With it being the anniversary week of D-Day.  I thought it would be a good time to take a look back.   I have already made a post a few years ago about Omaha beach so this time I thought  I would do something different.   I cherry picked a few pictures for various reason  I found interesting.

Above is a picture of I assume Marines piling up .30 caliber Browning machine guns burned out  during the battle for Tarawa.  No doubt final protective fire on wave after wave of Japanese mass  attacks is hard on an  LMG.     Showing once again that  unfortunately  guns do wear out.

Above is a stripper or charger, clip of British .303 ammo struck by a German mauser round while worn by some lucky Brit.   They don’t come much closer than that!

A G.I.  compares  his US issue Bazooka with  the German  88MM Panzershreck  and no doubt wonders how come he wasn’t provided with something equal.    Bazooka envy?

Below a German Infantry Machine gun team using a captured   US , Browning M2 .50cal machine gun.


Below  two men of the US  1st Special Service Force at Anzio with a Johnson machine gun.  An under appreciated weapon in its time and one that should have seen widespread use.




Above.  US infantry in urban fighting.

The next two picture are Germans fielding captured US  Browning 30cal machine guns.

And finally  a selection of common US infantry small arms used by the greatest generation.



  1. The fighting position in the pic with the fifty is kinda neat, lots of digging went into what has to be a hasty defensive position. Once, or maybe if, you get into range with a rifle they’d be easy pickings though and zero overhead cover means the mortar maggots would make short work of them. Hell, that pic is what rifle grenades wer meant for. Kinda think that might be a training or propaganda pic.

    The krauts with the thirties are paratroopers by the helmets and uniforms/kit.

    There is a pic missing, I can’t see any Devil’s Brigade guys with a Johnson.

  2. These are great Shawn, thanks – especially the pierced .303 stripper clip.

    Anyone else having trouble getting the Johnson picture to appear in their browser?

  3. The Bazooka picture was very sad. The Germans captured the first American 2.36″ Bazookas during operation Torch in 1942. They improved it by replacing the troublesome and heavy batteries with a trigger that was basically a generator, used to ignite the rocket. They also upped the size to 88mm or 3.46″, which allowed it to penetrate 6.3″ of armor. A Russian T-34 tank had armor of less than 2 inches at a 60 degree slope, effective giving 4″ of protection, which the German rocket could reliably penetrate.

    United States Bazookas in World War 2 stood no chance against the 4″ to 7″ frontal armor of the German Panther, Tiger and King Tiger tanks, encountered after D-Day. The contemporary German version could take on the frontal armor of all German tanks except for the only 492 King Tigers that were completed during the war.

    It took the United States until around 1950 to field in small numbers the “Super Bazooka” with a 3.5″ (88mm) diameter rocket, which could go through 11″ of Armor. With the Russian T-34 and T-34/85 tanks as the primary targets in the Korean War, the old 2.36″ Bazooka was pretty much useless.

    The Germans had many faults, however adopting and improving weapons was not one of them, They understood the importance of arming the troops with the best possible weapons, quickly.

    Hopefully, the United States military learns from the mistakes of the past, as lives literally depend on it.


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