WW2 commando weapons vs modern special forces

Michael Dorosh

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As for 70 rounds for an MP-38/40, the magazines held 32, though often only loaded to 30 due to a slight risk of jamming. The standard MP pouch held 3 magazines and I'd be surprised if one was not already in the MP. That gives a total of 4 magazines for 120-128 rounds. 2 such pouches would bring that to 7 magazines for 210-224 rounds, though it's rareish to see 2 MP pouches in photos.
The standard TO&E authorized the number of mags (and pouches). I'm sure there were individual variations but the equipment was assigned according to the role. Squad leader was to carry both pouches for the MP38/40 according to Büchner's INFANTRY HANDBOOK. They were manufactured in left and right pairs. Note that at the time, my understanding is that all Germans were trained to be right handed beginning in school, so the design wasn't to accommodate lefties.

Note also though that front line infantry were not the only ones to be issued with weapons, so the photos of one pouch may be from soldiers in other roles. In the Security Divisions, for example, riflemen armed with the K98 only had one ammunition pouch rather than the usual two. Similar situation with the MP - junior officers, military police, security troops etc. may only have been issued a single pouch.
 
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R Hooks

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When I looked up the stinger mentioned earlier I found it was a 30 cal aircraft machine gun, with I think a couple of days later a 900 round per minute rate of fire and a M-1 rifle stock bolted on it. That article said only 6 were made and all were used on Iwo Jima. It described the combat of one hero who used it until he ran out of ammo, would lay it on ground, carry a wounded man back to the beach, get all the ammo he could carry and return to where he left his stinger. He did that at least 8 times, winning the CMH on day one, and losing his life on the second day. Seals in Vietnam carried 500 rounds for the Stoner 63A, which had a 100 round magazine. If I was going to design a unit based on Vietnam Seals I would treat the 63A as a "heavy rifle" rather then a SW, and give them the ability to use 2 SW and their inherent squad fire. IMO a Seal squad would fire at range one on the 30 or higher level.
 

bendizoid

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When I looked up the stinger mentioned earlier I found it was a 30 cal aircraft machine gun, with I think a couple of days later a 900 round per minute rate of fire and a M-1 rifle stock bolted on it. That article said only 6 were made and all were used on Iwo Jima. It described the combat of one hero who used it until he ran out of ammo, would lay it on ground, carry a wounded man back to the beach, get all the ammo he could carry and return to where he left his stinger. He did that at least 8 times, winning the CMH on day one, and losing his life on the second day. Seals in Vietnam carried 500 rounds for the Stoner 63A, which had a 100 round magazine. If I was going to design a unit based on Vietnam Seals I would treat the 63A as a "heavy rifle" rather then a SW, and give them the ability to use 2 SW and their inherent squad fire. IMO a Seal squad would fire at range one on the 30 or higher level.
The stinger had a cyclic rate of 1,350 rpm or about 22.5 rounds/sec.
 

Yuri0352

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I have not been in the military, so this is probably why am lacking jugdement:

What strikes me that all commando type units according to this data carried seemingly less than 100 rounds of ammo for their personal weapons - even if this was an LMG, SMG or assault rifle. By gut feeling, this seems to be not very much.

How many rounds does a 'normal' infantry-man / commando carry nowadays?

von Marwitz
You are right to be skeptical of those figures, especially those given for the number of rounds carried by the USMC Raider units.

The standard M1937 BAR magazine belt was capable of carrying 12 20 round magazines for a total of 240 rounds per BAR gunner. Considering the fact that the BAR was issued with 20 round magazines, and assuming for the sake of discussion, that these gunners were issued 90 or 70 rounds as claimed in the 'SPWW2' data, where were they carrying the 'leftover' 10 rounds? In addition, according to these SPWW2 figures, it would appear that the USMC BAR gunner's load-out of ammunition is alleged to have DECREASED from 90 to 70 rounds as the war progressed. A spurious claim at best considering the manner in which the USMC was increasing the number of fireteams in a squad during the latter part of the war.

The figures given in that list for the USMC personnel equipped with the Reising SMG also appear to be inaccurate. The list alleges that the Reising-equipped marine would be carrying '(50 rds)'. The Reising SMG was issued with either 12 or 20 round magazines. Once again, where were the 'leftover' 1 or 10 rounds being carried? Also, the Reising magazine pouches were issued in configurations to carry either 3 20 round magazines or in the case of a modified Thompson-type pouch, 5 20 round magazines, for a total of either 60 or 100 rounds of ammunition.

P.S. I'm not 'up' on my acronyms, and I don't know what 'SPWW2' stands for.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Steel Panthers World War II, I believe. I suspect those are "units of fire" rather than ammo totals.
 

Eagle4ty

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Another comparison source:


Today and yesteryear the average carrying capacity is 70-90 rounds per soldier.
And damn heavy it is. Add about 40lds of body armor, water, extra gee-dunk (cookies, extra socks, etc.) and a load of 120-140 lbs is not uncommon. It's certainly a strain on the old LPCs (Leather Personnel Carries).😩
 

dlazov

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I was a lucky, I was a tanker, I had two clips of 45 on my holster and we carried one M16 in the tank. But we had all those Sabot and Heat rounds and I have no idea how much .50 cal and .240 rounds. We had smoke grenades when we went to war.
 

Eagle4ty

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I was a lucky, I was a tanker, I had two clips of 45 on my holster and we carried one M16 in the tank. But we had all those Sabot and Heat rounds and I have no idea how much .50 cal and .240 rounds. We had smoke grenades when we went to war.
I was never on an M1, but back in the day in the CAV on the intra-German border we always carried a full combat load on our M60A1/A3's., .50-cal was 2,000 rnds (most carried in the sponson boxes, IIRC 500 rnds carried inside) 2,500 +/- rnds 7.62mm for the COAX. We had two M3 .45-cal SMG for crew protection, and the M1911A1 .45-cal pistol for personal protection. For the side arm we carried 7 mags (one in the weapon), and 7x30 rnd mags ea for the M3's (one in the weapon) with a box of ammo for reload (what was that? 3,280 rnds or something like that).
 

bendizoid

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Ahh thank you, I read this a few days ago and forgot. Do you recall how many rounds they carried for it?
About 4.4 seconds worth of woop A$$, kinda like a old man.
 
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