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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Author W.E.B. Griffin wrote a series of historical novels detailing the history of the United States Marine Corp, from the 1930s all the way through WWII and Korea. In these books, the introduction of the Garand is presented as being quite controversial -- many Marines resented having their treasured Springfields taken away for this newfangled invention, and their general opinion was that the Garand was a piece of crap.

Eventually, of course, that attitude changed as Marines saw what the rifle could do in combat. Does anyone know if this depiction of the Garand's introduction is accurate? It surprised me, as I would think combat soldiers would really appreciate the increase in firepower that a semi-automatic represents over a bolt action.

Just thought some of the more knowledgable here could shed some light on this.

By the way, you have a great forum!
 

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I dont know if it was true about the garand , But I can tell you first hand that we all hated the switch over to the 9mm (m9 pistol) I was then , am now , and will always be a 1911 45 fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Everyone hates change, even Marines.
Good point.

I dont know if it was true about the garand , But I can tell you first hand that we all hated the switch over to the 9mm (m9 pistol) I was then , am now , and will always be a 1911 45 fan.
That's interesting, privateer. Why was the change opposed? Because the 9mm lacks the stopping power of the .45?
 

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Not really . . . .

. . . . as it is hard for people to give up the guns on which they were trained and had developed expertise. The Springfield had a very high
reputation for accuracy. In fact, it lasted a long time in the service as a sniper rifle.

It took time for the Garand to prove it would function in combat conditions particular to the Marine Corps (salt water and beach sand - not all semi-auto and machine gun designs did).

Another point to consider came in the area of marksmanship. People may take time to aim an accurate bolt action but may exhibit a tendency to rapidly empty the clip with a semi-auto.

So, the leap to a new technology was not always welcomed with open arms.
 

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From what know, the marines, in the first beach landings at the start of WWII had only 03s at their standard shoulder fired weapon. At First.
 

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I got to thinking about Marines and 1903's, 03A3's, and Garands. Here is my very unscientific study of many WW2 photos I have. DookieButt, sounds like you have first-hand knowledge. Please give me your opinion of the mix of battle rifles you saw the marines use.

Solomon Islands - Marines with 1903s
Guadalcanal - Marines with Garands and 1903s
Saipan - Marines with Garands and 1903s
Tarawa - Marines with Garands
Kwajalein - Marines with 03A3
Tinian - Marines with Garands
Iwo Jima - Marines with Garands, 1903s, and 03A3s
Omaha Beach - Marines with Garands

So this unscientific photo study would indicate that Marines used all of the battle rifles. We see Garands as early as Guadalcanal, 1903s as late as Iwo Jima, and don't see an 03A3 in a Marine hand until 1944 in Kwajalien. However I do have a picture of Army Infantry with 03A3s in Tunisia.

(as a side note, I also did this for British Enfields. All of the Enfields in my photos are No1 Mk III. I don't have a No4 Mk1 even in late photos)
 

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As General Patton expressed the m1 Garand was finest piece of Military firepower ever introduced to the combat soldier. It also has evolved into the Ruger mini 14.
Great stuff.
Mike
 

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First off, I'm a fan of W.E.B. Griffin, what great books, he also has a police/detective series of books too.
My dad enlisted into the USMC on Dec. 10 1941 at the age of 18. He talked about how well he shot with his Springfield and how his marksmenship went down hill with his Garand. I think there was a pay scale that went with each level of marksmenship. He never had any bad things to say about the Garand, he just perferred the bolt gun because of the extra pay. He told a story about some LT that got a smashed "pinky" in the action during an inspection.
It was neat to listen to him talk about the different guns he handle. He's the main reason why I enjoy shooting, reading and talking guns today.
:)
At the end of the war, dad was trained to carry the flamethrower, they were prepared to invade Japan. An expected 1 million USA casualities. I guess the Garand was replace with the Flamethrower to burn Japan into summission.
Thanks Mr. Smith, dad passed away 12 years ago tomorrow, I'm sure he's smiling down upon us right now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello LakerDad. Please permit me to express a sincere "Thank you" to your father for his willingness to put his life on the line to protect our freedom. America will forever be in debt to him and the countless other veterans that have stepped forward when our country needed them the most.

I don’t mean to get off topic, but most people today, especially the younger ones, don’t realize exactly what men like your father accomplished. They don’t realize that at the start of WWII, Japan was a nation of some 70 million people that had been brainwashed by decades of state-sponsored Shintoism -- brainwashed into believing their emperor was a deity whose glory was best served by military conquest. So powerful was the effect that many millions of Japanese were fanatically, even suicidally, dedicated to fighting and dying in his name -- and were doing so all over the far east.

But the whipping our military put on the Japanese -- and it was one hell of a whipping -- ultimately transformed this population from war supporters to peace supporters. By the time McArthur steamed into Tokyo Bay, the Japanese, except for a handful of recalcitrant politicians, were ready to do whatever the Americans told them to do -- and promptly.

To drive home the point that their surrender was indeed unconditional, McArthur arranged for a little reminder of American power at the ceremony where Japan‘s representatives would sign the surrender documents. As the Japanese on board our battleship were waiting for the ceremony to start, McArthur arranged for a flyover of a vast fleet of some 400 B-29 Superfortress bombers accompanied by 1,500 Marine and Navy fighter aircraft. The point was unmistakable: “You’ve seen what we can do. We are prepared to do still more if necessary”.

But it didn’t prove necessary. Not a single American soldier was killed by the Japanese during the entire 5 year occupation. There was no insurgency, no uprising or really any significant resistance at all. Our military turned a viciously aggressive nation into one of our best trading partners and allies, as well as one of the most productive people on earth.

So I salute your father’s -- and all the other veteran’s -- accomplishments. A job damn well done.
 
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