It’s always interesting to look at the propaganda that military organizations put out regarding their opponents – it can often reveal what was particularly worrisome to men in the field at the time. A good example is the WWII US training film grasping at straws to convince GIs that the MG42 had major flaws. “It’s bark is worse than its bite!” Well, not really…
Anyway, here’s another interesting example, brought to our attention by reader Fidel – a German postcard allegedly demonstrating how those nasty Brits designed the SMLE so that Tommies could snap the tips off their bullets before firing, to make dumdums. The three photos show someone using the thumb grip portion of an SMLE magazine cutoff to deform the tip of a cartridge.
Of course, this doesn’t actually work. You might be able to bend the tip enough to prevent it from feeding into the rifle, but that’s about all (I also don’t expect the relatively light sheet metal of the cutoff would last very long doing this). The grain of truth at the bottom of this is that the .303 projectiles did in fact have an aluminum or wood pulp core at the tip, used to move the center of gravity of the bullet back for more stable flight. This also contributed to the bullets tumbling when they hit, which may or may not have been intentional.
Anyone else know of some good examples of wacky weapons propaganda?
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