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Did U.S soldiers use both the M1 Garand and the M1 carbine?

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Allied-vs-Axis, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Allied-vs-Axis

    Allied-vs-Axis New Member

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    I'm just wondering if the united states soldiers back in the second world war used both the M1 Garand and the M1 carbine?
    I know that the carbine was originally suppose to be a side arm, but did it end up being a side arm?
    In this video the narrator says "You will use both types"
    Here is the video (Its begins at 2:33):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QgXuhv7-54
    Did he mean that they use both types in training?
     
  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, of course they used both, why would they produce them if they did not use them?

    Fundamentally, I think you are asking who used which and why. The simple answer is there is no simple answer, because it varied by rank, organization, and personal preference (for those with rank enough to still have that option).

    Pre-M1 carbine, all officers carried pistols, as did certain special enlisted ranks where weight was a concern - mortarmen and machine gunners for example had too much to carry and lug a rifle about. However, they were inadequate as a weapon. The M1 carbine was a practical alternative and was issued to just about everyone that earlier carried pistols. However, in most unit TO&E's they were only issued to company grade officers (O1 to O3 or 2d Lieutenant to Captain). Field grade officers (O4 to O6 or Majors to Colonels) were officially only supposed to have pistols, since their job was primarily commanding rather than leading troops into hairy situations. The thing is of course most of them soon realized the enemy often was more interested in putting them in hairy situations where a pistol was normally as useful as tits on a bull. So those that didn't have them by TO&E often scrounged (sorry, officers don't scrounge, so they requisitioned) carbines. General officers (O7 to O11 or brigadier general to general of the army) did what they liked, so Matt Ridgway wandered about with a M1 Rifle and two grenades attached to his suspenders, George Patton carried at least two pistols, and Omar Bradley carried a grudge. :cool:

    Cheers!
     
  3. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I think he's asking if any soldiers used the M1 Carbine as a sidearm, AND still carried a Garand as their primary weapon. I'd wager that the answer is a firm "absolutely not".
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    You (as spoken by the narrator) being generic for infantrymen as a whole regardless of MOS/TOE billet. When you get down to the individual, the weapon used is specified by their position in the TOE. Sometimes you rate two depending upon the weapon, but never Rifle .30 cal M1 and Carbine .30 cal M1. Here's a 1944 example of a Marine Corps Infantry Regimental TOE.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/OOB/Regt-TOE-F/index.html#I-

    If you look at the tables they're very specific as to who rates which weapon. This is also how weapons are allocated to the parent unit so if the organization (we'll use an infantry regiment) rates 1659 carbines,.30 M1 and 1422 rifle,.30 M1 per the TOE you can't have every Joe snuffy come up to the armorer and say "I'd rather have a carbine sergeant", because there's not just a big pool of weapons where you draw what you prefer. Furthermore, when you're issued your weapon, it is issued to you by serial number, so you are responsible for that specific weapon. The web gear/load bearing equipment the unit supply has, and what is issued to the individual is based upon the weapons on the TOE. So you have so many rifle cartridge belts,

    [​IMG]

    and so many pistol belts and the appropriate magazine pouches (plus a certain degree of excess to allow for replacement of gear that becomes unserviceable). One of my pet peeves in certain poorly made war movies is the guy running around armed with a Thompson SMG and an M1 rifle cartridge belt. Makes no sense. You also need to understand that ammunition resupply and the entire logistics chain depended upon allocation of different ammo types based upon the TOE, expected combat expenditure and loss, and logicians adjusting these levels based upon actual combat expenditure vs pre-combat assumptions. (I'll tie this back in momentarily)
    Weapons could be and were picked up on the battlefield from casualties, or stolen from personnel in other units. When you do acquire that weapon you are still on the hook for your assigned weapon. When the fighting stops it needs to be accounted for, a certain number are always written off as destroyed or combat losses. If you win and control the battlefield not so many. If you lose and retreat a higher percentage is expected, because they can't be recovered (think killed and wounded-evacuated personnel). Let's say during a fight every soldier in a platoon decides he's going to re-equip himself with a Thompson SMG. When the unit gets re-supplied there's going to be a lot of unusable .30 cal rifle and .30 cal carbine ammo shipped to you and not enough .45 ACP. Then where do you get enough magazines? The company (parent unit) isn't going to short all the other platoons their allotment of .45 ammo. Battalion (the Company's parent) isn't going to short the other companies. The Regiment isn't going to short the other battalions. If the Regimental S-4 submits a request for additional .45 ammo from the divisional G-4, because 1st platoon, Able Company decided to re-equip themselves, some brown smelly stuff will have been thrown into a fan.

    MOS=Military Occupational Specialty
    TOE=Table of Organization and Equipment
     
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  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Mr. Sanford was initially issued a Thompson, which he did not like. He requested and received a carbine, stating that he could run a lot easier carrying it and especially additional ammunition. He said he normally had the weapon loaded and two additional magazines on him, which were about the size of a cigarette pack, so 45 rounds. He also carried two additional pistols that he acquired from captured Germans.
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? :confused: :eek:
     
  7. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    To me, that is implied by the below:

    "I'm just wondering if the united states soldiers back in the second world war used both the M1 Garand and the M1 carbine?
    I know that the carbine was originally suppose to be a side arm, but did it end up being a side arm?"
     
  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Not questioning you George, but the other fellow. It just never occurred to me that might be the question he was asking.
     
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  9. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    Not many chances to spot two Rich boo boos in the same post. I'll write the date on the wall so if it ever happens again, I'll have a reference point. In reverse order:

    Ridgway carried an '03 Springfield, not a Garand. From Soldier: The Memoirs of Matthew B. Ridgway

    I am just old-fashioned enough to love the Springfield. I was brought up with it, and I always carried one. For I knew that I would react automatically with the Springfield, whereas with the newer M-1 I wasn't sure of myself.
    But I can take a Springfield apart in the dark and put it together again. I am completely at home with it.


    http://archive.org/stream/soldierthememoir006996mbp/soldierthememoir006996mbp_djvu.txt

    Slightly more substantive: the Oct 40 HW Co T/O&E shows 100% pistols. The Apr 42 revision, the first to include the carbine, replaces about 85% of the pistols with carbines - and Garands. Many more carbines (105 vs. 29 Garands), but clearly it wasn't solely a weight/firepower compromise. The Mar 43 version saw about 30 more Garands and '03s take the place of carbines, so, again, weight wasn't the issue. Feb 44 changes pretty closely stuck with the Mar 43 totals.

    Trying to make nice after abusing you, you were right that it's complicated. About 500 Army T/O&Es were issued in WWII - and that doesn't even begin to account for the revisions. You are guiltless, however, on my pet peeve - the use by some of the squishy undefined term "frontline." That translates into: "I have never looked at a T/O&E, but I can make sweeping generalizations about force structure anyway."

    Take an infantry battalion HQ Co's telephone switchboard operator and a rifle co's LMG squad ammo bearer. Are they "frontline" or not? What criteria could be applied to decide? Would assigned duties serve as a guide? How about assigned personal weapon; would that be a good indicator?

    How about a rifle company cook's helper? "Frontline" or no? One more - an armored infantry battalion's assistant rifle squad leader.

    (Bet you wished you had studied - though you will probably just go look up the answers - which is kinda my point in the first place).
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Good catch. I should have looked at my copy.

    Not so much. :cool: Indeed, the TO&E 7 series in April 1942 was the first to include the Carbine, .30 cal. M1...by which time exactly 45 had been produced. So it was kind of difficult to replace them all. :cool: Seriously. as in all things it was a compromise, many "Battle Rifles" were retained outside of the hands of the Riflemen - who were those I was mainly talking about. So, for example, in the Heavy Weapons Company, as I mentioned, there were still "Battle Rifles". But who carried them? Let's see...in the HQ, the Transportation Sergeant, the Company Clerk, the Armorer-Artificer, the Cooks and Cooks Helpers, the Mechanic-Automobile, and the Basic Privates. In the MG Platoons, the Instrument and Transportation Corporals, the Section Staff Sergeants and the Squad Sergeants. In the Mortar Platoon, the Section Staff Sergeants and the Squad Sergeants. Everybody else had carbines or pistols. Especially the guys lugging weights.

    Again, I was going the opposite direction, looking at those who were "frontline" by definition - the Riflemen in an Infantry Rifle Company - and then determining what they carried. Lo and behold, it was a "Battle Rifle" and not a carbine. :cool:
     
  11. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The TOE should list the weapons held by a unit. There will be an assignment by post, including who should carry carbines rather than rifles. However, in practice it was possible to swap weapons - or acquire one from the system. US weapons were managed under a lax regime. If someone really wanted to carry a carbine rather than an M1 rifle they probably could. The carbine was lighter but less effective than an M1 Rifle,.
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Lax regime? Hah! My Dad would differ. Worst experience he had was accounting for missing gear, especially weapons. In combat was one thing but at the end of the war besides moving DPs in their vehicles they went through hell accounting for inventories they didn't realize they should have written off as war losses earlier.

    It was a bit easier to shift things around as losses occurred, but otherwise like tanks there was never a huge unit overstock of small arms. BARs in particular were always short.

    Edit to fix idiocies created while typing on a smart phone...
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Lax may be a relative term. In comparison to British forces, the US Army was positively generous in its provision of weapons and equipment. There is also a difference between peacetime and wartime accounting.

    There are plenty of accounts of US troops giving weapons to the British.

    E.g. Ian Hammerton in "Achtung Meinen" mentions how the LCT crew looked at their Sten guns and gave them Thompsons. The rumour on Ex Lionheart 1984 was that US soldiers were offering M16s for sale and a fuel tanker was offering petrol for sale to civilian cars.
     
  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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  15. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Of course it is relative, but "generosity" of provisioning weapons and equipment according to TO&E or WE are different from what we are talking about. The U.S. Army was extremely strict about supply and re-supply of weapons and equipment to units and to theaters. Calculations for replacement factors and allowable theater reserves were fixed by the War Department and very difficult to change - in wartime - and peacetime accounting was worse.

    Sure...but that's the U.S. Navy, not the Army. Its policies may have been different.

    I am not sure what U.S. Army soldiers were rumored to have might-or-might-not done in 1984 has to do with what they did in 1944-1945 and what Army policy was at that time?
     
  16. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    That's a bit of a tautology - Riflemen got rifles. Did Pigeoneers get pigeons? (SSN 560 is my all-time favorite; well, along with the Infantry Regiment's Entertainment Director (SSN 442) - the latter was assigned a Garand. Does that make him "frontline" - or maybe "front row"?? "What did your Daddy do in the war?" "He was Entertainment Director in the 637th Infantry Regiment. He got a Bronze Star and two Academy Award nominations."

    Lots of oddities that are lost on those who are content with anecdotes. More Garands in a 40mm AAA battalion than an infantry battalion despite the AAA unit being a good bit smaller. Does that make the AAA unit "frontline" too? (Are you tired of that question yet?)

    I can only claim ballpark figures, but in the ETO there's a case to be made that there were about as many Garands in the AAA battalions as in the hands of all the theater's Riflemen.

    Again using ballpark figures, a little over one in three Garands in the ETO were in the rifle battalions, even less if you don't count all those assigned outside the rifle and ?HW cos. Should it really be called a "battle rifle" if the majority of its numbers were carried by "non-frontline" troops? (I managed to sneak in one last mention)
     
  17. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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  18. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    It was meant more for the benefit of the anecdotists (is that a word?). You're already way ahead, though I think you're maybe looking in the wrong end of the telescope.

    Those who rely on TV in place of research don't understand that the great majority of Garands were outside the rifle squads - more concentrated in AA batteries and much more concentrated in engineer combat companies than in rifle companies. They just don't make many movies about those units. Maybe instead of "battle rifle" it should be known as a PDW that was also useful in infantry combat. Though that's only half serious, the partner to that are the bogus claims about initial carbine development. Never having seen the Chief of Infantry's June 1940 recommendation for its creation for use in the infantry regiment, claims about it being "intended" for support troops (but unable to define what "support" means). I find it hard to consider an MG ammo bearer in a rifle company as support.

    "Compared to what" is always a useful tool. From the defunct freeport-tech website, it looks like the 1941 square infantry division had more pistols than rifles - 10,532 vs. 9541. I hate to use an unverifiable secondary source, but all that survives is my printout of page 2 of 3. So, take it for what it's worth. If you have anything less feeble, I'd appreciate it if you could check it against this. In the infantry brigades, 4796 pistols, 8506 rifles. If you applied that percentage to the 1944 regiment, that would be about the same ratio for pistols and carbines combined vs. rifles. So even with changes in organization, equipment, and tactics, it's funny that this stayed the same. For carbine detractors, would they have preferred going onto the WWII battlefield with half of the men in their infantry division armed with pistols?

    There's a NARA catalog listing for a file with correspondence from the field on recommendations for WWII T/O&E changes. If you hear that I've won the lottery, you'll know where to find me. In that file or a related one, I would love to see the process where SOS units got on board - and when.
     
  19. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    Yes both depending on the soldiers job.
     

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