The standard rifle issued to the U.S. Army in WW2 was the M1 Garand. The .30 M1 Carbine was standard issue for support troops, but a vast number were also issued to front line troops.
Early in the war, numbers of 1903 Springfields were also issued because of shortages of weaponry, but the Army had already declared the M1 Garand as the standard infantry rifle in 1939. The Marines adopted it by 1942.
The M1 Garand (U.S Rifle, Caliber .30 M1) is a much different rifle than the .30 M1 Carbine. The Garand is a .30-06 full length rifle cartridge, while the .30 Carbine could be considered as sort of a 'magnum pistol' cartridge. The idea for the Carbine was to replace the .45 semi-auto pistol for support troops who worked in more confined areas where a rifle would have been too cumbersome to operate. The Carbine had greater range and ammunition capacity than the pistol.
Years ago, I had a friend who was a Marine assigned to a tracked howitzer on Guadal Canal. He had an M1 Carbine, and had to use it 'for real' on a couple of Japanese soldiers. The Carbine took several shots to drop them, so he ditched the Carbine and used a Bolt Action 1903 instead after that.
Jim My Grandpa said the same thing. He was an Army Engineer during the war and said that the 30 is what he was issued, Beeing on a airfield he had some open area fighting and the 30 carb he was issued didnt have the reach that the ground troops needed. He and a few others opted for the 1903 also. He said that the M1 was available to him but harder to get ahold of so the 1903 better suited the sitution for fighting on open ground at a long distance than the 30.
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Great info thanks , so were the Garand and the Carbine semi and auto or just semi? Seems reasonable that an Engineer and a Navy Corpmen would have the shorter Carbine , who else got the Carbine I read that Army officers were issued the Carbine while enlisted got the Garand.
Officers in ground units carried just about whatever they liked. That ran the guantlet from the Thompson .45 sub-machinegun, the Carbine and the Garand. Of course the Garand, being heavier than the Carbine, saw less use among officer ranks. Nearly all officers were issued sidearms - usually the M1911A1 .45ACP.
As far as who else were issued the Carbine - that option was also given to Paratroopers. Both the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine were semi-auto. The fully auto M2 Carbine was developed at the very end of the war, and it is my understanding that none saw actual combat in WW2. That changed in the next war - the Korean War - when great quantities of M2 Carbines saw widespread use.
Most armies considered the sidearm as a badge of rank. The U.S. military has always considered the sidearm as appropriate for issue to enlisted ranks as well, as a working weapon.
Jim great info...... My father was a Army Infantry 1st Lt so I am just trying to figure out what he may have carried probly never know for sure but I think it was the Carbine it seems ti fit with the info you provided.
I had a .45 and an M-2 carbine at the beginning of the Korean war. For close work the M-2 with it's high rate of fire was effective, difficult to control on full auto, but didn't have the knock down or effective range of the of the M1 rifle. After all it was only a souped up pistol cartridge. It basically did the job it was designed to do. I used it for deer hunting in Japan, but that was close work also.
Speaking of Japan, the Japanese pheasant was found in forested areas similar to grouse cover here. I sometimes wonder how they'd work in this country. I hunted with a Gordon setter owned by a Japanese guide. Small dog, not much bigger than a springer spaniel.