The fall of Berlin, 1945, part 10/X

2014-12-15

in Bombs and rockets, Writing

“In all, one third of Reymann’s men were unarmed. The remainder might as well have been. ‘Their weapons,’ he was to relate, ‘came from every country that Germany had fought with or against. Besides our own issues, there were Italian, Russian, French, Czechoslovakian, Belgian, Dutch, Norwegian and English guns.’ There were no less than fifteen different types of rifles and ten kinds of machine guns. Finding ammunition for this hodgepodge of arms was almost hopeless. Battalions equipped with Italian rifles were luckier than most: there was a maximum of twenty bullets apiece for them. Belgian guns, it was discovered, would accept a certain type of Czech bullet, but Belgian ammunition was useless with Czech rifles. There were few Greek arms, but for some reason there were vast quantities of Greek munitions. So desperate was the shortage that a way was found to re-machine Greek bullets so that they could be fired in Italian rifles. But such frantic improvisations hardly alleviated the overall problem. On this opening day of the Russian attack, the average ammunition supply for each Home Guardsman was about five rounds per rifle.”

Ryan, Cornelius. The Last Battle. 1966. p. 383

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