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German use of US firearms:

The Biggest and most consistent use of US Rifles, carbines, smgs and Pistols during WW II was by the "Brandenburgers" ( Otto Skorzeny's special troops ( Paratroop trained, American speaking, and US equipped) which were part of the initial infiltration prior to the Battle of the Ardennes (aka Bulge).
The particular group was composed of German-Americans who had returned to Germany in the 1930s, usually as teenagers, and had absorbed the Nazi ethos.

They were fully and properly equipped with up to date US equipmnet, collected in both North Africa and Italy (Mostly in Italy), from guns and ammo to every item of Uniform and webbing; even jeeps, radios etc, and such personal items as cigarette lighters, money, cigarettes, and condoms etc. were "US made".

They were airdropped behind allied lines, mostly disguised as MPs, in order to blow bridges, misdirect traffic once the battle started, change roadsigns, even attack GHQ, if possible.

Those caught alive were given summary Courts-martial and executed (by firing squad) as Spies ( out of Uniform); most were killed when real US troops realised they were spies, or worse, traitors.

The Brandenburgers were originally the German Army's Elite Special Forces troops , from before WW II. The took the Forts of Eben Emael by dropping onto them, and then taking them out by special charges; others crossed the Albert canal at Namur in collapsible assault boats, whilst under Belgian fire; After the Hecatombe which was Crete, for the Luftwaffe Fallshirmjaeger, the Brandenburgers were restricted in their Parachute ops, but for special occasions, such as releasing Mussolini from the Gran Sasso house arrest, they used a combination of Paras and Gliders.In Russia the were used on all sort of special Raids,
Until the occasion of the Ardennes campaign came up.
Several times they were almost disbanded, but the fore-sight of several of their commanders (including Skorzeny) saw that although small and tightly knit as a unit, they survived till the end of the War.
Nearly all the participants in the Infiltration of the US Lines in the Bulge were either KIA or Executed.

Other equipment was also used, either for subterfuge or training/evaluation.
At least one B17 was flying with German colours at the end of WW II, as were several fighters; Tanks (mostly captured from the Soviets) were also in actual combat use, as was some artillery as well. There is no record of shipping (naval or merchant) having been used.

An interesting area of Military History.
Except for individual "salvage" and subsequent use, virtually no German equipment was used by the Allies; in fact, GHQ regularly issued orders prohibiting the general use of Captured equipment by Allied troops...one famous Incident, in Syria, was of an Aussie AA troop, with the 20mm Breda Guns it captured in North Africa from the Italians, using them agains a flight of Spitfires which didn't give the right recognition signal...and the roundels (red-white and blue) were similar to the Vichy French roundels in the Vichy controlled Syria (1941 campaign)...the Aussies took out a few aircraft (not fatally) and the subsequent brou-ha-ha led to the abandonment of the excellent Breda guns.

The other big use of captured equipment by the Allies was at Tobruk, where the "Bush Artillery" (every man, cook, bottlewasher and layabout) re-activated the hundreds of captured Italian Artillery pieces and ammunition, and used them in Tank traps and funnels to great effect.

Not like the Chinese Communists, who won their war against Japan and the Nationalists with Japanese Guns ("The Enemy is your Quartermaster"--Mao Tse Tung).

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.
 

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One more note the Germans built a tougher tank but they couldn't do one thing, build as many as we could. We beat the Germans with our industrial might and the overwellming tenacity and bravery of our fighting men.
You did'nt 'beat' the Germans,the Soviets did.Most of the fighting in Europe was on the Eastern front.As far as captured US weapons,certainly the Germans in North Africa used captured US equipment (including tanks),I was reading a book recently that mentioned this and that the Commonwealth forces in Nth africa were concerned about the large amount of US equipment that was falling (intact and useable) into German hands and being used against Commonwealth troops,with no attempt being made to render it un-usable before it fell into German hands.
 

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You did'nt 'beat' the Germans,the Soviets did.Most of the fighting in Europe was on the Eastern front.As far as captured US weapons,certainly the Germans in North Africa used captured US equipment (including tanks),I was reading a book recently that mentioned this and that the Commonwealth forces in Nth africa were concerned about the large amount of US equipment that was falling (intact and useable) into German hands and being used against Commonwealth troops,with no attempt being made to render it un-usable before it fell into German hands.
+1, to a point. Industry did win the war -- American and Soviet. The Soviets were days, maybe even HOURS from losing the war at a couple points... and Lend-Lease materiel filled a lot of gaps until late in 1943.

And it'd be hard to argue that the German troops weren't brave and tenacious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
This has all been a very interesting thread and I do appreciate all the postings to my inquiry.

To refocus some of what has been discussed, the point I was trying to determine was if any US firearms were used against is similar to the way that the SVT40 was reissued and used against the Russians by both the Finns and Germans.

As it turns out, however, there don't seem to be any cases of such a widespread useage. Certainly, as you've all pointed out, everything from rain ponchos to tanks were picked up and used against us many times. But, because of the timing of our entry into the war, none of the Axis forces had the opportunity to pick up, rearsenal, and reissue our own weapons against us in a way similar to the SVT. The numbers were simply not there unlike the opportunities the Germans took when chasing the Russians and overrunning supply depots.

Therefore I won't ever see an "SA" marked Garand or Carbine or anything remotely similar. That's the jist of the what I was trying to ascertain here and you've pretty much confirmed my original opinion that it didn't happen.

Thanks, again guys. This turned into a very interesting thread thanks to your great posts.

Rome
 

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You did'nt 'beat' the Germans,the Soviets did.Most of the fighting in Europe was on the Eastern front.As far as captured US weapons,certainly the Germans in North Africa used captured US equipment (including tanks),I was reading a book recently that mentioned this and that the Commonwealth forces in Nth africa were concerned about the large amount of US equipment that was falling (intact and useable) into German hands and being used against Commonwealth troops,with no attempt being made to render it un-usable before it fell into German hands.
This line of thought that minimizes the role of US and Commonwealth troops in winning WWII is getting old. I am fully aware that the majority of German forces from the time of the invasion of Russia until the end of the war, were committed on the Eastern front. The Soviets fought with bravely and determination to protect their country. But a couple major facts seem to be over looked on a constant basis. In the early part of the war, the US supplied Russia with Thousands of tanks, trucks, fighters and bombers even shoes and small arms to help them replace the tremendous losses they suffered at the onset. This is seldom revealed in wartime photos due to Soviet censorship. Perhaps more important, after the US entered the war, Germany was subjected to round the clock strategic bombing of her indrustial centers by British and American long range bombers, something the Soviets did not have the capability of doing. This bombing campaign, as much as anything (and the German refusal to concentrate on a standard design) is the reason Germany was never able to produce the quantity of armour required for a war on the scale of WWll. Also it was the allied air raids that destroyed Germany's only reliable war time oil supply. In many battles later in the war this lack of fuel was a factor for German forces. This is not intended in any way to deminish the role the Soviets played in winning the war. They suffered unspeakable human losses. But in a modern war, many factors come into play that overshadow the physical size of armies. remember France had a larger army and more tanks than Germany when she was invaded, but was out of the war in two weeks. The US had already played a critical part in defeating Germany before the first American soldier set foot in Europe. Russia may very well have won the war with out the insertion of US ground troops in Europe as long as the US had provided the material support and stategic air support. IF the US had stayed out alltogether I think the Germans would have won in 42-43. Just an opinion and thank God they did not. But I am sure those Grant tanks (and later Shermans) , Ford Trucks, Jeeps and P-40 fighters looked pretty good to Russian troops in 42-43.
For those who think US involvement was not necessary to defeat the disease of Nazi Germany, I am sure people like my dad who left a large part of his right arm and leg and several feet of intestines lying on the ground in Germany in the Spring of 45 would have been happy to stay home and let the Soviets handle it. After all we had a war with Japan to win.
The fact is, many nations played an important role in defeating Nazi Germany. IF the US was capable and smart enough to play a decisive role by using its indrustrial might instead of slaughtering hundreds of thousands more of its citizens in ground combat, I think that was a good choice.
 

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Well put, Runner. Simply put, the USSR would not have been able to do what they did without the US. A great number of the Soviet civilian and military deaths are attributable in great part to the idiocy and ideology of Soviet-era communism and the effects of Stalin's purges starting in 1937. The individual valor of the common Soviet soldier and the ineptitude of Communists appartchniks and commisars are two very different things.

Fighting the war from a distance until it was time to enagae face to face worked well for the US, which successfully fought a two-front war. This might not have been an option for the Soviets, but it was prudent and effective. "The Soviets won the War", I don't think so. They won their part, but what did THEY do to assist in taking Saipan, Iwo, Tarawa, Okinawa, and other blood-soaked places? Absolutely nothing.

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My Dad also fought in WW2 for the US in the army air force.

However, as time has gone by we all now know the scope of Russians killed in WW2. Their losses are mind shaking. I think our KIA was less than 600,000. whereas, Ruissa lost about 27,000,000. killed. Well, just on those numbers, it's hard for me to say the Russians didn't carry the ball in WW2.

I guess there's another way of looking at this subject, 75% of german forces were engaged on the eastern front. What if the Germans had started there attack on MAY 22,1941 and knock Russia out of the war in 1941. Could we have won against 100% of the German Military rather than the 25% we faced. I hate to say it, but, I don't think WW2 would not have ended the same way. No, we would not have lost, but I could see it ending more like Korea did.

I think a lot of the truth only came about after the fall of the wall in the late eighties.
Growing up as a kid I didn't even know the Russians were on our side in WW2, since after 1947 they had become the bad guys with the cold war.
 
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