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The Limey layout is simply stupendous, you trip over Lieutenant-Generals on every floor, most of them doing captains work, or none at all.

-- General Joseph Stillwell

Bolt-Action Rifles

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Nearly all infantryman in the First World War used bolt action rifles. This type of rifle had been invented by a Scottish immigrant to the United States, James Paris Lee. The bolt is the device that closes the breech of the barrel. The bolt-action rifle had a metal box, into which cartridges were placed on top of a spring. As the bolt was opened, the spring forced the cartridges up against a stop; the bolt pushed the top cartridge into the chamber as it closed. After firing, the opening of the bolt extracted the empty cartridge case, and the return stroke loaded a fresh round.

Cartridges were injected into the magazine by means of a clip. They consisted of open-ended slides or cases within which a number of cartridges, 3, 5 or 6 were gripped by the spring metal of the case or a spring incorporated in the base.

The Lee-Enfield was the main rifle used by the British Army during the First World War. Other popular bolt action rifles included the Mauser Gewehr (Germany), Lebel (France), Mannlicher-Carcano (Italy), Springfield (United States), Moisin-Nagant (Russia), Mannlicher M95 (Austria) and Arisaka (Japan).


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This Day in History
1248: The city of Seville, France, surrenders to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege.

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1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Admiral William D. Leahy as U.S. Ambassador to Vichy France to try to prevent the French fleet and naval bases from falling into German hands.

1940: Romania signs the Tripartite Pact, officially allying itself with Germany, Italy, and Japan.

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1943: U.S. Marines declare the island of Tarawa secure.

1950: A battalion from the Netherlands joined the U.N. forces in Korea. Better known as the "Dutch Battalion," it was attached to the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division. The battalion first saw action on Feb. 12, 1951, in the major battle at Wonju, suffering more than 100 casualties and losing its commander.

1970: Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird discloses the November 21 U.S. raid on the North Vietnamese prison camp at Son Tay. The raid was conducted almost flawlessly, but no prisoners of war were found in the camp.