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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member harry mac's Avatar
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    SMLE MkV

    Does anyone know the fate of the MkVs once they were withdrawn from service. In "The Lee Enfield" Skennertonicon mentions Greece and China as two recipients; I've also seen India mentioned somewhere. Are there any records of what happened to them, or do these three countries account for all of them?


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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Didn't Ireland take a large batch?

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    I saw a photo of one in a museum in Viet Nam a few years ago.

    Probably a posed shot, it depicted a Viet Minh era soldier pointing one at the sky.

    As near as I can make out, a LOT of Mk Vs went to India. I also understand that it was Commonwealth troops who took the surrender of the Japaneseicon in what had formerly been "Frenchicon Indo-China". A fair contingent of those "Britishicon" troops were actually from the Indian Army.

    Somehow, at least one Mk V "escaped" and fell into the hands of folk loyal to Ho Chi Minh. Mind you, the place was also awash with "no-longer-needed" Japanese hardware of all descriptions, plus whatever had been previously taken by the Japanese from the French colonial troops after the fall of Vichy France.

    Once .303 ammo was exhausted, such a rifle would probably end up being used for "drill" purposes, until the tropical conditions and clumsy recruits rendered it scrap, long, long ago.

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    I saw a photo of one in a museum in Viet Nam a few years ago.

    This one ?
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    When I was looking Harry, I never uncovered anything new to what is out there already, regarding being withdrawn from service where they actually in service apart from trials etc ? Always seemed strange to make 20,000 then decide to shelve it ?

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Sometime ago around the mid 1990's, an friend bought 12 Lee Enfields that had been imported from India, they were a mix of Mark 1** I.P., GRI Ishapore 1939 Mark 111 plus BSA Mark 111 rifles 1917 & 1918.

    There was one Mark V in the group and was complete but was well used and worn

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    Really Senior Member harry mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigduke6 View Post
    When I was looking Harry, I never uncovered anything new to what is out there already, regarding being withdrawn from service where they actually in service apart from trials etc ? Always seemed strange to make 20,000 then decide to shelve it ?
    Hi Geoff. I use the term "service" very loosely, purely in context of the trials.
    I wonder if they were issued to whole units, just to the musketry school, or to several units at single Sqn or Coy level?
    Are there ANY details out there of the form the trial took?

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    Understood Harry, They must of been issued to a few, to evaluate etc, its why I can never understand the large volume produced, I was planning a visit to Warminster many moons ago, to have a look what they had, think Simon P was up for a visit too.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    The number of Mk Vs produced was significant enough for the factory at Lithgowicon to have a full set of drawings for the beast, right down to the different forging required to make the highly-modified receiver/ body.

    The rear sight on the Mk V was the basis for the design of the rear sight on some of the the Lithgow No. 6 carbines; as opposed to the No4 derived sight on the UKicon No 5 series.

    The catch was that the Mk V and Mk VI were built to the old SMLE "Enfield Special" standard, as opposed to the No 5, which, like the No 4, was was all BA / BSF "Commercial Industry standard".

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    Really Senior Member harry mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigduke6 View Post
    Understood Harry, They must of been issued to a few, to evaluate etc, its why I can never understand the large volume produced, I was planning a visit to Warminster many moons ago, to have a look what they had, think Simon P was up for a visit too.
    I can sort of understand the fairly large scale production, purely to see how the quality control would stack up on a sizeable production run. bear in mind, too, that much of the rifle would have been able to be made on existing machinery, which must have made it easier to produce a large(ish) number of rifles.
    A mate of mine used to be in The Staffordshire Regiment, and was there at the back end of the Warrior trials. The trials wagons were fabulous, by all accounts, and everyone reported glowingly on almost every aspect of them. However, when it finally entered service, many of the vehicles they got suffered "teething" problems due to some components being of less than stellar quality.

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