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Cut Down Lee Enfield

Article about: I am still 100% certain that this was a RE modified weapon. The fact that the picture is taken in the Hill 60 museum where mining was at its peak would back this up. Sappers cut them down be

  1. #131

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    I am still 100% certain that this was a RE modified weapon. The fact that the picture is taken in the Hill 60 museum where mining was at its peak would back this up. Sappers cut them down because they were not issued with revolvers. Trying to swing a clumbersome rifle around and digging in such a tight space would be very difficult. Just getting one round off would be better than none and may just give you the upper hand when fighting in close quarters. Also you would not need to worry about aiming just point and shoot. In such closed spaces with little distance I would say you have more than a good chance of hitting something.


  2. #132
    ?

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    An interesting point that i have just seen in a TV programme , dealing specifically with the digging of tunnels and laying mines, it was stated that the whole emphasis in digging was secrecy and in order to do this absolute silence was observed so the enemy could not hear you, as you drew nearer to the point of detonation the sappers would be working with bayonets against the chalk surfaces , removing small pieces at a time, should they hear the enemy digging close the tunnel would be sealed with sand bags and a small charge would be placed in order to collapse the enemy tunnel, sealing them in, because of the nature and depth these unfortunate men would not be recovered, i was watching with interest that the sappers were not armed at all apart from their tools for digging and their bayonets, however i didnt see any officers with pistols either, i can imagine, from what was being said was that the last thing you wanted was a gun battle underground, mainly because of the noise and the poisonous gases that would result, also these sappers would be working with just a couple of candles, in fact many of them had to be taken out because of a "chalk blindness", akin to snow blindness, again i cannot imagine any type of running battle with very little or no light at all

  3. #133

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Quote by davejb View Post
    An interesting point that i have just seen in a TV programme , dealing specifically with the digging of tunnels and laying mines, it was stated that the whole emphasis in digging was secrecy and in order to do this absolute silence was observed so the enemy could not hear you, as you drew nearer to the point of detonation the sappers would be working with bayonets against the chalk surfaces , removing small pieces at a time, should they hear the enemy digging close the tunnel would be sealed with sand bags and a small charge would be placed in order to collapse the enemy tunnel, sealing them in, because of the nature and depth these unfortunate men would not be recovered, i was watching with interest that the sappers were not armed at all apart from their tools for digging and their bayonets, however i didnt see any officers with pistols either, i can imagine, from what was being said was that the last thing you wanted was a gun battle underground, mainly because of the noise and the poisonous gases that would result, also these sappers would be working with just a couple of candles, in fact many of them had to be taken out because of a "chalk blindness", akin to snow blindness, again i cannot imagine any type of running battle with very little or no light at all
    I think I’ve seen the same documentary, was it about the French guy in his airship??

  4. #134
    ?

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Yes thats it, very interesting, in fact ive been to a few of the craters left by the mines

  5. #135

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Good points. It never ocurred to me when watching 'Beneath Hill 60' that in a situation where the enemy were listening with stethoscopes, its surprising that anyone be allowed to bring any sort of gun at all!

  6. #136

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Quote by davejb View Post
    Yes thats it, very interesting, in fact ive been to a few of the craters left by the mines
    Cool, it’s a very interesting documentary, I’ve seen it a couple of times, some very good footage, there is a great shot when he travels over Ypres, I was in Ypres last year to visit my great uncles grave just outside Ypres, I could see quite clearly the very same road I had walked along and stood outside Saint Martin's Cathedral, very poignant. To visit the sites of the mine must be a very sobering experience.

    As regards the LE, it could have quite easily been used by one of the sappers irrespective of the recoil issues, as I stated in another post, as a last resort weapon, why not??


    - - Updated - -

    Quote by Guinness12 View Post
    Good points. It never ocurred to me when watching 'Beneath Hill 60' that in a situation where the enemy were listening with stethoscopes, its surprising that anyone be allowed to bring any sort of gun at all!
    I am sure I have read or seen on another documentary that it was possible that our sappers would sometimes come across the enemy doing the same thing and would sometimes break through into opposing tunnels, this weapon would be ideal in those situations in hand to hand combat when all you have is a spade or pick to hand no???

  7. #137

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    I suppose so - when your covers compromised anyway, and there's three German tunnelers in a row (in tunnels, its hard not to be) a 303 fired in their general direction may mean the difference between life and death!

  8. #138

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Quote by Guinness12 View Post
    Wow - who rattled your cage?

    If you're going to get all shirty because someone has spoken about something without giving full factual supporting evidence, then there's a few statements you made that you should show evidence for.

    -"Revolvers were actually a lot cheaper than Lee-Enfield rifles. In 1915, the cost of an SMLE Mk III to the British Army was £5 10s, whereas a Webley Mk VI was £3 4s 6d". (Upon what evidence is this statement made?)
    I was quoting the prices from my original copy of the Priced Vocabulary of Stores 1915. This is the document that lists all equipment and stores in use in the British Army, and is used by army units to settle accounts for such equipment. My copy actually predates the introduction of the Webley VI Revolver, but the price has been written in by the officer in charge of the book during the periodic amendments that were circulated. In this case, the amendment was W.O. 57. VOCAB. 7681 M.G.O.F. 5.6.15. The price I quoted for the SMLE was also updated at some point.

    Quote by Guinness12 View Post
    -"There is no way on Earth that the guy in the video is firing a full charge round, as would be used in a 7.62mm or .303" military rifle." (Upon what evidence is this statement made? You quote someone else's post on this thread as "proof" but that's not enough)
    This is a matter of personal experience and the experience of those around me. In questions relating to firearms, I usually ask the opinion of my wife, whose earlier experience in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets and later as a commissioned officer in the Canadian Army, led her to use many weapons including .303-in Enfield, FNs, M16s, and various other semi-autos, autos and handguns. She was also a competitive shooter. Also bear in mind, the video is a Youtube special, most of which are not trustworthy, and certainly do not constitute 'proof' of anything. The "someone else" in question is a respected member of the forum, who has made valuable contributions to discussions, unlike some.

    Quote by Guinness12 View Post
    -"All the decent references I have seen for the 'obrez' sawn-offs suggest they were used with reduced charge ammo." (Upon what references?)
    The same evidence you have used for all your contributions... the internet. I looked it up, found what references there were, and, as a result, also found all the videos and comments you found trolling the internet. The best reference I found was from a higher end arms dealer, but the information on these things is so scarce I couldn't even be sure they really existed.

    Quote by Guinness12 View Post
    -"Damaging valuable ammunition like that would see you on a charge in 1914-18." (What Law are you quoting here?)
    The ‘law’ in question is Section 24 of the Army Act 1913, which is reprinted in full in my original copy of the Manual of Military Law 1914 (my edition being the 1916 reprint). This was the primary document used by the British Army for all legal and disciplinary matters. I read this through years ago, which gives me an idea of the background under which men operated in the Great War, whereas you make statements such as “defacing or modification of army equipment was a shooting offence” which is patently untrue, and then infer I don't know my subject matter. In brief (para 4 being the relevant part), Section 24 states:

    24. Every soldier who commits any of the following offences; that is to say,
    (1.) Makes away with, or is concerned in making away with (whether by pawning, selling, destruction or otherwise howsoever) his arms, ammunition, equipments, instruments, clothing, regimental necessaries, or any horse of which he has charge; or
    (2.) Loses by neglect anything before in this section mentioned; or
    (3.) Makes away with (whether by pawning, selling, destruction or otherwise howsoever) any military decoration granted to him; or
    (4.) Wilfully injures anything before in this section mentioned or any property belonging to a comrade, or to an officer, or to any regimental mess or band, or to any regimental institution, or any public property; or
    (5.) Ill-treats any horse used in the public service,
    Shall on conviction by court-martial be liable to suffer imprisonment, or such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned. For the purposes of this section, the expression “equipments” includes any article issued to a soldier for his use, or entrusted to his care for military purposes.


    This section also answers your question about laws relating to weapons found on the battlefield. Such weapons, damaged or not, were regimental/public property, and ‘wilfully injuring’ them was an offence under the Army Act.

    Quote by Guinness12 View Post
    and theres plenty of other posts around the forum where you've stated things without backing them up with proof. Does this mean we should ignore everything youve posted without proof?
    I have, I hope, built some sort of positive reputation and credibility on this forum over the course of the 1000+ posts I have made. You are a newcomer to this place and, of course, are not familiar with what has been, but perhaps you should try to build your credibility a little before you start on me? I don’t consider myself an expert, but I have spent the last 30 years researching this material, which, I hope, gives me some basic understanding. I hope my attempts to educate myself have shown through.

    Quote by Guinness12 View Post
    I don't know why you are on your high horse over this. It was established very early on that there wasn't a lot of information on these things, and the conversation descended into speculation and theory. People generally seem to be having fun discussing the possibility of this weapon being used and for some reason this annoys you and you seem hell bent on proving us wrong?
    I am on my high horse after reading your ridiculous posts describing British Army soldiers of the Great War as renegades that ignore orders, make their own weapons to ’survive’, and routinely murder any commander that gets in their way ‘upholding rules and regulations’. I also take offence at your use of the term ’idiot officers’ in regard to the young men that suffered hardship and death leading men into battle and took some of the highest casualty rates on the Western Front. I was enjoying it until you descended into this kind of filth.

    Rob

  9. #139

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    "It was most interesting to see these miners digging away, and strutting up with planks of wood as they went along. Where width permitted trolleys were used to wheel soil away. Another strange thing was that these tunnels were lit by electric light, worked from a dynamo". Frank Dunham 25/London.

    Hand operated pumps sent fresh air down and canaries were used. Breathing apparatus was used by rescue squads to make their way to men overwhelmed by gas.

    Following taken from 'Tommy' written by Richard Holmes:

    British miners unable to obtain a revolver would occasionally cut most of the butt and barrel of a rifle, leaving them with a stubby weapon whose bullet could penetrate more earth than a pistol-bullet.

    During my service in the RE the most common saying was:

    Improvise, adapt and over come.

  10. #140

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Quote by davesap250 View Post
    Following taken from 'Tommy' written by Richard Holmes:

    British miners unable to obtain a revolver would occasionally cut most of the butt and barrel of a rifle, leaving them with a stubby weapon whose bullet could penetrate more earth than a pistol-bullet.
    Wow, very interesting. What does the account say the purpose of this item was, a weapon or a tool? I say this due to the 'earth penetration' comment.

    Rob

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