Watergate Bridge: Why didn’t the U.S. army have one submachine gun, but volunteers had many?

2022-05-04 0 By

The Watergate Bridge movies feature a lot of close combat.Some might have noticed that the U.S. army rarely used submachine guns in large numbers at Hagaru-ri and Watergate Bridge, while the volunteers did.Is this detail real history?In fact, this reflects the real situation: the Number and proportion of American infantry armed with submachine guns is far less than that of the volunteers!It’s been like this since the beginning of the war.In traditional historical accounts, U.S. forces during the Korean War are often described as “heavily armed with automatic weapons,” which may lead the average person to mistakenly believe that U.S. infantry troops were heavily armed with fully automatic weapons, especially submachine guns.However, what the US military refers to as “mass armed automatic weapons” are actually semi-active M1 Garland rifles and M1 carbines (a few M2 carbines have rapid-fire capabilities).According to the U.S. Army, an infantry company of about 200 men is equipped with 132 M1 Garland, 37 M1 Carbines, 15 M1918 Browning automatic rifles (abbreviated as BAR), three 7.62mm M1919 Browning medium machine guns, one 12.7mm M2 heavy machine gun,And some handguns.At that time, they were only equipped with the reconnaissance patrol troops of the First Us Marine Division. The self-defence weapons of tank soldiers and artillery were mainly M1 carbines, and ordinary infantry companies did not include submachine guns in the official establishment.Thomson and M3 submachine guns, on the other hand, were heavily used by volunteer infantry, especially during the battle of Chosin Lake.The volunteers of the 27th Corps in the second Battle, for example, were equipped with 2,763 submachine guns of various types, with an average of 20-30 for each infantry company and at least 2-3 for each infantry squad.The 27th Army was the main character in movies such as Jangjin Lake and Watergate Bridge.However, the volunteers’ gun models are mixed.According to the records of the FIRST Us Marine Division, among the Chinese weapons collected in the battlefield, rifles are M1903 “Springfield”, M1917 “Eddystone”, British “Enfield”, Belgian “Mausse”, Soviet “Mosinagan”, carbines are American M1 and Japanese Type iv, submachine guns are American M1928 “Thomson” and M3.There are even some Soviet-made M1941 Bobos, American M1919 Browning, Canadian Burun and some Japanese machine guns.In the early days of the volunteer corps, the Thomson submachine gun was at the top. However, in general, most of the light weapons of the 9th Volunteer Corps were American, which surprised the 1st Marine Division, because a large number of light weapons on both sides were of the same type and almost common ammunition.However, the M1 Garland, the main armament of the American infantry, is rarely seen in the volunteer arms, while the M1 carbine is not uncommon.This was due to the “transport captain”, who received few Garland rifles but many Springfield rifles and M1 carbines.In light of this, the 1st Marine Division even considered the 9th Corps to be better equipped than the Korean People’s Army, which was mainly armed with Soviet weapons.American infantry, though mostly armed with rifles, are actually more powerful if you compare them simply: each squad has 2-3 submachine guns, 1 Bren lMACHINE gun, and 7-8 Springfield rifles.An American infantry squad is no more than a dozen Garland rifles or M1 carbines (the latter used mainly by officers or senior non-commissioned officers), plus a BAR automatic rifle (used as a squad machine gun).In the movie Watergate Bridge, we can see that the soldiers of the 7th Squadron repeatedly use submachine guns to overwhelm the Americans in close combat.In the movie, however, the British Stun submachine gun was rarely seen in the jangjin-ho troops. On the contrary, the American Thomson was more common.However, this kind of “fire suppression” is only likely to be effective in close combat in movie Settings, such as inside buildings, trenches, etc.The Jangjin-ho battle was more of an ambush or offensive battle, but the U.S. light weapons had more firepower.One of the most critical point, or the MAIN small weapons of the US army – M1 “Garland” rifle, commonly known in China as “big eight”.M1 Garland rifle Although a rifle, the Garland rifle is semi-automatic fire, while most of the rifles used by volunteers, including springfield, Eddystone, Enfield, etc., are hand bolting rifles, fire rates vary widely.Garland has a rate of fire of 30 rounds per minute while Springfield has a rate of 10 rounds per minute.As a result, the Garland rifle in World War II was able to neutralize the Japanese light machine gun with a short, high rate of fire, even by firing more and less.More importantly, The Garland has an effective range of 500 meters.By contrast, the Thomson submachine gun, despite its high rate of fire, has an effective range of only 50m (up to 200m), and even the M1 Carbine (200m effective) can neutrise the former at medium range.In the battle of Xinxingli, the volunteers can clearly see the Soviet submachine gun, so it can be seen that although the volunteer army has a high proportion of submachine guns, but when the fighting distance is more than 50-100 meters, the firepower is very vulnerable.With 12.7mm heavy machine guns, 7.62mm light and medium machine guns, as well as a large number of semi-automatic rifles and carbines, the firepower output density of the U.S. army far exceeds that of the old infantry and machine guns in the hands of the volunteers.Therefore, the firepower gap in the medium and long distance is the real firepower advantage of the US military “equipped with a large number of automatic weapons”.During the battle of Chosin Lake, volunteer soldiers had to brave a distance of 50 meters to function as assault rifles and grenades, and heavy casualties were paid during this time.In particular, the 12.7mm M2 heavy machine gun can inflict serious casualties at a distance of thousands of meters.Even at close range, the volunteer submachine guns were not easily able to prevail against the American army’s numerous high speed rifles and carbines.To make matters worse, the battle of Chosin Lake was hit by unusually cold weather, with temperatures dropping below -30 degrees Celsius at night.At this time, submachine guns are prone to malfunction, resulting in the failure of the continuous firing function, but the reliability of various rifles is much higher, which increases the advantage of the US army.Therefore, the actual difficulties encountered by our troops in the Jangjin-ho Battle were far more complicated than ordinary people imagined.From this point of view, jang Jin Lake and Watergate Bridge are highly restored and small battle scenes are very close to historical reality.(By Tao Mujian)