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Lucky 7th Armored
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Lucky 7th Armored

Okay I have been wondering where does one put there fighting knife(leather sheath) on a M1 garand ammo belt? With a hanger? And I know this might be a stupid question but, if a GI had an M1 they would have a .45 correct? Where would the .45 ammo pouch go?

 

Thanks for your help and time,

Haydn

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craig_pickrall

Last question first. If they are issued an M1 there is no .45 associated with that. Off icers, senior NCO's, crew served weapons team were the most likely to have .45's. There were others too but not your typical infantryman.

 

As for the use of personal knives there were several methods used to carry them. They would attach them to their trouser belt and wear it under their cartridge belt. They would either have a sheath that came with a M1910 belt hook or they would add one to carry the sheath on the web belt. They would carry it at their ankle. It isn't often that you see one attached to suspenders, that became more popular during Vietnam.

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El Bibliotecario

Reading the above, I recalled that in Howard R. Crouch's US SMALL ARMS OF WORLD WAR 2 someone who had served in Europe said it was common to carry a knife stuck vertically into the slot at the top of the pistol holster, where the hook is attached. I didn't want to spend the time going through the text looking for that citation, but I did find a photo of an M3 trench knife carried in such a manner on page 95.

 

On page 97 is a photo of an infantryman walking through the snow, armed with an M1 rifle and 2.36 rocket launcher, with something--blanket, overcoat?--hanging over his back as if it were a cape. This is a widely reproduced photo and would be recognized by many. I mention this photo because the fellow is carrying what appears to be an M3 knife strapped to his right ankle, and what appears to be a commercial sheath knife on a German army waist belt worn on the outside of his field jacket.

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craig_pickrall

We have a thread here discussing the use of the knife carried behind the holster. I would link to it if I knew where it was. We ended up with several supporting photos on how it was done.

 

The 2nd photo you mention was of a paratrooper and I think he was moving to an OP. I believe this was from the battle of the bulge too.

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Is this the photo you were referring to?

 

post-2843-1250097185.jpg

 

 

Thats the photo that comes to mind.He is an 82nd man at the Buldge.wearind a german belt also.

 

I have seen pictures of the Parachute Test Platoon wearing the mounted cartridge belt with the snap for the 45 auto pouch.Also a Picture of a MP in the First Special Service Force wearin the same belt.He wasnt using a pistol.More likely the older belts were issued out with out the thought or purpose of carring the pistol and pouch.Just used what was available.

 

RD

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craig_pickrall

I think the reason you see so many paratroopers with the 9 pocket mounted cartridge belt is that originally they were issued pistols. This was because they did not jump with their rifle as these were dropped in weapon bundles. It was determined fairly early that the bundles weren't the best way to go but they still had the belts. There are many stories of paratroopers looking for pistols too. Everyone wanted one as a backup.

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Lucky 7th Armored

Thanks for all the replies! Also on a side note, i thought it wasnt a good idea to wear German items during the battle of the bulge due to the Germans pretending to be Americans and what not?

 

Haydn

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Thanks for all the replies! Also on a side note, i thought it wasnt a good idea to wear German items during the battle of the bulge due to the Germans pretending to be Americans and what not?

 

Haydn

 

Well, I know a old timer who was at Bastogne in the 101st and he said they ran so short of weapons and ammo they used whatever they could find, US, German, antiques from French resistance, etc.

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I think that's a holster for the p38.

 

Whoops, SPELLCHECK let me down !!! I wanted to say a WALTHER, as in P38. :think:

Doc Rick

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El Bibliotecario

Yes, thats the photo who which I referred. If the soldier is carrying a 'Lugar' [sic] on his German belt, this is consistant with remarks in the Crouch book I previously referenced, in which folks who served in the ETO said they carried captured German pistols on readily disposable belts in order to quickly dispose of the pistol if captured, because they felt if they were found with an ememy weapon, they would be summarily executed. This was qualifed by the statement that they would mete out the same retribution to a german captured with a GI weapon. The logic of this escapes me--but so do a lot of things about war, and since I wasn't there at the time, I certainly won't judge.

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  • 1 month later...

My grandfather told a similar story. He was with Co. D, 83rd Recon, 3rd Armored Division and was cut off and surrounded at some point during the Bulge. They all discarded liberated German war souveneirs, pistols, gold teeth, etc. It all went down a well because they thought for certain they would be captured and executed for having it.

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One thing that the original post shows us is something I think we all fell victim too early on in our collecting and displaying. That being that a single GI would carry just about everything (which is not true). I can't even count anymore how many displays show an M-1, M1911A1, M3 Knife, M1 Bayonet, etc. all on the same manniquin! All though soldiers did mix and match stuff it is far more common to follow the regs.

 

For one thing a soldier armed with a M1903 or M1 would have a knife bayonet, thus no need for an issue fighting knife. The knife (both the Army M3 and the USMC "KaBar") was designed for me who's weapons did not have bayonets. These would include men armed with pistols, SMG's, and carbines. Other things to remember are the "date" or campaign of your display.

 

Here are some interesting tid-bits from my research.

 

1. In a rifle company TO&E there are NO submachine guns. One reason we see this has to do with a 1942 TO&E where in a rifle squad the Squad Leader (a Sgt.) was supposed to carrying an M1 carbine...this weapon does not become generally available until after Sicily. So the M1928A1 Thompson became a substitute carbine in many cases (I have friends who served in a Recon unit in the MTO and they confirm this), in the same unit, anyone who was supposed to have a carbine or SMG was supposed to have a knife as well, but most of the M1918 Trench Knives had already been sold off as surplus and the M3 was not keeping up with production being so new. So the men of the 91st Cavalry Recon ended up getting M1917 Bolo's instead for close in weapons! You can also see images of BAR, SMG, and pistol equipped men with bayonets attached to their haversacks and no other knife or close in weapon.

 

2. Not all officers carried M1911 pistols. By the TO&E they were to carry only a carbine! As the war progresses and into 1944-1945 one will see many images of Infantry Platoon leaders with a carbine and a folding e-tool where we would expect to see a .45! Also remember the M1 Carbine was intended as a pistol replacement, not a supplement (which never fully happened).

 

3. Until 1944 all airborne soldiers were issued a M1911 (just like cavalry) and the 9-pocket belts to go with it. In 1944 the TO&E changed to eliminate all but ONE .45 in the airborne squad...this was the M1919A4 LMG Gunner. We see so many of them at D-Day because those who already had them were not prone to give them up.

 

4. This is just for fun, but the M1 Carbine pouch WAS designed to fit over the stock, it was NOT an accident that a soldier discovered. Again, the above referenced TO&E from 1942 says that in a Infantry Rifle Squad the Sgt carried a carbine as did the BAR assistant and ammo bearer, who were supposed to carry M1937 belts with 12 BAR Magazines which leaves NO room and no place on the belt for the carbine pouch. Each man was supposed to carry THREE magazines (like a pistol) so one pouch with a magazine in the gun. The only place to fit it would be the "stock pouch" and I seriously doubt the army would have allowed THAT much slop in a belt loop and that every contractor would make the same mistake by accident. This can be seen in the 1945 Movie "A Walk in the Sun" made with veteran and Army support, the Platoon in the film matches the TO&E almost perfectly with the addition of a couple M1919A4's. One person argued with me that they would have worn the pouch on the adjustment part of the BAR belt...I defy anyone to cinch a belt to 32 inches (pretty typical WW2 GI waist) put on a M1928 haversack with tail and access their carbine mags!

 

5. Again, these are the RULES, and indeed soldiers changed it as they wished and could. My grandfather was only supposed to carry a M1911, but picked up a M1928A1 SMG in N. Africa. He preferred the M1 rifle but knew the supply guys would never ask a question if he drew .45 ammo. Some veterans of the 101st AB once told me how many of the C-47's they rode in for training had M1 SMG's in the survival containers and they felt they didn't have enough SMG's by TO&E, so once airborne over England, they would snatch them and jump out with them!!!

 

Chris Fischer

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Lucky 7th Armored

Wow, Thanks for that very detailed post, it really helped, and im sure that it has helped many others!

Thanks for the information,

Haydn

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Re the TSMG's on C-47s: By TO&E each aircraft in a Troop Carrier Squadron had a TSMG as on-board equipment -- justified as necessary to guard the aircraft at remote fields and to add defensive fire against enemy aircraft in the air (as per the window plugs that came out to allow rifle barrels to poke out the sides). IIRC the TO&E allotted the TSMGs to the Crew Chief and he did not have a pistol (by TO&E).

 

Re BAR assistant gunners wearing BAR belts: Show me the pictures, overseas! The USUAL on-the-ground SOP was that everyone in a rifle squad carried a RIFLE (and that includes the BAR) that took .30-06 ammo. BAR assts soon carried Garands and carried the spare BAR mags in a musette bag, a G.P. ammo bag or even a SANDBAG. Another mode was to adjust the BAR belt way out and wear it as a bandoleer, in addition to the individual's rifle cartridge belt. Of course, sometimes the squad leader would adopt a TSMG, but carbines were generally frowned upon in rifle squads. Sometimes the rifles-only rule was applied throughout platoons, BTW. There is a well-known photo on the cover of LIFE magazine in Aug 1944 that shows LT Kelso Horne of I/508/82nd near Ste. Sauveur Vicomte -- with a Garand. I corresponded with him years ago and he said that HIS (personal) SOP was that everyone in his platoon carry Garands or BARs, no carbines and no TSMGs. He was very handy with his rifle and had selected it in England as the best-shooting one (a Winchester) he could find.

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JAndrews...I agree. I would love to see the picture of every EM in the Airborne with an M1911. I have "a few" :rolleyes: 101st Stateside & England training photos and just don't see it.

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Actually later in 1942 they redid the TO&E again I was told (Sept. I think) to where they eliminated the carbine in the rifle squads in favor of the M1, as soon as I get my scanner fixed (or buy a new one) I will scan some pictures I have of BAR assistants in S. France with the 3rd ID and 36th ID wearing M1937 BAR belts, and carrying M1's with ammo in just the regular cotton bandoleers (and one guy has the three pocket grenade carrier hanging off his belt too).

 

As per unit SOP, that varies greatly and I was just going on what was supposed to happen. (and we know how well THAT works out on combat) Ha Ha Ha! Many units got rid of carbines very early as they realized the could increase the squad/platoon firepower significantly and simplify logistics (thus why the official TO&E probably changed). In N. Africa almost every officer and Sgt. can be seen with a M1928A1 and almost NO carbines are seen. In Sicily you still seem them but you see more carbines showing up (especially in the newly arrived 45th Division).

 

Also, the issue of .45's to airborne, is seen most clearly in pictures stateside. Seems once training started in England, individual SOP's started to be developed, thus you will see SMG's in Paratrooper Rifle Squads where they shouldn't be.

 

Finally, that is great info about the Thompsons carried in C-47's! Never knew that...seems kind of hopeful that a single M1A1 will fend off a FW-190!!! LOL!

 

Chris Fischer

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http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...rrier&st=20

 

in this thread you will see the best picture of a BAR belt won by an assistant. You can see the M1 over his shoulder and the BAR gunner just ahead of him. The assistant also has the three pocket carrier for grenades and two canteens all on the left side of the belt. Lord only knows what he also has on the right side!!!

 

Chris Fischer

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Also, the issue of .45's to airborne, is seen most clearly in pictures stateside. Seems once training started in England, individual SOP's started to be developed, thus you will see SMG's in Paratrooper Rifle Squads where they shouldn't be.

 

Really? Which units? I would LOVE to see those.

 

Jake Powers

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Also, the issue of .45's to airborne, is seen most clearly in pictures stateside. Seems once training started in England, individual SOP's started to be developed, thus you will see SMG's in Paratrooper Rifle Squads where they shouldn't be.

 

Really? Which units? I would LOVE to see those.

 

Jake Powers

 

Here is the OFFICIAL TO& E from the 506th PIR. These are the ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS, Signed by Col Sink. The ONLY reference to a 1911 is on page one and it is for OFFICERS!. Hope this helps.

post-261-1253501972.jpg

post-261-1253501988.jpg

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Here is the OFFICIAL TO& E from the 50th PIR. These are the ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS, Signed by Col Sink. The ONLY reference to a 1911 is on page one and it is for OFFICERS!. Hope this helps.

post-261-1253502083.jpg

post-261-1253502099.jpg

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