Band of Brothers weapon question


PDA






Weedy
December 2, 2009, 06:59 PM
I DVR'd the whole series when it was on Spike last week and watched it for the first time, loved it, I wish I could shake hands with some of those guys. Anyway, I have a question: I noticed that some of the guys had Garands, some had Thompsons, and some had .30 Carbines. Also, some enlisted men had 1911's. How was it determined which weapon a soldier was issued? Did they have a choice? Sorry if this is posted under the wrong category, "General Gun Discussions" seemed like a good choice.

If you enjoyed reading about "Band of Brothers weapon question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
devildog4329
December 2, 2009, 07:26 PM
Currently There are fireteams made up of a team leader, gunner, A gunner, and rifleman. There are variants to this depending on mission requirements but for the most part there are 2 M-16's, a 203, and a 249 in each team. I beleive this is true also for that time period just insert the different weapons and the position names.

Tommygunn
December 2, 2009, 07:29 PM
As I understand it, enlisted men were issued M1 Garands. They were the most common and probably the best battle rifle/implement in that war.
NCOs and officers were issued M1 Carbines and or Thompsons. The carbine was really considered a "rear echelon" weapon; it was developed to replace the role of a pistol since it was easier to train non-gun familiar people to use long arms than handguns, but the light easy handling weapon was popular enough to find its way into the front lines and when ranges weren't great, proved quite effective in combat.
Thompsons were issued to platoon leaders. However both the Thompson and carbine found their way into the hands of others. When an officer was killed they just didn't leave his weapons lying there.
The Thompson was expensive and complicated to make. The original model of 1928 was simplified to the M1 and later the M1A1 which eliminated the firing pin from the bolt. There were never really enough of them as they were very useful in city/town fighting where there was close range fighting. Later the M3 greasegun was developed and while the Thompson was never really replaced, the ease of manufacture of the greasegun provided enough submachine guns to help meet the need for them.
The M1 Carbine was cheap to make in comparison to the Thompsons and six million were made, and about five million or so Garands (IIRC).
If you would like to learn a little more I suggest locating a book titled US Infantry Weapons in Combat ~~ Personal Experiences From World War Two and Korea by Mark Goodwin. It has a huge compilation of stories told by soldiers and their weapons -- people that "been there, done that."
Complicating your question is it seems that sometimes soldiers changed out their weapons as they moved out and entered new areas. For example a soldier might have landed on D-Day with a Garand, then as they went into a town he might be able to grab a Thompson or Carbine, then if they went back out to open areas, he'd pick up the Garand again. Keep in mind that these were of course not personnally owned guns, they were issued by Uncle Sam.

TexasBill
December 2, 2009, 07:39 PM
Standard GI issue was the Garand. There would also generally be one soldier with a BAR as the platoon's "heavy" weapon. A soldier assigned to a weapon that precluded carrying a rifle (like a bazooka) would be issued a sidearm. Thompsons generally went to NCOs.

I am not sure how the M1 carbines were assigned. It was originally developed for officers who didn't like the .45 pistol but a lot of them wound up in the hands of enlisted men.

Weedy
December 2, 2009, 07:42 PM
Good explanation Tommygunn, thank you. I'll see if I can find that book.

61chalk
December 2, 2009, 07:43 PM
Don't forget the BAR...Usually the bigger stronger guys hauled them. I think alot
may of been determined in basic at how good you performed with a weapon. Then
sometimes you didn't want to give up your Garand to have to haul around the BAR,
but higher ups decided for you.

Tim the student
December 2, 2009, 07:55 PM
For what its worth, my Granddad was a mortarman in the Pacific.

He was originally issued a .45, but he decided after his first firefight he didn't much like that .45 so he got a carbine and carried it (along with that .45 and the rest of his equipment) for the duration of the war. I don't know if he picked it up off the ground, or had it issued, but the bottom line is that he wanted one, and found a way to keep it.

X-Rap
December 2, 2009, 07:59 PM
I wish I could shake hands with some of those guys.
The old ones are going fast but go to any airport or to a WalMart around any post and you will find guys just like those and you can wear the skin off your hand.
Just look for the uniform.

Mark whiz
December 2, 2009, 08:00 PM
All good accurate info on WWII armament given so far.

As far as the M1 Carbine is concerned - it was issued in droves to paratroopers because it was a WHOLE lot easier to jump with than the Garand because of its size. And since Band of Brothers is based on "Easy" company of the 101st Airborne..............most of the enlisted men would have been issued the carbines for the D-Day jump. After hitting the ground...........they would have picked up whatever they wanted.

I wish I could shake hands with some of those guys
I know what you mean. I had the great priviledge of meeting Gen Paul Tibbets (pilot of the Enola Gay) about 5 years ago before he passed away. Something I'll never forget.

SharpsDressedMan
December 2, 2009, 08:23 PM
My dad was in the Pacific, Phillipines, etc. He was a heavy mortarman, was issued a carbine (as he had to carry an extra 40-50lbs of mortar rounds or gear), but snatched up a Garand immediately (from a dead G.I.), as he had no faith in the carbine, and claimed it "wouldn't hit the broadside of a barn". I never understood that; later in life, every carrbine I shot was certainly "combat worthy", accuracy-wise. He felt the extra 5-6lbs of Garand and .30-06 ammo was worth it over the lighter weight of the carbine, even though they sometimes toted 80lbs of gear at any time on the move. As for the carbine knocking down Japs, that was another story. They were tough fighters, and were known to dope up or get adrenaline highs from psycho-workups before attacks, etc. My dad also said they would go on 2-man recon patrols in addition to mortar duty, and one was issued a BAR and .45, the other a rifle, and .45's when running com lines, in addition to their rifles.

Jim K
December 2, 2009, 08:35 PM
The real answer is that each unit or type of unit had a Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E). That stated the number of men in the unit, their ranks and their weapons, as well as any other equipment, such as radios, that the unit was responsible for. As a rule, the company was the basic unit, and its TO&E included its platoons and squads.

Were those Tables always followed? No, but the Army tried to keep things straight because support, such as ammo supply, was based on the TO&E, not on what some GI got somewhere and decided to carry.

Carbines were intended to replace pistols, but prior to their development, many more people carried pistols than did in WWII or today. In WWI, pistols were carried by machinegunners and assistants, BAR men and assistants, mortar men, artillerymen, horse handlers, messengers, and platoon and squad leaders, as well as by company grade officers. In WWII, most of those folks were issued carbines, so there were a fair number of carbines issued in an infantry unit. They were NOT "rear echelon" or issued to "cooks and bakers" as they usual saying goes. (Cooks and bakers usually carried rifles; they were expected to fight as infantry if necessary.)

SMGs were also issued per the unit TO&E, but were sometimes issued "ILO" (in lieu of) a carbine or M1 rifle. SMGs were the standard weapons of tankers. (The "tanker M1 rifle" was never a military weapon; it was a postwar civilian invention and the name was an advertising gimmick.)

Other units commonly issued carbines were signal troops, military police, and others whose primary job was something other than fighting.

P.S. In a movie, a "TO&E" weapon is whatever the director thinks looks good, even if it hasn't been invented yet.

Jim

marcograms
December 2, 2009, 08:51 PM
This is my first post so please bear with me. My grandfather served in the Philipines and Okinawa in WW2. He told me that in basic training he and several other men were trained on the flamethrower. He said that the fumes made him sick so he was "tried" on other weapons. He was eventually issued the Browning .30 caliber machinegun that was carried with a shoulder sling. Apparently whoever was in charge was impressed with his accuracy on the gun. He said he just didn't hold it so tight and could even shoot single and double rounds. He was only 5'4" so I asked him if it was heavy and he told me that the it was and the sling had cut his shoulder to the bone after a few months overseas. So I guess in his case it was what he was best with. BTW, he also said that he was issued a "colt automatic pistol" but he never shot it because in training it cut the web of his hand. I really miss him and his attitude towards it all. He said it was just the right thing to do.

Cosmoline
December 2, 2009, 08:58 PM
Did the Marines utilize the M1 carbine to the same extent as the Army?

tpaw
December 2, 2009, 09:10 PM
Weedy asks:

How was it determined which weapon a soldier was issued? Did they have a choice?

I was issued an M-16 before going to Vietnam. Once there, you picked up and used whatever you wanted, as long as you could find ample ammo for it. AK's, Swedish K's, Thompsons, SKS's, M1 Garands, M1 and M2 Carbines, BAR's, .45 Cal's, .38 Cal's, 9mm Lugers, the list goes on. In my infantry company there were no holds barred. That country was full of every military weapon you could think of dating back to WW2 and before.
I would say the AK47 was the most popular because it didn't deflect off the elephant grass the way the M-16 or CAR 15 did. In most cases it would plow right through.

M2 Carbine
December 2, 2009, 10:34 PM
Did the Marines utilize the M1 carbine to the same extent as the Army?
Not as much but they had a lot.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/IwoJimalflagi.jpg

I enlisted in the Marines in 1955. We were issued M1 Garands and BAR's. One BAR to a 8 man squad and everyone carried BAR magazines.
I never even saw a M1 Carbine.

snakeman
December 2, 2009, 10:51 PM
It really comes down to the conditions each man will be fighting in. The carbine and thompson were best suited to cqc. Whereas the Garand open areas and concrete.

Trebor
December 2, 2009, 11:02 PM
I enlisted in the Marines in 1955. We were issued M1 Garands and BAR's. One BAR to a 8 man squad and everyone carried BAR magazines.
I never even saw a M1 Carbine.

The Marines used *A LOT* of Carbines in the late Pacific fighting. They liked the fast firing and high mag capacity. The short range wasn't as much of a problem in most of the island fighting. Watch newsreel footage from Iwo Jima and Okinawa and you'll see a lot of M-1 Carbines. (Along with the usual Garands and BAR's)

Unfortuantely, the Marines had problems with M-1 Carbines during the Korean War. Because of that they pretty much withdrew them from service after Korea. That's probably why you didn't see any when you served back in '55.

Trebor
December 2, 2009, 11:11 PM
The TO&E for the WWII Airborne Divisions changed a bit over time. Originally it was mainly Garands. Later more M-1 Carbines were introduced after the M-1A1 paratrooper version was introduced. The Thompson was also used heavily. As far as I know, the M-3 Grease Gun was used very little, if at all.

Generally, your "average" Patatrooper rifleman would have a M-1 Garand. The Carbines were more for Officers and sometimes NCO's. The Thompsons were issued about one per squad to give the squad a little more close range firepower.

The Airborne units didn't issue the BAR on D-Day. Instead they issued more model 1919 MG's. The BAR wasn't considered to be safe to jump with so if the weapon had to be put in a equipment bag and dropped separately, why not jut put a belt-fed MG in the bag instead?

Later in the war some Airborne units did issue some BAR's, but I'm not sure on the details of which units and how common they were.

On D-Day most troopers didn't have pistols. Later there was an effort to issue more pistols to enlisted troopers so they would have a weapon ready to go when they landed. The Garand had to be taken down to three pieces for the jump. I believe by Market Garden the goal was for every trooper to have a pistol, but I don't believe that goal was actually met.

Once on the ground paratroopers would switch out weapons as needed, depending on ammo availability and weapon availability. It wouldn't be hard for someone to swap out a Garand for, say, a Thompson once they found a gun that "wasn't needed by a trooper" anymore. Of course, later they might be ordered to switch back.

Quoheleth
December 2, 2009, 11:17 PM
The old ones are going fast but go to any airport or to a WalMart around any post and you will find guys just like those and you can wear the skin off your hand.

It's odd, but in my church (under 175 members) I have three WWII vets - one Army (Pacific) and two Navy (Pacific). I also have one Korea vet and a handful of Vietnam vets.

To keep it on-thread, in his book ABOUT FACE, David Hackworth talked about soldiers in Korea picking up other's weapons; Thompsons ("beautiful, musical Thompsons," he called them) were in high demand. I imagine some of that took place in WWII, too.

Q

Jubjub
December 3, 2009, 01:16 AM
In Major Dick Winters' book, Beyond Band of Brothers, he mentioned why he carried an M1 Garand. This was after seeing another officer get hit by a sniper while leading an attack.

"I was still afraid of snipers after seeing Brewer get hit, so I put my map case under my pants belt. I next pulled my fatigue jacket over the map case and the binoculars, to conceal both. I then turned the collar of my jacket up to conceal my rank. I tried as much as possible to look like just another GI, which was why I always carried an MI rifle. It just felt good knowing that I could take care of myself in all situations."

They seem to have taken very good care to be correct about the weapons in the mini-series. In Normandy, you see only Garands, Carbines, M1919A4 machine guns, Thompsons, and 1911 pistols. Later in the war, you start to see M1919A6 machine guns (the ones with buttstocks and bipods), M3 submachineguns, and BARs.

John_galt
December 3, 2009, 01:39 AM
I wish I could shake hands with some of those guys.


One of the unexpected pleasures of my carreer as a physician is the number of WWII vets I have been priveleged to have as patients. The scope has amazed me. I have had WWII vets Pacific and European, officers to enlisted men, nearly all branches of the sevices. Two men were in it from Normandy, the Bulge, to the very end of the war. I have a married couple that were in the Dutch underground resistance. A man who was a medic in the German infantry on the Eastern Front, his perspective is really interesing (hated the Nazis, more scared of them than the Russians.) It ia an amazing privelege to get to know and talk to these people.

WardenWolf
December 3, 2009, 01:46 AM
My late grandfather was in the army Signal Corps on Okinawa. He was issued an M1 Carbine. He told me he was a good shot, and nearly qualified as a sharpshooter, but by the 3rd day of training the M1 Garand had beaten his shoulder black and blue and he flinched. I believe it, having seen him shoot. When the military liquidated its stash of carbines, he purchased one and I have it now. It's a nice little rifle.

He did mention that soldiers would sometimes find weapons and pick them up, and swap whatever they were issued for them. He picked up a Garand at one point, but stuck with his Carbine. Honestly, the TO&E didn't matter as much as you would think. Keep in mind that, if the weapon is there, the supplies have already been requisitioned for it. A little more of this and a little less of that didn't matter too much.

jobu07
December 3, 2009, 10:37 AM
The real answer is that each unit or type of unit had a Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E). That stated the number of men in the unit, their ranks and their weapons, as well as any other equipment, such as radios, that the unit was responsible for. As a rule, the company was the basic unit, and its TO&E included its platoons and squads.

Were those Tables always followed? No, but the Army tried to keep things straight because support, such as ammo supply, was based on the TO&E, not on what some GI got somewhere and decided to carry.

Carbines were intended to replace pistols, but prior to their development, many more people carried pistols than did in WWII or today. In WWI, pistols were carried by machinegunners and assistants, BAR men and assistants, mortar men, artillerymen, horse handlers, messengers, and platoon and squad leaders, as well as by company grade officers. In WWII, most of those folks were issued carbines, so there were a fair number of carbines issued in an infantry unit. They were NOT "rear echelon" or issued to "cooks and bakers" as they usual saying goes. (Cooks and bakers usually carried rifles; they were expected to fight as infantry if necessary.)

SMGs were also issued per the unit TO&E, but were sometimes issued "ILO" (in lieu of) a carbine or M1 rifle. SMGs were the standard weapons of tankers. (The "tanker M1 rifle" was never a military weapon; it was a postwar civilian invention and the name was an advertising gimmick.)

Other units commonly issued carbines were signal troops, military police, and others whose primary job was something other than fighting.

P.S. In a movie, a "TO&E" weapon is whatever the director thinks looks good, even if it hasn't been invented yet.

Jim

A great answer Jim. This is exactly correct from an administrative standpoint. Everyone seems to forget the military has a supply system and MTOE. If a soldier did a battlefield "swap" you better believe the weapon they were assigned out of the arms room didn't get tossed on the ground - it had to be accounted for and go back into that company's arms room.

Hillbillyz
December 3, 2009, 10:37 AM
My father was issued an M1 as his basic weapon, but as others have said you tended to use what you liked and found. He "found" a 1911 and carried that for a while but said he never could hit much with it. Later he got a P38 and used that until the end of the war.

Quoheleth
December 3, 2009, 12:06 PM
Forgot to mention, on my internship as a "student pastor," I met a veteran from the ARIZONA. Yes, he was there on December 7, 1941. No, he couldn't tell me about it - after that sentence "I was there..." he choked up and started weeping.

Seriously...find a vet, from any war, and tell him thanks. When I can, I usually buy them a cup of coffee, lunch, or dinner as a very, very small token of appreciation.

Comanche180
December 4, 2009, 09:59 AM
My Dad's weaponry in WWII was a pair of mounted .50 cal machine guns. The vehicle was a B24 bomber. He was the tailgunner. 51 missions flown over Europe out of Italy. He didn't talk about it much.

HoosierQ
December 4, 2009, 11:22 AM
My uncle Bob fought in France, Austria, and Germany. He had the option of carrying a carbine but he said "I didn't want to get that close to the Germans" so he stayed with the Garand.

During a river crossing, his boat got hit and it sank like a rock, along with his mortar, his helmet, and his rifle, right to the bottom. He and other unarmed men were detailed to carry the wounded to the rear.

He said when he got to the rear "there were lots of dead guys laying around by that time so I was able to get a rifle and a helmet and go back up". He said this in a very dry matter of fact way. I suspect that a lot of weapons were aquired in this manner during WWII...where loosing 100 men in one engagement was not atypical.

Pilot
December 4, 2009, 11:26 AM
My Dad's weaponry in WWII was a pair of mounted .50 cal machine guns. The vehicle was a B24 bomber. He was the tailgunner. 51 missions flown over Europe out of Italy. He didn't talk about it much.


I had two uncles in the Marines in the south pacific that did the island campaigns. Both NEVER talked about it and I never brought it up.

zoom6zoom
December 4, 2009, 11:38 AM
He was eventually issued the Browning .30 caliber machinegun that was carried with a shoulder sling. Apparently whoever was in charge was impressed with his accuracy on the gun. He said he just didn't hold it so tight and could even shoot single and double rounds.
I think Gramps was pulling your leg. The 1919 was fired from a tripod, or if the A6 version was fitted with a bipod and shoulder stock. You can't hold it and fire like a rifle or from hip a la Rambo. While I don't doubt that some who had to carry them rigged up slings, I've never seen an issued sling (and the gun as issued has no attachment points for one). I do own a 1919, so I have a bit of familiarity with them.

stoney1666
December 4, 2009, 04:10 PM
I was in F-2-3 3rd MarDiv in 1958 and we had 13 man squad with 3 BARs per squad, 3 squads per platoon, so 9 BARs per platoon, the rest had M1s, no carbines, the only ones I ever saw was at supply, M3s. Weapows platoon had 1919a4 and 60 mm mortars. H&S Co. had the heavy weapows.

Ret.CWO
December 4, 2009, 08:11 PM
Jim Keenan hit the nail on the head. TO&E dictates what is carried in any Military unit. My commander in the first gulf war was issued a M-9 but also carried a M16A2 by choice. Wouldn't you. Some how he didn't feel quite at ease with the 9mm.

Dr.Rob
December 4, 2009, 08:23 PM
Zoo6Zoom I'd bet that guy was talking about a BAR, which while full auto only, you can (with practice) fire single and double shots.

Jubjub
December 4, 2009, 10:31 PM
I get the impression that weapons issue is pretty flexible these days. My nephew deployed to Afghanistan a couple of months ago. During the training period his unit did a lot of weapons training. One of the guys in my nephew's squad showed an exceptional aptitude with the M40 sniper rifle. My nephew's squad has a sniper now. Apparently if the unit has it in stock, the guy that can use it best gets it.

MWAG
December 5, 2009, 12:42 AM
Take a look at this link. It does not answer the question of "How was it determined..." but it has a lot of info and photos of the weapons.

http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Band_of_Brothers

stickhauler
December 5, 2009, 03:54 AM
They still issued the 1911 for mortar squad leaders, and gunners up until when i was in the early 70's, the rest of the squad were issued, in my time, M-16's.

I was honored to meet and party with a few of the guys from the 506th Infantry that were depicted in "Band Of Brothers" when I was stationed at Fort Campbell, when they had the 101st Airborne Division Association's convention there in 1973. Those guys were in their 50's by that time, and were quite capable of still holding their own against a young guy like me. We'll not see the like of men like that come this way again I fear.

Those guys would tell fun stories about their time in Europe, they couldn't relate stories about what horrors they saw, and my respect for their sacrifice prevented me from going to any length to get them to. They saw their fellow "troopers' from that time as their brothers, they saw young punks like I was at the time as a brother as well. That was high praise to me then, and still is.

carlrodd
December 5, 2009, 11:14 AM
slightly off-topic, but a great story......

i was in the 1-1 CAV in germany in the winter of 2004. i worked directly for the CSM and one day he came up to me and said, "do you want to go to Bastogne with some of the guys easy company...the band of brothers guys?":eek: i said, "ugh, yeah sergeant major."

these guys tour regularly, and they were coming to visit our small post...an honor in and of itself. the CSM let 10 of us make a trip with them to Bastogne. all but one of them had not been there in 60 years. i could shed a tear right now just remembering it. it was probably one the most significant experiences of my life thus far.

walking with those guys, listening to them remember what happened 60 years before. some of the spots had changed so little that a few of the guys actually remembered right where they had dug fox-holes. at one point, a german vet happened to be in the same area as the guys, and as it happened, with the help of the old fella's grandson as translator, these vets from both sides exchanged stories and realized that they had set less than a few hundred yards from one another decades before. it was unreal....to hear stories from both sides, myths debunked, laughs and tears exchanged...wow.

it was the week before christmas, 2004, a bit of snow on the ground, and overcast. the guys there were bill guarnere, babe heffron, earl mcclung, don malarkey, and i can't remember the 5th....maybe shifty powers. just unreal.

rocky branch
December 5, 2009, 12:07 PM
I had to train with A6s. Horrendous beasts to hump, and I'm not talking back seat to range.
We rigged slings and it is entirely possible to fire and maneuver if you have to.
In combat things change fast and often.
There are some pics from the Pacific showing guys advancing in heavy brush firing A6s.

My dad was 506th PIR, thou not "E" Co.
BARs were not jumped. The average trooper had a Garand broken down in a Griswold bag or container.
When they were sent to Bastogn, it was a complete emergency.
A lot of guys had no equipment at all and picked it up from piles of gear discarded by fleeing troops who had panicked at the initial assault.
It was a bad time.
The word at home was the guys rushed into Bastogne and the area were not expected to survive.
My dad would not speak of it.

We used these when I went thru jump school in 1967.
I did two tours with SF in RVN, 68-70.
While we had a bit of choice of US weapons, the SOG guys had a wide choice.
Regular units overall had very little if any choice outside the unit TOE.

Crew served weapons guys always had a .45.

rcmodel
December 5, 2009, 02:32 PM
Usually the bigger stronger guys hauled them.Must have been a different Army then I was in.

The Army I was in seemed to give the heaviest weapons to the littlest guys.

rc

Keb
December 5, 2009, 03:04 PM
Winters 506th paratroopers were convinced by the Brits about 2 days before to jump with a leg bag for carrying more gear. So the GI's loaded them with about 80 extra pounds of gear, ammo and guns.

Unfortunately many of these tore off on the jump and got lost. Winters came down just with a bayonet. He and others had to scrounge for Garands, Thompsons, or what they could find.

Page 60.... see this list of stuff not in the stuff in the leg bag on the 20 foot tether:

vest, long johns,combat jacket, pocket knife,spoon,razor,socks,cleaning patches,flashlight, maps,3 days K rations, sugar,coffee,toilet paper,matches ,ammo,compass,frag granades,anti-tank mine,smoke grenade,plastiq explosive,2 cartons of cigs, web belt, braces, 45 auto,canteen, shovel,first aid kit,bayonet, 2 parachutes,gas mask,jump knife,musette bag,underwear, more ammo,TNT, rifle/MG/mortar, maewest, helmet. Then they added that tethered leg bag.

Other than that, they jumped pretty light! Some Guys!

Jim K
December 5, 2009, 03:12 PM
I am well aware that in combat the TO&E goes by the board to some extent, and everything is considered combat expendable, meaning that losses don't have to be accounted for or paid for as they would in garrison.

Still, a lot of the WWII stories about "how I threw away my XXX and carried an XYZ" are baloney, at least when the "XYZ" was an enemy weapon. A good example is the German MP38/40 SMG (aka, erroneously, as the Schmeisser). Some GI's did try those out early on with the predictable result that they were fired on by both sides. And any GI who traded an M1 rifle for a Mauser or an Arisaka should have been eligible for a "Section 8" (discharge for reasons of insanity).

In Vietnam, things were much looser and rear echelon troops did pick up and carry an assortment of weapons, since they didn't need to worry about ammo resupply.

I knew civilian contractors who carried everything from Swedish "K guns" to Browning Auto 5 shotguns. They were not supposed to be armed but all carried weapons ("the troops will protect you" turned out as hollow as "the police will protect you").

I am told things in Afghanistan and Iraq are pretty tight as far as civilian weaponry is concerned, but I hear the inevitable stories about people carrying all sorts of exotic weapons. I suspect many of those also are just stories, to impress the kiddies at home. After all, it can't be easy to smuggle out a .50 AE and enough ammo to fight hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists for months.

Jim

X-Rap
December 5, 2009, 03:29 PM
I was interested in the report a month or so ago about the truck driver from Kansas who when their house in Afganistan was attacked and the some UN guards killed took some of the residents and hid them in a back area and fought off attempts by Taliban to enter the compound with what was represented in interviews as his personal AK.
I would sure as heck would never intentionally carry what could have been ID'ed as Axis weapons on the battlefield in Europe as an Allied soldier but maybe wouldn't have those same concerns in todays war zones as a civilian.

If you enjoyed reading about "Band of Brothers weapon question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!