An Interesting Piece of WW2

East of Here
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Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

An Interesting Piece of WW2

Post #1 by East of Here » February 13th, 2015, 10:31 pm

Last weekend, I happened to stumble across another interesting piece of WW2 and added it to my collection. It is another Japanese Type 99 rifle. It is the top rifle on the rack:

Image

It has all matching numbers and still has its intact anti-aircraft sights:

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Luckily, it also has its monopod still present - which is rare:

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Unfortunately, the mum was ground off this rifle after it was surrendered:

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But there is more novel history to this story than just a nice example of an Arisaka Type 99...

East of Here
Posts: 223
Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: An Interesting Piece of WW2

Post #2 by East of Here » February 13th, 2015, 11:01 pm

This is the money shot on this rifle:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/archeology/CandR/toyoserial_zpsde5uyj0x.jpg[/thumbnail]

The character to the left of the serial number identifies the series number. This character indicates that this is a 31st series rifle. The serial number indicates that it is the 26,073rd rifle in the series. The two characters to the right of the serial number identify the arsenal of manufacture. That is where this rifle gets interesting.

Those two characters identify this rifle as being made at the Toyo Kogyo arsenal. Toyo Kogyo rifles are not exactly rare, but that arsenal did not produce as many Type 99 rifles as Nagoya or Kokura. The series and serial numbers together with the Toyo Kogyo arsenal identification indicates that the rifle was made in early to mid 1941. And that is what makes this rifle so interesting. This particular rifle was produced by the Japanese before the attack on Pearl Harbor - and it was produced at the Toyo Kogyo arsenal which was located in:

Hiroshima.

East of Here
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Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: An Interesting Piece of WW2

Post #3 by East of Here » February 13th, 2015, 11:13 pm

There is another historical post script to this story. Ironically, the arsenal was located in a small topographical valley. The fact that it was located down in this little valley shielded the arsenal from the nuclear blast and the arsenal was not destroyed or badly damaged by the bomb. Thus, the arsenal was used as a hospital and collection point for the wounded and displaced - effectively shutting down production for the duration of the war.

But Toyo Kogyo was not done yet. They had begun as a tool manufacturer before moving into weapons manufacturing during the war. After the war, they went back to manufacturing, though they no longer made weapons. Along the way, they changed their name and switched to making vehicles. You may know them by their new name:

Mazda.

They just went from making "boom boom" to making "zoom zoom".

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7rob7
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Re: An Interesting Piece of WW2

Post #4 by 7rob7 » February 14th, 2015, 8:26 am

Very cool sleuthing, East. Fascinating stuff!
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be; it's easy.

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Bill Bryan
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Re: An Interesting Piece of WW2

Post #5 by Bill Bryan » February 15th, 2015, 6:13 pm

That is so cool.
"My presidency is entering the fourth quarter. Interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter."
- President Barack Obama

East of Here
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Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: An Interesting Piece of WW2

Post #6 by East of Here » April 5th, 2015, 8:32 pm

My latest find:

Image

It is an Inland (General Motors) M1 carbine. It was made in late 1943 or so. It is pretty much original, with only a couple of replacement parts (like the front barrel band). What is cool about this particular rifle is that after WW2, it was given to the Germans for use as a police rifle. It was used by the Bavarian Rural Police, and is so stamped on the receiver. These are kind of rare to find. The bore is like a mirror. I took it to the range this weekend, and after 70+ years, it still shoots a good group.


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