Skip to comments.The Bolt-Action Rifle from a Dead German Soldier
Posted on 09/14/2020 8:29:37 AM PDT by w1n1
Stolen During The Great Depression - George Irish was an independent-minded man. In 1917, he was 25 years old. He made a living as a jack-of-all-trades in Summers, Conn., just across the border from Massachusetts. He wasn't married and America had just become involved in what became know as World War I.
He volunteered for the army. He was assigned to an artillery unit and trained in the Midwest before crossing the Atlantic in an improvised troop ship. In France, he didnt work the guns, instead he kept the dough boys who labored over them fed. He was a muleskinner, and his job was to drag loads of artillery ammunition and supplies across the open barrage, along swept roads and paths, from the supply dumps to the front-line artillery positions.
It was hard work hitching up the mule team and driving the animals through the shell-torn terrain and digging out the wagons when they got stuck in the mud. Mules cannot take cover, and if they were killed or wounded by shell splinters or machine gun barrages or poison gas, he had to calm the other animals and unhitch the casualties so the supplies could move on.
Gas attacks were especially miserable. First he had to put on his own mask, and then try as fast as he could with limited vision through cloudy eyepieces to get them on mules. It was not glorious work, only hard and dangerous.
On one trip over recently taken ground, he saw a dead German officer in a shell hole. By that time, he was no stranger to the dead. What caught his attention was the officers beautiful sniper rifle. It was a custom-made bolt action with dual-set triggers and a telescopic sight, in a European caliber unfamiliar to him.
He recovered the rifle and all the ammunition the officer had on him, and stowed it on his wagon. If he got home, it would be a fine and very practical souvenir. Though the Germans never got him, the Spanish flu that killed millions worldwide in 1918 almost did. He spent three days sick in bed but recovered. Read the rest of German bolt-action rifle.
An officer with a sniper weapon?
Do we never get to know any of the details on the rifle?
He had it for a long time before it got stolen.
What do you expect?
a story about a gun to contain story about a gun?
perhaps a happier ending with the lost gun being found again?
anything on the information on the gun.
WEBSITE BLOCKED DUE TO TROJAN.
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In other words, about average for 'Am Shooting Journal.'
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Probably a MannlicherSchönauer. I have one my Grandad brought back from WWII and has been a Deer Rifle in the family for generations. Magnificent Weapon.
My dad was supposed to be named after an uncle who was a "wagoner" in a US machine gun company that was hauled by mules. Though he got to France quite late in 1918, this gent was still exposed to gas badly enough to seriously screw up his lungs until the day he died.
Not a great deal of "glory" in all of that... and to add insult to injury, getting gassed was not conducive to hauling back war trophies.
That’s one hell of a bayonet in that picture.
(in order to emigrate he had to serve before leaving.)
Ukrainian by birth, but part of the Astro-Hungarian empire.
A Cossack, by my fathers recollection, (born in mid 20's) His words were "as bad as he treated me, I believe he was a Cossack".
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