bandoleers just dont show up in photos from ETO combat. There are a handful or fewer photos of the bandoleers being used in the PTO by marines.

 

TO&E is a great place to start to get "the basics". A balance must be struck between paper organization and photograps and interviews from your specific division. For example, if TO&E were 100% accurate, the 1919a4 would have been entirely replaced by the 1919a6 in all rifle companies in early 1944, well in advance of the Normandy Invasion. From photographic evidence, we know this not to be true - but it provides an interesting discussion point as t owhat the theoretical equipment "would be" in an "ideal" situation of the time.

 

Also of note from Jon's post is the absence of SMG's from regular issue. This is specific to regular infantry divisisons - such that Armored (Armored Inf)and AB had a different TO&E and did recieve SMG's in the average squad. The weapons pool / specific mission allowance did vary from unit to unit. From specific research and interviews of veterans from the 90th divsion, which I specifically focus my research on, I found that they had a glut of BAR's and shortage of subguns.

 

Unfortunatley, a lot of these unit specific questions cannot simply be answered difinitively with ease. Take your time, seek out your Division Veterans organization and make a trip the National Archives if at all possible.

 

Chris-

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Wow this would be more than i could expect, a BIG thank you to all who helped clear this out.

I think it will work out for us to keep it as historical as possible , just to wipe the few doubts away...

 

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" You can manufacture weapons and you can purchase ammunition,

But you can't buy valor and you can't pull heroes off an assembly line ".

 

-Sergeant John B. Ellery-

U.S. 1st Infantry Division

 

Hang Tough my friend!

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Cobrahistorian

Cool, thanks Jon!

 

I'll third the TO&E. Wasn't aware that BAR Bandoliers didn't make it to the ETO during WWII, although I was well aware that they were originally WWI items. In keeping with the standard Infantry TO&E, the 83rd division vets I've spoken to have all pretty much told me that they never saw a Thompson while they were overseas.

 

As for trading, eh... it happened. Not a lot, but that's how my grandfather got his jump boots, which I now have. That's him in the right front. Man i'd kill to have that liner....

 

IMG_0012-1.jpg

 

One other minor comment, not sure what its worth, but from what I've seen, the officers in the 2nd Battalion of the 330th tended to get rid of their carbines in favor of Garands. I've seen several officers (my grandfather included) who did so.

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

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All,

 

Thanks for an awesome thread! The detail in Jon's post is excellent, and the concern in the base question from EasyRed was thought provoking. The combination led me to spend 15 seconds on Google, where I found this AWESOME reference www.militaryresearch.com which lists T/Os for all sorts of units - US Army/Marine/Wermacht from WW2, US Civil War, etc - much of it available for free download! I like the truck drawn 105mm battery T/O from WW2, among others.

 

This answers lots questions, PLUS it's free .pdfs on many of these documents!

 

Thrasher

I remember:

Chris Ingrassia (9/11) CPT Tristan Aitken (OIF, 2003)

MAJ Paul Syverson (OIF, 2004) CPT Tom Miller (OIF, 2005)

SSG Scottie Bright (OIF, 2005) CPT Chris Petty (OIF, 2006)

MAJ Hurley Shields (OIF, 2008)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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Another point to add some confusion: Whenever an entire Divsion, or just one of its Regiments, was pulled off the line and sent to "rest camps", they were RECONSTITUTED before re-entering combat (90% of the time).

 

RECONSTITUTION was the usual/best time to introduce new items of equipment -- for example, M1943 uniforms and web gear, buckle combat boots, or M1919A6 LMGs or M-3 SMGs. Also, it was when all the substitute and excess items got turned in and separated from the reconstituting troops -- the extra BARs and TSMGs, as well as M.P.40s, went bye-bye. What a unit of the 4th accumulated during the Normandy campaign went away and newer, closer-to-regs stuff was the norm for its NEXT campaign/period of combat.

 

If the intention is to limit your 4th Inf Div impression to one CAMPAIGN, i.e. Normandy, then limit the gear to what you can confirm was in actual use. If the TO&E says one thing, but period photos another, go with the photos' version.

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Yes the meaning of all this is to keep in Normandy related, and from my point of view i dont want to mess up history so i will only use equipment that is periodically correct, otherwise its useless to start such project.

Ofcourse not all will be 100% correct from the first time but we gonna do everything to keep it originally.

 

Thanks all!

" You can manufacture weapons and you can purchase ammunition,

But you can't buy valor and you can't pull heroes off an assembly line ".

 

-Sergeant John B. Ellery-

U.S. 1st Infantry Division

 

Hang Tough my friend!

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I'll back Jon's info as well as being representative of the typical set-up of an Infantry Squad.

 

Chris - the same TO/E also applies to Armored Infantry and Airborne - they weren't issued any extra Thompsons or M3's in the Squads.

 

Cheers,

Glen.

2nd Armored in Europe : http://www.2ndarmoredineurope.co.uk

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Yes the meaning of all this is to keep in Normandy related, and from my point of view i dont want to mess up history so i will only use equipment that is periodically correct, otherwise its useless to start such project.

Ofcourse not all will be 100% correct from the first time but we gonna do everything to keep it originally.

 

Thanks all!

 

 

Glenn-

 

Thanks for the heads up. For some reason I thought they were different... Cant remember where I read it or who told me - wish I had a source I could go back to- but obviously the source to go to is the TO&E. My apologies for the gaff.

 

Chris-

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Glenn-

 

I ended up going to that militaryresearch.org (make sure you put .org, not .com like linked above as its a spam site) site and puled up the Rifle Company, Armored Infantry Battalion, 15 Sept 1943 edition, http://www.militaryresearch.org/7-27%2015Sep43.pdf and it does specificy that Armored Infantry Rifle Companies recieved Submachine Gun, M3 at the Rifle Squad level.

 

The 17 Feb 42 Parachute Infantry TO&E http://www.militaryresearch.org/7-37%2017Feb42.pdf also has Submachine guns issued at the rifle squad level.

 

These are probably what I was thinking of when I made the above assertion. Most likely read them years ago in the old "US Army 1941-45 Handbook". TO&E's certianly changed throug hthe war, where the 42 and 43 TO&E may certainly not hold water for a Normandy 44 impression.

 

Chris-

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(make sure you put .org, not .com like linked above as its a spam site) site and puled up the Rifle Company, Armored Infantry Battalion, 15 Sept 1943 edition, http://www.militaryresearch.org/7-27%2015Sep43.pdf

 

The 17 Feb 42 Parachute Infantry TO&E http://www.militaryresearch.org/7-37%2017Feb42.pdf also has Submachine guns issued at the rifle squad level.

 

Gents,

 

My apologies for posting a FUBAR link, and Chris, thanks for correcting my mistake! I got all excited and typed it in, rather than cutting and pasting a link. At least it's good to know that folks are already using that info source for their own research.

 

Again, I apologize for the mistake!

Thrasher

I remember:

Chris Ingrassia (9/11) CPT Tristan Aitken (OIF, 2003)

MAJ Paul Syverson (OIF, 2004) CPT Tom Miller (OIF, 2005)

SSG Scottie Bright (OIF, 2005) CPT Chris Petty (OIF, 2006)

MAJ Hurley Shields (OIF, 2008)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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Any platoon leader worth his salt carried a garand, however he wanted to do a "display" type unit. The carne was a replacement for the .45, but every platoon I can recall asking said he carried a Garand.

 

A lot of people think t/o's are useless, but if you use your brain and think about a time frame on what can change in what time period and do some research as to when things's like the 1919A6 arrived at the unit you are doing it is the only way to figure this stuff out. But you have to be careful and make sure you have the right dated one, and all the changes.

 

And every company type is different, He asked about a plain rifle platoon, which is different from airborne, armored, mountain, marine, etc.

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Glenn-

 

I ended up going to that militaryresearch.org (make sure you put .org, not .com like linked above as its a spam site) site and puled up the Rifle Company, Armored Infantry Battalion, 15 Sept 1943 edition, http://www.militaryresearch.org/7-27%2015Sep43.pdf and it does specificy that Armored Infantry Rifle Companies recieved Submachine Gun, M3 at the Rifle Squad level.

 

The 17 Feb 42 Parachute Infantry TO&E http://www.militaryresearch.org/7-37%2017Feb42.pdf also has Submachine guns issued at the rifle squad level.

 

These are probably what I was thinking of when I made the above assertion. Most likely read them years ago in the old "US Army 1941-45 Handbook". TO&E's certianly changed throug hthe war, where the 42 and 43 TO&E may certainly not hold water for a Normandy 44 impression.

 

Chris-

 

Hi Chris,

 

I was going by the Normandy-era version of 7-37 for the Parachute Infantry, which has the same 6 per company SMG's as the Infantry one at that time. Obviously a change from the earlier one that was more SMG-heavy, as you show here. The one you show has the early-war ideal of "every-man-with-a-.45-auto-pistol" as well of course, which was also dropped post-Sicily/Italy.

 

That Armored Infantry one is highly confused - have you seen the notes on page 3 of all the different changes introduced! Until I spotted the "additions" notes, I was wondering how on earth they had a Sept 43 dated TO/E with Squad Leaders as Staff Sergeants and Assistants as Sergeants instead of the Sgt/Cpl set-up that should be there at that stage!

 

Good link though.

 

Cheers,

Glen.

2nd Armored in Europe : http://www.2ndarmoredineurope.co.uk

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  • 3 years later...
No one in a rifle squad carried a carbine.period.

 

Actually Mr. Gawne (and I hate to argue with you above all people) that statement is incorrect. I have two manual from 1942, a couple veteran recollections, and a film made using WW2 trainees that will argue this fact.

 

In 1942 the BAR Assistant and Ammunition Bearer were both supposed to carry carbines (and maybe the squad leader...I will have to dig those pages out). There were supposed to carry M1937 6 pocket BAR belts (it has been theorized that since there combat load was only 45 rounds of carbine ammo, that the oversized two pocket pouch was indeed designed to fit on the buttstock and was not a fluke, one reason the idea of a three pocket pouch disappeared). This was confirmed by a couple MTO veterans. Also the "extras" in a "Walk in the Sun" (who were US Army trainees) also have this set up for their squad...however the March 1943 edition of TO&E 7-17 changes to everyone except the BAR man and rifle grenadier with M1 rifles. There were two reasons...one, the obvious increase in squad firepower and logistics for only having to issue .30-06 to a rifle squad. The other also deals with the issue of "Thompsons" to Sgt's. From operation Torch to the end of Sicily, carbines were in very short supply. Men who were shown to be issued carbines in TO&E, seem to have gotten Thompsons instead (the 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron is a good example). SO if my memory is correct and squad leaders did have carbines in 1942, they had Thompsons as substitutes in North Africa, however three Thompsons (two for the AR extras) would have been a bit much and the weight of said weapon as well as assisting the BAR would have also been a bit much, so while authorized carbines, many of them just carried M1's (or in a few cases M1903's) and the TO&E was changed in March 1943, so they just kept doing what they had always done. By the time the 36th Division lands in Salerno you see quite a few M1 carbines for the first time in the war (except paratroopers), and a few did confirm that their BAR assistants carried them for a short time, by the time they assault s. France, you start to see quite a few pics of 36th soldiers with the M1937 BAR belt and the M1 rifle.

 

All in all it does depend alot on which unit and what part of the war one is talking about and portraying. For the most part all ETO (and D-Day troops, like the 4th) were indeed following the March 1943 TO&E 7-17 and would have been 11x M1's and 1x BAR.

 

Chris Fischer

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I ended up going to that militaryresearch.org (make sure you put .org, not .com like linked above as its a spam site) site and puled up the Rifle Company, Armored Infantry Battalion, 15 Sept 1943 edition, http://www.militaryresearch.org/7-27%2015Sep43.pdf and it does specificy that Armored Infantry Rifle Companies recieved Submachine Gun, M3 at the Rifle Squad level.

 

Note, the squad lever SMG is the gun of the half-track driver. Not part of the regular "squad". Of course this is not to say to wasn't removed for its special rack and carried be the squad leader (or other) based on the mission that day.

 

Chris Fischer

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Despite the TO&Es, Thompsons were often either "special issue" or scrounged up. M-3s not so much, as they were not liked and had an earl;y rep for jamming and.or breaking. They were often held at Bn HQ and issued "as needed" for patrols or to messengers.

 

For Normandy, the Pathfinders ("special") were given their choice of TSMG or Garand. Carbines were discouraged, hence very scarce, with them.

 

Next, according to vets in the 505th and 508th PIRs of the 82nd, the smae "philospohy" held true: more TSMGs, fewer carbines (than TO&E). IIRC BOTH the 82nd and 101st made apoint of training BAR men pre-Normandy and packing IN PARADROPPED EQUIPMENT BUNDLES BARs and GP ammo bags full of mags and/or BAR belts (full) with each bundle.

 

A couple 504 vets told me that they had BARs as squad auto wpns in Italy from Anzio until leaving for the UK in Mar (?) 44.

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Not to mention Carbines were also issued to crew served weapons' crews (MG and mortar) when available.

Freedom isnt free... it must be paid for. Too often it is paid for by the blood of patriots. For those who have paid their share, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

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As to the TSMG- no one was issued them in a rifle company

 

Well, how did Sgt. Saunder obtain his Thompson?? (i.e. "Combat")

Of course, his identified his unit as 363rd Regiment which we know served in Italy and not France. Ha.

 

 

 

Seriously...

 

No one in a rifle squad carried a carbine.period.

Another post said Carbines were issued to special unit. What about radio operators? Would there be a squad with an Officer and a radio? The radioman carried a Carbine---- right?

 

Steve

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These and many more question to be answered by my two new TO&E's. A complete Feb. 1844 and a June 1945.

 

One thing it Sgt. Saunders carried an M1 in the D-Day pilot and doesn't have his parachute camo cover yet! Also he was a member of the 363rd BATTALION. A completely fictitious unit. The producers did not want to single out a real unit for two reasons, the uproar from the vets that "that never happened" and they wanted the characters to represent all generic GI's...thus why you only ever really have them ID themselves as "King Company" and rarely does the 363 thing ever show up. Just some fun useless trivia.

 

To support Mr. JG. In the 1944 TO&E in a rifle platoon ONLY the officer has a carbine (and NO .45 pistol) so it would seem the platoon radioman carried a rifle. This TO&E succeeds a July 1943 which I think is the one that took the carbines away from the BAR assistant and ammo bearer. Also to answer a few of the earlier questions. In the 1944 TO&E the BAR Gunner, Assistant, and Ammo bearers are still each issued a M1937 BAR belt (and they are issued a M23 belt as well...go figure). ALL members of a rifle squad are supposed to have the ammunition bag and the BAR ammo bearer is supposed to have TWO.

 

In the 1945, we see the ammo bags as two per 7 men and the rest of the squad is to have three pocket grenade carriers if not issued the bag. we see the M1937 BAR belt only for BAR gunners, the assistant now carried an ammo bag and the ammo bearer two.

 

Now to echo above sentiments. TO&E's are a great start point, but have to major flaws...ONE, the realities of combat, Two, idealism. Often we see stuff mentioned in TO&E's that were not in manufacture yet, readily available, of ended up as pure fantasy. Units tailored things to the situation. And before people start snubbing the June 1945 TO&E as post war, it is a compilation of changes made since Feb 1944 (either officially or unofficially) that was already being done by many units. So if you are doing the Bridge Over the Remagan, I'd look at it as a guide.

 

Finally, on sub-guns and such. Years ago I read a book with alot of stuff from 101st AB vets. One guy interviewed relayed a story of how they got M1A1 Thompsons for their men. The found that during their practice jumps most of the survival canisters in the C-47s contained a M1A1 Thompsons. So after take off, they would try and distract the crew...a guy would pop open the canister and shove the Tommy in his jump harness, and leave with it when they got the green light. Most crews never missed them! LOL! Never underestimate the power of the midnight requisition.

 

Chris Fischer

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"Survival canister"????

 

By TO&E (Aaaaarrrgghh!), Troop Carrier aircraft each got a TSMG. This was justified as necessary to arm a guard mount on an aircraft stranded at a remote landing site and/or to fire at hostile aircraft out the door. Non-TC, i.e. Combat Cargo and ATC) aircraft did not get TSMGs. The SMGs were usually carried in a purpose-built "holster assembly" (canvas scabbard, not a Griswold bag) snapped onto the forward bulkhead (along with the fire extinguisher and such).

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