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WWII marine weapons and organization.

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  • WWII marine weapons and organization.

    I'm working on creating a generic marine unit for table top gaming and so far working on the D series infantry company. So far I have some questions on the weapons used in the early years of the war. I'm hoping you guys can help me out and give me some ideas.

    First is with the machine pistols used. I understand the Reising was first issued at the start od the war because of a shortage of thompsons. The Reising was soon found to be ineffective and were disposed of on favor of the M1 carbine until the thompson was available in numbers.
    Is my understanding correct? And if so is there any idea when the thompson became common among the marines? Also would the Reising have stopped being used?

    My second question is with the bazooka. I'm finding info on 3 Bazooka being issued at company level. When would these weapons have reached the marines? And before their deployment did the marines have any anti tank weapons at company or lower level? I've found information on anti tank rifle grenades in development but cant find anything saying if these were successful enough to issue on a large scale before the bazooka came.
    Also on the subject Iím having trouble figuring out how the bazookas would have been deployed? Having 1 support each rifle platoon or having them work at an anti tank team at company level? Or was it completely up to each company how to use them?

    Lastly and this isn't so much on weapons but Iím having trouble finding the make up of the company HQ and how it would operate during combat?

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    There is something of a disconnect re pretty much all WW2 US organisation tables and SMGs, in that very few show them. The D-Series USMC Rifle Coy went through a few issues, the earliest D-1 table I've seen is for March 1941, and states 'Guns, Thompson, submachine' but then puts two each with the 60-mm Mortar Sec and LMG Sec of the Weapons Pl (one per Squad leader).

    Said table was revised January 1942 and extended the issue of Tommy guns to Rifle and BAR Squad leaders, but only when Rifle Squads were expanded to 13-men (not to be confused with the 1944 F-Series 13-man/3 fire team squad).

    The July 1942 table (still D-1) changes the description to 'Gun, submachine, .45-caliber, w/folding stock'. Issue is shown as one per Rifle, BAR, 60-mm mortar and LMG squad leader, plus the driver of the Coy Jeep, so 17 in total.

    It's a while since I read it, but I think the USMC opted for the Reising since they knew the Army was going to get priority for the Thompson, so were looking for an alternative supplier (similar in a way to the Johnson weapons getting their chance with the Corps).

    The Jan42 D-1 table showed .60-cal anti-tank rifles, three under Coy HQ. There were no designated operators, but the issue allowed for one per Rifle Pl. The Jul42 table altered this to launcher, rocket, antitank, same issue as before. There are a fair few threads zipping round the internet on whether the Marines had atk rifles, the consensus I think is the Raiders did, but the intended issue for the Marine Inf Regts never occurred. The bazooka was still pretty new in Jul42; I don't recall offhand if there's much evidence for them being available in numbers on Guadalcanal, but it's a well covered campaign so accounts shouldn't be too hard to find on the web.

    The D-1 Coy HQ was pretty big, 2 officers and 27 enlisted, plus Navy corpsmen who would be attached as Pl medics. If it would help I can post up the details.

    Gary

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