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Honkytonk View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 12 2020 at 9:46am
I just finished reading a really good (really big) book on Canadian soldiers in Europe during WW1. At the beginning, as with all the Allied soldiers, it developed into a static war, a meat grinder. Artillery and machine guns ruled the battle field. Then the gas... During this time, the Canadians learned lessons paid for in blood, but slowly became a very dependable force for the Allies. Their tactics evolved to a point where the acheived many victories on the field. Vimy Ridge, Mons, Passhendaele, Amiens. To the point the British started calling them Shock Troops, which is the title of the book. One line in particular caught my eye. Marooned in an isolated salient, outnumbered 8-1 and facing counterattack after counterattack, one old sweat said " We fired our Lee Enfields continuously for 12 hours. Hundreds of rounds through each rifle. So much the barrel was protruding and the linseed was sweating out to the point we could hardly hold them. Not one of them failed to fire." 

Pretty good testament to the men and the rifle...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2020 at 12:39pm
Seem to recall reading a similar situation when British troops move into Burma against the Japanese. Fighting off banzai charges their Lee enfields got so hot that they had trouble aiming due to the steam coming off the hot rifles in the tropical rain. Lee enfields are tough.
NZ troops at gallipoli often used them to club to death the turkish troops as the fighting got too close for anything else. Im sure most posters on this site would be horrified to consider taking one of the pride and joys out and proceed to use it like a baseball bat!!!   
/www.armymuseum.co.nz/gallipoli-stories/ tells it like it was.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2020 at 1:36pm
They were "Main Battle Rifles", I've referred to the brass butt plate of mine as the "Less than Lethal Force Option"!

I remember one day I bought my first L-E this side of the pond it was the Allentown gun show! I'd had to surrender everything in the U.K. When I emigrated because it would have been horribly expensive & time consuming to import them into America!

I also bought a cleaning kit, sling, targets, & some MilSurp ammo.
We were headed to the State Game Lands 100 yd range off of Pa 100 & the skies opened.
We stopped at a garage & picked up a stapler & one of those el cheapo "Gortons Fisherman" sou'wester with a cape & leggins & carried on.
I zeroed & shot it in the pouring rain.
One other guy showed up looked at the rain & left.
I had to finally stop because the steam from the heated bits was blocking my sight picture.

They are tough old girls, far more tolerant of weather than many far more expensive sporting rifles.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2020 at 1:49pm
In the WW1 diary of Harry Drinkwater; he mentions that during a firefight while on watch one night; the rifles were getting too hot to hold; so they kept swapping them with rifles of their fallen comrades. His friends loading them any handing them to him on the step. However when they were next on parade, he got a fine for not presenting the rifle he was issued with!
Harry kept a diary for the entire war and wrote it up just afterwards. It is a very worthwhile read; and it's still in print.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
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