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Why did USMC adopt the Garand years after the US Army ?

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Owen, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Owen

    Owen O

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    That question entered my head today whilst watching tv.
    USMC still using Springfields whilst the Army had the Garand.
    (I know those might not be the correct terms for those weapons but I'm sure you know what I mean.)
    Why didnt the USMC start using them at the same time?
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Perhaps anecdotal, but I always heard that a major reason for the later issuance of M1's to Marines was that they prided themselves as "riflemen" rather than "infantry" and considered the M1 a less precise rifle the Springfield in its operation. I.E. it took greater effort to fire and encouraged the shooter to take their time to aim, whereas you might fire "blind" with a Garand.

    Also heard the comment made in the first Gulf War that Marines would never accept equipment that wasn't twenty years old and leaked copious amounts of oil. :) might have come from a member of the US Army :)
     
  3. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    It was the Army's idea so they got them first and with production being what it was it just took time to get them to the Marines. In "Helmet for My Pillow" Bob Leckie talks breifly about stealing Garands from the Army on Guadalcanal.
    The other thing to remember is that the Marines fall under the Department of the Navy and the Navy prior to WW2 wasn't too concerned with a rifle that only fired a 158 gr projectile 700 yards.
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    They adopted the M1 rifle on March 05, 1941 nine months before Pearl Harbor and the US's entry into the war. However, the Army and Marine Corps were undergoing rapid expansion from a peacetime force and the Army had priority. It took the Secretary of War stepping in to get an allotment of 3,000 per month approved for the Marine Corps. Then you had the issue of training/re-training. The M1 required retraining in use, marksmanship, care and cleaning, armorers needed to be trained on the weapon, spare parts stockpiled, etc. The war moved too quickly. The regiments were being brought up to strength, training intensified, then after Pearl Harbor they were quickly sent, piecemeal overseas to garrison far flung locations, plus Australia and New Zealand against perceived Japanese threats. Even though the Marine Corps had saved Auto-Ordinance, the manufacturer of the Thompson sub-machine gun, from bankruptcy in the 1930's when it convinced the Navy to buy it Thompson's for use in it's wars in the Caribbean and for guarding the US Mail from robbers, it was low on the priority list there also. It came behind the US Army and the British. Because of this they had to buy the M50 and M55 Reising instead to augment its stocks of older Thompsons. They landed on Guadalcanal exactly eight months after Pearl Harbor and had been overseas for some time before that.The division deployed so rapidly that only two of its regiments the 1st and 5th were available for the initial Guadalcanal landings, the 7th Marines had yet to be relieved of its mission to defend Samoa. They, the 7th Marines, finally arrived at Guadalcanal about a month and a half after the initial landings. (They're Puller and Basilone's unit in "The Pacific", and are shown arriving some time after Leckie's unit the 1st Marines). The 2d Marines from the Second Division were attached to the division for the initial Guadalcanal landings. When the other two 2d Division regiments, the 6th and 8th Marines arrived at Guadalcanal, they were armed with the Garand. The first Army unit, the 164th Infantry, arrived 25 days later on 13 October. The 8th Marines arrived a couple of weeks after the 164th. The 1st Division was finally issued the M1 Garand during their rebuilding in Australia after Guadalcanal.
    When the 2d Marine Raider Battalion attacked Makin Island on 17-18 August 1942 (ten days after the Guadalcanal Landings) they were armed with the M1 rifle.
     
  5. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    The Army adopted the Garand in 1937, but at the time the US was in the throes of the Great Depression so not much in the way of the acquiring of ordnance or anything else was getting done. They were still operating trucks with signs with the work "tank" attached to them during maneuvers. Even the troops on Bataan and Corregidor were armed with '03s. Re-tooling, re-training and re-equipping took time, and at the time, all that was being done at a massive scale.
     
  6. Owen

    Owen O

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    Cheers chaps.
    Thanks for the replies.
     
  7. Wgvsr

    Wgvsr New Member

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    I don't know. The Marines had a squad weapon when the War started known as the Reising Gun. An old 'China Marine' once told me years ago that you couldn't hit a building with the thing and after 3 rounds you were shooting straight up in the air anyway. I asked him about the Garand once and he said it was because the Marines always got in line last and got the leftovers. Of course, he probably could shoot "sharpshooter" with a slingshot. Needless to say, he was a 'hard case' and proud of his heritage as an old Marine, may he RIP.
    Bill
     

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