During the Second World War, supplies were limited. One of the main ways that Britain was hit during the war was by damages to supply lines. The UK imported a great deal of its produce, so one of the principal strategies of the Germans during the Battle of the Atlantic was to disrupt the supply chain, which would greatly affect the 50-million civilians in the country.
It wasn’t just the UK that was affected by this, with our neighbours across the pond also rolling out rationing. In the summer of 1941, Britain appealed to the United States to ration and conserve their food, to increase supplies available to soldiers, before the U.S. had even entered the war themselves.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbour, the United States joined the conflict and set up a rationing system of their own, which not only meant rationing for those at home but those in conflict too. Ration packs ranged from freshly prepared food in dining halls, to canned all-in-one meals for out in the field, to high-calorie chocolate bars meant for emergencies.
This means that when soldiers had the opportunity to enjoy other sources of food, they often took them. But there is one particular story that takes this hunt for food to the next level!
Images from 1944 (one of which is shown at the top of the article) show Army Air Force personnel in the Pacific using their M1 rifle grenade launcher in a rather ingenious way. The pair of soldiers had wrapped fishing line around a wooden float, stuffed it into the end of the rifle device and used a .30-06 cartridge to launch their contraption out into the Pacific Ocean to hook themselves some dinner.
It's worth noting that unlike dynamite fishing, which tends to stun or kill schools of fish for easy pickin', it sounds like these gents were using the old fashioned hook and float method, just with a bit of tweaking... If it worked, who are we to judge?!
This style of fishing was first brought to the public’s attention in a 1945 Popular Mechanics article, where it noted the pair were able to fire a baited hook some 200-yards for a spot of deep-sea fishing. But aside from the pictures, there’s not a lot of other information about the crafty pair.
It is thought that the picture was taken on the island of Tinian, in the Mariana Islands, which was a key strategic location during World War II. Whether or not the pair managed to snag something a bit more exotic for their supper is also a mystery, but it does show that levels of ingenuity know no bounds!
While we may not be able to provide you with the kit for you to try deep sea grenade launcher fishing for yourself, we do have a variety of WWII replica airsoft guns for sale, so why not check out our website or come and visit us in store to see the range for yourself?