'The Greatest Battle Implement Ever Devised'
Thomas E. Ward of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College traces the history and impact of a weapon that occupies a special place in our country’s military history. The first semi-automatic rifle issued to its infantrymen, the gas-powered Garand far outperformed the bolt-action models carried by enemy (and allied) forces in the war. In January 1945, just months before Germany’s surrender, Gen. George S. Patton famously called it “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” The Garand would serve through the Korean War and into Vietnam, where it saw limited use by snipers.
Ward is an associate professor and Heiser Chair of Logistics Studies at the Command and General Staff College.