Tag Archives: owen submachine gun

The evolution of the mighty, mighty Owen

In the darkest days of WWII, 24-year-old Pvt. Evelyn Ernest Owen, with 2/17 Battalion of the Australian Army, from Wollongong, New South Wales, submitted a homemade gun he made to the Army for testing.

His handy burp gun used a gramophone spring, was chambered in .22 rimfire, and was rejected.

But he kept working on the design, and, in full production by 1943, proved one of the most popular of WWII submachine guns– at least in Commonwealth service in the Pacific.


More in my column at Guns.com.

What they carried: Malay Emergency

Between 1948 and 1960, the UK and Commonwealth allies fought a very hot guerrilla war against the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). This effort is often called Britain’s Vietnam and, unlike the U.S., the Brits won this counterinsurgency campaign and left a template n how to do it the right way while they won hearts and minds.

Malay and New Zealand soldiers on a jungle patrol, c1957 Note the L1A1s and Owens

Malay and New Zealand soldiers on a jungle patrol, c1957 Note the L1A1s, Bren gun and Owens

Of course, the Malayan Home Guard outnumbered the Min Yuen by a factor of about 2:1 and the Brits brought in the Gurkha and SAS units to run rampant, but hey, it is what it is.

Here is some of the specialized jungle equipment as carried by British forces during the Malayan Emergency:

Lee Enfield Rifle No.5 Mk.I, Owen sub-machine gun and an M1 Carbine malaya 1950s
The weapons are a Lee Enfield Rifle No.5 Mk.I, Owen sub-machine gun and an M1 Carbine. Amongst the other equipment is a parang, first aid kit, pair of jungle boots, pair of hockey boots (for wearing at night), water bottle, mess tin and jungle ration pack (consists of cheese, jam, biscuits, ginger pudding, steak, liver and bacon, tea, sugar, milk, sweets, chewing gum, toilet paper, salt and one paludrine tablet).

Hattip Aposltes of Mercy

Things they carred, Malayan Emergency

Specialised jungle equipment as carried by British forces during the Malayan Emergency The weapons are a Lee Enfield Rifle No5 MkI Owen sub-machine gun and an M1 Carbine

 

Specialized jungle equipment as carried by British forces during the Malayan Emergency: The weapons are a Lee Enfield Rifle No.5 Mk.I, Owen sub-machine gun and an M1 Carbine. Amongst the other equipment is a parang, first aid kit, pair of jungle boots, pair of hockey boots (for wearing at night), water bottle, mess tin and jungle ration pack (consists of cheese, jam, biscuits, ginger pudding, steak, liver and bacon, tea, sugar, milk, sweets, chewing gum, toilet paper, salt and one paludrine tablet).