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11 Best Infantry Weapons of WWII?


Subdeacon Joe

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http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/top-11-best-infantry-weapons-wwii-tell-us-think.html

 

 

A few of the interesting, and unexpected, choices.

 

7. The Grenade

grenade-533x400.jpg

Not all the great weapons in WWII were rifles or pistols. Infantrymen also relied heavily on their grenades. Powerful, light, and the perfect size for throwing, grenades were an invaluable tool for assaulting positions. Just pull the pin, chuck it in, and suddenly storming a machine gun nest or bunker was a lot easier. From the iconic American “pineapple” grenade to the German stick grenade (nicknamed the “potato masher” due to its long handle), each nation relied on theses small, but deadly explosives to clear positions and generally scare the hell out the enemy. A rifle can do a lot of damage to human tissue, but the wounds caused by a fragmentation grenade are something else all together. Grenades were a very brutal weapon used in a very, very brutal conflict.

 

 

 

4. The KA-BAR Combat Knife

KABAR.jpg

It’s an old military maxim that each army starts a war perfectly equipped for the last one they fought. For American soldiers, nowhere was this truer than in their service knives. The long trench knives they had, which were perfectly suited for the bloody trench battles of World War 1, weren’t going to cut it in the vastly different conditions of WWII. Enter the KA-BAR. Named after part of a barely literate trapper’s testimonial (it’s believed he was trying to write “kill a bear”), the KA-BAR quickly became much loved by every branch of the service that used it.

Besides its combat uses, it was perfect for just about everything a soldier might need a knife for out in the bush. It could dig holes, open cans, and cut through brush. The KA-BAR was originally designed for hunters and outdoorsmen, and that’s basically what a soldier is. The Marines, who spent much of the war fighting the Japanese in jungles, especially loved it. The KA-BAR is still in use today by the Marines, Army, and Navy, and is arguably the single greatest combat knife ever invented

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Guest Hoss Carpenter, SASS Life 7843

I remember reading General Ike in a post war interview was asked by a reporter, "General, what were the three most important weapons the US had in this war in all theaters?". Ike quickly replied, "The M1 Rifle, the Jeep and the C-47 (Gooney Bird)".

 

I always thought this was right on! Cheers., Hoss

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The Luger does not belong. Firing a Luger accurately is something for a specialist. The Walther P-38 DA 9mm was a much better gun and is seen in more photos of soldiers in WWII than the Luger.

 

I would remove the PPsh41 and replace it with the Russian Winter. The Germans were never able to make their machinery reliable against this force.

 

I completely agree with the positioning of M1 Garand, SMLE and K98.

 

The Browning .50 MG should be on this list. It was the main armament of the P-51, P-38, P-47, F-4U and most bombers. It was used for infantry support and anti-aircraft of land and ships.

 

The USN carrier fleet should also be on this list. It quickly broke the Jap Navy and was significant in providing support for every island landing.

 

The most important weapon of WWII was the American and British (including all UK) soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought to save the world from Nazi and Jap Imperial aggression.

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The Luger does not belong. Firing a Luger accurately is something for a specialist. The Walther P-38 DA 9mm was a much better gun and is seen in more photos of soldiers in WWII than the Luger.

 

I would remove the PPsh41 and replace it with the Russian Winter. The Germans were never able to make their machinery reliable against this force.

 

I completely agree with the positioning of M1 Garand, SMLE and K98.

 

The Browning .50 MG should be on this list. It was the main armament of the P-51, P-38, P-47, F-4U and most bombers. It was used for infantry support and anti-aircraft of land and ships.

 

The USN carrier fleet should also be on this list. It quickly broke the Jap Navy and was significant in providing support for every island landing.

 

The most important weapon of WWII was the American and British (including all UK) soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought to save the world from Nazi and Jap Imperial aggression.

 

Taking your line of reasoning a step further (and well out of the weapons of the infantryman, as you have done) I would have to say that American Industrial power and flexibility was the most important weapon.

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I would remove the PPsh41 and replace it with the Russian Winter. The Germans were never able to make their machinery reliable against this force.

 

 

 

The USN carrier fleet should also be on this list. It quickly broke the Jap Navy and was significant in providing support for every island landing.

 

 

The topic is best infantry weapons.

 

Other lists, have the Jeep, the Duck boat, the DC3, the aircraft carrier, ...

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The big Browning M-2 heavy machinegun shouldn't be included with other "personal" weapons..... and I love ma Deuce. I truly do.)

 

It is and always will be a crew served or vehicle mounted weapon.

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"Top 11: Best infantry weapons of WWII?" is the title and says nothing about individual weapons.... With that in mind.......

IMHO, it's a pretty poor list. Not a single mention of any of the great Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons developed during WWII.

The Bazooka, Panzerschreck, Panzerfaust, PIAT you'd think at least one of these ground breaking (at the time) Infantry weapons would rate.

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While not strictly a "weapon" in the sense of being a device, the American G.I. was probably one of the big factors in winning WWII. I forget who said it, maybe BGen S.L.A. (SLAM) Marshal, credited the ability of the individual soldier "to go into business for himself" in the even his NCO's and officers were down, as making the difference in a number of battles and firefights. Whereas the German, Russian and Japanese soldier were trained not to do much unless ordered, a lot of G.I.'s were innovative enough to figure out something to do in an emergency. I think the same is true today! God Bless our troops whereever they are!

Happy New Year, Pards!

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The title, "Best Infantry Weapon--", indicates or says, a weapon/firearm that was reliable, standing up to the rigor of the enviroment and completed the mission it was designed for. Also what could be and was carried by an individual or 2 man team. Heavy machine guns took 3 or 4 men to carry ammo, carriage, spare parts, and the gun itself. So I left that out.

 

One of the best and most reliable that met many factors, was later copied, and bring about designs of future weapons, and is still today highly regarded by weapon experts. Myself having the pleasure of handling, dis-asembling, and firing was the German MG42. MT

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I will admit to being a bit confused by some of the choices myself. As much as I like the M-1 Carbine, it was, as noted in the article, intended more for support troops. Yes, it saw frontline use, but I don't know that it gave that much of a "sliver of advantage" over the Garand when it was. I think you might be hard pressed to convince many. The Luger P08 seems to be on the list due to it's desirability as a war souvenir at the time and its collectibility now. I also have to agree that the MG42 was noticeably absent.

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Not a very good list, no BAR's, Bren Guns or Mosin Nagants, the SMLE should be higher up the list and the Luger and the K-Bar don't really belong on the list, neither really changed the course of the war.

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Not a very good list, no BAR's, Bren Guns or Mosin Nagants, the SMLE should be higher up the list and the Luger and the K-Bar don't really belong on the list, neither really changed the course of the war.

Yeah. More Kbars were used to open cans and mail than were ever used as weapons. Great tool though. And the Luger should be on the Most Attractive Infantry Weapons list maybe. But not the best.

The Ma Deuce was and is issued to Infantry Battalions so I think it should be included. The Infantry isn't always on the offense and it's a helluva weapon for defending a position.

 

But we cannot argue with the list. If it's on the Internet, it must be true. ;)

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Yeah. More Kbars were used to open cans and mail than were ever used as weapons. Great tool though. And the Luger should be on the Most Attractive Infantry Weapons list maybe. But not the best.

The Ma Deuce was and is issued to Infantry Battalions so I think it should be included. The Infantry isn't always on the offense and it's a helluva weapon for defending a position.

 

But we cannot argue with the list. If it's on the Internet, it must be true. ;)

 

 

Didn't some Corporal once comment that an army travels on its belly?

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I would take an M-1 Rifle (Garand) over an M-1 Carbine any day. I'm not a combat vet, and was way too young for WWII or Korea, but I talked with a lot of vets who used both. The Marines got rid of the Carbine after Korea due to its poor ballistics and the poor performance in sub-zero weather. If you need an opinion that should hold up, check on what General James "Jumpin' Jim" Gavin carried when he jumped on D-Day! No, it wasn't an M-1 Carbine, nor a Thompson. ("Ping!" my Aunt Effie's bloomers!) I was taught to shoot big-bore at age 15 by Marine reserve gunnies, who were using Ft. Sheridan, Illinois' rifle range. (Dad was on 2-weeks' active duty, and fixed it with the range NCO.) The Marine Reserve units were shooting Garands; the Army Reserve had Carbines. Of course, that was a long time ago.

Happy New Year, Pards!

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The M-1 carbine included but the 1911 not included. That is a problem in my book!

 

Indeed

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The M-1 carbine included but the 1911 not included. That is a problem in my book!

Indeed

The 1911 is the finest combat pistol ever made but it had zero effect on the outcome of the war
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The 1911 is the finest combat pistol ever made but it had zero effect on the outcome of the war

The 1911 have had little effect, like the Luger and the KA-BAR knife, but not zero effect.

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The 1911 is the finest combat pistol ever made but it had zero effect on the outcome of the war

 

 

The 1911 have had little effect, like the Luger and the KA-BAR knife, but not zero effect.

 

I have to agree with Birdgun. I wouldn't put the 1911 on the list, personally, but I would put it on before those two items.

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