Don’t be a Dope!

This illustration from the “Don’t be a Dope! Handle Equipment Right!” series was included in the ordnance parts manual for the M55 quad .50 caliber machine gun trailer. Appropriate to the subject of the manual, the artist has added an M55 mount and trailer to the illustration.

Don't be a dope. Handle Equipment Right.

To prove that he’s game as the fliers
Whose daring the public admires,
Joe Dope hurls his loads
Over rock-studded roads—
And boy! is it tough on the tires!


Soviet Infantry Weapons

Soviet Infantry Weapons of WW2:

WW2 Soviet Red Army Infantry Weapons and Guns

Basic rifle is the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891/1930, which fires a 7.62mm (.30 cal.) bullet. The gun takes a 5-round clip and weighs 9.9 pounds. Bayonet shown is the 4-fluted needle type with screwdriver tip. Modernizations in 1930 were in the front and rear sights. The M1910 carbine and the dragoon and Cossack rifles, both shorter than the 48-in. Mosin-Nagant, have not replaced the basic rifle.

The Simonov or AVS38 semiautomatic is 7.62mm, weighs 10.8 pounds with magazine and bayonet.. Rate of fire is 30 aimed shots per minute. Its 10-round magazine protrudes below the stock and is loaded from ordinary 5-round clips. The gun carries the short knife-type bayonet and can also be fitted with a telescopic sight.

This early model anti-tank rifle is very long-barreled, has a bipod mount and muzzle-brake. Caliber is about .57 and it is bolt action, single shot and operated by two men. Cartridges are carried in loops inside bags and the cartridge case has a very large diameter.

The new anti-tank rifle is shorter and apparently semi-automatic. The bolt of this gun travels under a breech cover instead of coming out into the open when pulled to the rear. It has a more conventional stock than the earlier anti-tank rifle and may be gas-operated.

The Degtyarov light machine gun is 7.62mm, weighs but 20.7 pounds with bipod, is gas-operated and drum-fed (49 rounds). It is a basic automatic arm of the Soviet Infantry squad. Lightened to 18 1/2 pounds and fitted with pistol grip and 60-round drum the Degtyarov in the tank version fires 550 rounds per minute. A heavier Degtyarov design machine gun is 12.7mm (.50 cal.), is also gas-operated. It has both two-wheel mount with split trail and shield and an AA mount.

This tommygun, Model PPSH M1941 is like the Finnish Soumi. Used widely by tank crews it is 9mm. The piece weighs 10.1 pounds and has a 72-round drum.

Grenades are both offensive (potato masher type shown above) and defensive (pineapple type). The latter hook into a regulation belt for carrying.

For use with telescopic sights the rifle is fitted with a turned-down bolt handle.

The Nagant M1895 revolver is 7.62mm and weighs 1.8 pounds which is rather light. Issued to officers and special units.

The lighter, air-cooled Maxim Tokarev still retains the shield and also has a tripod with precision traverse and elevation gauges which are absent on the Sokolov mount. The barrel is quickly removable as on our caliber .50 machine gun.

The M1910 Maxim heavy water-cooled machine gun has a ponderous (90-pound) shielded-and-wheeled Sokolov mount. Rate of fire is 250-300 rounds per minute. For AA fire the Maxim is provided with concentric ring sights. Quadruple Maxim mounts may be set in trucks, armored trains or dug in at airfields. This fires 1,000 rounds of 7.62mm per minute, one belt per gun. The Maxim heavy is recoil-operated.

Source: Newsmap, U.S. Army Service Forces, Army Information Branch, February 1, 1943.

Targets of the Eighth Air Force

“Targets of the Eighth Air Force” from a special edition of Army Talks, “Stars over the Reich,” published for the officers and men of the Eighth Air Force.

Targets of the Eighth

A. Aircraft Industry (includes assembly, engine and repair plants and airfields). The four great air blows in February 1944 were a decisive factor in weakening the Luftwaffe and giving the Allies the essential air superiority before the invasion of Europe. They were the first of many aimed at aircraft.

B. Tactical Direct Army Support (includes coastal and military defenses, bridges and all marshalling yards attacked after 1 June ’44). Although designed for strategic bombing, the Eighth proved its flexibility during the invasion days in the tactical support it gave to the ground and sea forces by crippling German ground force support.

C. Oil Industry (includes refineries, synthetic oil, and storage). The Germans have more planes, tanks, vehicles and other equipment than they are able to operate, owing to the critical shortage of fuel and lubricants. Strategic bombing has played a very large part in causing this shortage.

D. Flying Bomb Sites. The Eighth, though not designed for such work, took part in the pounding of these targets when the flying bomb menace became serious.

E. U-Boat Industry (includes sub-pens, bases and construction yards). At the height of the German submarine activity in the winter of 1942-43 the Forts and Libs gained experience at the expense of the U-boats and had a big hand in whittling down the U-boat supremacy.

F. Indirect Army Support (includes tank, vehicle and locomotive plants, steel industry, ordnance depots, and marshalling yards prior to 1 June ’44). This is one of the basic strategic jobs of the Eighth Air Force.

G. Ball Bearing Industry. A small but significant target, since the serious damage caused by bombing has been a production bottleneck for the aircraft and other industries dependent on the manufacture of ball bearings.

H. Rubber Industry. The same is true of this target, especially for transportation.

I. Miscellaneous Strategic. An assortment of targets have been attacked in key industrial areas when weather has singled them out as targets of opportunity or as suitable for overcast bombing.


Self-Propelled 37-mm Flak

A photograph of a destroyed German self-propelled 37-mm antiaircraft gun mounted on a halftrack, along with a late-model RSO towing an antitank gun. Source: Light, Intense, and Accurate, Headquarters, 65th Fighter Wing, August 1945.

German Self-Propelled 37-mm Flak Halftrack

Coast Guards SPARS Video

Recruitment video for the Coast Guard SPARS: