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Remember, today is not about saving upto 20% on select merchandise

Division Cemetery, Okinawa, 1945, Photo via Marine Corps Archives

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…

Chicago Typewriters off Morocco, 77 years ago today

Major General George Patton and Rear Admiral John Hall, US Navy (behind Patton – and, Yes, the Admiral has his helmet on backward) prepare to go ashore at Fedhala, Morocco during the North African operation, 9 November 1942.

The African-American Soldier with the Thompson gun in the center is MSG William George Meeks. Of note, Meeks, born in 1896, joined the U.S. Cavalry in 1916 and served in the Mexican Intervention chasing Villa, as well as both the Great War and, of course, WWII. He was a longtime orderly of Patton’s and later one of the General’s pallbearers on the military honors casket team that buried him.

It was Meeks that presented his widow Beatrice with Patton’s flag.

The Tommy gun bearing SCNO died in 1965 and is buried in Arlington, Sec: 43, Site: 369.

The Shok Valley sounds like a nice place to never go

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams was presented with the Medal of Honor at the White House on Wednesday. Williams earned the award for his actions in Shok Valley, Afghanistan, on April 6, 2008, while a weapons guy on an SF A-team, Operational Detachment Alpha 3336.

“It was kind of quiet, then all of a sudden everything exploded all at once – machine gun fire, some RPGs started going off. [The insurgents] had some pretty good shooters and a lot of people up there waiting for us.”

Originally recognized with the Silver Star, which was ugraded in September, he is still on active duty.

Here’s mud in your eye, 75 years ago today

An American combat engineer sergeant of the 5th Army with coffee and a donut from the Red Cross near Livergnano, Italy, 29 October 1944.

Mark Clark’s understrength 5th Army was at the time facing the Kesselring’s Germans at a stalemate along the Gothic Line directly North of Florence, the last grueling stop up the Italian boot before reaching Austria.

The Sole Japanese Type 01 HMG

The only known surviving example of the Hitachi-made Japanese 7.7mm Type 1 heavy machine gun, serial no. 1, is currently at the US Army Ordnance Training and Heritage Center.

Captured in the Philippines in 1945 (see the June 1945 Intelligence Bulletin on it at Lone Sentry), it was some 52-pounds lighter than the Type/Model 92 (1932) machine gun, although it was not made in quantity.

From the OT&HC:

The Type 1 is gas-operated, air-cooled, and has a removable barrel that is shorter than the Type 92. It is complete with a mount and flash hider. Though this gun is numbered “Serial 1,” this weapon is a production model, not just an experimental item. The number of Type 1s produced has never been verified by any records at the Hitachi weapons factory. This gun is 42.38″ in length and weighs 69.9 lbs.

Next Generation Squad Weapons abound

Groovy and very sci-fi looking new guns competing in the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons program were shown to the public last week.

Intended to replace the current standard M4 Carbine and M249 SAW light machine gun, the new NGSW contenders — which use 6.8mm (.277-caliber) hybrid ammunition with an EPR bullet– were on hand at the largest land warfare conference and tradeshow in North America: the Association of United States Army annual meeting (AUSA 2019) last week in Washington DC.

General Dynamics Ordnance & Tactical Systems, which is working with True Velocity and Beretta, showed off their new RM277 NGSW platform, a bullpup with lots of modularity.

Notably, the gun uses True Velocity’s 6.8mm composite-cased cartridge, which has a “drastic reduction in cartridge weight and enhanced accuracy.”

Other contenders include a team made up of Textron, which has subcontracted with ammo maker Winchester-Olin and firearms maker Heckler & Koch, while Sig Sauer is going it alone.

In the below, BG Dave Hodne, Director SL CFT, and BG Potts, PEO Soldier, talk about soldier lethality and how the NGSW fits into the equation, below.

Dismounted

A facet often ignored in books, movies, and shows portraying horse cavalry of any era was the downfall that, whenever fighting dismounted, you could not simply allow your precious horses to mill about or else you may never see them again.

This meant that typically as much as 25 percent of the force would have to take the other horses to the rear with the gear, leaving the dragoons now seriously understrength.

A portrait of such an evolution is Fredric Remington’s circa 1890 painting, “Dismounted: The Fourth Trooper Moving the Led Horses.”

From the Clark Museum 

Dismounted: The Fourth Trooper Moving the Led Horses, Remington

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