Let's see your war bringbacks!


PDA






Halo
March 26, 2008, 11:35 PM
I think it's safe to say that most of us have an interest in firearms that goes beyond just the enjoyment of target shooting, or the sense of security they provide. They're also literally pieces of history, a tangible link to momentous events of the past.

I thought it would be very cool to see what sort of war bringbacks people on the forum have. To get things started, I'm posting a few pictures of the Arisaka Type 99 brought back by my grandfather. My grandfather served in the US Navy during World War II, piloting the amphibious landing craft that brought Marines ashore throughout the Pacific theater. I remember as a young child listening with rapt attention when he recounted his experiences there -- the sound of machine gun bullets whizzing past inches from his ears, the explosion of artillery shells in the water around his boat, the sight of Marines and Sailors falling to the withering enemy fire from the beach -- and the exotic places he went, Australia, New Guinea, Saipan, and countless other islands.

So anyhow, this is the Japanese rifle that he brought home. It was a late war production, very rough and unfinished since they were desperate to churn them out quickly by then. On the top of the receiver you can see where the Imperial Chrysanthemum was ground off. My aunt has some other fascinating memorabilia of his, including a blood-stained Rising Sun flag and some special goggles worn by anti-aircraft gunners so they could look towards the sun without being blinded.

Please share some pictures of relics you own, and even better tell the story of who brought them back. We all owe our freedom to them.

If you enjoyed reading about "Let's see your war bringbacks!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Halo
March 27, 2008, 10:07 PM
No Mausers or Carcanos or Arisakas out there???

scrat
March 27, 2008, 10:20 PM
Wow that is so nice. Did your granfather ever fire that here in the states.

jmr40
March 28, 2008, 12:35 AM
No pictures but my dad served in Europe during WW2. Just days before Germany surrendered his unit captured a German town and after searching all of the homes the guns were stacked in the middle of the street to be destroyed. An officer told them they could have anything they wanted. There had been a small gunshop in town and my dad picked out a 12 guage double with the price tag still on the trigger guard. It was made in the FN factory in Belguim. Most likely before the war. Dad scrounged up some lumber, built a box, and spent $1.75 for postage to send it back to my grandfather. Dad is 85 now, and only gave up hunting a few years ago. I make it a point to hunt with that gun at least once a year.

Halo
March 28, 2008, 12:57 AM
Wow that is so nice. Did your granfather ever fire that here in the states.

To my knowledge, he never fired it. I'm not going to fire it either, because I've heard the late-war production rifles were so rushed that some of them may not be safe to fire. I'd hate for anything to happen to it. Plus the 7.7mm Arisaka ammo is pretty hard to find.

Halo
March 28, 2008, 01:03 AM
That is a cool story, jmr40. Does the gun have any German markings on it?

Please relay our gratitude to your dad for serving.

ColinthePilot
March 28, 2008, 02:13 AM
I don't have any rifles that were brought back, but I do have a Beretta 1934 that was issued to the Italian Army circa 1943 (traced the numbers, all military markings). My grandfather on my mother's side was in the navy in the early 50's and won the pistol in a poker game, presumably from someone who DID bring it back. I do have an M1 Garand, and an M38 Mosin Nagant, both of which could have seen combat based on serial number dates, but I can't know for sure.

GlowinPontiac
March 28, 2008, 02:24 AM
why was the crest ground off? seems an odd thing to do to a bringback that was all original. or did the japanese do it before they surrendered?

PTK
March 28, 2008, 02:54 AM
GlowinPontiac

As far as I understand, the Japanese ground the crest off before giving up any items with it on there, as it would have been a sign of disrespect to the Emperor. I could be wrong.

Roboshred
March 28, 2008, 03:10 AM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/13767CSA_sword_001.jpg
This is a CSA Nashville plow works cavalry sword circa 1862 said to have been used by one the Missouri raiders and captured at the battle of Lexington in lexington Mo..

Roboshred
March 28, 2008, 03:13 AM
This is a CSA Nashville plow works cavalry sword circa 1862 said to have been used by one the Missouri raiders and captured at the battle of Lexington in lexington Mo..
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/13767CSA_sword_001.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/13767CSA_sword_002.jpg

johnnyonthespot
March 28, 2008, 03:15 AM
im calling the antiques roadshow right now!

great find

BorisDaBastid
March 28, 2008, 04:48 AM
Everyone from OIF1 and earlier had it real nice. Now, bringing back anything other than propaganda leaflets or *maybe* a koran is punishable under the UCMJ. I would've loved to bring back one of the SKS rifles that my unit captured last time, but it requires a signed memo from the CENTCOM commander to do so. To make matters worse, since we're stationed in Germany, you need a Waffenkarte to have any sort of weapon in your charge. I'm gonna try and weasel something with my armsroom this time, but the customs inspections on the way out are a pain in the ass from what I hear. I can't even take my FIL's 9mm with me, even sneaky type, because of all the security checks we have to go through both entering and leaving the middle east. Sad day when a soldier can't take something out of the country that the enemy used against him.

Zoogster
March 28, 2008, 05:02 AM
It is a shame this tradition is no more. Legal firearm bringbacks are a thing of the past, not allowed by the military anymore in most cases. Further, select fire weapons would not be legal to bring back anymore anyways for civilian ownership.
A very few rare exceptions are made for historical items, but not usualy for individuals.
So most bringbacks that do make it would be illegaly smuggled, and if select fire and imported, illegal for additional reasons. So I doubt anyone with such things would post them. Won't hear about some of those bringbacks that do exist for another 50 years or so if ever as they would still likely be illegal.

Some individuals have been caught smuggling some back though from the current conflict. One of those gold plated AKs was even found in an airport being smuggled. So it is fair to say for every one caught several bringbacks have made it back undetected.
Unfortunately those stories will never be shared unless it is by some LEO agent explaining where one came from after a siezure, and even then most of the story will be missing.

Army
March 28, 2008, 08:55 AM
The Japanese crest was ground off under MacArthurs' orders, in order to bring a small level of humiliation to the Jap warlords.

Ari's with the crest still intact are those that were spirited back to the US before the end of hostilities.

OIF2, had started the paperwork to bring back a custom 2" Colt Python, allegedly ordered by Saddam for his personal guards. Paperwork was at the JAG office in Balad for final approval when the trophy rules were changed to no weapons at all.

alexanderplatz
March 28, 2008, 09:17 AM
Does the military have any policy of officially archiving weapons, either the enemy's or their own? I think it would be really interesting if you could visit a museum and they had a display of both U.S. and enemy weapons from a specific battle, with the provenance of each weapon known down to the units and maybe even the individual soldiers. You wouldn't have to sacrifice a lot of weapons for archiving, which would be foolish during active conflict when resources are pushed to the limit, but even a dozen rifles from a given battle would be very cool. I think the historical value would outweigh the modest costs associated with this.

BorisDaBastid
March 28, 2008, 10:15 AM
The 1AD Museum here in Baumholder, Germany has a *large* collection of both our and our enemy's weapons on display, from ww2, on up to our current conflict. Also, outside the building, are about 30 or so pieces of ww2 german, cold-war era American, and soviet pieces of armor.

Halo
March 28, 2008, 11:26 AM
Wow. I knew bringing home trophies had become much more difficult, but didn't know they had totally banned it. That's really crappy. Since pretty much the beginning of time it's been accepted that soldiers will take the weapons of their vanquished foes as trophies. I can't say I'm really surprised though.

Hoppy590
March 28, 2008, 11:57 AM
Does the military have any policy of officially archiving weapons, either the enemy's or their own? I think it would be really interesting if you could visit a museum and they had a display of both U.S. and enemy weapons from a specific battle, with the provenance of each weapon known down to the units and maybe even the individual soldiers. You wouldn't have to sacrifice a lot of weapons for archiving, which would be foolish during active conflict when resources are pushed to the limit, but even a dozen rifles from a given battle would be very cool. I think the historical value would outweigh the modest costs associated with this.

we do keep samples of enemy and other foreign weapons, along with our own.

the big guy you always see on TV shows about guns, Dr. Atwater, runs the US Army Ordnance Museum .

http://www.ordmusfound.org/

they have everything from pistols to rail road guns.

rocinante
March 28, 2008, 11:59 AM
The Japanese crest was ground off under MacArthurs' orders, in order to bring a small level of humiliation to the Jap warlords.

I always heard the motivation was the exact opposite. The japanese considered the crest a symbol of their god emperor and the grinding off of weapons saved them face by not having it on weapons turned over in surrender. The japanese removed the crest. If you see film of japanese surrendering they are a lot of times stripped down to their diapers. They did not want to disgrace their uniform given by the emperor.

scrat
March 28, 2008, 12:05 PM
Halo. You know what id do. First buy some ammo. Next a small japanese flag. Then build a display box. Maybe with some V notch pieces in the front and back. to hold the rifle. Then line the bottom with velvet, or even a good felt, fold up the japanese flag and put it behind the rifle. Then put the bullets in front and all around the gun kinda like just thrown there. You might want to use a small amount of clear silicone to keep them together. Maybe open the chamber and have one 1/2 way in. kind like with the top part sticking up. Then put a piece of glass in front of it. Wow that would look so good. I can see it now. What a way to pay tribute to your Grandfather. it would make a heck of project

Ian
March 28, 2008, 01:07 PM
The Japanese crest was ground off under MacArthurs' orders, in order to bring a small level of humiliation to the Jap warlords.

Rocinante is correct; the actual reason was to allow the Emperor and Japanese soldiers to save face.

Hoppy590
March 28, 2008, 03:09 PM
Rocinante is correct; the actual reason was to allow the Emperor and Japanese soldiers to save face.

i do believe this is correct.

anything bearing the Imperial 'Mum was deemed to be of the emperor himself. and since the emperor was a god, the rifle was a tool or part of god. when the Mum is removed it is nothing more than a gun.

as is my understanding

Halo
March 28, 2008, 04:15 PM
That's a great idea scrat. I might talk to my aunt about that, because she has a lot of other relics he brought home. I know he brought home the bayonet that goes to the rifle, and I think she has that. There's also the Rising Sun flag, and if I'm not mistaken I could've sworn he had a sword too.

fireflyfather
March 28, 2008, 04:30 PM
You could also buy some brass from Grafs (make sure to opt out of their mailing list sharing/selling program), load it with .303 bullets (good idea to slug that bore first, though!), or better yet, soft cast bullets (air cooled wheel weights), and a small charge of pistol powder, just enough to clear the barrel, maybe 7-10 grains of red dot or so (DO NOT TRY WITH RIFLE POWDER). That load would probably be soft enough to not blow up on you, and let you shoot it a bit. You'd have to adjust the sights, though.

The type 99 action is one of the strongest ever made for a military bolt rifle. Have a gunsmith look it over, and then have lots of fun with very light gallery loads.

Vaarok
March 28, 2008, 05:39 PM
Recently a dispatch from the Japanese high command was discovered ordering the defacement of the mum as part of surrender protocol. The MacArthur story is confirmed as a myth. Check the Banzai mailing list if you don't believe me.

Cosmoline
March 28, 2008, 05:44 PM
The type 99 action is one of the strongest ever made for a military bolt rifle.

Be extremely careful. Some of the late model 99's were made with CAST IRON receivers and other grossly substandard parts. Such a weapon is not safe to fire with any load at all. Check the date of manufacture and verify with the Japanese rifle forum or other authorities.

The Japanese grinding of mums was not unique to Japan. It was common practice when rendering the rifles surplus. The crest on many rifles was ground off or covered up. Argentine Mausers are a good example. Saving face or humiliation didn't have anything to do with it, the countries just don't want their emblem on surplus goods sold to other nations or private parties.

If you enjoyed reading about "Let's see your war bringbacks!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!