I read today that the AK-47 was adopted by the Russian Army in 1949. That makes me wonder if it ever found its way into Korea. Does anyone know? AKs against M1 Garands would seem like two different worlds.
Despite Cold War rhetoric about monolithic Communism at the time, my understanding is that while China was very much involved in the Korean conflect that the Soviet Union was much less enthusiastic about getting involved in it... with the result that it was China, not the Soviet Union, that provided most munitions support to North Korea. And I don't know whether China had adopted the AK at that time.
This is from the book 'AK-47 & Kalashnikov Variations' by Masami Tokoi. Published by Dai-Nippon Kaiga Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan. 1991,1993.
p.65 "In 1956 China began domestic production of the AK-47 under license from the Soviet Union. Today there are 19 factories in China that manufacture small arms based on the Kalashnikov system, this group and 138 other weapons factories known as NORINCO (North China Industrial Company). Research and development of small arms are conducted at Research Institute 208, commonly known as the Chinese Light Firearms Research Institute, established in 1953 and headed today by Mr. Lee Wei-lu. Each of the 19 small arms plants also have the ability to conduct small scale R&D. In the following summary of development of Chinese AK-type weapons, they are all simply referred to as NORINCO products, since the locations and exact products of the 19 factories are not confirmed. There are many models of the AK-47 and AKM manufactured in China, and the introduction of the secondary type 81 indicates a low rate of interchangeability among the products made by different factories. This might cause problems for military operations, but on the other hand the Chinese People's Liberation Army is organized on a local basis, and they manage the logistics for their own local territories. It is a fact, however, that today a large number of various modes of the type 56 rifle are being produced, supplied and exported without parts interchangeability. The m22 rifle, exported since 1960 to Third World countries, is a "sanitized" model: the Typed 56 with a new designation to keep the country of origin secret."
I doubt that UN forces in the Korean war encountered any troops using Kalashnikov's new Avtomat. I guess it's possible, being that there were Russian advisors on the ground in China. The Russians were assigned to the air forces and flew some combat missions during the war, but Stalin was very strict about when and where they could fly. Hope this helps. Regards.
Well, I know that Russian soldiers were armed with AK-47 during the Hungarian uprising in 1956.....thats as far back as I know anything about seeing the AK-47 in use.
I cant find any books in my shelves that mention the engagements where AK-47s were used but my guess, as it relates to BattleRifleG3s question, maybe American forces first faced AKs in battle elsewhere in settings such as Central & South America, Viet-Nam and maybe various African nations....where American troops were present.
Does your mouth water thinking about what treasure-trove of vintage AK goodies may be waiting for us in Cuba once Castro is gone and the rummage sale begins?
I went to Cuba a couple of years ago and I'm going back for a couple of weeks this Fall. Not exactly a Workers' Paradise, but not exactly the Stalinist nightmare we've been led to believe it is (although if I lived there I'm certain I'd be arrested by the end of the week). Anyway, Cuban communism is no more likely to collapse with the death of Castro than Russian communism collapsed with the death of Stalin or Chinese communism collapsed with the death of Mao.
If Cuba were to sell off its munitions that would have happened back in '91 when the Soviets pulled out and the Cuban economy went into the toilet. Note that because of the embargo, we wouldn't be allowed to participate in the feeding frenzy, anyway.
Back to the subject at hand...
Sounds like the first time an AK was fired at an American would have been at one of the "advisors" we sent to Vietnam during the Kennedy presidency. My understanding is that they carried a hodge-podge of weapons, often personal weapons (My high school ROTC teacher bought a S&W .44 mag to take with him when he was sent as an advisor), but that M-1 Carbines and 12-gauge pump shotguns were rather popular. M-16 hadn't yet been adopted, that would have right about the time the M-14 was being considered, but I think the M-1 was still the standard-issue infantry weapon. (but note these were "advisors", not infantry).
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