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A Rifleman Went to War

Gene LGene L Senior MemberPosts: 12,668 Senior Member
A good book about WW 1 and an American who served with the Canadians. Pretty graphic at times, but it was a graphic war. By Herbert McBride. It's available on Kindle for $.99.

Kinda rambling, but interesting. McBride was a Sgt. of a Machine Gun company. He also did some sniping and trench raiding. I believe he later served in the US Army, but haven't got to that part yet.

He was a big fan of the 1911 for night-time patrolling and trench raiding. He liked the power of the 1911 but mostly liked the ease of reloading, which assisted the reloading in the dark instead of trying to load a revolver. He said he went through the war firing the pistol only seven times, but these seven times were badly needed.

An interesting read if you have any interest in that sad period of history. I believe it was written in the late 20s or early 30s.

He is the only writer I've read who liked the Warner Swazey scope because he could use the rifle's sights (a Ross, I think) and zero his scope to coincide with the rifle's sights, which he had to shim up so it wouldn't move under use. It was, like all British scopes off-set to the left of the bore.
Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.


  • 6EQUJ5 - WOW!6EQUJ5 - WOW! Banned Posts: 482 Member
    I'll have to give that one a read as I'm also a WWI history buff. Even some of Hemingway's fictional works were an account of his own experiences in WWI, my favorite being the Nick Adam's Stories. Another great account is Pershing's "My Experiences in the World War" Vol 1 & 2. My dad got me that set years ago, one of my most prized library collections.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,192 Senior Member
    This book should be in every rifle shooters library...excellent read...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    The only two I've read about that were an old text book and "All quiet on the Western Front."

    Right now I'm reading Chosin by Eric Hammel.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,668 Senior Member
    A great read from WW 2 is "With British Snipers to the Third Reich" also on Kindle. A buck and a quarter.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,753 Senior Member
    I've read it.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    I have a really lovely red hard cover copy. I've read it a couple of times. Interesting times.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,513 Senior Member
    Read it many times. A lot of good insights from someone who "does it for a living". A really good snapshot in time into gear, tactics, and combat psychology by a non-psychologist. If you've ever heard of a guy who went by the name of Carlos Hathcock, it was McBride's book that he and a small cadre of other Marines referenced heavily while bringing U.S. sniping doctrine back from the dead in the 1960's.

    The chapters on sniping and the guns used for it are an interesting look into the growing pains associated with integrating new, developing, little understood, and somewhat mistrusted technology (optics) into a fairly new method of warfare. The whole specialized sniper and designated marksman roles were still being invented and figured out, and the whole offset scope thing was part of a mindset that wanted to keep the rapid reload of a stripper clip for when the sniper was functioning as regular infantry. It wasn't without it's problems: I've read of some WWII Soviet snipers rotating their offset PU Scopes counter-clockwise in the mounts, and then canting the rifle clockwise in order to have their optic directly above their bore to eliminate problems with that offset at longer ranges (close up, they used the irons).

    The machine gun information in McBride's book was fascinating for me - particularly the extreme range techniques of machine guns as artillery. A Rifleman Went to War came out in the early 1930's long after all was said and done. McBride had another, smaller book titled The Emma Gees (for "MG" or "Machine Gun") that was written while the war was still going on after he had rotated back to the States. A lot of those techniques were still classified at the time. Neat to read the two books as a pair.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    My grand father whom I lived with until joining the Air Force in 1962 was in that war but never talked about it much. He had a set of Army spurs so he had something to do with horses. Wish I had them now. Somehow he would never talk about it.Wasn't very pleasant is all he would say.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    The numbers killed that I read about in the text book make me believe that it must have been worse than could ever be described.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,668 Senior Member
    McBride had his demons, alcohol being one of them. He died at 59 years old of a heart attack. A full and short life, mostly shooting people. After he was court-martialed and discharged from the Canadian or British Army for his drunken episodes, he served in the American army...as a soldier. The "Rifleman" book rather requently repeats itself, but the Rifleman parts are unsurpassed.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
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