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The Liberator Pistol.

Discussion in 'Allied Light Weapons' started by KodiakBeer, May 5, 2018.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    This was a brilliant, or ridiculous (depending on your point of view), idea put forth by the Polish Military Attache to the United States in 1942. Simply put, drop about a million two dollar pistols behind the German lines for resistance fighters to shoot a German and then take his much more effective weapons. Even at the beginning, given the knowledge of reprisals and the poor effectiveness of such a weapon it was reasoned that few would be used in this way. Yet, it was thought that when the Germans realized there were a million or so of these guns floating around it would demoralize German occupation troops, and still contribute to the war effort.

    The OSS ran with the idea and produced a million pistols at the princely sum of $2.10 each. Eisenhower nixed the idea at his level, but the OSS went ahead and distributed some thousands of them. Since the distribution was secret it is not known how many of these pistols actually landed behind German lines, and of those there are no records of having actually been used. The gun is a single shot weapon with an unrifled barrel issued with ten rounds of .45ACP ammunition. It was issued with the warning that it was ineffective beyond 4 yards. Essentially, you'd have to walk right up to a German and shoot him at nearly contact distance. I suspect the average Maqui just said "Merci, but perhaps a Sten gun instead?"

     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Has there been ANY documented use of the Liberator in its intended role? I put it in the "It's so ugly, it's cute." department! All I know is that I've seen a few originals (?) go up on the auction block and they commanded prices a "little" in excess of $2.10.
     
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

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    A resistance fighter would have to find a German alone and far from help in order to have any chance of just surviving, much less taking his K98.
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    "Nazi Sentry Syndrome. Nazi soldiers on sentry duty invariably suffer from acute drowsiness. Their peripheral vision shrinks to the area directly in front of them, and
    they become hard of hearing. When attacked, their vocal chords can produce only muffled Teutonic grunts."---The Little Book of Hollywood Cliches, Roger Ebert
     
  5. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    I had the impression that the Liberator was mostly used in the Philippines.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Many went to China and the Philippines, but again, because they were distributed by OSS nobody knows how many. I'm curious about the original supposition, that if they had just dumped a million of the damned things across occupied Europe that it might have had some effect on German morale. They might well have had to counter this by ordering all troops to stay in groups and so on, and if a million of them were floating around they certainly would have been used often enough to feed paranoia.

    .
     
  7. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The Brits were dumping Brens, Stens, Gammon bombs, etc. all over France. How would a cheap zip gun be any better? The only thing that I've read on the whole subject is that later in the war, German soldiers leaving their base were cautioned to go in at least pairs and carry pistols. Of course this was due to the weapons mentioned previously being in the hands of the FFI.
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Just the sheer numbers envisioned - a million pistols. And remember, this was originally broached by the Polish Military Attache with the idea that they'd be dumped all over Europe, not just France.

    .
     
  9. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Poles + the Liberator....Naw, better not say it.;)

    Speaking of paranoia, the "krauts" had the three biggest powers on earth whaling on them. If that doesn't produce some sort of (justifiable) paranoia I doubt a million zip guns would.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  10. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Two different concepts. Weapons like Stens or Gammon bombs were sent in planned deliveries to established resistance groups. As you say, if they had a reasonable expectation of the package getting to the right people, it would have been silly to send cheap zip guns.

    The scheme for the Liberator seems to have been to drop them and hope people would find at least a few and put them to use. I would guess they'd be dropped around towns or villages rather than completely at random.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Indeed with Liberators the best thing that the Germans could do with them from their viewpoint was to melt them down for the steel. Certainly no self respecting German would even consider using one.
     
  12. psg-1

    psg-1 New Member

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    A fun video to watch, and a very interesting story. I've heard different production cost pr pistol, but they were cheap anyway. Here's a picture of mine from my own collection. I haven't shot it yet, in fear of destroying it. And I paid quite more then 2 dollars for it.
     

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  13. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    And its "son":

    gun.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  14. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I just happened to look back at this and saw your post. Can you provide some detail about this weapon? I've never seen it before. Thanks!
     
  15. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    That's the "Deer Gun", from the friendly folks at the CIA. Same general idea as the Liberator but intended for deployment to Vietnam c. 1965 rather than Occupied Europe c.1944.

    Deer gun - Wikipedia
     
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  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Thanks. The article suggests that it would be given to "South Vietnamese guerrillas" which seems a bit odd given that we were the counterinsurgency side and were in a position to issue real weapons to our SV clients.
     

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