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  #1  
Old 11-02-2009, 12:55 AM
rifleman777 rifleman777 is offline
 
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Default How much ammo did soldiers carry in WWII??

Just wondering how much ammo the gov thought was enough to put up a fight.
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2009, 07:32 AM
canes7 canes7 is online now
 
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I would think the soldiers did not care what anyone told them they should carry. They probably carried as much as they could and still be mobile.

In may WWII pics I notice guys wearing their belt then 1 or 2 bando's.

Dan
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2009, 07:42 AM
Keymaker Keymaker is offline
 
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Various books I have read mention on more than one battle occasion that extra ammo, grenades, etc. took priority over some personal items and were stuffed into any pocket or pouch where they would fit. I recall one story where a guy left behind his second canteen and filled that canteen pouch with loaded magazines.

Having extra ammo is always a good problem to have!
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2009, 07:44 AM
SGM (ret.) SGM (ret.) is offline
 
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The M1917, 1918 and 1923 cartridge belts for dismounted troops had 10 pockets, each pocket held two 5-round .30-06 stripper clips or one 8-round M1 Garand clip.

The M1917 and 1918 cartridge belts for mounted troops had 9 pockets for .30-06 and space for a 2-cell M1911 mag pouch. The dismounted belts were largely phased out during WWII or converted to mounted belts by sewing on an extra pocket.


So, the official "basic load" was 105 rounds for the M1903AX or M1917 or 88 rounds for the M1 Garand (loaded belt plus a loaded rifle). The M1923 cartridge belt was used through the Korean war and by the NG and other services using the Garand until that rifle was phased out and replaced by either the M14 or M16 (depending on circumstances and dates).

Having said all of the above, almost every written account of combat in WWI, WWII, and Korea where there is any description of the troops loading up with ammo before or during battle makes it clear that when extra ammo was available, most troops carried extra bandoleers of .30-06. So, while the official load was 105 or 88, most troops carried more, sometimes much more. How much more depended on the situation, I suppose.

Keep in mind that ,although the US "basic load" seems small by today's standards, in Europe, the German soldier only carried 65 rounds of 7.92mm in 5-round stripper clips. His ammo belt had two, 3-cell leather pouches. Each cell held two 5-round stripper clips. So, even with only the "basic load," the US soldier with the M1 Garand was carrying about 50% more ammo than his German enemy, not to mention that he had the better rifle. All things are relative.

Mike

Last edited by SGM (ret.); 11-02-2009 at 07:52 AM. Reason: added to post
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2009, 08:18 AM
Uncle Mike Uncle Mike is offline
 
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Default Try this Book.

I got this book from Scott Duff (www.scottduff.com). "U S Infantry Weapons In Combat". These are personal experiences of G.I.'s that carried weapons in combat during WW II and Korea. Most carried 2 extra bandoliers of M2.Different men had different experiences and reasons for what they did.If your interested in that kind of thing well worth the money. Regards,Mike
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2009, 11:27 AM
Stockyards brat Stockyards brat is offline
 
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But you see pictures from both theaters where the GI has nothing but his rifle, and wearing just a shirt and pants-no harness-and these are combat films and stills. Where's the ammo then?

Last edited by Stockyards brat; 11-02-2009 at 11:29 AM. Reason: punctuation
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2009, 12:11 PM
sigman2 sigman2 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockyards brat View Post
But you see pictures from both theaters where the GI has nothing but his rifle, and wearing just a shirt and pants-no harness-and these are combat films and stills. Where's the ammo then?
Those are behind the lines photos.

In my father's outfit the standard combat loading was 80 rds. in belt, 8 rds. in rifle and 2 extra bandoleers for a total of 184 rds.
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In honor of my father, Howard C. Ricks. Corporal, Co. E, 2nd Battalion, 20th Marine Engineers, 4th Marine Division. Later renamed Co. B, 4th Pioneer Battalion after Marianna Operation. Service dates February 1943 to October 31, 1945, Combat action: Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. His rifle SA 893999 met "Captain Crunch".
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:59 PM
EasyCompany EasyCompany is offline
 
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Depends on unit, mission, etc. My Grand Dad's (LRP in the PTO) - told us that he carried a belt + three bandoleers + a ton of enblocs in a GP bag so maybe close to 400 rds-
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2009, 03:30 PM
Peter100 Peter100 is offline
 
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Below is the units of fire from WW2 pacific ocean area of the US Army. A unit of fire is the average amount of ammo expended in a day.
<TABLE width="80%" align=center><TBODY><TR><TD width="75%">Weapon: <TD width="25%">Total Rounds: <TR><TD> <TD align=right> <TR><TD>.30-caliber carbine <TD align=right>45 <TR><TD>.30-caliber rifle <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>.30-caliber BAR <TD align=right>500 <TR><TD>.30-caliber machine gun <TD align=right>1,500 <TR><TD>.12-gauge shotgun <TD align=right>25 <TR><TD>.45-caliber automatic revolver <TD align=right>14 <TR><TD>.45-caliber submachine gun <TD align=right>200 <TR><TD>.50-caliber machine gun <TD align=right>600 <TR><TD>20-mm. antiaircraft machine gun <TD align=right>540 <TR><TD>27-mm. antitank or tank gun <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>37-mm. antiaircraft gun <TD align=right>270 <TR><TD>40-mm. antiaircraft gun <TD align=right>270 <TR><TD>57-mm. antitank gun <TD align=right>90 <TR><TD>60-mm. mortar <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>81-mm. mortar <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>4.2-inch chemical mortar <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>75-mm. howitzer field or pack <TD align=right>300 <TR><TD>75-mm. self-propelled tank gun or LVT howitzer <TD align=right>150 <TR><TD>75-mm. gun <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>3-inch self-propelled or antitank gun <TD align=right>50 <TR><TD>90-mm. self-propelled or antitank gun <TD align=right>125 <TR><TD>105-mm. M3 (short barrel) howitzer <TD align=right>150 <TR><TD>105-mm. field howitzer <TD align=right>200 <TR><TD>105-mm. self-propelled or tank gun howitzer <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>4.7-inch antiaircraft gun <TD align=right>75 <TR><TD>155-mm. M1 howitzer <TD align=right>150 <TR><TD>155-mm. M1 gun <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>8-inch howitzer <TD align=right>100 <TR><TD>240-mm. howitzer <TD align=right>60 <TR><TD>75-mm. gun <TD align=right>300 <TR><TD>3-inch antiaircraft mobile <TD align=right>150 <TR><TD>Hand grenade <TD align=right>1 per EM <TR><TD>Rifle antitank grenade launcher <TD align=right>2M9AT grenade <TR><TD>2.36-inch antitank rocket launcher (bazooka) <TD align=right>6 rockets </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2009, 08:35 PM
sigman2 sigman2 is offline
 
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.45-caliber automatic revolver???

I'd better bite my tongue!
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In honor of my father, Howard C. Ricks. Corporal, Co. E, 2nd Battalion, 20th Marine Engineers, 4th Marine Division. Later renamed Co. B, 4th Pioneer Battalion after Marianna Operation. Service dates February 1943 to October 31, 1945, Combat action: Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. His rifle SA 893999 met "Captain Crunch".
http://www.wwiimemorial.com/registry...unt=1&tcount=1
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