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My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

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M67
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My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#1 Post by M67 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:03 am

No1 MkIII* veteran from WW1 and WW2
I would like to say hello to all members here on this SRF and subforum. I have been reading British Empire and Commonwealth forum for a long time before I decided to present my SMLE (ShtLE) here. I know that she is in very bad shape, but you have to take into consider that she went through ww1, through ww2 and during last years (from 1944-to May45) of ww2 was parashuted into Slovenian teritory.
She is BSA production and year 1916 and has lots of markings all over the metal and wood. I spent hours reading this very interesting forum because I discovered that you published huge amount of knowledge and personal experiences with Lee Enfield types handling. I dont have any experience with SMLE, but it has very interesting history in our part of country.
First of all SMLEs appear on Isonzo Front during WW1 with British and Australians troops (QRF for Italian troops after Austro-Hungarian and German troops broke the Isonzo front in OCT1917.
Some sources (writer Siro Ofelli) indicates that the SMLEs were in the second line austro hungarian armament. In the K.U.K. manual SMLEs were described as a 7,7 mm M.95/03 englisches repetiergewehr. Germans provided thousands captured SMLEs from Western front to their Austrohungarian ally.
And finally , thousands of SMLEs (beside other weapons like STEN, BREN, PIAT, Thompson, UD42, Spriengfield M1903, P14, M1 Carbines, etc) were given by allies to Partisan troops in Slovenia and Yugoslavia (Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia).
So, my old lady is not in the great shape, but is all matching. Wood, action, bolt, nose cap and rear sight (which is force matched). The barrel is rusted but still functional. She doesnt have the Cut Off and the magazine hasnt any serial number or markings. The butstock button is missing. The rifle was personal bring back from an old partisan and I got this rifle from his relatives. She is in my small collection now with all deserved glory.

Enjoy!

Best regards, Franko.
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BSA16 ShtLE.jpg
BSA16 bolt.jpg
BSA16 action.jpg
BSA 1916 left.jpg
BS16 BNP.jpg
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#2 Post by M67 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:03 am

more photos!
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BSA16 stoje.jpg
BSA16 SN.jpg
BSA16 SN rear sight.jpg
BSA16 SN nose cap.jpg
BSA 16 Trigger guard.jpg
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#3 Post by Smokey » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:11 am

They were likely the best combat rifle in WWI, and some still considered it and the No4 Mk1 better than the Garand in WWII and even in Korea.
The collector types would say to do nothing with it. I usually at least take a rifle apart, clean it, remove rust, then grease all the parts as I reassemble it.
They are also pretty good shooters. Hope your barrel isn't too badly corroded.
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#4 Post by indy1919a4 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:43 pm

Gosh I love the look of that rifle.. It is amazing...

And I was not aware before that SMLEs were made available like that from the Germans.. Never thought of that..

I had read where England supplied lots of rifles for the Partisan fighters..

Is there any way to 100% know which path this rifle took?? Did the Germans at all mark their captured rifles??


As a side note Leonard Cohen sang a sobering song called "The Partisan"..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S34cVkL6zCE

Minor complaint, with the photos selected, at 221, those are dead Confederate soldiers who died at the battle of Antietam.

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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#5 Post by M67 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:59 pm

The look of that rifle told the story ..it was there, twice. Old beaten war horse. However, all original. I addded just old canvas sling later on.
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#6 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:35 pm

Here you go, Lee Enfield "Balkan Carbine" with partizans.
Look at the muzzle to see the mods for Mauser bayonets & so on.
Some were "Long Tom" Lee's cut down to carbine length & fitted for Mauser type bayonets , looking at the magazine I think this was one f them.
Balkan Carbine.jpg
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#7 Post by M67 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:55 pm

I am sure that this foto is not from Balkan area. Looks like somewhere in Russia, Poland or Ukraina.. Partisans from Slovenia worn diferent "uniforms" and caps.

Some photo from Slovenia and other parts of Yugoslavia with British and US weapons. Interesting one - young Partisan, British instruktor and SMLE!
Attachments
Stuarts.jpg
SMLE partisan.jpg
Rano-proljece-1945_-Saveznici-kod-Daruvara-padobranima-spuštaju-vojnu-opremu-za-potrebe-10_-korpusa-650x435.jpg
HPM-MRNH-N-2201_Slavonija 1944.jpg
Partizani-u-okolici-Litije-650x617.jpg
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#8 Post by indy1919a4 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:39 am

Tommy Atkins wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:35 pm
Here you go, Lee Enfield "Balkan Carbine" with partizans.
Look at the muzzle to see the mods for Mauser bayonets & so on.
Some were "Long Tom" Lee's cut down to carbine length & fitted for Mauser type bayonets , looking at the magazine I think this was one f them.
Balkan Carbine.jpg
I would love to see some information on that Enfield variation... Did they all cut sling holes in the stock like that?? Were they reinforced like the Mosin??
OR was this just a Bubbaed or Ivaned in this case???? Wonderful arms mix in that photo...

Is there any info that any of you had read about how these Partisans got bullets for these guns.. How many they had??? How often they Fired their weapons??

Always interesting the Logistics and supply of men in the field.. and often overlooked..

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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#9 Post by indy1919a4 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:44 am

M67 wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:55 pm
I am sure that this foto is not from Balkan area. Looks like somewhere in Russia, Poland or Ukraina.. Partisans from Slovenia worn diferent "uniforms" and caps.

Some photo from Slovenia and other parts of Yugoslavia with British and US weapons. Interesting one - young Partisan, British instruktor and SMLE!
Any Idea where that photo of the Partisan & instructor was taken??? It is obvious the wanted to blanked out his insignias??..

And who are those tank crews?? When and how were they supplied with tanks???

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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#10 Post by M67 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:15 am

1. armored (tank) brigade, Afrika, organised mostly from Slovenians from British POW camps (former Italian soldiers) because in tahat time 1/3 of Slovenia was under Italian ocupation after ww1. In 1944 they started campaign from Dalmacia and concluded in Trst and Austria. Consist of 3 tank batalion and one AT artilery.
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#11 Post by indy1919a4 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:38 am

M67 wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:15 am
1. armored (tank) brigade, Afrika, organised mostly from Slovenians from British POW camps (former Italian soldiers) because in tahat time 1/3 of Slovenia was under Italian ocupation after ww1. In 1944 they started campaign from Dalmacia and concluded in Trst and Austria. Consist of 3 tank batalion and one AT artilery.
Many thanks, Found some info on them.. Did not know such a unit existed... Again many many thanks

http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/y ... mor-of-ww2

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/y ... de/tank/1/

By the way this Armoured car in the 1st web site is way to neat..
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#12 Post by M67 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:28 pm

And 2. tank brigade was formed in USSR from 600 members from 1. armored brigade from Afrika and German POW in Russia. 2 nd tank brigade main weapon was T-34!
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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#13 Post by indy1919a4 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:16 pm

M67 wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:28 pm
And 2. tank brigade was formed in USSR from 600 members from 1. armored brigade from Afrika and German POW in Russia. 2 nd tank brigade main weapon was T-34!
Thanks for pointing that out there was some limited info on them, But I think I was being Western-centric and skipped that link :) ... Also it has very limited information...

http://www.vojska.net/eng/world-war-2/y ... de/tank/2/

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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#14 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:14 pm

Well THAT prompted some discussion!

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Re: My SMLE No1 MkIII* veteran of two world wars

#15 Post by indy1919a4 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:01 pm

A nice little bit about those 2 tank units right after the war..

Some Awesome photos...

http://www.balkanwarhistory.com/2017/12 ... ts-of.html

Tank photo from 2nd Yugoslav Brigade

https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery ... -oct44-10/

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