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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:03 pm 
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I have a picture of a field grave of an American soldier, buried on D-Day. His grave is marked by his helmet on top of what is clearly a Vickers K gun, drum magazine nearby. Can anyone tell me which if any US units used the K gun, and why? Any help appreciated.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:07 pm 
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The yank Rangers at Pointe de Hoc/Hoe/Ho or whatever were supposed to be using K's on firemens type extending ladders (mounted on DUKW's I think)to give fire-support for the attack. Some sources say they trained with them but didn't use them in action, others say they did use them on D-Day and as you quite correctly pointed out there's one of the buggers being used as the grave marker in that picture which I have seen attributed to Pointe de Hoc/Hoe/Ho or whatever.

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Montys Men: http://www.living-history.org.uk/mm/index.htm
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Last edited by TALLERTHANBETTY on Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:09 pm 
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Thanks Jon, that picture always made me wonder!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:13 pm 
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Also, I seem to recall there was an article on it in the second 'After the Battle' D-Day then and now book as I think someone turned up some piccies of the aparatus being tested in the UK. I've also read the odd personal account that vaguely mentions the things in use or at least present at some point on D-Day. Wonder if we ever got the K's back of them?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:19 pm 
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Yeah, so much for lend-lease. Wonder if you can help me again Jon. I read an account of Monte Casino, from the German side. He remembers fighting off a British unit that were using semi automatic carbines, with folding bayonets?! At first i thought that he might be referring to American M1's.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:31 pm 
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Nope, sorry mate, you've got me stumped on that one. I'd agree that if he'd just said 'semi-auto Carbine' I'd have thought of M1's aswell, I've seen the odd M1 being used by Brit./Commonwealth units in Italy along with all the other weird and wonderful kit they seemed to have picked up there, but the 'folding bayonet' bit I'm at a loss to figure out, what allied weapons during WW2 were semi-auto Carbines with folding bayonets!? Maybe he's confused himself, if he was at Cassino I'm sure he had plenty to think about other than enemy weapon types, was he Fallshirmjager or another unit? Perhaps if he wasn't Fallschi. then he had come across an FG42, which I think was on the battlefield during that time in small numbers e.g. Gran Sasso (German weapons expert info required!) and mistook it for an allied weapon?

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Last edited by TALLERTHANBETTY on Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:38 pm 
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Thanks Jon, maybe his diary was a bit muddled. He was a girlfriends Uncle in the Fallschrimjager, wounded so many times eventually they retired him before he died. My ex used to translate his diary for me, and the entries for Italy were sketchy sometimes. He died in 2002. I am inclined to believe as you do it was an M1, thank you for helping! Best wishes from Shane!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:49 pm 
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No problem, sorry I couldn't be more help. Funnily enough a lad I know found out a little while ago that his girlfriends grandfather had been a Fallschi. with Ramcke Brigade in n. Africa, apparently he'd been living in the UK before the war with part of his family, but when things 'kicked off' he decided/was forced to go back to Germany as he still had family there. Perhaps with so much going on at the time he got the odd fact mixed up, the FG42 was still quite new at the time I think, add that to the many and varied allied weapons that kept cropping up depending on who was trying to take Cassino that week ( :? ), stress of combat, possible injury etc. and so fourth, you couldn't blame the chap if the odd detail was a bit 'wooly', at the end of the day you don't pay much attention to exactly what design of guns the enemy are carrying when their trying to kill you with them. A lot of my reading at the moment is about Cassino, it's a surprise and a shame that it gets so little attention (along with so many others aspects of WW2), it was a hell of a scrap, both the very best and worst aspects of infantry combat, a momentous struggle by any standards.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 20:54 pm 
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Thats true Jon, apparently his unit and most German lads stopped firing when Allied attacks broke down, and started retreating. There was some truces and chivalrous acts as well as fierce fighting. He was terrified by the appearance of the Ghurkas and Indian Regiments, propaganda had let on that the Asian Demons would cut out their tongues! I wish i had a copy of his diary, at the time i wasnt a re-enactor and didnt think!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 21:38 pm 
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Hmm the only Semi-Automatic Carbine with a folding bayonet that I know of is the SKS Simonov Carbine/ Chinese Type 56, but they are Sovijet and very very late war (prototypes in 1945, full service in 1946)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 2:31 am 
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Sgt Lowdon wrote:
Yeah, so much for lend-lease. Wonder if you can help me again Jon. I read an account of Monte Casino, from the German side. He remembers fighting off a British unit that were using semi automatic carbines, with folding bayonets?! At first i thought that he might be referring to American M1's.


One possibility is that the troops were not British, but were from the US/Canadian 1st Special Service Force, as they were near Cassino.

Some of 1st Special Service Force had the M-1941 Johnson, which was automatic, and was not normally seen in the ETO therefore worthy of a special mention by the German. (FSSF had 125 Johnsons transferred from the USMC)

The bayonet for the Johnson is a weird looking item, and this could have given the impression, without close examination, that it was permanently attached and therefore was assumed to be folding.

For a picture of the bayonet:

http://jjmilitaryantiques.com/catdet.as ... bayonww1pr

For info on 1st Special Service Force, and a picture of the Johnson:

http://www.members.tripod.com/fssflhg/

Hope this helps.

George


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