View Full Version : Production to Frontlines
11-19-2009, 10:44 AM
Approximately how long did it take for a M1917 or M1903 to go from production to fighting on the front lines during WWI? Did a soldier get a rifle handed to him right before he shipped off or did he also train with it?
11-19-2009, 11:56 PM
I can't speak for the American army, but dare say it was broadly the same procedure.
Recruits are trained at depots. Depots will have a stock of weapons for training and a recruit may or may not have a personal weapon during this time. For weapon training he'll be issued a weapon in say week 3 and and after he's learned to use it he'll have his first range session, during which he'll zero that weapon along with the rest of his intake/platoon/draft. The next range session they'll have to pass what ever test is laid down to determine that each recruit has reached the required standard. After that test has been passed, he'll hand in that weapon and probably never see it again unless his training requires that he conducts further live firing.
Once he arrives at his unit he'll be assigned a personal weapon which he'll zero at the first opportunity. This weapon will remain his, even if it is stored in a central armoury. Every time he does any kind of weapon training this is the weapon he'll draw from stores.
In the British army, up untill at least the late fifties this would have been slightly different in that recruits were issued a rifle with the rest of thier kit and it was kept either in the recruit's locker or on a bracket at the top of his bed. However, on leaving his training depot to join his unit that rifle would be handed in and another rifle issued to him on arrival.
11-20-2009, 04:09 PM
I don't think I have ever seen any kind of figure as to time flow from factory to front lines.
In WWII I know that some Garands went from SA to combat in as little as two months.
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