Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by KodiakBeer, Jan 27, 2019.
Reading this thread certainly helps one understand how wars get started !!
Maybe in the Army, in the Marine Corps the support troops are expected to defend and repel enemy assaults against their position. The infantry isn't expected to have to reorient from it's objectives to come to the aid of their support. For that purpose, the M1 Carbine, properly integrated into a well laid out perimeter supporting crew served machine guns and automatic rifles, got the job done in WWII and Korea. (The US Army problem with artillery batteries getting habitually over run and wiped out during the first six months of the Korean War was primarily due to poor training and doctrine.)
For Wild DUKW/Bad Bob, I've tried to stay out of this thread in order to avoid the "pissin' contest", don't wanna get wet, but I can't continue reading without inserting my "two cents" and would like to make two points.
1.) Edward Matunas-his quote is primarily directed towards the rounds effectiveness with respect to killing game, and towards use by sportsmen. It really has no bearing upon it's usefulness in it's intended role. A WWII and Korean War infantry company had 70% of it's firepower in it's crew served weapons (this included the BAR/Automaic riflemen that theoretically had an assistant to keep the gun fed and up and running).
If the M1 Carbine allowed the mortarmen and machine gun squad personnel to carry more ammo or more efficiently service their primary weapons, then it served it's purpose even if they never fired one round at the enemy in anger. That's the military perspective. Close to 75% of all casualties in WWII and Korea were caused by fragmentation type weapons. So artillery, mortars and grenades were the big casualty producers, not the riflemen (and the riflemen were supposed to carry the M1 per TOE). The M1 Carbine did have the M8 grenade launcher so another plus over the service pistol. If the M1 Carbine allowed the radiomen, that carried them, to hump more radio batteries or stay sharper, longer, by reducing the fatigue of carrying a full size battle rifle and it's basic load of ammunition, then it's a success. When 99% of their time is spent communicating, coordinating and calling in supporting fires and not shooting bad guys. So while Mr. Matunas is likely correct in everything he said, it is only really applicable to the Carbines use in the civilian world.
"I didn't "hear" it was inaccurate. I have a great deal of experience using firearms for hunting, plinking and target shooting on the range."-Wild DUKW post#22
I don't doubt your experience with the M1 Carbine, but how does it really have any bearing on the military utility of the weapon? It may not be a good target shooting weapon, but hitting a moving man at 100 yards ain't target shooting either. If it were the TOE weapon for a rifleman then the info would be relevant, for carbines intended military purpose not so much.
2.) "c. The carbine is not popular with the infantry units in Italy. The main reason for this is that the personnel authorized the carbine are subject to fire chiefly from snipers, against which the carbine is ineffective."-Wild DUKW post#23
Now let me first state that I am not questioning that this was included in the report (I read it myself). What I do question is who the persons compiling the report were talking to and getting their data from. If they were truck drivers and supply guys, OK. If they were actually infantrymen they must have been really green and poorly trained.
I served as a mortarman, rifleman, machine gunner, and after coming off active duty went to comm. school and served as the radio chief in an artillery battery and as the team leader for the FO's radio detachment. In the Army I served as an 18Delta (Special Forces Medical Sergeant primary-mos) and 18Bravo (Special Forces Weapons Sergeant) as my secondary. When training indigenous personnel you assist the senior NCO that is the primary weapons specialist in training said personnel.
So if I'm engaged by a sniper; is he trained or just a turd with a rifle left behind to take pot shots and delay the advance? If a trained sniper he's in a good position with a good vantage point for observation, good cover, good concealment, and good fields of fire. He probably has an accurate scoped weapon. How do you deal with him?
1.) Now if I was a carbine carrying member of a machine gun team I'd set up my gun and engage where we thought the fire was coming from. You'd at least suppress the sniper so your riflemen could maneuver to eliminate him. You have the advantage of range and rate of fire.
2.) Now if I was the carbine carrying member of a mortar team we'd hastily set up our tube and drop a couple rounds of HE on his location. You have the advantage of range and radius of destruction.
3.) If I'm in an infantry squad, we use a section with the automatic rifle to suppress the sniper while the other(s) maneuver to flank and eliminate. An individual rifleman with an M1 is a moron to engage a trained sniper in a one on one encounter. A.) the sniper has superior position B.) the snipers weapon will have superior point accuracy at range due to the optics.
4.) If the radio operator you hunker down and make yourself as small a target as possible, it's stupid to take away the company's ability to communicate internally and with higher echelons just because you want to play "John Wayne" and get in a gun fight with a sniper. If available call in a couple rounds HE from the battalion's 81mm mortar section and fug up his day.
If you can't identify his position you can't engage no matter what you're carrying, and mortars/artillery are good for eliminating the problem if you narrow it down to a general area, but not pinpoint his exact spot.
Ah, I was actually replying to somebody else. I had not seen your Cooper link. I think the story of the shot to the solar plexus is apocryphal. Maybe the soldier really thought he had shot somebody in the chest, but the reality is that a shot to the center of the chest with even a much weaker round, a 9mm say, would be fatal.
"Once both hands are on the carbine..." Pistols don't need 2 hands and can be gotten into action quicker. If you're expecting trouble then you can keep the safety off the Colt because it's still has the grip safety. The carbines safety takes a second or two longer to get off. Also, the carbine has a better chance of hanging up on Jeep parts, roots, branches, etc.
John Scurr / Mike Chappell. The Malayan Campaign 1948-60, p.18.
https://the-eye.eu/public/WorldTrac...t Arms 132 - The Malayan Campaign 1948-60.pdf
While I don't argue with your thesis, your parenthetical statement is a bit unfair. Possibly one of the best documented cases, which well illustrates the cause of loss of the 40-odd field pieces in the early stages of the conflict, is that of the 63 Filed Artillery near Kongju on 14 July. It was assaulted by a regiment from the NKA 4th Division that crossed the Kum River unopposed, two miles from the nearest American and ROK troops before hitting the battalion position. The first battalion MG outpost was overrun because orders were to not fire unless attacked, because of fears of firing on ROK troops scattered about the area...the MG gunners simply waited to long to figure out of they were South or North Korean troops. The gun was then turned on the battalion CP and at the same time A Battery was heavily mortared and overrun, abandoning all five of its howitzers. Battery B was then attacked, but held its position against the initial infantry assault using its howitzers and machine guns effectively. The NKA then mortared the position, disabling two pieces and forcing the battery to withdraw, losing the remaining three howitzers since all the prime movers were disabled by the mortar fire, but in that case the firing locks and sights were removed. The other cases were similar...the howitzers of TF Smith were lost to a tank assault and the other 25-odd lost (including 11 155mm howitzers) were because the battalions were cut off by major NKA units that had bypassed and isolated the infantry in the front line.
Fundamentally, the artillery was lost because it was badly over-matched...a well-integrated defense of machine guns and carbines by battery personnel made little difference against massed tanks and infantry mortars.
Yes, training and leadership in the 24th ID and 25th was poor to indifferent, but equipment and personnel were lacking too, which didn't help, especially when they were dragged from occupation duty into a chaotic situation at short notice. AFAIK the big "doctrinal" deficiency WRT the artillery was a lack of the attached AAA AW battery with each FA battalion that was doctrine in World War II. What was most telling though was the parsimony that had reduced the Army to near impotence postwar. Staying on the artillery them, that meant the 24th Division was forced to defend 32 miles of front along the Naktong River in August with just 17 105mm and 12 155mm howitzers. In World War II, such a front would have been typically subject to the fires of 250 guns and howitzers.
I don't know that we want to get too deep into questions of troop performance in Korea, as that might distract from the main topic. Speaking of which, some of the most negative comments about the carbine came out of the Korean experience and especially the Chongchon-Chosin campaign. S.L.A. Marshall filed a long report on weapons performance in that campaign (the link to which I will post when I can find same) and he heard a lot of negative reactions to the carbine--or rather to the M2 version of it, which seems to have been the primary frontline type. The main complaints were:
1. The carbine's action often froze up in the extreme cold of the winter. This was also a problem for the BAR, but not for the M1 Garand.
2. Troops tended to abuse the auto feature on the M2, burning up their ammo so quickly that little was left for the later stages of a firefight.
3. There were complaints that it was inaccurate, but Marshall does not go into detail on that. (Much of the fighting in that campaign was at night, which was when the Chinese preferred to attack.)
4. A few men (seven) complained that the enemy kept coming even after they had been hit by carbine bullets. And of course there are the famous stories of carbine bullets failing to penetrate the quilted Chinese winter uniforms.
Not to nit-pick (maybe I do it's been a rough day), But all four points listed above appear to have less to do about the carbine and brings into question the troops.
1:Was it the M1 or the oil used, cleaning regiment etc: ? Not to say the cold didn't have an affect but lets look at all the possible issues.
2: The rifle does what the trigger finger says to do.
3: Marshall doesn't go into detail, must not have put much stock in freezing cold GI's not being able to hit running targets. "That darn carbine missed again"!
4: I think this has been debunked also. It's a lot more reasonable to complain about not killing the guy you shot -"That darn carbine missed again"!
Same stories have been told about the M16 and 5.56 rounds...no stopping power.
Australia has even dramitcally increased the cavitation of their 5.56 rounds to compensate.
So is the problem the weapon or the round?
I was neither agreeing nor disagreeing with Marshall, just reporting what he said. Anyway, here is a link to the document. The part about the carbine begins on P. 86.
Korean War After Action Reports
It always amuses me that S.L.A.M. always got the credit. He was actually only a consultant to ORO during the Korean War...for just three months at the end of 1950 and early 1951. It's actually unclear how much, if any of the interviews in the Doughboy Project were completed by him, and how much by the eight dedicated multi-disciplinary teams - some 40 scientists, social scientists, historians, and engineers - ORO put together and sent to Korea in 1950. However, since he was the best known, he became the front man for the work.
Didn't mean to imply I was directing my comment toward you but the report itself.
In my opinion the sentence that followed that was very telling. It stated something to the effect of no solutions were suggested. Now if the main problem was the performance of the M1 Carbine the obvious solution would have been the M1 Garand. This suggest to me that the problem wasn't really with the carbine but the fact that support troops were coming under sniper fire. The solution IMO would involve TTPs rather than different weapon mixes.
Range is more important than an extra second to get into action. I don't even give the handgun extra speed, since it is kept in a holster, chamber empty.
You're missing my point KB! I was saying that when the range was 10ft. or less, a pistol can be pointed quicker and easier than a long gun. You know this because it causes safety issues at times. At close-quarter distances there is no range factor. At distances longer than 25 yds. there is no question the carbine (or rifle) is superior! As for the holster issue, it's a wash. If you look at pictures of people behind the lines, the carbine is often in a scabbard lashed to a jeep-with an empty chamber. I suspect a lot of them were just thrown in the back of jeeps and left there which wouldn't help reliability at all. By the way, weren't you a 1911 fanboy?
If you have your weapon in hand and come around a corner and find yourself facing an opponent at under 10 ft. It's an open question which is best. At under 5 ft I'd go with the carbine. In the 10-25' range which ever you are more comfortable with. Now if it's in a holster vs on a sling the pistol may be faster. If the carbine is in a sheath on the vehicle the pistol should be faster. It all becomes very situational but the number of situations where the pistol is the preferred answer is going to be smaller than the number where it's a toss up or the carbine is preferred from what I can see.
At that range it won't matter much unless the defender is ready to open fire.
The 21 Foot Rule: Forensic Fact or Police Myth? - Law Officer
Yes, I'm a former 1911 fanboi, now a Browning Hi-Power fanboi, or maybe just a fanboi of both. Tossed into a war zone with a choice, I'll take any long gun over a handgun.
Sweet Jesus ! Anyone in a combat zone who doesn't have the situational awareness to have their weapon at the ready deserves to get shot. They're pretty much useless.