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In 1938 the US Chief of Infantry requested that the Ordnance Department develop a carbine to be used by service and support troops, artillerymen, machine-gun crews, tankers, mortar crews and other troops not needing the power of the M1 Garand rifle. The development of this new weapon was given an added impetus by Germany's successful use of airborne and glider troops early on in World War II. This caused a fear amongst US officers that troops normally considered 'behind the lines' personnel might have to fight elite German troops and would therefore require a more effective weapon than their standard pistols. The resulting M1 Carbine was a not a shortened version of the standard service rifle but instead a brand-new design chambering a new cartridge. Eventually numerous manufacturers would combine to produce over six million M1 Carbines before the end of the war. This book charts the complete story of the weapon, from its design, to its operational history and its impact upon warfare.

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