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    Member vykkagur's Avatar
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    Relic of Operation Fritham

    I just came across a short article on this little oddity:




    This resides in a museum on Spitsbergen, one of a group of islands above the Arctic Circle off Norwayicon. It would undoubtedly be from the shipment sent there in May 1942 in support of Operation Fritham, the Allied landings there to deny the Germans the islands' coal mines, and disrupt their weather station and airbase. The force lost most of their weapons and equipment when the Luftwaffe sank their ships, so the nearest available replacements were flown in from the Shetlands, and the forces in the Shetlands were stocked with - Ross Mk. III rifles. This ugly little object has been converted to .30-06 (probably just rechambered, long-range accuracy not its' forte...) with a Mauser magazine. It's likely purpose is self-defence against polar bears, as the .303 would have been more than adequate for just seal-killing.

    While I'm always an admirer of skillful and ingenious amateur gunmaking, this nasty piece of backyard rock-bashing does NOT qualify!
    Last edited by vykkagur; 12-17-2019 at 10:03 AM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Ugliest Ross I've ever seen...wouldn't want to shoot it even on a dare.
    Regards, Jim

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    Member vykkagur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Ugliest Ross I've ever seen...wouldn't want to shoot it even on a dare.
    You and me both. Would love to get my hands on it though, and build a proper rifle out of it. A custom gun with a terrific history. It also occurs to me, the Mauser that supplied the magazine probably belonged to the Germanicon defenders that the Ross was sent to fight. Both sides of the battle represented in one rifle, that would be special.

    Not in .30-06 though. That would be going a step TOO far.

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    Interesting artifact indeed.
    It appears to have the "CRB" stamp on the receiver ring. There remains some difference of opinion on the stamp's meaning with some claiming it means "Canadianicon Railway Board" others claiming it is an abbreviation for "Crombie" as in the Crombie military base which, I believe, is in Scotland, and still others claiming at least one other meaning. Given the likely provenance of this artifact, it appears to strongly support the argument favoring Crombie. Similarly, the "PLY" stamp found on some other MK IIIs likely refers to the Plymouth military base.

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    Crombie is just outside Edinburgh, and was the primary munitions depot for the nearby Rosyth Naval Yard from 1916 onwards. It certainly would have supplied the Shetlands, so I'm inclined to say you're right on.

    I was hoping someone was going to weigh in on that stamp; I was curious about it myself.

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    Member vykkagur's Avatar
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    Someone's just reminded me of another Canadianicon/Spitsbergen coincidence of which I was unaware: The year before, Operation Gauntlet, commanded by Phillip Vian of Altmark fame, saw a force made up predominantly of Canadian troops landing on the islands to evacuate Norwegianicon and Sovieticon citizens. They then removed or destroyed as much of the mining operation as possible, along with the meteorological and radio facilities. The operation was a complete success, with no casualties and the coal piles in flames. Obviously, these troops were carrying Lee-Enfields, so it has nothing to do with the Ross in question. Just a interesting coincidence.

    (The Germans landed on the islands and set up their own weather station a few months later, hence, Operation Fritham.)

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    The flash and bang would probably dissuade all but the hungriest Ursus Maritimus.
    And for those more determined individuals there would be no need to aim off.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Member vykkagur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surpmil View Post
    The flash and bang would probably dissuade all but the hungriest Ursus Maritimus.
    And for those more determined individuals there would be no need to aim off.
    Firing a .30-06 with an 8-inch barrel, one-handed, would likely be as dangerous for the guy behind the gun as it would have been for his target.


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