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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I watched one of those Pathe videos titled "Invasion Scenes Far East (1944)" and believe it was set in Burma. Only a couple of minutes long but it starts with Britsh troops loading on to landing type craft, most armed with No4's. The Hey what was the? Go back and the soldier is carrying a M1 Garand. About three men are shown with M1's and later in the video a few more scenes of soldiers loading or in landing boats and again a few M1 Garands, but no Americans seen in the entire video. Made me wonder why, as I would think it would be hard to get ammunition for the M1's, and no mistake as the gas tube under the barrel and the rear sight on the M1 are just too distinctive. A lot of the men were wearing berets and wondered if they were British Marines? No sound in the video, so not sure what unit they were in. John
 

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Well before Lend Lease very, very many Thompson SMGs, M1917 rifles and BARs were sold under cash and carry to the UK due to the post-Dunkirk rifle shortage. This included a lot of ammunition too. As folks know, these had a red band painted on them to indicate to the intended user--The British Home Guard--that it used .300 American .30-06 not the British .303 service cartridge. Those rifles were earmarked for the Home Guard, and all of the .303 caliber rifles that were freed up went to the regulars or training to simplify logistics. Later, during Lend Lease, a number of additional rifles went over, including some 1903s and M1 Garands even. As mentioned up post, some UK troops adopted U.S. weapons in different theaters, even including M1 carbines in some instances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have seen lots of photos of British soldiers with Thompsons, but never with M1917's or BAR's except for the Home Guard. I did see a great video on Burma, with interviews of British soldiers who served there. One was a former Gurkha officer who explained the OR's (Other Ranks) had SMLE's, Thompsons and Brens, and later he got a M1 carbine, which he describes as "A splendid little weapon, bang, bang, bang". John
 

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I have seen lots of photos of British soldiers with Thompsons, but never with M1917's or BAR's except for the Home Guard. I did see a great video on Burma, with interviews of British soldiers who served there. One was a former Gurkha officer who explained the OR's (Other Ranks) had SMLE's, Thompsons and Brens, and later he got a M1 carbine, which he describes as "A splendid little weapon, bang, bang, bang". John
Yes. The Thompsons went to the HG, the "Auxilliary" hiding behind the HG as crowd cover as "stay behind saboteurs" in the event of Sea Lion, and to the commando units. Some commandoes used the Thompson throughout the war as part of their esprit de corps and distinctiveness. A great many commonwealth and colonial troops used these too. Because of the .30-06 cartridge, the M1917s remained with the HG until it was stood down late in '44. The BAR was employed as the squad automatic, but was used as a large self-loading rifle for the most part. The .303 stuff went for the buildup of the regular army.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In another book on the Burma campaign, they talked about a minor mutiny in I believe the 17th Indian Division, when they tried to replace their Thompsons, with Sten guns. The troops expressed their unhappiness with that decision and apparently got to keep the Thompsons. John
 
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