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Combat Gallery Sunday: Inside the dugout edition

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday: Inside the dugout

The below, from the LOC, are all sketched by Howard Brodie, who voluntarily left his sweet gig as a sports artist for the San Francisco Chronicle to draw for Yank magazine as an Army combat artist in WWII and got close enough to his subjects (he volunteered as a medic when needed) to receive a bronze star.

Drawing shows two privates, John Minihan of Rockford, Illinois on the right, and Sal de George of Manhattan on the left, kneeling to operate a machine gun from their dugout during the American offensive on Mt. Austen during the World War II Battle of Guadalcanal. Their gun is the iconic M1917 Browning water-cooled sustained-fire GPMG

It is closely related to this one, which was not as fleshed out:

Sketch shows an enlisted man, John H. Minihan of Rockford, Illinois from the side. He kneels as he operates his machine gun from a dugout on the island of Guadalcanal during World War II.

Similarly, this sketch by Brodie is in the same vein, but is inside a fortress made of aluminum rather than jungle earth:

The drawing shows a World War II gunner wearing an oxygen mask as he stands before an open slot in a B-17 airplane firing his machine gun during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Brodie later went back to war, with his pencils, and covered Korea, French Indochina, and Vietnam.

He died in 2010.

Thank you for your work, sir.

U.S. Army’s take on Stalingrad

If you are curious on the CMH’s ideas about how Stalingrad unfolded and how the lessons learned there guides urban combat today, check out the new 40~ minute brief from the Army University Press in association with the Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate, below. It cuts off abruptly and without covering the whole campaign, so I think there is another installment coming. Nonetheless, what is covered in interesting, although a skosh dry.

Patton! 34 years ago today

An M60A3 main battle tank moves along a street in Langgöns, Hesse, West Germany, during Central Guardian Reforger ’85 with M151 MUTTs and M113 APCs in the background. The tank belongs to the 3rd Btl, 32nd Armored Regiment according to its hull numbers and likely came from the nearby U.S. Army Depot at Gießen, which had been occupied by Uncle since 1945. The date on the image is 24 January 1985.

DF-ST-85-13331 Photo by SSG Fernando Serna

The M60A3 was the Army’s 1970s answer to rumors of the advanced new Soviet T-72 tanks across the Fulda Gap before the M1 Abrams could be fielded. The up-armored Patton picked up another 54mm of armor on the turret face, new electronics and fire control systems (including a then-advanced analog ballistic computer and the early AN/VGS2 tank thermal sight), and a new Continental AVDS-1790-2C diesel to help carry all that around. Some 5,400 legacy M60A1/A2s were rebuilt to the standard and 4,320 new tanks built by 1983 when the line was closed. The Army National Guard continued to use them into the 1990s.

As for the 32nd Armor– the unit which Elvis famously served in during the 50s– they deactivated in 2000 after seeing action (riding M1 Abrams) with the 3rd Armored Division in Desert Storm. The unit’s lineage is today carried by the 1st Squadron (RSTA), 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT, 101st Airborne (Air Assault).

The Gießen Depot was turned back over to the Germans slowly between 2007 and 2017.

Did you know it took 337 gages and 94 cutting tools to make an M9 frame?

The gestation period of a Beretta M9 frame is covered in one place and with the help of 18 different receivers to show the work. The M-9 receiver production sequence is explained in 3D with actual frames in various stages of completion in an upcoming auction from Rock Island, ranging from a blank forging to a finished serialized receiver.

Click to big up

Starting with a 7075-T6 aluminum forging that weighs 27.7-ounces, the 65×49-inch board covers the 15 workstations and 42 machines used to cut the forging down to a 6.98-ounce completed receiver that has had 75 percent of the original material removed. Each of the stations is detailed (e.g. “Work Station #10: Mill trigger bar seat, disassembly button, right side & trigger guard area”) with the changes done to the frame highlighted in red.

Not a lot of background as to how the board was used, other than it originated with Beretta USA. The U.S. subsidiary was founded in 1972 and headquartered in Accokeek, Maryland but in recent years has moved a lot of their production to a new facility in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Barrett brings the AR10 love

Barrett Firearms staked their name in the long-range-rifle category with their M82 (which went into production in 1989) and later M107, both .50-cal BMG heavy hitters. They have since downsized to the MRAD series of bolt guns and the REC7, the latter an AR15-style rifle in 5.56 NATO and 6.8 SPC.

Well, now they have finally entered the AR-10 (7.62x51mm NATO) game and delivered the REC10 to market.

Chambered in .308 Win, the direct impingement AR-10-style semi-auto has a carbine-length 16-inch barrel and receivers machined from billet 7075-T6 aluminum.

And, as a shocker, they have already got a military contract on it, which makes sense for units that are already using M110/SR25s and looking to upgrade.

More in my column at

Richard Overton, America’s oldest living WWII veteran, has died. He was 112 years old

A native of the Lone Star State, T5 Richard Arvin Overton began his military service when he enlisted in the Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas in 1940. Serving with the (segregated) 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion, USAAF, he served throughout the Pacific Theatre including at Palau and Iwo Jima.

Even late in life, he liked his cigars fat and his coffee Irish.

We profiled Mr. Overton back in 2015 and he showed off some of his personal guns. He was a hell of a man. Ave atque vale

Nuts! 74 years ago today

An M1 bazooka team from the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in position Dec. 22, 1944, outside of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge:

Via 82nd ABN museum

It was also on this day that General Anthony Clement McAuliffe of the 101st gave his famous reply to the German offer to surrender.

The reply was typed up, centered on a full sheet of paper. It read:

“December 22, 1944

To the German Commander,

N U T S!

The American Commander”

And the crowd went wild!


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