The gigantic training guns that helped the troops better understand the firing mechanism, 1940s-1960s

During World War II, the US military was required to train hundreds of thousands of civilians and various training methods were born with the aim of preparing soldiers for the battlefield as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Posters, comics, training movies and even cartoons were used to help train new soldiers. One of the most interesting and effective practical training educational tools was the use of giant simulated weapons as a way to help the soldier better understand the parts and mechanics of a weapon.

One of the earliest of these training aids was once the double size "Device-3-F-3". In 1943, the Army and the Naval Research Special Equipment Center collaborated to create a large, non-firing, sectional training model of the M1918A2 Browning automatic rifle.

Officially it was intended "for reasons of easy identification by training classes, all critical component parts are built to the same scale, twice as large as the corresponding parts in an operational weapon."

US The Navy Training Manual notes "The device demonstrates the full cycle of performance of a 3-F-3 operational piece. This includes loading and unloading, extraction and removal of simulated cartridges, hammer action, trigger, safety, clip latch, change lever." and the head, the movement of the gas piston and the operation of the buffer spring.

There were also training accessories for the M1/M2 Carbines, the M1919 Browning Machine Gun, and the M1 Garand designated the M21, M22, and M24 respectively.

Oversized training guns were hollow and made of lightweight aluminum, so despite being massive, they weren't heavy and were fairly easy to maneuver.

Counterfeit ammunition made of plastic was used to demonstrate how the magazine was loaded and how the mechanism worked. Each giant weapon came with a plywood case for transport and storage.

This type of training weapon was used from the mid-1940s to the late 1950s. With the introduction of new weapons such as the M14, the old training aids were no longer applicable. Many of these oversized guns were transferred to museums and military surplus stores.

Technical training in the 1950s had two objectives. The first was to teach each soldier to use all light infantry weapons.

Some of this was intense, such as the M-1 being replaced by the Garand rifle (later replaced by a similar rifle, the M-14, firing a standardized NATO cartridge), which was used to disassemble, clean and reassemble recruits in the dark. Was, and shoot under any condition.

Similarly, recruits dig foxes, hide their faces for night fighting, bivalves in the woods and snow, march rapidly over fairly long distances, use bayonets (on dummies), and even Learned some simple hand-to-hand combat.

The second purpose of BASIC was to turn a civilian into a useful soldier, meaning: an automaton. He did everything in formation of the squad and platoon, was bullied at them, was very respectful to the cadre and even the designated squad leader, and generally worked to exhaust the recruits.

The intention was to prevent new soldiers from thinking as individuals and to encourage them to think of them as members of a combat unit.

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