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Canadian Military Collectors Forum

Comprehensive Forum of Canadian Armed Forces History & Militaria

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    Ross Mk.III in Soviet Service WW2


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    Ross Mk.III in Soviet Service WW2 Empty Ross Mk.III in Soviet Service WW2

    Post by voltigeur Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:13 pm

    Leningrad militiamen receiving weapons - Canadian Ross rifles model 1910(Mk III), and RGD-33 hand grenades on the table.

    The Ross rifle was a straight-pull bolt action .303 inch-calibre rifle produced in Canada from 1903 until 1918.

    The Ross Mk.II (or "model 1905") rifle was highly successful in target shooting before WWI, but the close chamber tolerances, lack of primary extraction and overall length made the Mk.III (or "1910") Ross rifle unsuitable for the conditions of trench warfare and the often poor quality ammunition issued.

    By 1916, the rifle had been withdrawn from front line service, but continued to be used by many snipers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force until the end of the war due to its exceptional accuracy.

    Because of its long range accuracy, the Ross rifle continued in use among Allied snipers after it was withdrawn from normal front-line use in Europe. British snipers found the rifle accurate out to 600 yards and more, with only one inherent disadvantage: the Ross accepted only perfectly clean ammunition, totally free of mud and grit, or else it invariably jammed.

    Ross rifles were used once again in the Second World War. The Mark 111 Ross rifle was supplied to the Royal Canadian Navy, the Veteran's Guard of Canada, coastal defense units, training depots, the British Home Guard, Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, Port of London Authority Police and the Soviets. Coast guard units in Ireland were armed with Ross rifles during 1920 to 1921.
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    Ross Mk.III in Soviet Service WW2 Empty The Latvian connection ...

    Post by Johnnyroad Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:38 pm

    This is an old post however I just came across it and it struck a memory chord. When living in Ottawa in the early sixties we had next door neighbours who had come here from Latvia after the War ... lovely people. The chap's name was Art Luks (pronounced to rhyme with "dukes") and he was a master welder for the Eddy Co. in Hull. My brother and I were in our early/mid teens then and messing around with old cars. Art, being an experienced mechanic, bailed us out of many a mechanical dead end, part of the usual learning curve.

    Anyway, it turned out he had been in the Latvian Army before the war, though I think it was some sort of reserve connection, as he was farming in those years. He said that their army at that time was equipped with Ross rifles, which were regarded as exceptionally fine weapons, being very accurate and smooth functioning. He was surprised to hear of their problematic history with our own forces. Of course the Latvians, as were all the Baltic countries, suffered invasion and seizure by the Soviet Union, which included all the military equipment as well of course. I wonder if that's how the Soviets acquired their stock of Ross's?

    Later, in June 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union the Latvians were equipped with German war materials and fought the Soviets - who they understandably detested - as part of the Army Group North war machine. Art fought through that whole war on "the Russian Front" as an infantryman and had some incredible stories to tell. Near the end of the war the poor Latvians were fighting the Soviets on one side and the Werhmacht on the other. He was a very tough man, but a most excellent friend and neighbour ... a good thing as he would have made a truly formidable enemy to anyone.

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