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Old December 26, 2017, 21:08   #1
hkshooter
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History question, WWII US arms

I've recently read that at the end of WWII in Europe, FN was tasked to refurb allied (specifically US) weapons and prepare them for storage and I assume shipment to facilities. In The FAL Rifle there's reference to this and a single picture of M1 Garand stocks palletized and piled high. It's written that some 2.1M US weapons were processed through FN during a year following the war and this made me wonder, where are those weapons?

Did they eventually get destroyed? Did they get sold or given away to other gov't's? Are they still there? Did they make the civilian market and if so, and here's the biggest question, did FN mark the weapons in any way that would indicate that they had been processed by FN?

Please discuss.
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Old December 26, 2017, 22:24   #2
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They were most likely provided to our friendly nations as Military Aid. This is done with all types of military equipment from uniforms to helicopters thru JUSMAG. This stands for Joint US Military Advisory/Assisstance Group. For instance JUSMAG-P is the Philippines. The employees are generally retired US military personnel.

An example of the usefulness of JUSMAG personnel is for instance the US gives the Philippines 20 2 1/2 trucks. One week the battery is dead in one of the trucks. Rather than requisition a battery they take the battery our of another truck that has a flat. Eventually they end of with 10 functional vehicles and 10 that are ready for the scrap yard.

Same principles apply to firearms and other equipment. I know in the Philippines they had racks upon racks of M3 Grease guns.

Last edited by gentlemanjoe; December 26, 2017 at 22:32.
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Old December 27, 2017, 00:12   #3
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I am not sure but I think some Garands were shipped to Italy to be turned into BM59s. That conversion wouldn't need a garand stock I don't think.
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Old December 27, 2017, 01:41   #4
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US Weapons rebuilt at overseas arsenals were not required to be marked by the servicing facility, unlike weapons rebuilt at depots in the USA.
I remember being shown an M1 rifle with a FN marked replacement barrel.
That was back in the late 1980's when lots of M1 rifles were in circulation.
Identifying parts is probably one of the best ways to spot where an M1 was rebuilt.
More recently I spotted some M1 rifles that were imported here from a country in South America and were fitted with rear sights and barrels with Taiwanese markings.
Those rifles had certainly been around the globe, sold from one country to the next before coming home!

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Old December 27, 2017, 02:47   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkshooter View Post

Did they eventually get destroyed? Did they get sold or given away to other gov't's? Are they still there? Did they make the civilian market and if so, and here's the biggest question, did FN mark the weapons in any way that would indicate that they had been processed by FN?

Please discuss.
Some went to Italy, Germany and other countries, the majority went to Greece and South Korea
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Old December 27, 2017, 03:59   #6
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My made in 1945 SA made M1 came back from Denmark.

There were 5.5 million Garands made during WW2. Five million by Springfield Armory and half a million made by Winchester. Then more made during the Korean War by SA, H&R, and International Harvester Corporation on the Winchester tooling. I have owned two SA's, one IHC, and one H&R. I trained on an H&R M1 in 1963 at Fort Leonard Wood.

While in Vietnam 66-67 I saw a lot of the ARVN troops armed with M1 Garands. But they much preferred the M1 Carbine. I wonder how many of the Garands were dropped by the ARVN's when they ran from the NVA.....

And so it goes.


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Old December 27, 2017, 08:28   #7
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I have an Inland M1 carbine that post-WWII was issued to the Austrian Gendarme. It was rebuilt in Europe, supposedly by FN as were many of the Austrian / Bavarian M1 carbines. While I'm sure some weapons were rebuilt prior to going into storage, it may have been storage of non-US forces, or for re-issue to non-US forces.
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Old December 27, 2017, 12:39   #8
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Originally Posted by SAFN49 View Post
Some went to Italy, Germany and other countries, the majority went to Greece and South Korea
Does anyone know from which stocks the M1917 rifles; M1 rifles, Carbines, and submachine guns that the French received in the '50's as part of the Mutual Assistance Program were pulled from?
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Old December 27, 2017, 17:59   #9
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Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing.
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Old December 27, 2017, 19:49   #10
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Does anyone know from which stocks the M1917 rifles; M1 rifles, Carbines, and submachine guns that the French received in the '50's as part of the Mutual Assistance Program were pulled from?
People should understand we left just warehouses of small arms in Europe after WWII. Guys headed home upon mustering out in 45/46' didn't carry their Garand, Carbine, M3 or TSMg on the convoy ship back to America. They surrendered it to command. End of story.

Much of these guns were later sold or distributed to European nations and not all that many were FTR'd/rebuilt beforehand.

Germans were given a mess of Carbines that were rebuilt in Germany. Some were fitted with a German made stock, others with different sites.

Greek M1s were rebuilt as needed, same with Denmark
The Italians started manufacturing M1s are Breda & Beretta
Not sure about the French, probably same situation.

Same happened with Axis arms
Norway adopted the MG34, the MP40 and K98
I still have several target grade K98 .308 barrels from Norway. They rebuilt the MG34 into .308 as well.

Israel did a mess of this with .308 K98 rebuilds

I know a huge pile of Nazi arms were used to outfit the Foriegn Legion in French Indochina as most of the troopers were former Waffen SS

Want funny ?
The Philippine Marines recently went through a rebuild programs for their M3 smgs. Integral suppressor & weaver base for a red dot. They prefer the M3 to any sissy 9mm Uzi or HK. That was maybe 8 ? years ago and it hand nothing to do with cost effectiveness. America was willing to bankroll them for new HKs
One of my inlaws there in their Marines told me they flat out turned down the new German junk which they viewed as inferior to a throw away WWII design. Nice fat subsonic slug.
Interesting thing is all the pix I have seen of the rebuilts are based around the earlier M3 with the crank cocking handle, not M3A1s with the stupid finger hole in the bolt. They do appear to be A1 frames with the larger ejection port and cover with a crank up lower cover.

Anyways that's how these things historically went

Sort of like when Finland was rebuilding antique pre 1899 Nagants into M39 battle and even Sniper rifles.
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Old December 27, 2017, 20:00   #11
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Finland is still using old Mosin actions in sniper rifles today that are given to their equivalent of the national guard and army reserves.

I know Vietnam had tons of war material they were trying to sell off in the 1990s. I'm sure it ended up somewhere.

China had 50 years of war and I've heard they have quite the mass of old milsurp piled up in warehouses ready for the winds to change so they can sell it to Americans.

By now most of the WW2 stuff has probably surfaced and either been sold off to us civilians or simply destroyed.
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Old December 28, 2017, 12:44   #12
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I know a huge pile of Nazi arms were used to outfit the Foriegn Legion in French Indochina as most of the troopers were former Waffen SS
First part: mostly true. Second part: not true.

Comparatively few Legionnaires served in the Wehrmacht previously, let alone the SS. Most Germans serving in Indochina were around 14 years of age or so when the War was going on. The French Dieuxième Bureau did a bang-up job of ferreting out war criminals and other unsavory individuals- to include most SS members- before they could be allowed entry into the Legion.

Colonial and Legion infantry and support troops in Indochina were outfitted with the Kar98k in great numbers for the first two thirds or so of the war, primarily due to France occupying Southwestern Germany, where Mauser, Walther, and a handful of other German arms manufacturers were located. They also captured vast quantities outright in combat. The Commandos de Marine adopted the G43 until it was phased out by the MAS Mle. 44, and, later, the Mle. 49. P38 pistols- both German and French-supervised production- were common.
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Old December 28, 2017, 16:14   #13
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I know Vietnam had tons of war material they were trying to sell off in the 1990s. I'm sure it ended up somewhere.
.....a bunch of shotguns (Winchester 25s, Ithaca 37s, Stevens 77 and Remington 870s) and 1911s ended up here around 1995/6. Prior to that at least 6 +/- A37 Dragonflys and a goodly number of Bell Sioux helicopters were brought over from there as well. As for the rest they tried to sell...not sure, but there was lots of it !
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Old December 28, 2017, 19:25   #14
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In 1946 we started supplying the french with arms in VN and to the VN army until we left.
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Old December 28, 2017, 19:29   #15
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.....a bunch of shotguns (Winchester 25s, Ithaca 37s, Stevens 77 and Remington 870s) and 1911s ended up here around 1995/6. Prior to that at least 6 +/- A37 Dragonflys and a goodly number of Bell Sioux helicopters were brought over from there as well. As for the rest they tried to sell...not sure, but there was lots of it !
I remember seeing pictures of a warehouse filled with brand new UH-1 engines, still sealed tight. I'm sure they ended up somewhere. I think they had some A-1 Skyraiders too. At the time we were still not on super friendly terms with them so none of the firearms had a chance of ending up here in the USA. Who knows maybe they still have some stuff warehoused. We sure gave the South Viets tons of M-1 Garands, M1 Carbines, M-16s, etc.
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Old December 28, 2017, 19:54   #16
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Yes, the man I knew who bought the Sioux and A37s was trying to figure out what he could use new in the shipping pod CH47 T55 engines for...besides a CH47. The condition of the weapons may also be suspect, the shotguns were in "as dropped" at surrender point condition, one of my M37s had plenty of RVN dirt mixed in with some engine oil, the 1911s I saw were new (arsenal refurbished) and wrapped. I would imagine guns piled up (using the shotguns as a reference)as the norm.

The Vietnamese also didn't pay attention to small details about shipping....like remove the M134s out of the A37s BEFORE you ship them to Australia....
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Old December 28, 2017, 20:10   #17
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When in Russia in the early 90s, I was taken to a warehouse that was full of WWII rifles. More K98s, looked like that bunker in lord of war except K-98s and a fair number of G43s. Interesting was that there were a couple of racks with P-17s and 1895 Winchesters. I asked about the P-17s and he said that came from your troops involved in eastern Russia in 1918-19. He said they were left with the Czech troops.
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Old December 29, 2017, 12:15   #18
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In 1946 we started supplying the french with arms in VN and to the VN army until we left.
We didn't supply much of anything to the French until Korea kicked off in 1950. Before that, the French forces were primarily armed with British and pre-War French equipment.

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When in Russia in the early 90s, I was taken to a warehouse that was full of WWII rifles. More K98s, looked like that bunker in lord of war except K-98s and a fair number of G43s. Interesting was that there were a couple of racks with P-17s and 1895 Winchesters. I asked about the P-17s and he said that came from your troops involved in eastern Russia in 1918-19. He said they were left with the Czech troops.
Wouldn't it be great if we actually lived in a free country and we could empty out those warehouses- wherever on Earth they might be- of any weapon type the American consumer would want? I can dream...
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