Although most of the armies in the conflict used semi-auto pistols, a number of Smith .38s saw service as well.
Readily available at the start of World War II, Smith & Wesson’s “pre Model 10” K frames, the 1899 Hand Ejector (which evolved to the M&P series) had been in production for generations and the British, who lost most of their military equipment at Dunkirk and was facing the prospect of a German invasion in 1940, needed guns. This led to an order from London for 110,000 or so “V” series six-shooters from Smith chambered in the same fat .38/200 loading used in their standard Webley Mk IV and Enfield No. 2 top-break revolvers. Soon enough, the U.S. found itself in the war the next year and doubled down on orders for these so-called Victory revolvers in .38 S&W for Lend-Lease to Allies, and in .38 Special for use by aircrew and factory/home guard use, with another 240,000 or so made.
All told, these 350,000 guns were an interesting part of wartime history and Tim with the Military Arms Channel as an assortment of these vintage wheelguns to show off in the above video — as well as an Enfield for comparison, and an old-school Great War-era M1917 in .45ACP.