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Re: [Rollei] Re: OT 1911

At 05:38 PM 5/24/03 -0400, Eric Goldstein wrote:
>Expanding upon this a bit, my Father relayed several stories of officers
>regularly replacing .45 ACP with revolvers (.38 I think)... Reliability,
>accuracy and handling taking priority over brute force and rapid reload...
>Anyone know what revolvers were standard issue at the late stages of WW II?

The Cavalry, that Prima Donna of combat arms, had refused the M1911 .45
automatic and had insisted on a five-shot Colt revolver with a rimless .45
cartridge.  These were obsoleted in the early 1930's under MacArthur's
military rationalization program.  Well, we still had a SLEW of these F
Troop type cavalry posts out west, and they all had these rather mysterious
"arms room fires" in which almost the entire stock of these revolvers ended
up "missing, presumed destroyed".

Even more mysteriously, when the War broke out, a lot of these guns
reappeared.  The Army first noted this when the Ammo Requests from overseas
began listing orders for the special ammunition for this now-obsolete
weapon.  The boys in Washington just chuckled and issued the ammunition.

The M1911A1, though, was a phenomenal weapon and was much hardier than some
of you are suggesting.  The very reason it was issued was that it didn't
need a lot of finicky CLA's to keep it in operational condition.  A staff
officer could simply wear it day in and day out and trust that it would
work when the enemy over-ran the Division Rear -- and it would.

The only regular alternative sidearm available in the late War would have
been the Smith & Wesson .38 Police Special or its equivalent.  I cannot
imagine any soldier in his right mind choosing the one over the other.
General Officers were issued a dinky little .25 automatic but most saw that
as a "harlot's gun" and refused it.  MacArthur never wore a sidearm, while
Eisenhower, Patch, and Bradley wore M1911's and Patton, of course, his pair
of ivory-handled .38's.  (These might have been .44's:  I'd have to look it

(A .25 pistol is really lightweight and has little kick, so it is often
carried by ladies moving in uncertain society.  The corollary of its having
little kick, of course, is that it also has little impact and will not even
penetrate the breastbone or skull at a standard bar-room brawl distance.  A
.22 Long Rifle will, and this was the preferred weapon among special forces
in the War, as it has become the Mafia's assassination weapon in recent


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