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A quasi-whatziss...

 Below is a pic of infantrymen from an anti-tank company who have un-assed their truck because some inconsiderate German machinegunners shot it up while they were swanning about enjoying the sights of wartime Holland in 1944. They are trying to find said Germans so as to properly express their annoyance at how the german army was treating Allied tourists then swarming over Holland at the very first instance of the "Nijmegen Marches."

I just find the pic fascinating, and the careful eye will see why.  The pic should embiggen upon being caressed by your mouse cursor and a concomitant push on the appropriate button.

US troops from an airborne anti-tank company in Holland, 1944 scanning the terrain searching for a German machinegun whose crew inconsiderately shot up the American's ride...


Well the second guy on the right seems to be holding a Kar98 to my untrained eye.  Whereas his buddies have M-1s and M-1 Carbines.
Once again proving I need remedial training on my directions... I meant to say the second guy on the LEFT.
there are at least 2 K98k rifles carried by the "GI's" ?? 
 Or could it be the what looks like sugar-beets that they are using for cover?

  Yeaj, I was gonna say because they are on a huge pile of sugar beets?  Or would those be turnips? Both would look similar in a B&W image.......
Could it be the single stalks of grass in their helmets?  Or the UFO at the top?
Oh the irony. Just imagine Massa John being protected by the very same tuber he so much hates.
One or two of the men's profiles look familiar, as if I'd seen them somewhere before, perhaps on film, but then, I'm fasting, so it might be a hallucination.
For two of them to express their annoyance with Fritz would be the height of ingratitude since they borrowed a couple of his rifles. Wonder what they did with their Garands.
I'd go with the German rifles.
Both the guys with the K98k Mausers are wearing pistol belts with .45 autos, so it is likely that the TOE did not provide for longer range weaponry, hence the field expedient use of whatever was available.

Possibly some sort of support unit, even medics, or cooks, clerks, staff weenies or the like who suddenly realized the wisdom ot the Marines' "Every man a rifleman" philosophy.

The photo does look staged, not under actual fire, so this could have been one taken after they had been out souvenir hunting.
They're all packin' pistols........which they're going to need since it doesn't look like any of 'em brought bullets for the long guns.
Ditto on the Kraut rifles. But I think it's very much a staged picture- witness the lack of gear on those grunts.
Also- that's a mighty dangerous way to look for a machine gun...
I'd have to go for the mausers, myself. Also, they look as if they're leaning against a pile of bones, until you embiggenate the picture. And the carbine9Which I'm guessing would be an M2, at that point) doesn't have a bayonet lug, but that's legitimate for the period as well, right?

Unless you are talking about the fact that they're wearing one another's underwear. In which case, how would anyone know?
Uniforms are clean and untorn.  Boots barely skuffed.  All of them have their heads up, most at about the same attitude, and looking the same direction.  As pointed out, the few sprigs of grass in the (untorn) netting on the helmet - "Hey, guys! Put some stuff in your helmets to make it look like you are in the field!" said the photographer.

Oh, and the Mausers.

It would be sugar beats, rather than turnips, based on presumed time of year (late summer vs fall) and location (sugar beats are a popular form of silage for dairy farmers in Europe).
They're ALL carrying Mausers except for the carbine, look carefully at stock shape and sight placement.

one might  almost wonder if this isn't a still from a Reifenstahl movie made for Axis markets during the war.

Hmmm... M-1 Carbine, 1903 Springfield, M-1 Garand, K-98 Mauser with (probably) 1911A in holster, and the last guy has what looks like a P-38 holster.  They pretty much have the bases covered.


It's a US Army Signal Corps photo.  I believe the guy in the middle actually has a Garand, but it was the Mausers that caught my eye.  When I first glanced at it, I thought the less obvious Mauser (the one on the right) might actually have been an 03A3, but it didn't look quite right, that's when I realized it was a Mauser, too. 

Just serves as an example of how our brains apply templates to initially make sense of things - US troops, so I expected to see US weapons.

Not seen in the picture (because the one I scanned from is too big for the scanner I have) is the truck and 57mm A/T gun.  I'll scan that and put it up for tomorrow.

And while I like the level of thought that went into the "UFO" comment - the pic is from a calendar, and that's the hanging hole, not a UFO.

This wasn't really intended to be a hard one.  I like how you guys made it that way.  Og wins with most creative.


The UFO is the CBS news logo - the picture was taken by (or staged) 'Uncle' Walter [whose career with CBS News was capped by anchoring the evening news for a few 'uneventful' years]

Yes, he did land in Holland via a glider during Operation Market Garden.
What's with the UFO in the sky at the top of the picture over the soldier on the 2nd from the left?  Why are all but one carrying Mauser K98s?  Their rest of their gear is probably full of holes in the back of the truck they bailed from that was lit up by the german MG42 or 34.  My son's ruck met a similar fate from some sort of Soviet built firearm while stored outside a Bradley on the March Up back in 2003. I know it wasn't unheard of for troops to unofficially trade in their carbines for the standard M1 Garand in WWII but.....
Ah, more comments came in while I was posting.  Nevermind..........
Oh, a few more comments came in while I was posting.  Nevermind.  Sorry about that.
Hey!  We all missed the Easter Island statue near the left edge in the background!
The whole photograph is on Wikipedia in the M1 carbine description.
Oh, and Wikipedia calls them an "Anti tank" crew. I expect the wall is just weedy stones pulled out of a farmers field, places in north america where farm fields were full of stones and ended up in walls, see frost's "Mending Wall"
Are you sure that one is a Mauser and not an '03?  That rear sight looks a little long for a K98...
The footwear.  Doesn't look to be very GI issue.
It looks like either a beer bottle or a German hand grenade lying on the berm about waist level to the soldier on the far right.  For  their sakes I hope it was a beer bottle...
Footwear looks like boondockers and leggings, hadn't yet given way to the M1943 combat boot.
Weapons could be 'anything'. Read 'Eisenhower's Lieutenants' by Russell Weigley. Lots of enemy weapons got picked up and used for one reason or another, especially by support troops. My dad got into Germany as a Combat MP replacement with only a week + left before the armistice; and was never issued ammunition. It just wasn't available. He found the tag end of a Browning belt in a ditch with eight rounds in it; kept five for his Springfield and gave the other three to his Sergeant.