Queen's 90th Birthday - The Korean War

In Military History

Today marks Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. Born 21 April 1926, she is the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant in world history. To celebrate the occasion we are taking a look at some of the key conflicts Britain has been involved in during her lifetime.

The Korean War: 1950-53

Extract from Weapon 28: The Bren Gun by Neil Grant

The British troops deployed as part of the UN-sponsored ‘Free World Forces’ were still largely equipped with World War II-era personal weapons, though now supported by jet aircraft and Centurion tanks. In fairness, their communist opponents were in the same position, being armed largely with Soviet small arms of the same vintage. Once again, the Bren performed well, with the main difficuly being keeping the weapons operational in the bitter sub-The British troops deployed as part of the UN-sponsored ‘Free World Forces’ were still largely equipped with World War II-era personal weapons, though now supported by jet aircraft and Centurion tanks. In fairness, their communist opponents were in the same position, being armed largely with Soviet small arms of the same vintage. Once again, the Bren performed well, with the main difficulty being keeping the weapons operational in the bitter sub-zero conditions of the Korean winter. Instructions were issued to keep the weapons free of snow, which could build up to form ice and jam the weapons. In extremely low temperatures, gun oil froze, and Bren guns were to be cleaned with petrol to remove all traces of it then reassembled ‘dry’.

 

If you are interested in reading more about the Korean War take a look at these books:

Weapon 28: The Bren Gun

Men-at-Arms 173: The Korean War 1950-53

Men-at-Arms 164: The Canadian Army at War

Essential Histories 8: The Korean War


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