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February, 2008

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Every now and then I make an effort to take my original weapons out to re-familiarize myself with live fire operations. My friend Patrick and I took out both my .38 Enfield tanker model pistol as well as my .44 Webley. I attempted to use the one armed shooting position as referenced in my WWI and WWII military manuals. This is completely different than what I was taught in the Navy. When I went through boot camp and subsequent pistol qualifications we always used two hands and faced the target with our full bodies. This extended arm position as ref'd in the photo was very difficult to deal with. The only advantage I can see in real life combat would be that you are only exposing a narrow profile to your adversary rather than a frontal shot as I was taught. I was shocked at how poor my hits were when using the period stance. I would dare say I had little or no "grouping" when firing in this manner. Just like the veterans had told me, I couldn't hit anything with any accuracy using the .38 Enfield. For those of you familiar with the tanker model, you'll remember that there is no hammer to get caught on the internal wiring and protrusions of an armoured vehicle. The problem here however is that a single pull of the trigger must both advance the cylinder and actuate the firing pin. Notice I say "pull" not squeeze as in conventional thought. An enormous amount of trigger pull is required to get this weapon to fire. When my arm was extended and firing with one hand my sights were all over the target while firing. Another problem was the light weight of the Enfield caused a massive recoil when fired. The handgun swung up and slightly to the right when fired. My tests confirmed all the bad things I had heard from the vets about this gun. I was able to hit the target at 25 yards but not with any real accuracy until I started using the two handed method I was originally taught. My overall rating is two thumbs down for this piece. It would be better to throw it at the enemy than anything else. The Webley fared a little better in my tests. My weapon was bored out to .45 at some point in its lifetime. I used standard .45 ACP rounds and loaded them with a half moon clip to keep them in the chamber. This gun fires double action as the Enfield however it will let you also use your thumb to cock the hammer for a more steady aim. Again I used the single handed, profile firing method as outlined in the period manuals. Again my "groupings" were nothing to write home about but were much better than with the .38. The extremely heavy weight of the handgun absorbed much of the recoil so I was able to keep my iron sights on the target in between shots much better than the Enfield. I think this would be a much preferable weapon to have in the field if, God forbid, you ever really had to fire a shot in anger. I'm going to give it a thumbs up. All that being said, I'd still much rather have my trusty Colt 1911 that the Navy issued me many years ago. Next time out I will most likely bring my Thompson and perhaps a SMLE Mk I or Mk IV to test out

April 2008

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Marietta House Museum Marching Through Time Event WWII Polish LHG members Chris Moore and Nick Serikstad dug a fighting position for their Bren gun. Rich and Hillori Holliday were also present to represent the Polish 2nd Corps forces fighting in Italy 1944-45



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Inside the MG pit Nick dug.

April 2008

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Here WWII Polish LHG member Rich Holliday participates at an educational display. The Brunswick Middle School in Brunswick, MD invited historians from various allied units to talk with the kids about the allied contributions to winning WWII. Rich was able to speak with over 200 students from 5th through 8th grade ages 9-14.

April '08 Buffalo, NY

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Back in late April I traveled to Buffalo to meet some of the WWII Polish veterans in that area. Brian Neri, pictured on far right of the shot was nice enough to let me stay with his family during my visit. Here Brian stands beside some of the great people we got to interview. Some of their stories will be featured under the "Veteran Advisors" section of our web page in the following few weeks.



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Here I stand with Janusz Nieduzak, commander of the SPK post in Buffalo.He was a member of a heavy AA battery with the Polish 2nd Corps in Italy. His SPK post mustered the funds to erect this tribute to all those Poles who served. My interview with Mr. Neiduzak is featured in our "Veteran Advisors" section.

Oct 6, Deerfield MA Eastern Eurpean Heritage Festival

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A view of our 1939 and AK soldiers at Deerfield, MA.



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Geriek wearing a PAF sergeant's uniform

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