Cost of Weapons

This is the general discussion area of the canadiansoldiers.com website; a forum in which issues pertaining to 20th Century military history from a British and Canadian perspective can be discussed freely. Posters are asked to please do others the courtesy of posting with their name rather than a pseudonym.

Cost of Weapons

Ed Storey
Ed Storey

March 14th, 2011, 3:25 pm #1

Contained in a 1944 Canadian Army Routuine Order was a list of weapons and their cost.

Thompson 103.30
Sten 14.23

Considering the average wage of the day, both were expensive weapons, but the Thompson was very expensive.
Quote
Share

Abner Picklewhite
Abner Picklewhite

March 14th, 2011, 5:14 pm #2

I know which one I would rather tote around all day. I think stens have had a bad rap about reliability and they are soooooooo much lighter as is the ammo. That's quite the price descrepancy though.

Say, does Canada actually have a role for a close support personal weapon like an SMG these days?

AB
Quote
Share

Clive
Clive

March 14th, 2011, 5:18 pm #3

The C-8 (M4) fills this role.
Quote
Share

Brent W
Brent W

March 14th, 2011, 7:40 pm #4

I know which one I would rather tote around all day. I think stens have had a bad rap about reliability and they are soooooooo much lighter as is the ammo. That's quite the price descrepancy though.

Say, does Canada actually have a role for a close support personal weapon like an SMG these days?

AB
I'd much rather tote the Thompson. I've fired both and there is no comparison. It's like comparing a Mercedes to a Lada.
Quote
Share

Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

March 15th, 2011, 1:46 pm #5

You could say the same about the M4 vs the AK-47 but the cheap, stamped AK kicks ass.
On the other hand, it's an unfair comparison between the .45 and the puny 9mm round.
The Sten was little more than a crude toy gun.
Quote
Like
Share

Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

March 15th, 2011, 5:09 pm #6

As Britain was already facing huge trade losses (both in materiel thanks to the U-boat threat as well as financial) it was a sound decision to mass produce the (cheap) Sten at home than to spend Stirling on importing the (expensive) Thompson from the US.
Quote
Share

Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

March 16th, 2011, 1:17 am #7

So, Clive, how did this affect Canada's weapons procurement program?

Was there a contractual agreement that mandated Canadian Army weapons procurement be based on British decisions or
was it simply a situation where the Canadian brass had no balls to go it alone?

Fast forward to Korea - My personal belief is that it was a crime for Canadian troops to be sent into action in Korea with obsolete WW1 weapons such as
the .303 bolt action rifle when the semi-automatic M1 was readily available from the USA. Who was responsible for this fiasco?

Quote
Like
Share

Clive
Clive

March 16th, 2011, 2:13 am #8

Canadian policy was set early in the war my McNaughton who stated that the Canadian Army Overseas would adopt British equipment in all cases except where it could be shown that an alternative was better. We could all argue the merits of the Thompson over the Sten but the fact remains that both were used, with the Sten accepted as the standard for NWE and the Thompson for the Italian campaign.
Once Canada accepted the challenge to build the Sten at Longbranch the continued use of this weapon was guaranteed by Canada's other guiding procurment policy - that of 'Continuing Canadian Supply'. This policy stated that certain goods, manufactured in Canada, would be used by the Canadian Army Overseas. The list included uniforms, signals equipment, Motorized Transport and Small Arms. The latter had some exceptions, primarily where Canada manufactured on behalf of the British who then issued the materiel as required. This applied mostly to sniper rifles (no4T).
The decision to use British Small Arms (in other words, the equipment that was already in stock) flip-flopped a couple of times. At one point the Canadian Army chose to adopt US equipment but this decision was predicated on the belief that they would be serving alongside US forces in Germany. When NATO decided that the Canadians would serve within the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) the question of Samll Arms was changed back to 'British' pattern. It followed that the Brigade in Korea, which was latter a part of the Commonwealth Division and which required standardization with Britain, Australia, etc.., would need to use the same ammunition.
Whether you agree or not it must be remembered that the majority of troops who initially went to Korea were veterans of the Second World War and were very familiar with the Sten, SMLE, No36 grenade, mortars, etc..
Quote
Share

Grant Rombough
Grant Rombough

March 17th, 2011, 6:06 pm #9

So, Clive, how did this affect Canada's weapons procurement program?

Was there a contractual agreement that mandated Canadian Army weapons procurement be based on British decisions or
was it simply a situation where the Canadian brass had no balls to go it alone?

Fast forward to Korea - My personal belief is that it was a crime for Canadian troops to be sent into action in Korea with obsolete WW1 weapons such as
the .303 bolt action rifle when the semi-automatic M1 was readily available from the USA. Who was responsible for this fiasco?
Well .... not to be overly picky, hopefully, but of course Canadian troops in Korea were not armed with the WWI No. 3/SMLE, but rather with the No. 4 pattern Lee-Enfield rifle, which had gone into production at Long Branch in 1941, and production of which was resumed for the Korean War .....

So that certainly ties in as much with a "Canadian Production" policy as it does with the sound logistic policy of arming all troops of the Commonwealth Division with weapons which utilized the same ammunition.

Not to mention the fact that, although any bolt-action military rifle was arguably "obsolete" during those early years of the age of automatic weapons, the Lee-Enfield had long been recognized as the fastest cycling military bolt action, and it had the largest magazine capacity of all - 20% greater than even the American's M1 rifle. Those were some of the factors which kept the system in use so long.

Quote
Share

Anonymous
Anonymous

March 17th, 2011, 11:48 pm #10

Alex all these fine persons have shot holes in this arguement regarding Canadian troops not using the American M1 rifle as a question of "no balls" or being borderline criminal. If I follow your train of thought Canadian Forces should have jumped on the M16 rifle bandwagon when it came in the 1960s. If you did have the M1 rifle as the Soldiers MBR then they would also need to ditch the Bren and Vickers for BARs and M1919A4 (you see where this is going). Then who is going to provide repair, replacements, ammunition supply chain, training, etc, this is way more then just being handed a different rifle and off you go.
Quote
Share