More than 30,000 Jews joined armed resistance movements throughout occupied Europe during World War II. Not only did they face death from the Germans and their European allies, they often endured dangerous anti-Semitism within their own partisan groups, fought with scant support from the Allies, and lived under the most atrocious conditions.
This is a story that contradicts an all-too-familiar (and extremely inaccurate) narrative that European Jews went to the death camps like lambs to the slaughter. My story at War Is Boring is an attempt to remind readers that many Jews were among the most effective and deadly resistance fighters of the war.
If this weapon was your sibling, it would be the rude, crude, and socially unacceptable little brother who helped you curb-stomp the neighborhood bullies.
That’s the way I like to describe the M-3 .45-caliber submachine gun, known more commonly as the Grease Gun by the soldiers who used it from World War II to Desert Storm. The M-3 is an ugly hunk of metal – words like “crafted” or “elegant” simply are not applied when discussing the looks or pedigree of the weapon. Made of stamped metal parts like a General Motors car (not surprising when you remember it was developed by GM in 1942 and produced by the same division that made metal automobile headlights) the M-3 is not a submachine gun noted for its fine tolerances and sleek design. Frankly, it looks like crap. But it is a compact, powerful gun that soldiers and Marines grew to appreciate, however grudgingly.
My article in War is Boring examines the development and use of the weapon — and it gave me an excellent excuse to provide the editor with a picture of Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen wielding an M-3 in one of the movie’s most famous scenes.
Donald Huard, the author’s father and a veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, examines an M-1 Carbine from his son’s collection. Photo: Paul Huard
Today in War Is Boring, my article examines the gun that nobody wanted to give up: The M-1 Carbine.
This wasn’t a hard story to report and write. The M-1 Carbine is one of my favorite weapons, iconic in its own way not only because of its use during World War II but also because of its service during the Korean War (correctly nicknamed “the forgotten war”) and Vietnam. One of my favorite uses of the carbine was in its M-2 variant, a select-fire weapon that pumped out 900 rounds a minute in full auto. In Korea, GIs and Marines carried the M-2 on night patrols, sometimes pairing it with the Sniperscope, the first night-vision optic ever put in the hands of American servicemen. To use the language of the age, there are a lot of dead commies because of that weapon system.
So, if you are interested in cool guns and military history I hope you give the article a read.