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Of pistol belts and truncheons as carried by a four-nation army

Joint Australian, South Vietnamese and NZ Military Police patrol at Vung Tàu Vietnam in 1970.

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Left to right, Cpl Brian Marfleet Australian MP, ARVN MP (Quân C?nh) unidentified, unidentified SP/4 member of A Company, 720th MP Battalion, and CPL Bruce Duncan, New Zealand MP.

Courtesy of CPL Bruce Duncan, New Zealand Military Police, 1 Australian Provost Corps, Vietnam, 1970. Via British & Commonwealth Forces

Somewhere over Southeast Kassel, Germany, 73 years ago today

Combat encounter report with German Me 109 completed and signed by pilot Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager dated 4 March 1944:

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Combat ENCOUNTER REPORT with German Me 109 completed and signed by pilot Charles E. Yeager dated 4 March 1944

The beauty that is an M2 60mm mortar with reusable ammo

The hard working heavy weapons guys at ordnance.com broke out their sweet M2 60mm mortar and give an impressive performance showing off their Training Re-Usable Mortar Projectile (TRUMP) round.

Designed by mortar tube genius Edgar Brandt, the M2 was adopted by the U.S. military in 1940 as the country edged closer to World War II. The 42-pound company-level artillery piece was portable by a three-man crew and could lob hero sandwich-sized mortar bombs out to nearly 2,000 yards with the reasonably accurate (for a mortar) M4 collimator sight.

The M2 was so groovy that the Army and Marines kept it in use not only through WWII, but Korea and Vietnam as well, only replacing it in 1978 with the now-standard M225 LWCMS (Lightweight Company Mortar System) which, ironically, is heavier.

The above video by ordnance.com runs through the unpacking and set up of the M2, which is super informative if you aren’t a mortar guy, then proceeds to break out their new TRUMP shell, which uses a 20-ga full blank to give some boom to the impact down range. The shell is projected by a 20-ga half blank.

As far as legality, they advise that, “The 60mm mortar is classified as a ‘Destructive Device’ by the BATFE, and you must have an NFA approved Form 1 or Form 4 for legal possession. The 60mm TRUMP ammunition is not classified as a Destructive Device by the ATF, but it is a restricted sale item, and is only available to individuals that possess a valid/approved Form 1 or Form 4 for their 60mm mortar.”

The noise the mortar shell makes as it whistles back to the ground is enough to give you IBS.

Fire in the hole!

Making the Doughboy

Infantry Soldier with full equipment (proposed) was adopted as the Model 1910.

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Compare the leggings, web gear and campaign hat differences.

The Infantry Equipment Board convened at Rock Island Arsenal, on April 28, 1909. The purpose of this board was to decide on the number, kind, and weight of articles to be carried by the Infantry Soldier. The board examined samples of infantry and cavalry equipment in use by the U.S. Army and fifteen foreign countries, as well as experimental models submitted to the Chief of Ordnance for consideration. The board made its final report to the Adjutant-General of the US Army on April 5, 1910. Two months later, in June 1910, manufacture of the newly designed equipment began at Rock Island Arsenal.

These images and text are from a copy of the Report of the Infantry Equipment Board in the collection of the Rock Island Arsenal Museum– who still maintain the T&E equipment shown in their collection.

A battered relic of Saipan

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Click to big up 1800×301

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Japanese Arisaka Type 99 7.7x58mm bolt action rifle with grenade damage and inscribed presentation plaque captured at Saipan 16 June 1944. The “mum” is present on the receiver, a rarity in an of itself. This rifle recently came up at auction with an estimated price of $1,500.

Via Rock Island Auction

The right side of the buttstock has a small brass plaque that reads “AT 0440 ON THE MORNING OF 16 JUNE 1944,/AN AMERICAN INFANTRYMAN JUST LANDING/ON THE SHORES OF CHARAN-KANOA BEACH,/SAIPAN, THREW A HAND GRENADE AT A/JAPANESE SNIPER, KILLING HIM INSTANTLY./THE FORWARD STOCK OF THE RIFLE/WAS DAMAGED BY THE EXPLOSION./PRESENTED BY/COMMANDER WALTER BANTAU, USNR”.

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Inside the Sullivan Cup

The Army has a two-part video series about the Sullivan Cup, “This ain’t your mama’s table VI qualification.”

Big Green takes the top 16 M1 tank crews and pits them against each other in a week-long competition at Fort Benning.

The production team from the Defense Media Activity goes down to Fort Stewart, Georgia, to see two 3rd Infantry Division tank crews, “Cannonarchy” and “Count Trackula”– both from Charlie Co. 1-64 Armor— compete for a chance to go to the Army’s premiere tank crew competition.

And it’s really well done and insightful. The term “degraded engagement” takes on new meaning.

Part I

Part II

Dragon’s teeth removal in a bag

M85 Carrying Case, photo via Pritzker Institute

M85 Carrying Case, photo via Pritzker Institute

The M85 carrying case is a component of the M183 Charge Assembly, a satchel charge used by demo guys ranging from Army engineers to Navy SEALs to destroy obstacles. The M85 case can hold 20 pounds of C-4, enough to destroy a single three-foot-high by three-foot-wide concrete dragon’s tooth obstacle.

What gets crammed inside to turn the M85 case into the M183 is 16 M112 block demolition charges and four priming assemblies. The whole thing is a blast at parties and great to prank your friends with. m183-chargeWithout that, the M85 is just a sack.

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