Cdn policyMarch 15 2011 at 8:13 PM
Response to Re: Broke Britain
Canadian policy was set early in the war my McNaughton who stated that the Canadian Army Overseas would adopt British equipment in all cases except where it could be shown that an alternative was better. We could all argue the merits of the Thompson over the Sten but the fact remains that both were used, with the Sten accepted as the standard for NWE and the Thompson for the Italian campaign.
Once Canada accepted the challenge to build the Sten at Longbranch the continued use of this weapon was guaranteed by Canada's other guiding procurment policy - that of 'Continuing Canadian Supply'. This policy stated that certain goods, manufactured in Canada, would be used by the Canadian Army Overseas. The list included uniforms, signals equipment, Motorized Transport and Small Arms. The latter had some exceptions, primarily where Canada manufactured on behalf of the British who then issued the materiel as required. This applied mostly to sniper rifles (no4T).
The decision to use British Small Arms (in other words, the equipment that was already in stock) flip-flopped a couple of times. At one point the Canadian Army chose to adopt US equipment but this decision was predicated on the belief that they would be serving alongside US forces in Germany. When NATO decided that the Canadians would serve within the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) the question of Samll Arms was changed back to 'British' pattern. It followed that the Brigade in Korea, which was latter a part of the Commonwealth Division and which required standardization with Britain, Australia, etc.., would need to use the same ammunition.
Whether you agree or not it must be remembered that the majority of troops who initially went to Korea were veterans of the Second World War and were very familiar with the Sten, SMLE, No36 grenade, mortars, etc..