From an online article, one where I get some of my favorite quotes: "Stuart Cloete, a writer from South Africa, was a British public schoolboy commissioned, aged 17, at the start of the war and, two years later, witnessed sights on the Somme no teenager should ever see.
Burial was often impossible. ‘In ordinary warfare the bodies went back with the limbers [gun carriages] that brought up the rations, but now there were hundreds, thousands, not merely ours but German as well.
Out in no-man’s-land, ‘the sun swelled up the dead with gas and often turned them blue, almost navy blue. Then, when the gas escaped, the bodies dried up like mummies and were frozen in their death positions... sitting bodies, kneeling bodies, bodies in almost every position, though most lay on their bellies or on their backs. ‘The crows pecked out the eyes and rats lived on bodies that lay in abandoned dugouts. These rats were very large and quite fearless, their familiarity with the dead having made them contemptuous of the living. One night one fell on my face in a dugout and bit me."
Model M1917 Enfield 30-06 rifle, this example is from 1918. 100 years ago this rifle came off the Winchester production line. The first 10k built by Winchester were ordered to be destroyed by a general during WW1 . This was due to the fact that they did not have the required part interchangeability with other manufacturers, since they started production prematurely. A good friend who competes in CMP shooting matches told me he believes due to the rifle having no import markings; it’s most likely a vet bring back. I have no way to know that for sure but I knew I needed this rifle as soon as I saw it. A dream to shoot but never the official battle rifle of the US Army. The common perception was this rifle is un American. This rifle has been called the “Eddystone” “P1917” “that brit rifle” etc however, though modeled after the British p1914 enfield, this rifle is simply the M1917. Just like the M1903 and M1 Garand. Also pictured is my model 1005 collins machete issued from the Spanish American war through WW1. $00.76 cents at a yard sale! Also pictured is a common WW1 dough boy helmet “US version” #history#m1917#usarmy#ww1#worldwar1#classicfirearms#battlerifle#boltaction#30 -06 #rifle#collection#guns#old#100yearsold#ww2#war#military#usa#tactical#eddystone#winchester#enfield
US Military Rifles: M1917 Enfield
The US Rifle, Model of 1917 was created out the US military’s desperate need for rifles upon the country’s entry into the First World War. Just under one million M1903 rifles had been produced by that time, but that number would not be nearly enough to equip the new Army being built up to be sent over to France. Many American small arms manufacturers were already tooled up to produce the Pattern 1914 rifle for the British. It was quickly decided to modify the P14 to fire the .30-06 cartridge and continue producing it for the US military. This solution was found to be easier than retooling the factories already producing the P14 to produce the M1903. The P14 was standardized as the M1917 and was manufactured by Remington, Winchester Repeating Arms and Eddystone during the war. The contract for the M1917 was signed on 12 July 1917 and between September of 1917 and September of 1918, one million rifles were produced. While the M1903 remained the standard issue rifle for both the Army and Marine Corps during the war, more men of the American Expeditionary Force were armed with the M1917 than the M1903. There is still a debate over which rifle was better, but they both proved themselves in combat. Personally, having fired both an M1903 and an M1917, I’d say that the action and the firing of the M1903 is much smoother. However, they are both incredibly accurate, robust and hard hitting rifles. The main difference between the two is that the M1917 had a six round magazine instead of a five round like the M1903. Men of the AEF that were equipped with the M1917 appreciated having one more round in their magazine when in combat. The rifle used by Sergeant Alvin York in the action that earned him the Medal of Honor was more than likely an M1917. Most M1917s went into storage after the end of WWI and many were brought out again when the US entered the Second World War. Most M1917 used in World War II were used as training rifles or issued to rear echelon troops. Some were sent to Great Britain for use by the Home Guard. Three African American soldiers are seen above showing off their M1917 rifles. Continued ⬇️⬇️