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Sturgeon's House


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About mjmoss

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  1. The ANZACs went in hard. But yes definitely a fair number of UK observers and advisers cycled through various units officially and unofficially.
  2. I don't recall seeing anything about powder metallurgy in the documents I looked through. It may well have been considered, interesting prospect.
  3. From my research the only fore-thought regarding mass production I saw was a number of letters to 2 fibreglass specialists about the manufacture of fibreglass stock furniture rather than wood and wood veneer used on the prototypes. As regards to the simplification of manufacturing I don't recall seeing any in-depth plans - I just don't think they got to that point. Both the bolt and receiver would have required quite a lot of machine operations per unit. The FCG could have been made from stamped parts but that is about it. The milling needed for the bolt and the locking flaps were unavoidable but perhaps something could have been done to reduce machine time for the receiver. There was a weight limit established by a WO spec that the ADD/ADE worked hard to be close too.
  4. I believe the Korsac to essentially be a war time design that remained in development to around 1946, by which time Thorpe's EM1, Janson's EM2 and Hall's abortive EM3 were being looked at. The Korsac is not part of the IW program which began late 46/47 - would have to dig out my notes to confirm exact dates. The timeline of the project is one that needs to be set out clearly, I think it would really help to have a proper chronology. Korsac and the IW program are part of a wider UK military and design community's fascination with the bullpup concept which I haven't been able to pinpoint when it began yet.
  5. Yeah, the IPC was set up in '46 IIRC, first of the EM designs were in prototype form by '47. Even before '46 the Armament Design Department was looking at ways to meet the 1944 Infantry weapon specification put out by the War Office.
  6. At the time the Labour government was in the middle of setting up the National Health Service and the Welfare system, these were key election pledges which had swept them into power - they were rightly focused on. However, with the Korean War and the Chief of the Imperial General Staff warning that Western Intelligence estimated the USSR would be in a position to launch another conflict within a decade it was decided that the UK's rearmament program should be sped up. As per the CIGS plan the first five years after WW2 would be spend on R&D and then the next 2 and 3 years would be spent putting UK on a wartime footing with new tech. You have to remember in 1950 UK was in massive debt to the US, was rebuilding infrastructure and manufacturing capability and putting in place the NHS. While the economy was recovering there was not money for all the defence programs with nuclear weapons development, Royal Navy rearmament (the RN shrank rapidly after the war), the RAF needed new jets (through a wonder of procurement they ended up with 3 different V-force bombers) and missiles were becoming key for both aerial and AA use (something Britain actually led on for a while). So while the EM-2 or IW project wasn't under funded it was tightly funded, it just didn't have the high priority that say a new tank like the Centurion did.
  7. Christ, what a question! I shall try and keep it short - there are both political and technical stories running parallel. It had potential, that much is clear. It was pursued over the EM-1 because it was slightly further along the development phase. Once Britain put all their efforts into the EM-2 the project was ambitious, more so than anything else at the time. Calibre was supposed to be selected by a panel of ballistics experts (Ideal Calibre Panel) but another working committee's suggestion of .280 was selected over the ICP's recommended .270 - a mistake. Not that .280 isn't a decent round for what it was intended to do. Politically this is all within the context of the emerging NATO alliance when they didn't know what they were aiming to achieve - standardisation proved to be impossible on all but some ammunition and some equipment. The US, for their own reasons (which are worth a book in themselves) disliked .280 and made concerted efforts (at least in British eyes) to put NATO powers off .280. Meanwhile in the UK the sitting Labour party use EM-2 as a flagship rearmament program, Chruchill's Conservative party against this and believe in preservation of the Anglo-US alliance at all costs. Once Labour lose next election (just 5 months after 'adoption' of EM-2 as the Rifle No.9) the Conservatives move to axe rifle program. Some evidence to suggest Churchill may have used it as a bargaining chip to secure a senior NATO naval command position for UK (this may have occurred during the Jan 52 meeting with Truman). The project stagnated due to US Ordnance unwillingness to compromise and UK political indecision. Add into this a lack of funding and a design which needed more refinement for general production and you have a complicated narrative. That's the summary view and I feel like I have probably left out a lot - its been 18 months since I worked on EM-2 properly, other projects have taken priority. But its a fascinating rifle and its development and downfall are equally interesting. I've not doubt Nate can fill some of the inevitable gaps!
  8. I'm afraid it's not available electronically at the moment :\ I did suggest it to them. I'm in the process of improving it, more learnt since I finished it 18 months ago. Nate is doing good stuff on the US angle though. Hopefully we can team up and put something together.
  9. Well I wrote my Master's dissertation on it, so I've been hands on with the rifle and I've done archival research into UK govt. records. It's difficult to say when exactly it 'died' because it depends on what you take a the final nail in the coffin. The very final death of it was Churchill and the Conservative Party's return to government in late 1951. His meeting with Truman in Jan '52 ended all hopes of progress with the EM-2. But arguably the project stalled when the ammunition compromises began and the US were still disinterested. From an engineering standpoint the rifle needed a lot more work, Nate and I have discussed several times how the EM-1 probably had a better chance of becoming a suitable service rifle. It was a serious contender for unilateral British adoption certainly if we had decided to go it alone (Churchill very much saw the big picture and did not want us to do that). It is possible Canada may have followed us which may have cancelled out some of the production capacity concerns.
  10. As a historian I can agree that the road of WTF may have been short in the grand chronological scheme of things but it more than made up for it in the number of lanes the road had.
  11. Welcome to the wonderful world of the EM-2 in which there are many twists and turns along the long road of "wtf did they do that for?"
  12. Don't doubt it, not a bad starting point. Max notes it was originally chambered in 556.
  13. Well they're increasingly unlikely to go for a G36 haha.
  14. Interesting, attack of the clones haha. Some nice aesthetic features added into the mix.
  15. Certainly has the 417's gas system
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