View Full Version : M1 Garand and the use by the Germans

08-23-2010, 06:29 AM
This may have already been cover but I can't find it. Why aren't there many photos of the Germans using the M1 Garand ? If it wasn't a preferred weapon, why not?

08-23-2010, 10:22 AM
I would assume that due to the simple fact that the German forces were fighting a defensive war by the time they came up against US forces it comes down to who controls the battlefield. The Allies were advancing so the chances of large amounts of Allied equipment falling in to the hands of the German forces was slight.

Couple that with the large amount of troops in the German forces you will see that a limited number of 'aquired' weapons will have a very limited number of pics of them in use. Never mind the attendant problems of ammunition resupply (when you are retreating and losing control of the battlefield where do you get replacement ammunition from).

Deaf Smith
08-23-2010, 09:38 PM
I've seen photos of German Volkssturn in Berlin marching off with Carcano rifles (I suspect rechambered to 7.92x57.) Even had the little pig sticker bayonets on them.

And yes the Germans used Nagant rifles with nomenclatures like Gewehr 252r, 253r and 254r. Not surprising as they also used Russian tanks. If the Germans had enough arms and ammo captured they used them.

They also used Steyr M95s to and in Norway they used some Colt .45 autos for issue (actually they were Norwegian military .45s, very close to GI Colts.)

The Germans never had enough of their own, so well beggars are not choosers.

08-24-2010, 02:27 AM
The small arms listed were used by the German forces as they captured large stocks of ammunition (in many cases even the munition and weapon factorys) for them or in some cases so many weapons that it became worthwhile to set up manufacturing lines for the munitions themselves.
Non German weapons tended to be in use with second line units 'general rule but not always true', you will always get the odd soldiers who will pick up 'shiney' items for personal use 'everyone elses kit is better than ours syndrome'. Hence the possibility that very few Garands would have been used by the German forces.

Captured armoured vehicles were used by all sides if the vehicle was a runner (even with no ammunition they were pressed into service as gun tractors etc).

08-24-2010, 02:49 AM
Use of American weapons is not so rare:


A Nazi column with a lot of American vehicles like Jeep and M3 truck. German easily use foreign captured equipment, for 3 reasons:
- after 1943 the shortage of available veichles and weapons grows;
- before war in Germany some vehicle used by US Army are imported or produced;
- German always search for best weapons, and for example T-34 in 1941 was the best tank in the world, so they use every one of them they can get;

I suppose that M1 wasn't used to much for these reasons:
- it uses entire different cartridge, .30-06 ammunition were too hard to find;
- it makes a well known sound when it finished his ammo clip, the German already know to advance to an enemy when they heard this sound, a disadvantage respect Gw43;
- it cannot change the clip until this was empty, a disadvantage respect Gw43;

08-24-2010, 07:14 AM
There's already a thread here on the use of captured enemy arms and equipment (http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?9865-Incongruous-Weapons-and-Equipment-Thread&p=171037#post171037). I suspect that while the Germans may have had some stocks of M1 Garands captured in North Africa, but many were probably liberated after the large scale surrender there. I'm not sure where the Wehrmacht would have procured enough ammunition to sustain a unit armed with M1s in the field. But there are probably instances of individuals picking up Garands and using them until their ammo ran out, then discarding them in favor of a reissued 98 or something. But of course they might have risked drawing the ire of their comrades with the distinctive sound of the M1 which might not have been worth the bother of using it for long periods...

08-24-2010, 07:51 AM
There's a pic of what appear to be two Fallschirmjager in garrison inspecting an American M1 Garand in this thread: