Israeli Defense Force




DESCRIPTION : Up for sale is an ultra rare Jewish - Judaica - Hebrew ILLUSTRATED PUBLICATION named " IDF WEAPONS - SALES INDEX". Not one similar copy can be found on line. There's only one copy at the ISRAEL NATIONAL LIBRARY but the PUBLISHER or publishing year are not identified. Very likely from the 1970's-1980's.


Very nicely preserved ULTRA RARE copy. (Pls look at scan for accurate AS IS images) Will be sent inside a protective rigid packaging. AUTHENTICITY : This is an ORIGINAL vintage IDF WEAPONS SALES CATALOGUE , NOT a reproduction or a reprint , It holds a life long GUARANTEE for its AUTHENTICITY and ORIGINALITY. Will be sent inside a protective packaging. The LeeEnfield is a bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle that served as the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century.

It was the British Army's standard rifle from its official adoption in 1895 until 1957. [10][11] The WWI versions are often referred to as the "SMLE", which is short for the common "Short, Magazine LeeEnfield" variant. A redesign of the LeeMetford (adopted by the British Army in 1888), the LeeEnfield superseded the earlier MartiniHenry, MartiniEnfield, and LeeMetford rifles. It featured a ten-round box magazine which was loaded with the. 303 British cartridge manually from the top, either one round at a time or by means of five-round chargers. The LeeEnfield was the standard issue weapon to rifle companies of the British Army and other Commonwealth nations in both the First and Second World Wars (these Commonwealth nations included Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa, among others). [12] Although officially replaced in the UK with the L1A1 SLR in 1957, it remained in widespread British service until the early/mid-1960s and the 7.62 mm L42A1 sniper variant remained in service until the 1990s. As a standard-issue infantry rifle, it is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations, [13] notably with the Bangladesh Police, which makes it the second longest-serving military bolt-action rifle still in official service, after the MosinNagant.

[14] The Canadian Rangers unit still use Enfield rifles, with plans to replace the weapons sometime in 20172018 with the new Sako-designed Colt Canada C19. [15] Total production of all LeeEnfields is estimated at over 17 million rifles.

[8] The LeeEnfield takes its name from the designer of the rifle's bolt systemJames Paris Leeand the factory in which it was designedthe Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield. Contents · 1Design and history o 1.1Models/marks of LeeEnfield rifle and service periods · 2Magazine LeeEnfield · 3Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I · 4Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III o 4.1Pattern 1913 Enfield · 5Pattern 1914/US M1917 · 6Inter-war period · 7LeeEnfield No. 1 Mk V · 8Rifle No. 5 Mk Ithe "Jungle Carbine" · 10LeeEnfield conversions and training models o 10.1Sniper rifles o 10.2.22 training rifles o 10.3Muskets and shotguns o 10.4Civilian conversions and variants o 10.5L59A1 Drill Rifle · 11Special service LeeEnfields: Commando and automatic models o 11.1Charlton Automatic Rifles o 11.2De Lisle Commando carbine o 11.3Ekins Automatic Rifle o 11.4Howard Francis carbine o 11.5Howell Automatic Rifle o 11.6Rieder Automatic Rifle · 12Conversion to 7.62×51mm NATO o 12.1Ishapore 2A/2A1 · 13Production and manufacturers o 13.1List of manufacturers § 13.1.1Australian International Arms No. 4 Mk IV o 13.2Khyber Pass Copies o 13.3Armalon · 14The LeeEnfield in military/police use today · 15The LeeEnfield in civilian use · 16Variants · 17Users · 18See also · 19Notes · 20References · 21External links Design and history[edit] The LeeEnfield rifle was derived from the earlier LeeMetford, a mechanically similar black-powder rifle, which combined James Paris Lee's rear-locking bolt system that had a barrel featuring rifling designed by William Ellis Metford.

The Lee action cocked the striker on the closing stroke of the bolt, making the initial opening much faster and easier compared to the "cock on opening" i. The firing pin cocks upon opening the bolt of the Mauser Gewehr 98 design. The bolt has a relatively short bolt throw and features rear-mounted lugs and the bolt operating handle places the bolt knob just rearwards of the trigger at a favourable ergonomic position close to the operator's hand. The action features helical locking surfaces (the technical term is interrupted threading). This means that final head space is not achieved until the bolt handle is turned down all the way. The British probably used helical locking lugs to allow for chambering imperfect or dirty ammunition and that the closing cam action is distributed over the entire mating faces of both bolt and receiver lugs. This is one reason the bolt closure feels smooth. The rifle was also equipped with a detachable sheet-steel, 10-round, double-column magazine, a very modern development in its day. Originally, the concept of a detachable magazine was opposed in some British Army circles, as some feared that the private soldier might be likely to lose the magazine during field campaigns.

Early models of the LeeMetford and LeeEnfield even used a short length of chain to secure the magazine to the rifle. [16] To further facilitate rapid aimed fire the rifle can be cycled by most riflemen without loss of sight picture. These design features facilitate rapid cycling and fire compared to other bolt-action designs like the Mauser.

[11] The Lee bolt-action and 10-round magazine capacity enabled a well-trained rifleman to perform the "mad minute" firing 20 to 30 aimed rounds in 60 seconds, making the LeeEnfield the fastest military bolt-action rifle of the day. The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British ArmySergeant Instructor Snoxallwho placed 38 rounds into a 12-inch-wide (300 mm) target at 300 yards (270 m) in one minute. [17] Some straight-pull bolt-action rifles were thought faster, but lacked the simplicity, reliability, and generous magazine capacity of the LeeEnfield. Several First World War accounts tell of British troops repelling German attackers who subsequently reported that they had encountered machine guns, when in fact it was simply a group of well-trained riflemen armed with SMLE Mk III rifles.

[18][19] Standard Mk VII. 303 inch cartridge for LeeEnfield rifle The LeeEnfield was adapted to fire the.

303 British service cartridge, a rimmed, high-powered rifle round. Experiments with smokeless powder in the existing LeeMetford cartridge seemed at first to be a simple upgrade, but the greater heat and pressure generated by the new smokeless powder wore away the shallow, rounded, Metford rifling after approximately 6000 rounds. [10] Replacing this with a new square-shaped rifling system designed at the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) Enfield solved the problem, and the LeeEnfield was born. [10] Models/marks of LeeEnfield rifle and service periods[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Model/Mark In service Magazine LeeEnfield 18951926 Charger Loading LeeEnfield 19061926 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I 19041926 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk II 19061927 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III/III 1907present Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk V 19221924 (trials only; 20,000 produced) Rifle No.

1 Mk VI 1930 (trials only; 1,025 produced and leftover parts assembled into rifles early in WWII) Rifle No. 4 Mk I 1931present (2,500 trials examples produced in the 1930s, then mass production from mid-1941 onwards) Rifle No.

4 Mk I 1942present Rifle No 5 Mk I "Jungle Carbine" 1944present (produced 19441947) BSA-Shirley produced 81,329 rifles and ROF Fazakerley 169,807 rifles. 4 Mk 2 1949present Rifle 7.62 mm 2A 1964present Rifle 7.62 mm 2A1 1965present Magazine LeeEnfield[edit] The LeeEnfield rifle was introduced in November 1895 as the. 303 calibre, Rifle, Magazine, LeeEnfield, [10] or more commonly Magazine LeeEnfield, or MLE (sometimes spoken as "emily" instead of M, L, E). The next year, a shorter version was introduced as the LeeEnfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I, or LEC, with a 21.2-inch (540 mm) barrel as opposed to the 30.2-inch (770 mm) one in the "long" version. [10] Both underwent a minor upgrade series in 1899 (the omission of the cleaning / clearing rod), becoming the Mk I.

[20] Many LECs (and LMCs in smaller numbers) were converted to special patterns, namely the New Zealand Carbine and the Royal Irish Constabulary Carbine, or NZ and RIC carbines, respectively. [21] Some of the MLEs (and MLMs) were converted to load from chargers, and designated Charger Loading LeeEnfields, or CLLEs. [22] Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I[edit] A shorter and lighter version of the original MLEthe famous Rifle, Short, Magazine, LeeEnfield, or SMLE (sometimes spoken as "Smelly", rather than S, M, L, E)[14]was introduced on 1 January 1904. [23] The barrel was now halfway in length between the original long rifle and the carbine, at 25.2 inches (640 mm). The new rifle also incorporated a charger loading system, [24] another innovation borrowed from the Mauser rifle'[25] and is notably different from the fixed "bridge" that later became the standard, being a charger clip (stripper clip) guide on the face of the bolt head.

The shorter length was controversial at the time: many Rifle Association members and gunsmiths were concerned that the shorter barrel would not be as accurate as the longer MLE barrels, that the recoil would be much greater, and the sighting radius would be too short. [26] Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III[edit] Short Magazine LeeEnfield No. III Israeli female soldiers equipped with the SMLE Mk III during the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. Magazine cut-off on an SMLE Mk III rifle. This feature was removed on the Mk III rifle.

The iconic LeeEnfield rifle, the SMLE Mk III, was introduced on 26 January 1907, along with a Pattern 1907 bayonet and featured a simplified rear sight arrangement and a fixed, rather than a bolt-head-mounted sliding, charger guide. [14] The design of the handguards and the magazine were also improved, and the chamber was adapted to fire the new Mk VII High Velocity spitzer. Many early model rifles, of Magazine LeeEnfield (MLE), Magazine LeeMetford (MLM), and SMLE type, were upgraded to the Mk III standard. These are designated Mk IV Cond.

With various asterisks denoting subtypes. [25][27][28][29] The windage adjustment of the rear sight was also dispensed with, and the cocking piece was changed from a round knob to a serrated slab. [29] Rifles with some or all of these features present are found, as the changes were implemented at different times in different factories and as stocks of existing parts were used.

[30] The magazine cut-off was reinstated after the First World War ended and not entirely dispensed with in manufacturing until 1933 and some cut-offs remained on rifles so-equipped into the 1960s. [29] The inability of the principal manufacturers RSAF Enfield, The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited and London Small Arms Co.

Ltd to meet military production demands, led to the development of the "peddled scheme", which contracted out the production of whole rifles and rifle components to several shell companies. [31] The SMLE Mk III renamed Rifle No. 1 Mk III in 1926 saw extensive service throughout the Second World War as well, especially in the North African, Italian, Pacific and Burmese theatres in the hands of British and Commonwealth forces. Australia and India retained and manufactured the SMLE Mk III as their standard-issue rifle during the conflict, and the rifle remained in Australian military service through the Korean War, until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR in the late 1950s. [32] The Lithgow Small Arms Factory finally ceased production of the SMLE Mk III in 1953.

[27] The Rifle Factory Ishapore at Ishapore in India produced the MkIII in. 303 British and then upgraded the manufactured strength by heat treatment of the receiver and bolt to fire 7.62×51mm NATO ammunition, the model 2A, which retained the 2000 yard rear sight as the metric conversion of distance was very close to the flatter trajectory of the new ammunition nature, then changed the rear sight to 800 m with a re-designation to model 2A1.

Manufactured until at least the 1980s and continues to produce a sporting rifle based on the MkIII action. The rifle became known simply as the "three-oh-three".

[33] Pattern 1913 Enfield[edit] Main article: Pattern 1913 Enfield Due to the poor performance of the. 303 British cartridge during the Second Boer War from 18991902, the British attempted to replace the round and the LeeEnfield rifle that fired it. The main deficiency of the rounds at the time was that they used heavy, round-nosed bullets that had low muzzle velocities and poor ballistic performance. The 7mm Mauser rounds fired from the Mauser Model 1895 rifle had a higher velocity, flatter trajectory and longer range, making them superior on the open country of the South African plains. Work on a long-range replacement cartridge began in 1910 and resulted in the.

A new rifle based on the Mauser design was created to fire the round, called the Pattern 1913 Enfield. 276 Enfield had better ballistics, troop trials in 1913 revealed problems including excessive recoil, muzzle flash, barrel wear and overheating. Attempts were made to find a cooler-burning propellant, but further trials were halted in 1914 by the onset of World War I. This proved fortunate for the LeeEnfield, as wartime demand and the improved Mk VII loading of the. 303 round caused it to be retained for service. [34] Pattern 1914/US M1917[edit] Main articles: Pattern 1914 Enfield and M1917 Enfield The Pattern 1914 Enfield and M1917 Enfield rifles are based on the Enfield-designed P1913, itself a Mauser 98 derivative and not based on the Lee action, and are not part of the LeeEnfield family of rifles, although they are frequently assumed to be.

[35] Inter-war period[edit] LeeEnfield No. 4 Mk I Long Branch aperture sights In 1926, the British Army changed their nomenclature; the SMLE became known as the Rifle No. 1 Mk III or III, with the original MLE and LEC becoming obsolete along with the earlier SMLE models. [36] Many Mk III and III rifles were converted to. 22 rimfire calibre training rifles, and designated Rifle No.

The Pattern 1914 became the Rifle No. [36] The SMLE design was a relatively expensive long arm to manufacture, because of the many forging and machining operations required. In the 1920s, a series of experiments resulting in design changes were carried out to help with these problems, reducing the number of complex parts and refining manufacturing processes. The SMLE Mk V later Rifle No.

1 Mk V, adopted a new receiver-mounted aperture sighting system, which moved the rear sight from its former position on the barrel. [37] The increased gap resulted in an improved sighting radius, improving sighting accuracy and the aperture improved speed of sighting over various distances. In the stowed position, a fixed distance aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) protruded saving further precious seconds when laying the sight to a target.

An alternative developed during this period was to be used on the No. 4 variant, a "battle sight" was developed that allowed for two set distances of 300 yards and 600 yards to be quickly deployed and was cheaper to produce than the "ladder sight". The magazine cutoff was also reintroduced and an additional band was added near the muzzle for additional strength during bayonet use. [37] The design was found to be even more complicated and expensive to manufacture than the Mk III and was not developed or issued, beyond a trial production of about 20,000 rifles between 1922 and 1924 at RSAF Enfield. 1 Mk V[edit] Long before the No.

4 Mk I, Britain had obviously settled on the rear aperture sight prior to WWI, with modifications to the SMLE being tested as early as 1911, as well as later on the No. 1 Mk III pattern rifle. These unusual rifles have something of a mysterious service history, but represent a missing link in SMLE development. The primary distinguishing feature of the No. 1 Mk V is the rear aperture sight.

1 Mk III it lacked a volley sight and had the wire loop in place of the sling swivel at the front of magazine well along with the simplified cocking piece. The Mk V did retain a magazine cut-off, but without a spotting hole, the piling swivel was kept attached to a forward barrel band, which was wrapped over and attached to the rear of the nose cap to reinforce the rifle for use with the standard Pattern 1907 bayonet.

Other distinctive features include a nose cap screw was slotted for the width of a coin for easy removal, a safety lever on the left side of the receiver was slightly modified with a unique angular groove pattern, and the two-piece hand guard being extended from the nose cap to the receiver, omitting the barrel mounted leaf sight. 1 Mk V rifles were manufactured solely by R. Enfield from 19221924, with a total production of roughly 20,000 rifles, all of which marked with a "V". 1 Mk VI also introduced a heavier "floating barrel" that was independent of the forearm, allowing the barrel to expand and contract without contacting the forearm and interfering with the'zero', the correlation between the alignment of the barrel and the sights.

The floating barrel increased the accuracy of the rifle by allowing it to vibrate freely and consistently, whereas wooden forends in contact with barrels, if not properly fitted, affected the harmonic vibrations of the barrel. The receiver-mounted rear sights and magazine cutoff were also present and 1,025 units were produced in the 1930 period.

4 Mk I LeeEnfield No. 4 Mk 2 with the ladder aperture sight flipped up and 5-round charger In the early 1930s, a batch of 2,500 No. I rifles were made for Trials.

These were similar to the No. VI but had a flat left side and did away with the chequering on the furniture.

Observed examples are dated 1931 and 1933. Roughly 1,400 of these were converted to No. I (T) sniper rifles in 19411942 at RSAF Enfield.

By the late 1930s, the need for new rifles grew and the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was officially adopted in 1941. 4 action was similar to the No. 1 Mk VI, but stronger and most importantly, easier to mass-produce. [40] Unlike the SMLE, that had a nose cap, the No 4 LeeEnfield barrel protruded from the end of the forestock. For easier machining, the charger bridge was no longer rounded.

The iron sight line was redesigned and featured a rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 2001,300 yd (1831,189 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments. This sight, like other aperture sights, proved to be faster and more accurate than the typical mid-barrel open rear sight elements sight lines offered by Mauser, previous LeeEnfields or the Buffington battle sight of the 1903 Springfield.

4 rifle was heavier than the No. III, largely due to its heavier barrel. A new bayonet was designed to go with the rifle: a spike bayonet, which was essentially a steel rod with a sharp point and was nicknamed "pigsticker" by soldiers.

[40] Towards the end of the Second World War, a bladed bayonet was developed for the No. Post-war versions were made that would fit No. 4 rifles and were designated No.

[41] During the course of the Second World War, the No. 4 rifle was further simplified for mass-production with the creation of the No. 4 Mk I in 1942, with the bolt release catch replaced by a simpler notch on the bolt track of the rifle's receiver.

[42] It was produced only in North America, by Small Arms Limited at Long Branch in Canada and Stevens-Savage Firearms in the USA. 4 rifle was primarily produced for the United Kingdom, Canada and some other Commonwealth countries such as New Zealand. [43] In the years after the Second World War, the British produced the No. 4 Mk 2 (Arabic numerals replaced Roman numerals for official designations in 1944) rifle, a refined and improved No. 4 rifle with the trigger hung forward from the butt collar and not from the trigger guard, beech wood stocks with the original reinforcing strap and centre piece of wood in the rear of the forestock on the No. 4 Mk I/Mk I being removed in favour of a tie screw and nut and brass gunmetal buttplates during World War II, the British, Americans and Canadians replaced the brass buttplates on the No.

4 rifles with a zinc alloy (Zamak) type to reduce costs and to speed up rifle production. Near the end of the war and post-war, Canada made blued steel buttplates. [44] With the introduction of the No.

4 Mk 2 rifle, the British refurbished many of their existing stocks of No. 4 rifles and brought them up to the same standard as the No. 4 Mk 1 rifles so upgraded were re-designated No.

4 Mk I/2, whilst No. 4 Mk I rifles that were brought up to Mk 2 standard were re-designated No. 5 Mk Ithe "Jungle Carbine"[edit] Rifle No 5 on display at the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Museum.

Main article: Jungle Carbine Later in the war, the need for a shorter, lighter rifle forced the development of the Rifle, No. 5 Mk I (the "Jungle Carbine"). [46] With a cut-down stock, a prominent flash hider, and a "lightening-cut" receiver machined to remove all unnecessary metal, reduced barrel length of 18.8 in (478 mm) the No. 5 was shorter and 2 lb (0.9 kg) lighter.

303 round produced excessive recoil due to the shorter barrel. It was unsuitable for general issue and production ceased in 1947, due to an "inherent fault in the design", often claimed to be a "wandering zero" and accuracy problems.

5 iron sight line was similar to the No. 4 Mark I and featured a rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 200800 yd (183732 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments. 5 Mk I was popular with soldiers owing to its light weight, portability and shorter length than a standard LeeEnfield rifle. 5 was first issued to the British 1st Airborne Division and used during their liberation of Denmark and Norway in 1945. BSA-Shirley, Birmingham produced 81,329 rifles and ROF Fazakerley, Liverpool 169,807 rifles.

It was equipped with a No. I blade bayonet which had a large muzzle ring to fit over the flash hider. I/L bayonet, which has a rotating handle and a large ring on the cross-guard was not for the No. I rifle as many collectors believe.

An Australian experimental version of the No. 5 Mk I, designated Rifle, No. 6, Mk I[49] was also developed, using an SMLE MK III as a starting point as opposed to the No. 4 Mk I used to develop the No.

The Australian military were not permitted to manufacture the No. 4 Mk I, because the Lithgow Small Arms Factory was producing the SMLE Mk III. 6 Mk I never entered full production and examples are rare and valuable to collectors.

[46] A "Shortened and Lightened" version of the SMLE Mk III rifle was also tested by the Australian military and a very small number were manufactured at SAF Lithgow during the course of the Second World War. [50] The term "Jungle Carbine" was popularised in the 1950s by the Santa Fe Arms Corporation, a U. Importer who refurbished many surplus rifles, converting many of the No. 4 marks, in the hope of increasing sales of a rifle that had little U.

It was never an official military designation but British and Commonwealth troops serving in the Burmese and Pacific theatres during World War II had been known to unofficially refer to the No. 5 Mk I as a "Jungle Carbine". 5 rifles served in Korea as did the No. 1 Mk III SMLE and sniper'T' variants, mostly with Australian troops. [14] LeeEnfield conversions and training models[edit] Sniper rifles[edit] Canadian sniper Sergeant Harold Marshall carries a No.

L42A1 sniper rifle chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO. During both World Wars and the Korean War, a number of LeeEnfield rifles were modified for use as sniper rifles. The Australian Army modified 1,612[51] Lithgow SMLE No. III rifles by adding a heavy target barrel, cheek-piece, and a World War I era Pattern 1918 telescope, creating the SMLE No. (HT standing for Heavy Barrel, Telescopic Sight), [14] which saw service in the Second World War, Korea, and Malaya and was used for Sniper Training through to the late 1970s. [52] During the Second World War, standard No. 4 rifles, selected for their accuracy during factory tests, were modified by the addition of a wooden cheek rising-piece, and telescopic sight mounts designed to accept a No. 32 3.5× telescopic sight.

[53] These rifles were designated as the No. The accuracy requirement was ability to place 7 of 7 shots in a 5 inches (12.7 cm) circle at 200 yards (183 m) and 6 of 7 shots in a 10 inches (25.4 cm) circle at 400 yards (366 m).

The wooden cheek-piece was attached with two screws. The rear "battle sight" was ground off to make room to attach the No. 32 telescope sight to the left side of the receiver.

32 and its bracket (mount) were matched and serial numbered to a specific rifle. [54] In British service, the No. 32 telescope progressed through three marks with the Mk. I introduced in 1942, the Mk.

II in 1943 and finally the Mk. A transitional model the No. The Canadian scopes made by Research Enterprises Limited and were prefixed with a letter C and went through C no. I A (a transitional model), Mk.

3 standard were later modified for use with the 7.62×51mm NATO L42A1 Sniper Rifle. They were then known by the designation Telescope Straight, Sighting L1A1. Initial production was 1,403 conversions of 19311933 troop trials No. I rifles at RSAF Enfield and a few others including Stevens-Savage No. These were converted in late 1941 and into the later part of 1942.

Then, the work was assigned to Holland & Holland, the famous British sporting gun manufacturers, which converted about 23,000 No. The Holland & Holland conversions usually have the contractor code "S51" on the underside of the buttstock. BSA Shirley undertook 100 conversions to. James Purdey and Sons fitted special buttstocks later in the war.

About 3,000 rifles, mostly Stevens-Savage, appear to have been partially converted by Holland & Holland but never received brackets, scopes of the final "T" mark. Canada converted about 1,588 rifles at Small Arms Limited (to the end of 1945) and, in 1946, at Canadian Arsenals Limited. Both were located at Long Branch, Ontario.

Most of the Canadian made No. I (T) sniper equipments went into British service.

4 (T) rifles were extensively employed in various conflicts until the late 1960s. The British military switched over to the 7.62×51mm NATO round in the 1950s; starting in 1970, over 1,000 of the No. 4 Mk I (T) and No. I (T) sniper rifles were converted to this new calibre and designated L42A1.

[44] The L42A1 sniper rifle continued as the British Army's standard sniper weapon being phased out by 1993, and replaced by Accuracy International's L96. 22 training rifles[edit] Numbers of LeeEnfield rifles were converted to. 22 calibre training rifles, [56] in order to teach cadets and new recruits the various aspects of shooting, firearms safety, and marksmanship at a markedly reduced cost per round. Initially, rifles were converted from obsolete Magazine LeeMetford and Magazine LeeEnfield rifles[57][58] but from the First World War onwards SMLE rifles were used instead. 22 Pattern 1914 Short Rifles[59] during The First World War and Rifle, No.

IV[60] from 1921 onwards. [61] They were generally single-shot affairs, originally using Morris tubes chambered for cheap. 22L cartridge and some larger types, circa 1907. Some were later modified with special adaptors to enable magazine loading.

In 1914, Enfield produced complete. 22 barrels and bolts specifically for converting. 303 units, and these soon became the most common conversion. 22 cal'Parker-Hiscock' magazine was also developed and in service for a relatively short period during the later period of the First World War, but was subsequently withdrawn from issue due to reliability problems with its quite complicated loading and feeding mechanism. IV rifles are externally identical to a. 303 calibre SMLE Mk III rifle, the only difference being the. 22 calibre barrel, empty magazine case, bolthead and extractor which have been modified to fire. [64] After the Second World War, the Rifle, No. 22 rimfire trainers and/or target rifles based on the Lee action, were adopted or in use with Cadet units and target shooters throughout the Commonwealth, the No. 8 as of 2017 has been replaced among cadet forces due to obsolescence.

[65][66] In Britain, a. 22RF version of the No.

5 Rifle was prototyped by BSA and trialled with a view to it becoming the British Service training rifle when the. 5 was initially mooted as being a potential replacement for the No. 22 single shot, manually fed, training version of the No. 4 Mk I rifle manufactured at Long Branch. [68] Production of this model was 19441946 and a few in 1950 to 1953.

[69] Muskets and shotguns[edit] Conversion of rifles to smoothbored guns was carried out in several locations, at various times, for varying reasons. SAF Lithgow, in Australia, produced shotguns based on the MkIII action under the "Slazenger" name, chambering the common commercial. [70] Commercial gunsmiths in Australia and Britain converted both MkIII and No4 rifles to. These conversions were prompted by firearms legislation that made possession of a rifle chambered in a military cartridge both difficult and expensive. Smoothbored shotguns could be legally held with far less trouble.

RFI, in India, converted a large number of MkIII rifles to single shot muskets, chambered for the. These conversions were for issue to police and prison guards, to provide a firearm with a much-reduced power and range in comparison to the. A further likely consideration was the difficulty of obtaining replacement ammunition in the event of the rifle's theft or the carrier's desertion. While British and Australian conversions were to the standard commercially available.

410 shotgun cartridge (though of varying chamber lengths) the Indian conversions have been the source of considerable confusion. The Indian conversions were originally chambered for the. 410 Indian Musket cartridge, which is based on the. 303 British cartridge, and will not chamber the common. Unmodified muskets require handloading of ammunition, as the.

410 Indian Musket cartridge was not commercially distributed and does not appear to have been manufactured since the 1950s. Numerous attempts have been made to convert the various single-shot. 410 shotgun models to a bolt-action repeating model by removing the wooden magazine plug and replacing it with a standard 10-round SMLE magazine. None of these is known to have been successful, [71] though some owners have adapted 3-round magazines for Savage and Stevens shotguns to function in a converted SMLE shotgun, or even placing such a magazine inside a gutted SMLE magazine. Civilian conversions and variants[edit] From the late 1940s, legislation in New South Wales, Australia, heavily restricted.

303 British calibre (and other "military calibre") rifles, [72] so large numbers of SMLEs were converted to "wildcat" calibres such as. 303/270 and the popular 7.7×54mm round. [73] 303/25 calibre sporterised SMLEs are very common in Australia today, although ammunition for them has been very scarce since the 1980s. [72] The restrictions placed on "military calibre" rifles in New South Wales were lifted in 1975, and many people who had converted their LeeEnfields to the "wildcat" rounds converted their rifles back to. [72] Post-Second World War, SAF Lithgow converted a number of SMLE rifles to commercial sporting rifles- notably the. 22 Hornet model- under the "Slazenger" brand. [74] In the early 1950s Essential Agencies Ltd. , of Toronto, Ontario, produced a run of several thousand survival rifles based on the No.

4 action, but lightened and shortened, chambered in. Serial numbers below 6000 were for civilian sale, serial numbers 6000 and higher were built under contract to the Canadian government.

The Royal Canadian Air Force also used these as a survival rifle in the remote parts of Canada. [citation needed] L59A1 Drill Rifle[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Find sources: "LeeEnfield" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The L59A1 was a conversion of the No4 Rifle (all Marks) to a Drill Purpose Rifle that was incapable of being restored to a firing configuration. It was introduced in service in the 1970s.

A conversion specification of No. 1 rifles to L59A2 Drill Purpose was also prepared but was abandoned due to the greater difficulty of machining involved and the negligible numbers still in the hands of cadet units. The L59A1 arose from British government concerns over the vulnerability of Army Cadet Force and school Combined Cadet Forces' (CCF) stocks of small arms to theft by terrorists, in particular the Irish Republican Army following raids on CCF armouries in the 1950s and 1960s. Previous conversions to Drill Purpose (DP) of otherwise serviceable rifles were not considered to be sufficiently incapable of restoration to fireable state and were a potential source of reconversion spares.

L59A1 Drill Rifles were rendered incapable of being fired, and of being restored to a fireable form, by extensive modifications that included the welding of the barrel to the receiver, modifications to the receiver that removed the supporting structures for the bolt's locking lugs and blocking the installation of an unaltered bolt, the removal of the striker's tip, the blocking of the striker's hole in the bolt head and the removal of most of the bolt body's locking lugs. Most bolts were copper plated for identification.

A plug was welded in place forward of the chamber, and a window was cut in the side of the barrel. The stock and fore end was marked with broad white painted bands and the letters "DP" for easy identification.

Special service LeeEnfields: Commando and automatic models[edit] Charlton Automatic Rifles[edit] Main article: Charlton Automatic Rifle Charlton Automatic Rifle. Small numbers of LeeEnfield rifles were built as, or converted to, experimental automatic loading systems, such as the British Howell and South African Rieder and the best-known of which was the Charlton Automatic Rifle, designed by a New Zealander, Philip Charlton in 1941 to act as a substitute for the Bren and Lewis gun light machine guns which were in chronically short supply at the time. [75][76] During the Second World War, the majority of New Zealand's land forces were deployed in North Africa. When Japan entered the war in 1941, New Zealand found itself lacking the light machine guns that would be required for local defence should Japan choose to invade, and so the New Zealand Government funded the development of self-loading conversions for the LeeEnfield rifle. [77] The end result was the Charlton Automatic Rifle (based on the obsolete MLE), [78] which was issued to Home Guard units in NZ from 1942.

Over 1,500 conversions were made, including a handful by Electrolux using Lithgow SMLE Mk III rifles. [79] The two Charlton designs differed markedly in external appearance (amongst other things, the New Zealand Charlton had a forward pistol grip and bipod, whilst the Australian one did not), but shared the same operating mechanism. [80] Most of the Charlton Automatic Rifles were destroyed in a fire after the Second World War, [81] but a few examples survive in museums and private collections. De Lisle Commando carbine[edit] Main article: De Lisle carbine The initial wooden-stocked De Lisle with a fitted suppressor. The Commando units of the British military requested a suppressed rifle for killing sentries, guard dogs and other clandestine operational uses during the Second World War.

The resulting weapon, designed by W. De Lisle, was effectively an SMLE Mk III receiver redesigned to take a.

45 ACP cartridge and associated magazine, with a barrel from a Thompson submachine gun and an integrated suppressor. [28] It was produced in very limited numbers and an experimental folding stock version was made. Ekins Automatic Rifle[edit] The Ekins Automatic Rifle was one of the numerous attempts to convert a LeeEnfield SMLE to an automatic rifle.

[77] Similar developments were the South African Rieder and Charlton of Australian/New Zealand origin. Howard Francis carbine[edit] Howard Francis Self-Loading Carbine Type Carbine Place of origin United Kingdom Production history Designer Howard Francis Specifications Mass 3.7 kg (8.2 lb) Length 812 mm (32.0 in) Barrel length 324 mm (12.8 in) Cartridge 7.63×25mm Mauser Rate of fire Semi-automatic Feed system 12-round box magazine Sights Iron sights The Howard Francis Self-Loading Carbine was a conversion of a No. 1 Mk III to the 7.63×25mm Mauser pistol cartridge. [82] It fired in semi-automatic only and suffered some feeding and extraction problems and, despite meeting accuracy and soundness of design concept, never made it past the prototype stage. Howell Automatic Rifle[edit] Main article: Howell Automatic Rifle The Howell Automatic Rifle was the first attempt to convert the LeeEnfield SMLE into a semi-automatic rifle. Rieder Automatic Rifle[edit] Main article: Rieder Automatic Rifle The Rieder Automatic Rifle was an automatic (full automatic only) LeeEnfield SMLE rifle of South African origin. The Rieder device could be installed straight away without the use of tools. Conversion to 7.62×51mm NATO[edit] During the 1960s, the British Government and the Ministry of Defence converted a number of LeeEnfield No. 4 rifles to 7.62×51mm NATO as part of a programme to retain the LeeEnfield as a reserve weapon. 4 series rifles that were converted to 7.62×51mm NATO were re-designated as the L8 series of rifles with the rifles being refitted with 7.62×51mm NATO barrels, new bolt faces and extractor claws, new rear sights and new 10-round 7.62×51mm NATO magazines that were produced by RSAF Enfield to replace the old 10-round. [84] The appearance of the L8 series rifles were no different from the original No. 4 rifles, except for the new barrel which still retained the original No. 4 rifle bayonet lugs and magazine.

[85] The L8 series of rifles consisted of L8A1 rifles converted No. 4 Mk2 rifles, L8A2 rifles converted No. 4 Mk1/2 rifles, L8A3 rifles converted No. 4 Mk1/3 rifles, L8A4 rifles converted No.

4 Mk1 rifles, and L8A5 rifles converted No. Sterling Armaments of Dagenham, Essex produced a conversion kit comprising a new 7.62mm barrel, magazine, extractor and ejector for commercial sale. The main difference between the two conversions was in the cartridge ejection arrangement; the Enfield magazine carried a hardened steel projection that struck the rim of the extracted case to eject it, the Sterling system employed a spring-loaded plunger inserted into the receiver wall. The results of the trials that were conducted on the L8 series rifles were mixed and the British Government and the Ministry of Defence decided not to convert their existing stocks of LeeEnfield No. 4 rifles to 7.62×51mm NATO.

Despite this, the British learned from the results of the L8 test program and used them in successfully converting their stocks of No. 4 (T) sniper rifles to 7.62×51mm NATO, which led to the creation of the L42A1 series sniper rifles.

[86] In the late 1960s, RSAF Enfield entered the commercial market by producing No. 4-based 7.62×51mm rifles for sale.

The products were marketed under alliterative names e. Enfield Envoy, a rifle intended for civilian competition target shooting and Enfield Enforcer, a rifle fitted with a Pecar telescopic sight to suit the requirements of police firearms teams. Ishapore 2A/2A1[edit] Main article: Ishapore 2A1 rifle Ishapore 2A1.

At some point just after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Rifle Factory Ishapore in India began producing a new type of rifle known as the Rifle 7.62 mm 2A, which was based on the SMLE Mk III[87] and was slightly redesigned to use the 7.62×51mm NATO round. Externally the new rifle is very similar to the classic Mk III, with the exception of the buttplate (the buttplate from the 1A SLR is fitted) and magazine, which is more "square" than the SMLE magazine, and usually carries twelve rounds instead of ten, [88] although a number of 2A1s have been noted with 10-round magazines.

Ishapore 2A and Ishapore 2A1 receivers are made with improved (EN) steel (to handle the increased pressures of the 7.62×51mm round)[89] and the extractor is redesigned to suit the rimless cartridge. From 1965 to 1975 (when production is believed to have been discontinued), the sight ranging graduations were changed from 2000 to 800, and the rifle re-designated Rifle 7.62 mm 2A1. [90] The original 2,000 yards (1,800 m) rear sight arm was found to be suitable for the ballistics of the 7.62×51mm, which is around 10% more powerful and equates to a flatter trajectory than that of the.

303 British MkVII ammunition, so it was a simple matter to think of the'2000' as representing metres rather than yards. It was then decided that the limit of the effective range was a more realistic proposition at 800 m. The Ishapore 2A and 2A1 rifles are often incorrectly described as. The 2A/2A1 rifles are not conversions of. 303 calibre SMLE Mk III rifles.

Rather, they are newly manufactured firearms and are not technically chambered for commercial. However, many 2A/2A1 owners shoot such ammunition in their rifles with no problems, although some factory loaded. 308 Winchester cartridges may appear to generate higher pressures than 7.62×51mm NATO, even though the rounds are otherwise interchangeable this is due to the different systems of pressure measurement used for NATO and commercial cartridges. Production and manufacturers[edit] In total, over 16 million LeeEnfields had been produced in several factories on different continents when production in Britain shut down in 1956, at the Royal Ordnance Factory ROF Fazakerley in Liverpool after that factory had been plagued with industrial unrest.

4 rifle was continued from 1957. [91][92] Also contributing to the total was the Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI) at Ishapore in India, which continued to produce the SMLE in both. 303 and 7.62×51mm NATO until the 1980s, and is still manufacturing a sporting rifle based on the SMLE Mk III action, chambered for a.

315 calibre cartridge[93] the Birmingham Small Arms Company factory at Shirley near Birmingham, and SAF Lithgow in Australia, who finally discontinued production of the SMLE Mk III with a final'machinery proving' batch of 1000 rifles in early 1956, using 1953-dated receivers. During the First World War alone, 3.8 million SMLE rifles were produced in the UK by RSAF Enfield, BSA, and LSA. [94] The wristguard markings on a 1918-dated Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III rifle manufactured by the London Small Arms Co. " under the crown stands for "George Rex and refers to the reigning monarch at the time the rifle was manufactured.

Ltd United Kingdom Lithgow Lithgow Small Arms Factory Australia GRI Rifle Factory Ishapore British India RFI Rifle Factory Ishapore India (Post-Independence) Note 1: "SSA" and "NRF" markings are sometimes encountered on First World War-dated SMLE Mk III rifles. These stand for "Standard Small Arms" and "National Rifle Factory", respectively. Rifles so marked were assembled using parts from various other manufacturers, as part of a scheme during the First World War to boost rifle production in the UK. Only SMLE Mk III rifles are known to have been assembled under this program. Note 2: GRI stands for "Georgius Rex, Imperator" Latin for "King George, Emperor (of India)", denoting a rifle made during the British Raj. RFI stands for "Rifle Factory, Ishapore", denoting a rifle made after the Partition of India in 1947. For example, BSA Shirley is denoted by M47C, ROF(M) is often simply stamped "M", and BSA is simply stamped "B".

Note 2: Savage-made LeeEnfield No. 4 Mk I and No. 4 Mk I rifles are all stamped "US PROPERTY". They were supplied to the UK under the Lend-Lease programme during the Second World War.

[95] Australian International Arms No. 4 Mk IV[edit] AIA M10-B2 Match Rifle The Brisbane-based Australian International Arms also manufactured a modern reproduction of the No. 4 Mk II rifle, which they marketed as the AIA No. The rifles were manufactured by parts outsourcing and were assembled and finished in Australia, chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO and fed from modified M14 magazines.

4 Mk IV was designed with the modern shooter in mind, and has the ability to mount a telescopic sight without drilling and tapping the receiver. [96] AIA also offered the AIA M10-A1 rifle, a Jungle Carbine-styled version chambered in 7.62×39mm Russian, which uses AK-47 magazines. [98] Khyber Pass Copies[edit] A number of British Service Rifles, predominantly the MartiniHenry and MartiniEnfield, but also the various LeeEnfield rifles, have been produced by small manufacturers in the Khyber Pass region of the Pakistani/Afghan border. [99] "Khyber Pass Copies", as they are known, tend to be copied exactly from a "master" rifle, which may itself be a Khyber Pass Copy, markings and all, which is why it's not uncommon to see Khyber Pass rifles with the "N" in "Enfield" reversed, amongst other things.

[100] The quality on such rifles varies from "as good as a factory-produced example" to "dangerously unsafe", tending towards the latter end of the scale. Khyber Pass Copy rifles cannot generally stand up to the pressures generated by modern commercial ammunition, [100] and are generally considered unsafe to fire under any circumstances.

[14] Khyber Pass Copies can be recognised by a number of factors, notably: · Spelling errors in the markings; as noted the most common of which is a reversed "N" in "Enfield" · V. (Victoria Regina) cyphers dated after 1901; Queen Victoria died in 1901, so any rifles made after 1901 should be stamped E.

R" (Edwardius RexKing Edward VII or King Edward VIII) or "G. R (Georgius RexKing George V or King George VI). · Generally inferior workmanship, including weak/soft metal, poorly finished wood, and badly struck markings. [100] Armalon[edit] British company Armalon Ltd[101] developed a number of rifles based on the Lee Enfield No 4.

The PC Gallery Rifle is a carbine in pistol and revolver calibres, the AL42 a 5.56 mm rifle and the AL30C, a carbine in. The LeeEnfield in military/police use today[edit] An Afghan mujahid carries a LeeEnfield in August 1985 Canadian Rangers, photographed in Nunavut, June 2011 The LeeEnfield family of rifles is the second oldest bolt-action rifle design still in official service, after the MosinNagant.

[14] LeeEnfield rifles are used by reserve forces and police forces in many Commonwealth countries, including Malawi. 22 models are being phased out [2016]. Indian police officers carrying SMLE Mk III and Ishapore 2A1 rifles were a familiar sight throughout railway stations in India after Mumbai train bombings of 2006 and the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. They are also still seen in the hands of Pakistani and Bangladeshi second-line and police units. However, the LeeEnfield was mainly replaced in main-line service in the Pakistani Police in the mid-1980s by the AK 47, in response to increasing proliferation of the Kalashnikov in the black market and civilian use.

In Jordan, the LeeEnfield was in use with the Police and Gendarmerie until 1971, and with the Armed Forces until 1965. In Iraq and Egypt, the LeeEnfield was replaced by the Kalashnikov as the standard issue rifle in the Armed Forces by the late 1950s, and in Police Forces by the late 1970s. In the UK, the single-shot. 8 is in regular use with UK Cadet Forces as a light target rifle.

[102] Enfields continue to be used as drill weapons by the National Ceremonial Guard of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). [103] Many Afghan participants in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were armed with LeeEnfields. [104] The CIA's Operation Cyclone provided hundreds of thousands of Enfields to the Mujahideen, funneling them through Pakistan's ISI.

CIA officer Gust Avrakotos later arranged for the Egyptian Ministry of Defence to set up production lines of Enfield. 303 ammunition specifically for the conflict.

[105] An SMLE owned by Maoist rebels in Nepal, 2005. Khyber Pass Copies patterned after the LeeEnfield are still manufactured in the Khyber Pass region, as bolt-action rifles remain effective weapons in desert and mountain environments where long-range accuracy is more important than rate of fire. [14] LeeEnfield rifles are still popular in the region, despite the presence and ready availability of more modern weapons such as the SKS-45, the AKM, the Chinese Type 56 assault rifle, and the AK-74. [14][106] As of 2012, LeeEnfield rifles (along with MosinNagants) are still being used by the Taliban insurgents against NATO/Allied forces in Afghanistan.

[91] During the recent civil war in Nepal, the government troops were issued LeeEnfield rifles to fight the Maoist rebels, and the Maoists were also armed with SMLE rifles, amongst other weapons. Nepalese Police constables may also be usually seen equipped with SMLE rifles. [107] LeeEnfield rifles have also been seen in the hands of both the Naxalites and the Indian police in the ongoing Maoist insurgency in rural India.

Police forces in both the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu continue to operate and maintain stocks of No. [108] The Tongan security forces also retain a substantial number of No. 4 rifles donated from New Zealand's reserve stocks.

[108] Lee Enfield rifles are used by the Jamaica Constabulary force for training recruits during field-craft exercises and drills. The LeeEnfield in civilian use[edit] LeeEnfields are very popular as hunting rifles and target shooting rifles.

[14] Top-notch accuracy is difficult to achieve with the LeeEnfield design, [40] as it was intended to be a battle rifle rather than a sharpshooter's weapon, [40] and thus the Enfield is nowadays overshadowed by derivatives of Paul Mauser's design as a target shooting arm. They did, however, continue to be used at Bisley up into the 1970s with some success, and continue to perform extremely well at Military Service Rifle Competitions throughout the world. [14] Many people still hunt with as-issued LeeEnfield rifles, with commercial. 303 British ammunition proving especially effective on medium-sized game.

303 ammunition is widely available for hunting purposes, though the Mark 7 military cartridge design often proves adequate because its tail-heavy design makes the bullet yaw violently and deform after hitting the target. [109][110] The LeeEnfield rifle is a popular gun for historic rifle enthusiasts and those who find the 10-round magazine, loading by charger clips, and the rapid bolt-action useful for Practical Rifle events. LeeEnfields are also popular with competitors in service rifle competitions in many Commonwealth countries. The LeeEnfield series is very popular for service rifle shooting competitions in the UK and Australia due to the prohibitions on the legal ownership of semi-automatic centrefire rifles in Great Britain and restrictions on the legal ownership of semi-automatic centrefire rifles in Australia.

[111][112] For more information see Gun politics in the United Kingdom and Gun politics in Australia. 45 ACP conversion kits for the LeeEnfield action using M1911 pistol magazines.

[113] The LeeSpeed Sporter was a higher quality British made version of the LeeEnfield. Rifle Factory Ishapore of India still manufactures an sporting/hunting rifle chambered in. 315 with a LeeEnfield action.

[114] Variants[edit] · Magazine LeeEnfield (MLE). [115] · LeeEnfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I (LEC). [116] · Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I. [117] · LeeEnfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I.

[116] · New Zealand Carbine. 303 · Royal Irish Constabulary Carbine. 303 · Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk I (SMLE).

· Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk II. · Charger Loading LeeEnfield (CLLE). 1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III. 1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk III (HT).

303, "Heavy Barrel, Telescopic Sight" Australian sniper rifle. 1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk V.

1 Short Magazine LeeEnfield Mk VI. 303 SMLE Mk III and Mk III. 303, sniper rifle converted from No. 4 Mk I, introduced 1941. 303, Sniper rifle converted from No.

4 Mk I to No. 5 Mk I, Jungle Carbine. 303, Australian experimental version of the No. 22 · L8A1, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk 2 · L8A2, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk I/3 · L8A3, 7.62mm, converted from No.

4 Mk I/3 · L8A4, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk I · L8A5, 7.62mm, converted from No. 4 Mk I · L39A1, 7.62mm · L42A1, 7.62mm · L59A1, Drill Rifle, converted from No. · BA 93, a rifle grenade launcher made from surplus LeeEnfield parts, which consist of stocks and receiver with a rifle grenade launcher in the chamber and a sheet metal buttstock while attaching a G3-type pistol grip.

[118] 303 Lee Enfield Rifle and Manual The bolt action, Caliber. Magazine Lee-Enfield, MLE, held two columns of 5 cartridges each. A skilled soldier could fire the 8.8 lb rifle's deadly 174 grain bullet at from 20 to 30 aimed rounds per minute, making British Commonwealth infantry as effective as any in the Korean War. Rifle Manual: Lee Enfield Rifles No. 5 Mk I TM9-2200 (html): Technical Manual for WWII Small Arms British Commonwealth Occupation Forces Japan photo. 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, armed with Number 4 Mark I SMLE rifles, distinguished itself in Korea in a number of engagements. In its first fight the Aussies, using mainly only Enfield rifles and 18 in.

Bayonets, routed a North Korean regiment. In three years of some of the worst fighting of the Korean War, 3RAR was never forced from a position. 303 caliber Lee-Enfield rifle, November 1895, usually called the Magazine Lee-Enfield, or MLE.

The next year a shorter version was introduced as the Lee-Enfield Cavalry Carbine Mk I, or LEC, with a 21.2-inch barrel as opposed to the 30.2-inch "long" version. After modifications, in 1899 they became the Mk I. Some of the MLEs (and MLMs) were modified to load from chargers, "Charger Loading Lee-Enfields", or CLLEs. Rifle, Short, Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) Mark 1 The SMLE, January 1904, is a shorter and lighter version of the MLE. Barrel length was halfway 25.2 inches, halfway between the original long rifle and the carbine.

There was concern at the time that the shorter barrel would not be accurate, with greater recoil, and too short a sighting radius. The most noticeable characteristic of the SMLE was its blunt nose, with only the bayonet boss protruding a small fraction of an inch beyond the nosecap. The SMLE included charger loading, borrowed from the Mauser rifle.

Rifle, Short, Magazine Lee Enfield Mark 3 -- 1907, different sights The SMLE Mk III, 26 January 1907, featured a simplified rear sight arrangement and a fixed charger guide, and was chambered to fire the Mk VII High Velocity spitzer. During WWI, many changes were made to simplify manufacture and help meet production requirements, resulting in the SMLE Mk III redesignated Rifle No. The SMLE was manufactured in Australia and India, and the old faithful 4 mk1. 303 was standard-issue for the Royal Australian Regiment in the Korean War, helping to make them at least as effective as any infantry in that miserable war.

Rifle, Short, Number 4 Mark 1, Short, Magazine Lee Enfield - 1941 Top shown mounting Bayonet Number 9, bottom blow-up mounts "Pig-Sticker" bayonet. Interesting to some American Korean War veterans, the Enfield wasn't issued a flash protector. Quoting one of my Aussie Mates, Vince Gilligan (note the cone suppressor on his Bren in this link): The cone type flash eliminators were standard on the Bren Gun and the Jungle.

303 Carbine but I was a Infantry instructor and never came across one for the old faithful 4 mk1. Another Aussie mate, Keith Hasler adds: Hi Bert... I agree with Vince that our Lee Enfield Rifles had no flash suppressors, but our trusty Bren Gun had a cone shaped'flash eliminator. The remaining ammunition used was 9mil in the Owen sub machine gun (with no suppressors).

Our Vickers belt fed and water cooled machine gun also a. 303 user and equiped with a form of cone shaped suppressor, was used by specialist gunners in their own unit as opposed to the former three weapons used by the infantry troops in section, platoon and company sized operations.... Flash suppressors reduce the flash by rapidly cooling the gases as they leave the barrel, reducing the gas density and temperature and correspondingly the brightness of the flash. Obviously this is entirely to protect night vision of the shooter, not try to hide him from the shootee. M1 QD Flash Hider Cone suppressor T-37 prong flash suppressor.

The M1 Garand The Mosin Nagant - Mark 1 Mark 3 No. 4 Mark 1 - Barley Corn foresight Tangent Leaf Rear Blade foresight Tangent leaf Rear Blade foresight Vertical leaf Rear Operation Bolt Action Caliber. 303 in, Rimmed cartridge, 2.15in case length Muzzle velocity 2060 fps 2440 fps 2440 fps Ammunition Mark 6 ball, 215 grain bullet, 33 gr charge Mark 7 ball, 174 grain bullet, 36.5 gr charge Capacity detachable box magazine, holding 10 rounds in two columns Normally loaded from stripper clips Weight 8.12 lbs, unloaded 8.62 lbs, unloaded 8.8 lbs, unloaded Overall length 44.57 in overall, 25.2 in barrel Rate of fire 20 aimed rounds per minute Corporal Donald Breyard Davie gives covering fire for "B" Company, 3RAR, during their advance on a spur near Hill 614. Corporal Davie had loaded his stripper clip the usual over-and-under method which alternates the rims of succeeding cartridges in front of then in back of, the rim of the previous cartridges. That's the way the clip on the left is loaded.

In another method, the rim of each cartridge overlaps the rim of the previous cartridge. The M1 Garand was the weapon of choice for US infantry. The M2 Carbine, half the weight and with a less powerful cartridge, was the weapon of choice for support troops, and others not primarily involved in infantry combat.

It was designed to meet combat needs less demanding than the M1 Rifle, but more than can be met by the M1911A1 pistol. When the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield was first introduced into British service, it met with a storm of criticism -- though little from the troops whom it served well during two World Wars, Korea, and beyond. British Commonwealth forces used the Lee Enfield Mark 4 as their main rifle.

Although bolt action, its locking mechanism made it the fastest bolt action rifle in the world. Its long service also permitted its design to be optimized over time to make it very rugged and reliable.

The trained soldier could fire 30 aimed rounds at a target 200 meters in one minute (known as "the mad minute"). Ron Cashman, 3RAR As one vet, Vince Gilligan, 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Army said:... 303 rifle our mob(Australians) used in Korea. The brits used a later version with the pig sticker bayonet. It was a very effective weapon.

At least if you hit something, it stayed Hit. And after all, that's the idea. The bluing process creates a protective layer of treated metal on the surface of the steel, by immersing the metal in a solution of salts that chemically alter the surface. The chemical reaction discolors the surface of the metal to a blue color, sometimes a vivid blue, sometimes more gray or black. I now own one and some of your information is a little off. Rear Sights are flip-up adjustable aperature micrometer sights, not vertical leaf Weight unloaded is Nine pounds even I weighed it! Not 8.8 Barrel length is 25 1/4 inches, not 25 2 inches Case length is actually 2.222 inches (Chamber size) and not 2.15 And, as for the aimed shot capacity, it's actually more along the lines of 15 rounds per minute. Because of the way the Lee action is set up, rapid fire is very easy to do. As long as you've got some charger clips handy, you can manage 3in. Groups on a rapid fire string. In British military rifle qualification with the SMLE the minimum passing score was 15 hits on a siluette target at 200 yards in 1 minute. This was required of any cook or clerk. Combat soldiers averaged 20 to 30 hits in 1 minute.

The all time aimed fire record with a bolt action rifle was by Sgt. Snoxall of the British army, 38 hits on a 12in. Bull at 300 yards in 1 minute. The Lee-Enfield series of rifles was born in 1895 as a marriage between the James Paris Lee designed magazine and bolt action, and Enfield pattern rifling.

Contents [show] OverviewEdit In general, the SMLE was one of the best bolt action military rifles to see service. It was rapid firing, accurate and reliable.

While being less suitable for "sporterizing" than Mausers, they are still popular among civilians as a hunting and plinking weapons, and also as a part of the history. The key deficiencies of the SMLE were probably the rimmed ammunition and non-interchangeability of bolts, but the advantages of this design were much bigger and Lee-Enfields in all its guises served Britain and the British Commonwealth for more than 60 years in front line service and much longer as a specialized sniping weapon. HistoryEdit Lee-Metford Lee-Enfield SMLE Early Lee-Enfield rifles, officially known as a. And, unlike some other Empires, Brits were quick lo learn.

In 1903, they introduced a new design, which improved over the older Lee-Metfords and Lee-Enfields in some important respects. The main improvements was the introduction of the "universal" rifle idea. The common thinking of the period was to issue the long rifle for infantry and the carbine for cavalry, artillery and other such troops.

The Brits decided to replace this variety of sizes with one, "intermediate" size, that will fit all niches. This "one size fits all" rifle was called.

303 caliber, Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1, or, in short SMLE Mk. I, where "short" referred to the length of the rifle. This rifle passed some improvements during the following pre-WW1 years, finalizing in the 1907 as a SMLE Mk. WWIEdit Royal Irish Constabulary Lee Enfield Lee-Enfield No4 Sniper Development and introduction into service of this rifle was accompanied with constant complaints of some "theorists", which stated that this rifle would be no good neither for infantry, nor for cavalry, so RSAF was set do design another rifle, patterned after the German Mauser, which also should be more suitable for mass production, than the SMLE. This rifle finally appeared in 1914 as an.

303 caliber Enfield Pattern 1914 rifle, or simply a P-14. With the outbreak of the WWI, British troops were still armed with the "poor" SMLE Mk. III rifles, which soon turned far from any "poor", giving some hard time to the Germans.

In fact, the SMLE Mk. III was a really good rifle, quite accurate, reliable and suitable for rapid and accurate firing. British soldiers were rigorously trained for both individual and volley fire marksmanship, and were routinely capable of firing 30 aimed shots per minute, which was quite a rate of fire for any non-automatic rifle.

There were times when advancing Germans were impressed that they were under the machine gun fire, when Tommie used their salvo-firing techniques. During the war time the basic Mk. III design was slightly simplified to better suit the mass production needs, with omission of "volley" sights and magazine cutoffs, and with some production shortcuts. When the World War One was over, there were no questions of quality of basic SMLE design, but some improvements were suggested and introduced in later patterns, such as peep-hole, receiver mounted sights.

These "interwar" patterns were not issued in any significant quantities until the 1941. In 1926, Brits were quite confused with numerous'Marks' and'Marks with stars' of their weaponry, decided to adopt a new numbering system, so the SMLE Mark III became the Rifle, No. 2 was a training version of the SMLE No. 3 was assigned to the P-14 rifle, which was used in limited numbers.

4 Mark 1, widely known as a No. 4 Rifle, appeared in 1941. 1 MkIII and MkIII's are the SMLE. Post-WWIIEdit Ishapore 2A1, 7.62x51mm NATO L42A1 By the end of the World War 2, when British and Commonwealth troops also armed with No. 1, MKIII SMLEs & the No. 4 Rifle started to fight in jungles of the South-East was still not short enough for the jungle combat, so a carbine version of the No. 4 Rifle was adopted late in the 1944 in the form of the No. The last, and by some opinions the finest "general issue" version of the Lee-Enfields was the No. 2 rifle, which appeared in 1949.

But some Lee-Enfields were left in military service, as a training, target and, especially, sniper rifles, known as Enfield L39 and L41, rechambered to the new standard 7.62 mm NATO ammunition, and served well until the late 1980s, when there were replaced by the Accuracy International L96 sniper rifle. It should be noted, that SMLE rifles were produced and used not only in the UK. Australian, Canadian and Indian factories turned out more than million of the No. 1 rifles with various improvements, which were used during both World wars and thereafter. During the WW2, Britain also acquired quantities of SMLE No.

1 made under contract at the Savage Arms company in USA. In the 1950s, Indian Isaphore arsenal turned out some SMLEs rechambered to the 7.62mm NATO. 303 caliber rifles by the more squared outline of the magazine. Total numbers of all'Marks' and'Numbers' of the SMLE made during the 60 years in various countries is not less than 5,000,000 (yes, five millions) rifles. Mad MinuteEdit Mad minute was a pre-World War I term used by British riflemen during training to describe firing 15 aimed bullets into a target at 300yd within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle). [1] It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to beat this feat by an excessive amount. Many riflemen could average 25 shots, while others yet could make 40 shots. Various claims are attached to this high rate of fire: a particularly persistent one tells of a retreating German unit in WW1 claiming every British soldier was armed with a machine gun. Annually, a group of British owners meet for a mad minute competition.

[2] VariationsEdit Lee-Enfield Jungle Carbine SMLE No. 1 MkIIIEdit The sights of the Mark III / No. III SMLEs were a combination of the barleycorn front (an inverted V-shape) and V-notch adjustable rear sights, mounted on the barrel, graduated to 2000 yards. The front sights were protected by the two "ears" on the stock nose-cap. Latter the front sight were changed to post type, and the rear - to the U-notch type, and since the introduction of the No.

4 rifle the barrel-mounted open rear sight was replaced with peep-hole one, mounted on the receiver, which made the sighting line much longer and improved the long-range accuracy. 1Edit This was an improved and strengthened SMLE design, with heavier and stronger receiver, which also was faster and easier to machine, and with a heavier freefloating barrel to increase accuracy. The stock shape was shortened at the front part and did away with the distinctive nose cap. It was replaced by a protruding muzzle, to accept the new No4 pattern bayonet. The barrel-mounted open rear sights were replaced with the receiver-mounted peep-hole sights, which were micrometer-adjustable.

However, No4 MkI rifles were equipt with a flip-style non-adjustable rear sight, the first being set for ranges up to 300 yards, the other for up to 600 yards. 1(T) rifles, made during the WW2, were equipped with detachable optical scope mounts at the left side of the receiver.

The scope, often a No. 32 scope, was carried in the separate box when not in use. 4 rifle was produced in England and North America Canada and by Savage Arms, U.

The Indians and Aussies continued to produce the No. 4 rifle was produced in three "MK"'s (Marks) and reworked into two more. The MK1 had a sliding bolt catch on the right side of of the receiver, just behind the charger bridge, that had to be held down against spring tension with the middle finger of the left hand while the right hand fingers lifted the bolthead up for bolt removal.

The MK1, developed at the Long Branch Arsenal, Toranto, Canada, had a small section of boltway removed, about a half inch rear of the forward end. The bolt was unlocked and moved to the rear until the head was over this area. The bolthead was then "popped" up 90 degrees and the bolt was then removed. The charging bridge was made higher to allow the upright bolthead to pass.

2Edit It was made by higher peacetime standards of fit and finish, than a wartime No. Is, and served with British army until the mid-1950s, when the self-loading L1 SLR (semi-auto copy of the Belgian FN FAL) rifle in 7.62 mm NATO was introduced into general service.

The No4 MkII entered service in 1949, its most noticeable difference was the trigger, which was hung from the mechanism itself and not the trigger guard, to increase accuracy. Many war production Mk1's and MK1's were Factory Through Repair F.

Fazakerley, Liverpool, and brought up to MK2 configuration, The MK1's were overstamped MK1/2 and the MK1 was overstamped MK1/3. I had reworked rifles from England , Canada, and American production in my collection, that were F. R'd to MKII configuration. 1Edit This carbine is a substantially shorter and lighter (approximately 2lbs and 4.5) version of the No.

4 rifle, and was primarily developed for use in the Pacific Island campaigns in dense tropical canopy; hence the colloquial name Jungle Carbine. " It was reported to have suffered "wandering zero" problems, " which meant that the point of impact changed during either climate changes or long strings of fire. Many theories have been postualated, including blaming this on the lightening cuts on the receiver causing springiness or stretch, the thinner free-floating barrel, or tropical humidity swelling the wooden furniture. The muzzle flash and recoil were also increased due to the 5.3 shorter barrel, lighter weight, and decreased surface area of the butt, despite the latter's (non-recoil attenuating) rubber composition. Production ceased in 1947, and its approximately three-year official service record make it the shortest-serving rifle in British history.

6, MKI This carbine had limited production in Australia, approximatley 100 each of both Marks. Basically, it was a "Jungle Carbine" version of the No. The Aussies took a Lithgow No. 1 MKIII, shortened the barrel, added a flash reducer to the muzzle and a recoil pad to the butt.

The rear sights were still fixed on the barrel. 6, MKII The difference was that the rear sight is now a 2 positon flip sight, mounted on the reciever. (Aeroplnut 8/7/15) Volley Sights Pre-1916 Lee-Enfields were also equipped with interesting device, called the "volley" sights. This device was mounted at the left side of the stock, ahead of the magazine, and was used to provide an indirect fire capability at the ranges from 2 000 and up to an astonishing 3 900 yards (1800 3550 meters). While individual marksmanship at such ranges with rifle was impossible, the salvo firing by large squads at the distant and large targets (such as massed infantry or cavalry formations), in theory, can do some damage to the enemy.

This was, obviously, an idea of the pre - machine gun and pre - light artillery period, and these sights were dropped during WW1 when the British adopted the simplifed No. Special Service Lee-Enfields: Commando and Automatic modelsEdit A series of specially modified Lee-Enfield rifles: De Lisle carbineEdit De Lisle Carbine The De Lisle carbine or De Lisle Commando carbine was a British carbine used during World War II. The primary feature of the De Lisle was its very effective suppressor which made it extremely quiet in action. The designer was William De Lisle. It was based on a Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield Mk III converted to. 45 ACP by modifying the receiver, altering the bolt/bolthead, replacing the barrel with a modified Thompson submachine gun barrel, and using modified magazines from the M1911 pistol. The primary feature of the De Lisle was its extremely effective suppressor, which made it very quiet in action. So quiet, in fact, that working the bolt to chamber the next round makes a louder noise than firing a round. The De Lisle carbine was used by the British Commandos and other special forces. It was accurate to 250 metres (820ft). The De Lisle was made in very limited numbers; 129 were produced during the period of 1942 to 1945 in three variations (Ford Dagenham Prototype, Sterling production and one Airborne prototype). Thompson submachine gun barrels were modified to provide the. 45 calibre barrel, which was ported to provide a slow release of high pressure gas. The suppressor, 2inches (5.1cm) in diameter, went all the way from the back of the barrel to well beyond the muzzle (the suppressor makes up half the overall length of the rifle), providing a very large volume of space to contain the gases produced by firing. This large volume was one of the keys to the effectiveness of the suppressor. The Lee-Enfield bolt was modified to feed the.

45 ACP rounds, and the Lee-Enfield's magazine assembly was replaced with a new assembly that held a modified M1911 magazine. Because the cartridge was subsonic, the carbine was extremely quiet, possibly one of the quietest guns ever made. The De Lisle was used by special military units during World War II and the Malayan Emergency. Howell Automatic RifleEdit Howell Automatic Rifle The Howell Automatic Rifle was the first attempt to convert the Lee-Enfield SMLE into a semi-automatic rifle.

The Howell Automatic Rifle was used by the British Home Guard as an anti aircraft weapon. Charlton automatic rifle (New Zealand and Australian versions)Edit Charlton Automatic Rifle (Australian) Charlton Automatic Rifle (New Zealand) The Charlton Automatic Rifle was a fully automatic conversion of the Lee-Enfield rifle, designed by New Zealander Philip Charlton in 1941 to act as a substitute for the Bren and Lewis gun light machine guns which were in chronically short supply at the time. [3] The original Charlton Automatic Rifles were converted from obsolete Lee-Metford and Magazine Lee-Enfield rifles dating from as early as the Boer War, and were intended for use as a self-loading rifle with the full-automatic capability retained for emergency use. It used the 10-round Lee-Enfield magazines.

There were two versions of the Charlton: the New Zealand version, as designed and manufactured by Charlton Motor Workshops in Hastings, and a version produced in Australia by Electrolux, using the SMLE Mk III for conversion. The two designs differed markedly in external appearance amongst other things, the New Zealand Charlton had a forward pistol grip and bipod, whilst the Australian lacked this making it lighter and cleaner in appearance, but shared the same operating mechanism. Approximately 1,500 Charlton Automatic Rifles were manufactured in New Zealand, and nearly all of them were destroyed in an accidental fire at the Palmerston North service storage facility shortly after World War II. An example of the New Zealand-manufactured Charlton Automatic Rifle is known to survive in the Imperial War Museum in London, along with a handful elsewhere one is on display in the Waiouru Army Museum in New Zealand, and another at the Army Museum (Bandiana) in Australia. Rieder automatic rifleEdit Reider Automatic Rifle The Reider Automatic Rifle was a semi-automatic Lee-Enfield SMLE rifle of South African origin.

The Reider device could be installed straight away without the use of tools. Howard Francis machine carbineEdit The Howard Francis Self-Loading Carbine was a conversion from a No. 1 Mk III SMLE to the 7.63x25mm Mauser pistol cartridge. It fired in semi-automatic only and suffered some feeding and extraction problems and, despite meeting accuracy and soundness of design concept, never made it past prototype stage. Very light and very short carbine.

Elkins automatic rifleEdit The Elkins Automatic Rifle was one of the numerous attempts to convert a Lee-Enfield SMLE to an automatic rifle. DesignEdit Designed by James Paris Lee, and the new pattern of barrel rifling, designed at the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) at Enfield. Originally known as Lee-Metford, this design was adopted by British army in 1888 and used a Metford pattern polygonal rifling with shallow groves, intended to be used with ammunition loaded with black powder.

The polygonal rifling was intended to produce tighter tolerances and easier cleaning, with less fouling. Introduction of the smokeless powders in the form of the Cordite showed that the Metford rifling was very short-living, so it was soon replaced with Enfield rifling, with 5 traditional land and grooves and left hand pitch.

The SMLE is a manually operated, bolt action magazine fed rifle. The Lee-designed SMLE magazine is a first easily distinguishable feature. It holds 10 rounds of ammunition in a double stacked magazine, and while the magazine itself is detachable, it is not intended to be reloaded when detached from rifle, but from two charger clips, each holding five rounds of. Early Lee-Enfields (Long Lee-Enfields and SMLEs prior to Mark III) were loaded only by single rounds via the top receiver opening. Latter, the clip (charger) loading was introduced, and a rear receiver bridge with charger clip guides was added to the design. Some of the earlier marks were then retrofitted with charger loading ability during the 1907 - 1910.

To load the magazine, one must use two standard 5-rounds clips. Loading by loose rounds was still available, but some care must be taken when loading cartridges into clips or in the magazine, due to the rimmed ammunition cases. Prior to the 1916, all SMLEs (and earlier Long Lee-Enfields) were issued with so called "magazine cut-off" - a simple device, located at the right side of the receiver and intended to cut off the cartridge supply from magazine to the action when engaged, so rifle could be used as a single-loader, and ammunition in the magazine could be saved for the hottest moments of combat.

This was an outdated idea even when it was first introduced, so it was easily discarded when the need to speed up production arose. The magazine itself should be detached only for cleaning, maintenance and repair, and every rifle was issued with only one magazine. The magazine catch is located inside the triggerguard. The bolt action, another invention of the James Paris Lee (along with magazine), is the other most famous feature of the SMLE.

The rotating bolt has two lugs that lock into the receiver walls at the rear part of the bolt, thus saving some part of the bolt length and bolt pull, when comparing to the forward lugs locking. This shorter bolt pull, along with charging handle, located at the rear part of the bolt and bent down, lent itself to quick reloading.

Add a relatively high capacity magazine with fast clip reloading and here you have one of the fastest practical rates of fire along with contemporary designs. The SMLE was a striker fired gun, with cocking on the bolt close action and a dual-stage trigger. The bolt head with the extractor was a separate, non-rotating unit, screwed into the bolt body. The safety was located at the rear left side of the receiver and was easily operated by the firing hands' thumb finger. One notable feature of the Lee bolt action was that the bolts were not interchangeable between different rifles of the same mark Each bolt must have been fitted to its respective action, thus making the production and in-field bolt replacement more complicated.

The insufficient headspace problem on the pre-No. 4 SMLEs was solved my manual sandpapering the respective bolt-head, and since the No. 4 rifle, there were 4 standard sizes of the bolt heads, from which armourer could select one, most suitable for the particular action. The famous by its distinguishable shape stock of the SMLE featured a semi-pistol grip, a steel buttplate with a trapdoor and a compartment in the butt for tools and cleaning equipment.

The "flat-nosed" forend covered the barrel up to the muzzle, and has a small stud, protruding forward under the muzzle for bayonet mounting. Most SMLEs have a small brass disc inset into the right side of the butt, which was used for regimental markings (unlike the German Mausers, where the similar steel disc was used as a bolt unit disassembly tool). The conventional sling swivels were mounted on the frond handguard band and under the butt. (T) sniper rifles also featured an additional wooden cheek rest on the top of the butt for more comfortable sighting while using the scope.

The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle S. For definitive detail of this rifle, read the 1929 Textbook of Small Arms notes on the SMLE For the uninitiated, it should be mentioned that the terminology officially used for this rifle is rather ambiguous. It could easily be understood that the rifle has been designed with a'short magazine' when, in fact, it is the rifle that is short rather than the magazine. Below: the original rifle, latterly known as the No. 1" Mark 1 The terminology of the day used by the military was " Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield ; the punctuation applied illustrating that the rifle, as shown above, was a shortened version of the original Magazine-fed Lee-Enfield M. E which preceded it, an example of which is shown below in the form of a. 22RF conversion fitted with the rare Hiscock-Parker magazine This former rifle is now more commonly known, in its various marks, as the'Long' Lee-Enfield, and the latter shortened successor, first introduced in 1903, as the'Short Magazine Lee-Enfield' or S. The initials have, unsurprisingly, been modified both in use in military and civilian circles to the colloquial term "Smellie", by which this famous British service rifle is fondly (or otherwise) described, particularly by those who had been required to carry it in one or other of two World Wars or the many arenas of conflct and policing World wide between those wars. Indeed, the later marks of this rifle are still to be found in occasional use in some parts of the World, and have been the mainstay of some Asian countries, notably in India, until superseded by the No. 4 rifle when the Britain introduced the FN SLR (Self Loading Rifle) The introduction of the original SMLE No. 1 Mark 1 was on the 23rd. December 1902, when it was approved and entered into the List of Changes for materiél - Reference Number 11715. That entry is copied below, and affords the most detailed description of the rifle and its modification from the previous "Long" Rifle. 23 Dec 1902 (Mark I) C 3 Jul 1903 1 Jul 1903 A pattern of the above-mentioned rifle, as shown in the accompanying drawing, has been sealed to govern future manufacture. The cross-sectional drawing is of the 1907 Mark III rifle The rifle is about one-and-a-quarter lb. Lighter, and 5 inches shorter than the Rifle, M.

The magazine will hold 10 rounds, and is filled by cartridges carried in chargers (LoC 11753); guides to hold the latter are provided on the bolt head and body, while the five cartridges held in the charger are swept out of it by the thumb into the magazine. The bolt and cocking piece may be locked in the "full cock" and "fired" positions by a safety catch, and locking bolt, situated on the left side of the body, between it and the aperture sight; they are held in position by the aperture sight spring. Barrel The barrel is smaller in diameter externally, and 5 inches shorter than that of the L.

It is fitted with a band which carries the block foresight, this is keyed and pinned to the barrel, and is dovetailed to carry the adjustable barleycorn foresight (three heights of which will be provided, known as high, normal and low, and marked "H", "N", and "L", respectively), to enable variations in shooting to be corrected before the rifle is issued to the Service. The heights of the high and low barleycorns differ from the normal by. Backsight The backsight is fitted with a leaf pivoted to the bed at the front end; at the rear end is a cap in which the V is cut. Elevation is given by moving the slide, which rests on curved ramps on each side of the bed. The leaf is graduated by lines for every 100 yards from 200 to 2,000, the even numbers being marked by figures.

The slide can be set at any 100 yards graduation or intermediate 50 yards elevation, and is held in position by means of catches engaging in notches on each side of the leaf. To set the slide, these catches are disengaged from the notches by pressing the bone studs at each side of the slide. The cap is joined to the leaf by a vertical dovetail, and it can be given a fine adjustment for intermediate ranges between the 50 yards elevation afforded by the slide by means of a vertical screw underneath the cap of the backsight; a small vernier scale divided to give a vertical movement of. 0106 inch being provided on the left edge of the cap and leaf. Each division on the vernier represents 2 inches elevation per 100 yards. By raising the slide to its highest limit, 2,050 yards elevation can be obtained. The dial sight for long ranges is graduated from 1,600 to 2,800 yards. The following particulars show the principal differences in detail between the short rifle and the M.

Rifles Body The body is made with charger guide on the left to receive the charger by which the magazine is loaded, and a stop on the right which forces the charger guide on the bolt head forward when the bolt is drawn fully back; it is also arranged to receive the locking bolt and safety catch to lock the bolt and cocking piece; the cut-off slot is left in the body for the insertion of a cut-off if required. The left side of the body is cut away to afford clearance for the thumb of the right hand when pressing the cartridges from the charger into the magazine.

A cut-off will be supplied for naval service only. Bolt The bolt rib is lower, and the handle is set closer to the body; the bolt cover and extension for the safety catch is omitted. Bolt head The bolt head is made with a slide for the bolt head charger guide, and has a slot cut in the screwed end of the bolt head, which acts as a key when stripping and assembling the striker and cocking piece. Cocking piece The cocking piece is shorter, and is locked by a locking bolt, the point of which, when the thumb piece is turned back, enters recesses on the left side of the cocking piece and locks it in the full cocked and fired positions.

The screw keeper striker is replaced by a nut keeper striker, this is screwed on to a screw, round the shank of which is a spiral spring, contained in a recess in the cocking piece. The nut keeper striker may be pulled to the rear and slightly turned by the finger and thumb, the striker can then be unscrewed from the cocking piece by unscrewing the bolt head; the bolt is thus completely stripped without the aid of tools. Trigger The trigger is provided with two ribs, which bear in succession on the lower arm of the sear, and produce a double pull off. The strength of the first pull is 3 to 4 lb. And of the second, 5 to 6 lb.

Butt plate The sheet steel butt plate is lighter, the butt trap, pin, spring, spring screw, strap and strap screw being omitted. Magazine The magazine is slightly deeper in the rear to give more room for the 10 cartridges, and so facilitate loading the second five cartridges from a charger. It is provided with a zigzag platform spring and auxiliary spring. It has a stop clip to keep the right hand cartridge in position, and to enable the platform and spring to be easily removed for cleaning. Band, inner The inner band, which encircles the barrel at the centre with. 002-inch freedom, is fitted inside the fore-end, and is held in position by a screw, spiral spring, and washer, so that it supports the barrel, without holding it rigidly, or preventing ex¬pansion. Band, outer The outer band encircles the fore-end and hand-guard and inner band; it is jointed at the top, and held together by a screw underneath, which also carries the sling swivel. The swivel screws for the butt, band and nosecap, are interchangeable. Nosecap The nosecap is considerably larger than that of the L.

Rifle; its front end is flush with the muzzle of the barrel, and has an extension in front on which the crosspiece of the sword-bayonet fits, and a bar underneath the rear end to hold the pommel of the sword-bayonet; it is also provided with lugs to carry the swivel and screw, and has high wings to protect the foresight; the muzzle of the barrel has. 002 inch freedom in the barrel hole.

Swivels There are two swivels, one attached to outer band and one to butt, the latter swivel can be attached to lug on nosecap for use in slinging rifle on back when mounted. For Naval Service only, a piling swivel will be attached in this position. Handguard The handguard completely covers the barrel, ex¬tending from the body to the nosecap; it is in two pieces, being divided diagonally at the centre of the sight bed; the front portion is held in position by the outer band, and its front end fits in a recess in the nosecap; the rear portion is held in position by a spring gripp¬ing the barrel; both portions rest upon the shoulders of the fore-end, being quite free of the barrel throughout.

In stripping, the rear hand-guard must be first removed, the front handguard can be pushed back clear of the nosecap after the outer band has been removed. The rear portion is fitted with a backsight protector, consisting of two upstanding ears, which protect the cap of the backsight when the latter is adjusted for short ranges. Stock, fore-end The stock, fore-end, extends to within 1/8-inch of the muzzle of the barrel; it is free in the barrel groove throughout, excepting about 1/2 inch in front and rear of the inner band, and under the knoxform at the breech end. It is fitted with a keeper plate let into the breech end, into which the squared end of the stock bolt fits, to prevent the stock bolt turning and the stock butt becoming loose. Stock, butt The stock, butt, is issued in three lengths, one 1/2 inch shorter and one 1/2 inch longer than the normal, and marked respectively S and L.

It is fitted with a sheet steel butt plate without butt trap, as the oil bottle and pull-through are not carried in the butt. It is bored longitudinally with four holes for lightness, and is provided with a marking disc screwed into the right side.

The stock bolt is shorter, and is squared at the front end to fit the keeper plate. In stripping the rifle it is necessary that the fore-end should be first removed before turning the stock bolt. Particulars relating to rifling, sighting, weight, &c.

Length of barrel 25 3/16 inches. Rifling Enfield Grooves, number 5 depth at muzzle. Depth at breech, to within 14 inches of muzzle. Twist of rifling, left-handed 1 turn in 10 ins. Sighting system Adjustable barley corn front sight, radial back sight. Distance between barleycorn and back sight, V 1 ft. Length of rifle 3 ft. Length of rifle with sword-bayonet 4 ft. Length of sword-bayonet (over all) 1 ft. Length of sword-bayonet blade 1 ft.

Weight of rifle, with magazine empty 8 lb. Weight of sword-bayonet 1 lb. Weight of sword-bayonet scabbard 0 lb. Ammunition same as for M. The following components are special to this rifle Components Barleycorn foresight Guard, trigger Normal Guard, hand, front High Guard, hand, rear Low Guard, hand, front cap Barrel Guard, hand, rear sight Block, band, foresight protector Body Head, with catch, slide, Bolt sight leaf (2) Bolt head Key, block, band, foresight Bolt head charger guide Leaf, sight, back Butt plate Locking bolt Band, outer Locking bolt stop pins (2) Band, inner Locking bolt safety catch Bed, sight, back Magazine case Bolt, stock Nosecap Clip, stop, magazine Nut, keeper, striker (with pin) Cocking piece Nut, screw, back, nosecap Cut-off t Extractor t In rifles for naval service only.

Pin, axis, leaf, sight, back Screw, fine adjustment, sight Pin, fixing, bed, sight, back leaf Pin, fixing, block, band, Screw, keeper, slide, fine foresight adjustment, leaf, sight, back Pin, fixing, stud, head, catch, Screws, nosecap slide, sight, back Back Pin, joint, band, outer Front Plate, dial, sight Screw, nut, keeper, striker Platform, magazine Screw, spring, aperture sight Rivets, handguard, rear, sight Screw, spring, sight, back protector, side Screw, stop, charger guide Rivets, handguard, cap and Sear sight protector, top (3) Slide, sight, back Spring, aperture sight Slide, fine adjustment, leaf, Springs, catch, slide, sight, back sight leaf (2) Striker Spring, nut, keeper, striker Stem, swivel, butt Spring, platform, magazine Stock, butt Spring, auxiliary, platform, Normal magazine Long Spring, screw, band, inner Short Spring, sight, back Stock, fore-end Strew, band, outer, and Stud, clip, stop, magazine swivels, butt and piling Trigger Screw, band inner Washer, spring, band, inner Screw, guard, back Washer, pin, axis, sight, back Screws, bed, sight, back Washers, rivet, fore-end; cap, Front spring, and sight protector, Back handguard (7) Screw, dial sight, fixing The pattern 1903 sword-bayonet (LoC 11716, 11717), is used with this rifle. Of the major modifications, from the Long rifle to the Short, at least three required patents, namely the safety catch, the barrel ring and the rear-sight, the latter illustrated above. These consecutive patents were applied for in 1902, on behalf of the Enfield factory, by Messrs.

Relates to back sights, in which the leaf is gradually elevated for range by a slide which travels down the leaf and along the top of a curved bed. 1 shows a side elevation, and Fig. The leaf h is hinged at i, and consists of a graduated bar having teeth along its edges to engage with spring catches on the slide m, which rests on the top surfaces of the curved bars d. The leaf bar h is graduated for hundreds of yards range, the necessary ad¬justments for intermediate ranges being effected by the screw v1 which moves the notched bar f on the bar h. Relates to means for attaching the barrel to the stock, and consists in the employ¬ment of rings a, Figs.

1, 2, passing over the barrel and hiving flats e to grip the barrel as soon as the rings are drawn towards the stock by the spring-supported screws d. Relates to safety devices for bolt guns. 3 shows the gun in elevation, Fig. 4 the breech-bolt and hammer detached, Figs.

5, 6, the hammer safety, Below: A Birmingham Small Arms Company drawing of their "GreatWar" (1914-18) No. This rifle was approved and entered into the List of Changes on 26th. 1, in its various marks, subsequent to the introduction of a new system of nomenclature, in May 1926, in which succeeding rifle designs were designated by number. And a photograph taken at that time of the component parts with, for the definitive component nomenclature, the associated numbered parts list below To view the complete Small Arms drawings S.

By way of comparison, we illustrate the parts diagram and listing of the preceding "Long Lee-Enfield" - more properly notated as the C. Or Rifle, Charger Loading, Magazine, Lee-Enfield.

The'charger loading' refers to the "loading-bridge" later added to the rear of the action of the original Lee-Enfield Magazine Rifle shown at the head of this article, which weapon could not be clip-loaded. A vertically machined T-slot in the bridge of the modified rifle - as above - permitted the use of the now familiar 5-round loading clip. The clip, itself loaded with five. 303 cartridges, was fed down into the slot in the bridge until it rested on the rear of the magazine. The rounds were then pressed down into the magazine by the thumb.

A curved cut-out, in the LHS of the action body side, allowed the thumb to press the cartridges sufficiently low into the magazine to lock the last round in place. On closing the bolt and chambering the top round, the now empty clip was thrown clear of the rifle. The design was highly problematic for the left-handed firer and, in common with such every-day tasks as writing and using scissors, recruits were obliged to use these weapons right-handed.

The strictness of such teaching, in all walks of formative life, led to many apparently ambidexterous people. Truthfully, all those with master left hands were presented with little alternative but to conform, and their resultant capabilities with both hands led to their, for all practical purposes, effective ambidexterity.

My own father could pen the most beautiful copper-plate writing with either hand, either both left to right, or even as a mirror image on one piece of paper at the same time. Such discipline can lead to almost unlimited attainment. 22RF training version of the No.

I rifle shown on this page and the Mk. 22RF training Lee-Enfield equivalent to the.

303CF model illustrated on this page An interesting addition to literature on the S. Are the relevant pages from the 1940 German manual on British small-arms.

If you read German you will obtain the greatest benefit, but enough text is effectively English that it is worthwhile illustrating. For the true scholar, there is no more authoritative source of definition and history of the S.

Than the notes on the rifle in the 1929 British Textbook of Small Arms. We therefore include these here. CHAPTER ISECTION 3 THE BRITISH SERVICE RIFLE The short, magazine, Lee-Enfield rifle was approved on 23rd December, 1902, to take the place of the magazine Lee-Metford and magazine Lee-Enfield (familiarly known as the " long rifle "), various marks of which had been the service weapon since 1888. There are six marks, Marks III, III, and IV now being in use.

A conversion from long rifle. Superseded before being produced in quantity.

All the above marks have the Lee bolt action, similar to that approved in 1888 for the Lee-Metford magazine rifle, Mark I. Details of the Mark III and Mark III are as follows. The bolt (1) is simple in construction. The shape and position of the lever are very convenient for rapid manipulation.

On the right side of the bolt cylinder is formed a solid rib (2), which works in a slot in the rear of the body and acts as a guide when the bolt is worked backwards and forwards. On the opposite side to the rib, and having its rear face level with the rear face of the rib, is a solid lug (3).

The lug and the rear face of the rib engage against appropriate bearings when the bolt is locked and support the bolt on firing. The disadvantages and advantages of having the lugs so far removed from the face of the bolt-head have been discussed in the previous chapter. The rear faces of the rib and lug are cut on a screw pitch corresponding to the slope of their seatings on the body. On turning down the bolt this gives the necessary leverage to force the cartridge home.

The lug working in its screw-pitched recess in the body provides the leverage for primary extraction on turning up the bolt. The bolt-cylinder is bored out to take the striker (4) and mainspring.

The rear part of the boring is constricted to the diameter of the striker, to form a seating for the rear of the mainspring and to act as a guide for the striker. Underneath the rear end of the bolt-cylinder is a recess (5) formed by a long groove on the right and a short groove on the left, connected together in front by a cam-shaped face and separated by a stud (6). On raising the bolt lever the cocking-piece stud (7), which is resting in the right-hand or long groove, is forced backwards by the cam-shaped face until it rests in the left-hand or short groove, thus partially compressing the mainspring and withdrawing the point of the striker from the face of the bolt-head. This is necessary to prevent the striker point from firing the cap of the next cartridge as it is fed upwards from the magazine and pushed forward into the chamber. The bolt-head (8) has a tenon which screws into the bolt-cylinder. On it is a solid projection which has a hook (9) on its right side which engages with a rib on the right side of the body and prevents the bolt-head from turning with the bolt-cylinder. On the side of the bolt-head is a hole to allow for the escape of gas in event of a blow-back or burst case. The projection on the bolt-head is slotted to take the extractor, which is a short steel bar with the usual claw at the end.

It is pivoted on a screw at the rear of the slot and is kept up to its work by a small V-spring let into the slot above it. The striker is in one piece and has a collar (10) against which the front end of the mainspring bears.

The front face of the collar seats against the rear end of the bolt-head tenon in the fired position and thus limits the protrusion of the striker. Originally there was, in front of the collar, a small stud which fitted into a recess cut for it in the rear of the bolt-head tenon. This stud was later discarded, but both the modified and unmodified types of striker are still in use in the service.

The end of the striker is screw-threaded for attachment to the cocking-piece (11). The mainspring (12) is of coiled steel wire set to a length of 32 inches. The cocking-piece has a long tongue projecting to the front and lying against the under side of. The bolt when it is assembled. The front end of the tongue forms the full bent (13) and a groove cut across it the half bent (14). A stud (7) on the upper side of the tongue works in the two grooves already mentioned in the rear of the bolt-cylinder.

On the left side the tongue is recessed in two places for the locking-bolt to engage in. The rear of the cocking-piece was originally formed with a circular projection, cut away on the left-hand side and roughened to serve as a grip for finger and thumb when cocking without operating the bolt.

The Mark III rifle was fitted, as an alternative to facilitate manufacture, with a cocking-piece which had its rear end formed as a flat piece, grooved on each side to give a grip for finger and thumb. Both these types of cocking-piece are now interchangeable in the Marks III and III.

The bolt may be easily stripped for cleaning and examination. The striker keeper screw (15), which retains the striker in position in the hole drilled and tapped for it in the rear portion of the cocking-piece, having been removed, the bolt-head is unscrewed.

Those strikers which are fitted with a stud on the front face of the collar can be unscrewed by means of the bolt-head, but to avoid the possibility of damage to the bolt-head tenon this method should not be employed, and the special tools with which armourers are provided should be used. The body is cut away on the right side for the greater part of its length to allow the projection on the bolt-head to work backwards and forwards. The hook on the projection of the bolt-head engages in a slot or rib, which is cut away at the rear end just sufficiently to allow the hook on the bolt-head to be free. There is a small retaining catch forming a continuation of the rib at this point. When the bolt is drawn back as far as possible the hook can be forced up over this catch and the bolt removed from the body.

The retaining catch is a small spring secured by the rear axis screw on the right side of the body. The rear of the body does not form a complete cylinder but is slotted out at the top to afford passage for the rib on the bolt and at the bottom for the bolt lug and cocking-pieces. The right-hand side of the rear of the body forms the right resistance shoulder for the rib on the bolt, and opposite this on the left side is the slot into which fits the bolt-lug, the rear face of the slot forming the resistance shoulder on this side of the body. It is cut on a screw pitch to assist in forcing the cartridge home in the chamber and in the final compression of the mainspring when the bolt is turned down into the locked position for firing.

The recess for the lug is at the rear end of the body, opposite the resistance shoulder, the entrance to it is cut on an incline in the usual way to give the leverage necessary for primary extraction. In front of the resistance shoulder, at a sufficient distance to give clearance for the bolt-head projection when the bolt is being removed, a charger-guide, in the form of a bridge (16) is riveted to the left and right sides of the body. Immediately in front of the charger-guide, the left side of the body is cut away in a semi-circle to allow the thumb to sweep the cartridges out of the charger into the magazine. The front end of the body is a complete cylinder into which the barrel screws.

As no space has to be provided for the lug recesses the bolt-head enters a little distance only into this cylinder, which is not much recessed and is readily cleaned. Beneath the barrel chamber the action body is sloped off (17) to provide a way or guide for the cartridges entering the chamber from the magazine. The right side of the body is slotted to take the cut-off.

There is no tang as in Continental actions. The place of the tang is taken by a socket (18) which is part of the body and projects downwards. Into it the butt fits and in the centre of it is a hollow, threaded boss (19) for the stock-bolt (2). The rear end of the body, including the upper surface of the socket, is grooved to allow passage for the lug and cocking-piece tongue.

The usual opening beneath the body is provided for the magazine. At the rear end, on the left of the body, two holes are drilled for the locking-bolt (21) and locking-bolt safety-catch (22). The locking-bolt is a stem, fitted with a roughened thumb-piece by which it may be actuated.

The stem fits into a hole in the body leading into the groove for the cocking-piece tongue. The end of the stem is cut away so that when the thumbpiece is in the forward position the cut-away portion is level with the floor of the groove for the cocking-piece tongue and the cocking-piece can pass over it.

When the thumbpiece is drawn to the rear the solid portion of the stem rises in the groove and engages an one of two recesses cut in the cocking:piece tongue, according to whether the latter is in the cocked or fired position. The bolt can thus be locked fired, or cocked. When the stem of the locking-bolt engages in the front, or cocked position recess, it draws back the cocking-piece slightly, removing the bent from contact with the nose of the sear.

On the stem of the locking-bolt, close to the thumbpiece, is cut a steep-pitched thread (23). On this thread works the arm of the safety-catch. On the end of this arm is a short stem which fits in the hole entering the bolt-way of the body. When the thumbpiece of the locking-bolt is in the forward position this stem is within its hole and clear of the bolt in the bolt-way. When the thumbpiece is drawn to the rear, the threads on the locking-bolt stem and safety-catch arm push the stem forward so that its end enters the short groove on the end of the bolt and prevents the latter from being rotated and drawn back. By the combined action of locking-bolt and safety-catch both cocking-piece and bolt are positively locked against any possibility of accidental opening or discharge. The ejector is a small screw which projects slightly into the bolt-way on the left side. On drawing back the bolt the back edge of the rim of the cartridge case catches against the end of this screw and is thrown out of the rifle to the right. In practice this action only take s place in the case of a bulletted round, when the case is held on the bolt face until the bullet is clear of the breech. An empty case, being shorter and therefore being clear of the barrel sooner, is normally thrown out to the right by the action of its rim frictioning against the sloping portion of the groove hollowed out in the left side of the body immediately behind the breech. The trigger mechanism is on the double-pull system already described in the account of Continental rifles, but differs from them in most particulars, save for the provision of two ribs (24) on the upper part of the trigger. The sear (25) is a two-armed, bell-cranked lever, pivoted to the projection beneath the body on the same screw which holds the retaining catch. It is pressed to the rear and upwards by a U-shaped spring (26) which also serves to keep the magazine-catch up to its work. The long, upper, arm passes through a hole in the body into the groove for the cocking-piece tongue, and engages with the full-bent on the latter when the bolt is pushed forwards.

The short arm projects downwards. The trigger is pivoted on a pin which passes through the trigger guard (27).

The two ribs are on the front surface of the upper part of the trigger. On pressing the trigger the lower of the two ribs engages with the short arm of the sear and causes the latter to revolve on its axis until the end of the long arm has come close to the edge of the bent. The pull during this movement is light as the rib is close to the trigger pivot and great leverage is obtained. The fulcrum is then transferred to the upper of the two ribs which, being further from the pivot, affords less leverage, and a stronger pull is therefore necessary to make the sear move the small remaining distance which releases the cocking-piece and allows it to fly forward.

The motion imparted to the sear by the motion of the trigger acting through its upper rib is, however, more rapid, and the sear is thus drawn smartly off the bent. The action of the bolt mechanism has already been indicated in the description of the parts. The complete sequence is as follows :- On raising the bolt-lever the cocking-piece is prevented from turning with the bolt by the fact that the tongue is engaged in the groove in the body.

The bolt-head is prevented from turning by its hook engaging with the rib on the right side of the body. As the bolt is turned the cam-face at the end of the two grooves on the rear of the bolt forces back the stud on the upper side of the tongue of the cocking-piece. This draws the end of the striker clear of the end of the bolt-head and partially compresses the mainspring. As the turning movement continues the sloping face of the lug working against the sloping face of the recess in the body causes the whole bolt to move to the rear, effecting primary extraction.

When the bolt has been turned as far as it will go the rib touches the left side of the body and is opposite the gap in the rear of the body. The lug is now in the groove for the cocking-piece. The bolt can be drawn back until the projection on the bolt-head strikes against the resisting shoulder. This acts as a retaining arrangement. The stud on the cocking-piece tongue has now fallen into the recess in the front end of the short groove on the bolt and the cocking-piece cannot revolve and is retained in position for entering its groove in the body. On pushing forward the bolt the full bent of the cocking-piece engages the end of the sear and the mainspring is further compressed. As the bolt is driven forward the stud between the long and short grooves on the bolt passes the stud on the now stationary cocking-piece.

On turning down the bolt, the bolt is forced forward by the action of the sloping faces on the rear of the lug, and the rib working against their bearings on the body. In the complete action of closing the bolt the free forward travel is 3 inches, the travel after the sear has engaged with the bent when the pressure of the mainspring has to be overcome, is ½-inch, and the final forward movement, on turning down the lever, finch. When the action is cocked the stud on the cocking-piece tongue lies in the long groove in the body and the cocking-piece and striker are free to fly forward when the sear is released from the bent by pressing the trigger.

Should the trigger be pulled when the bolt is not completely closed the stud on the cocking-piece tongue strikes against the stud between the two grooves on the bolt and either causes the bolt to. Close, automatically, before the striker point reaches the cap of the cartridge, or else the two studs meet full face and the striker is prevented from flying forward. If the action is then closed by hand the sear falls into the half-bent and the action is locked owing to the two studs lying side by side, preventing the rotation of the bolt.

It is possible to cock the action fully by drawing back the cocking-piece. The magazine (28) is a detachable sheet-steel box, strengthened by two flutings on either side. It contains ten cartridges in two columns which are fed up as required by the action of a zig-zag ribbon steel spring (29).

The platform (30) is so formed that the left side is higher than the right. The left-hand column of cartridges is thus presented to the bolt first and then the right-hand column, cartridges being pushed forward alternately from each column until the magazine is empty. The sides of the rear end of the box are extended slightly upwards and turned in to retain the cartridges. In (stamped with the figure 4) magazine there are small inturning projections made by turning over the top of the sides of the box in front. These serve to keep the platform in position when the magazine is empty.

In earlier marks of magazine a stop clip is pivoted on the right side of the box, in front, which helps to keep the platform in position when the magazine is empty and keeps the bullet of the upper cartridge of the right-hand column in position when the magazine is full. This clip can be drawn down to the front when the magazine has been detached from the body, and the platform and spring can be withdrawn for examination and cleaning.

The spring is secured to the No. 3 platform by a tongue of metal turned over on the right-hand side and by two rivets. In earlier marks it is secured by two tongues of metal on each side. Downward turned tongues of metal on the front and on the left-hand side at the rear of the platform serve as positioning guides.

A small turned down tongue on the right side at the rear serves the same purpose. At the back of the box is a rib in which is cut a tooth (31) to engage in the magazine retaining spring catch. 1A and 1B (stamped 3 and 4) magazines there is also a small auxiliary spring which bears against the front of the trigger guard. Into the front of the box is hooked and secured the magazine platform auxiliary spring (32) which serves to keep the front end of the platform at a proper angle when the magazine is full and also protects the front of the box from being dented by the points of the bullets. The cut-off is pivoted to a vertical screw in the projection on the right side of the body.

It works in a slot parallel to and below the rib on the body for the bolt-head hook. It is provided with a cylindrical thumbpiece, bored out for lightness and ribbed on top for the thumb to grip.

It is spring-tempered and set to press upwards, a small projecting flat on the upper surface acting as a catch against the side of the body and holding the cut-off open or shut. In the shut position the cut-off holds down the cartridges in the magazine out of the path of the bolt and acts as a platform for single loading. The hole in the rear of the cut-off is for convenience in manufacture only. In the Mark III rifle there is no cut-off.

In none of the marks is any provision made to indicate that the magazine is empty, as is provided in the United States rifle and in some Continental arms. The trigger guard is attached to the body by a screw (33) passing up through a collar (34) let into the fore-end in front of the magazine, and by a small transverse screw (35) passing through ears on the bottom of the socket of the body. The barrel, which screws into the body in the usual manner, is strongly reinforced at the breech end, which is formed into a flat on its upper surface known as the Nock's or " Knox " form (36), from an old-time gunmaker named Nock, who first devised this method of ensuring the correct breeching up of barrel to body necessary to bring the sights vertical. It is 25.1 inches long overall and weighs 2 lbs. This is the lightest barrel used in any service arm.

The rifling is of the Enfield figure with five grooves of -0065 inch mean depth. The width of the lands between the grooves is -0936 inch. The twist of the rifling is one turn in 10 inches left hand. The left-handed twist was originally adopted in order to compensate for the drift due to the rotation of the earth in the Northern hemisphere. It also has the effect of twisting the butt of the rifle away from the firer's cheek instead of against it.

The foresight (37) is of the " blade " pattern and consists of a plate dove-tailed into the foresight block (38) at right angles to the axis of the barrel. It is capable of lateral adjustment. The foresight block is formed with a band which fits the barrel and is kept in position by a key and cross-pin. It is set approximately 015 inch left to counteract the lateral throw of the rifle due to vibrations set up on firing. The backsight (39) is attached to a bed (40) which encircles the barrel, to which it is fixed by a cross-pin in the middle.

It is also supported by the sight spring screw. The sides of the bed are raised to form a ramp (41). The leaf (42) is a solid piece of steel pivoted to the bed in front and kept in position by a spring fitted into the bed. It can be turned over on to the hand guard and rebounds into correct position when it is brought past the vertical.

It is graduated from 200 to 2,000 yards. On the top left side of the leaf are lines representing every 25 yards. On the top right side the lines represent every 100 yards. The odd figures from 300 to 1,900 yards are omitted. A slide (43) fitted with a spring catch and a fine adjustment worm-wheel (44) enables the sight to be set at any elevation.

The right side of the leaf is cut with screw-thread notches, and in these the fine adjustment worm-wheel engages. By pressing a catch on the left side of the slide the fine adjustment is released, and the slide may be moved quickly along the leaf by the action of the thumb only. The periphery of the worm-wheel is divided by 10 thumb-nail notches, the distance between each notch representing 5 yards in range, i. 5 notches equal 25 yards, or one division on the left side of the leaf. One complete revolution of the fine adjustment worm-wheel moves the slide 50 yards.

A wind gauge was originally fitted on the rear end of the leaf, but has been discarded. It was held in position by the wind-gauge screw. The scale was marked in divisions representing 6 inches deflection on the target at 100 yards. Each quarter-turn of the wind-gauge screw represented 1 inch of deflection for every 100 yards of range at which the sight was set.

At each quarter-turn a friction spring engaged in a nick inside the head of the screw, checking its rotation. A U-shaped notch was cut in the top edge of the slide, and the face was roughed to prevent the reflection of light. In the Mark III and in the later Mark III rifle there is no wind gauge.

Its place is taken by a cap which is attached to the leaf by means of a screw. It is provided with a U-notch and roughened on the face. There are two patterns of backsight cap which differ slightly in form. Long-range sights were provided in the earlier Mark III, giving elevations from 1,700 to 2,800 yards. The backsight consisted of an aperture attached to the left side of the body.

It was carried on a bar terminating at the upper end in a cup-shaped button through which a peep-hole was bored. It was pivoted on the stem of the locking bolt and kept in position by a spring. The foresight, known as the dial sight, was attached to the left side of the fore-end, and consisted of a dial on which the ranges were marked, a pointer, and a bead which acted as a foresight. No long-range sights are fitted to the Mark III rifle or to the later Mark III. The stock is in two pieces.

The fore-end (45) is held to the barrel by a nose cap (46) and outer band (47), which are fitted with swivels. The swivel of the nose-cap is a piling swivel, i. Cut away in the centre.

A swivel is also fitted on the butt. Naval service swivels are made slightly larger than for land service. The barrel being comparatively light, accuracy is liable to be detrimentally affected by a badly fitting fore-end. In the assembled rifle there are three important metal-on-wood bearing points where even bearings must be ensured.

They are as follows :- (1) The thrust of recoil is received by the stock, through the medium of the sear lugs on the body, on the resistance shoulders formed a little in front of its rear end. It is essential that the thrust should be taken up evenly on both sides. (2) The barrel must be held firmly down on the fore-end at the reinforce. This is effected by the fore-trigger-guard screw, which is fitted with a collar which limits the amount of " crush " which can be obtained on the wood by tightening.

It must be noted that in the case of a shrunk fore-end there is a danger of the screw being screwed up tightly against the collar without pulling the barrel down tightly on the fore-end. Careful fitting is therefore necessary. It is also important to remember that, since the trigger is mounted on the trigger guard, a loose fore trigger-guard screw may affect the " pull-off " of the rifle by allowing the front end of the trigger guard to drop, and thus slightly affecting the relative positions of the trigger and the tail of the sear. (3) The barrel is caused to bear lightly on the woodwork z inch in rear of the inner band (48) by means of a spring acting through the medium of the latter. Between (2) and (3) the woodwork is hollowed out so as to be clear of the barrel, and from the inner band forwards the barrel is held away from the fore-end by the fore-end spring stud, the hole in the nose-cap being slightly oval in form to give the necessary clearance.

The foregoing is a brief description of the service stocking. For match shooting under N. Conditions, with private rifles, certain other methods have been evolved. These other methods have for their object the stiffening of the barrel and the damping of the vibrations set up on firing in order to attain a relatively high standard of accuracy for the special conditions of target shooting. They consist, briefly, in adopting some means of packing the barrel between the fore-end and fore-hand guard.

The service stocking was evolved with the object of ensuring a consistently satisfactory standard of accuracy under service conditions. A backsight protector formed with two upstanding ears, roughened on top so as not to reflect the light, is let into the fore-end and secured by a vertical screw and nut. The nose-cap completely encircles the barrel at the muzzle and is provided with a tang which projects backwards under the fore-end and carries the piling swivel at its rear end.

Immediately in front of the piling swivel is a sword bar for the attachment of the pommel of the bayonet and in front below the muzzle is a boss on which the ring of the bayonet cross-piece fits. The sword bayonet is thus fixed underneath the rifle to the nose-cap only and does not touch the barrel. The nose-cap is provided with high wings roughened on top, which protect the foresight.

It is pierced on either side beneath the wings for lightness. The hand-guard (49) extends the full length of the barrel and is divided into two parts by a saw cut opposite the backsight bed. This is for convenience in fitting and removing. The rear portion fits over the barrel and is held in position by means of a spring riveted on to it. The front end of the hand-guard is strengthened by a sheet steel cap which fits under a recess in the nose-cap.

A groove is cut in the correct position for the jointed outer band, a slot being formed to give clearance to the hinge. The hand-guard does not touch the barrel as the groove is of greater diameter than the barrel. An inner band is carried permanently on the barrel ; it is grooved out so as to touch the barrel in two places. And is fixed in the groove of the fore-end in rear of the lower band by means of a screw, the head of which bears against a strong spiral spring.

The butt is attached to the socket on the action body by means of a stock bolt (20) that is inserted through a hole drilled longitudinally from the butt end. It is made in three ordinary lengths, long and short butts being marked by the letter L or S stamped on the wood on the top of the butt.

For special use during the Great War, butts shorter than the ordinary short butt were made. These were termed " bantams, " and stamped with the letter B. The butt plate is of brass, forgeable alloy or malleable iron. It is finished polished or zinc electro-plated according to the materials employed in manufacture. It is fitted with a trap for the insertion of oil bottle and pull-through.

A marking disc is fixed with a screw to the right side. The " grip " is of a special " semi-pistol " shape. The Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield Mark V was an improvement on the Mark III, but although a certain number were produced in 1925 none were issued, and it was later discarded in favour of the more fully developed Mark VI. The Mark V differed from the Mark III in several particulars, the chief of which were (1) the adoption of an aperture backsight located on a specially-designed bed on the body behind the bridge charger guide ; (2) the making of the hand guard in one piece completely covering the barrel. The Mark VI is the outcome of experiment, since the Great War, but as yet has not been produced in quantity. At the present juncture a detailed description cannot be given, but the essential features in which it differs from the Mark III are as follows : 1. The aperture backsight of the Mark V has been retained in a modified form.

The nose-cap is of very much lighter design than that of the Mark III. The method of stocking has been simplified. The barrel is considerably heavier. The bayonet is much shorter and lighter than that used with the Mark III, and fits directly on to the muzzle of the barrel, which projects a short distance in front of the fore-end.

As in the Mark V, the hand guard is in one piece. Without the bayonet the rifle is about 8 ozs. Lighter than the Mark III. The weight of the bayonet is about 1 lb. Less than that of the bayonet of the Mark III. Fry wrote in his famous sporting and social magazine of the "New" rifle being introduced. The Defence was the main paramilitary organization of the Jewish Yishuv in Mandatory Palestine between 1920 and 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Formed out of previous existing militias, its original purpose was to defend Jewish settlements from Arab attacks, such as the riots of 1920, 1921, 1929 and 19361939. It was under the control of the Jewish Agency, the official governmental body in charge of Palestine's Jewish community during the British Mandate.

Until the end of the Second World War, Haganah's activities were moderate in accordance with the policy of havlaga ("self-restraint"), which caused the splitting of the more radical Irgun and Lehi. The Haganah sought cooperation with the British in the event of an Axis invasion of Palestine through North Africa, prompting the creation of the Palmach in 1941. With the end of World War II and British refusal to cancel the 1939 White Paper's restrictions on Jewish immigration, the Haganah turned to sabotage activities against the British authorities, including bombing bridges, rail lines, and ships used to deport illegal Jewish immigrants, as well as assisting in bringing Jews to Palestine in defiance of British policy. After the United Nations adopted a partition plan for Palestine in 1947, the Haganah came into the open as the biggest fighting force among Palestinian Jews, successfully overcoming Arab forces during the civil war.

Shortly after Israel's independence declaration and the beginning of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War, the Haganah was dissolved and became the official army of the state. Contents 1 History 1.1 Overview 1.2 1920 and 1921 Arab riots 1.3 1931 Irgun split 1.4 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine 1.5 1939 White Paper 1.6 Patria disaster 1.7 World War II participation 1.8 1944 Lord Moyne assassination and the Season 1.9 Post World War II 1.10 Reorganisation 1.11 War of Independence 1.12 Pal-Heib Unit 2 See also 3 Notes 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links History Overview The evolution of Jewish defense organisations in Palestine and later Israel went from small self-defense groups active during Ottoman rule, to ever larger and more sophisticated ones during the British Mandate, leading through the Haganah to the national army of Israel, the IDF.

The evolution went step by step from Bar-Giora, to Hashomer, to Haganah, to IDF. The Jewish paramilitary organisations in the New Yishuv (the Zionist enterprise in Palestine) started with the Second Aliyah (1904 to 1914). [2] The first such organization was Bar-Giora, founded in September 1907. At no time did Bar-Giora have more than 100 members.

[citation needed] It was converted to Hashomer (Hebrew: ; "The Watchman") in April 1909, which operated until the British Mandate of Palestine came into being in 1920. Hashomer was an elitist organization with narrow scope, and was mainly created to protect against criminal gangs seeking to steal property. During World War I, the forerunners of the Haganah/IDF were the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion, both of which were part of the British Army. After the Arab riots against Jews in April 1920, the Yishuv's leadership saw the need to create a nationwide underground defense organization, and the Haganah was founded in June of the same year. The Haganah became a full-scale defense force after the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine with an organized structure, consisting of three main unitsthe Field Corps, Guard Corps, and the Palmach strike force.

During World War II the successor to the Jewish Legion of World War I was the Jewish Brigade, which was joined by many Haganah fighters. During the 194748 civil war between the Arab and Jewish communities in what was still Mandatory Palestine, a reorganised Haganah managed to defend or wrestle most of the territory it was ordered to hold or capture.

At the beginning of the ensuing 194849 full-scale conventional war against regular Arab armies, the Haganah was reorganised to become the core of the new Israel Defense Forces. 1920 and 1921 Arab riots After the 1920 Arab riots and 1921 Jaffa riots, the Jewish leadership in Palestine believed that the British, to whom the League of Nations had given a mandate over Palestine in 1920, had no desire to confront local Arab gangs that frequently attacked Palestinian Jews. [3][4] Believing that they could not rely on the British administration for protection from these gangs, the Jewish leadership created the Haganah to protect Jewish farms and kibbutzim.

The first head of the Haganah was a 28 year-old named Yosef Hecht, a veteran of the Jewish Legion. [5] In addition to guarding Jewish communities, the role of the Haganah was to warn the residents of and repel attacks by Palestinian Arabs. In the period between 19201929, the Haganah lacked a strong central authority or coordination.

Haganah "units" were very localized and poorly armed: they consisted mainly of Jewish farmers who took turns guarding their farms or their kibbutzim. Following the 1929 Palestine riots, the Haganah's role changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities.

It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop workshops to create hand grenades and simple military equipment, transforming from an untrained militia to a capable underground army. 1931 Irgun split Many Haganah fighters objected to the official policy of havlagah (restraint) that Jewish political leaders (who had become increasingly controlling of the Haganah) had imposed on the militia. Fighters had been instructed to only defend communities and not initiate counterattacks against Arab gangs or their communities.

This policy appeared defeatist to many who believed that the best defense is a good offense. In 1931, the more militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun Tsva'i-Leumi (National Military Organization), better known as "Irgun" (or by its Hebrew acronym, pronounced "Etzel"). 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine Haganah fighters guarding Migdal Tzedek, 1936 During the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine, the Haganah worked to protect British interests and to quell Arab rebellion using the FOSH, and then Hish units. At that time, the Haganah fielded 10,000 mobilized men along with 40,000 reservists. Although the British administration did not officially recognize the Haganah, the British security forces cooperated with it by forming the Jewish Settlement Police, Jewish Supernumerary Police and Special Night Squads, which were trained and led by Colonel Orde Wingate.

The battle experience gained during the training was useful in the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. 1939 White Paper By 1939, the British had issued the White Paper, which severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine, deeply angering the Zionist leadership. David Ben-Gurion, then chairman of the Jewish Agency, set the policy for the Zionist relationship with the British: We shall fight the war against Hitler as if there were no White Paper, and we shall fight the White Paper as if there were no war. In reaction to the White Paper, the Haganah built up the Palmach as the Haganah's elite strike force and organized illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine.

Approximately 100,000 Jews were brought to Palestine in over one hundred ships during the final decade of what became known as Aliyah Bet. The Haganah also organized demonstrations against British immigration quotas. [6][7] World War II participation Marching Jewish troops in the British army (1942) In the first years of World War II, the British authorities asked Haganah for cooperation again, due to the fear of an Axis breakthrough in North Africa. [citation needed] After Rommel was defeated at El Alamein in 1942, the British stepped back from their all-out support for Haganah.

[citation needed] In 1943, after a long series of requests and negotiations, the British Army announced the creation of the Jewish Brigade Group. While Palestinian Jews had been permitted to enlist in the British army since 1940, this was the first time an exclusively Jewish military unit served in the war under a Jewish flag. The Jewish Brigade Group consisted of 5,000 soldiers and was initially deployed with the 8th Army in North Africa and later in Italy in September 1944. The brigade was disbanded in 1946.

[citation needed] All in all, some 30,000 Palestinian Jews served in the British army during the war. [8] On May 14, 1941, the Haganah created the Palmach (an acronym for Plugot Mahatzstrike companies), an elite commando section, in preparation against the possibility of a British withdrawal and Axis invasion of Palestine.

Its members, young men and women, received specialist training in guerilla tactics and sabotage. [9] During 1942 the British gave assistance in the training of Palmach volunteers but in early 1943 they withdrew their support and attempted to disarm them.

[10] The Palmach, then numbering over 1,000, continued as an underground organisation with its members working half of each month as kibbutz volunteers, the rest of the month spent training. [11] It was never largeby 1947 it amounted to merely five battalions (about 2,000 men)but its members had not only received physical and military training, but also acquired leadership skills that would subsequently enable them to take up command positions in Israel's army. 1944 Lord Moyne assassination and the Season In 1944, after the assassination of Lord Moyne (the British Minister of State for the Middle East), by members of the Lehi, the Haganah worked with the British to kidnap, interrogate, and in some cases, deport Irgun members. This action, which lasted from November 1944 to February 1945, was called the Saison, or the Hunting Season, and was directed against the Irgun and not the Lehi. [citation needed] Future Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek was later revealed to be a Jewish Agency liaison officer working with the British authorities who had passed on information that led to the arrest of many Irgun activists.

[12] Many Jewish youth, who had joined the Haganah in order to defend the Jewish people, were greatly demoralized by operations against their own people. [13] The Irgun, paralyzed by the Saison, were ordered by their commander, Menachem Begin, not to retaliate in an effort to avoid a full blown civil war. Although many Irgunists objected to these orders, they obeyed Begin and refrained from fighting back. The Saison eventually ended due to perceived British betrayal of the Yishuv becoming more obvious to the public and increased opposition from Haganah members.

Within this new framework, the three groups agreed to operate under a joint command. They had different functions, which served to drive the British out of Palestine and create a Jewish state. The Haganah was less active in the Jewish Rebellion than the other two groups, but the Palmach did carry out anti-British operations, including a raid on the Atlit detainee camp that released 208 illegal immigrants, the Night of the Trains, the Night of the Bridges, and attacks on Palestine Police bases. [14] The Haganah withdrew on 1 July 1946, but "remained permanently unco-operative" with the British authorities. [15] It continued to organize illegal Jewish immigration as part of the Aliyah Bet program, in which ships carrying illegal immigrants attempted to breach the British blockade of Palestine and land illegal immigrants on the shore (most were intercepted by the Royal Navy), and the Palmach performed operations against the British to support the illegal immigration program.

The Palmach repeatedly bombed British radar stations being used to track illegal immigrant ships, and sabotaged British ships being used to deport illegal immigrants, as well as two British landing and patrol craft. [16] The Palmach performed a single assassination operation in which a British official who had been judged to be excessively cruel to Jewish prisoners was shot dead. [17] The Haganah also organized the Birya affair. Following the expulsion of the residents of the Jewish settlement of Birya for illegal weapons possession, thousands of Jewish youth organized by the Haganah marched to the site and rebuilt the settlement. [18] In addition to its operations, the Haganah continued to secretly prepare for a war with the Arabs once the British left by building up its arms and munitions stocks. It maintained a secret arms industry, with the most significant facility being an underground bullet factory underneath Ayalon, a kibbutz that had been established specifically to cover it up. [19] British estimates of the Haganah's strength at this time were a paper strength of 75,000 men and women with an effective strength of 30,000. [20] After the British army, the Haganah was considered the most powerful military force in the Middle East.

[21] In July 1947, eager to maintain order with the visit of UNSCOP to Palestine and under heavy pressure from the British authorities to resume collaboration, the Jewish Agency reluctantly came into brief conflict with the Irgun and Lehi, and ordered the Haganah to put a stop to the operations of the other two groups for the time being. As Palmach members refused to participate, a unit of about 200 men from regular Haganah units was mobilized, and foiled several operations against the British, including a potentially devastating attack on the British military headquarters at Citrus House in Tel Aviv, in which a Haganah member was killed by an Irgun bomb. The Haganah also joined the search for two British sergeants abducted by the Irgun as hostages against the death sentences of three Irgun members in what became known as the Sergeants' affair. The Jewish Agency leadership feared the damage this act would do to the Jewish cause, and also believed that holding the hostages would only jeopardize the fates of the three condemned Irgun members. The attempts to free the sergeants failed, and following the executions of the three Irgun members, the two sergeants were killed and hanged in a eucalyptus grove.

However, the campaign soon disintegrated into a series of retaliatory abductions and beatings of each other's members by the Haganah and Irgun, and eventually petered out. The campaign was dubbed the "Little Season" by the Irgun. [13][22] Reorganisation Theatre of Operation of each Haganah brigade. After'having gotten the Jews of Palestine and of elsewhere to do everything that they could, personally and financially, to help Yishuv,' Ben-Gurion's second greatest achievement was his having successfully transformed Haganah from being a clandestine paramilitary organization into a true army.

[23] Ben-Gurion appointed Israel Galili to the position of head of the High Command counsel of Haganah and divided Haganah into 6 infantry brigades, numbered 1 to 6, allotting a precise theatre of operation to each one. Yaakov Dori was named Chief of Staff, but it was Yigael Yadin who assumed the responsibility on the ground as chief of Operations. Palmach, commanded by Yigal Allon, was divided into 3 elite brigades, numbered 1012, and constituted the mobile force of Haganah. [24] Ben-Gurion's attempts to retain personal control over the newly formed IDF lead later in July to The Generals' Revolt. On 19 November 1947, obligatory conscription was instituted for all men and women aged between 17 and 25.

By end of March 21,000 people had been conscripted. [25][26] On 30 March the call-up was extended to men and single women aged between 26 and 35. Five days later a General Mobilization order was issued for all men under 40. [27] From November 1947, the Haganah, ... Began to change from a territorial militia into a regular army. Few of the units had been well trained by December. By MarchApril, it fielded still under-equipped battalion and brigades. By AprilMay, the Haganah was conducting brigade size offensive.

[28] The brigades of the Haganah which merged into the IDF once this was created on 26 May 1948: The northern Levanoni Brigade, located in the Galilee, was split on February 22, 1948 into the 1st and 2nd Brigades. The 1st or Golani Brigade was deployed in the Lower Galilee The 2nd or Carmeli Brigade was deployed in the north and took its name after its commander, Moshe Carmel The 3rd or Alexandroni Brigade formed on December 1, 1947 and dismantled in the summer of 1949 The 4th or Kiryati Brigade formed in 1948 in the Tel Aviv area The 5th or Givati Brigade formed in December 1947.

During civil war the Givati Brigade was deployed in the central region, and during the conventional war in the south as the 5th Brigade The 6th or Etzioni or Jerusalem Brigade headquartered in Netanya, it covered the area from Tel Aviv to Zichron Ya'akov[29][30] The Haganah mobilized Jewish youth for military training To the initial six brigades, three were added later during the war: The 7th Brigade, in Hebrew "Hativat Sheva" formed in 1948, manned mainly with Holocaust survivors and including a number of Machal troops. Almost annihilated at Latrun, then re-formed in the north. It had tanks and mounted infantry. The 8th Brigade founded on May 24, 1948 and subordinated to Yitzhak Sadeh as the IDF's first armoured brigade, headquartered near Jerusalem. The 9th or Oded Brigade headquartered in Jerusalem.

The Palmach brigades which merged into the IDF: The 10th or Harel Brigade established on 16 April 1948 The 11th or Yiftach Brigade The 12th or Negev Brigade established in March 1948 War of Independence Main article: 1948 Palestine War Haganah fighters in 1947 Haganah female officer in 1948 After the British announced they would withdraw from Palestine, and the United Nations approved the partition of Palestine, the 1947-48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine broke out. The Haganah played the leading role in the Yishuv's war with the Palestinian Arabs. Initially, it concentrated on defending Jewish areas from Arab raids, but after the danger of British intervention subsided as the British withdrew, the Haganah went on the offensive and seized more territory. Following the Israeli Declaration of Independence and the start of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War on May 15, 1948, the Haganah, now the army of the new state, engaged the invading armies of the surrounding Arab states. [13] On May 28, 1948, less than two weeks after the creation of the state of Israel on May 15, the provisional government created the Israel Defense Forces, merging the Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi, although the other two groups continued to operate independently in Jerusalem and abroad for some time after. [13] The re-organisation led to several conflicts between Ben-Gurion and the Haganah leadership, including what was known as The Generals' Revolt and the dismantling of the Palmach. Famous members of the Haganah included Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rehavam Ze'evi, Dov Hoz, Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon and Dr.

The Museum of Underground Prisoners in Jerusalem commemorates the activity of the underground groups in the pre-state period, recreating the everyday life of those imprisoned there. Pal-Heib Unit Some Bedouins had longstanding ties with nearby Jewish communities.

They helped defend these communities in the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine. During the 1948 ArabIsraeli War, some Bedouins of Tuba formed an alliance with the Haganah defending Jewish communities in the Upper Galilee against Syria. Some were part of a Pal-Heib unit of the Haganah. Sheik Hussein Mohammed Ali Abu Yussef of Tuba was quoted in 1948 as saying, Is it not written in the Koran that the ties of neighbors are as dear as those of relations?

Our friendship with the Jews goes back many years. We felt we could trust them and they learned from us too. [31] The 1948 (or First) ArabIsraeli War was the second and final stage of the 194749 Palestine war.

It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day, and a military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May. The first deaths of the 194749 Palestine war occurred on 30 November 1947 during an ambush of two buses carrying Jews. [13] There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and between each of them and the British forces since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. British policies dissatisfied both Arabs and Jews. Arabs opposition developed into the 19361939 Arab revolt in Palestine, while the Jewish resistance developed into the Jewish insurgency in Palestine (19441947).

In 1947, these on-going tensions erupted into civil war following the 29 November 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which planned to divide Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and the Special International Regime encompassing the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. On 15 May 1948, the civil war transformed into a conflict between Israel and the Arab states following the Israeli Declaration of Independence the previous day. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and expeditionary forces from Iraq entered Palestine, even though Jordan had declared privately to Yishuv emissaries on 2 May that it would not attack the Jewish state. [14] The invading forces took control of the Arab areas and immediately attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements.

[15][16][17] The 10 months of fighting took place mostly on the territory of the British Mandate and in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon, interrupted by several truce periods. [18] As a result of the war, the State of Israel controlled the area that UN General Assembly Resolution 181 had recommended for the proposed Jewish state, as well as almost 60-percent of the area of Arab state proposed by the 1947 Partition Plan, [19] including the Jaffa, Lydda, and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel AvivJerusalem road, West Jerusalem, and some territories in the West Bank. Transjordan took control of the remainder of the former British mandate, which it annexed, and the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip.

At the Jericho Conference on 1 December 1948, 2,000 Palestinian delegates called for unification of Palestine and Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity. [20] The conflict triggered significant demographic change throughout the Middle East. Around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes in the area that became Israel, and they became Palestinian refugees[21] in what they refer to as Al-Nakba ("the catastrophe"). In the three years following the war, about 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, many of whom had been expelled from their previous homelands in the Middle East. [22] Contents 1 Background 1.1 Armed forces 1.1.1 Importing arms 1.1.2 Arms production 1.1.3 Manpower 1.1.4 Irgun 1.1.5 Arab forces 2 Political objectives 2.1 Yishuv 2.2 Arab League as a whole 2.3 King Abdullah I of Jordan 2.4 Other Arab states 2.5 Arab Higher Committee of Amin al-Husayni 3 Initial line-up of forces 3.1 Military assessments 3.2 Yishuv/Israeli forces 3.3 Arab forces 3.3.1 Arab states 4 Course of the war 4.1 First phase: 15 May 11 June 1948 4.1.1 Southern front Negev 4.1.2 Battles of Latrun 4.1.3 Battle for Jerusalem 4.1.4 Northern Samaria 4.1.5 Northern front Lake of Galilee 4.1.6 Palestinian forces 4.1.7 Air operations 4.1.8 Sea battles 4.1.9 End of the first phase 4.2 First truce: 11 June 8 July 1948 4.2.1 Reinforcements 4.2.2 UN mediator Bernadotte 4.3 Second phase: 818 July 1948 ("Ten Day Battles") 4.3.1 Southern front 4.3.2 Lydda and al-Ramla 4.3.3 Jerusalem 4.3.4 Southern Galilee 4.3.5 Eastern Galilee 4.4 Second truce: 18 July 15 October 1948 4.5 Little triangle pocket 4.6 Third phase: 15 October 1948 10 March 1949 4.6.1 Northern front Galilee 4.6.2 Negev 4.6.3 Anglo-Israeli air clashes 4.6.4 UN Resolution 194 5 Weapons 6 Aftermath 6.1 1949 Armistice Agreements 6.2 Casualties 6.3 Demographic outcome 6.3.1 Palestinian Arabs 6.3.2 Jews 7 Historiography 8 In popular culture 9 Maps 10 See also 11 Notes 12 Notes 13 References 14 Further reading 14.1 History 14.2 Fiction 15 External links Background Main articles: 1947 UN Partition Plan and 194748 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine Proposed separation of Palestine On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of a plan to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, and the City of Jerusalem.

[23] The General Assembly resolution on Partition was greeted with overwhelming joy in Jewish communities and widespread outrage in the Arab world. In Palestine, violence erupted almost immediately, feeding into a spiral of reprisals and counter-reprisals. The British refrained from intervening as tensions boiled over into a low-level conflict that quickly escalated into a full-scale civil war. [24][25][26][27][28][29] From January onwards, operations became increasingly militarized, with the intervention of a number of Arab Liberation Army regiments inside Palestine, each active in a variety of distinct sectors around the different coastal towns. They consolidated their presence in Galilee and Samaria.

[30] Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni came from Egypt with several hundred men of the Army of the Holy War. Having recruited a few thousand volunteers, al-Husayni organized the blockade of the 100,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem. [31] To counter this, the Yishuv authorities tried to supply the city with convoys of up to 100 armoured vehicles, but the operation became more and more impractical as the number of casualties in the relief convoys surged. By March, Al-Hussayni's tactic had paid off.

Almost all of Haganah's armoured vehicles had been destroyed, the blockade was in full operation, and hundreds of Haganah members who had tried to bring supplies into the city were killed. [32] The situation for those who dwelt in the Jewish settlements in the highly isolated Negev and North of Galilee was even more critical.

While the Jewish population had received strict orders requiring them to hold their ground everywhere at all costs, [33] the Arab population was more affected by the general conditions of insecurity to which the country was exposed. Up to 100,000 Arabs, from the urban upper and middle classes in Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem, or Jewish-dominated areas, evacuated abroad or to Arab centres eastwards. [34] This situation caused the United States to withdraw its support for the Partition plan, thus encouraging the Arab League to believe that the Palestinian Arabs, reinforced by the Arab Liberation Army, could put an end to the plan for partition.

The British, on the other hand, decided on 7 February 1948, to support the annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan. [35] Although a certain level of doubt took hold among Yishuv supporters, their apparent defeats were due more to their wait-and-see policy than to weakness.

David Ben-Gurion reorganized Haganah and made conscription obligatory. Every Jewish man and woman in the country had to receive military training. Thanks to funds raised by Golda Meir from sympathisers in the United States, and Stalin's decision to support the Zionist cause, the Jewish representatives of Palestine were able to sign very important armament contracts in the East.

Other Haganah agents recuperated stockpiles from the Second World War, which helped improve the army's equipment and logistics. Operation Balak allowed arms and other equipment to be transported for the first time by the end of March.

Palmach M4 Sherman tank leading a convoy. Ben-Gurion invested Yigael Yadin with the responsibility to come up with a plan of offense whose timing was related to the foreseeable evacuation of British forces. This strategy, called Plan Dalet, was readied by March and implemented towards the end of April. [36] A separate plan, Operation Nachshon, was devised to lift the siege of Jerusalem.

[37] 1500 men from Haganah's Givati brigade and Palmach's Harel brigade conducted sorties to free up the route to the city between 5 and 20 April. Both sides acted offensively in defiance of the Partition Plan, which foresaw Jerusalem as a corpus separatum, under neither Jewish nor Arab jurisdiction. The Arabs did not accept the Plan, while the Jews were determined to oppose the internationalization of the city, and secure it as part of the Jewish state. [38] The operation was successful, and enough foodstuffs to last two months were trucked into Jerusalem for distribution to the Jewish population.

[39] The success of the operation was assisted by the death of al-Husayni in combat. During this time, and independently of Haganah or the framework of Plan Dalet, irregular fighters from Irgun and Lehi formations massacred a substantial number of Arabs at Deir Yassin, an event that, though publicly deplored and criticized by the principal Jewish authorities, had a deep impact on the morale of the Arab population and contributed to generate the exodus of the Arab population. At the same time, the first large-scale operation of the Arab Liberation Army ended in a debacle, having been roundly defeated at Mishmar HaEmek, [40] coinciding with the loss of their Druze allies through defection.

[41] Within the framework of the establishment of Jewish territorial continuity foreseen by Plan Dalet, the forces of Haganah, Palmach and Irgun intended to conquer mixed zones. The Palestinian Arab society was shaken. Tiberias, Haifa, Safed, Beisan, Jaffa and Acre fell, resulting in the flight of more than 250,000 Palestinian Arabs. [42] The British had, at that time, essentially withdrawn their troops. The situation pushed the leaders of the neighbouring Arab states to intervene, but their preparation was not finalized, and they could not assemble sufficient forces to turn the tide of the war. The majority of Palestinian Arab hopes lay with the Arab Legion of Transjordan's monarch, King Abdullah I, but he had no intention of creating a Palestinian Arab-run state, since he hoped to annex as much of the territory of the British Mandate for Palestine as he could. He was playing a double-game, being just as much in contact with the Jewish authorities as with the Arab League. In preparation for the offensive, Haganah successfully launched Operations Yiftah[43] and Ben-'Ami[44] to secure the Jewish settlements of Galilee, and Operation Kilshon, which created a united front around Jerusalem. The inconclusive meeting between Golda Meir and Abdullah I, followed by the Kfar Etzion massacre on 13 May by the Arab Legion led to predictions that the battle for Jerusalem would be merciless. On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel and the 1948 Palestine war entered its second phase with the intervention of the Arab state armies and the beginning of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. Armed forces By September 1947 the Haganah had "10,489 rifles, 702 light machine-guns, 2,666 submachine guns, 186 medium machine-guns, 672 two-inch mortars and 92 three-inch (76 mm) mortars". [45] Importing arms In 1946, Ben-Gurion decided that the Yishuv would probably have to defend itself against both the Palestinian Arabs and neighbouring Arab states and accordingly began a "massive, covert arms acquisition campaign in the West", and acquired many more during the first few months of hostilities. An Israeli Avia S-199, in June 1948 The Yishuv managed to clandestinely amass arms and military equipment abroad for transfer to Palestine once the British blockade was lifted. In Western Europe, Haganah agents amassed fifty 65mm French mountain guns, twelve 120mm mortars, ten H-35 light tanks, and a large number of half-tracks. [46] The airborne arms smuggling missions from Czechoslovakia were codenamed Operation Balak.

The airborne smuggling missions were carried out by mostly American aviators Jews and non-Jews led by ex-U. Air Transport Command flight engineer Al Schwimmer.

Schwimmer's operation also included recruiting and training fighter pilots such as Lou Lenart, commander of the first Israeli air assault against the Arabs. [47][48] Arms production The Yishuv also had "a relatively advanced arms producing capacity", that between October 1947 and July 1948" produced 3 million 9 mm bullets, 150,000 Mills grenades, 16,000 submachine guns (Sten Guns) and 210 three-inch (76 mm) mortars", [45] along with a few "Davidka" mortars, which had been indigenously designed and produced. They were inaccurate but had a spectacularly loud explosion that demoralized the enemy. A large amount of the munitions used by the Israelis came from the Ayalon Institute, a clandestine bullet factory underneath kibbutz Ayalon, which produced about 2.5 million bullets for Sten guns. The munitions produced by the Ayalon Institute were said to have been the only supply that was not in shortage during the war.

Locally produced explosives were also plentiful. After Israel's independence, these clandestine arms manufacturing operations no longer had to be concealed, and were moved above ground. All of the Haganah's weapons-manufacturing was centralized and later became Israel Military Industries. [49] Manpower In November 1947, the Haganah was an underground paramilitary force that had existed as a highly organized, national force, since the Arab riots of 192021, and throughout the riots of 1929, Great Uprising of 193639, [45] and World War 2. It had a mobile force, the HISH, which had 2,000 full-time fighters (men and women) and 10,000 reservists (all aged between 18 and 25) and an elite unit, the Palmach composed of 2,100 fighters and 1,000 reservists.

The reservists trained three or four days a month[citation needed] and went back to civilian life the rest of the time. These mobile forces could rely on a garrison force, the HIM Heil Mishmar, lit. Guard Corps, composed of people aged over 25. The Yishuv's total strength was around 35,000 with 15,000 to 18,000 fighters and a garrison force of roughly 20,000. [45][50] There were also several thousand men and women who had served in the British Army in World War II who did not serve in any of the underground militias but would provide valuable military experience during the war.

[51] Walid Khalidi says the Yishuv had the additional forces of the Jewish Settlement Police, numbering some 12,000, the Gadna Youth Battalions, and the armed settlers. [52] Few of the units had been trained by December 1947. [45] On 5 December 1947, conscription was instituted for all men and women aged between 17 and 25 and by the end of March, 21,000 had been conscripted. [53] On 30 March, the call-up was extended to men and single women aged between 26 and 35.

Five days later, a General Mobilization order was issued for all men under 40. [54] Irgun The Irgun, whose activities were considered by MI5 to be terrorism, was monitored by the British. [55] By March 1948, the Yishuv had a numerical superiority, with 35,780 mobilised and deployed fighters for the Haganah, [56][57] 3,000 of Stern and Irgun, and a few thousand armed settlers. [58] Arab forces The effective number of Arab combatants is listed at 12,000 by some historians[59] while others calculate a total Arab strength of approximately 23,500 troops, and with this being more of less or roughly equal to that of the Yishuv.

However, as Israel mobilized most of its most able citizens during the war while the Arab troops were only a small percentage of its far greater population, the strength of the Yishuv grew steadily and dramatically during the war. [60] According to Benny Morris, by the end of 1947, the Palestinians "had a healthy and demoralising respect for the Yishuv's military power" and if it came to battle the Palestinians expected to lose. Political objectives Yishuv Yishuv's aims evolved during the war. [61] Mobilization for a total war was organized.

[62] Initially, the aim was "simple and modest": to survive the assaults of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states. "The Zionist leaders deeply, genuinely, feared a Middle Eastern reenactment of the Holocaust, which had just ended; the Arabs' public rhetoric reinforced these fears". As the war progressed, the aim of expanding the Jewish state beyond the UN partition borders appeared: first to incorporate clusters of isolated Jewish settlements and later to add more territories to the state and give it defensible borders. A third and further aim that emerged among the political and military leaders after four or five months was to "reduce the size of Israel's prospective large and hostile Arab minority, seen as a potential powerful fifth column, by belligerency and expulsion". [61] Plan Dalet, or Plan D, (Hebrew:', Tokhnit dalet) was a plan worked out by the Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary group and the forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces, in autumn 1947 to spring 1948, which was sent to Haganah units in early March 1948.

According to the academic Ilan Pappé, its purpose was to conquer as much of Palestine and to expel as many Palestinians as possible, [63] though according to Benny Morris there was no such intent. In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Pappé asserts that Plan Dalet was a "blueprint for ethnic cleansing" with the aim of reducing both rural and urban areas of Palestine. [64] According to Gelber, the plan specified that in case of resistance, the population of conquered villages was to be expelled outside the borders of the Jewish state. If no resistance was met, the residents could stay put, under military rule.

[65] According to Morris, Plan D called for occupying the areas within the U. N sponsored Jewish state, several concentrations of Jewish population outside those areas (West Jerusalem and Western Galilee), and areas along the roads where the invading Arab armies were expected to attack.

[66] The intent of Plan Dalet is subject to much controversy, with historians on the one extreme asserting that it was entirely defensive, and historians on the other extreme asserting that the plan aimed at maximum conquest and expulsion of the Palestinians. The Yishuv perceived the peril of an Arab invasion as threatening its very existence. Having no real knowledge of the Arabs' true military capabilities, the Jews took Arab propaganda literally, preparing for the worst and reacting accordingly. [67] Arab League as a whole The Arab League had unanimously rejected the UN partition plan and were bitterly opposed to the establishment of a Jewish state.

The Arab League before partition affirmed the right to the independence of Palestine, while blocking the creation of a Palestinian government. [clarification needed] Towards the end of 1947, the League established a military committee commanded by the retired Iraqi general Isma'il Safwat whose mission was to analyse the chance of victory of the Palestinians against the Jews. [68] His conclusions were that they had no chance of victory and that an invasion of the Arab regular armies was mandatory.

[68] The political committee nevertheless rejected these conclusions and decided to support an armed opposition to the Partition Plan excluding the participation of their regular armed forces. [69] In April with the Palestinian defeat, the refugees coming from Palestine and the pressure of their public opinion, the Arab leaders decided to invade Palestine.

[70] The Arab League gave reasons for its invasion in Palestine in the cablegram:[71] the Arab states find themselves compelled to intervene in order to restore law and order and to check further bloodshed the Mandate over Palestine has come to an end, leaving no legally constituted authority the only solution of the Palestine problem is the establishment of a unitary Palestinian state. British diplomat Alec Kirkbride wrote in his 1976 memoirs about a conversation with the Arab League's Secretary-General Azzam Pasha a week before the armies marched:... When I asked him for his estimate of the size of the Jewish forces, [he] waved his hands and said:'It does not matter how many there are.

We will sweep them into the sea. "[72] Approximately six months previously, according to an interview in an 11 October 1947 article of Akhbar al-Yom, Azzam said: "I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, as this will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades. Discuss[73] According to Yoav Gelber, the Arab countries were drawn into the war by the collapse of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab Liberation Army [and] the Arab governments' primary goal was preventing the Palestinian Arabs' total ruin and the flooding of their own countries by more refugees. According to their own perception, had the invasion not taken place, there was no Arab force in Palestine capable of checking the Haganah's offensive. [67] King Abdullah I of Jordan King Abdullah was the commander of the Arab Legion, the strongest Arab army involved in the war according to Rogan and Shlaim in 2007.

[74] However, Morris wrote in 2008 that the Egyptian army was the most powerful and threatening army. [75] The Arab Legion had about 10,000 soldiers, trained and commanded by British officers. King Abdullah outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 29 May 1948, the day after Jordanian forces took control of the Old City in the Battle for Jerusalem In 194647, Abdullah said that he had no intention to resist or impede the partition of Palestine and creation of a Jewish state.

[76] Ideally, Abdullah would have liked to annex all of Palestine, but he was prepared to compromise. [77][78] He supported the partition, intending that the West Bank area of the British Mandate allocated for the Arab state be annexed to Jordan.

[79] Abdullah had secret meetings with the Jewish Agency (at which the future Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was among the delegates) that reached an agreement of Jewish non-interference with Jordanian annexation of the West Bank (although Abdullah failed in his goal of acquiring an outlet to the Mediterranean Sea through the Negev desert) and of Jordanian agreement not to attack the area of the Jewish state contained in the United Nations partition resolution (in which Jerusalem was given neither to the Arab nor the Jewish state, but was to be an internationally administered area). In order to keep their support to his plan of annexation of the Arab State, Abdullah promised to the British he would not attack the Jewish State. [80] The neighbouring Arab states pressured Abdullah into joining them in an "all-Arab military invasion" against the newly created State of Israel, that he used to restore his prestige in the Arab world, which had grown suspicious of his relatively good relationship with Western and Jewish leaders. [76] Jordan's undertakings not to cross partition lines were not taken at face value.

While repeating assurances that Jordan would only take areas allocated to a future Arab State, on the eve of war Tawfik Abu al-Huda told the British that were other Arab armies to advance against Israel, Jordan would follow suit. [81] On 23 May Abdullah told the French consul in Amman that he "was determined to fight Zionism and prevent the establishment of an Israeli state on the border of his kingdom". [82] Abdullah's role in this war became substantial. He saw himself as the "supreme commander of the Arab forces" and "persuaded the Arab League to appoint him" to this position. [83] Through his leadership, the Arabs fought the 1948 war to meet Abdullah's political goals. Other Arab states King Farouk of Egypt was anxious to prevent Abdullah from being seen as the main champion of the Arab world in Palestine, which he feared might damage his own leadership aspirations of the Arab world. [77] In addition, Farouk wished to annex all of southern Palestine to Egypt. [77] According to Gamal Abdel Nasser the Egyptian army first communique described the Palestine operations as a merely punitive expedition against the Zionist "gangs", [84] using a term frequent in Haganah reports of Palestinian fighters. [85] According to a 2019 study, senior British intelligence, military officers and diplomats in Cairo were deeply involved in a covert scheme to drive the King to participate in the Arab states war coalition against Israel.

[86] These intelligence officers acted without the approval or knowledge of the British government. [86] Nuri as-Said, the strongman of Iraq, had ambitions for bringing the entire Fertile Crescent under Iraqi leadership. [77] Both Syria and Lebanon wished to take certain areas of northern Palestine. [77] One result of the ambitions of the various Arab leaders was a distrust of all the Palestinian leaders who wished to set up a Palestinian state, and a mutual distrust of each other.

[77] Co-operation was to be very poor during the war between the various Palestinian factions and the Arab armies. [77] Arab Higher Committee of Amin al-Husayni Further information: All-Palestine Government Following rumours that King Abdullah was re-opening the bilateral negotiations with Israel that he had previously conducted in secret with the Jewish Agency, the Arab League, led by Egypt, decided to set up the All-Palestine Government in Gaza on 8 September under the nominal leadership of the Mufti. [87] Abdullah regarded the attempt to revive al-Husayni's Holy War Army as a challenge to his authority and all armed bodies operating in the areas controlled by the Arab Legion were disbanded.

Glubb Pasha carried out the order ruthlessly and efficiently. [88][89] Initial line-up of forces Military assessments Though the state of Israel faced the formidable armies of neighboring Arab countries, yet due to previous battles by the middle of May the Palestinians themselves hardly existed as a military force. [90] The British Intelligence and Arab League military reached similar conclusions. [91] The British Foreign Ministry and C. A believed that the Arab States would finally win in case of war.

[92][93] Martin Van Creveld says that in terms of manpower, the sides were fairly evenly matched. [94] In May, Egyptian generals told their government that the invasion will be "A parade without any risks" and Tel Aviv "in two weeks".

[95] Egypt, Iraq, and Syria all possessed air forces, Egypt and Syria had tanks, and all had some modern artillery. [96] Initially, the Haganah had no heavy machine guns, artillery, armoured vehicles, anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons, [51] nor military aircraft or tanks. [45] The four Arab armies that invaded on 15 May were far stronger than the Haganah formations they initially encountered. [97] On 12 May, three days before the invasion, David Ben-Gurion was told by his chief military advisers (who over-estimated the size of the Arab armies and the numbers and efficiency of the troops who would be committed much as the Arab generals tended to exaggerate Jewish fighters' strength) that Israel's chances of winning a war against the Arab states were only about even. [96] Yishuv/Israeli forces Jewish forces at the invasion: Sources disagree about the amount of arms at the Yishuv's disposal at the end of the Mandate.

[51] According to Collins and LaPierre, by April 1948, the Haganah had managed to accumulate only about 20,000 rifles and Sten guns for the 35,000 soldiers who existed on paper. [98] According to Walid Khalidi "the arms at the disposal of these forces were plentiful".

[52] France authorized Air France to transport cargo to Tel Aviv on 13 May. [99] Yishuv forces were organised in 9 brigades, and their numbers grew following Israeli independence, eventually expanding to 12 brigades. Although both sides increased their manpower over the first few months of the war, the Israeli forces grew steadily as a result of the progressive mobilization of Israeli society and the influx of an average of 10,300 immigrants each month. [100] By the end of 1948, the Israel Defense Forces had 88,033 soldiers, including 60,000 combat soldiers.

[101] Brigade Commander Size[102] Operations Golani Moshe Mann 4,500 Dekel, Hiram Carmeli Moshe Carmel 2,000 Hiram Alexandroni Dan Even 5,200 Latrun, Hametz Kiryati Michael Ben-Gal 1,400 Dani, Hametz Givati Shimon Avidan 5,000 Hametz, Barak, Pleshet Etzioni David Shaltiel Battle of Jerusalem, Shfifon, Yevusi, Battle of Ramat Rachel 7th Armoured Shlomo Shamir Battles of Latrun 8th Armoured Yitzhak Sadeh Danny, Yoav, Horev Oded Avraham Yoffe Yoav, Hiram Harel Yitzhak Rabin[103] 1,400 Nachshon, Danny Yiftach Yigal Allon 4,500 inc. [99] Czechoslovakia supplied vast quantities of arms to Israel during the war, including thousands of vz. 24 rifles and MG 34 and ZB 37 machine guns, and millions of rounds of ammunition. Czechoslovakia supplied fighter aircraft, including at first ten Avia S-199 fighter planes. The Haganah readied twelve cargo ships throughout European ports to transfer the accumulated equipment, which would set sail as soon as the British blockade was lifted with the expiration of the Mandate.

[104][105] Following Israeli independence, the Israelis managed to build three Sherman tanks from scrap-heap material found in abandoned British ordnance depots. [106] Sherman tanks of the Israeli 8th Armoured Brigade, 1948 The Haganah also managed to obtain stocks of British weapons due to the logistical complexity of the British withdrawal, and the corruption of a number of officials. [107] A Cromwell tank After the first truce: By July 1948, the Israelis had established an air force, a navy, and a tank battalion. [105] On June 29, 1948, the day before the last British troops left Haifa, two British soldiers sympathetic to the Israelis stole two Cromwell tanks from an arms depot in the Haifa port area, smashing them through the unguarded gates, and joined the IDF with the tanks.

These two tanks would form the basis of the Israeli Armored Corps. [108] IDF soldiers of the Samson's Foxes unit advance in a captured Egyptian Bren Gun carrier. After the second truce: Czechoslovakia supplied Supermarine Spitfire fighter planes, which were smuggled to Israel via an abandoned Luftwaffe runway in Yugoslavia, with the agreement of the Yugoslav government.

[citation needed] The airborne arms smuggling missions from Czechoslovakia were codenamed Operation Balak. Arab forces At the invasion: In addition to the local irregular Palestinians militia groups, the five Arab states that joined the war were Egypt, Jordan (Transjordan), Syria, Lebanon and Iraq sending expeditionary forces of their regular armies.

Additional contingents came from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. On the eve of the war, the available number of Arab troops likely to be committed to war was between 23,500 and 26,500 (10,000 Egyptians, 4,500 Jordanians, 3,000 Iraqis, 3,0006,000 Syrians, 2,000 ALA volunteers, 1,000 Lebanese, and several hundred Saudis), in addition to the irregular Palestinians already present. Prior to the war, Arab forces had been trained by British and French instructors. This was particularly true of Jordan's Arab Legion under command of Lt Gen Sir John Glubb. [109] Arab states Jordan's Arab Legion was considered the most effective Arab force.

Armed, trained and commanded by British officers, this 8,00012,000 strong force was organised in four infantry/mechanised regiments supported by some 40 artillery pieces and 75 armoured cars. [110] Until January 1948, it was reinforced by the 3,000-strong Transjordan Frontier Force. [111] As many as 48 British officers served in the Arab Legion. [112] Glubb Pasha, the commander of the Legion, organized his forces into four brigades as follows: Military Division Commander[113][114] Rank Military Zone of operations First Brigade, includes: 1st and 3rd regiments Desmond Goldie Colonel Nablus Military Zone Second Brigade, includes: Fifth and Sixth Regiments Sam Sidney Arthur Cooke Brigadier Support force Third Brigade, includes: Second and Fourth Regiments Teel Ashton Colonel Ramallah Military Zone Fourth Brigade Ahmad Sudqi al-Jundi Colonel Support: Ramallah, Hebron, and Ramla The Arab Legion joined the war in May 1948, but fought only in the area that King Abdullah wanted to secure for Jordan: the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

France prevented a large sale of arms by a Swiss company to Ethiopia, brokered by the U. K foreign office, which was actually destined for Egypt and Jordan, denied a British request at the end of April to permit the landing of a squadron of British aircraft on their way to Transjordan, and applied diplomatic pressure on Belgium to suspend arms sales to the Arab states. [99] The Jordanian forces were probably the best trained of all combatants.

Other combatant forces lacked the ability to make strategic decisions and tactical maneuvers, [115] as evidenced by positioning the fourth regiment at Latrun, which was abandoned by ALA combatants before the arrival of the Jordanian forces and the importance of which was not fully understood by the Haganah general-staff. In the later stages of the war, Latrun proved to be of extreme importance, and a decisive factor in Jerusalem's fate.

In 1948, Iraq's army had 21,000 men in 12 brigades and the Iraqi Air Force had 100 planes, mostly British. Initially the Iraqis committed around 3,000 men[116] to the war effort, including four infantry brigades, one armoured battalion and support personnel.

These forces were to operate under Jordanian guidance[117] The first Iraqi forces to be deployed reached Jordan in April 1948 under the command of Gen. [118] Vickers light tanks in the desert In 1948, Egypt's army was able to put a maximum of around 40,000 men into the field, 80% of its military-age male population being unfit for military service and its embryonic logistics system being limited in its ability to support ground forces deployed beyond its borders. [citation needed] Initially, an expeditionary force of 10,000 men was sent to Palestine under the command of Maj. This force consisted of five infantry battalions, one armoured battalion equipped with British Light Tank Mk VI and Matilda tanks, one battalion of sixteen 25-pounder guns, a battalion of eight 6-pounder guns and one medium-machine-gun battalion with supporting troops. [citation needed] The Egyptian Air Force had over 30 Spitfires, 4 Hawker Hurricanes and 20 C47s modified into crude bombers.

[citation needed] Syria had 12,000 soldiers at the beginning of the 1948 War, grouped into three infantry brigades and an armoured force of approximately battalion size. The Syrian Air Force had fifty planes, the 10 newest of which were World War IIgeneration models. France suspended arms sales to Syria, notwithstanding signed contracts.

[99] Lebanon's army was the smallest of the Arab armies, consisting of only 3,500 soldiers. [111] According to Gelber, in June 1947, Ben-Gurion arrived at an agreement with the Maronite religious leadership in Lebanon that cost a few thousand pounds and kept Lebanon's army out of the War of Independence and the military Arab coalition. [119] According to Rogan and Shlaim, a token force of 1,000 was committed to the invasion.

It crossed into the northern Galilee and was repulsed by Israeli forces. Israel then invaded and occupied southern Lebanon until the end of the war. [120] Arab forces after the first truce: By the time of the second truce, the Egyptians had 20,000 men in the field in thirteen battalions equipped with 135 tanks and 90 artillery pieces. [121] During the first truce, the Iraqis increased their force to about 10,000. [122] Ultimately, the Iraqi expeditionary force numbered around 18,000 men. [123][124] Saudi Arabia sent hundreds of volunteers to join the Arab forces. In February 1948, around 800 tribesmen had gathered near Aqaba so as to invade the Negev, but crossed to Egypt after Saudi rival King Abdallah officially denied them permission to pass through Jordanian territory.

[125] The Saudi troops were attached to the Egyptian command throughout the war, [126] and estimates of their total strength ranged up to 1,200. [127][128] By July 1948, the Saudis comprised three brigades within the Egyptian expeditionary force, and were stationed as guards between Gaza city and Rafah. [129] This area came under heavy aerial bombardment during Operation Yoav in October, [130] and faced a land assault beginning in late December which culminated in the Battle of Rafah in early January of the new year. [131] During the first truce, Sudan sent six companies of regular troops to fight alongside the Egyptians.

[132] Yemen also committed a small expeditionary force to the war effort, and contingents from Morocco joined the Arab armies as well. [4] Course of the war At the last moment, several Arab leaders, to avert catastrophe secretly appealed to the British to hold on in Palestine for at least another year. [133] First phase: 15 May 11 June 1948 Further information: Israeli Declaration of Independence Arab offensive, 15 May 10 June 1948 A "Butterfly" improvised armored car of the Haganah at Kibbutz Dorot in the Negev, Israel 1948.

The armored car is based on CMP-15 truck. The car has brought supply to the kibbutz. The Negev Kibbutz's[dubious discuss] children were later evacuated by those cars from their kibbutz, before an expected Egyptian Army attack.

On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel to be known as the State of Israel, a few hours before the termination of the Mandate. [134] At midnight on 15 May 1948, the British Mandate was officially terminated, and the State of Israel came into being. Several hours later, Iraq and the neighboring Arab states, Egypt, Jordan (Transjordan) and Syria, invaded the newborn state, [135][136] and immediately attacked Jewish settlements. [16] What was now Israel had already, from 1 April down to 14 May, conducted 8 of its 13 full-scale military operations outside of the area allotted to a Jewish state by partition, and the operational commander Yigal Allon later stated that had it not been for the Arab invasion, Haganah's forces would have reached'the natural borders of western Israel. [137] Although the Arab invasion was denounced by the United States, the Soviet Union, and UN secretary-general Trygve Lie, it found support from the Republic of China and other UN member states.

[138] The initial Arab plans called for Syrian and Lebanese forces to invade from north while Jordanian and Iraqi forces were to invade from east in order to meet at Nazareth and then to push forward together to Haifa. In the south, the Egyptians were to advance and take Tel Aviv.

[139] At the Arab League meeting in Damascus on 1113 May, Abdullah rejected the plan, which served Syrian interests, using the fact his allies were afraid to go to war without his army. He proposed that the Iraqis attack the Jezreel valley and the Arab Legion enter Ramallah and Nablus and link with the Egyptian army at Hebron, [139] which was more in compliance with his political objective to occupy the territory allocated to the Arab State by the partition plan and promises not to invade the territory allocated to the Jewish State by the partition plan. In addition, Lebanon decided not to take part in the war at the last minute, due to the still-influential Christians' opposition and due to Jewish bribes.

[70] Intelligence provided by the French consulate in Jerusalem on 12 May 1948 on the Arab armies' invading forces and their revised plan to invade the new state contributed to Israel's success in withstanding the Arab invasion. [140] The first mission of the Jewish forces was to hold on against the Arab armies and stop them, although the Arabs had enjoyed major advantages (the initiative, vastly superior firepower). [141] As the British stopped blocking the incoming Jewish immigrants and arms supply, the Israeli forces grew steadily with large numbers of immigrants and weapons, that allowed the Haganah to transform itself from a paramilitary force into a real army. Initially, the fighting was handled mainly by the Haganah, along with the smaller Jewish militant groups Irgun and Lehi. On 26 May 1948, Israel established the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), incorporating these forces into one military under a central command.

Southern front Negev Israeli soldiers in Nirim Israeli soldiers in Negba The Egyptian force, the largest among the Arab armies, invaded from the south. On 15 May 1948, the Egyptians attacked two settlements: Nirim, using artillery, armoured cars carrying cannons, and Bren carriers;[16] and Kfar Darom[16] using artillery, tanks and aircraft. The Egyptians attacks met fierce resistance from the few and lightly armed defenders of both settlements, and failed. On 19 May the Egyptians attacked Yad Mordechai, where an inferior force of 100 Israelis armed with nothing more than rifles, a medium machinegun and a PIAT anti-tank weapon, held up a column of 2,500 Egyptians, well-supported by armor, artillery and air units, for five days. [142] The Egyptians took heavy losses, while the losses sustained by the defenders were comparatively light. [143] One of the Egyptian force's two main columns made its way northwards along the shoreline, through what is today the Gaza Strip and the other column advanced eastwards toward Beersheba. [143][144] To secure their flanks, the Egyptians attacked and laid siege to a number of kibbutzim in the Negev, among those Kfar Darom, Nirim, Yad Mordechai, and Negba.

On 28 May the Egyptians renewed their northern advance, and stopped at a destroyed bridge north to Isdud. The Givati Brigade reported this advance but no fighters were sent to confront the Egyptians. Had the Egyptians wished to continue their advance northward, towards Tel Aviv, there would have been no Israeli force to block them.

[146][147] Further information: Operation Pleshet From 29 May to 3 June, Israeli forces stopped the Egyptian drive north in Operation Pleshet. In the first combat mission performed by Israel's fledgling air force, four Avia S-199s attacked an Egyptian armored column of 500 vehicles on its way to Isdud. The Israeli planes dropped 70 kilogram bombs and strafed the column, although their machine guns jammed quickly. Two of the planes crashed, killing a pilot. The attack caused the Egyptians to scatter, and they had lost the initiative by the time they had regrouped.

Following the air attack, Israeli forces constantly bombarded Egyptian forces in Isdud with Napoleonchik cannons, and IDF patrols engaged in small-scale harassment of Egyptian lines. Following another air attack, the Givati Brigade launched a counterattack. Although the counterattack was repulsed, the Egyptian offensive was halted as Egypt changed its strategy from offensive to defensive, and the initiative shifted to Israel. [148] On 6 June, in the Battle of Nitzanim, Egyptian forces attacked the kibbutz of Nitzanim, located between Majdal (now Ashkelon) and Isdud, and the Israeli defenders surrendered after resisting for five days. Battles of Latrun Further information: Battles of Latrun (1948) The heaviest fighting occurred in Jerusalem and on the Jerusalem Tel Aviv road, between Jordan's Arab Legion and Israeli forces. [149] As part of the redeployment to deal with the Egyptian advance, the Israelis abandoned the Latrun fortress overlooking the main highway to Jerusalem, which the Arab Legion immediately seized. [150] The Arab Legion also occupied the Latrun Monastery. From these positions, the Jordanians were able to cut off supplies to Israeli fighters and civilians in Jerusalem.

[151] The Israelis attempted to take the Latrun fortress in a series of battles lasting from 24 May to 18 July. The Arab Legion held Latrun and managed to repulse the attacks. [151] During the attempts to take Latrun, Israeli forces suffered some 586 casualties, among them Mickey Marcus, Israel's first general, who was killed by friendly fire.

The Arab Legion also took losses, losing 90 dead and some 200 wounded up to 29 May. [152] Building the Burma Road A bulldozer tows a truck on the "Burma road", June 1948 Area map The besieged Israeli Jerusalem was only saved via the opening of the so-called "Burma Road", a makeshift bypass road built by Israeli forces that allowed Israeli supply convoys to pass into Jerusalem. [151] Parts of the area where the road was built were cleared of Jordanian snipers in May and the road was completed on 14 June. Supplies had already begun passing through before the road was completed, with the first convoy passing through on the night of 12 June.

The Jordanians spotted the activity and attempted to shell the road, but were ineffective, as it could not be seen. However, Jordanian sharpshooters killed several road workers, and an attack on 9 June left eight Israelis dead.

On 18 July, elements of the Harel Brigade took about 10 villages to the south of Latrun to enlarge and secure the area of the Burma Road. The Arab Legion was able to repel an Israeli attack on Latrun.

The Jordanians launched two counterattacks, temporarily taking Beit Susin before being forced back, and capturing Gezer after a fierce battle, which was retaken by two Palmach squads the same evening. [153] Jordanian artillery shelling Jerusalem in 1948 Arab Legion soldier standing in ruins of the most sacred Synagogue, the "Hurva", Old City. [154] Jewish residents of Jerusalem Old City fleeing during the Jordanian offensive Battle for Jerusalem Further information: Battle for Jerusalem Mathematics professor Michael Fekete, the Provost of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with his water quota, during the siege of Jerusalem The Jordanians in Latrun cut off supplies to western Jerusalem. [151] Though some supplies, mostly munitions, were airdropped into the city, the shortage of food, water, fuel and medicine was acute. The Israeli forces were seriously short of food, water and ammunition. [151] King Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha, the commander of the Arab Legion, to enter Jerusalem on 17 May. The Arab Legion fired 10,000 artillery and mortar shells a day, [151] and also attacked West Jerusalem with sniper fire.

Heavy house-to-house fighting occurred between 19 and 28 May, with the Arab Legion eventually succeeding in pushing Israeli forces from the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as well as the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. [151] The 1,500 Jewish inhabitants of the Old City's Jewish Quarter were expelled, and several hundred were detained. The Jews had to be escorted out by the Arab Legion to protect them against Palestinian Arab mobs that intended to massacre them. [155] On 22 May, Arab forces attacked kibbutz Ramat Rachel south of Jerusalem. After a fierce battle in which 31 Jordanians and 13 Israelis were killed, the defenders of Ramat Rachel withdrew, only to partially retake the kibbutz the following day.

Fighting continued until 26 May, until the entire kibbutz was recaptured. Radar Hill was also taken from the Arab Legion, and held until 26 May, when the Jordanians retook it in a battle that left 19 Israelis and 2 Jordanians dead.

A total of 23 attempts by the Harel Brigade to capture Radar Hill in the war failed. The same day, Thomas C. Wasson, the US Consul-General in Jerusalem and a member of the UN Truce Commission was shot dead in West Jerusalem. It was disputed whether Wasson was killed by the Arabs or Israelis. In mid to late October 1948, the Harel Brigade began its offensive in what was known as Operation Ha-Har, to secure the Jerusalem Corridor. Northern Samaria Further information: Battle of Jenin (1948) Israeli soldiers in Afula. An Iraqi force consisting of two infantry and one armoured brigade crossed the Jordan River from northern Jordan, attacking the Israeli settlement of Gesher with little success. [16] Following this defeat, Iraqi forces moved into the strategic triangle bounded by the Arab towns Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm. On 25 May, they were making their way towards Netanya, when they were stopped. [156] On 29 May, an Israeli attack against the Iraqis led to three days of heavy fighting over Jenin, but Iraqi forces managed to hold their positions.

[156] After these battles, the Iraqi forces became stationary and their involvement in the war effectively ended. [118][156] Iraqi forces failed in their attacks on Israeli settlements with the most notable battle taking place at Gesher, and instead took defensive positions around Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, from where they could put pressure on the Israeli center. [citation needed][157] On 25 May, Iraqi forces advanced from Tulkarm, taking Geulim and reaching Kfar Yona and Ein Vered on the Tulkarm-Netanya road.

The Alexandroni Brigade then stopped the Iraqi advance and retook Geulim. The IDF Carmeli and Golani Brigades attempted to capture Jenin during an offensive launched on 31 May, but were defeated in course of the subsequent battle by an Iraqi counterattack. Northern front Lake of Galilee Syrian R-35 light tank destroyed at Degania Alef.

Further information: Battles of the Kinarot Valley On 14 May Syria invaded Palestine with the 1st Infantry Brigade supported by a battalion of armoured cars, a company of French R 35 and R 37 tanks, an artillery battalion and other units. [158] The Syrian president, Shukri al-Quwwatli instructed his troops in the front, "to destroy the Zionists". The situation was very grave. There are no heavy weapons, Ben-Gurion told the Israeli Cabinet.

[159][160] On 15 May, the Syrian forces turned to the eastern and southern Sea of Galilee shores, and attacked Samakh the neighboring Tegart fort and the settlements of Sha'ar HaGolan, Ein Gev, but they were bogged down by resistance. [16] Later, they attacked Samakh using tanks and aircraft, and on 18 May they succeeded in conquering Samakh[158] and occupied the abandoned Sha'ar HaGolan. [16] On 21 May, the Syrian army was stopped at kibbutz Degania Alef in the north, where local militia reinforced by elements of the Carmeli Brigade halted Syrian armored forces with Molotov cocktails, hand grenades and a single PIAT. One tank that was disabled by Molotov cocktails and hand grenades still remains at the kibbutz. The remaining Syrian forces were driven off the next day by four Napoleonchik mountain guns Israel's first use of artillery during the war. [161] Following the Syrian forces' defeat at the Deganias a few days later, they abandoned the Samakh village. [158] The Syrians were forced to besiege the kibbutz rather than advance. [156] One author claims that the main reason for the Syrian defeat was the Syrian soldiers' low regard for the Israelis who they believed would not stand and fight against the Arab army. [160] On 6 June, nearly two brigades of the Arab Liberation Army and the Lebanese Army took Al-Malkiyya and Qadas in what became the only intervention of the Lebanese army during the war. [156] On 6 June, Syrian forces attacked Mishmar HaYarden, but they were repulsed. On 10 June, the Syrians overran Mishmar HaYarden and advanced to the main road, where they were stopped by units of the Oded Brigade.

[162] Subsequently, the Syrians reverted to a defensive posture, conducting only a few minor attacks on small, exposed Israeli settlements. [158] Palestinian forces Kaukji, the Arab Liberation Army commander In the continuity of the civil war between Jewish and Arab forces that had begun in 1947, battles between Israeli forces and Palestinian Arab militias took place, particularly in the Lydda, al-Ramla, Jerusalem, and Haifa areas.

On 23 May, the Alexandroni Brigade captured Tantura, south of Haifa, from Arab forces. On 2 June, Holy War Army commander Hasan Salama was killed in a battle with Haganah at Ras al-Ein. Air operations An Egyptian Spitfire shot down over Tel Aviv on 15 May 1948 Volunteers evacuating a wounded man during Egyptian bombardment of Tel Aviv.

All Jewish aviation assets were placed under the control of the Sherut Avir (Air Service, known as the SA) in November 1947 and flying operations began in the following month from a small civil airport on the outskirts of Tel Aviv called Sde Dov, with the first ground support operation (in an RWD-13)[163] taking place on 17 December. By 10 May, when the SA suffered its first combat loss, there were three flying units, an air staff, maintenance facilities and logistics support. At the outbreak of the war on 15 May, the SA became the Israeli Air Force. With its fleet[164] of light planes it was no match for Arab forces during the first few weeks of the war with their T-6s, Spitfires, C-47s, and Avro Ansons. On 15 May, with the beginning of the war, four Royal Egyptian Air Force (REAF) Spitfires attacked Tel Aviv, bombing Sde Dov Airfield, where the bulk of Sherut Avir's aircraft were concentrated, as well as the Reading Power Station. Several aircraft were destroyed, some others were damaged, and five Israelis were killed. Throughout the following hours, additional waves of Egyptian aircraft bombed and strafed targets around Tel Aviv, although these raids had little effect. One Spitfire was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and its pilot was taken prisoner. Throughout the next six days, the REAF would continue to attack Tel Aviv, causing civilian casualties. On 18 May, Egyptian warplanes attacked the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, killing 42 people and wounding 100. In addition to their attacks on Tel Aviv, the Egyptians also bombed rural settlements and airfields, though few casualties were caused in these raids. [165] At the outset of the war, the REAF was able to attack Israel with near impunity, due to the lack of Israeli fighter aircraft to intercept them, [166] and met only ground fire. As more effective air defenses were transferred to Tel Aviv, the Egyptians began taking significant aircraft losses. As a result of these losses, as well as the loss of five Spitfires downed by the British when the Egyptians mistakenly attacked RAF Ramat David, the Egyptian air attacks became less frequent. By the end of May 1948, almost the entire REAF Spitfire squadron based in El Arish had been lost, including many of its best pilots. Although lacking fighter or bomber aircraft, in the first few days of the war, Israel's embryonic air force still attacked Arab targets, with light aircraft being utilized as makeshift bombers, striking Arab encampments and columns.

The raids were mostly carried out at night to avoid interception by Arab fighter aircraft. These attacks usually had little effect, except on morale. Avia S-199 Israeli 1st fighter aircraft Israeli Spitfire F Mk Israeli B-17s in flight The balance of air power soon began to swing in favor of the Israeli Air Force following the arrival of 25 Avia S-199s from Czechoslovakia, the first of which arrived in Israel on 20 May. Ironically, Israel was using the Avia S-199, an inferior derivative of the Bf 109 designed in Nazi Germany to counter British-designed Spitfires flown by Egypt. Throughout the rest of the war, Israel would acquire more Avia fighters, as well as 62 Spitfires from Czechoslovakia.

On 28 May 1948, Sherut Avir became the Israeli Air Force. Many of the pilots who fought for the Israeli Air Force were foreign volunteers or mercenaries, including many World War II veterans. On 3 June, Israel scored its first victory in aerial combat when Israeli pilot Modi Alon shot down a pair of Egyptian DC-3s that had just bombed Tel Aviv.

Although Tel Aviv would see additional raids by fighter aircraft, there would be no more raids by bombers for the rest of the war. From then on, the Israeli Air Force began engaging the Arab air forces in air-to-air combat. The first dogfight took place on 8 June, when an Israeli fighter plane flown by Gideon Lichtman shot down an Egyptian Spitfire. By the fall of 1948, the IAF had achieved air superiority and had superior firepower and more knowledgeable personnel, many of whom had seen action in World War II. [167] Israeli planes then began intercepting and engaging Arab aircraft on bombing missions. Following Israeli air attacks on Egyptian and Iraqi columns, the Egyptians repeatedly bombed Ekron Airfield, where IAF fighters were based.

During a 30 May raid, bombs aimed for Ekron hit central Rehovot, killing 7 civilians and wounding 30. In response to this, and probably to the Jordanian victories at Latrun, Israel began bombing targets in Arab cities. On the night of 31 May/1 June, the first Israeli raid on an Arab capital took place when three IAF planes flew to Amman and dropped several dozen 55 and 110-pound bombs, hitting the King's Palace and an adjacent British airfield. Some 12 people were killed and 30 wounded. During the attack, an RAF hangar was damaged, as were some British aircraft.

The British threatened that in the event of another such attack, they would shoot down the attacking aircraft and bomb Israeli airfields, and as a result, Israeli aircraft did not attack Amman again for the rest of the war. Israel also bombed Arish, Gaza, Damascus, and Cairo. Israeli Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers coming to Israel from Czechoslovakia bombed Egypt on their way to Israel. [168][169] According to Alan Dershowitz, Israeli planes focused on bombing military targets in these attacks, though Benny Morris wrote that an 11 June air raid on Damascus was indiscriminate. Sea battles Northland in Greenland circa 1944 which became the Israeli INS Eilat At the outset of the war, the Israeli Navy consisted of three former Aliyah Bet ships that had been seized by the British and impounded in Haifa harbor, where they were tied up at the breakwater.

Work on establishing a navy had begun shortly before Israeli independence, and the three ships were selected due to them having a military background one, the INS Eilat, was an ex-US Coast Guard icebreaker, and the other two, the INS Haganah and INS Wedgwood, had been Royal Canadian Navy corvettes. The ships were put into minimum running condition by contractors dressed as stevedores and port personnel, who were able to work in the engine rooms and below deck.

The work had to be clandestine to avoid arousing British suspicion. In Tel Aviv, the ships were fitted with small field guns dating to the late 19th century and anti-aircraft guns. After the British left Haifa port on 30 June, Haifa became the main base of the Israeli Navy. The warships were manned by former merchant seamen, former crewmembers of Aliyah Bet ships, Israelis who had served in the Royal Navy during World War II, and foreign volunteers. [170][171] End of the first phase Palestine Military Situation, June 11, 1948.

Truman Papers Throughout the following days, the Arabs were only able to make limited gains due to fierce Israeli resistance, and were quickly driven off their new holdings by Israeli counterattacks. As the war progressed, the IDF managed to field more troops than the Arab forces. In July 1948, the IDF had 63,000 troops; by early spring 1949, they had 115,000.

The Arab armies had an estimated 40,000 troops in July 1948, rising to 55,000 in October 1948, and slightly more by the spring of 1949. Upon the implementation of the truce, the IDF had control over nine Arab cities and towns or mixed cities and towns: New Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Safed, Tiberias, Baysan (Beit She'an), Samakh and Yibna (Yavne). Another city, Jenin, was not occupied but its residents fled. The combined Arab forces captured 14 Jewish settlement points, but only one of them, Mishmar HaYarden, was in the territory of the proposed Jewish State according to Resolution 181.

Within the boundaries of the proposed Jewish state, there were twelve Arab villages which opposed Jewish control or were captured by the invading Arab armies, and in addition to them, the Lod Airport and pumping station near Antipatris, which were within the boundaries of the proposed Jewish state, were under the control of the Arabs. The IDF captured about 50 large Arab villages outside of the boundaries of the proposed Jewish State and a larger number of hamlets and Bedouin encampments. 350 square kilometers of the proposed Jewish State were under the control of the Arab forces, while 700 square kilometers of the proposed Arab State were under the control of the IDF. This figure ignores the Negev desert which wasn't under any absolute control of either side.

800 Jews were taken hostage by the Arabs and 1,300 Arabs were taken hostage by the Jews, mostly Palestinians. [172] First truce: 11 June 8 July 1948 The UN declared a truce on 29 May, which came into effect on 11 June and lasted 28 days.

The truce was designed to last 28 days and an arms embargo was declared with the intention that neither side would make any gains from the truce. Neither side respected the truce; both found ways around the restrictions placed on them. [173] Both the Israelis and the Arabs used this time to improve their positions, a direct violation of the terms of the ceasefire. [174] Reinforcements Israeli Forces 1948[175] Initial strength 29,677 4 June 40,825 17 July 63,586 7 October 88,033 28 October 92,275 2 December 106,900 23 December 107,652 30 December 108,300 At the time of the truce, the British view was that "the Jews are too weak in armament to achieve spectacular success".

[173] As the truce commenced, a British officer stationed in Haifa stated that the four-week-long truce "would certainly be exploited by the Jews to continue military training and reorganization while the Arabs would waste [them] feuding over the future divisions of the spoils". [174] During the truce, the Israelis sought to bolster their forces by massive import of arms.

[173] The IDF was able to acquire weapons from Czechoslovakia as well as improve training of forces and reorganization of the army during this time. Yitzhak Rabin, an IDF commander at the time of the war and later Israel's fifth Prime Minister, stated [w]ithout the arms from Czechoslovakia... It is very doubtful whether we would have been able to conduct the war. [176] The Israeli army increased its manpower from approximately 30,00035,000 men to almost 65,000 during the truce due to mobilization and the constant immigration into Israel. It was also able to increase its arms supply to more than 25,000 rifles, 5,000 machine guns, and fifty million bullets.

[174] As well as violating the arms and personnel embargo, they also sent fresh units to the front lines, much as their Arab enemies did. When they refused to hand the arms to the Israeli government, Ben-Gurion ordered that the arms be confiscated by force if necessary. Several Irgun members and IDF soldiers were killed in the fighting. UN mediator Bernadotte UN Palestine mediator, Folke Bernadotte, assassinated in September 1948 by the militant group Lehi. The ceasefire was overseen by UN mediator Folke Bernadotte and a team of UN Observers made up of army officers from Belgium, United States, Sweden and France.

[177] Bernadotte was voted in by the General Assembly to "assure the safety of the holy places, to safeguard the well being of the population, and to promote'a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine'". [174] Folke Bernadotte reported: During the period of the truce, three violations occurred... Of such a serious nature: the attempt by... Another truce violation occurred through the refusal of Egyptian forces to permit the passage of relief convoys to Jewish settlements in the Negeb... The third violation of the truce arose as a result of the failure of the Transjordan and Iraqi forces to permit the flow of water to Jerusalem.

[178] After the truce was in place, Bernadotte began to address the issue of achieving a political settlement. The main obstacles in his opinion were "the Arab world's continued rejection of the existence of a Jewish state, whatever its borders; Israel's new'philosophy', based on its increasing military strength, of ignoring the partition boundaries and conquering what additional territory it could; and the emerging Palestinian Arab refugee problem". [174] Taking all the issues into account, Bernadotte presented a new partition plan. He proposed there be a Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel and that a "Union" "be established between the two sovereign states of Israel and Jordan (which now included the West Bank); that the Negev, or part of it, be included in the Arab state and that Western Galilee, or part of it, be included in Israel; that the whole of Jerusalem be part of the Arab state, with the Jewish areas enjoying municipal autonomy and that Lydda Airport and Haifa be'free ports' presumably free of Israeli or Arab sovereignty".

[174] Israel rejected the proposal, in particular the aspect of losing control of Jerusalem, but they did agree to extend the truce for another month. The Arabs rejected both the extension of the truce and the proposal. [174] Second phase: 818 July 1948 ("Ten Day Battles") On 8 July, the day before the expiration of the truce, Egyptian forces under General Muhammad Naguib renewed the war by attacking Negba. [179] The following day, Israeli air forces launched a simultaneous offensive on all three fronts, ranging from Quneitra to Arish and the Egyptian air force bombed the city of Tel Aviv.

[180] During the fighting, the Israelis were able to open a lifeline to a number of besieged kibbutzim. [173] The fighting continued for ten days until the UN Security Council issued the Second Truce on 18 July. During those 10 days, the fighting was dominated by large-scale Israeli offensives and a defensive posture from the Arab side. Southern front Further information: Operation An-Far and Operation Death to the Invader An Egyptian artillery piece captured by battalion 53 of the Givati Brigade. In the south, the IDF carried out several offensives, including Operation An-Far and Operation Death to the Invader. The task of the 11th Brigades's 1st Battalion on the southern flank was to capture villages, and its operation ran smoothly, with but little resistance from local irregulars. According to Amnon Neumann, a Palmach veteran of the Southern front, hardly any Arab villages in the south fought back, due to the miserable poverty of their means and lack of weapons, and suffered expulsion. [181] What slight resistance was offered was quelled by an artillery barrage, followed by the storming of the village, whose residents were expelled and houses destroyed. [182] Further information: Battles of Negba On 12 July, the Egyptians launched an offensive action, and again attacked Negba, which they had previously failed to capture, using three infantry battalions, an armored battalion, and an artillery regiment. In the battle that followed, the Egyptians were repulsed, suffering 200300 casualties, while the Israelis lost 5 dead and 16 wounded. [183] After failing to take Negba, the Egyptians turned their attention to more isolated settlements and positions. On 14 July, an Egyptian attack on Gal On was driven off by a minefield and by resistance from Gal On's residents. [184] Further information: Battle of Be'erot Yitzhak The Egyptians then assaulted the lightly defended village of Be'erot Yitzhak. The Egyptians managed to penetrate the village perimeter, but the defenders concentrated in an inner position in the village and fought off the Egyptian advance until IDF reinforcements arrived and drove out the attackers. The Egyptians suffered an estimated 200 casualties, while the Israelis had 17 dead and 15 wounded. The battle was one of Egypt's last offensive actions during the war, and the Egyptians did not attack any Israeli villages following this battle. Lydda and al-Ramla Israeli soldiers in Lod (Lydda) or Ramle. On 10 July, Glubb Pasha ordered the defending Arab Legion troops to make arrangements...

[185] Israeli Operation Danny was the most important Israeli offensive, aimed at securing and enlarging the corridor between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by capturing the roadside cities Lod (Lydda) and Ramle. In a second planned stage of the operation the fortified positions of Latrun overlooking the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway and the city of Ramallah were also to be captured. Hadita, near Latrun, was captured by the Israelis at a cost of 9 dead.

Further information: 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramle and Operation Danny Israeli armored vehicles in Lydda airport after the town's capture by Israeli forces. Arab forces surrender to the victorious Israelis in Ramla. The objectives of Operation Danny were to capture territory east of Tel Aviv and then to push inland and relieve the Jewish population and forces in Jerusalem. Lydda had become an important military center in the region, lending support to Arab military activities elsewhere, and Ramle was one of the main obstacles blocking Jewish transportation. Lydda was defended by a local militia of around 1,000 residents, with an Arab Legion contingent of 125300. [186] The IDF forces gathered to attack the city numbered around 8,000. It was the first operation where several brigades were involved. The city was attacked from the north via Majdal al-Sadiq and al-Muzayri'a, and from the east via Khulda, al-Qubab, Jimzu and Daniyal. Bombers were also used for the first time in the conflict to bombard the city. The IDF captured the city on 11 July. [173] Up to 450 Arabs and 910 Israeli soldiers were killed.

The next day, Ramle fell. [173] The civilian populations of Lydda and Ramle fled or were expelled to the Arab front lines, and following resistance in Lydda, the population there was expelled without provision of transport vehicles; some of the evictees died on the long walk under the hot July sun. [187] Further information: Battles of Latrun (1948) On 1516 July, an attack on Latrun took place but did not manage to occupy the fort. [173] A desperate second attempt occurred on 18 July by units from the Yiftach Brigade equipped with armored vehicles, including two Cromwell tanks, but that attack also failed. Despite the second truce, which began on 18 July, the Israeli efforts to conquer Latrun continued until 20 July.

Jerusalem Further information: Operation Kedem Beit Horon Battalion soldiers in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, 1948 Operation Kedem's aim was to secure the Old City of Jerusalem, but fewer resources were allocated. [188] Originally the operation was to begin on 8 July, immediately after the first truce, by Irgun and Lehi forces.

However, it was delayed by David Shaltiel, possibly because he did not trust their ability after their failure to capture Deir Yassin without Haganah assistance. Irgun forces commanded by Yehuda Lapidot were to break through at the New Gate, Lehi was to break through the wall stretching from the New Gate to the Jaffa Gate, and the Beit Horon Battalion was to strike from Mount Zion.

The battle was planned to begin on the Shabbat, at 20:00 on 16 July, two days before the second ceasefire of the war. The plan went wrong from the beginning and was postponed first to 23:00 and then to midnight. It was not until 02:30 that the battle actually began.

The Irgun managed to break through at the New Gate, but the other forces failed in their missions. At 05:45 on 17 July, Shaltiel ordered a retreat and to cease hostilities. On 14 July 1948, Irgun occupied the Arab village of Malha after a fierce battle.

Several hours later, the Arabs launched a counterattack, but Israeli reinforcements arrived, and the village was retaken at a cost of 17 dead. Southern Galilee Further information: Operation Dekel The second plan was Operation Dekel, which was aimed at capturing the Lower Galilee including Nazareth. Nazareth was captured on 16 July, and by the time the second truce took effect at 19:00 18 July, the whole Lower Galilee from Haifa Bay to the Sea of Galilee was captured by Israel. Eastern Galilee Operation Brosh was launched in a failed attempt to dislodge Syrian forces from the Eastern Galilee and the Benot Yaakov Bridge.

During the operation, 200 Syrians and 100 Israelis were killed. The Israeli Air Force also bombed Damascus for the first time. Second truce: 18 July 15 October 1948 Further information: Folke Bernadotte At 19:00 on 18 July, the second truce of the conflict went into effect after intense diplomatic efforts by the UN. On 16 September, Count Folke Bernadotte proposed a new partition for Palestine in which the Negev would be divided between Jordan and Egypt, and Jordan would annex Lydda and Ramla.

There would be a Jewish state in the whole of Galilee, with the frontier running from Faluja northeast towards Ramla and Lydda. Jerusalem would be internationalized, with municipal autonomy for the city's Jewish and Arab inhabitants, the Port of Haifa would be a free port, and Lydda Airport would be a free airport. All Palestinian refugees would be granted the right of return, and those who chose not to return would be compensated for lost property. The UN would control and regulate Jewish immigration. [189] The plan was once again rejected by both sides.

On the next day, 17 September, Bernadotte was assassinated in Jerusalem by the militant Zionist group Lehi. A four-man team ambushed Bernadotte's motorcade in Jerusalem, killing him and a French UN observer sitting next to him. Lehi saw Bernadotte as a British and Arab puppet, and thus a serious threat to the emerging State of Israel, and feared that the provisional Israeli government would accept the plan, which it considered disastrous. Unbeknownst to Lehi, the government had already decided to reject it and resume combat in a month. Bernadotte's deputy, American Ralph Bunche, replaced him.

[190][191][192][193] On 22 September 1948, the Provisional State Council of Israel passed the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordnance, 57081948. The law officially added to Israel's size by annexing all land it had captured since the war began. It also declared that from then on, any part of Palestine captured by the Israeli army would automatically become part of Israel. [194] Little triangle pocket Main article: Operation Shoter The Arab villagers of the area known as the "Little Triangle" south of Haifa, repeatedly fired at Israeli traffic along the main road from Tel Aviv to Haifa and were supplied by the Iraqis from northern Samaria.

[195] The sniping at traffic continued during the Second Truce. The poorly planned assaults on 18 June and 8 July had failed to dislodge Arab militia from their superior positions. The Israelis launched Operation Shoter on 24 July in order to gain control of the main road to Haifa and to destroy all the enemy in the area. [195] Israeli assaults on 24 and 25 July were beaten back by stiff resistance. The Israelis then broke the Arab defenses with an infantry and armour assault backed by heavy artillery shelling and aerial bombing.

Three Arab villages surrendered, and most of the inhabitants fled before and during the attack. The Israeli soldiers and aircraft struck at one of the Arab retreat routes, killing 60 Arab soldiers. Most of the inhabitants fled before and during the attack, reaching northern Samaria; hundreds were forcibly expelled during the following days. At least a hundred militiamen and civilians were killed. [195] The Arabs claimed that the Israelis had massacred Arab civilians, but the Israelis rejected the claims.

[dubious discuss] A United Nations investigation found no evidence of a massacre. Following the operation, the Tel Aviv-Haifa road was open to Israeli military and civilian traffic, and Arab roadblocks along the route were removed. Traffic along the Haifa-Hadera coastal railway was also restored. Third phase: 15 October 1948 10 March 1949 October battles Israel launched a series of military operations to drive out the Arab armies and secure the northern and southern borders of Israel. Northern front Galilee Further information: Operation Hiram An Israeli mortar team outside Safsaf in October 1948.

Israeli soldiers attack Sasa during Operation Hiram, October 1948. On 22 October, the third truce went into effect.

[196] Irregular Arab forces refused to recognize the truce, and continued to harass Israeli forces and settlements in the north. On the same day that the truce came into effect, the Arab Liberation Army violated the truce by attacking Manara, capturing the strongpoint of Sheikh Abed, repulsing counterattacks by local Israeli units, and ambushed Israeli forces attempting to relieve Manara. The IDF's Carmeli Brigade lost 33 dead and 40 wounded. On 24 October, the IDF launched Operation Hiram and captured the entire upper Galilee area, driving the ALA and Lebanese Army back to Lebanon, and ambushing and destroying an entire Syrian battalion. [198] The Israeli force of four infantry brigades was commanded by Moshe Carmel.

[198] The entire operation lasted just 60 hours, during which numerous villages were captured, often after locals or Arab forces put up resistance. [198] Arab losses were estimated at 400 dead and 550 taken prisoner, with low Israeli casualties. [198] Some prisoners were reportedly executed by the Israeli forces. An estimated 50,000 Palestinian refugees fled into Lebanon, some of them fleeing ahead of the advancing forces, and some expelled from villages which had resisted, while the Arab inhabitants of those villages which had remained at peace were allowed to remain and became Israeli citizens. The villagers of Iqrit and Birim were persuaded to leave their homes by Israeli authorities, who promised them that they would be allowed to return.

Israel eventually decided not to allow them to return, and offered them financial compensation, which they refused to accept. [199] At the end of the month, the IDF had captured the whole of Galilee, driven all Lebanese forces out of Israel, and had advanced 5 miles (8.0 km) into Lebanon to the Litani River, [200] occupying thirteen Lebanese villages. In the village of Hula, two Israeli officers killed between 35 and 58 prisoners as retaliation for the Haifa Oil Refinery massacre. Both officers were later put on trial for their actions. Negev Israeli troops occupying abandoned Egyptian trenches at Huleiqat, October 1948.

IDF forces in Beersheba during Operation Yoav. IDF artillery unit in the Negev IDF forces near Bayt Nattif (near Hebron) after it was captured.

Further information: Operation Yoav, Shmone, Lot, Assaf, Horev, Uvda, and Battles of the Sinai Israel launched a series of military operations to drive out the Arab armies and secure the borders of Israel. However, invading the West Bank might have brought into the borders of the expanding State of Israel a massive Arab population it could not absorb. The Negev desert was an empty space for expansion, so the main war effort shifted to Negev from early October. [201] Israel decided to destroy or at least drive out the Egyptian expeditionary force since the Egyptian front lines were too vulnerable as permanent borders. [202] On 15 October, the IDF launched Operation Yoav in the northern Negev.

[173] Its goal was to drive a wedge between the Egyptian forces along the coast and the Beersheba-Hebron-Jerusalem road and ultimately to conquer the whole Negev. [173] This was a special concern on the Israeli part because of a British diplomatic campaign to have the entire Negev handed over to Egypt and Jordan, and which thus made Ben-Gurion anxious to have Israeli forces in control of the Negev as soon as possible. [173] Operation Yoav was headed by the Southern Front commander Yigal Allon.

Committed to Yoav were three infantry and one armoured brigades, who were given the task of breaking through the Egyptian lines. [198] The Egyptian positions were badly weakened by the lack of a defense in depth, which meant that once the IDF had broken through the Egyptian lines, there was little to stop them. [198] The operation was a huge success, shattering the Egyptian ranks and forcing the Egyptian Army from the northern Negev, Beersheba and Ashdod. [198] In the so-called "Faluja Pocket", an encircled Egyptian force was able to hold out for four months until the 1949 Armistice Agreements, when the village was peacefully transferred to Israel and the Egyptian troops left.

[198] Four warships of the Israeli Navy provided support by bombarding Egyptian shore installations in the Ashkelon area, and preventing the Egyptian Navy from evacuating retreating Egyptian troops by sea. [170] On 19 October, Operation Ha-Har commenced in the Jerusalem Corridor, while a naval battle also took place near Majdal (now Ashkelon), with three Israeli corvettes facing an Egyptian corvette with air support. An Israeli sailor was killed and four wounded, and two of the ships were damaged. One Egyptian plane was shot down, but the corvette escaped. Israeli naval vessels also shelled Majdal on 17 October, and Gaza on 21 October, with air support from the Israeli Air Force.

The same day, the IDF captured Beersheba, and took 120 Egyptian soldiers prisoner. On 22 October, Israeli naval commandos using explosive boats sank the Egyptian flagship Emir Farouk, and damaged an Egyptian minesweeper. [198] On 9 November 1948, the IDF launched Operation Shmone to capture the Tegart fort in the village of Iraq Suwaydan. The fort's Egyptian defenders had previously repulsed eight attempts to take it, including two during Operation Yoav.

Israeli forces bombarded the fort before an assault with artillery and airstrikes by B-17 bombers. After breaching the outlying fences without resistance, the Israelis blew a hole in the fort's outer wall, prompting the 180 Egyptian soldiers manning the fort to surrender without a fight. The defeat prompted the Egyptians to evacuate several nearby positions, including hills the IDF had failed to take by force. Meanwhile, IDF forces took Iraq Suwaydan itself after a fierce battle, losing 6 dead and 14 wounded. From 5 to 7 December, the IDF conducted Operation Assaf to take control of the Western Negev.

The main assaults were spearheaded by mechanized forces, while Golani Brigade infantry covered the rear. An Egyptian counterattack was repulsed.

The Egyptians planned another counterattack, but it failed after Israeli aerial reconnaissance revealed Egyptian preparations, and the Israelis launched a preemptive strike. About 100 Egyptians were killed, and 5 tanks were destroyed, with the Israelis losing 5 killed and 30 wounded. [citation needed] An Israeli convoy in the Negev during Operation Horev On 22 December, the IDF launched Operation Horev (also called Operation Ayin).

[198] The goal of the operation was to drive all remaining Egyptian forces from the Negev, destroying the Egyptian threat on Israel's southern communities and forcing the Egyptians into a ceasefire. During five days of fighting, the Israelis secured the Western Negev, expelling all Egyptian forces from the area. [198] Israeli forces subsequently launched raids into the Nitzana area, and entered the Sinai Peninsula on 28 December.

The IDF captured Umm Katef and Abu Ageila, and advanced north towards Al Arish, with the goal of encircling the entire Egyptian expeditionary force. Israeli forces pulled out of the Sinai on 2 January 1949 following joint British-American pressure and a British threat of military action. IDF forces regrouped at the border with the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces attacked Rafah the following day, and after several days of fighting, Egyptian forces in the Gaza Strip were surrounded.

The Egyptians agreed to negotiate a ceasefire on 7 January, and the IDF subsequently pulled out of Gaza. [198] According to Morris, the inequitable and unfair rules of engagement: the Arabs could launch offensives with impunity, but international interventions always hampered and restrained Israel's counterattacks.

[203] On 28 December, the Alexandroni Brigade failed to take the Falluja Pocket, but managed to seize Iraq el-Manshiyeh and temporarily hold it. [204] The Egyptians counterattacked, but were mistaken for a friendly force and allowed to advance, trapping a large number of men. The Israelis lost 87 soldiers.

[citation needed] On 5 March, Operation Uvda was launched following nearly a month of reconnaissance, with the goal of securing the Southern Negev from Jordan. The IDF entered and secured the territory, but did not meet significant resistance along the way, as the area was already designated to be part of the Jewish state in the UN Partition Plan, and the operation meant to establish Israeli sovereignty over the territory rather than actually conquer it. The Golani, Negev, and Alexandroni brigades participated in the operation, together with some smaller units and with naval support. [205] On 10 March, Israeli forces secured the Southern Negev, reaching the southern tip of Palestine: Umm Rashrash on the Red Sea (where Eilat was built later) and taking it without a battle. Israeli soldiers raised a hand-made Israeli flag ("The Ink Flag") at 16:00 on 10 March, claiming Umm Rashrash for Israel. The raising of the Ink Flag is considered to be the end of the war. [206] Anglo-Israeli air clashes The funeral of a Royal Air Force pilot killed during a clash with the Israeli Air Force. As the fighting progressed and Israel mounted an incursion into the Sinai, the Royal Air Force began conducting almost daily reconnaissance missions over Israel and the Sinai.

RAF reconnaissance aircraft took off from Egyptian airbases and sometimes flew alongside Royal Egyptian Air Force planes. High-flying British aircraft frequently flew over Haifa and Ramat David Airbase, and became known to the Israelis as the shuftykeit. [207] On 20 November 1948, an unarmed RAF photo-reconnaissance De Havilland Mosquito of No. 13 Squadron RAF was shot down by an Israeli Air Force P-51 Mustang flown by American volunteer Wayne Peake as it flew over the Galilee towards Hatzor Airbase.

Peake opened fire with his cannons, causing a fire to break out in the port engine. The aircraft turned to sea and lowered its altitude, then exploded and crashed off Ashdod.

The pilot and navigator were both killed. [207][208] Just before noon on 7 January 1949, four Spitfire FR18s from No. 208 Squadron RAF on a reconnaissance mission in the Deir al-Balah area flew over an Israeli convoy that had been attacked by five Egyptian Spitfires fifteen minutes earlier.

The pilots had spotted smoking vehicles and were drawn to the scene out of curiosity. Two planes dived to below 500 feet altitude to take pictures of the convoy, while the remaining two covered them from 1,500 feet. [207][209] Israeli soldiers on the ground, alerted by the sound of the approaching Spitfires and fearing another Egyptian air attack, opened fire with machine guns.

One Spitfire was shot down by a tank-mounted machine gun, while the other was lightly damaged and rapidly pulled up. The remaining three Spitfires were then attacked by patrolling IAF Spitfires flown by Slick Goodlin and John McElroy, volunteers from the United States and Canada respectively.

All three Spitfires were shot down, and one pilot was killed. [207][209] Two pilots were captured by Israeli soldiers and taken to Tel Aviv for interrogation, and were later released. Another was rescued by Bedouins and handed over to the Egyptian Army, which turned him over to the RAF. Later that day, four RAF Spitfires from the same squadron escorted by seven Hawker Tempests from No.

213 Squadron RAF and eight from No. 6 Squadron RAF went searching for the lost planes, and were attacked by four IAF Spitfires. The Israeli formation was led by Ezer Weizman. The remaining three were manned by Weizman's wingman Alex Jacobs and American volunteers Bill Schroeder and Caesar Dangott. [207][209] The Tempests found they could not jettison their external fuel tanks, and some had non-operational guns.

Schroeder shot down a British Tempest, killing pilot David Tattersfield, and Weizman severely damaged a British plane flown by Douglas Liquorish. Weizman's plane and two other British aircraft also suffered light damage during the engagement. The battle ended after the British wiggled their wings to be more clearly identified, and the Israelis eventually realized the danger of their situation and disengaged, returning to Hatzor Airbase. [207][209] Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion personally ordered the wrecks of the RAF fighters that had been shot down to be dragged into Israeli territory.

Israeli troops subsequently visited the crash sites, removed various parts, and buried the other aircraft. However, the Israelis did not manage to conceal the wrecks in time to prevent British reconnaissance planes from photographing them. An RAF salvage team was deployed to recover the wrecks, entering Israeli territory during their search. Two were discovered inside Egypt, while Tattersfield's Tempest was found north of Nirim, four miles inside Israel. Interviews with local Arabs confirmed that the Israelis had visited the crash sites to remove and bury the wrecks. Tattersfield was initially buried near the wreckage, but his body was later removed and reburied at the British War Cemetery in Ramla. [207][210] In response, the RAF readied all Tempests and Spitfires to attack any IAF aircraft they encountered and bomb IAF airfields.

British troops in the Middle East were placed on high alert with all leave cancelled, and British citizens were advised to leave Israel. The Royal Navy was also placed on high alert.

At Hatzor Airbase, the general consensus among the pilots, most of whom had flown with or alongside the RAF during World War II, was that the RAF would not allow the loss of five aircraft and two pilots to go without retaliation, and would probably attack the base at dawn the next day. That night, in anticipation of an impending British attack, some pilots decided not to offer any resistance and left the base, while others prepared their Spitfires and were strapped into the cockpits at dawn, preparing to repel a retaliatory airstrike. However, despite pressure from the squadrons involved in the incidents, British commanders refused to authorize any retaliatory strikes. [207][211] The day following the incident, British pilots were issued a directive to regard any Israeli aircraft infiltrating Egyptian or Jordanian airspace as hostile and to shoot them down, but were also ordered to avoid activity close to Israel's borders.

The British Foreign Office presented the Israeli government with a demand for compensation over the loss of personnel and equipment. [207][212] UN Resolution 194 In December 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194. It called to establish a UN Conciliation Commission to facilitate peace between Israel and Arab states. However, many of the resolution's articles were not fulfilled, since these were opposed by Israel, rejected by the Arab states, or were overshadowed by war as the 1948 conflict continued.

Weapons Largely leftover World War II era weapons were used by both sides. Egypt had some British equipment; the Syrian army had some French. German, Czechoslovak and British equipment was used by Israel.

[213] Type Arab armies IDF Tanks Matilda tanks, R-39s, FT-17s, R35s, Panzer IVs (dug in and used as stationary gun emplacements by Egypt), Fiat M13/40, Sherman M4, M-22, Vickers MK-6. Cromwell tanks, H39s, M4 Sherman APCs/IFVs British World War II era trucks, Humber Mk III & IV, Automitrailleuses Dodge/Bich type, improvised armored cars/trucks, Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars, Universal Carriers, Lloyd Towing Carriers British World War II era trucks, improvised armored cars/trucks, White M3A1 Scout Cars, Daimler Armoured Cars, M3 Half-tracks, IHC M14 Half-tracks, M5 Half-tracks Artillery Mortars, 15 cm sIG33 auf Pz IIs, 25 mm anti-tank guns on Bren carriers, improvised self-propelled guns used by Syrians in 194849, 65 mm mountain guns on Lorraine 38L chenillettes, 2-pounder anti-tank guns, 6-pounder anti-tank guns Mortars, 2-inch (51 mm) British mortars, 65 mm French howitzers (Napoleonchiks), 120 mm French mortars, Davidka mortars Aircraft Spitfires, T-6 Texans, C-47 Dakotas, Hawker Hurricanes, Avro Ansons Spitfires, Avia S-199s, B-17 Flying Fortresses, P-51 Mustangs, C-47 Dakotas Small Arms LeeEnfield rifles, Bren Guns, Sten guns, MAS 36s Sten guns, Mills grenades, Karabiner 98k (Czech copies), Bren Guns, MG-34 Machine guns, Thompson submachine guns, LeeEnfield rifles, Molotov cocktails, PIAT anti-tank infantry weapon Aftermath 1949 Armistice Agreements Main article: 1949 Armistice Agreements Boundaries defined in the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine: Area assigned for a Jewish state Area assigned for an Arab state Planned Corpus separatum with the intention that Jerusalem would be neither Jewish nor Arab Armistice Demarcation Lines of 1949 (Green Line): Israeli controlled territory from 1949 Egyptian and Jordanian controlled territory from 1948 until 1967 In 1949, Israel signed separate armistices with Egypt on 24 February, Lebanon on 23 March, Jordan on 3 April, and Syria on 20 July. The Armistice Demarcation Lines, as set by the agreements, saw the territory under Israeli control encompassing approximately three-quarters of the prior British administered Mandate as it stood after Transjordan's independence in 1946. Israel controlled territories of about one-third more than was allocated to the Jewish State under the UN partition proposal. [214] After the armistices, Israel had control over 78% of the territory comprising former Mandatory Palestine[215][216] or some 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2), including the entire Galilee and Jezreel Valley in the north, whole Negev in south, West Jerusalem and the coastal plain in the center.

The armistice lines were known afterwards as the "Green Line". The Gaza Strip and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) were occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and Mixed Armistice Commissions were set up to monitor ceasefires, supervise the armistice agreements, to prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region. Just before the signing of the Israel-Jordan armistice agreement, general Yigal Allon proposed to conquer the West Bank up to the Jordan River as the natural, defensible border of the state. Ben-Gurion refused, although he was aware that the IDF was militarily strong enough to carry out the conquest. He feared the reaction of Western powers and wanted to maintain good relations with the United States and not to provoke the British. More, the results of the war were already satisfactory and Israeli leaders had to build a state. [217][218][219] Casualties Main articles: Israeli casualties of war and Palestinian casualties of war See also: Killings and massacres during the 1948 Palestine war Israel lost 6,373 of its people, about 1% of its population at the time, in the war. About 4,000 were soldiers and the rest were civilians.

[10] Around 2,000 were Holocaust survivors. [220] The exact number of Arab casualties is unknown. One estimate places the Arab death toll at 7,000, including 3,000 Palestinians, 2,000 Egyptians, 1,000 Jordanians, and 1,000 Syrians. [105] In 1958, Palestinian historian Aref al-Aref calculated that the Arab armies' combined losses amounted to 3,700, with Egypt losing 961 regular and 200 irregular soldiers and Jordan losing 362 regulars and 200 irregulars.

According to Henry Laurens, the Palestinians suffered double the Jewish losses, with 13,000 dead, 1,953 of whom are known to have died in combat situations. Of the remainder, 4,004 remain nameless but the place, tally and date of their death is known, and a further 7,043, for whom only the place of death is known, not their identities nor the date of their death. According to Laurens, the largest part of Palestinian casualties consisted of non-combatants and corresponds to the successful operations of the Israelis. [11] Demographic outcome Palestinian Arabs Main articles: 1948 Palestinian exodus and Causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus 1948 Palestinian exodus Main Articles 194748 civil war 1948 ArabIsraeli War 1948 Palestine war Causes of the exodus Nakba Day Palestinian refugee Palestinian refugee camps Palestinian right of return Palestinian return to Israel Present absentee Transfer Committee Resolution 194 Background Mandatory Palestine Israeli Declaration of Independence IsraeliPalestinian conflict history New Historians Palestine · Plan Dalet 1947 partition plan · UNRWA Key incidents Battle of Haifa Deir Yassin massacre Exodus from Lydda and Ramle Notable writers Aref al-Aref · Yoav Gelber Efraim Karsh · Walid Khalidi Nur-eldeen Masalha · Benny Morris Ilan Pappé · Tom Segev Avraham Sela · Avi Shlaim Related categories/lists List of depopulated villages Related templates Palestinians vte During the 19471948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and the 1948 ArabIsraeli War that followed, around 750,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes, out of approximately 1,200,000 Arabs living in former British Mandate of Palestine.

In 1951, the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine estimated that the number of Palestinian refugees displaced from Israel was 711,000. [221] This number did not include displaced Palestinians inside Israeli-held territory. More than 400 Arab villages, and about ten Jewish villages and neighborhoods, were depopulated during the ArabIsraeli conflict, most of them during 1948. According to estimate based on earlier census, the total Muslim population in Palestine was 1,143,336 in 1947. [222] The causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus are a controversial topic among historians.

[223] After the war, around 156,000 Arabs remained in Israel and became Israeli citizens. [224] Displaced Palestinian Arabs, known as Palestinian refugees, were settled in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the Arab world. The United Nations established UNRWA as a relief and human development agency tasked with providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees. Arab nations refused to absorb Palestinian refugees, instead keeping them in refugee camps while insisting that they be allowed to return. [225][226] Refugee status was also passed on to their descendants, who were also largely denied citizenship in Arab states, except in Jordan.

[227] The Arab League instructed its members to deny Palestinians citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right of return to their homeland. More than 1.4 million Palestinians still live in 58 recognized refugee camps, [225][226] while more than 5 million Palestinians live outside Israel and the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian refugee problem and debate about the Palestinian right of return are also major issues of the ArabIsraeli conflict.

Palestinians and their supporters have staged annual demonstrations and commemorations on 15 May of each year, which is known to them as "Nakba Day". The popularity and number of participants in these annual Nakba demonstrations has varied over time. During the Second Intifada after the failure of the Camp David 2000 Summit, the attendance at the demonstrations against Israel increased. Jews Main article: Jewish exodus from Arab countries Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries Communities Mizrahi (Persian, Baghdadi) Sephardi Yemenites Background Jews under Muslim rule Ottoman Old Yishuv Antisemitism in the Arab World The Holocaust in Libya Farhud Zionism ArabIsraeli conflict 1948 ArabIsraeli War Suez Crisis Six-Day War Algerian War Main events Magic Carpet (Yemen) Ezra and Nehemiah (Iraq) Lebanese exodus Egyptian exodus Moroccan exodus Operation Yachin Pied-Noir (Algeria) Day of Revenge (Libya) Exodus of Iran's Jews Resettlement Template HIAS Mossad LeAliyah Bet JDC Mizrahi Jews in Israel Iranian Iraqi Kurdish Moroccan Syrian Turkish Yemenite Transition camps Immigrant camps Development towns Austerity North African Jews in France Advocation Remembrance Day JIMENA JJAC WOJAC The Forgotten Refugees Related topics Arab Jews Musta'arabi Maghrebi Jews Berber Jews vte During the 1948 War, around 10,000 Jews were forced to evacuate their homes from Arab dominated parts of former Mandatory Palestine. [228] But in the three years from May 1948 to the end of 1951, 700,000 Jews settled in Israel, mainly along the borders and in former Arab lands, [22] doubling the Jewish population there.

[229] Of these, upwards of 300,000 arrived from Asian and North African states. [230][231] Among them, the largest group (over 100,000) was from Iraq. The remaining came mostly from Europe, including 136,000 from the 250,000 displaced Jews of World War II living in refugee camps and urban centers in Germany, Austria, and Italy, [232] and more than 270,000 coming from Eastern Europe, [233] mainly Romania and Poland (over 100,000 each).

On the establishment of the state, a top priority was given to a policy for the "ingathering of exiles", and the Mossad LeAliyah Bet gave key assistance to the Jewish Agency to organize immigrants from Europe and the Middle East, and arrange for their transport to Israel. For Ben-Gurion, a fundamental defect of the State was that'it lacked Jews'. [234] Jewish immigrants from Arab and Muslim countries left for numerous reasons. The war's outcome had exacerbated Arab hostilities to local Jewish communities. News of the victory aroused messianic expectations in Libya and Yemen; Zionism had taken root in many countries; active incentives for making aliyah formed a key part of Israeli policy; and better economic prospects and security were to be expected from a Jewish state. Some Arab governments, Egypt, for example, held their Jewish communities hostage at times. Persecution, political instability, and news of a number of violent pogroms also played a role. Some 800,0001,000,000 Jews eventually left the Arab world over the next three decades as a result of these various factors.

[230] Approximately 680,000 of them immigrated to Israel; the rest mostly settled in Europe (mainly France) or the Americas. [235] Israel initially relied on Jewish Agency-run tent camps known as immigrant camps to accommodate displaced Jews from Europe and several Muslim-majority states.

In the 1950s, these were transformed into transition camps ("Ma'abarot"), where living conditions were improved and tents were replaced with tin dwellings. Unlike the situation in the immigrant camps, when the Jewish Agency provided for immigrants, residents of the transition camps were required to provide for themselves. These camps began to decline in 1952, with the last one closing in 1963.

The camps were largely transformed into permanent settlements known as development towns, while others were absorbed as neighborhoods of the towns they were attached to, and the residents were given permanent housing in these towns and neighborhoods. [236] Most development towns eventually grew into cities. Some Jewish immigrants were also given the vacant homes of Palestinian refugees. There were also attempts to settle Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries in moshavim (cooperative farming villages), though these efforts were only partially successful, as they had historically been craftsmen and merchants in their home countries, and did not traditionally engage in farm work.

Historiography See also: New Historians After the war, Israeli and Palestinian historiographies differed on the interpretation of the events of 1948:[237] in the West the majority view was of a tiny group of vastly outnumbered and ill-equipped Jews fighting off the massed strength of the invading Arab armies; it was also widely believed that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes on the instruction of their leaders. [238] From 1980, with the opening of the Israeli and British archives, some Israeli historians have developed a different account of the period.

In particular, the role played by Abdullah I of Jordan, the British government, the Arab aims during the war, the balance of force and the events related to the Palestinian exodus have been nuanced or given new interpretations. [238] Some of them are still hotly debated among historians and commentators of the conflict today. The Palmach Hebrew: , acronym for Plugot Maatz (Hebrew:), lit. "Strike forces" was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the period of the British Mandate for Palestine. The Palmach was established on 15 May 1941.

By the outbreak of the Israeli War of Independence it consisted of over 2,000 men and women in three fighting brigades and auxiliary aerial, naval and intelligence units. With the creation of Israel's army, the three Palmach Brigades were disbanded. This and political reasons compelled many of the senior Palmach officers to resign in 1950. [1] The Palmach contributed significantly to Israeli culture and ethos, well beyond its military contribution.

Its members formed the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces high command for many years, and were prominent in Israeli politics, literature and culture. Contents 1 History 2 Underground 3 Post World War II Operations 3.1 Retaliation raids 3.2 A change in objectives 3.3 Operation Nachshon 3.4 Mishmar Ha'amek 3.5 Operation Yiftach and the conquest of Safad 3.6 The creation of the Israeli Army 3.7 Casualties 4 Military organization 5 In politics and culture 6 Palmach song 7 Notable Palmachniks 8 Palmach Museum 9 References 10 Bibliography 11 External links History[edit] Women of the Palmach at Ein Gedi, 1942 The Palmach was established by the Haganah High Command on 14 May 1941. Its aim was to defend the Palestinian Jewish community against two potential threats. Firstly the occupation of Palestine by the Axis in the event of their victory over the British in North Africa. Secondly, if the British army were to retreat from Palestine, Jewish settlements might come under attack from the Arab population.

Yitzhak Sadeh was named as Palmach commander. [2] Initially the group consisted of around one hundred men. In the early summer of 1941 the British military authorities agreed to joint operations against Vichy French forces in Lebanon and Syria. The first action was a sabotage mission against oil installations at Tripoli, Lebanon.

Twenty-three Palmach members and a British liaison officer set out by sea but were never heard of again. [3] On 8 June mixed squads of Palmach and Australians began operating in Lebanon and Syria. The success of these operations led the British GHQ to fund a sabotage training camp for three hundred men at Mishmar HaEmek. Since the Palmach consisted of unpaid volunteers, the funding was used to cover the needs of twice that number of men. [4] When the British ordered the dismantling of Palmach after the Allied victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein in 1942, the organization went underground.

Underground[edit] Beit Keshet, First Palmach outpost, 1944 Since British funding had stopped, Yitzhak Tabenkin, head of the kibbutz union HaKibbutz HaMeuhad, suggested the Palmach could be self-funding by having its members work in the kibbutzim. Each kibbutz would host a Palmach platoon and supply them with food, homes and resources. In return the platoon would safeguard the kibbutz and carry out work such as agricultural work.

[5] The proposal was accepted in August 1942, when it was also decided that each month Palmach members would have eight training days, 14 work days and seven days off. The program of combined military training, agricultural work and Zionist education was called "Hach'shara Meguyeset" (meaning "Drafted/Recruited Training"). Later, Zionist youth movements offered members aged of 1820 an opportunity to join core groups (gar'in) for agricultural settlement that became the basis for the Nahal. Basic training included physical fitness, small arms, mêlée and KAPAP, basic marine training, topography, first aid and squad operations. Most of the Palmach members received advanced training in one or more of the following areas: sabotage and explosives, reconnaissance, sniping, communications and radio, light and medium machine guns, and operating 2-inch and 3-inch mortars. Platoon training included long marches, combined live-fire drills with artillery support and machine guns and mortars.

The Palmach put great emphasis on training independent and broadminded field commanders who would take the initiative and set an example for their troops. It trained squad commanders and company commanders. The major commanders training course was in the Palmach and many Haganah commanders were sent to be trained in the Palmach.

The Palmach commanders' course was the source for many field commanders, who were the backbone of Haganah and, later, the Israel Defense Forces. Post World War II Operations[edit] Small arms training of B Company Main article: Jewish insurgency in Palestine For seven months after the assassination of Lord Moyne, members of the Palmach under the command of Shimon Avidan were involved in the Saison Operation, in which they cooperated with the British in an attempt to crush the Irgun and Stern Gang. [6] But with David Ben-Gurion's decision, 1 October 1945, to launch an armed struggle against the British, the Palmach entered an alliance with the dissident groups, called The Hebrew Resistance Movement.

[7] On 10 October 1945 a force led by Yitzhak Rabin raided the prison at Atlit freeing 208 Jewish prisoners. The first joint operation took place on 31 October 1945 when the Palmach sank three British patrol boats, 2 in Haifa and one in Jaffa, and were involved in 153 bomb attacks on bridges and culverts of the railway system. [8] On the night of 22 February 1946 the Palmach attacked the Police Tegart fort at Shefa-'Amr with a 200-pound bomb; in the firefight that followed, the Palmach suffered casualties. [9] In June 1946 the Palmach blew up ten of the eleven bridges connecting Palestine to its neighbouring countries. Fourteen Palmach members were killed during the attack on Achziv Bridge. [10][7] The alliance was never completely under Haganah control and the Irgun launched a series of ever more ruthless attacks[11] culminating in the King David Hotel bombing. This attack was the Irgun's response to a British crackdown, "Black Sabbath", launched on 29 June 1946.

A combination of the crackdown and the Jewish civilian leadership's outrage at the King David attack led Ben-Gurion to call off further Palmach operations. [12] Retaliation raids[edit] Main article: 194748 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine After a gap of over ten months the Palmach resumed operations. The one weapon of which there was no shortage was locally produced explosives. [13] On 20 May 1947 they blew up a coffee house in Fajja, specifically in retaliation for the murder of two Jews in nearby Petah Tikva. [14][15] Following the escalation of violence after the UN Partition Resolution the scale of the retaliation operations increased.

On 18 December 1947, in an operation approved by Palmach commander Yigal Allon, several houses were blown up in al-Khisas, near the Lebanese border; a dozen civilians were killed. [16][17] On 31 December 1947 170 men from the Palmach launched an attack on Balad al-Sheikh, Haifa, in retaliation for the killing of 47 Jews at the Haifa oil refinery.

Several dozen houses were destroyed and 60 villagers left for dead. [18][19] Around Jaffa, Palmach units destroyed houses in Yazur and Salama.

An order dated 3 January 1948 said The aim is... To attack northern part of the village of Salama... To cause deaths, to blow up houses and to burn everything possible. [20] In the Upper Galilee, the Palmach's third Battalion commanded by Moshe Kelman, attacked Sa'sa', 15 February, and blew up ten houses, killing 11 villagers. [21][citation needed] Further north, they raided al-Husayniyya, 16 March 1948, in retaliation for a land mine, they blew up five houses and killed "30 Arab adults".

[22][23] In the Northern Negev, 4 April 1948, a Palmach unit in two armoured cars destroyed "nine bedouin lay-bys and one mud hut" after a mine attack on a Jewish Patrol. [24] During this period, in the event known as the Convoy of 35, the Palmach lost 18 men (along with 17 other Haganah fighters) on their way to reinforce the garrison at Kfar Etzion after they were attacked by hundreds of Arab locals and militias. [25][26] The bodies of the Palmach and Haganah fighters were mutilated to the point that some of them could not be recognized. [27] A change in objectives[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification.

Find sources: "Palmach" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Palmach sappers in the ruins of a village, 1948 On 20 February 1948 the Palmach launched an operation in Caesarea, North of Tel Aviv, in which they demolished 30 houses, six were left standing due to lack of explosives. [citation needed] The objective was to prevent them being occupied by British troops as a base against illegal immigrants. [citation needed] Yitzhak Rabin opposed the attack. Although occupied by Arabs the buildings were Jewish owned.

[28][failed verification] With the activation of Plan D and its sub-operations Palmach units were used to demolish villages[citation needed] with the objective of preventing them being used by Palestinian irregulars or the ALA as bases. [citation needed] Operation Nachshon[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification.

Find sources: "Palmach" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Main article: Operation Nachshon Following the attempt to clear the road to Jerusalem, Palmach units "more or less systematically leveled the villages of al-Qastal, Qalinya, Khuda and largely or partly destroyed Beit Surik, Biddu, Shu'fat, Beit Iksa, Beit Mahsir and Sheikh Jarrah (Jerusalem)". [29][30] On 9 April a Palmach unit with mortars took part in the Irgun attack on Deir Yassin. [31][32] Mishmar Ha'amek[edit] Main article: Battle of Mishmar HaEmek Following the failed ALA attack on the Haganah base at Mishmar Ha'amek, and the Haganah's refusal of an offer of a truce, Haganah and Palmach troops counterattacked. Between 8 and 14 April ten villages came under Palmach control.

Within two weeks they were leveled. [33][34] Operation Yiftach and the conquest of Safad[edit] Main article: Operation Yiftach Palmach soldier on guard According to Walid Khalidi, the objective of this operation, under the command of Yigal Allon, was to clear upper Galilee of its Arab population. [35] The operation log book, 4 May 1948, states "blow up the houses and burn all the bedouin tents". [36] Typical of the attacks was that on Mughr al-Khayt whose residents fled after a night of bombardment on 2 May 1948. [37] Also on 2 May, the Palmach 3rd Battalion, commanded by Moshe Kelman, attacked Ein al-Zeitun with a Davidka, two 3-inch mortars and eight 2-inch mortars.

During the following two days Palmach sappers blew up and burned all the houses. [38][39] In the aftermath of the capture of this village Battalion Commander Kelman ordered the execution of seventy prisoners.

[40] On 6 May the Palmach launched an attack on Safad. It failed to capture the citadel and the Palmach had to withdraw. The defenders offered a cease-fire, which Allon refused. A second attack was launched on 9 May.

This was preceded by a "massive concentrated barrage" using mortars and Davidkas. The empty Arab quarter of Safad was occupied on 11 May.

Between 12,000 and 15,000 refugees had been created. [41] The Palmach suffered 69 killed during Operation Yiftah. [42] In May 1948 the Palmach had 2,200 permanently mobilised members. [43][44][45] A different source puts the size of the Palmach as 3,000 at the end of November 1947, and, following the mobilization of 3,000 reserves, five battalions were formed by May 1948, consisting of 5,000 fighters of whom 1,200 were women. [46] Palmach units took a major part in the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. At the beginning of the war, Palmach units were responsible for holding Jewish settlements (such as Gush Etzion, Kfar Darom and Revivim) against Arab militias. Although inferior in numbers and arms, Palmach soldiers held out long enough to allow the Haganah to mobilise the Jewish population and prepare for war. The creation of the Israeli Army[edit] A Palmach patrol in the Negev The Palmach's last operation as an independent unit was against the Irgun, in the Altalena Affair. On 22 June 1948 the Irgun moored the Altalena, loaded with weapons, off Tel Aviv. Ben-Gurion ordered the Palmach to prevent the arms being landed. One member of the Palmach and fourteen members of the Irgun were killed. [47][48] After the establishment of the Israeli army, the Palmach was reorganised into three IDF brigadesthe Negev Brigade, the Yiftach Brigade, and the Harel Brigade. The Negev and Yiftah Brigades fought in the Negev against the Egyptian army and managed to stop and later repulse it into the Gaza Strip and Sinai.

The Yiftah Brigade was later transferred to the north. The Harel Brigade was centered on Jerusalem. The merging of the Palmach into the Israeli army involved a series of power struggles with Ben-Gurion, known as The Generals' Revolt.

In 1949 many senior members of the Palmach resigned from the army. In total, the Palmach lost 1,187 fighters during the war of independence and in the years prior to Israel's creation. [49] Casualties[edit] Palmach M4 Sherman tank leading a convoy The Palmach memorial site records 37 deaths of Palmach members between May 1941 and May 1945. Thirty-one are described as killed in action, six were killed while serving in the British Army and six were killed in the "Struggle against the British Government".

A further 39 members of the Palmach died between the May 1945 and November 1947. Twenty-one are recorded as killed in action and one killed in battle, fourteen being killed during the attempt to blow up the Achziv Bridge during the Night of the Bridges. Twenty-eight died in the struggle against the British.

Between the beginning of December 1947 and the end of May 1948, when the Israeli army was created, 574 deaths are listed, of whom 524 were killed in action or in battle; 77 while on convoy duty or securing roads; 59 during Operation Yevusi, including 34 at Nabi Samuel; 20 during Operation Nachshon, all at al-Qastal; 68 during Operation Yiftach; 12 at Mishmar HaEmek. By district 171 members of the Palmach were killed in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, 104 in and around Gush Etzion, 103 in the Galilee and 81 in the Negev. From June 1948 to December 1949, during which time the Palmach was absorbed into the army, 527 members died, 452 killed in action or in battle; 101 were killed during Operation Danny, including 45 at Khirbet Kurikur; 53 during Operation Yoav; 44 in Operation Horev and 22 during Operation Death to the Invader. By district 234 died in the Negev and Southern Plain; 62 in Jerusalem and surrounds; 44 around Latrun; 42 in the Gaza Strip and 41 in the Central Plain and Coastal Strip.

By Brigade, 313 members of the Harel Brigade were killed, 312 from the Negev and 274 from the Yiftach. One of the dead is listed as also being a member of the Lechi. The Palmach memorial site records the death of 34 female members, seventeen killed in action or in battle.

Around 520 of the fatalities had been born in Palestine; of whom 117 were from Tel Aviv, 97 from Jerusalem and 56 from Haifa. Over 550 had been born in Europe and Russia; with 181 from Poland, 99 from Germany and 95 from Romania. Another 131 of the dead originated from Arab and Muslim countries; 32 from Turkey, 23 from Syria and 21 from the Yemen. Of the remainder 13 had been born in the USA. Of the dead, 633 were aged between 18 and 22 years, 302 were between 22 and 25, 138 were 26 and over, and 91 were under 18 years of age.

Military organization[edit] The Palmach was organised into regular companies (six in 1943), and five or six special units. Palmach special units included: The German squad Palmach sapper preparing explosives under bridge in Wadi Serer, 1948. Negev Beasts Ha-Machlaka Ha-Germanit: the "German Platoon" (aka the Middle East Commando) performed covert operations and sabotage operations against Nazi infrastructure in the Middle East and the Balkans. Ha-Machlaka Ha-Aravit: the "Arab Platoon" performed covert operations and espionage missions against Arab militias, which frequently attacked Jewish settlements.

It was the base for the Israeli Defense Forces's and the Israeli Border Police's Mista'arvim units. Palyam (Sea Companies): the naval force of the Palmach was formed in 1943, attached to the Palmach's Staff Battalion (the 4th Battalion). They were in charge of underwater demolition and maritime activity units. The majority of their activities were related to the escorting of ships of Aliyah Bet, immigration ships (66 of them in all) bringing Jewish refugees from Europe by boat, despite the British White Paper of 1939, which introduced restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine. Palavir (The Air Companies): made up of Jewish pilots, the Palmach air force was incorporated into the Sherut Avir (predecessor of the Israeli Air Force) upon the Sherut's foundation in late 1947.

First delivered late Feb 1948, these were used by the Palavir's, Tel Aviv, Galilee and Negev Squadrons for supply, reconnaissance and light attack roles. Sabotage Units: explosives experts who became the basis for the Israeli Engineering Corps in the IDF. The Palmach put an emphasis on training field commanders and formed the basis for the Israeli army.

During the 194849 War of Independence the Palmach was expanded to form three infantry brigades commanded by Yigal Allon: Yiftach, with three battalions operating in Eastern Galilee (1st and 3rd and later 2nd) Harel, with three battalions operating (4th, 5th and 10th) in the Jerusalem area commanded by Yitzhak Rabin (then age 26) Negev, with four battalions (2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th), one of which was the jeep mounted "Negev Beasts" The Command Battalion controlled naval, air and commando companies. The battle cry of the Palmach commander was!

" (Aharai), which literally means "after me! It refers to the commander leading his troops instead of sending them out and staying behind.

In politics and culture[edit] Yigal Allon, Commander of Southern Front, watches the bombardment of Iraq Suwaydan, 9 November 1948 Members of 3rd Battalion gathered in Safed prior to the dissolution of the Palmach in 1949 The Palmach was a broad spectrum left-wing nationalist organisation, associated with socialist parties. Its members trained and lived in kibbutzim.

The political tendencies of its leaders such as Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Sadeh was towards Mapam, a left-wing party in opposition to David Ben-Gurion and the Mapai ruling party. In 1944 a major split had occurred in Palestine's Jewish community's dominant party, Mapai, led by David Ben-Gurion. The breakaway group, which evolved into Mapam, were inspired by Stalin's regime in the Soviet Union, and had a strong following in the kibbutz movement. Since most of the Palmach's members came from the kibbutzim, the Mapam dominated the Palmach, with a majority of its officers being members. [50] After 1948 Ben-Gurion, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the new state, had a series of confrontations with leaders of the Haganah and the Palmach.

In a process that Ben-Gurion described as de-politicizing the army, the three Palmach brigades were disbanded and in 1950 most of the Mapam officers resigned. Those Palmach members who had been in Mapam and remained in the army had to endure several years on the margins. The effect of the de-politicizing was that all senior army posts were held by Mapai members or Ben-Gurion loyalists.

[51] After demobilization many Palmach members founded new kibbutzim. Palmach members were not, however, a unified, homogeneous collective with a single ideology. In the early years of the state of Israel they could be found in all political parties. Yigal Allon, considered by many to be the representative of the Palmach generation, never reached a position of national leadership although he was Prime Minister for a few days between Eshkol's death and Meir's appointment in 1969. Besides military contributions, the Palmach had great influence over the Israeli "Tzabar" culture. Palmach activities included "Kumzitz" (sitting around a fire at night, eating, talking and having fun), public singing and cross-country walking trips. These often took on mythical proportions and have become favorite activities for Israelis.

The Palmach also contributed many anecdotes, jokes, "chizbat" (short funny tales, often based on exaggerations), songs and even books and stories. Notable Palmach cultural figures include: Yehuda Amichai poet Dahn Ben-Amotz writer, journalist Netiva Ben-Yehuda journalist, writer, radio host Haim Hefer poet, writer Haim Gouri poet, writer Shaike Ophir actor Moshe Shamir writer, playwright Hannah Szenes (Senesh) poet Vidal Sassoon British hairdresser Palmach song[edit] Full text of the song:[52][53] First Stanza , , , . Though the storm is ever mounting Still our heads remain unbowed. We are ready to obey all commands, The Palmach will win - we've vowed. From Metulla to the Negev, From the desert to the plain, All our youth defend the homeland, Till we bring it peace again.

In the eagle's path we follow, Over mountain tracks we go, Among stony heights and caverns We are seeking out the foe. When you summon us to battle, We will be there first by day or night, We are ready when you give the command, The Palmach will march in might. Notable Palmachniks[edit] High command Eliyahu Golomb general commander of Haganah Yitzhak Sadeh first general commander of Palmach Yigal Allon second general commander of Palmach (19451948) Giora Shanan lieutenant general deputy commander of the Palmach David Nameri lieutenant general commander of the Palmach Yohanan Ratner strategy officer Moshe Bar-Tikva training officer Yitzhak Rabin brigade commander; Allon's second in command Moshe Kelman 3rd Battalion commander Special units commanders Shimon Avidan commander of the "German Department" Israel Ben-Yehuda commander of the "Arab Department" Yigal Allon commander of the "Syrian Department" Company commanders (as of 1943) Yigal Allon, Zalman Mars Pluga Aleph commanders Moshe Dayan, Meir Davidson, Uri Brenner Pluga Beth commanders Uri Yafeh Pluga Gimel commander Benjamin Goldstein Tzur Pluga Dalet commander Abraham Negev Pluga Hey commander Israel Livertovski, Shimon Avidan Pluga Vav commander Yehuda. Ben-Tzur Palyam commander Shmuel Tankus Shmuel Yanai Palyam commander Rafael Eitan 4th Battalion, Company A. Visitors to the museum join the group of young Palmach recruits from its establishment, and advanced through the story of the Palmach until the end of the War of Independence.

[54] A firearm is a gun (a barreled ranged weapon) designed to be readily carried and used by a single individual. It inflicts damage on targets by launching one or more projectiles driven by rapidly expanding high-pressure gas produced by exothermic combustion (deflagration) of chemical propellant. [1][2][3] If gas pressurization is achieved through mechanical gas compression rather than through chemical propellant combustion, then the gun is technically an air gun, not a firearm.

[4] Some legal definitions of "firearm" are more broad, and may cover any and all projectile devices, or even other destructive devices. [5] The first primitive firearms originated in 10th-century China when bamboo tubes containing gunpowder and pellet projectiles were mounted on spears into the one-person-portable fire lance, [6] which was later used as a shock weapon to good effect in the Siege of De'an in 1132. In the 13th century the Chinese invented the metal-barrelled hand cannon, widely consideredby whom?

The true ancestor of all firearms. The technology gradually spread through the rest of East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Older firearms typically used black powder as a propellant, but modern firearms use smokeless powder or other propellants.

Most modern firearms (with the notable exception of smoothbore shotguns) have rifled barrels to impart spin to the projectile for improved flight stability. Modern firearms can be described by their caliber i. Their bore diameter; this is given in millimeters or inches e.

Or in the case of shotguns by their gauge e. ; by the type of action employed muzzleloader, breechloader, lever, bolt, pump, revolver, semi-automatic, fully automatic, etc. Together with the usual means of deportment (hand-held or mechanical mounting). Further classification may make reference to the type of barrel used (rifled) and to the barrel length (24 inch), to the firing mechanism e. Matchlock, wheellock, flintlock, percussion lock, to the design's primary intended use e. Hunting rifle, or to the commonly accepted name for a particular variation e. Shooters aim firearms at their targets with hand-eye coordination, using either iron sights or optical sights. The accurate range of pistols generally does not exceed 110 yards (100 m), while most rifles are accurate to 550 yards (500 m) using iron sights, or to longer ranges using optical sights (firearm rounds may be dangerous or lethal well beyond their accurate range; the minimum distance for safety is much greater than the specified range).

Purpose-built sniper rifles and anti-materiel rifles are accurate to ranges of more than 2,200 yards (2,000 m). Contents 1 Types 1.1 Configuration 1.1.1 Handguns 1.1.2 Long guns 1.2 Function 1.2.1 Manual 1.2.2 Lever action 1.2.3 Pump action 1.2.4 Semi-automatic 1.2.5 Automatic 1.2.6 Selective fire 2 History 2.1 Evolution 2.1.1 Early models 2.1.2 Loading techniques 2.1.3 Internal magazines 2.1.4 Detachable magazines 2.1.5 Belt-fed weapons 2.1.6 Firing mechanisms 2.1.7 Cartridges 2.1.8 Repeating, semi-automatic, and automatic firearms 3 Health hazards 3.1 Fatality 3.2 Injury 3.3 Noise 4 Legal definitions 4.1 USA 4.2 India 4.3 European Union 4.4 Canada 4.5 Australia 4.6 South Africa 4.7 International treaties 5 See also 6 References Types[edit] Firearms include a variety of ranged weapons and there is no agreed-upon definition. Configuration[edit] For a more detailed list of common firearms, see List of firearms, List of most-produced firearms, and Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The term "small arms" generally refers to any kinetic-projectile firearm small and light enough to be carried and operated by a single infantryman. Such firearms include handguns such as revolvers, pistols and derringers, and long guns such as rifles (of which there are many subtypes such as anti-material rifles, sniper rifles, designated marksman rifles, battle rifles, assault rifles and carbines), shotguns, submachine guns, personal defense weapons, squad automatic weapons and light machine guns.

[7] The world's top small-arms manufacturing-companies are Browning, Remington, Colt, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Savage, Mossberg (USA), Heckler & Koch, SIG Sauer, Walther (Germany), ZUB (Czech Republic), Glock, Steyr-Mannlicher (Austria), FN Herstal (Belgium), Beretta (Italy), Norinco (China), Tula Arms and Kalashnikov (Russia), while former top producers included Mauser, Springfield Armory, and Rock Island Armory under Armscor (Philippines). As of 2018 the Small Arms Survey reported that there were over one billion small arms distributed globally, of which 857 million (about 85 percent) were in civilian hands. Civilians alone account for 393 million (about 46 percent) of the worldwide total of civilian-held firearms.

[9] This amounts to 120.5 firearms for every 100 residents. [9] The world's armed forces control about 133 million (about 13 percent) of the global total of small arms, of which over 43 percent belong to two countries: the Russian Federation (30.3 million) and China (27.5 million). [8] Law enforcement agencies control about 23 million (about 2 percent) of the global total of small arms. [8] Handguns[edit] Main article: Handgun A Colt Single Action Army revolver A Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol The smallest of all firearms is the handgun. In south africa act 60 of 2000,'handgun' means a pistol or revolver which can be held in and discharged with one hand.

[10] In Australia, law considers as a handgun a firearm carry-able or concealable about the person; or capable of being raised and fired by one hand; or not exceeding 65 centimeters[11] There are two common types of handguns: revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Revolvers have a number of firing chambers or "charge holes" in a revolving cylinder; each chamber in the cylinder is loaded with a single cartridge or charge.

Semi-automatic pistols have a single fixed firing-chamber machined into the rear of the barrel, and a magazine so they can be used to fire more than one round. Each press of the trigger fires a cartridge, using the energy of the cartridge to activate a mechanism so that the next cartridge may be fired immediately. This is opposed to "double-action" revolvers, which accomplish the same end using a mechanical action linked to the trigger pull. With the invention of the revolver in 1818, handguns capable of holding multiple rounds became popular. Certain designs of auto-loading pistol appeared beginning in the 1870s and had largely supplanted revolvers in military applications by the end of World War I.

By the end of the 20th century, most handguns carried regularly by military, police and civilians were semi-automatic, although revolvers were still widely used. Generally speaking, military and police forces use semi-automatic pistols due to their high magazine capacities and ability to rapidly reload by simply removing the empty magazine and inserting a loaded one. Revolvers are very common among handgun hunters because revolver cartridges are usually more powerful than similar caliber semi-automatic pistol cartridges (which are designed for self-defense) and the strength, simplicity and durability of the revolver design is well-suited to outdoor use. 22 LR and 38 Special/357 Magnum, are also common concealed weapons in jurisdictions allowing this practice because their simple mechanics make them smaller than many autoloaders while remaining reliable. Both designs are common among civilian gun owners, depending on the owner's intention self-defense, hunting, target shooting, competitions, collecting, etc.

Long guns[edit] Main article: Long gun A long gun is generally any firearm that is larger than a handgun and is designed to be held and fired with both hands, while braced against either the hip or the shoulder for better stability. Long guns typically have a barrel length from 10 to 30 inches (250 to 760 mm) (there are restrictions on minimum barrel length in many jurisdictions; maximum barrel length is usually a matter of practicality), that along with the receiver and trigger group is mounted into a wood, plastic, metal or composite stock, composed of one or more pieces that form a foregrip, rear grip, and optionally (but typically) a shoulder mount called the butt. Early long arms, from the Renaissance up to the mid-19th century, were generally smoothbore firearms that fired one or more ball shot, called muskets or arquebus depending on caliber and firing mechanism. Rifles and shotguns[edit] Main articles: Rifle and Shotgun Springfield Armory M1903 rifle Most modern long guns are either rifles or shotguns.

Both are the successors of the musket, diverging from their parent weapon in distinct ways. A rifle is so named for the spiral fluting (rifling) machined into the inner surface of its barrel, which imparts a self-stabilizing spin to the single bullets it fires. Shotguns are predominantly smoothbore firearms designed to fire a number of shot; pellet sizes commonly ranging between 2 mm #9 birdshot and 8.4 mm #00 (double-aught) buckshot.

Shotguns are also capable of firing single slugs, or specialty (often "less lethal") rounds such as bean bags, tear gas or breaching rounds. Rifles have a very small impact area but a long range and high accuracy. Shotguns have a large impact area with considerably less range and accuracy. However, the larger impact area can compensate for reduced accuracy, since shot spreads during flight; consequently, in hunting, shotguns are generally used for flying game. Rifles and shotguns are commonly used for hunting and often to defend a home or place of business.

Usually, large game are hunted with rifles (although shotguns can be used, particularly with slugs), while birds are hunted with shotguns. Shotguns are sometimes preferred for defending a home or business due to their wide impact area, multiple wound tracks (when using buckshot), shorter range, and reduced penetration of walls (when using lighter shot), which significantly reduces the likelihood of unintended harm, although the handgun is also common. A United States Marine armed with a Mossberg 500 shotgun There are a variety of types of rifles and shotguns based on the method they are reloaded. Bolt-action and lever-action rifles are manually operated. Manipulation of the bolt or the lever causes the spent cartridge to be removed, the firing mechanism recocked, and a fresh cartridge inserted.

These two types of action are almost exclusively used by rifles. Slide-action (commonly called'pump-action') rifles and shotguns are manually cycled by shuttling the foregrip of the firearm back and forth. This type of action is typically used by shotguns, but several major manufacturers make rifles that use this action. Both rifles and shotguns also come in break-action varieties that do not have any kind of reloading mechanism at all but must be hand-loaded after each shot.

Both rifles and shotguns come in single- and double-barreled varieties; however due to the expense and difficulty of manufacturing, double-barreled rifles are rare. Double-barreled rifles are typically intended for African big-game hunts where the animals are dangerous, ranges are short, and speed is of the essence. Very large and powerful calibers are normal for these firearms. Rifles have been in nationally featured marksmanship events in Europe and the United States since at least the 18th century, when rifles were first becoming widely available. One of the earliest purely "American" rifle-shooting competitions took place in 1775, when Daniel Morgan was recruiting sharpshooters in Virginia for the impending American Revolutionary War.

In some countries, rifle marksmanship is still a matter of national pride. Some specialized rifles in the larger calibers are claimed to have an accurate range of up to about 1 mile (1,600 m), although most have considerably less.

In the second half of the 20th century, competitive shotgun sports became perhaps even more popular than riflery, largely due to the motion and immediate feedback in activities such as skeet, trap and sporting clays. In military use, bolt-action rifles with high-power scopes are common as sniper rifles, however by the Korean War the traditional bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles used by infantrymen had been supplemented by select-fire designs known as automatic rifles.

Carbines[edit] Main article: Carbine A carbine is a firearm similar to a rifle in form and intended usage, but generally shorter or smaller than the typical "full-size" hunting or battle rifle of a similar time period, and sometimes using a smaller or less-powerful cartridge. Carbines are also common in law enforcement and among civilian owners where similar size, space and/or power concerns may exist. Carbines, like rifles, can be single-shot, repeating-action, semi-automatic or select-fire/fully automatic, generally depending on the time period and intended market. Common historical examples include the Winchester Model 1892, LeeEnfield "Jungle Carbine", SKS, M1 carbine (no relation to the larger M1 Garand) and M4 carbine (a more compact variant of the current M16 rifle). Civilian carbines include compact customizations of the AR-15, Ruger Mini-14, Beretta Cx4 Storm, Kel-Tec SUB-2000, bolt-action rifles generally falling under the specifications of a scout rifle, and aftermarket conversion kits for popular pistols including the M1911 and Glock models.

Machine guns[edit] Main article: Machine gun MG 42 general-purpose machine gun with retracted bipod A machine gun is a fully automatic firearm, most often separated from other classes of automatic weapons by the use of belt-fed ammunition (though some designs employ drum, pan or hopper magazines), generally in a rifle-inspired caliber ranging between 5.56×45mm NATO. 223 Remington for a light machine gun to as large as. 50 BMG or even larger for crewed or aircraft weapons.

Although not widely fielded until World War I, early machine guns were being used by militaries in the second half of the 19th century. Arsenal during the 20th century included the M2 Browning.

50 caliber heavy machine gun, M1919 Browning. 30 caliber medium machine gun, and the M60 7.62×51mm NATO general-purpose machine gun which came into use around the Vietnam War. Machine guns of this type were originally defensive firearms crewed by at least two men, mainly because of the difficulties involved in moving and placing them, their ammunition, and their tripod. In contrast, modern light machine guns such as the FN Minimi are often wielded by a single infantryman. They provide a large ammunition capacity and a high rate of fire, and are typically used to give suppressing fire during infantry movement. Accuracy on machine guns varies based on a wide number of factors from design to manufacturing tolerances, most of which have been improved over time. Machine guns are often mounted on vehicles or helicopters, and have been used since World War I as offensive firearms in fighter aircraft and tanks e. For air combat or suppressing fire for ground troop support.

The definition of machine gun is different in U. The National Firearms Act and Firearm Owners Protection Act define a "machine gun" in the United States code Title 26, Subtitle E, Chapter 53, Subchapter B, Part 1, § 5845 as:... Automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

"Machine gun" is therefore largely synonymous with "automatic weapon" in the U. Civilian parlance, covering all automatic firearms. Sniper rifles[edit] Main article: Sniper rifle The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare series of sniper rifles is standard issue in the armies of several countries, including those of Britain, Ireland, and Germany (picture shows a rifle of the German Army). The definition of a sniper rifle is disputed among military, police and civilian observers alike, however most generally define a sniper rifle as a high powered, semi-automatic/bolt action, precision rifle with an accurate range further than that of a standard rifle. These are often purpose-built for their applications. For example, a police sniper rifle may differ in specs from a military rifle. Police snipers generally do not engage targets at extreme range, but rather, a target at medium range. They may also have multiple targets within the shorter range, and thus a semi-automatic model is preferred to a bolt action. They also may be more compact than milspec rifles as police marksmen may need more portability. On the other hand, a military rifle is more likely to use a higher powered cartridge to defeat body armor or medium-light cover. They are more commonly (but not a lot more) bolt-action, as they are simpler to build and maintain. Also, due to fewer moving and overall parts, they are much more reliable under adverse conditions.

They may also have a more powerful scope to acquire targets further away. Overall, sniper units never became prominent until World War 1, when the Germans displayed their usefulness on the battlefield. Since then, they have become irrevocably embedded in warfare.

Examples of sniper rifles include the Accuracy International AWM, Sako TRG-42 and the CheyTac M200. Examples of specialized sniper cartridges include the.

Submachine guns[edit] Main article: Submachine gun Czechoslovak 7.65 mm submachine gun korpion vz. A submachine gun is a magazine-fed firearm, usually smaller than other automatic firearms, that fires pistol-caliber ammunition; for this reason certain submachine guns can also be referred to as machine pistols, especially when referring to handgun-sized designs such as the korpion vz.

Well-known examples are the Israeli Uzi and Heckler & Koch MP5 which use the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge, and the American Thompson submachine gun which fires. Because of their small size and limited projectile penetration compared to high-power rifle rounds, submachine guns are commonly favored by military, paramilitary and police forces for close-quarters engagements such as inside buildings, in urban areas or in trench complexes. Submachine guns were originally about the size of carbines. Because they fire pistol ammunition, they have limited long-range use, but in close combat can be used in fully automatic in a controllable manner due to the lighter recoil of the pistol ammunition. They are also extremely inexpensive and simple to build in time of war, enabling a nation to quickly arm its military.

In the latter half of the 20th century, submachine guns were being miniaturized to the point of being only slightly larger than some large handguns. The most widely used submachine gun at the end of the 20th century was the Heckler & Koch MP5. The MP5 is actually designated as a "machine pistol" by Heckler & Koch (MP5 stands for Maschinenpistole 5, or Machine Pistol 5), although some reserve this designation for even smaller submachine guns such as the MAC-10 and Glock 18, which are about the size and shape of pistols. Automatic rifles[edit] Main article: Automatic rifle An automatic rifle is a magazine-fed firearm, wielded by a single infantryman, that is chambered for rifle cartridges and capable of automatic fire. The M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle was the first U.

Infantry weapon of this type, and was generally used for suppressive or support fire in the role now usually filled by the light machine gun. Other early automatic rifles include the Fedorov Avtomat and the Huot Automatic Rifle. Later, German forces fielded the Sturmgewehr 44 during World War II, a light automatic rifle firing a reduced power "intermediate cartridge". This design was to become the basis for the "assault rifle" subclass of automatic weapons, as contrasted with "battle rifles", which generally fire a traditional "full-power" rifle cartridge.

Assault rifles[edit] Main article: Assault rifle The AK-47, one of the most widely produced and used assault rifles in the world. In World War II, Germany introduced the StG 44, and brought to the forefront of firearm technology what eventually became the class of firearm most widely adopted by the military, the assault rifle. An assault rifle is usually slightly smaller than a battle rifle such as the American M14, but the chief differences defining an assault rifle are select-fire capability and the use of a rifle round of lesser power, known as an intermediate cartridge.

Soviet engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov quickly adapted the German concept, using a less-powerful 7.62×39mm cartridge derived from the standard 7.62×54mmR Russian battle rifle round, to produce the AK-47, which has become the world's most widely used assault rifle. Soon after World War II, the Automatic Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle began to be fielded by the Soviet Union and its allies in the Eastern Bloc, as well as by nations such as China, North Korea, and North Vietnam. In the United States, the assault rifle design was later in coming; the replacement for the M1 Garand of WWII was another John Garand design chambered for the new 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge; the select-fire M14, which was used by the U. The significant recoil of the M14 when fired in full-automatic mode was seen as a problem as it reduced accuracy, and in the 1960s it was replaced by Eugene Stoner's AR-15, which also marked a switch from the powerful. 30 caliber cartridges used by the U.

Military up until early in the Vietnam War to the much less powerful but far lighter and light recoiling. 223 caliber (5.56mm) intermediate cartridge.

The military later designated the AR-15 as the "M16". The civilian version of the M16 continues to be known as the AR-15 and looks exactly like the military version, although to conform to B. It lacks the mechanism that permits fully automatic fire. Variants of both of the M16 and AK-47 are still in wide international use today, though other automatic rifle designs have since been introduced.

A smaller version of the M16A2, the M4 carbine, is widely used by U. And NATO tank and vehicle crews, airbornes, support staff, and in other scenarios where space is limited. The IMI Galil, an Israeli-designed weapon based on the action of the AK-47, is in use by Israel, Italy, Burma, the Philippines, Peru, and Colombia. Swiss Arms of Switzerland produces the SIG SG 550 assault rifle used by France, Chile, and Spain among others, and Steyr Mannlicher produces the AUG, a bullpup rifle in use in Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia among other nations. Modern designs call for compact weapons retaining firepower. The bullpup design, by mounting the magazine behind the trigger, unifies the accuracy and firepower of the traditional assault rifle with the compact size of the submachine gun (though submachine guns are still used); examples are the French FAMAS and the British SA80.

Personal defense weapons[edit] Main article: Personal defense weapon FN P90 PDW A recently developed class of firearm is the personal defense weapon or PDW, which is in simplest terms a submachine gun designed to fire ammunitions with ballistic performance similar to rifle cartridges. While a submachine gun is desirable for its compact size and ammunition capacity, its pistol cartridges lack the penetrating capability of a rifle round. Conversely, rifle bullets can pierce light armor and are easier to shoot accurately, but even a carbine such as the Colt M4 is larger and/or longer than a submachine gun, making it harder to maneuver in close quarters. The solution many firearms manufacturers have presented is a weapon resembling a submachine gun in size and general configuration, but which fires a higher-powered armor-penetrating round (often specially designed for the weapon), thus combining the advantages of a carbine and submachine gun.

This also earned the PDWs an infrequently used nickname the submachine carbines. The FN P90 and Heckler & Koch MP7 are most famous examples of PDWs. Battle rifles[edit] Main article: Battle rifle Belgian FN SCAR-H Battle rifles are another subtype of rifle, usually defined as selective fire rifles that use full power rifle cartridges, examples of which include the 7.62x51mm NATO, 7.92x57mm Mauser, and 7.62x54mmR. These serve similar purposes to assault rifles, as they both are usually employed by ground infantry. However, some prefer battle rifles due to their more powerful cartridge, despite added recoil.

Some semi-automatic sniper rifles are configured from battle rifles. Function[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Find sources: "Firearm" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Main article: Firearm action Firearms are also categorized by their functioning cycle or "action" which describes its loading, firing, and unloading cycle. Manual[edit] The earliest evolution of the firearm, there are many types of manual action firearms. These can be divided into two basic categories: single shot and repeating.

A single shot firearm can only be fired once per equipped barrel before it must be reloaded or charged via an external mechanism or series of steps. A repeating firearm can be fired multiple times, but can only be fired once with each subsequent pull of the trigger. Between trigger pulls, the firearm's action must be reloaded or charged via an internal mechanism. Lever action[edit] A gun which has a lever that is pulled down then back up to load.

Pump action[edit] Pump action weapons are primarily shotguns. A pump action is created when the user slides a lever (usually a grip) and it brings a new round in the chamber while expelling the old one.

[12] Semi-automatic[edit] Main article: Semi-automatic firearm A semi-automatic, self-loading, or "auto loader" firearm is one that performs all steps necessary to prepare it for firing again after a single discharge, until cartridges are no longer available in the weapon's feed device or magazine. Auto loaders fire one round with each pull of the trigger. Some people confuse the term with "fully automatic" firearms.

While some semi-automatic rifles may resemble military-style firearms, they are not properly classified "Assault Weapons" which refers to those that continue to fire until the trigger is no longer depressed. Automatic[edit] Main article: Automatic firearm An automatic firearm, or "fully automatic", "fully auto", or "full auto", is generally defined as one that continues to load and fire cartridges from its magazine as long as the trigger is depressed and until the magazine is depleted of available ammunition. The first weapon generally considered in this category is the Gatling gun, originally a carriage-mounted, crank-operated firearm with multiple rotating barrels that was fielded in the American Civil War. The modern trigger-actuated machine gun began with various designs developed in the late 19th century and fielded in World War I, such as the Maxim gun, Lewis Gun, and MG 08 "Spandau". Most automatic weapons are classed as long guns (as the ammunition used is of similar type as for rifles, and the recoil of the weapon's rapid fire is better controlled with two hands), but handgun-sized automatic weapons also exist, generally in the "submachine gun" or "machine pistol" class.

Selective fire[edit] Main article: Selective fire Selective fire, or "select fire", means the capability of a weapon's fire control to be adjusted in either semi-automatic, fully automatic firing modes, or 3 round burst. The modes are chosen by means of a selector, which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective-fire weapons have burst fire mechanisms built in to limit the maximum number of shots fired in fully automatic mode, with most common limits being two or three rounds per trigger pull. The presence of selective-fire modes on firearms allows more efficient use of ammunition for specific tactical needs, either precision-aimed or suppressive fire. This capability is most commonly found on military weapons of the 20th and 21st centuries, most notably the assault rifles.

The Thompson submachine gun is an American submachine gun invented by John T. Thompson in 1918 which became infamous during the Prohibition era, being a signature weapon of various organized crime syndicates in the United States. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals. [18] The Thompson submachine gun was also known informally as the "Tommy Gun", "Annihilator", "Chicago Typewriter", Trench Broom, "Chicago Submachine", "Chicago Piano", "Chicago Style", "Chicago Organ Grinder", "Drum Gun", "the Chopper", and simply "the Thompson".

[19][20][21][22][23] The Thompson was favored by soldiers, criminals, police, FBI, and civilians alike for its large. 45 ACP cartridge and high volume of fully automatic fire. It has since gained popularity among civilian collectors for its historical significance. It has considerable significance in popular culture, especially in works about the Prohibition era and World War II, and is among the best-known firearms in history. The original fully automatic Thompsons are no longer produced, but numerous semi-automatic civilian versions are still being manufactured by Auto-Ordnance.

These retain a similar appearance to the original models, but they have various modifications in order to comply with US firearm laws. Contents 1 History and service 1.1 Development 1.2 Early use 1.3 World War II 1.4 After World War II 2 Collector interest 3 Features 3.1 Operating characteristics 3.2 Disassembly 4 Variants 4.1 Prototypes 4.2 Production 4.3 Service variants 4.4 Semi-automatic 4.5 Export variants 4.6 RPB Thompsons 5 Civilian ownership 5.1 Canada 5.2 United States 5.3 United Kingdom 5.4 Germany 6 Users 6.1 Non-state groups 7 See also 8 References 8.1 Bibliography 9 External links History and service[edit] Development[edit] General John T. Thompson holding an M1921 General John T. Thompson developed the Thompson Submachine Gun.

He originally envisioned an "auto rifle" (semi-automatic rifle) to replace the bolt action service rifles then in use, but he came across a patent issued to John Bell Blish in 1915 while searching for a way to allow his weapon to operate safely without the complexity of a recoil or gas-operated reloading mechanism. Blish's design was based on the adhesion of inclined metal surfaces under pressure. [24] Thompson gained financial backing from Thomas F. Ryan and started the Auto-Ordnance Company in 1916 for the purpose of developing his "auto rifle". It was primarily developed in Cleveland, Ohio, [25] and the principal designers were Theodore H.

By late 1917, the limits of the Blish Principle were discovered; rather than working as a locked breech, it functioned as a friction-delayed blowback action. It was found that the only cartridge currently in service that was suitable for use with the lock was the. Thompson then envisioned a "one-man, hand-held machine gun" in. 45 ACP as a "trench broom" for use in the ongoing trench warfare of World War I. Payne designed the gun and its stick and drum magazines. [26] At an Auto-Ordnance board meeting in 1919 to discuss the marketing of the "Annihilator", with the war now over, the weapon was officially renamed the "Thompson Submachine Gun". While other weapons had been developed shortly prior with similar objectives in mind, the Thompson was the first weapon to be labeled and marketed as a "submachine gun". [20] Thompson intended the weapon as an automatic "trench-broom" to sweep enemy troops from the trenches, filling a role for which the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) had been proven ill-suited.

[27] This concept had already been developed by German troops using their own Bergmann MP 18, the world's first submachine gun, in concert with Sturmtruppen tactics. [28] Early use[edit] The Thompson first entered production as the M1921.

Federal sales were followed by sales to several police departments in the US and minor international sales to various armies and constabulary forces, chiefly in Central and South America. [30] The Marines used their Thompsons in the Banana Wars and in China.

It was popular as a point-defense weapon for countering ambush by Nicaraguan guerrillas, and led to the organization of four-man fire teams with as much firepower as a nine-man rifle squad. The major complaints against the Thompson were its weight, inaccuracy at ranges over 50 yards (46 m), and the lack of penetrating power of the. [31] Some of the first batches of Thompsons were bought in America by agents of the Irish Republic, notably Harry Boland. The first test of a Thompson in Ireland was performed by West Cork Brigade commander Tom Barry in presence of IRA leader Michael Collins.

The remainder made their way to the Irish Republican Army by way of Liverpool and were used in the last month of the Irish War of Independence (191921). [33] After a truce with the British in July 1921, the IRA imported more Thompsons and used them in the subsequent Irish Civil War (192223).

They were not found to be very effective in Ireland; the Thompson caused serious casualties in only 32-percent of the actions in which it was used. [2] Thompson Model 1921AC with a Police Model hard case Archetypal gangster image of a Thompson in a violin case[34][35] The Thompson achieved most of its early notoriety in the hands of Prohibition and Great Depression-era gangsters, the lawmen who pursued them, and in Hollywood films about their exploits, most notably in the St Valentine's Day Massacre. The two Thompson guns used in the massacre are still held by the Berrien County Sheriff's Department.

[36] The Thompson has been referred to by one researcher as the "gun that made the twenties roar". [37][38] In 1926, the Cutts Compensator (a muzzle brake) was offered as an option for the M1921; Thompsons with the compensator were cataloged as No. [26] In 1928, Federal Laboratories took over the distribution of the weapon from Thompson's Auto Ordnance Corporation. [39] Nationalist China acquired a quantity for use against Japanese land forces, and eventually began producing copies of the Thompson in small quantities for use by its armies and militias. In the 1930s, Taiyuan Arsenal produced copies of the Thompson for Yan Xishan, the warlord of Shanxi province. The FBI first acquired Thompsons in 1933 following the Kansas City Massacre. [39] World War II[edit] A British soldier equipped with a Thompson M1928 submachine gun (drum magazine), November 25, 1940 In 1938, the Thompson submachine gun was adopted by the U. Military, serving during World War II and beyond. There were two military types of Thompson SMG.

The M1928A1 had provisions for box and drum magazines. It had a Cutts compensator, cooling fins on the barrel, employed a delayed blowback action and its charging handle was on the top of the receiver. The M1 and M1A1 had a barrel without cooling fins, a simplified rear sight, provisions only for box magazines, employed a straight blowback action and the charging handle was on the side of the receiver.

Over 1.5 million military Thompson submachine guns were produced during World War II. The Thompson had to be cocked, bolt retracted ready to fire, to attach the drum.

It attached and detached by sliding sideways, which made magazine changes slow and also created difficulty in clearing a cartridge malfunction ("jam"). Reloading an empty drum with cartridges was an involved process. In contrast, the "XX" twenty-round box magazine was light and compact, it tended not to rattle, and could be inserted with the bolt safely closed. It was quickly attached and detached and was removed downward, making clearing jams easier.

The box tripped the bolt open lock when empty, facilitating magazine changes. An empty box was easily reloaded with loose rounds.

However, users complained it was limited in capacity. In the field, some soldiers taped two "XX" magazines together in what would be known as "jungle style" to speed magazine changes. [41] Two alternatives to the "L" drum and "XX" box magazines were tested December 6, 1941, at Fort Knox: an extended thirty-round box magazine and a forty-round magazine made by welding two 20-round magazines face to face, jungle style. Testers considered both superior to either the "XX" box or "L" drum. The 30-round box was approved as standard in December 1941 to replace the "XX" and "L" magazines.

[42] The concept of welding two box magazines face-to-face was carried over with the UD 42 submachine gun. Australian soldiers equipped with Thompson submachine guns at Tobruk, September 8, 1941 M1 development[edit] The staff of Savage Arms looked for ways to simplify the M1928A1, producing a prototype in February 1942 which was tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground in March 1942; Army Ordnance approved adoption as the M1 in April 1942. M1s were made by Savage Arms and by Auto-Ordnance. M1s were issued with the 30-round box magazine and would accept the earlier 20-round box, but would not accept the drum magazine.

[43] Combat use[edit] U. Fires on a Japanese position using an M1 Thompson submachine gun during an advance on Okinawa in 1945. The Thompson was used in World War II in the hands of Allied troops as a weapon for scouts, non-commissioned officers (corporal, sergeant, and higher), and patrol leaders, as well as commissioned officers, tank crewmen, and soldiers performing raids on German positions. In the European theater, the gun was widely utilized in British and Canadian commando units, as well as in the U.

Army paratrooper and Ranger battalions, where it was issued more frequently than in line infantry units because of its high rate of fire and its stopping power, which made it very effective in the kinds of close combat these special operations troops were expected to undertake. Military Police were fond of it, as were paratroopers, who "borrowed" Thompsons from members of mortar squads for use on patrols behind enemy lines. [44] The gun was prized by those lucky enough to get one and proved itself in the close street fighting that was encountered frequently during the invasion of France. A Swedish variant of the M1928A1, the Kulsprutepistol m/40 (submachine gun, model 40), served in the Swedish Army between 1940 and 1951. Through Lend-Lease, the Soviet Union also received the Thompson, but due to a shortage of appropriate ammunition, its use was not widespread.

[45] German Fallschirmjäger troops in Tunisia with a captured M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun In the Malayan Campaign, the Burma Campaign and the Pacific Theater, Lend-Lease issue Thompsons were used by the British Army, Indian Army, Australian Army infantry and other Commonwealth forces. They used the Thompson extensively in jungle patrols and ambushes, where it was prized for its firepower, though it was criticized for its hefty weight and poor reliability. Difficulties in supply eventually led to its replacement in Australian Army units in 1943 by other submachine guns such as the Owen and Austen.

The Thompsons were then given to the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy. New Zealand commando forces initially used Thompsons but switched them for the more reliable, lighter, and more accurate Owen during the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal campaigns.

Marines also used the Thompson as a limited-issue weapon, especially during their later island assaults. The Thompson was soon found to have limited effect in heavy jungle cover, where the low-velocity. 45 bullet would not penetrate most small-diameter trees or protective armor vests. In 1923, the Army had rejected the.

45 RemingtonThompson, which had twice the energy of the. Army, many Pacific War jungle patrols were originally equipped with Thompsons in the early phases of the New Guinea and Guadalcanal campaigns, but soon began employing the Browning Automatic Rifle in its place as a point defense weapon. [48] The Army introduced the U. M3 and M3A1 submachine guns in 1943 with plans to produce the latter in numbers sufficient to cancel future orders for the Thompson, while gradually withdrawing it from the first-line service.

At the end of World War II, the Thompson, with a total wartime production of over 1.5 million, outnumbered the M3/M3A1 submachine guns in service by nearly three to one. [40] After World War II[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification. Find sources: "Thompson submachine gun" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Two Israeli policemen, armed with Thompsons meet a Jordanian legionnaire near the Mandelbaum Gate c.

1950 Thompson submachine guns were used by both sides during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. [49] Following the war, Thompsons were issued to members of Israel's elite Unit 101, upon the formation of that unit in 1953. [50] During the Greek Civil War, the Thompson submachine gun was used by both sides. The Hellenic Armed Forces, gendarmerie and police units were equipped with Thompson submachine guns supplied by the British and later in the war by the United States. The opposing Communist fighters of the Democratic Army of Greece were also using Thompson submachine guns, either captured from government forces or inherited from ELAS. ELAS was the strongest of the resistance forces during the period of Greek Resistance against the Germans and Italians and were supplied with arms from both the British and the United States. After the demobilization of ELAS, an unspecified number of arms were not surrendered to the government but kept hidden, and were later used by the Democratic Army of Greece.

[51] The Thompson also found service with the KNIL during their attempt to retake their former colony of Indonesia. Captured examples were later used by Indonesian forces against Dutch forces.

A KNIL soldier armed with an M1928A1 submachine gun; c. 1948 By the time of the Korean War in 1950, the Thompson had seen much use by the U. And South Korean military, even though Thompson had been replaced as standard-issue by the M3/M3A1.

With huge numbers of guns available in army ordnance arsenals, the Thompson remained classed as Limited Standard or Substitute Standard long after the standardization of the M3/M3A1. During the Korean War, US troops were surprised to encounter communist Chinese troops armed with Thompsons (amongst other captured US-made Nationalist Chinese and American firearms), especially during unexpected night-time assaults which became a prominent Chinese combat tactic in the conflict.

The gun's ability to deliver large quantities of short-range automatic assault fire proved very useful in both defense and assault during the early part of the war when it was constantly mobile and shifting back and forth. Many Chinese Thompsons were captured and placed into service with American soldiers and marines for the remaining period of the war.

The Yugoslav Army received 34,000 M1A1 Thompsons during the 1950s as part of a US Military Aid to Yugoslavia Agreement. These guns were used during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s. [11] During the Cuban Revolution, the Thompson submachine gun was used by both Batista's army and Fidel Castro's guerrillas. Both the latter and the Brigade 2506 also used some during the bay of Pigs Invasion.

[52] During the Vietnam War, some South Vietnamese army units and defense militia were armed with Thompson submachine guns, and a few of these weapons were used by reconnaissance units, advisors, and other American troops. It was later replaced by the M16. Not only did some U. Soldiers have use of them in Vietnam, but they encountered them as well. The Viet Cong liked the weapon and used both captured models as well as manufacturing their own copies in small jungle workshops.

[53] The Australian government destroyed most of their Thompson machine carbines in the 1960s. They were then captured and used by the Khmer Rouge. In the conflict in Northern Ireland, known as the Troubles (19691998), the Thompson was again used by the Irish Republican paramilitaries.

According to historian Peter Hart, The Thompson remained a key part of both the Official IRA and Provisional IRA arsenals until well into the 1970s when it was superseded by the Armalite and the AK-47. [10] The Thompson was also used by U. And overseas law enforcement and police forces, most prominently by the FBI. The FBI used Thompsons until they were declared obsolete and ordered destroyed in the early 1970s.

[54] Collector interest[edit] Because of their quality and craftsmanship, as well as their gangster-era and WWII connections, Thompsons are sought as collector's items. There were fewer than 40 pre-production prototypes. The Colt Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in Hartford, Connecticut was contracted by the Auto-Ordnance Corporation to manufacture the initial mass production of 15,000 Thompson Submachine Guns in 1920.

For WWII, approximately 1,700,000 Thompson Submachine Guns were produced by Auto-Ordnance and Savage Arms, with 1,387,134 being the simplified World War II M1 and M1A1 variants (without the Blish lock and oiling system[55]). [56] Features[edit] Operating characteristics[edit] Thompson 1921, field stripped Early versions of the Thompson, the Model 1919, had a fairly high cyclic rate of fire, as high as 1,200 rounds per minute (rpm), with most Model 1921s at 800 rpm. Navy ordered 500 Thompsons but requested a lower rate of fire. Thompson requested Payne develop a method of reducing the cyclic rate of fire. Payne replaced the actuator with a heavier one and the recoil spring with a stiffer one; the changes reduced the rate of fire from 800 to the 600 rpm of the U. Later M1 and M1A1 Thompsons averaged also 600 rpm. [57] This rate of fire, combined with a rather heavy trigger pull and a stock with an excessive drop, increases the tendency for the barrel to climb off target in automatic fire. [57][58] Compared to more modern submachine guns, the. 45 Thompson is quite heavy, weighing roughly the same as the contemporary M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle, and requires a lot of cleaning. This was one of the major complaints about the weapon by U. Army personnel to whom it was issued. [31] Thompson M1928A1, field stripped Although the drum magazine provided significant firepower, in military service it was found to be overly heavy and bulky, especially when slung on the shoulder while marching.

[58] The M1928A1 Thompson drum magazine was rather fragile, and cartridges tended to rattle inside it, producing unwanted noise. [citation needed] For these reasons, the 20-round and later 30-round box magazines soon proved most popular with military users of the M1928A1, and drum compatibility was not included in the design of the wartime M1 and M1A1 models. The Thompson was one of the earliest submachine guns to incorporate a double-column, double-feed box magazine design, which undoubtedly contributed to the gun's reputation for reliability.

In addition, the gun performed better than most after exposure to rain, dirt, and mud. [31] The selective-fire (semi- or fully automatic) Thompson fires from the "open bolt" position, in which the bolt is held fully to rearward by the sear when cocked. When the trigger is depressed, the bolt is released, traveling forward to chamber and simultaneously fire the first and subsequent rounds until either the trigger is released or the ammunition is exhausted. This eliminates the risk of "cook-off", which can sometimes occur in closed-bolt automatic weapons. Disassembly[edit] The Thompson submachine gun varies in field strip procedure, depending on the variant. World War II-era M1 variants and RPB models field strip more easily than the M1921. [citation needed] The 1928 variant can be disassembled easily by first detaching the stock, then sliding off the lower receiver and then simply removing the internal parts, cleaning them, and then putting it back together. When opened up, the Thompson features a small number of parts that need to be removed including the spring, bolt, Blish Lock, and actuator bolt. Variants[edit] Thompson M1921 submachine gun with Argentine Halcon compensator Prototypes[edit] Persuader and Annihilator[edit] There were two main experimental models of the Thompson. The Persuader was a belt-fed version developed in 1917/18. It was partially built, but never completely finished. Ver 10 prototypes was similar in appearance to the later models, but without rear sight and butt stock mounts. The Annihilator prototypes first were fed from a 20-round box magazine, but later, the 50- and 100-round drum magazine models were developed. Model 1919[edit] Starting with the Serial no. 11, the Model 1919 takes the final appearance of the later Thompsons with the rear sights and the butt stock. The Model 1919 was limited to about 40 units; the first built did not use the drums, as it was too difficult to fire. Many variations have been noted within this model. The weapons had very high cyclic rates up to 1,500 rpm. [18] This was the weapon Brigadier General Thompson demonstrated at Camp Perry in 1920. A number of Model 1919s were made without butt stocks, rear- and front sights, but the final version closely resembled the later Model 1921.

This model was designed to "sweep" trenches with bullets. The New York City Police Department was the largest purchaser of the M1919. Some experimental calibers aside the.

45 ACP (11.4x23mm) were the. 351 WSL variant[edit] Only one prototype was made in. 351 WSL using a standard 20 barrel and an ROF of 1000rpm. 30 Carbine[edit] The layout and ergonomics of the Thompson submachine gun were also considered for the role of a Light Rifle before the adoption of the M1 Carbine. It was based on the M1921/27 variants.

However, it was turned down without testing due to logistic problems. 3006 variant was intended as a rival to the M1918 BAR. It had an extended receiver with a recoil buffer and fed from 20 round magazines. [60] Production[edit] Model 1921[edit] Colt address on Thompson 1921 SMG The "Anti-Bandit Gun": 1920s advertisement of the Thompson M1921 for United States law enforcement forces Thompson Autorifle (top, upright) and SMG Model (bottom, inverted) of 1921 The Model 1921 (M1921) was the first major production model. Fifteen thousand were produced by Colt for Auto-Ordnance.

In its original design, it was finished more like a sporting weapon, with an adjustable rear sight, a blued, finned barrel and vertical foregrip (or pistol grip) and the Blish lock. The M1921 was famous throughout its career with police and criminals and in motion pictures.

This model gained fame from its use by criminals during Prohibition, and was nicknamed "tommy gun" by the media. [citation needed] Model 1923[edit] The Model 1923 was a heavy submachine gun introduced to potentially expand the Auto-Ordnance product line and was demonstrated for the U. [61] It fired the more powerful. 45 RemingtonThompson cartridge which fired a heavier 250 gr (0.57 oz; 16 g) bullet at muzzle velocities of about 1,450 ft/s (440 m/s) and energy about 1,170 ftlb (1,590 J), with greater range than the.

It introduced a horizontal forearm, improved inline stock for accuracy, 14 in (36 cm) barrel, bipod, and bayonet lug. The M1923 was intended to rival the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), with which the Army was already satisfied. The Army did not give the Model 1923 much consideration, so it was not adopted. Model 1921AC (1926)[edit] While not a new model in the usual sense of incorporating major changes, in 1926 the Cutts Compensator (a muzzle brake) was offered as an option for the M1921; Thompsons with the compensator were cataloged as No. [26] The Model 1921 was thereafter referred to as Model 1921A or Model 1921AC, though some collectors still refer to it as the Model 1921.

Model 1928[edit] The Model 1928 was the first type widely used by military forces, with the U. Marine Corps as major buyers through the 1930s. The original Model 1928s were Model 1921s with weight added to the actuator, which slowed down the cyclic rate of fire, a United States Navy requirement. On these guns, the model number "1921" on the receiver was updated by stamping an "8" over the last "1".

The Navy Model 1928 has several names among collectors: the "Colt Overstamp", "1921 Overstamp", "28 Navy", or just "28N". The 1928 Thompson would be the last small arm adopted by the U. Army that used a year designation in the official nomenclature. A notable variant of the Model 1928 with an aluminum receiver and tenite grip, buttstock, and forend, was made by Savage.

[62] M1928A1[edit] M1928A1 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, June 1942 The M1928A1 variant entered mass production before the attack on Pearl Harbor, as on-hand stocks ran out. Changes included a horizontal forend, in place of the distinctive vertical foregrip ("pistol grip"), and a provision for a military sling. Though it could use both the 50-round drum and the 20- or 30-round box magazines, active service showed the drums were more prone to jamming, rattled when moving, and were too heavy and bulky on long patrols.

Wartime production variants had a fixed rear sight without the triangular sight guard wings and a non-ribbed barrel, both like those found on the M1/M1A1. In addition, the Soviet Union received M1928A1s, included as standard equipment with the M3 light tanks obtained through Lend-Lease.

The weapons were never issued to the Red Army because of a lack of. 45 ACP ammunition on the Eastern Front; they were simply put in storage, although a picture exists of what appears to be Thompsons being used by Russian M3 Stuart crews in the Caucasus.

As of September 2006, limited numbers of these weapons have been re-imported from Russia to the United States as disassembled "spare parts kits", comprising the entire weapon less the receiver (as required by Federal law). An M1928A1 which also came with an unusual inline stock, modified with elevated sights to increase accuracy also existed.

Some Thompsons were built with a folding stock, similar to the M1A1 Carbine for Allied tank crews, drivers and paratroopers and submarine raiders. [63] Service variants[edit] This section needs additional citations for verification. Find sources: "Thompson submachine gun" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Thompson Machine Carbine (TMC)[edit] In 1940 Commonwealth troops in Egypt and North Africa were issued commercial model Lend-Lease Colt- and Savage-manufactured M1928s. Section leaders carried them instead of pistols or rifles.

Many of the Colt models had French-language manuals packed with them as they had been abruptly diverted to England after the fall of France. They soon discovered that the weapon was prone to jamming due to sand. To fix this, the armorers removed the Blish Lock and replaced it with a hex bolt to keep the cocking handle and bolt together. The 20-round Type XX magazines had their peep-holes welded shut to keep sand out and the 50-round Type L drums were discontinued.

Ammunition was scarce as it was either in small lots of Lend-Lease commercial ammo or obtained from adjacent American troops. It was later replaced by the 9mm Sten gun and Lanchester SMG. The Japanese captured enough Thompson M1928 SMGs and ammunition when they captured Hong Kong and Malaysia that it became a limited standard weapon. It surpassed any similar weapons currently in their service.

Ammunition was usually in US 42-round Lend-Lease commercial cartons or Australian 28-round military cartons captured from the Commonwealth forces that was sampled, tested, and resealed with Japanese arsenal stickers. Models used in the Pacific by Australian troops had their sling swivels remounted on the left side to allow it to be fired more easily while prone. A metal sling mount was fitted to the left side of the wooden buttstock. Ammunition was manufactured in Australia or obtained from adjacent American troops. It was later replaced by the Owen Machine Carbine.

M1[edit] Fire Controls M1928a1Thompson Front lever is selector switch set for full auto Responding to a request for further simplification, the M1 was standardized in April 1942 as the United States Submachine Gun, Cal. Rate of fire was reduced to approximately 600700 rpm.

First issued in 1943, the M1 uses a simple blowback operation, with the charging handle moved to the side. The flip-up adjustable Lyman rear sight was replaced with a fixed L sight. Late M1s had triangular guard wings added to the rear L sight, which were standardized on the M1A1.

The slots adjoining the magazine well allowing the use of a drum magazine were removed. A new magazine catch with the provision for retaining drum magazines removed, was produced, but most M1s and later M1A1s retained the original. The less expensive and more-easily manufactured "stick" magazines were used exclusively in the M1, with a new 30-round version joining the familiar 20-round type. The Cutts compensator, barrel cooling fins, and Blish lock were omitted while the buttstock was permanently affixed. Late production M1 stocks were fitted with reinforcing bolts and washers to prevent splitting of the stock where it attached to the receiver.

The British had used improvised bolts or wood screws to reinforce M1928 stocks. The M1 reinforcing bolt and washer were carried over to the M1A1 and retrofitted to many of the M1928A1s in U. Late M1s also had simplified fire control switches, also carried over to the M1A1.

Certain M1s had issues with high rate of fire climbing up to 800 RPM. The exact cause remains unknown, but was resolved with the transition to the M1A1.

[64] M1A1[edit] Both sides of the Thompson M1A1 shown with 30-round magazine The M1A1, standardized in October 1942 as the United States Submachine Gun, Cal. 45, M1A1, could be produced in half the time of the M1928A1, and at a much lower cost. The main difference between the M1 and M1A1 was the bolt.

The M1 bolt had a floating firing pin and hammer, the bolt of the M1A1 had the firing pin machined to the face of the bolt, eliminating unnecessary parts. The reinforced stock and protective sight wings were standard.

The 30-round magazine became more common. By the end of the war, the M1A1 was replaced with the even lower-cost M3 (commonly called the "Grease Gun").

Semi-automatic[edit] Model 1927[edit] The Model 1927 was the open bolt semi-automatic-only version of the M1921. It was made by modifying an existing Model 1921, including replacing certain parts. The "Thompson Submachine Gun" inscription was machined over to replace it with "Thompson Semi-Automatic Carbine", and the "Model 1921" inscription was also machined over to replace it with Model 1927.

Although the Model 1927 was semi-automatic only, it was easily converted to fully automatic by installing a full-auto Model 1921 fire control group (internal parts). Most Model 1927s owned by police have been converted back to full-auto. [65] The original Model 1927 is classified as a machine gun under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (a) by being "readily convertible" by swapping parts and (b) by a 1982 BATF ruling making all open bolt semi-automatic firearms manufactured after the date of this ruling classified as machine guns. Model 1927A1[edit] The Model 1927A1 is a semi-automatic only replica version of the Thompson, originally produced by Auto-Ordnance of West Hurley, New York for the civilian collector's market from 1974 to 1999. It has been produced since 1999 by Kahr Arms of Worcester, Massachusetts.

It is officially known as the Thompson Semi-Automatic Carbine, Model of 1927A1. The internal design is completely different to operate from the closed bolt and the carbine has barrel length of 16.5 in (420 mm) versus open bolt operation and barrel length of 10.5 in (270 mm) for the full automatic versions.

Under federal regulations, these changes make the Model 1927A1 legally a rifle and remove it from the federal registry requirements of the National Firearms Act. These modern versions should not be confused with the original semi-automatic M1927, which was a slightly modified M1921 produced by Colt for Auto-Ordnance. The Model 1927A1 is the semi-automatic replica of the Thompson Models of 1921 and 1927. The "Thompson Commando" is a semi-automatic replica of the M1928A1.

The Auto-Ordnance replica of the Thompson M1 and M1A1 is known as the TM1, and may be found marked Thompson Semi-Automatic Carbine, Caliber. Model 1927A3[edit] The Model 1927A3 is a semi-automatic. 22 caliber version of the Thompson produced by Auto-Ordnance in West Hurley.

Model 1927A5[edit] The Model 1927A5 is a semi-automatic. 45 ACP pistol version of the Thompson originally produced by Auto-Ordnance in West Hurley from the 1970s until the early 1990s or late'80s. It featured an aluminum receiver to reduce weight. It has since been replaced with the Kahr Arms TA5 Pistol, which features a 10.5" barrel and steel receiver, unlike the 1927A5's 13" barrel and aluminum receiver. As per the NFA (National Firearms Act of 1934), the 1927A5.

45 ACP Pistol" is simply classified as a "Firearm" (Any type of firearm with an overall length of 26" or greater, that does not have a buttstock) as it neither fits the definition of a Pistol or Rifle under federal law. Auto-Ordnance 1927A5 DOJ BATFE Firearm Classification Letter 1928A1 LTD[edit] The 1928A1 LTD is a civilian semi-automatic-only conversion by Luxembourg Defense Technology (LuxDefTec) in Luxembourg. They are made from original 1928A1 guns of various appearance (with or without Cutt's compensator, ribbed or smooth barrels, adjustable or fixed sights), that where imported Lend-Lease guns from Russia. Export variants[edit] BSA Thompsons[edit] In an attempt to expand interest and sales overseas, Auto-Ordnance entered into a partnership with and licensed the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA) in England to produce a European model. These were produced in small quantities and have a different appearance than the classic style.

The BSA 1926 was manufactured in 9mmP and 7.63mm Mauser and were tested by various governments, including France, in the mid-1920s. It was never adopted by any military force, and only a small number were produced. [66] RPB Thompsons[edit] Special purpose variant[edit] A special purpose machine pistol variant of the Thompson is manufactured by RPB Industries of Atlanta. [67] Suppressed variant[edit] A version with a threaded barrel for suppressors, side folding stock, and modified sights. Civilian ownership[edit] Canada[edit] All variants and modified versions of Thompson submachine guns (even semiautomatic-only versions) are prohibited by name in Canada, as part of Prohibited Weapons Order No. Consequently, they cannot be legally imported or owned except under very limited circumstances. For example, to own one the person must be "grandfathered" and have owned one before the bill was passed against it. The submachine gun is not grandfathered like in US, only the owner. Eventually, all prohibited guns will be out of circulation. [68]:Part 1.86[69] United States[edit] Firing the 1921 Thompson The perceived popularity of submachine guns such as the Thompson with violent gangsters in the 1920s and 1930s was one of the main reasons given for passage of the National Firearms Act by the United States Congress in 1934.

One of its provisions was that owners of fully automatic firearms were required to register them with the predecessor agency of the modern Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The law also placed restrictions on the possession, transfer, and transport of the weapons.

Made automatic and semi-automatic variants, copies, or replicas. The semi-automatic versions are less regulated by federal law. United Kingdom[edit] The possession of any fully automatic firearm is prohibited in the UK by the Firearms Act 1968; prohibited firearms can be possessed on a section 5 certificate, but these are not issued to civilians. A fully automatic firearm that has been converted to semi-automatic fire, such as the Model 1927, is prohibited by the Firearms Act 1988, as is any centre-fire purpose-made semi-automatic weapon, such as the Model 1927A1. It is now effectively impossible for a firearm of this type to be legally possessed by a member of the general public, except in certified deactivated condition or where specifically manufactured as a semi-automatic in calibre. Germany[edit] The gun, in a government approved semiautomatic conversion or clone, can legally be owned by hunters and sport shooters. With a design date prior to 1942 it isn't considered a "weapon of war" any more. Only the fully automatic version is a prohibited weapon.

As a long gun, it can be bought by hunters (even if it can't be used to actually hunt for legal reasons). There are disciplines in government approved sport shooting rulebooks that allow this type to be used, therefore the gun can be bought by sport shooters, too. The Lewis gun (or Lewis automatic machine gun or Lewis automatic rifle) is a First World Warera light machine gun.

Designed privately in America but not adopted, the design was finalised and mass-produced in the United Kingdom, [2] and widely used by troops of the British Empire during the war. It had a distinctive barrel cooling shroud (containing a finned, aluminium breech-to-muzzle heat sink to cool the gun barrel) and top-mounted pan magazine. The Lewis served to the end of the Korean War. It was also widely used as an aircraft machine gun, almost always with the cooling shroud removed (as air flow during flight offers sufficient cooling), during both World Wars. Contents 1 History 2 Production 3 Design details 4 Service 4.1 First World War 4.1.1 Aircraft use 4.2 Second World War 5 Variants 5.1 Canada 5.2 Czechoslovakia 5.3 Netherlands 5.4 United Kingdom 5.5 United States 5.6 Experimental projects 6 Influence on later designs 7 Users 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links History[edit] The Lewis gun was invented by U. Army colonel Isaac Newton Lewis in 1911, based on initial work by Samuel Maclean. [3] Despite its origins, the Lewis gun was not initially adopted by the U.

Military, most likely because of political differences between Lewis and General William Crozier, the chief of the Ordnance Department. [4] Lewis became frustrated with trying to persuade the U.

Army to adopt his design, "slapped by rejections from ignorant hacks", in his words, [5] and retired from the army. He left the United States in 1913 and went to Belgium, where he established the Armes Automatique Lewis company in Liège to facilitate commercial production of the gun. [3] The Belgians bought a small number of Lewises in 1913, using the. [5] Lewis and his factory moved to England before 1914, away from possible seizure in the event of a German invasion. [7] The onset of the First World War increased demand for the Lewis gun, and BSA began production, under the designation Model 1914.

The design was officially approved for service on 15 October 1915 under the designation Gun, Lewis. [8] No Lewis guns were produced in Belgium during the war;[9] all manufacture was carried out by BSA in England and the Savage Arms Company in the US. Marines field tested the Lewis machine gun in 1917.

The Lewis was produced by BSA and Savage Arms during the war, and although the two versions were largely similar, enough differences existed to stop them being completely interchangeable, although this was rectified by the time of the Second World War. [11] The major difference between the two designs was that the BSA weapons were chambered for. 303 British ammunition, whereas the Savage guns were chambered for.

30-06 cartridges, which necessitated some difference in the magazine, feed mechanism, bolt, barrel, extractors, and gas operation system. [10] Savage did make Lewis guns in. The Model 1916 and Model 1917 were exported to Canada and the United Kingdom, and a few were supplied to the US military, particularly the Navy. [10] The Savage Model 1917 was generally produced in. A number of these guns were supplied to the UK under lend-lease during the Second World War.

[12] Design details[edit] List of parts A 97-round pan magazine, as used on a 7.92×57mm Lewis gun, Museum of Coastal Defence, Poland. Note the magazine is only partially filled. The Lewis gun was gas operated.

A portion of the expanding propellant gas was tapped off from the barrel, driving a piston to the rear against a spring. The piston was fitted with a vertical post at its rear which rode in a helical cam track in the bolt, rotating it at the end of its travel nearest the breech.

This allowed the three locking lugs at the rear of the bolt to engage in recesses in the gun's body to lock it into place. The post also carried a fixed firing pin, which protruded through an aperture in the front of the bolt, firing the next round at the foremost part of the piston's travel. [13][14] Recruits of the Singapore Volunteer Force training with a Lewis gun, 1941 A Lewis gun at the Elgin Military Museum Canada. The rear end of finned aluminum heat sink, that fits within the gun's cooling shroud, can be seen The gun's aluminum barrel-shroud caused the muzzle blast to draw air over the barrel and cool it, due to the muzzle-to-breech, radially finned aluminum heat sink within the shroud's barrel, and protruding behind the shroud's aft end, running lengthwise in contact with the gun barrel (somewhat like the later American M1917/18 Marlin-Rockwell machine gun's similar gun barrel cooling design)[15] from the "bottleneck" near the shroud's muzzle end and protruding externally behind the shroud's rear end.

Some discussion occurred over whether the shroud was really necessaryin the Second World War, many old aircraft guns that did not have the tubing were issued to antiaircraft units of the British Home Guard and to British airfields, and others were used on vehicle mounts in the Western Desert; all were found to function properly without it, which led to the suggestion that Lewis had insisted on the cooling arrangement largely to show that his design was different from Maclean's earlier prototypes. [16] Only the Royal Navy retained the tube/heatsink cooling system on their deck-mounted AA-configuration Lewis guns. [16] The Lewis gun used a pan magazine holding 47 or 97 rounds. [17] Pan magazines hold the rounds, bullet-noses inwards toward the center, in a radial fan.

Unlike the more common drum magazines, which hold the rounds parallel to the axis and are fed by spring tension, pan magazines are mechanically indexed. The Lewis magazine was driven by a cam on top of the bolt which operated a pawl mechanism via a lever. [14] An interesting point of the design was that it did not use a traditional helical coiled recoil spring, but used a spiral spring, much like a large clock spring, in a semicircular housing just in front of the trigger.

The operating rod had a toothed underside, which engaged with a cog which wound the spring. When the gun fired, the bolt recoiled and the cog was turned, tightening the spring until the resistance of the spring had reached the recoil force of the bolt assembly. At that moment, as the gas pressure in the breech fell, the spring unwound, turning the cog, which, in turn, wound the operating rod forward for the next round. As with a clock spring, the Lewis gun recoil spring had an adjustment device to alter the recoil resistance for variations in temperature and wear. Unusual as it seems, the Lewis design proved reliable and was even copied by the Japanese and used extensively by them during the Second World War. [18] The gun's cyclic rate of fire was about 500600 rounds per minute. It weighed 28 lb (12.7 kg), only about half as much as a typical medium machine gun of the era, such as the Vickers machine gun, and was chosen in part because, being more portable than a heavy machine gun, it could be carried and used by one soldier. [19] BSA even produced at least one model the B. Light Infantry Pattern Lewis Gun, which lacked the aluminium barrel shroud and had a wooden fore grip designed as a form of assault rifle. [20] Service[edit] First World War[edit] Men of the 28th Battalion of the 2nd Australian Division practising Lewis gun drill at Renescure. During the first days of the war, the Belgian Army had put in service 20 prototypes 5 in 7.65×53mm and 15 in.

303 for the defense of Namur. [21] The United Kingdom officially adopted the Lewis gun in.

303 British calibre for land and aircraft use in October 1915. [22] The weapon was generally issued to the British Army's infantry battalions on the Western Front in early 1916 as a replacement for the heavier and less mobile Vickers machine gun. The Vickers was withdrawn from the infantry for use by specialist machine-gun companies.

The US Navy and Marine Corps followed in early 1917, adopting the M1917 Lewis gun produced by the Savage Arms Co. Notes made during his training in 1918 by Arthur Bullock, a private soldier in the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, record that the chief advantage of the gun was'its invulnerability' and its chief disadvantages were'its delicacy, the fact that it is useless for setting up a barrage, and also that the system of air cooling employed does not allow of more than 12 magazines being fired continuously'. He records its weight as 26 lbs unloaded and 30½ lbs loaded (though later he mentions that it weighed 35 lbs loaded), and that it had 47 cartridges in a fully loaded magazine; also that it was supported by a bipod in front and by the operator's shoulder at the rear.

[23] About six months into his service, Bullock was sent on Lewis gun refresher course at La Lacque, and he recalled that the rigour of the training meant that'everyone passed out 100 percent efficient, the meaning of which will be appreciated when I say that part of the final test was to strip down the gun completely and then, blindfolded, put those 104 parts together again correctly in just one minute. [24] The gun was operated by a team of seven. Bullock was the First Lewis Gunner who carried the gun and a revolver, while'The Second Gunner carried a bag containing spare parts, and the reminaing five members of the team carried loaded pans of ammunition'. Bullock noted,'all could fire the gun if required, and all could effect repairs in seconds'. [25] Bullock provides several vivid descriptions of the gun's use in combat.

For example, on 13 April 1918 he and his fellow soldiers intercepted a German advance along the Calonne/Robecq road, noting'we fired the gun in turns until it was too hot to hold'[26] and recording that 400 German casualties were caused,'chiefly by my Lewis gun! [27][28] The US Army never officially adopted the weapon for infantry use[16] and even went so far as to take Lewis guns away from US Marines arriving in France and replace them with the Chauchat LMG[29]a practice believed to be related to General Crozier's dislike of Lewis and his gun.

[30] The US Army eventually adopted the Browning Automatic Rifle in 1917 (although it was September 1918 before any of the new guns reached the front). [31] The US Navy and Marine Corps continued to use the. 30-06 calibre Lewis until the early part of the Second World War. The US government was unwilling to supply the Tsarist Russian government with the guns and some doubt exists as to whether they were actually delivered, although records indicate that 5,982 Savage weapons were delivered to Russia by 31 March 1917. [33] White armies in Northwest Russia received several hundred Lewis guns in 19181919.

[34] British Mark IV tanks used the Lewis, replacing the Vickers and Hotchkiss used in earlier tanks. The Lewis was chosen for its relatively compact magazines, but as soon as an improved magazine belt for the Hotchkiss was developed, the Lewis was replaced by them in later tank models. [35] As their enemies used the mobility of the gun to ambush German raiding parties, the Germans nicknamed the Lewis "the Belgian Rattlesnake".

They used captured Lewis guns in both World Wars, and included instruction in its operation and care as part of their machine-gun crew training. The Lewis also had the advantage of being about 80% faster to build than the Vickers, and was a lot more portable. [19] Accordingly, the British government placed orders for 3,052 guns between August 1914 and June 1915. [8] By the end of the war, over 50,000 Lewis guns had been produced in the US and UK and they were nearly ubiquitous on the Western Front, outnumbering the Vickers by a ratio of about 3:1. [31] Aircraft use[edit] Captain Charles Chandler (with prototype Lewis Gun) and Lt Roy Kirtland in a Wright Model B Flyer after the first successful firing of a machine gun from an aeroplane in June 1912.

87 Squadron Dolphin flown by Cecil Montgomery-Moore. A Lewis gun is mounted atop the lower right wing The Lewis gun has the distinction of being the first machine gun fired from an aeroplane; on 7 June 1912, Captain Charles Chandler of the US Army fired a prototype Lewis gun from the foot-bar of a Wright Model B Flyer.

[36] Lewis Guns mounted in the front cockpit of the pusher Royal Aircraft Factory F. 2d Lewis Gun Manual used by Sgt. Palmer of the 25th Aero Squadron.

Albert Ball in an S. 5a, showing the Foster mount's arc-shaped I-beam rail. Lewis guns were used extensively on British and French aircraft during the First World War, as either an observer's or gunner's weapon or an additional weapon to the more common Vickers.

The Lewis's popularity as an aircraft machine gun was partly due to its low weight, the fact that it was air-cooled and that it used self-contained 97-round drum magazines. Because of this, the Lewis was first mounted on the Vickers F. 5 "Gunbus", which was probably the world's first purpose-built combat aircraft when it entered service in August 1914, replacing the Vickers machine gun used on earlier experimental versions.

[38] It was also fitted on two early production examples of the Bristol Scout C aircraft by Lanoe Hawker in the summer of 1915, mounted on the port side and firing forwards and outwards at a 30° angle to avoid the propeller arc. The problem in mounting a Lewis to fire forward in most single-engined tractor configuration fighters was due to the open bolt firing cycle of the Lewis, which prevented it from being synchronized to fire directly forward through the propeller arc of such aircraft; only the unusual French SPAD S. A "pulpit plane" which possessed a unique hinged gunner's nacelle immediately ahead of the propeller (and the pilot), and the British pusher fighters Vickers F.

2, Royal Aircraft Factory F. 8 could readily use the Lewis as direct forward-firing armament early in the war. Some British single-engined tractor fighters used a Foster mounting on the top wing to elevate a Lewis gun above the propeller arc for unsynchronized firing, including production S.

5a fighters and field-modified examples of the Avro 504. For the use of observers or rear gunners, the Lewis was mounted on a Scarff ring, which allowed the gun to be rotated and elevated whilst supporting the gun's weight.

[39] Until September 1916 Zeppelin airships were very difficult to attack successfully at high altitude, although this also made accurate bombing impossible. Aeroplanes struggled to reach a typical altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 m), and firing the solid bullets usually used by aircraft Lewis guns was ineffectual: they made small holes causing inconsequential gas leaks. Britain developed new bullets, the Brock containing spontaneously igniting potassium chlorate, [40] and the Buckingham filled with pyrophoric phosphorus, [41] to set fire to the Zeppelin's hydrogen. These had become available by September 1916.

[42] They proved very successful, and Lewis guns loaded with a mixture of Brock and Buckingham ammunition were often employed for balloon-busting against German Zeppelins, other airships and Drache barrage balloons. [36] 1918 Sopwith Dolphin with twin Lewis guns aimed upwards. On the French Nieuport 11 and later Nieuport 17 sesquiplanes, a Lewis gun was mounted above the top wing in a similar way as fitted to the British S. 5a sometimes on a Foster mount, which allowed firing directly forward outside the propeller arc.

The Foster mount usually incorporated an arc-shaped I-beam rail as its rearmost structural member, that a Lewis gun could be slid backwards and downwards along the rail towards the cockpit, to allow the ammunition drum to be changed in flight but RFC fighter ace Albert Ball VC also understood that the Lewis gun in such a mount also retained its original trigger, and could thus be fired upwards. He used the upward firing Lewis to attack solitary German two-seater aircraft from below and behind, where the observer could not see him or fire back. It was his use of the weapon in this way, in a Nieuport, that led to its later introduction on the S. 5a: Ball had acted in a consultant capacity on the development of this aeroplane. The later Sopwith Dolphin, already armed with twin synchronized Vickers guns just forward of the pilot and just above its V-8 engine, could also use one or two Lewis guns mounted on the forward crossbar of its cabane structure, between the top wing panels, as an anti-Zeppelin measure. A few of the Dolphins in use with No. 87 Squadron RAF in the summer of 1918, alternatively mounted their twin Lewises atop the lower wings just inboard of the inner wing struts for an additional pair of forward-firing machine guns; in such a field-achieved configuration, however, neither gun-jam clearing, nor drum magazine replacement were possible on their Lewises during a mission. Lewis guns were also carried as defensive guns on British airships.

The SS class blimps carried one gun. The larger NS class blimps carried two or three guns in the control car and some were fitted with an additional gun and a gunner's position at the top of the gasbag. [43] Second World War[edit] By the Second World War, the British Army had replaced the Lewis gun with the Bren gun for most infantry use. As an airborne weapon, the Lewis was largely supplanted by the Vickers K, a weapon that could achieve over twice the rate of fire of the Lewis. In the crisis following the Fall of France, where a large part of the British Army's equipment had been lost up to and at Dunkirk, stocks of Lewis guns in both.

30-06 were hurriedly pressed back into service, primarily for Home Guard, airfield defence and anti-aircraft use. [44] 58,983 Lewis guns were taken from stores, repaired, refitted and issued by the British during the course of the war. [45] In addition to their reserve weapon role in the UK, they also saw front-line use with the Dutch, British, Australian, and New Zealand forces in the early years of the Pacific campaign against the Japanese. [46] The Lewis gun saw continued service as an anti-aircraft weapon during the war; in this role, it was credited by the British for bringing down more low-flying enemy aircraft than any other AA weapon.

[47] Peter White indicates that his battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers was still using the Lewis on Universal carriers in 1945. [48] A New Zealand-crewed LRDG truck (equipped with a Lewis Gun) is dug out of the sand, c.

At the start of the Second World War, the Lewis was the Royal Navy's standard close-range air defence weapon. It could be found on major warships, armed trawlers and defensively equipped merchant ships. It was often used in twin mountings and a quadruple mount was developed for motor torpedo boats. British submarines generally carried two guns on single mounts. Although it was gradually replaced by the Oerlikon 20 mm cannon, new corvettes were still being fitted with twin Lewises as late as 1942. Lewis guns were also carried by the Royal Air Force's air-sea rescue launches. [49] A Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boat with dual twin Lewis guns, 1940. American forces used the Lewis gun in. 30-06 calibre throughout the war. The US Navy used the weapon on armed merchant cruisers, small auxiliary ships, landing craft and submarines. The US Coast Guard also used the Lewis on their vessels. [47] It was never officially adopted by the US Army for anything other than aircraft use. [16] The Germans used captured British Lewis guns during the war under the designation MG 137(e), [50] whilst the Japanese copied the Lewis design and employed it extensively during the war;[47] it was designated the Type 92 and chambered for a 7.7 mm rimmed cartridge that was interchangeable with the. [51][52] The Lewis was officially withdrawn from British service in 1946, [31] but continued to be used by forces operating against the United Nations in the Korean War.

It was also used against French and US forces in the First Indochina War and the subsequent Vietnam War. [53] Total production of the Lewis gun during the Second World War by BSA was over 145,000 units, [16] a total of 3,550 guns were produced by the Savage Arms Co. For US service2,500 in.

30-06 and 1,050 in. [32] Variants[edit] Canada[edit] Model 1915.

This was the designation given to. 303 Lewis Mk I weapons manufactured for Canada in the United States by the Savage Arms Company.

Large numbers of these guns were also produced by Savage for the British Army and in an aircraft configuration, for France and Italy. [54] Czech Vz 28/L, chambered for the 7.92×57mm Mauser ammunition. 731 7.92×57mm Lewis guns formerly used by the Czechoslovakian infantry were modified to aircraft (or anti-aircraft) machines guns by eská zbrojovka Strakonice. [55] Netherlands[edit] Mitrailleur M.

In the Netherlands, the Lewis in both ground and aircraft versions was used in 6.5×53 mm R calibre, using a 97-round magazine only. [56] The infantry version was equipped with a carrying handle on a clamp around the rear of the cooling tube. After the German invasion of May 1940, the weapon was also used by Germany under the designation 6,5 mm leichtes Maschinengewehr 100 (h).

[57] This Dutch modification of the older BSA redesign would have been extremely simple, as the Dutch/Romanian 6.5mm Mannlicher round has very nearly the same critical dimensions of the case head and rim as. United Kingdom[edit] A British Home Guard platoon in 1941.

The soldier on the right is carrying either a Lewis Mk III or Mk III with the improvised skeleton stock and fore-stock to make it usable as a ground weapon. The man next to him is carrying the drum magazine. 303 Lewis Mk I was the basic ground pattern model used by British and British Empire forces from 1915 with few improvements. This was the first purpose built aircraft version of the Lewis, earlier versions had been improvised from Mk I guns.

The cooling fins were omitted to save weight, but a light protective shroud around the barrel was retained. The wooden stock was removed and replaced with a "spade" grip, which resembled the handle of a garden spade. A 97-round drum magazine was introduced which required a larger magazine spigot on the body of the gun. An improved Mk II with an increased rate of fire introduced in 1918. A further upgrade of the Mk II with an even faster rate of fire and the barrel shroud deleted, introduced later in 1918.

The British designation for the US. 30-06 M1918 aircraft gun, some 46,000 of which were imported for the use of the Home Guard in 1940.

These guns were modified for ground use by the replacement of the spade grip with a crude skeleton stock and the addition of a simple wooden fore-stock which would allow the gun to be fired while resting on a sandbag, or from the hip while advancing. 303 Mark III modified in the same way as the US M1918s. After all the usable weapons had been reconditioned and issued, there remained a large number of incomplete Lewis guns and spare parts.

These were assembled into guns similar to the Mk III. There was a particular shortage of the fragile "clock" springs for the Lewis, so a simpler spring was manufactured and housed in a straight tube which extended into the skeleton stock. Many of these guns were fitted with a simple and light tripod which had been specially produced. [60] United States[edit] M1917 Lewis. Savage produced a version of the Lewis Mk I for US forces, rechambered for the.

30-06 round and with a modified gas operation due to the greater power of the US ammunition. A few of these were modified for aircraft use, when intended for non-synchronized emplacements on an airframe.

The US Navy designation was Lewis Mark IV. A purpose built aircraft version of the M1917. Experimental projects[edit] A commercial venture in 1921 by the Birmingham Small Arms Company was a version which fired the 12.7×81mm (0.5-inch Vickers) ammunition, intended for use against aircraft and tanks. At around the same time, BSA developed the Light Infantry Model which had a 22-round magazine and a wooden fore-stock in place of the radiator fins and shroud; it was intended to be used in a similar way to the Browning Automatic Rifle. Another development was a twin Lewis for aircraft use in which the bodies of the two weapons were joined side-by-side and the drum magazines were mounted vertically, one on each side. None of these projects was accepted by any armed forces. [61] Lewis had also experimented with lighter, 30-06 calibre, box magazine-fed infantry rifle variants intended for shoulder or hip fire as a competition to the BAR. They were dubbed "Assault Phase Rifle" what could be understood as the first use of the term "Assault Rifle", despite the weapon being, by today's designation, a battle rifle. Despite being three pounds lighter than it and loaded with very forward-thinking features for the time (such as an ambidexterous magazine release), the U. Army still chose to adopt the BAR. [62] A short-barrelled light machine gun variant was developed at the start of the Second World War. It came with a hand guard and was fed from a 30-round Bren magazines; however, it was decided by the British authorities to concentrate production on the Bren, which had the advantage of a changeable barrel. [63] The M1919 Browning is a. 30 caliber medium machine gun that was widely used during the 20th century, especially during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The M1919 saw service as a light infantry, coaxial, mounted, aircraft, and anti-aircraft machine gun by the U. The M1919 was an air-cooled development of the standard US machine gun of World War I, the John M. The emergence of general-purpose machine guns in the 1950s pushed the M1919 into secondary roles in many cases, especially after the arrival of the M60 in US Army service.

The United States Navy also converted many to 7.62mm NATO, and designated them Mk 21 Mod 0; they were commonly used on river craft in the 1960s and 1970s in Vietnam. Many NATO countries also converted their examples to 7.62, and these remained in service well into the 1990s, as well as up to the present day in some countries. A similar conversion of the M1917 also produced the larger M2 Machine Gun, using the same basic operating principles and layout but firing the much more powerful. 50 caliber (12.7mm) ammunition. The M1919 is distinguished by its smaller size and the use of a holed jacket around the barrel used on most versions.

Contents 1 Operation 1.1 Loading 1.2 Firing 2 Operational use 2.1 Infantry 2.2 Aircraft 3 Other calibers 3.1 On Lend-Lease British aircraft provided to the Soviets 4 Production 5 Variants and derivatives 5.1 M1919 variants 6 International variants and derivatives 6.1 Commercial variants and derivatives 6.1.1 Colt MG40 7 Civilian ownership 8 Current and former users 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links Operation[edit] US soldiers fire a M1919A4 in Aachen Loading[edit] The M1919 originally fired the. 30 cal M1906 (30-06) ball cartridge, and later the.

30 caliber M2 ball cartridge, contained in a woven cloth belt, feeding from left to right. A metal M1 link was later adopted, forming a "disintegrating" belt. Two Marines with a M1919A4 on Namur Island during World War II Loading was accomplished by inserting the pull tab on the ammunition belt from the left side of the gun - either metal links or metal tab on cloth belts - until the belt-holding pawl at the entrance of the feed way grabbed the belt and held it in place. The cocking handle was then pulled back with the palm of the hand facing up, and then released.

This advanced the first round of the belt in front of the bolt for the extractor/ejector on the bolt to grab the first cartridge. The cocking handle was pulled and released a second time. This removed the first cartridge from the belt, advanced the next round into position to be grabbed and moved the first round down into the chamber of the barrel ready for firing. As the bolt went into battery, the extractor grabbed the next round on the belt that was advanced and was resting in the feedway waiting to be loaded. Every time the gun fired a single shot, the gun performed the sequence of extracting and ejecting the spent round as the bolt came rearward, loading the next round to be fired into the barrel, advancing the belt, grabbing the next round in preparation for loading, then chambering it as the bolt came forward again under tension from the spring.

If the trigger was held down, the gun would continue to fire in full automatic, repeating the sequence over and over until stopped. The gun's original design was as a water-cooled machine gun (see the M1917 Browning machine gun). When it was decided to try to lighten the gun and make it air-cooled, its design as a closed bolt weapon created a potentially dangerous situation. If the gun was very hot from prolonged firing, the cartridge ready to be fired could be resting in a red-hot barrel, causing the propellant in the cartridge to heat up to the point that it would ignite and fire the cartridge on its own (a cook-off). With each further shot heating the barrel even more, the gun would continue to fire uncontrollably until the ammunition ran out, since depressing the trigger was not what was causing the gun to fire.

Gunners were taught to cock the gun with the palm facing up, so that in the event of a cook-off, their thumb would not be dislocated by the charging handle. Gunners were trained to manage the barrel heat by firing in controlled bursts of three to five rounds, to delay heating. Most other machine gun designs were fired in the same way, even though most featured quick-change barrels and an open bolt, two features that make air-cooled machine guns capable of sustained fire, and features that the M1919 design lacked. Firing[edit] When the gun was ready to fire, a round would be in the chamber and the bolt and barrel group would be locked together, with the locking block at the rear of the bolt. When the rear of the trigger was pivoted upwards by the operator, the front of the trigger tipped downward, pulling the sear out of engagement with the spring-loaded firing pin, allowing it to move forward and strike the primer of the cartridge. As the assembly of bolt, barrel and barrel extension recoiled to the rear of the gun upon firing, the locking block was drawn out of engagement by a cam in the bottom of the gun's receiver. The recoiling barrel extension struck the "accelerator" assembly, a half-moon shaped spring-loaded piece of metal pivoting from the receiver below the bolt and behind the barrel extension. The tips of the accelerator's two curving fingers engaged the bottom of the bolt and caused it to move rapidly to the rear. The extractor-ejector was a mechanism that pivoted over the front of the bolt, with a claw that gripped the base of the next round in the belt.

A camming track in the left side of the receiver caused this to move down as the bolt moved back, lowering the next round down on top of the fired case, pushing it straight down out of the extraction grooves of the bolt face through the ejection port. A spring in the feed tray cover pushed the extractor-ejector down onto the next round, so if the feed tray cover was opened, the extractor-ejector would be pulled upwards if the belt needed to be removed. The belt feed lever was connected to the belt feeding pawl at the front end, had a cam pin at the rear end which ran through a track in the top of the bolt, and a pin in the feed tray cover acted as the pivot between the two ends. The rearward movement of the bolt caused the rear end of the feed lever to pull to the right, causing the feeding pawl at the other end to move left over the belt.

The pawl would pull the belt further to the right as the bolt came forward again, also sending the loose M1 link of the previous round to be taken out of the belt to fly out the right side of the receiver. A recoil buffer tube extended from the back of the receiver to make the cycle of the bolt smoother than previous designs, to absorb some of the recoil of the bolt, and formed a place for the pistol grip to be installed. Except for the M1919A6, all other variants had to be mounted on a tripod or other type of mount to be used effectively.

The tripod used by infantry allowed traverse and elevation. To aim the gun along its vertical axis, the adjustment screw needed to be operated.

This allowed the gun to be pointed upwards or downwards, with free traverse to either side. The gun was aimed using iron sights, a small folding post at the front end of the receiver and a rear aperture sight on a sliding leaf with range graduations from 200 to 1,800 meters in 200 meter increments. When folded down, the aperture formed a notch that could be used to fire the gun immediately without flipping up the leaf. The rear sight also had windage adjustment with a dial on the right side. Operational use[edit] Infantry[edit] A Marine cradles his M1919 Browning machine gun in his lap in Peleliu A US soldier takes aim with a tripod-mounted M1919A4 in Korea, 1953 As a company support weapon, the M1919 required a five-man crew: the squad leader; the gunner (who fired the gun and when advancing carried the tripod and box of ammunition); the assistant gunner (who helped feed the gun and carried it, and a box of spare parts and tools); two ammunition carriers. [8] The original idea of the M1919 was to allow it to be more easily packed for transport, and featured a light barrel and bipod when first introduced as the M1919A1.

Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the gun was too heavy to be easily moved, while at the same time, too light for sustained fire. This led to the M1919A2, which included a heavier barrel and tripod, and could be continuously fired for longer periods.

The M1919A4 weighed about 31 pounds (14 kg), and was ordinarily mounted on a lightweight, low-slung tripod for infantry use. Fixed vehicle mounts were also employed. It saw wide use in World War II mounted on jeeps, half-tracks, armored cars, tanks, amphibious vehicles, and landing craft. The M1919A4 played a key role in the firepower of the World War II U. Each infantry company normally had a weapons platoon in addition to its other organic units. The presence of M1919A4 weapons in the weapons platoon gave company commanders additional automatic fire support at the company level, whether in the assault or on defense. [9] The M1919A5 was an adaptation of the M1919A4 with a forward mounting point to allow it to be mounted in tanks and armored cars. This, along with the M37 and the Browning M2 machine gun, was the most common secondary armament during World War II for the Allies. The coaxial M37 variant had the ability to feed from either the left or the right of the weapon, and featured an extended charging handle similar to those on the M1919A4E1 and A5. A trial variant fitted with special sighting equipment was designated M37F. Another version of the M1919A4, the M1919A6, was an attempt to make the weapon into a true light machine gun by attaching a bipod, buttstock, carrying handle, and lighter barrel 4 lb (1.8 kg) instead of 7 lb (3.2 kg). The M1919A6 was in fact heavier than the M1919A4 without its tripod, at 32 lb (15 kg), though its bipod made for faster deployment and enabled the machine gun team to dispense with one man (the tripod bearer).

[10] The A6 version saw increasing service in the latter days of World War II and was used extensively in Korea. While the modifications were intended to make the weapon more useful as a squad light machine gun, it was a stopgap solution. Even though it was reliable, it proved somewhat impractical for its intended role.

While the 31 lb M1919A4 had a crew of two or more to carry the gun and the 14 lb (6.4 kg) tripod, one M1919A6 gunner was expected to carry and deploy the 32.5 lb (14.7 kg) gun by himself. [11] In the late 1950s, an M1919 designed for remote firing via a solenoid trigger was developed for use in the XM1/E1 armament subsystem was designated M37C. The US Navy later converted a number of M1919A4s to 7.62mm NATO chambering and designated them Mk 21 Mod 0; some of these weapons were employed in Vietnam in riverine warfare patrols. From the 1960s until the 1990s, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used ground tripod and vehicle-mounted M1919A4 guns converted to 7.62 mm NATO on many of their armored vehicles and M3 personnel carriers. Israel developed a modified link for these guns due to feeding problems with the original US M1 link design.

The improved Israeli link worked with. 30 caliber, 7.62 mm NATO and 8×57 mm cartridges. Aircraft[edit] An Aviation Ordnanceman stationed at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi installing an AN-M2 Browning machine gun in a PBY flying boat, ca. 1942 With assistance from firearms engineers at Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, [12] Belgium, the Model 1919 was completely re-engineered into the.

30 caliber M2 AN (Army-Navy) aircraft machine gun. 30 in M2 AN Browning was widely adopted as both a fixed (offensive) and flexible (defensive) weapon on aircraft.

Aircraft machine guns required light weight, firepower, and reliability, and achieving all three goals proved a difficult challenge, with the mandate for a closed bolt firing cycle to enable the gun to be safely and properly synchronized for fixed-mount, forward-aimed guns firing through a spinning propeller, a necessity on many single-engined fighter aircraft designs through to nearly the end of World War II. The receiver walls and operating components of the M2 were made thinner and lighter, and with air cooling provided by the speed of the aircraft, designers were able to reduce the barrel's weight and profile. As a result, the M2 weighed two-thirds that of the 1919A4, and the lightened mechanism gave it a rate of fire approaching 1,200 rpm (some variants could achieve 1,500 rpm), [12] a necessity for engaging fast-moving aircraft. The M2's feed mechanism had to lift its own loaded belt out of the ammunition box and feed it into the gun, equivalent to a weight of 11 lb (5 kg). [13] In Ordnance circles, the.

30 M2 AN Browning had the reputation of being the most difficult-to-repair weapon in the entire US small arms inventory. [13] The M2 also appeared in a twin-mount version which paired two M2 guns with opposing feed chutes in one unit for operation by a single gunner, with a combined rate of fire of 2,400 rpm. 30 M2 models saw service in the early stages of World War II, but were phased out beginning in 1943, as hand-trained rifle-calibre defensive machine guns became obsolete for air warfare the. 50 in/12.7 mm M2 Browning and 20 mm Hispano HS. 404 automatic cannon had replaced the.

30 in as offensive air armament as well. 30 in M2 aircraft gun was widely distributed to other US allies during and after World War II, and in British and Commonwealth service saw limited use as a vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft or anti-personnel machine gun.

[14] Other calibers[edit] The same basic weapon was also chambered for the British. 303 round, and was used as a basic fighter aircraft gun in fighters such as the Supermarine Spitfire until the widespread introduction of the larger caliber Hispano-Suiza HS. 404 cannon, and throughout the war in bombers. British night fighter Mosquitoes used quartets of. 303 Brownings in the nose and Beaufighters used six in the wings, with both having four 20mm Hispano cannon in ventral fuselage mounts.

Similar versions for a variety of European calibers were delivered by the Belgian gun maker FN (Fabrique Nationale), notably German-standard 7.92×57mm Mauser which was widely used in Eastern Europe; and by Swedish gun maker Carl Gustaf SGF in 6.5×55mm and 8×63mm calibers. Argentina used Colt-manufactured guns chambered for the standard Argentine 7.65×53mm cartridge. On Lend-Lease British aircraft provided to the Soviets[edit] The.

303 variant equipped the Hawker Hurricanes delivered to Soviet Air Forces, during World War II. Soviet airmen compared them to their own, rapid-firing (at up to 1,800 rounds/min) ShKAS machine gun in terms of reliability: "But they often failed due to dust, " recalled pilot Nikolai G. We tackled the problem gluing percale on all the machine-gun holes, and when you opened fire, bullets went right through. The machine guns became reliable then. They were of low efficiency when fired from distances of 150-300m.

[15] Production[edit] The M1919 was manufactured during World War II by three different companies in the United States; Buffalo Arms Corporation, Rock Island Arsenal, and the Saginaw Steering Gear division of General Motors. In the UK, production was chiefly by BSA. [citation needed] Variants and derivatives[edit] M1919 variants[edit] M1919A6 mounted on the tripod for an M1917 The original M1919 was designed for use with tanks.

[16] The water-cooled M1917 was inappropriate due to weight and the vulnerability of the water jacket. Browning modified the M1917 to be air-cooled by making changes that included dropping the water jacket and using a heavier barrel. [16] In total, there were six variants of the basic M1919 machine gun. M1919A1 The M1919A1 featured a lighter barrel and a bipod. It was distinguished from the "M1919" because it also had sights, which the M1919 did not.

M1919A2 The M1919A2 was another lightweight development specifically for mounted cavalry units, utilizing a shorter 18-inch barrel and a special tripod, though it could be fitted to either the M1917 or M2 tripods. This weapon was designed to allow greater mobility to cavalry units over the existing M1917 machine gun. The M1919A2 was introduced in 1922, and was used for a short period between World War I and World War II after the cavalry had converted from horses to wheeled and tracked vehicles. M1919A3 The M1919E1, commonly known as the M1919A3, was introduced in 1931 as an improved version of the M1919A2 for the infantry.

[17] M1919A4 However, by and large the most common variant of the series was the M1919A4. Production blueprints of the new variant were complete in late 1936, and slow-scale production soon followed. [17] The driving force behind the development of this variant was the suffering reliability of the 18-inch barrel of previous versions, which did not produce enough recoil to cycle the action reliably. The bull barrel was made much thicker and was lengthened to 24 inches like the M1917.

Various other small adjustments to the design were made, such as moving the front sight from the barrel jacket to the receiver, which made it easier to mount the gun on vehicles. The design of the barrel jacket was changed to include circular holes instead of long slits of earlier models, and a recoil booster in the muzzle end improved reliability.

The recoil buffer assembly was also a new addition to the design between A3 and A4 development, designed to reduce the impact of the bolt hitting the backplate. The M1919A4 was used in both fixed and flexible mounts, by infantry and on vehicles. It was also widely exported after World War II and continues to be used in small numbers around the world. Two variants were developed specifically for vehicular use, the M1919A5, with an extended charging handle, and the M1919A4E1, a sub-variant of the M1919A4 refitted with an extended charging handle developed in the 1950s. [18] M1919A6 mounted on its bipod M1919A6 During the war it became clear to the US military that the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, while portable, was not sufficient as a sustained fire weapon due to its fixed barrel and 20-round magazine.

The M1919A4 was faster and cheaper to produce, but did not have the portability of a rifle. Realising that producing an entirely new replacement machine gun would take time, the military decided that a stop-gap solution would be best and adapted an existing design. The M1919A6 was an attempt at such a solution, to parallel the designs of the German MG 34 and MG 42 machine guns, each of which were portable for a squad weapon and were effective at sustained fire.

The M1919A6 first saw combat service in the fall of 1943. It had a metal buttstock assembly that clamped to the backplate of the gun, and a front barrel bearing that incorporated both a muzzle booster and a bipod similar to that used on the BAR. A lighter barrel than that of the M1919A4 was fitted, and a carrying handle was attached to the barrel jacket to make it easier to carry.

Previous M1919 designs could change the barrel, but it required essentially field stripping the gun to pull the barrel out from the rear - the pistol grip back plate, bolt group and the trigger group all had to be removed before the barrel could be replaced, and this put the gun out of action for minutes, and risked losing and damaging parts in the field. The M1919A6 muzzle device allowed the gun crew to replace the barrel from the front; an improvement, but still an awkward procedure compared to other machine guns of the day. The M1919A6 was a heavy 32 pounds (15 kg) and awkward weapon in comparison with the MG34 26 pounds (12 kg) and MG42 25 pounds (11 kg) and was eventually replaced in US service by the M60 machine gun 23.15 pounds (10.50 kg) in the 1960s. T66 The M1919A6 was used by Springfield Armory in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a testbed for an interim general-purpose machine gun. It was rechambered for the experimental T65 series cartridges, culminating in 1951 with the T66 machine gun chambered for the T65E3 cartridge (one of the forerunners to the 7.62mm NATO cartridge).

It had a new barrel with a flash-hider attachment, a shorter action, and modified M1 disintegrating belt links to feed the new cartridge. It was deemed still too heavy for field use and was not adopted. 30 AN/M2 A specific aircraft version of the. 30 caliber Model 1919A4 was manufactured by Browning as the. It had a thinner barrel and receiver walls to keep down weight. Compared to the M1919A4, the AN/M2 had a substantially higher rate of fire (1,200 to 1,500 rounds per minute).

It was used on US aircraft early in World War II, but the lighter. A derivative of this weapon was built by Colt as the civilian market MG40. It was later replaced by the larger caliber and is not to be confused with the Browning Machine Gun, Cal. 50, M2, Aircraft, with the smaller-calibre ordance bearing the official designation of Browning Machine Gun, Cal. 50 AN/M2 "light barrel" version, used in the majority of fixed and flexible/turreted mounts on U.

World War II-era aircraft as the war progressed, lacked the massive "cooling collar" of the heavy barrel M2HB version, which is still in service with the ground forces of the U. Military in the 21st century. The AN/M2 was responsible for seriously wounding "one of the best Japanese fighter pilots of the war" and flying ace Sabur Sakai when he attacked eight SBD Dauntlesses from behind mistaking them for F4F Wildcat fighters. 30 AN/M2 "Stinger" field modification The AN/M2 was subject to field modifications by marines in the Pacific Theater during World War II and used on the ground as a light machine gun. These were salvaged from crashed and disabled aircraft and fitted with a bipod (spade grips still attached).

Later more extensive modifications led to six being fitted with a custom trigger, M1 Garand buttstock, BAR bipod, and BAR rear sights to allow for use without a tripod or other mount. [20] The resulting weapon was a belt-fed, 40 inch long, 25 lb.

Gun and fired three times as fast as the M1919A6's of the day. The Stinger was recommended as a replacement for the BAR in squads however the war ended just six months later. [21] A famous example of their use was a personally modified weapon of this type, used by Marine Corporal Tony Stein during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Stein would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle. It had a rate of fire in excess of 1,200 rpm and was nicknamed the Stinger. [22] Barrel overheating and lack of control were the cause of its demise. Flygplankulspruta m/22 Flygplankulspruta m/22, ksp m/22 for short was a Swedish variant of the. 30 AN/M2 aircraft machine gun.

[23] The name literally translates to airplane machine gun m/22. It was originally used by the Swedish army's aviation branch but moved over to the Swedish air force when it was formed in 1926.

The first guns delivered were built by Colt but Sweden later got a license produce the weapon. The ksp m/22 stayed in active service all the way to 1957, although by then only in a gunpod for ground strafing. [24] Originally the ksp m/22 was chambered in 6.5x55 mm but in 1932 almost all guns where re chambered to 8x63 mm.

303 four-gun FN-20 tail turret on an Avro Lancaster Browning. 303 Mark II The Browning was adopted by the Royal Air Force as a replacement for the. 303 Vickers and manufactured by Vickers Armstrong and BSA to fire the British. 303 inch (7.7 mm) round and named Browning.

303 Mk II in British Service. It was essentially the 1930 Pattern belt-fed ColtBrowning machine gun with a few minor modifications for British use, such as firing from an open bolt, hence prohibiting their use for gun synchronization through a spinning propeller.

It was designed to fire hydraulically as a wing mounted machine gun but was also adopted as hand-fired mount for use in bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. It had a rate of fire of 1,150 rounds per minute. [26][27] The licence was issued to the BSA by July 1935.

303 was used on the RAF's'eight-gun fighters' the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and as a turret gun in the Boulton Paul Defiant, and in the Handley Page Halifax, Short Stirling, Avro Manchester and Avro Lancaster bombers, and the Short Sunderland flying boat installed in various Boulton Paul or Nash & Thompson turrets. Even after the introduction of autocannon as primary fighter armament. 303s were retained as supplementary weapons on many aircraft including later versions of the Spitfire, as well as fighter-bomber and night fighter versions of the de Havilland Mosquito, among others. For hand-held moveable mount use the Vickers K gun was preferred. There is pictorial evidence of the.

303 Browning being placed on improvised bipods for ground use during the early campaigns in Burma and Malaysia. M37 In the late 1940s and early 1950s the US military was looking for an upgrade to the M1919 that could feed from either side for use as an improved coaxial machine gun. Saco-Lowell developed a model that had the driving spring attached to the back plate (eliminating the need for a mainspring and driving rod protruding out the back of the bolt), a solenoid trigger for remote firing, a feed cover that could open from either side, a bolt with dual tracks that could feed from either side, and a reversible belt feed pawl, ejector, and feed chute. The experimental T151 had a flat backplate? , the T152 had spade grips and a "butterfly" trigger like the M2HB, and the T153 had a pistol grip and back-up trigger like the M1919A4 and an extended charging handle similar to those on the M1919A5. The T153 was adopted as the M37 and was produced by SACO-Lowell and Rock Island Arsenal from 1955 to 1957. It was in regular service from 1955 until it was replaced by the M37E1 in the late 1960s and the M73A1 in the early 1970s. The M37 was used mostly on the M47 and M48 Patton medium tanks. The M37F was a trial variant fitted with special sighting equipment. The M37C was a variant without a sight bracket designed for use in aircraft armament (like the skid-mounted XM1/E1 helicopter armament subsystem). The M37E1 was a M37 machine gun converted by Rock Island Arsenal and Springfield Armory to chamber the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge and feed the M13 disintegrating belt. They were designed for interim use until the M73 machine gun could be fielded. [29] The M37E1 was to be standardized as the M37A1 but development of the improved M73A1 precluded this. [30] Mk 21 in Vietnam being fed by an upside-down M-13 link belt (the links are not visible) Mk 21 Mod 0 The increasing American involvement in Vietnam created a demand for small arms, especially the new M60 machine gun. The Navy had surplus machine guns left over from World War 2 and Korea, but they were chambered for the earlier. 30-06 Springfield cartridge rather than the new standard 7.62mm NATO cartridge. The Mk 21 Mod 0 was a US Navy conversion of the. 30 M1919A4 to fire the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. This was accomplished by replacing the barrel, bolt, and feed cover and adding a chamber bushing, a link-stripper, and a second belt-holding pawl to allow it to feed and fire the new cartridge. [31][32] Spacer blocks were added to the front and back of the feedway to guide the shorter round and block the use of the longer.

[31][33] A six-inch flash hider was also added to the barrel to reduce the muzzle flash. [31] The conversions were performed from 1966 through 1967 at Naval Ordnance Station Louisville. [31] Modified M1919A4s had the designation "Machine Gun, 7.62mm / Mk 21 Mod 0" stamped on the receiver sideplate in 1/4-inch lettering. The replacement barrels had "7.62mm NATO-G" stamped on them in 1/8-inch letters to differentiate them from M1919A4 or M60 barrels;[34] the letter G indicated it used a grooved barrel bushing. [32] It used the standard 7.62mm NATO M13 link "strip-out" disintegrating link, [32] in which the bolt pushes the round out of the bottom of the two-part link and then forwards into the breech.

[31] The old M1 link "pull-out" disintegrating links, which are pulled backwards out of the one-piece link by the extractor towards the bolt and then forwards into the breech, would not feed through the new mechanism. [31] The M1 links, which were designed for the longer and thinner. 30-06 Springfield, would also be too narrow to fit the shorter and thicker 7.62mm NATO round. The US Navy, because of their narrower inventory of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, used linked belts of either 7.62mm M80 Ball or a 4:1 ratio mix of 7.62mm M80 Ball and 7.62mm M62 Tracer. The refurbished feed mechanism was left-hand feed only. It was different from the one in the M60 GPMG in that the open end of the belt had to be on top so it could be stripped out. [31][35] To prepare the ammo, gunners had to take out both of the 100-round belts from an M19A1 ammo can, had to link them both together, and then loaded the resultant 200-round belt back into the M19A1 can upside-down so it would feed correctly.

[31] International variants and derivatives[edit] Fokker D. XXI of Finnish Air Force Belgian paratrooper vehicle The M1919 pattern has been used in countries all over the world in a variety of forms and under a number of different designations. The Browning Mk 1 and Mk 2 were older-style Commonwealth designations for the.

303 caliber Browning machine guns used on the vast majority of British aircraft of World War II. [36] The difference between the Mk 1 and Mk 2 versions is unknown, but the weapon visually is quite similar to the AN/M2 aircraft gun. The post-war designations for these weapons was L3, and they were used by the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia to designate the fixed (A1) and flexible (A2) versions of the M1919A4 in. L3A3 and L3A4 denoted sear hold-open conversion of previous L3A1s and L3A2s. The A3 is the modified version of the A1, and the A4 is the modified version of the A2. The Canadians later adopted a separate designation for 7.62×51mm rechambered M1919A4s for fixed (C1) and flexible (C1A1) applications. The C5 and C5A1 were product improvements of the previous C1 and C1A1 respectively. The Rhodesian Air Force used twin Browning Mk 2 models, chambered in the British. 303 cartridge, mounted on Alouette III G-Car helicopters[37] as well as modified variants fitted with FN MAG bipods, pistol grips and stocks for ground use. [38][39] The Browning was produced by FN-Herstal in Belgium as well, being used in, among others, the Fokker D. MG A4 is the Austrian designation for the M1919A4. [40] MG4 is a South African upgrade of the M1919 in current use with the South African National Defence Force. The MG4 upgrade was done by Lyttleton Engineering Works, Pretoria. [40] MG m/52-1 and MG m/52-11 were Danish designations for the M1919A4 and M1919A5 respectively. [40] The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used vehicle-mounted M1919A4 guns converted to 7.62mm NATO on many of their armored vehicles. [40] Ksp m/22 is the Swedish designation for license-built M1919s chambered for 8×63mm patron m/22 cartridges, for aircraft use. Ksp m/39 is the Swedish designation for M1919A4 license-built by Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori chambered in 6.5×55mm and 8×63mm patron m/32, and from about 1975 rebarreled in 7.62×51mm NATO.

Intended for use in tanks and armoured vehicles, it's available with both left- and right hand feeding, the former is used in CV 90. Ksp m/42 was the Swedish designation for license-built M1919A6 used for infantry support, normally chambered in 6.5×55mm but occasionally in 8×63mm patron m/32, and from about 1975, mostly fitted with barrels in 7.62×51mm NATO. The Ksp m/42B was a lighter version with bipod and shoulder stock (used in a similar way as the M1919A6), chambered in 6.5×55mm and later in 7.62×51mm.

Even the ksp m/42B proved too heavy, and was replaced by the ksp m/58 (FN MAG). In the late 1980s, most remaining ksp m/42 was rebuilt into ksp m/39 to be installed into the CV 90s. The Poles developed a copy of the Browning M1919 chambered for 7.92×57mm Mauser, designated Ckm wz. 32, similar to the earlier Ckm wz. [citation needed] Commercial variants and derivatives[edit] Colt MG40[edit] Colt produced a derivative of the M2 aircraft machine gun, the Colt MG40.

30-06 Springfield and popular 7mm Spanish Mauser, and was available in left- or right-hand feed. The MG40-2 Light Aircraft Machine Gun could be used in flexible- (pintle-mounted), fixed- (wing-mounted), or synchronized- (through the propeller) models. [41] The Flexible mount machine gun came with grips and a "butterfly" trigger plate like the standard ground model.

The Fixed model had a backplate. It used a cable connected to an operating slide connected to a stud on the bolt to fire it; tension in the cable causes the trigger to activate and slack in the cable causes it to stop. [41] The synchronized variant of the Fixed model had a trigger motor for through-propeller, gun synchronizing needs. [41] Civilian ownership[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Find sources: "M1919 Browning machine gun" news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The Browning M1919 remains popular with civilian enthusiasts in the United States, though changes in 1986 to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (the US Federal law regulating private ownership of machine guns) prohibited the registration of new machine guns for sales to private citizens, thus freezing the number of "transferable" machine guns in private ownership.

The inflation of prices that followed, and the availability of parts from surplussed and scrapped machine guns, led to the development of semi-automatic versions of the Browning M1919. Typically, these are built using a new right sideplate (the portion legally considered the "firearm" under US law), which has a raised "island" protruding into the interior of the receiver. This requires the use of a modified bolt, barrel extension and lock frame which have been designed to allow only semi-automatic firing. The "island" prevents the insertion of unmodified full-automatic parts. A number of small gun companies have produced these "semi-auto machine guns" for commercial sales.

The fairly simple modifications necessary to convert M1919 parts to the semi-automatic version, and the relatively easy process of riveting used in the assembly of the Browning machine gun's receiver, have also made it a popular gun for hobbyists to build at home. Similar "semi-auto machine guns" have been built using parts from other Browning pattern machine guns, to include the AN/M2 aircraft gun and FN30, and variations that never saw military use such as extremely short (8) barreled guns.

The STEN (or Sten gun) was a family of British submachine guns chambered in 9×19mm and used extensively by British and Commonwealth forces throughout World War II and the Korean War. They had a simple design and very low production cost, so they were also effective insurgency weapons for resistance groups.

STEN is an acronym, from the names of the weapon's chief designers, Major Reginald V. Shepherd and Harold Turpin, and EN for Enfield. [6][7] Over four million Stens in various versions were made in the 1940s. Contents 1 History 2 Design 3 Variants 3.1 Mark I 3.2 Mark I 3.3 Mark II 3.4 Mark II (Canadian) 3.5 Mark III 3.6 Mark V 3.7 Mark VI 3.8 Suppressed models 3.8.1 Mk IIS 3.8.2 Mk VI 3.9 Experimental models 3.9.1 Mark II (wooden butt model) 3.9.2 Mark II (Rosciszewski model) 3.9.3 Mark II (pistol grip model) 3.9.4 Model T42 3.9.5 Mark III (wooden model) 3.9.6 Mark III (wooden model II) 3.9.7 Mark IV 3.9.8 Rofsten 3.10 Foreign-built variants and post 1945 derivatives 3.10.1 Argentine Sten 3.10.2 Israeli Stens 3.10.3 French Sten 3.10.4 Norwegian Sten 3.10.5 Danish Sten 3.10.6 Polish Sten 3.10.7 Belgian Sten MkII 3.10.8 Gerät Potsdam 3.10.9 German MP 3008 3.10.10 Austen submachine gun 3.10.11 Imperia submachine gun 3.10.12 Sputter Gun 3.10.13 Halcon ML-57 3.10.14 International Ordnance MP2 3.10.15 Cellini Dunn SM-9 3.10.16 Pleter 91 3.10.17 SaskSten 4 Service 5 Users 5.1 Non-state groups 6 Gallery 7 References 8 External links History[edit] The Sten emerged while Britain was engaged in the Battle of Britain, facing invasion by Germany. The army was forced to replace weapons lost during the evacuation from Dunkirk while expanding at the same time. Prior to 1941 (and even later) the British were purchasing all the Thompson submachine guns they could from the United States, but these did not meet demand. American entry into the war at the end of 1941 placed an even bigger demand on the facilities making Thompsons. In order to rapidly equip a sufficient fighting force to counter the Axis threat, the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, was commissioned to produce an alternative. The credited designers were Major R.

Shepherd, OBE, Inspector of Armaments in the Ministry of Supply Design Department at The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, (later Assistant Chief Superintendent at the Armaments Design Department) and Mr. Harold John Turpin, Senior Draughtsman of the Design Department of the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF), Enfield. Shepherd had been recalled to service after having retired and spending some time at the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA). The Sten shared design features, such as its side-mounted magazine configuration, with the Royal Navy's Lanchester submachine gun, which was a copy of the German MP28. In terms of manufacture, the Lanchester was entirely different, being made of high-quality materials with pre-war fit and finish, in stark contrast to the Sten's austere execution.

The Lanchester and Sten magazines were even interchangeable (though the Lanchester's magazine was longer with a 50-round capacity, compared to the Sten's 32-round capacity). The Sten used simple stamped metal components and minor welding, which required minimal machining and manufacturing. Much of the production could be performed by small workshops, with the firearms assembled at the Enfield site.

Over the period of manufacture the Sten design was further simplified: the most basic model, the Mark III, could be produced from five man-hours of work. Some of the cheapest versions were made from only 47 different parts. It was distinctive for its bare appearance (just a pipe with a metal loop for a stock), and its horizontal magazine. The Mark I was a more finely finished weapon with a wooden foregrip and handle; later versions were generally more spartan, although the final version, the Mark V, which was produced after the threat of invasion had died down, was produced to a higher standard.

The Sten has been described by Max Hastings as: highly unreliable, prone to jamming, and inaccurate beyond 30 metres. It was unsuitable for guerrilla operations in open country because it encouraged waste of ammunition. But it was easy and cheap to produce, a gun was said to cost fifteen shillings (three quarters of a pound), and was supplied to the (French) Resistance in huge quantities.

[8] The Sten underwent various design improvements over the course of the war. For example, the Mark 4 cocking handle and corresponding hole drilled in the receiver were created to lock the bolt in the closed position to reduce the likelihood of accidental discharges inherent in the design. Most changes to the production process were more subtle, designed to give greater ease of manufacture and increased reliability. Build quality ranged from quite good (Canadian production) to poor early British production. Sten guns of late 1942 and beyond were, in general, highly effective weapons, though complaints of accidental discharge continued throughout the war. The Sten was replaced by the Sterling submachine gun from 1953 and was gradually withdrawn from British service in the 1960s. The other Commonwealth nations made or adopted their own replacements. Design[edit] The Sten was a blowback-operated submachine gun firing from an open bolt with a fixed firing pin on the face of the bolt. This means the bolt remains to the rear when the weapon is cocked, and on pulling the trigger the bolt moves forward under spring pressure, stripping the round from the magazine, chambering it and firing the weapon all in the same movement. There is no breech locking mechanism, the rearward movement of the bolt caused by the recoil impulse is arrested only by the mainspring and the bolt's inertia. The basic operating principles were similar to those of the German MP40, Russian PPSh-41, US M3 submachine gun and numerous other designs. These shared similar attributes and faults; they were simple and cheap to manufacture, and put an automatic weapon into the hands of soldiers, greatly increasing the short-range firepower of the infantry, especially when the main infantry weapon was a bolt-action rifle capable of only around 15 rounds per minute and not suited for short-range combat. However, the open-bolt firing mechanism, short barrel, and use of pistol ammunition severely restricted accuracy, with an effective range of around 100m. Stoppages could occur for a variety of reasons: some as a result of poor maintenance, while others were particular to the Sten. Carbon buildup on the face of the breech[9] or debris in the bolt raceway could cause a failure to fire, while a dirty chamber could cause a failure to feed. [10] Firing the Sten by grasping the magazine with the supporting hand tended to wear the magazine catch, altering the angle of feed and causing a failure to feed the correct method of holding the weapon was as with a rifle, the left hand cradling the fore piece, as per the picture of Winston Churchill firing one below. Additional problems stemmed from the Sten's magazine, which was a direct copy of the one used in the German MP-38, originally in order to facilitate the use of German 9 mm magazines. [11] Unfortunately, this decision necessarily incorporated the Erma magazine's faults in the process. The magazine had two columns of 9 mm cartridges in a staggered arrangement, merging at the top to form a single column.

While other staggered magazines, such as the Thompson, fed from both the left and right side alternately (double-column, double feed), the Sten magazine, like the MP38, required the cartridges to gradually merge at the top of the magazine to form a single column (double column, single feed). As a consequence, any dirt or foreign matter in this taper area could cause feed malfunctions. Additionally, the walls of the magazine lip had to endure the full stresses of the rounds being pushed in by the spring. Modern 9 mm magazines, such as those used by the Sterling SMG, are curved and feed both sides to avoid this problem. If a Sten failed to feed due to jammed cartridges in the magazine, standard practice to clear it was as follows: remove magazine from Sten, tap the base of the magazine against the knee, re-insert magazine in Sten, then recocking the weapon and firing again as normal.

[10] To facilitate easier loading when attempting to push the cartridges down to insert the next one, a magazine filler tool was developed and formed part of the weapon's kit. The slot on the side of the body where the cocking knob ran was also a target of criticism, as the long opening could allow foreign objects to enter. On the other hand, a beneficial side-effect of the Sten's minimalist design was that it would fire without any lubrication. [10] This proved useful in desert environments such as the Western Desert Campaign, where lubricating oil retained dust and sand. The open bolt design combined with cheap manufacture and rudimentary safety devices also meant the weapon was prone to accidental discharges, which proved hazardous.

A simple safety could be engaged while the bolt was in the rearwards (cocked) position. The Mk 4 cocking handle was designed to prevent this by enabling the bolt to be locked in its forward position, thereby immobilising it. Wear and manufacturing tolerances could render these safety devices ineffective. Variants[edit] Sten guns were produced in several basic marks (though the Mk I saw limited service, and the Mk IV was never issued), and nearly half of the total produced were Mark II versions.

Approximately 4.5 million Stens were produced during the second world war. Mark I[edit] The first ever Mk I Sten gun (number'T-40/1' indicating its originator Harold Turpin, the year 1940 and the serial number "1") was handmade by Turpin at the Philco Radio works at Perivale, Middlesex during December 1940/January 1941. This particular weapon is held by the historical weapons collection of the British Army's Infantry and Small Arms School Corps in Warminster, Wiltshire. [12] The first model had a conical flash hider and fine finish.

It had a wooden foregrip and forward handle (sometimes this was made of steel), as well for a section of the stock. The stock was a small tube outline, rather like the Mark II Canadian.

One unique feature was that the front pistol grip could be rotated forward to make the firearm easier to stow. The barrel sleeve extended all the way to the end, where it met the flash hider.

Along the top of the tube surrounding the barrel was a line of small holes and its sights were configured somewhat differently. About 100,000 were made before production switched to the Mark II. Sten Mk I's in German possession were designated MP 748(e), the'e' standing for englisch. Mark I[edit] This was the first simplification of the Mk I.

The foregrip, the wooden furniture and the flash hider were removed for production expediency. [13] Mark II[edit] The Mark II was the most common variant, with two million units produced. It was a much rougher weapon than the Mk I. The flash eliminator and the folding handle (the grip) of the Mk I were omitted. A removable barrel was now provided which projected 3 inches (76 mm) beyond the barrel sleeve. Also, a special catch allowed the magazine to be slid partly out of the magazine housing and the housing rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise (from the operator's perspective), together covering the ejection opening and allowing the weapon and magazine both to lie flat on its side. Winston Churchill with a Sten Mk II in Shoeburyness on 13 June 1941. The barrel sleeve was shorter and rather than having small holes on the top, it had three sets of three holes equally spaced on the shroud.

To allow a soldier to hold a Sten by the hot barrel sleeve with the supporting hand, an insulating lace-on leather sleeve guard was sometimes issued. [14] Sten Mk II's in German possession were designated MP 749(e), the "e" signifying "englisch". Some Mk IIs were fitted with a wooden stock as this part was desirable and interchangeable with the Mk V.

Also, the Spz-kr assault rifle uses the receiver and components from the Sten Mk II. Regular Mark II: Overall length: 762 mm (30.0 in) Barrel length: 197 mm (7.8 in) Weight: 3.2 kg (7.1 lb) Mark II (Canadian)[edit] During World War II a version of the Sten gun was produced at the Long Branch Arsenal in Long Branch, Ontario now part of Toronto, Ontario.

This was very similar to the regular Mark II, with a different stock ('skeleton' type instead of strut type) and improved quality of manufacture. It was first used in combat in the Dieppe Raid in 1942. The Mark II is made in China with a copy known as the M38.

[15] Worker posing with a Sten Mk II in the factory on 26 May 1942. A Sten Mk II held in the Polish Home Army Museum, Kraków, Poland. Mark II: Overall length: 896 mm (35.3 in) Barrel length: 198 mm (7.8 in) Weight: 3.8 kg (8.4 lb) Mark III[edit] This simple design was the next most commonly produced after the Mark II.

The biggest difference from the Mark II was the unification of the receiver, ejection port, and barrel shroud that now extended farther up the barrel. The barrel was fixed and the body was welded shut along the centre of the top. Captured Sten Mk IIIs in German possession were designated MP 750(e). Mark V[edit] British paratroopers in Oosterbeek during Operation Market Garden armed with the Sten Mk V. Introduced in 1944, the Mk V was essentially a better-quality, more elaborate version of the Mk 2. Changes included a wooden pistol grip, a vertical wooden fore grip, a wooden stock, and a bayonet mount. There was a No4 LeeEnfield foresight and the weapon was of better quality manufacture and finish than the Mk2 and Mk3.

The Sten bandolier issued to paratroopers held seven full magazines. Another variant of the Mk V had a swivel stock and rear sight mirror intended for firing around corners in urban warfare, similar to the Krummlauf developed by the Germans for the StG 44. Mark VI[edit] See suppressed models. Overall length: 908 mm (35.7 in) Barrel length: 198 mm (7.8 in) Weight: 4.5 kg (9.9 lb) Suppressed models[edit] Sten Mk IIS (suppressed) Sten Mk VIS (suppressed) Mk IIS and Mk VI models incorporated an integral suppressor ("silencer") and had a lower muzzle velocity than the others due to a ported barrel intended to reduce velocity to below the speed of sound; 305 m/s (1,001 ft/s).

The suppressor heated up rapidly when the weapon was fired, and a canvas cover was laced around the suppressor for some protection for the firer's supporting hand. [16] Mk IIS[edit] The Mk IIS was, as the name suggests, a suppressed version of the Mk II. Captured examples of the Sten Mk IIS in German service were designated MP 751(e). Mk VI[edit] The Mk VI (or'6') was a suppressed version of the Mk V. The Mk VI was the heaviest version due to the added weight of the suppressor, as well as using a wooden pistol grip and wooden stock.

The suppressed models were produced at the request of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) for use on clandestine operations in occupied Europe, starting with the Mk IIS in 1943. Owing to their tendency to overheat, they were fired in short bursts or single shots.

[17] In addition to its use in the European Theatre, the Mk IIS saw service with clandestine units in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) such as the Services Reconnaissance Department and SOE's Force 136 on operations against Imperial Japanese forces. The Sten Mk IIS was used by the Operation Jaywick party during their raid into Japanese-occupied Singapore Harbour.

The Sten Mk IIS also saw service with the Australian Special Air Service (SAS) in Vietnam. Experimental models[edit] Mark II (wooden butt model)[edit] This was a standard Sten Mk. II submachine gun with a wooden butt attached in place of the wireframe steel butt used with Mk. This wooden butt model was never put into service; it is likely that this was due to the cost of producing it. Mark II (Rosciszewski model)[edit] This was a Sten Mk. II modified by Antoni Rosciszewski of Small Arms Ltd. The magazine was mechanically operated by the breech block movement. The trigger was split into two sections, with the upper part of the trigger offering full-auto fire and a lower part offering single shots. It was very complex in design and never fielded.

Mark II (pistol grip model)[edit] This was a Sten Mk. II with a wireframe pistol grip, intended for use with paratroopers. It was compact but predictably uncomfortable to fire. Model T42[edit] This was a Sten Mk. II modified with a 5-inch barrel and folding stock, as well as a conventional pistol grip and redesigned trigger guard.

It was dubbed the "T42" in prototype phases, but never entered service. Mark III (wooden model)[edit] This was a Sten Mk.

III with a "Lanchester" type wooden body and butt, and bayonet fittings. Sling swivels were also added. It never entered service due to the costs associated with producing it. [citation needed] Mark III (wooden model II)[edit] This was a Sten Mk.

III entirely encased in a wooden body, with the only external metal parts being the trigger, barrel, magazine and cocking handle. The trigger and pistol grip were in line with the magazine. Mark IV[edit] The Mark IV was a smaller version which did not progress beyond the prototype stage. It was near pistol-sized and it had a different configuration with a conical flash hider, a rear pistol grip, a very light stock and a much shorter barrel. Rofsten[edit] Developed at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Fazakerley (ROF), the Rofsten was an odd Sten prototype with a redesigned magazine feed, ergonomic pistol grip, selector switch and cocking system.

The weapon was cocked by pulling the small ring above the stock. A large flash eliminator was fixed onto the barrel, and a No. 5 bayonet could be fixed. It was made to a very high quality standard and had an increased rate of fire (around 900 rounds per minute).

The Rofsten was made in 1944 as a single prototype and ROF wanted to submit it to trials the next year. Despite better quality there were numerous reliability problems due to the much higher rate of fire. The budget cuts prevented the modifications and this version never got beyond the prototype stage. Foreign-built variants and post 1945 derivatives[edit] Argentine Sten[edit] Modelo C.

Sten MkIIs were licence-copied in Argentina by Pistola Hispano Argentino and can be recognised with a wooden handguard in front of the trigger group. It was known as the Modelo C.

[18] Another variant came with a pistol grip section based on the BallesterMolina. [19] Israeli Stens[edit] Copies of the Sten Mk II and Sten Mk V were clandestinely manufactured in Tel Aviv and on various kibbutzim in 1945-48 for use with Haganah and other Jewish paramilitary groups.

Another variant made by MAC (Manufacture darmes de Châtellerault), were made and tested shortly after WWII. One variant had an unusual stock shape that proved detrimental to the firer's aim. Internally it was basically a Sten gun but had two triggers for semi/full auto, a grip safety and a foregrip that used MP40 magazines. Another had a folding stock with a folding magazine insert.

The trigger mechanism was complicated and unusual. Neither of these prototypes had any kind of success and MAC closed its doors not long after their conception. The French were not short of SMGs after the war; they had some 3,750 Thompsons and Stens, as well as MAS 38s. Norwegian Sten[edit] In German-occupied Norway the resistance, under the leadership of Bror With, created a large number of Sten guns from scratch, mainly to equip members of the underground army Milorg. In his autobiography, Norwegian resistance fighter Max Manus frequently mentions the Sten[21] as one of the weapons his groups of commandos and resistance fighters used effectively against German troops.

Danish Sten[edit] Several groups in the Danish resistance movement manufactured Sten guns for their own use. BOPA produced around 200 in a bicycle repair shop on Gammel Køge landevej (Old Køge road), south of Copenhagen. Holger Danske produced about 150 in workshops in Copenhagen, while employees of the construction company Monberg & Thorsen built approximately 200300 in what is now the municipality of Gladsaxe (a suburb of Copenhagen) for use by Holger Danske and others. The resistance groups'Frit Danmark' and'Ringen' also built significant numbers of Stens.

Polish Sten[edit] See also: Byskawica submachine gun Byskawica and Polish Sten on display in the Warsaw Uprising Museum The Polish resistance was provided with numerous Stens of various models by the SOE and the Cichociemni. Between 1942 and 1944, approximately 11,000 Sten Mk IIs were delivered to the Armia Krajowa. Due to the simplicity of design, local production of Sten variants was started in at least 23 underground workshops in Poland. Some of them produced copies of Mark IIs, while others produced the so-called Polski Sten and KIS. The Polski Stens made in Warsaw under the command of Ryszard Biaostocki were built from a number of "legal" elements made in official factories or acquired through other means.

The main body of the machine pistol was made from hydraulic cylinders produced for hospital equipment. All the machine pistols were marked in English to disguise their origin.

Stens' barrels were also used for SMGs produced in Poland under the name Byskawica. Belgian Sten MkII[edit] Details of magazine well stamping on Belgian Sten A little known version of the MkII Sten was built in Belgium by l'arsenale militare belga (the Belgian military arsenal). It is believed the Belgian built Mk II Stens remained in ABL service until the early 1980s, particularly with helicopter-borne forces. Some of the weapons had a "Parkerised" finish. [citation needed] Gerät Potsdam[edit] In late 1944, the Mauser works in Germany secretly started manufacturing copies of the Mk II Sten.

These weapons were intended to duplicate the British original as closely as possible, including the markings. The series was referred to as the Gerät Potsdam (Potsdam Device)[22] and approximately 28,000 weapons were made even though the Germans had ample stocks of captured original Stens available. [citation needed] German MP 3008[edit] MP 3008 copy Late in the war Germany was seeking a cheap version of the MP40 machine pistol for the Volkssturm. For that purpose a modified Sten was designed by Mauser and named the MP 3008. [22] The main difference was the magazine attached below the weapon.

Altogether, roughly 10,000 were produced in early 1945, just before the end of World War II. [citation needed] Austen submachine gun[edit] The Mark I Austen (from "Australian Sten") was a 9mm Australian submachine gun derived from the British Sten gun developed during the Second World War by the Lithgow Small Arms Factory. It externally resembled the Sten but had twin pistol grips and folding stock resembling those of the German MP40. [23] A Mk 2 version was also produced which was of different appearance and which made more use of die-cast components. [24] 20,000 Austens were made during the war and the Austen was replaced by the F1 submachine gun in the 1960s.

[23] Imperia submachine gun[edit] After the Second World War the Belgian Army was mainly equipped with a mixture of British and American submachine guns. The army, wanting to replace them with a modern and preferably native design, tested various designs with the Vigneron M2 and licence-produced FN Uzi being selected.

However, the Imperia was an improved Sten with a fire selector and retractable stock. Sputter Gun[edit] A short-lived American invention developed in the 1980s, the Sputter Gun was designed to circumvent the law that defined a machine gun as something that fired multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger. The Sputter Gun had no trigger, but fired continuously after loading and the pulling back of its bolt, firing until it ran out of ammunition.

The gun was very short lived as the ATF quickly reclassified it. Halcon ML-57[edit] The Halcon ML-57 was a simpler derivative of the Sten gun of Argentine origin that was fed from a vertically inserted magazine. International Ordnance MP2[edit] During the 1970s-1980s, International Ordnance of San Antonio, Texas, United States released the MP2 machine pistol.

It was intended as a more compact, simpler derivative of the British Sten gun to be used in urban guerrilla actions, to be manufactured cheaply and/or in less-than-well-equipped workshops and distributed to "friendly" undercover forces. Much like the FP-45 Liberator pistol of World War II, it could be discarded during an escape with no substantial loss for the force's arsenal.

The MP2 is a blowback-operated weapon that fires from an open bolt with an extremely high rate of fire. Cellini Dunn SM-9[edit] The SM-9 is a machine pistol of Guatemalan origin and manufactured by Cellini-Dunn IMG, Military Research Corp and Wildfire Munitions as the SM-90. It is blowback operated, firing from an open bolt and can use magazines from Ingram MAC-10 submachine guns inserted into a similar foregrip that can be rotated 45 and 90 degrees for left/right handed operators. The layout of the receiver is somewhat simpler than that of a Sten with its internal components light in weight enabling a very high rate of fire of 1200rpm.

Pleter 91[edit] The Pleter submachine gun was created in 1991 when the breakup of Yugoslavia in the midst of emerging war left the newly formed Republic of Croatia with small number of military firearms. Despite having a vertical magazine well (designed to accept 32-round double-feed direct copy of UZI magazine, rather than original single-feed Sten-type magazine), analogies with the Sten include a striking resemblance in the barrel assembly and in the bolt and recoil spring. In addition, this gun also fires from an open bolt, and is further simplified by removing fire mode selector or any safety. SaskSten[edit] SMG International in Canada manufactured reproductions of the Sten in six variants. They made copies of the Sten's Mk 1, Mk II and Mk III, a "New Zealand Sten" (a Mk II/III Sten hybrid, with sights and a fixed magazine housing similar to the Mk III), then branched out into "hypothetical" Sten-guns with a "Rotary Magazine Sten" (a Mk II Sten with a drum magazine attached below the weapon and wooden horizontal forward grip on the left side of the weapon) and the "FRT Gun" (a long barrel Sten with a wooden or Mk 1 type butt stock, a drum magazine attached below the weapon and sliding ramp rear sights). These last two being obviously not Sten reproductions, especially if they included a drum magazine. [25] The "Rotary Magazine Sten" is a vertically fed Sten which uses a modified Sten bolt, which can use either PPSh drum magazines or stick magazines. The FRT gun is essentially a Suomi that uses a Sten trigger mechanism. All SaskSten guns fire from an open bolt. [26] Service[edit] The Sten, especially the Mark II, tended to attract affection and loathing in equal measure. Its peculiar appearance when compared to other firearms of the era, combined with sometimes questionable reliability made it unpopular with some front-line troops. [27] It gained nicknames such as "Plumber's Nightmare", "Plumber's Abortion", or "Stench Gun". The Sten's advantage was its ease of mass-production manufacture in a time of shortage during a major conflict. Made by a variety of manufacturers, often with subcontracted parts, some early Sten guns were made poorly and/or not made to specification, and could malfunction in operation, sometimes in combat. [28] The double-column, single-feed magazine copied from the German MP28 was never completely satisfactory, and hasty manufacturing processes often exacerbated misfeed problems inherent in the design.

A common statement heard from British forces at the time was that the Sten was made by Marks and Spencer out of Woolworth. [29] British and Commonwealth forces in the early years of the war often extensively test-fired their weapons in training to weed out bad examples; a last-minute issue of newly manufactured Stens prior to going into action was not always welcomed.

[citation needed] The MK II and MK III Stens were regarded by many soldiers as very temperamental, and could accidentally discharge if dropped or even laid on the ground whilst the gun was cocked. [29] Others would fire full-automatic when placed on'single', or fire single shots when placed on'automatic'. [29] This was particularly true of early Stens using bronze bolts, where the sear projection underneath the bolt could wear down more easily than ones made of case-hardened steel. Stens could jam at inopportune moments. One of the more notable instances of this was the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich on 27 May 1942, when a Czechoslovak soldier Warrant Officer Jozef Gabík fired his Sten point blank at Heydrich, only to have it misfire.

His comrade Jan Kubi then hastily tossed a grenade, which mortally wounded Heydrich. [28] There are other accounts of the Sten's unreliability, some of them true, some exaggerated and some which are apocryphal. France[30] manufactured (well-made) Sten copies postwar into the early 1950s, evidently believing in the basic reliability and durability of the design. A well-maintained (and properly functioning) Sten gun was a devastating close-range weapon for sections previously armed only with bolt-action rifles. In addition to regular British and Commonwealth military service, Stens were air-dropped in quantity to resistance fighters and partisans throughout occupied Europe.

Due to their slim profile and ease of disassembly/reassembly, they were good for concealment and guerrilla warfare. Wrapping the barrel in wet rags would delay undesirable overheating of the barrel.

[31] Guerrilla fighters in Europe became adept at repairing, modifying and eventually scratch-building clones of the Sten (over 2,000 Stens and about 500 of the similar Byskawica SMGs were manufactured in occupied Poland). Staged photograph: A partisan armed with Sten Mk II SMG, France, 1944. Canadian infantry battalions in northwest Europe retained spare Sten guns for special missions and the Canadian Army reported a surplus of the weapons in 1944.

The Sten saw use even after the economic crunch of World War II, replacing the Royal Navy's Lanchester submachine guns into the 1960s, and was used in the Korean War, including specialist versions for British Commandos. It was slowly withdrawn from British Army service in the 1960s and replaced by the Sterling SMG; Canada also phased out Sten, replacing it with the C1 SMG. The Sten was one of the few weapons that the State of Israel could produce domestically during the 1948 ArabIsraeli War. Even before the declaration of the State of Israel, the Yishuv had been producing Stens for the Haganah; after the declaration, Israel continued making Stens for IDF use. The opposing side also used (mostly British-made) Stens, particularly the irregular and semi-regular Arab Liberation Army.

[32] In the 1950s "L numbering" came into use in the British Army for weaponsStens were then known as L50 (Mk II), L51 (Mk III) and L52 (Mk V). One of the last times the Sten was used in combat during British service was with the RUC during the IRA border campaign of 19561962. In foreign service, the Sten was used in combat at least as recently as the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. In 1971 various marks of Stens were used by guerilla fighters during the Bangladesh Liberation War. A number of suppressed Stens were in limited use by the US Special Forces during the Vietnam war, including c.

1971, by the United States Army Rangers. [33] In 1984, Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her bodyguards, one of whom fired the entire magazine (30 bullets) of his Sten at point-blank range, of which 27 hit her. In the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War, both nationalists and communists used the Sten. Some Stens were converted by the communists to 7.62×25mm[15] by using the magazine housing from a PPS to accept curved PPS magazines. British, Canadian, and Chinese Stens were seen in the hands of the communists during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. [15] The Finnish Army acquired moderate numbers of Stens in the late 1950s, mainly Mk. Refurbishment at the Kuopio Arsenal included bluing of the arms. Stens in Finnish service saw limited usage by conscripts (notably combat swimmers) and were mostly stockpiled for use in a future mobilization. During the Zapatista movement in 1994 some Zapatista soldiers were armed with Sten guns.

The item "IDF Hebrew FIREARMS Weapon CATALOGUE Israel RIFLE PISTOL MACHINE SUBMACHINE GUN" is in sale since Sunday, September 13, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Religion & Spirituality\Judaism\Books". The seller is "judaica-bookstore" and is located in TEL AVIV. This item can be shipped worldwide.

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