Over the last month or so I've been reading and watching a lot of World War Two material; The Sergeant series of action novels, plus HBO's The Pacific and I'm re-watching Band of Brothers, as well as watching The Longest Day and other WW2 movies. In addition, I've been working on and off on a pen-and-paper role-playing game focusing on WW2 Commando operations.
This has gotten me thinking about WW2 personal arms, everything from pistols and knives up to light machine guns, bazookas, mortars, and the like, and what I would want to carry with me were I to find myself suddenly fighting in Europe or the Pacific theater. Would I want to be a rifleman, a machine gunner, a mortar man, a sniper, or some other kind of combat trooper, and what would I want to carry with me?
Considering all the Allied weapons, what would probably suit me the most is the M1 Carbine. It's compact, light weight, fires a reasonably powerful cartridge that has good range and accuracy within "combat distances" (~200 meters), it's semi-automatic and has a fifteen round magazine capacity, and you can carry a lot of ammunition without a lot of weight or bulk. I don't see myself as a "in the teeth of it" sort of soldier, so a weapon that provides me with a lot of defensive and modest offensive firepower with minimal encumbrance appeals to me.
So, what WW2 Allied weapon is right for you? Do you see yourself as an SMG-toting commando or hard-bitten NCO, or the sort who carries an M1 Garand on the front lines? Are you lurking about in a sniper's nest with a scoped SMLE or 1903 Springfield, or are you laying down some firepower with a BAR or Bren Gun? Or perhaps you'd like something a little more exotic, like a 12-gauge combat shotgun or the DeLisle Commando Carbine? Let's hear your choices and the reasons why.