By Garry James
The Spanish-made Ruby .32 became a mainstay of French forces in World War I.
Despite the fact that Europe had been expecting some sort of major conflict for almost 20 years, when war finally came in 1914, many countries were unprepared for the event—or at least underestimated its ultimate extent.
Like so many wars of times past, belligerents felt that it would be over in a few weeks or months and resources at hand would be more than adequate to deal with the situation. Subsequent events proved them woefully wrong, as year after year of grueling combat on several continents ground down men and materiel at an unprecedented rate.
At the beginning of World War I, France had one of the largest standing armies in the world, with a total of 777,000 regulars and 46,000 colonial troops. Upon mobilization, by the summer of 1914 another 2.9 million men were added to the forces, creating a strain to equip and arm them properly.
By the war’s end, these numbers had swelled to a total of some 8,317,000 French and 475,000 colonials. Even the high attrition rate (eventually 4.2 million casualties with 1.3 million dead) would not prove that much of a relief on arms supplies, …Read the Rest
Source:: Guns and Ammo