In 1929, the Japanese Army developed the type 89 grenade discharger(otherwise known as the "knee mortar"). It had an effective range of roughly 120 meters, and was reported to being used as a direct fire weapon in certian situations.This weapon was light enough to be carried/operated by member of the squad, yet also provide the squad with more fire support than with what they had with their rifles and grenades. The main point im making is that it had a greater range than any hand grenade thrown by a mark 1 arm. As far as i know, there was comparable fire support weapon in any of the other involved armies. The lightest of infantry support weapons still required a team to operate effectively. Fast forward to the Vietnam War, we see the creation of a similar weapon that provided the squad/platoon with more firepower and range than what their own rifles/grenades can offer. The M79 grenade Launcher(Thumper), which shot grenades out to an effective range of 350 meters. I assume some of you here have first hand expirience with this weapon and can comment on its advantages when a/the squad is engaged. Another interesting topic would be the development of PDWs. While American line infantryman(during WW2) made great use of their Garands during the war, combat support, and other fields of the Army, would have also been issued to Tank crewmen, clerks, cooks, etc.etc. All of which would find the Garand much to combersome for them to operate while doing their other jobs. Clearly they needed a substitute, however pistols were to expensive, and they couldnt hit a barn if they had to. So what the Army decided to develope was what could be argued the first PDW, the M1 carbine. Thoughts? Comments? One might also consider the "designated Marksman" position in the squad in relation to the Soviets and the development of the SVD. Moroever, could there be some relation between the BAR, the later RPK, and the recently tested USMC IAR? http://www.militaryphotos.net/forum...al-development-of-infantry-squads-in-the-20th.