This rifle was the standard issue to all Marines from the early days of the 20th century into the first year of World War II. As a result of intensive marksman - ship training, an inseparable bond formed between the individual Marine and this rifle which paid dividends on the target range and, later, in combat. The Model 1903 “Springfield” rifle traces its development from the experiences of the U.S. Army in combat against the Spanish Army during the Spanish-American War. The clip-fed Spanish 7mm Mauser rifle, Model 1893, had a flatter trajectory and a higher sustained rate of fire than the .30-.40 calibre Krag-Jorgensen rifles used by the U .S. Army. Beginning in 1900, the U.S. Armoury in Springfield, Massachusetts, started work on a new service rifle to replace the Krag. The new rifle, officially adopted on 19 June 1903, was based on the M1898 German Mauser and originally had a ramrod bayonet. The rifle was redesigned to accept a knife-type bayonet in 1905. This change was at least partially due to the concern of President Theodore Roosevelt who commented to the Secretary of War that: “1 must say that I think the ramrod bayonet is about as poor an invention as I ever saw.” The Model 1903 “Springfield” rifle was first issued to Marines in 1908 and saw its first combat during the Nicaraguan Campaign of 1912. The obsolescent Krags were almost entirely supplanted by the new ‘03 Springfield’s before the Vera Cruz campaign of 1914. After service in Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, the ‘03 Springfield was exclusively used by Marines serving in France with the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. Following the war, an improved version was used by Marines in China and in the jungles of the Caribbean Islands and Central America. The accuracy of the ‘03 Springfield was without peer, and the Marine Corps based its developing marksmanship program on this rifle. The Marine Corps designed an improved set of front and rear sights and soon led the other services in prowess with the rifle. Indeed, by the outbreak of World War II, the Marine Corps had formed a cult around the rifle.