Vintage Saturday: Send a Gun to Defend a British Home!

British women sort through donated American guns for the Home Guard.
British women sort through donated American guns for the Home Guard.

“When the ships from America approached our shores with their priceless arms special trains were waiting in all the ports to receive their cargoes,” Churchill recalled. “The Home Guard in every county, in every town, in every village, sat up all through the night to receive them…. By the end of July we were an armed nation…. a lot of our men and some women had weapons in their hands.”


      • Fools!! Did they ever think that someone would like his gun back? And dumping the guns benefits only corporate fat cats!

        • “And dumping the guns benefits only corporate fat cats!”

          During the US occupation of Iraq, the US military went to great lengths –and considerable expense– to find and destroy all police and military weapons in the country. Then the occupation authority started placing factory orders to buy the exact same weapons (such as AK rifles) that they had just destroyed.

          This is one more reason for-profit corporations should never be allowed to get involved in a war.

          • There are practical reasons to do this, there is no paper trail in relation to the captured guns. You have no idea if they have had 1 round through them or 10,000. You also have to support them, none of those captured guns have any kind of warranty or support contract. Sorting out the good ones and the bad ones batching them together and then reissuing is costly and time consuming.

            It is far easier logistically and financially not to say safer as well for the troops who have to use the guns to draw a line under them, cut them up and buy new guns even if they are of the same type.

          • Very true. The catch though is that without them there would be no wars; at least not as frequent, intense and prolonged.

          • One reason I am saying this is what I learned, how Italian arms maker Ansaldo was making sure that their government will not accept any conditions leading to ceasefire during WWI and keep stiff fighting and wasting lives of soldiers on both sides.

      • I do believe that is a myth.

        Incidentally, my late grandmother served in the ATS in the southern
        UK doing just the same thankless logistics tasks as the ATS in the photo. Are we sure those are privately donated? Or are they .38/200 calbre “Victory” models shipped over under contract and/or Lend Lease? Things look a trifle organized for early Home Guard.

        • They all seem to be Smith & Wesson revolvers with lanyard rings, with what appear to be uniformly 5″ barrels and service-style stocks. Not sure if the latter are smooth or checkered, although in my browser they appear to be smooth.

          My bet is you’re correct: .38-200 Victory Models, which generally conformed to that description.

  1. The vast majority of the Home Guard’s weapons (other than those the army found useful) were collected and dumped in the North Sea. After all you can’t have the king’s subject running around armed. Can you?

    • If you are referring to lend-lease arms, then they were not “given” to the UK. They remained the property of the US and they were only on loan to the UK for the duration of the war. At the end of the war the UK was given the option to either buy whatever they were interested in keeping, or to destroy what they didn’t want to purchase. That destruction, under US direction, was often carried out by dumping them into the sea. The US didn’t want the used weapons back, but they also didn’t want to give them away to anyone for free either. The same deal for surplus arms was offered to other countries as well.

      In return for the loan of the arms to the UK, the US got free leases on bases around the world. That’s the “lease” side of the “lend-lease” deal.

      Canada operated a somewhat similar scheme, called “Mutual Aid”, although I believe there were fewer (if any) strings attached, and they were more in the nature of outright gifts and interest free loans of money.

      The pistols in the above picture were apparently arms that the UK bought on commercial terms using their money, and so would not have had anything to do with lend-lease. The UK still had S&W revolvers in their armouries decades after the war was over.

      So when you start fulminating about the UK “dumping firearms into the sea”, just keep in mind that the *US* was the one insisting that it be done.

      • I have in my records a receipt from HM Government for the LOAN of one Springfield Model of 1903 serial number ——. This weapon was carried by my grandfather through out camp at Paris Island and Europe in WW1. It was purchased by my grandfather upon leaving The Marines. My grandfather thought that it was fabricated to fight Germans, so a loan to Brtiain during WW2 seemed reasonable to him. It was never returned. Correspondence with HM government stated that the weapon was “probably” destroyed. The receipt was for a LOAN, and not a permanent gift. During the WW2 my family hired Italian and German prisoners of war for work in the sugar cane fields. He spoke Sicilian and the Germans spoke English. The prisoners were good people, enjoyed the work, and enjoyed the extras that the pay purchased. After all of this my grandfather wished that the Germans would have sunk the British Isles. Perfidious Albion! Etiquette requires that I not use the language that he used for the British after all of that.

    • Considering turbulent political developments after the war in Britain (such as left leaning tendencies) it was apparently done in sound foresight.

  2. Came across a chap on the Internet who absolutely hated the British. Because his pappy had donated a gun and had a promissory note that it would be returned to him. Which of course it never was… As you’d expect.

    So he had a real sad on for us limeys as a result.

    Sad, really…

    • I think I remember reading that, it was either the M1917 Enfield or 03 Springfield he carried in WW1 and he sent it off to help the British and was given a note saying it would be returned.
      Like you said, it never happened and it was dumped into the sea with countless others because “too dangerous”.
      I’d be incredibly steamed about it too.

      • I think this sort of thing happened to a lot of people. I know my great-grandfather sent his P17 eddystone, and it never came back. from then on anything bad happened to british he was happy.

        if they had sent a letter stating it was “lost in combat” he would have been fine with it. sure, it would have been a lie, but just dumping it into the sea? what a shame.

    • The promissory note came from the “American Committee for Defense of British Homes” not the British government. In effect it was a worthless promise that the UK government did not have to honour. Those guns that came via Lend Lease on the other hand did have to be returned and were marked as such on the receiver or payed for if the UK government wanted to keep them.

      Curiously I think a proportion of the Lend Lease guns did not make their way back for example the No4 MK2. The UK made a large number of .22lr No8 rifles built off stored No4 receivers. Some of those have the slotted bolt rail common to the No4 Mk2 rather than the No4 Mk1 that had a bolt release button.

      • if the british government was unwilling to live up to the conditions under which the arms were shipped, then they shouldn’t have accepted them. “I didn’t sign that” is a poor excuse for not returning someone’s lent property.

        • Fuck me, we were fighting the fucking Nazis. Where were all you armchair warriors when my granddad was lying on the beach at Dunkirk? Who gives a shit about what happened to your grandpappy’s bloody gun? Awfully sorry that we didn’t remember to bloody post the damn things back to you! Should we have just let Hitler do what he wanted? Sounds like that’s what many of your grandfathers would have preferred. We’ve had 70 years of this kind of tiresome shit from so many Yanks, and we could endure it when it was coming from people who actually served and fought with us (better late than never), but you would have thought you’d be done with expecting everybody to get down and kiss your asses for what the Greatest Generation – not you – did. Get over it.

    • Yes, sad that Roosevelt dragged the US into the war to establish Communist domination in Europe (as it was sad that Churchill dragged the UK into the same war, and destroyed the Empire in the process).

      • The war to make the world safe for Josef Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ceacescu…

        The British tax payers only finished paying off the financial debts incurred in WWii last year.

      • Good testimony to what word “victory” means. It is loose-loose proposition any way you look at it.

      • Read about Roosevelt impounding Finnish gold that would have been used to buy Brewster Buffalo fighters to shoot down Russian invaders. Roosevelt that that the Russians would be too necessary an partner later on. Little wonder that Finland accepted German aid. It was not to help Germany. It was to free Finnish land and people from communist tyranny!

    • Could have sunk in a u-boat attack and never got to England in the first place. Ships were sunk at an alarming rate at that time.

      • Yes, that is quite true. However even a letter of thanks at the end of hostilities could have mended many fences. But, that would have admitted that privately owned weapons were and are needed when the enemy is at the doors.

  3. the British have disarmed themselves all over again, we have additional proof that people learn nothing from history.

  4. It’s rather ironic that the UK passed a series of ever-restrictive gun-control laws shortly before WWII broke out, in order to ‘discourage’ civilian ownership of guns — including the very kind of guns that appear in that photo — and then the country suddenly found itself cut short.

    Meanwhile, across the ocean in the USA, the 1934 National Firearms Act had originally intended to eradicate handgun ownership by putting pistols and revolvers in the same restrictive class as machine guns — and the only thing that stopped that proposed handgun ‘ban’ from being pushed through was the annoying fact that so many Americans already owned them.

    I wonder if the “send a gun to a Brit” program was really a kind of ‘stealth’ way to reduce the number of guns in circulation, in much the same way that so many US cities these days operate gun “buyback” drives?

    • No, it really was a selfless effort by U.S. civilians who genuinely believed that fascism might triumph over all Europe unless firearms in sufficient quantity could be contributed to a UK reeling after the losses of Norway, the Fall of France, Dunkirk, and facing threat of invasion. Transferred to U.S. Steel, and then nominally signed over to the UK at dockside…

      If you want cynicism, look at the chicanery the U.S. FDR administration went to around the Neutrality laws to arm and equip the desperate Brits, and the sheer amount of money and basing rights and so on the USA obtained as a result. “We had ’em over a barrel” as the saying goes… Lend Lease was tantamount to an admission that the UK was broke, and the U.S.A. would need to get the stuff back.

  5. OK I feel some input needs for come from a Brit on this conversation, I am a UK collector and Service rifle shooter.

    The “Send a gun to a Brit” program whilst well meaning was not actually needed and was just one unfortunate result of the post Dunkirk “Invasion scare” and silly ideas from Winston Churchill. Winston had a habit of coming up with ideas that were more a hindrance and drain on resources that actual benefit.

    After the Dunkirk evacuation a panic developed in Britain about the threat of a German invasion by sea and from the air. A myth also developed and propagated to this day that with all the equipment left in France that the UK did have not the means to defend itself and lacked small arms in particular. To that end desperate attempts were made to gather together any guns that could be found to help rearm the British Army. There was only one catch with this, there was no shortage of rifles to equip the troops. Britain had millions of No1 MKIII in storage globally and rifles like the P14 which was also is storage wasn’t even needed to equip front-line troops instead directed to training units and eventually the Homeguard. The UK dusted off its WW1 strategic production plans and increased output. There was a shortage of Machine-Guns due to those left at Dunkirk but that was quickly remedied through increased production.

    Now that isn’t to say that the later US lend lease program was not vital and certain small arms like Sub-Machine guns were desperately needed so much so that the UK spent pretty much all its Gold reserves in the US to buy them among other key equipment and fuel prior to lend lease.

    Now to go back to this particular issue Winston Churchill came up with this rather silly idea that each household should be equipped with a gun to help fend off any invasion. Of course said plan would of taken resources away from equipping the Army but Winston rarely thought that far ahead. In the US hearing this call from Churchill the “American Committee for Defense of British Homes. was set up and started gathering donations to be sent to the UK.

    This was all very well but the last thing the UK wanted was an assorted range of guns all in different calibres and of varying quality from Junk all the way through to valuable museum piece. Just the logistics of sorting them all out, finding suitable ammunition and distributing them robbed away vital resources better spent elsewhere. Put simply it would of been a logistic nightmare! So after some appropriate PR to send back to US to show how grateful we were these guns were quietly shelved and eventually disposed of.

    The promissory note from the “American Committee for Defense of British Homes” was frankly a cruel joke on those Americans who donated guns. Remember it wasn’t the British government that asked for these guns so why would they spend money and resources getting them back to their former owners.

    By the time these guns arrived in the UK the invasion scare was over and there was more than enough guns available to equip British forces. Accepting a wide range of assorted guns in a multiplicity of calibres made no sense. Some pistols in useful calibres apparently found their way to Special Forces but aside from that these gifts were disposed of.

    It was a silly idea born of Winston Churchills silly ideas and dear I say an overly romantic view by the Americans donating the guns that this was going to help save Britain.

    • The Home Guard was large moral booster. It kept people busy during their off work hour doing something. Also it gave a direction to the thinking of the ‘what if this happens’ from being negative thinking to positive.

      When people are worried about such things, they ‘militia up’ anyway. Better that they are in a government militia instead of totally independent ones.

  6. I was told that my paternal grandfather had a .22 Winchester rifle that had been donated from that source.

    Later on, many of the British Home Guard units were armed with P17 Enfield Rifles, Lewis Guns, some Thompsons and eventually Sten guns too.

    I think the Home Guard were expected to hand in all their small arms at the end of the war. Even returning regulars were not supposed to keep their small arms.

  7. Those are not donated weapons but rather Smith M and P revolvers that were sold to the Brits in part to make up for the deposit they placed on the failed 9mm SMG Smith was developing for them which proved such a failure.

    • TJ Mulliin, the S&W Light Rifle was a 9mm semi-auto carbine, not a SMG. It was poorly designed and executed and since the Brits paid up front Smith might possibly have gone bankrupt if the Brits hadn’t accepted the revolvers instead as the money had been spent.

    • Yes, odd that all those ‘personal donated’ revolvers were in their original S&W boxes and anti-rust wrapping.

      • I would assume that this was probably a staged propaganda picture, rather than an impromptu snapshot of an actual production line in motion.

        On the surface, it seems a bit strange that American civilians were being asked to essentially clean out their attics and send away whatever old and unneeded guns they had.

        If so, would this not have created a logistical nightmare for Britain’s Home Guard to be swamped with a hodgepodge of foreign-made firearms, of numerous different calibers, and then trying to maintain supplies of ammunition (and ideally spare parts) for each and every one, not to mention instruction and training? I would guess that the rarer and older guns, and those requiring non-UK manufactured ammo were never issued to anyone, and ended up spending years in some backlot storage shed before finally being dumped at sea.

        In my opinion, the real purpose of that “donate your personal guns for the poor defenseless English” drive, was more likely a psychological power play, designed to get US citizens to make a small personal sacrifice (along with increasingly larger ones to follow) in order to get them mentally conditioned for a war that their president was itching to enter (but still needing more justification before doing so). Scientifically developed psychological manipulation techniques have been deployed in the US in every war since (and including) WWI to get the population to support a war they would otherwise have opposed, and in many cases, the decision to go to war was already made months or years before any “triggering event” ever took place.

        As I tend to believe that anything involving corporations or governments rarely happens by coincidence or accident, it’s also my opinion that despite government assurances, there were never any plans to ever return those donated guns.

  8. Actually, those revolvers were brand new S&W Military & Police 4th Change guns in .38 S&W (.38-200). They were not donated guns or direct purchase but rather were Lend Lease guns. The keys are the brown kraft cardboard shipping boxes used by S&W for military shipments from about 1941 through 1945, the 5 inch barrels and the smooth walnut stocks. As Lend Lease guns they technically remained the property of the US Government, and the left top strap markings would so state.

  9. The Brits algo get nearly all the commands made by the French Republic before the armistice of late june 1940 and not yet delivered, IRRC that was one of the first things that De Galle did after the creation of the ”Free French” and Churchill’s endorsement of it.
    Again, IRRC, nearly all the commands were already paid by the french considering the ”cash and carry” policy of FDR administration of the time.

  10. Brit military had to drill with broomsticks until they could be rearmed. Right now, Brit civilians may have to use cricket bats to defend themselves against the Mussulman hordes…and be jailed for it.

    • You ought to read The Flying Inn by G.K. Chesterton, an amusing story of such a problem and it was humorous where the Brits found the arms they needed.

  11. At the end of WWII – all surplus firearms were buried in landfill. A few years back, workers extending Archerfield Airport landing strip unearthed rusted Thompson submachine guns at what was at that time, the end of the landing strip.

  12. I also had a friend with a similar story about the rifle his father had sent over with an attached request that it be returned. Needless to say, it didn’t come back. Lesson learned. The next time (when, not if)someplace that’s disarmed it’s citizens like England or Australia (or California or Illinois for that matter)desperately need arms, bummer for them.

    I know why governments dislike armed citizens but I fail to grasp why citizens (or subjects)swallow the disarmament baloney. It’s not like we don’t have about 6000 years of bloody violent recorded history with NO guns to show that weapons are not the problem. Indeed, the advent of the individually held firearm parallels the decline of wanton tyranny and violence …where they are present.

  13. Looking at the sad use of the guns donated by Americans wishing to support Their British cousins and the subsequent shifting to the far left that occurred following our win in WWII; perhaps we should not have helped them quite so heartily.
    While the Nazis were a terrible plague upon man kind, the Soviet Union and Leftist Socialism was and is no better.
    Perhaps if England had only managed to survive by the skin of their teeth by actually having to have used the HOME GUARD; we would not be seeing the idiocy in Europe that we see today. Things like Islamic Terrorists running rampant murdering and raping across the continent while the Left says it is OUR Fault. Would Bloomberg truly be behind gun control in the United States if ALL the Jewish Citizens of Europe had died in the ovens, I seriously doubt that and more to the point, he would not be an ally of George Soros, who sold Jews to the Nazis to create his initial Fortune.
    Would I ever wish that Things had went that way, not in the Slightest, but then again, I would not have wished that half of the World had been sold to the Communists at Yalta either. The false Left/Right Dichotomy is an illusion, both are methods of creating Totalitarian Dictatorships where the ALL POWERFUL STATE has the authority and the PEOPLE have NONE.
    We fought the War all wrong, and left Communism on the table as a viable entity. Along with our weapons and guns, we should have exported our Republican model where ALL AUTHORITY arises from the Citizens to be ruled, not from some collection of elites either in the Government Religious Centers or Banking institutions
    General Smedly Butler was correct “War is a Racket” and it is controlled by the Billionaire Banksters to the detriment of all mankind

  14. Donating guns to the Brits was morale building. Like turning in old pots and pans it let people think they were contributing to the war effort. It’s much like today’s “recycling” which lets people think they are helping fight “climate change” but is really- with the exception of a few materials- more expensive in resources than manufacturing new.

    • Most metals, glass, paper and cardboard can be recycled so that less resources are consumed than manufacturing new materials. Recycling plastic reduces dependence on imported oil-based products in countries which are net oil importers. It also keeps ugly and non-biodegradable plastic off the environment. So, while recycling has a psychological effect as well, it does actually work for a large degree.

      • A major purpose of consumer-level recycling is to reduce the amont of landfill waste — particularly in countries with abundant (and cheap) natural resources as well as high labor costs.

        The word “recycle” is largely a misnomer, since many materials cannot (economically) be returned back into their original products, so inventors had to create things to make out of the huge amount of recycled material that gets turned into low-grade bulk. Like pressing shredded car tires into huge outdoor “carpets” or melting down plastic bottles and using the low-grade, plastic to make so-called “lumber” — perhaps not unlike the way steel mill furnace waste was mixed into concrete building blocks.

        Despite having many salvageable components , old CRT televisions and computer monitors tend to get “recycled” into shooting targets, littering public lands and giving gun owners a bad reputation, even if it’s only a small percentage that are “recycling” TVs in this way.

        Also it seems that the US military increasingly prefers to “recycle” its small-arms ammunition, rather than just sell it off (that is, without requiring wholesale merchants to sign an agreement promising not to re-sell it whole).

  15. As others have pointed out, these appear to be straight from the S&W factory, not American civilian provided arms.

    Regarding arms that were sent by civilians, has it occurred to anyone that it may have been a deception exercise against Germany? The idea that tens of thousands of guns were going to the home guard. If the Germans had invaded there would already have a well-armed partisan movement in place armed with rifles (sniping), pistols (hit and run), shotguns (ambush) and so on? If that gave the Germans the least bit pause in planning an invasion, or if it meant that they needed to wait until they could pull some troops from the Eastern front first, it succeeded.

    • Good point. But if I were providing “outdated but still lethal” weapons to a civilian population against invading armies, which would be the best? I’ve got some choices listed below:

      1. Krag-Jorgensen Springfield 1898
      2. Double-barrel shotguns of any kind, preferably 12 gauge
      3. Crates of long-barreled Mauser C96 carbines or Luger carbines
      4. Hotchkiss m1897 with belt-feed
      5. Camel Gatling
      6. Donate or buy something else!

      Well, if you don’t want to respond to this post, feel free to leave it alone.

          • Difficult choice to choose between mid-range power and close range semi-automatic firepower…

            I would be tempted by semi-auto option for clandestine fast actions (but guys on the field would have to always keep guerrilla tactics, controlling distance and keeping low profile as much as possible)

      • Since the German Army was one of the most professional in the world, most of the successful resistance fighting would be in the cities like it was in Warsaw; therefore my choice would be the C-96 Mausers, as they would give the Home Guard nearly equal footing with the MP40

  16. I know of a Winchester 1886 that apparently was one the rifles donated by the US in 1940. It was handed over to the Home Guard where because of ammunition scarcity (45-90) it was thought less than useful. However, someone took a fancy to it and it resurfaced many years later proofed and refinished.
    The Enfield Pattern Room, I was told, had a number of items acquired by similar means. Things that are now very desirable had little monetary value at that time, even excepting wartime priorities.

  17. I agree with those who say this was largely a well meaning propaganda exercise. What really armed the Home Guard was the huge number of M1917 rifles sent over, together with ample stocks of .30-06 ammunition.

    This is not to belittle the generous Americans who sent guns over to help Britain in its hour of need, nor does it absolve the British government of its guilt in pursuing policies which disarmed the British people, policies which they continue to enforce to this day, with increasing rigour.

  18. Lots to explore with the LDV/homeguard weaponry – the EY rifle projector, Northover projector, Spigot Mortar. Smith Gun, Harvey Flame Thrower, Hedgehopper, Fougasse and their sticky bombs.

  19. So what did we learn? Never send guns of any type to a nation that would disarm its own people. They had a shortage of small arms due to their own politicians. Who they elected. Oh well…

    • To large numbers of isolationist Americans, many who had been in the Great War (WWI), it was far preferable to send arms, ammunition and other war supplies to Britain and other enemies of Nazi Germany and let them supply the blood than for Americans to die in what was to them one more European war.
      But when the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, followed by Adolf Hitler’s declaration of war against the United States, the mood changed. Now the Asian and European wars were coming this way. Now it was better to conduct war in Europe and the western Pacific than to have it come to the Americas.

  20. As I understand it. In 1934 Britain owed the USA 4.4 Billion USD (866 Million Pounds Sterling). As of 2006 it had not been repaid. In 1935 the Neutrality Act was passed barring loans and the sale of arms to any nation at war. In September 1939 Cash and Carry was approved by Congress, FDR ordered the US Navy to establish the Neutrality Patrol and at the request of the USA the Pan American Security Zone was established. After Dunkirk FDR SOLD 615,000 “obsolete” M1917 rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition to Britain. As a result US Army recruits were left to train with broomsticks. In 1940, using a questionable loophole, FDR was able to trade 50 “obsolete” destroyers for bases that did not exist and once built could be used by British Empire Forces. The RN and the US Navy were operating destroyers of the same age and older. The USS Reuben James, commissioned on 24 September 1920, was sunk by U boat on 31 October 1941 south of Iceland while defending a convoy to Britain. The USS Ward sank an IJN midget submarine on 7 December 1941. The ships were transferred fully armed and this was the de facto end of USA neutrality. Lend Lease Act approved March 1941. It is stated quite clearly that anything “consumed or destroyed” did not have to be paid for, so none of the food, fuel or arms that were lost to any cause did not have to be paid for. Much of the Mutual Aid Britain “gave” to the USSR was USA Lend Lease “transferred on Britain’s account”. The British Empire received 31 Billion USD and provided 10 Billion in Reverse Lend Lease including rent on bases other than those acquired in 1940. Britain was asked to pay 650 Million. The Anglo American Loan of 1946 was for 3.75 Billion USD and another loan of 586 Million for the purchase of USA surplus at 10 per cent of the cost to the USA. Canada loaned one Billion USD on the same terms. THESE LOANS WAS PAID OFF IN 2006 and had nothing to do with Lend Lease. Under the Marshall Plan of 1948 Britain received a GIFT of 3.3 Billion USD, two times as much as West Germany. From the BBC: What’s a little debt between friends?

    • Change “so none of the food, fuel or arms that were lost to any cause did not have to be paid for.” to: none of the food, fuel or arms lost to any cause had to be paid for.

  21. Anybody “lending” a personal firearm supposedly intended for a major belligerent power engaged in the Second World War, much less one currently facing an apparently imminent threat of overwhelming invasion, would be naïve to expect ever to see that firearm again. I put that about as politely as I can stand to do, lol.

    Whatever fairy tales anybody might’ve believed in 1940 aside, after 1945 no Briton or American in full possession of his faculties could possibly have believed their firearm could or would be returned. Some commenters on this board apparently have forgotten the brutal, all-encompassing reality of a war that caused an estimated 50 million deaths.

    Nor do I expect the British or US governments would, could, or should have worried about such concerns after 1945. Continued warfare, occupation arrangements, atomic bombs and Cold War, refugees, concentration and death camps, prisoner repatriation, war crimes trials, displaced persons, recovery, and a million other pressing concerns kept everybody quite sufficiently occupied with real priorities. Any American worried about the loss of his personal property should have looked in the mirror and reminded himself, “Don’t you know there’s a war on?”

    And yes, I’m an American. US Army Ordnance Corps, Ret. (1981-2005). Spent six of those years as an Asst. Prof. of History at a military academy you’ve heard of, and am a lifelong shooter, accumulator, and collector. If your grandpa was a poor man who felt the loss of his gun and its value, and it irritated him, I could see that to a small degree. Anybody still carrying that torch and saying some of the things posted on this board, however? Good Lord Almighty! I can only hope you were trying to pull somebody’s leg when you wrote some of this stuff.You could at least have let the world know you were joking!

    • Does the phrase “pied piper” mean anything to you? I wish we could hold the idiots in Congress to that.

      Does the debacle that is the M60 come to mind when someone asked for a universal machine gun appear? Because that’s what happens when blindly copying designs and failing to idiot-proof the final product happens! Please tell me that Ordnance hasn’t done the same mistake with the new M17 pistol!


      A random taxpayer angered over the Pentagon failures as of late, especially the $400000000 or so “gift” of forest green camouflage uniforms for the Afghan Army.

    • Here in the USA in many jurisdictions confiscated guns are crushed and scrapped. It’s a superstitious idea that guns themselves are evil, especially if tainted by being touched by a criminal or even someone disfavored by police. I’ve seen full page newspaper ads placed listing guns scheduled to be destroyed.
      What is bad about the donated guns is that once the war was over the Government collected the guns from the people and destroyed them.

  22. I cannot understand and do not excuse the efforts of successive British govts. to abolish the civilian ownership of firearms. Shameful. It is a primary reason why I would not live in Britain today. However, some points of information: Robin Prior, “When Britain Saved the West,” covers the awful year 1940, the year of Dunkirk. An interesting read. Hitler planned to invade Britain – Operation Sealion – and the British fully expected it and prepared for guerrilla war, recounted by David Lampe, “The Last Ditch.” This is probably where some of the donated American arms went. The American Committee for the Defense of British Homes, chaired by Suydam Cutting, collected the donations.

    Finally, there is the American Chapel in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, built to repair bomb damage, in memory of the 28,000 Americans embarked from Britain for the continent and did not return. The story goes that Eisenhower asked Churchill for a small piece of ground where he could have a memorial built to those who did not return. Churchill said no, the British would take care of it. Ike then offered to help with the cost; no said Churchill, the British people would do it, and they did, by private donations. The names of our dead are written in a 500 page leather-bound book. Each day a page is turned; it was on the Millers when I saw it last. Yes, there were catastrophic strategic errors made by political leaders of all stripes in every country, but perhaps we might remember those 28,000 and the unnumbered millions of others who died, and try not to repeat them.

  23. To large numbers of isolationist Americans, many who had been in the Great War (WWI), it was far preferable to send arms, ammunition and other war supplies to Britain and other enemies of Nazi Germany and let them supply the blood than for Americans to die in what was to them one more European war.
    But when the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, followed by Adolf Hitler’s declaration of war against the United States, the mood changed. Now the Asian and European wars were coming this way. Now it was better to conduct war in Europe and the western Pacific than to have it come to the Americas.

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