For nearly fifty years the hard-hitting, mobile Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR, served in US infantry units as a light squad automatic “base of fire” weapon, providing quick bursts of concentrated fire. Designed in World War One, it didn't reach the front until September 1918. In the interwar years US forces used the BAR across the world, from China to Nicaragua. It also became a favorite of notorious gangsters like Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who prized its ability to punch through police armored cars. At the outset of World War II the US armed forces decided to adapt the BAR for a light machine gun role. The BAR was not without its flaws; it was heavy and difficult to dismantle and reassemble, and it didn't cope well with sustained fire. Nevertheless, the BAR saw action in every major theater of World War II and went on to be used in Korea and in the opening stages of the Vietnam War. Featuring arresting first-hand accounts, specially drawn full-color artwork and close-up photographs, many in color, this lively study offers a vivid portrait of this powerful, long-lived and innovative weapon that saw service with US and other forces across the world for much of the 20th century.
About the author
Robert Hodges was born and raised in the historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. A lifelong student of military history, particularly World War II and the American Civil War, he is the author of Elite 171 American Civil War Railroad Tactics. Formally trained in history and philosophy, he has published historical articles in several well-known magazines. He also writes fiction and poetry.
Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani, and Edouard Detaille. His interests include karate, running, Bible reading, history, and making English longbows.
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