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  #1  
Old 08 October 2007, 08:37 AM
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Icon104 Guns for the Home Guard

Comment: I have heard many times a story from WWII, but after extensively
searching for corroboration on the web was unable to find any.

The story goes that during WWII Britain did not have enough guns to arm
thier home guard, so they asked for donations. US Citizens donated guns
that were loaded on a ship and sent to England, where they were used. A
separate addendum to this story is that after the war, instead of keeping
the guns or returning them to the US, the guns were later disposed of by
dumping them in the ocean.

Do you have any idea if this one is true or false?
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  #2  
Old 08 October 2007, 08:46 AM
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I've no idea about Americans donating guns, but it is true that the Americans left a shedload of stuf behind after WWII, mainly I suppose because it was more expensive to bring it home. Isn't that how CHEP got started in Australia, hiring out handling equipment left behind by US forces? That's how CHEP tell it anyway.

Just as an anecdote, my uncle who seved in WWII told of how he was ordered after the war to take part the digging of a large pit in Devon, in which were buried a number of US Army motorcycles.

So it wouldn't surprise me to learn they didn't bother to repatriate a few guns.
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  #3  
Old 08 October 2007, 08:57 AM
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Wikipedia's entry on the Home Guard says that the USA sold the UK a number of rifles which were used by the Home Guard.

I can't see that a campaign for private donations would have made sense - it would have played into the hands of the UK's American detractors, like Joseph Kennedy, and it would have caused havoc to have weapons of many different types and calibres (it sees the US rifles purchased by the UK caused some difficulties themselves).
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  #4  
Old 08 October 2007, 01:26 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
 
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When the Home Guard started (especially when it was still the LDV), there was a severe shortage of modern weapons, and most units used shot guns or older weapons (even the fabled carving-knife-tied-to-a-broomstick), later ther were 3 rifles issued on an official basis; the Canadian Ross Rifle, the American M1917 and the British Lee-Enfield, although the latter, being the standard service rifle, was in short supply.
In the Portsmouth area, one Pill Box produced the cartridge from a Victorian Martini-Henry
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  #5  
Old 08 October 2007, 02:57 PM
CenTex CenTex is offline
 
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I seem to recall an article in the NRA magazine about guns that were donated to Britian to defend the homeland during the war. I am away from home today, but I will look for the article when I get home.
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  #6  
Old 08 October 2007, 11:52 PM
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As for disposal of surplus weapons, there is a sinkhole near where I live that supposedly contains weapons. Trucks were driven to it, and then the whole lot, trucks and all was pushed into the hole. They then threw barbed wire down it to discourage pilfering.

me
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Old 09 October 2007, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
I've no idea about Americans donating guns, but it is true that the Americans left a shedload of stuf behind after WWII, mainly I suppose because it was more expensive to bring it home. Isn't that how CHEP got started in Australia, hiring out handling equipment left behind by US forces? That's how CHEP tell it anyway.

Just as an anecdote, my uncle who seved in WWII told of how he was ordered after the war to take part the digging of a large pit in Devon, in which were buried a number of US Army motorcycles.

So it wouldn't surprise me to learn they didn't bother to repatriate a few guns.
This sort of thing did happen, but not for the reasons listed. The US did not want to stifle industry by dumping millions of bikes, trucks, ships, aircraft etc back into the economy, so insisted on destroying items regardless of their condition.
There are hundreds of these dump sites around the world.
Interestingly, guns (as in rifles etc) seem to have escaped this destruction. Surplus guns are easily obtained, (subject to local laws).
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  #8  
Old 03 December 2007, 07:11 PM
0b1knob
 
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Default The NRA did collect rifles.

Shortly after Dunkirk the National Rifle Association ran ads in its magazine soliciting the donation of rifles and shotguns to equip Home Guard units for England. 120,000 were collected but I don't know if they were ever shipped to England.

Sorry I can't offer any proof of this but I have heard the story many times. Contact the NRA, perhaps they have copies of the original ad.
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