British 7,65x54mm


#1

Hi,
Did Kynoch made 7,65x54mm ammo after 1940?
I get info about Mausers in 7,65x54mm bought by Great Britain from Chile after loosing los of guns at Dunkerque.
Here in Argentina is well known that they bought Ballester Molina pistols.
Thanks
Martín


#2

The British-contract Ballester-Molina Pistols were known in the U.S. as well. I had one of the British ones in my auto pistol collection when I had the collection. In fact, I had it at a time that these pistols were scarce in the USA, long before the massive importations of Ballester-Rigaud, Ballester-Molina, Steyr-Mannlicher and Star pistols came into the USA from Argentina.
Interesting Pistols.


#3

I think there is confusion between WW I and WW II.
During WW I, Britain acted as a “clearing House” and “Purchase agent” for various other Countries…in the case of the Chile Connection (a 7mm country), there was the acquisitrion of 7mm Mausers for the Serbians holed up in Salonika (Greece), and also 7,65 Mausers for the Belgians
(in France and Britain.) . The 7,65 Mausers would Not have come from Chilean stocks, but only from “interned equipment ( smuggled)” or as an intermediary with 7,65 calibre countries.

There is much info (Public Records Office, London) regarding WW I acquisitions, and expenses of UK “Inspection teams” sent to Latin America for these acquisitions…

As to WW II, hardly likely that the 7,65mm was for the British themselves, rather the Belgians ( small Contingent in Britain, Larger one in Congo.

Where did this “Post Dunkirk 7,65” info come from…or is it just a “garbled message”?

Always open to correct interpretations and further info>

There is still much to know of the “nonstandard” calibres
in allied service (Active duty and Home based)

regards,
Doc AV


#4

I agree with Doc that there seems to be some confusion, especialy as Chile was a 7x57mm user, not a 7.65x54mm one.

In WWI the British used Chilean 7mm M1912 Mausers that had been seized from the Chilean Battlecruisers building in the UK in 1914. These were the “Almirante Cochrane” (to become HMS Eagle) and Almirante Lattore (to become HMS Canada).

The rifles were issued to auxilliary vessels, mine sweeping trawlers and DAMS (Defensively Armed Merchant Ships) Attached is a picture of British merchant seamen armed mainly with Ross rifles, but the man nearest the camers and the second left in the rear rank have Chilean M1912 mausers. Also shown is an Eley Bros packet of British 7mm military ammo.

I cannot say that the story of WW2 aquisitions is not true, just that I have not heard of it or seen any evidence of the weapons in the UK.

Regards
TonyE


#5

Hi,
Beg your pardon for the delay.
I get the information from Alan David who was writing a book about “British military secondary issues small arms 1920-1980”:

parallaxscurioandrelicfirearmsfo … ifles.html

DocAv, you must remember the thread as you post there.

Thanks
Martin


#6

Its a very interesting subject to people like myself and TonyE, perhaps Falcon and a few others but this particular calibre doesn’t come up on my particular radar. The aquisition of many oddball rifles and who they were issued to is acually quite fascinating.
Its largely undocumented, dockyard guards and train drivers, and the like, were given all sorts sourced from all over but this particular calibre is a new one to me. you can never say never.
I would very much like to see Alan David’s book, can anyone flag it up when it is published?


#7

Alan is over here in the UK art the moment doing some more research, and the book is still some way off yet. Essentially it will pick up where my WWI secondary weapons books end in 1919.

I saw him last week and we caught up on recent discoveries and swapped information.

Regards
TonyE


#8

hi,
may I know more about your books?
Could not find it in Internet.
Thanks
Martin


#9

Coming back to the original post. A lot of weapon were lost as result of Dunkirk but the percentage as a whole was not that great. The need to scale up was the bigger problem and weapons were bought from abroad mainly to arm secondary sources.
The current issue of History magazine details the Japanese attack on Burma and is interesting because it shows a picture of three regular soldiers from the Manchester Regiment armed with SMLEs. This is interesting to me because I was under the impression that regular British forces ( except the Australians) were not issued with SMLEs in WW2

Tony or DocAV no doubt can expand on this because I thought SMLEs were deemed unfit for service by regular troops in WW2 but pictures of regular troops in Burma in 1941 -42 with SMLEs flies in the face of this belief,. Not jungle carbines but ordinary SMLEs. Clearly my knowledge is flawed.


#10

Vince: As I recall nearly all the photos I’ve seen of British or Commonwealth troops in North Africa through 1943 show them armed with the SMLE. The no.4 rifle shows up as a near universal thing in pictures of the fighting from Normandy until the end of the war in Europe. Jack


#11

Dear Vince,
Despite the perception that the No 4 Rifle was the “British Rifle of WW II”, That was only correct for the European Theather (Italy and France, from late 1943 to 1045.

North Africa was almost totally an SMLE affair, and the Far East was totally an SMLE affair till mid-1945. The Use of No4s in the China-Burma Theatre and the Pacific Theatre was “spotty” to say the least. The Occasions can be listed on the fingers of one hand…A batch of L-L No.4s to the RAAF in Northern Australia, some to New Zealand (Most Post-War) some to the Occupying troops in Singapore. and of course, some L-L from Canada to the Nationalist Chinese.

One must remember that the CB Theatre was basically supplied with SMLE from Ishapore, and the Pacific Theatre from Lithgow.

The Italian Campaign is interesting, as the Mixed British Units there ( Britain, Poland, New Zealand, Indian, ? South African?) each had their own issues of Rifles, but apart from the British Units, most of the others had their original SMLEs ( the Poles were equipped with No.4s in France. and the Netherlands). The Italians (after 1943) under Allied Command, used some SMLEs. ( The SMLE became the default Italian Service Rifle from 1945-mid 1950s, and remained in Service in the Italian Navy till past 2000).

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#12

The best quality, and most often used, photos of British troops in the Western desert are of Australian troops taken by an official photographer attached to them. Which explains the SMLEs.( But I have to be a bit careful or Doc will get touchy about me calling them them British.) Actually they are very good pictures, some of the best to come out of WW2. Which is why they so often appear in books etc .There has been some discussion about to what extent they are posed or not but that doesn’t really matter


#13

Vince - don’t forget that SMLEs were being made here under the BSA Dispersal Scheme until at least November 1943.

BSA received an order for 235,000 SMLEs in March 1940 and their total production was abouut a quarter of a million plus many thousands more repaired and refurbished.

Regards
TonyE


#14

Does anyone know when the Enfield No5 got its appellation as the "Jungle’ carbine? I suspect it might have more to do with the Malaysian Emergency than with Burma as my father, who spent over three years there from 1942 to 1945 had no recollection of the fierce kicking little critter.

Apart from the relative ease of supply from Ishapore and Lithgow to Far Eastern areas of operation I remember from back in my bayonet collecting days that the idea got about that the No4 spike bayonet just didn’t give the troops much confidence. After all, the Japanese had their longer Arisaka knife bayonet and a reputation for being rather willing to use it and effective when they did.

Probably just a myth and nothing much to do with ammunition, for which I apologise in advance.

Happy collecting, Peter


#15

Off topic I know, but I suspect the No.5 was christened as the “Jungle Carbine” by U.S. surplus dealers like Ye Olde Hunter when the rifles were sold off in the early 1960s.

I think the first operational use of the No.5 was by the Guards division in 1945 during the liberation of Denmark. I do not believe any reached the South East Asia theatre in WW2.

Regards
TonyE


#16

In his book on the Lee Enfields Maj. E.G.B. Reynolds refers to the no. 5 as having been developed for jungle warfare, tho he never uses the phrase “jungle carbine” in the main text as far as I can see. There is a plate in my copy of the American 1962 edition which does identify the no. 5 as the Jungle Carbine. Whether or not this usage is present in the 1960 British edition (or whether this was Reynolds’ wording) I don’t know. Jack


#17

Jungle Carbine caption is in British edition 1960.


#18

Yes, but Reynolds does say “often unofficially refered to as the Jungle Carbine”.

Regards
TonyE