Home Forums WWII Rifle training?

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #137838
    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Does anyone have sources for this?

    I am looking for how much “rifle time” soldiers of various forces got as part of their initial training: Range time, Rounds fired in training etc.
    Obviously standards will vary depending on time of the war, specific units etc. I am just looKing for some starting points.

    Thanks in advance.

    Avatar photoGaz045

    4 of 7 weeks for the British Army Pirbright training centre…….



    US Army at Fort Benning…..




    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

    Avatar photodeephorse

    I think Ivan was asking about WWII.  Your links are for the present day.  As to what the answers are I have no idea I’m afraid.

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    Avatar photoGaz045

    The intention was to give an indication of the proportion of time currently spent on small arms training………you could then extrapolate a similar proportion for basic training and skill at arms historically………

    But ‘hey ho’…….

    Found a German reference to only 4 weeks from civvy street to frontline for the 1914 mobilisation too……I would have thought that WW2 would show some similarly short training periods too if any in certain circumstances……

    Basic training in the USMC during World War II

    Note that this refers to weapons training and presumably involves some cross training for the squad organic weapons………

    for the British Army……( From the ARRSE forum)

    Depended very much on when/ where you were:

    In general, post Dunkirk/ pre D-Day, most Infantry recruits received 6 wks “basic” plus another 6 of Infantry specific. General pattern would be basic at Regt Depot followed by some sort of regional Infantry training centre. Thereafter there’d be continual training at battalion, brigade & divisional levels – huge areas of the UK were taken over (civ pop usually evacuated) for this purpose. Severely bomb damaged areas of cities were often used for training in street fighting etc..

    Post D-Day many battle casualty replacements were lucky to get more than 6-8 wks total.

    General pattern was lots of drill, PT, weapon training, route marching etc for basic, plus basic platoon tactics. Infantry specific got more sophisticated as the war progressed, & by 1942/3 there was far more emphasis on battle drills, snap shooting, combined arms stuff etc.. By 1943 nearly all Infantry recruits went through some sort of “battle inoculation” course; Infantry Battle Schools tried to integrate “lessons learned” into the training, & there was a lot of live firing, simulated artillery fire etc, plus in some cases crawling through muddy ditches full of rotting sheep carcasses etc!

    Far East Theatre was a bit different – 14th Army ran Jungle Warfare Schools, & most Infantry spent a few weeks at these before joining units.

    Interestingly, WW2 British Infantry training placed considerable emphasis on “hand-to-hand” combat: mainly, I suspect, to inculcate confidence/ aggression, & it was useful PT. It was common for each day’s training to end with “all in” – recruits/ soldiers squared up to each other in pairs/ by sections/ platoons & then tried to beat the cr*p out of each other. Hard times; hard men who’d grown up in the Depression, & of course most boys back then did compulsory boxing at school. The Commandos (and their offshoots the Paras) did milling bare fisted, & this was not uncommon elsewhere.

    Living conditions were spartan – huts if you were lucky, but often – esp at Battle Schools & in Divisional Areas – under canvas. Sleeping bags were a luxury – in the field you slept under blankets & gas cape. Mattresses were straw filled palliases. Food – monotonous & limited (rationing etc), but the system did try to get more calories for troops, esp Infantry, so bully beef, chocolate, hard tack, tea, condensed milk, meat extract cubes, “Spam” etc were usually relatively plentiful. Washing/ hygiene facilities were by modern standards pretty minimal – a lot of “spare time” was spent just trying to maintain some modicum of basic hygiene.

    As stated earlier, hard times; hard men.

    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    Just been reading ‘Rifleman’ by Victor Gregg/Rick Stroud and he claims that he went to the ranges once a week for six months in training (this was in 1937).  He was expected to get 5 bulls and 4 inners at 500 hundred yards at a rate of 10 rounds per minute,

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.