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The God of War hates those who hesitate.

-- Euripedes

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
1690: Belgrade is retaken by the Turks.

1855: Arrow, a ship flying the British flag, is boarded by Chinese who arrest the crew, thus beginning the Second Chinese War.

1862: The Confederate invasion of Kentucky stalls when Union General Don Carlos Buell stops General Braxton Bragg at Perryville.

1918: U.S. Corporal Alvin C. York is credited with single-handedly killing 25 German soldiers and capturing 132 in the Argonne Forest of France.

1941: The German invasion of the Soviet Union begins a new stage with Hitlers forces capturing Mariupol.

1950: The United Nations General Assembly authorized General MacArthur to cross the 38th parallel. ROK troops had already crossed on Oct. 1. Meanwhile, Premier Mao Tse-tung secretly ordered Chinese "volunteers" to "resist the attacks of U.S. imperialism."

1950: The 1st Marine Division commenced embarking at Inchon for landings at Wonsan, Korea.

1952: Operation RED COW, a joint Navy-Air Force mission against enemy positions near Kaesong, was conducted with Navy F2H Banshee fighter jets from Task Force 77 providing fighter escort for Air Force B-29 Super Fortress bombers. This was one of only two instances in the war in which Navy fighters escorted Air Force bombers.

1968: Operation Sealords is launched in the Mekong Delta by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces.

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