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History stuff - Weapons used by the 2nd AIF

September 18 2008 at 12:11 PM

David Harvey  (Login DJHarvey)
from IP address

I thought I might post this here as it will be of interest to some folks, I will also add it to the History articles I will do in the future for the site.

Rifles / SMG’s

Pattern 1914 Enfield Mk1* (Rifle No3 Ml1*) – Issued to Australia during WWI but used in training for some years after the war into WWII.

SMLE MK III* (Rifle No 1 MkIII*) – The ‘work horse’ of Australian soldiers used from WWII up to Korea. You would also find it’s predecessor the SMLE Mk III (Rifle no 1 Mk III) used as well from pre WWI onwards.

Johnson Model 1941 Auto rifle – Adopted by the Netherlands Indies Army in 1940 and some were used by the RAAF in Northern Bases during WWII.

Rifle No 4 – Approx 2000 No4’s were diverted to Australia in 1942 after the fall of Singapore. They were issued to RAAF and AEME. Other small batches of the No 4 were introduced into the system later on.

Rifle No 5 Mk 1 (Jungle Carbine) - Introduced into British service in 1944. A considerable number of them were used in Malaya during the ‘Emergency’ by Australian forces

..45 cal Thompson SMG – Due to the lack of an SMG in Commonwealth service the Model 1928A1, M1 and M1A1 were issued. The Thompson M1928A1 used the Drum mag or a 30rnd box mag whilst the M1 used a 20 rnd box mag. The Thompson was used in all theatres by the AIF.

9mm AUSTEN (Australian STEN) Mk I/II – designed in 1941 approx 20,000 were produced and used by Australian Forces. It wasn’t that popular and the Owen was usually preferred by combat forces. Usually seen in a mix of green and yellow painted finish.

9mm Owen Mk 1/I* and 2/3 – The Owen was produced at the same time as the AUSTEN and pages are devoted to the saga. First produced in large numbers in 1942 it continued in the various Mk’s until replaced by the F1 during the late 60’s early 70’s. Production of the last version the 2/3 finished in 1955. This service included Vietnam. The Own was produced in many finishes including the green/yellow paint, parkerised and painted black.

Machine guns

Lewis .303 MG – used from 1915 until declared obsolete in Australia in 1945.

Hotchkiss .303 LMG – used form WWI and limited service until WWII (pictures of Light Horse in QLD with them).

Vickers .303 MG Mk 1 – The ubiquitous ‘Vickers’ produced in Australia from 1929 and used until the 1960’s (possibly longer???).

Bren .303 LMG Mk 1 (and other Mk’s) – Production at Lithgow started in 1940 and used in .303 and 7.62mm until mid 80’s or later.

Browning Model 1919A4 MG – Mainly used on AFV and aircraft mounts during WWII but also used in some locations on a tripod for ground use.

Browning .50cal M2 MG – Used mainly in aircraft but also used in the ground role on occasion. The water cooled version (the 1921 watercooled) were also used but mainly in 2nd line or Reserve AFV, aircraft or Naval roles. The .50cal was used in the Northern areas for Airfield defence and was fired in anger a fair bit during the raids in Darwin.

.303 MMG (converted Maxim gun) – As a wartime emergency measure the captured WWI Maxim MG from RSL clubs and Memorial Halls were gathered together and converted in Broken Hill to .303 cal. Mainly used by the V.D.C.

.303 LMG (G) - Many MG08/15 models were also converted to .303 LMG (G) [G for German]. Mainly used by the V.D.C.

Sniper Rifles

Pattern 14 Enfield Sniper Rifle (No 3 Mk I* [T]) – use during both WWI and WWII.

Rifle No 1 Mk III* Sniper (No1 Mk III* H.T. [Aust}]) – produced from the end of WWI till 1946.

Various other weapons were used apart from those listed above as the usual ‘finding’, ‘borrowing’ and outright stealing of other firearms has always happened. The weapons listed above were officially issued to Australian Forces at various times up to, during and post WWII.

All of this information was compiled from '100 years of Australian Service Machineguns' and '200 years of Australian Military Rifles and Bayonets' by Ian Skennerton.

David Harvey
Aussie Modeller International

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