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The Dirty Dozen (1967)

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The Dirty Dozen
Dirty dozen poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by Robert Aldrich
Release Date 1967
Language English
Studio MGM
Distributor MGM
Main Cast
Character Actor
Maj. John Reisman Lee Marvin
Maj. Gen. Sam Worden Ernest Borgnine
Joseph Wladislaw Charles Bronson
Robert T. Jefferson Jim Brown
Sgt. Clyde Bowren Richard Jaeckel
Victor R. Franko John Cassavetes
Vernon L. Pinkley Donald Sutherland
Col. Everett Dasher Breed Robert Ryan
Maj. Max Armbruster George Kennedy
Archer J. Maggott Telly Savalas

The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 World War II action film directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Lee Marvin as Major Reisman, who is assigned to lead twelve hardened ex-soldiers on death row on a seemingly impossible mission behind German lines. The cast includes Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, and John Cassavetes, who received an Academy Award nomination for his role in the film. The film would later spawn a series of television film sequels.

The following weapons were used in the film The Dirty Dozen:


Submachine Guns

M3 "Grease Gun"

The most commonly seen gun in the film is the older M3 "Grease Gun". It is not an M3A1 model because the guns clearly have external charging handles on the right side while the M3A1 has a hole in the bolt which would allow the operator to pull the bolt back with a finger. They also have a much higher rate of fire than the M3A1 model. Prison Military Police guards are seen using them, as well as practically every member of the Dirty Dozen, most notably Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) during several scenes in basic training. In reality, the Grease Gun was never fielded in such great numbers but was likely the easiest gun for the film armorers to acquire.

M3A1 "Grease Gun" - .45 ACP.
Sgt. Clyde Bowren (Richard Jaeckel) on the right and Cpl. Morgan (Robert Phillips) on the left are armed with M3 "Grease Guns".
Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) shoots out the rope under Pedro Jiminez (Trini López) as he climbs to persuade him to climb faster. In the DVD commentary, Dale Dye mentioned that in reality, the Grease Gun is so inaccurate that it probably would have killed everyone on the platform instead.
Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) holds an M3 "Grease Gun" with two magazines taped together "Jungle Style" on Col. Everett Dasher Breed (Robert Ryan) and his men when they come to cancel the training of his men.
Roscoe Lever (Stuart Cooper) takes cover from artillery during the war games while armed with a Grease Gun.
Tassos Bravos (Al Mancini) with a Grease Gun during the war games.
Vernon Pinkley (Donald Sutherland) glances at his Grease Gun hidden in a car near to him when disguised as a German soldier outside the mansion.
Sgt. Clyde Bowren (Richard Jaeckel) hides from a German patrol outside the mansion while armed with a Grease Gun.
Archer Maggot (Telly Savalas) fires his Grease Gun at Robert Jefferson (Jim Brown) when he goes crazy in the mansion.
Pinkley (Donald Sutherland) unloads his Grease Gun at the Germans as they rush out the mansion entrance.
Milo Vladek (Tom Busby) with a Grease Gun in the mansion.
Glenn Gilpin (Ben Carruthers) and Jefferson with Grease Guns outside the mansion.
Lever (Stuart Cooper) with a Grease Gun outside the mansion.
Joseph Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) takes out a German sniper, firing from the hip!
Jefferson (Jim Brown) also takes out a sniper while firing from the hip.
"We made it!" Victor Franko (John Cassavetes) with a Grease Gun.
Franko gets shot by a German soldier with a... Grease Gun?. While the soldier could have captured this gun (as some did during WWII), it is likely they mixed it up with the MP40 he should be using.


Germans are inaccurately seen armed mainly with MP40 submachine guns.

MP40 - 9mm.
A German soldier armed with an MP40 gets shot by Pinkley (Donald Sutherland).
A German shoots Pinkley (Donald Sutherland) with his MP40.
When the German is shot, he drops his MP40 and it goes off. The bolt lock was applied for this very reason but it is obvious he didn't have time to lock it before being killed.
A German fires his MP40, eyes closed.
A German reaches for his MP40 after playing dead.
The German fires his MP40 at the members of the Dozen on the armored vehicle.
A German with an MP40 prepares to shoot Jefferson (Jim Brown).
A German fires his MP40 at Lever (Stuart Cooper) and Sawyer (Colin Maitland) on the boat.


M1 Garand

While the M1 Garand was the most heavily fielded weapon of the U.S. Military during WWII, it is seen somewhat scarcely in the film, mainly in the hands of MPs and some of the members of the Dirty Dozen during the war games.

M1 Garand with M7 bayonet - .30-06
An MP on guard with an M1 Garand.
M1 Garand - .30-06.
Col. Everett Dasher Breed's (Robert Ryan) troops line up armed with M1 Garands.
Another shot of Breed's men.
Archer Maggott (Telly Savalas) on guard duty during the party has an M1 Garand slung over his back.
An M1 Garand in the hands of Joseph Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) during the war games.
It's a pretty big safety violation to have the muzzle of your rifle pointed at someone's face.
Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) with an M1 Garand.
Samson Posey (Clint Walker) with an M1 Garand.

M1 Carbine

Several of the troopers led by Col. Breed (Robert Ryan) are seen armed with M1 Carbines, although they are only in the background.

M1 Carbine - .30 Carbine.
On the right, one of Breed's men in the background with an M1 Carbine.
The trooper on the left behind Breed with an M1 Carbine.

M1A1 Carbine

While disarming Breed's men, Tassos Bravos (Al Mancini) takes a paratrooper folding stock M1A1 Carbine.

M1A1 Carbine - .30 Carbine.
Tassos Bravos (Al Mancini) disarms one of Breed's men of his M1A1 Carbine.

Karabiner 98k

German soldiers carry Karabiner 98k rifles during the final shootout at the mansion. Like many WWII films from 1960-1980, the MP40 submachine gun is inaccurately shown as the main weapon of the German army instead of the Kar98k.

Karabiner 98k - 7.92x57mm.
The two Germans that get killed outside the gate are armed with Karabiner 98k.
A German on patrol with a Kar98k slung over his back.
A German soldier with a Kar98k.

Karabiner 98k Sniper

At one point in the film, a German sniper is seen using a Karabiner 98k fitted with a scope (which appears to have infrared vision, which wasn't available on such a small scope at the time) and uses it to kill Milo Vladek (Tom Busby) with a shot between the eyes.

Karabiner 98k with Zeiss ZF42 scope - 7.92x57mm.
While the reticule is correct, the infrared capability isn't.
A German sniper sneaks out the window armed with a Karabiner 98k sniper rifle.
The sniper takes aim with his Kar98k.
A scope this small at the time could not be capable of infrared vision. Also, this is a horrible and clearly fake scope mount.

The first German sniper is hilariously seen using an American M1 Garand with the same fake scope mount, likely because of a lack of 7.92mm blanks or firing Kar98k rifles.

The sniper fires the M1 Garand at Jefferson (Jim Brown).
The sniper falls out the window and drops his M1 Garand.



Several MP's and Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) are seen with M1911A1 pistols as their sidearms.

Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP.
An M1911A1 is seen in Reisman's (Lee Marvin) holster.
MP Sgt. Clyde Bowren (Richard Jaeckel), opens his holster when Reisman teaches knife fighting.
An MP is seen with an M1911A1 in a holster next to Col. Breed (Robert Ryan).
An MP with an M1911A1.

Beretta 950 Jetfire (suppressed)

Joseph Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) is seen using a Beretta 950 Jetfire fitted with a sound suppressor to eliminate some German officers at the guard gate. While inside the mansion, he manages to kill a radio operator with it before leaving it there. Since the pistol has a tip open barrel, this makes small acorn .22 blanks easy to load and unload with non-blank converted guns (which this clearly is since it doesn't cycle).

Beretta 950B Jetfire - .25 ACP‎
Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) uses the suppressed Beretta.
Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) eliminates the radio operator with the suppressed Beretta.

Walther P38

When Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) and Joseph Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) infiltrate the German mansion disguised as German officers, they keep Walther P38s as their sidearms and use them to shoot the guards outside the shelter entrance before sealing the people inside.

Walther P38 - 9mm.
Reisman (Lee Marvin) and Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) draw and fire their Walther P38s on the guards outside the shelter.
Closeup of the Walther P38 fired by Wladislaw (Charles Bronson).
The Walther P38 is fired.

Luger P08

For some reason as Reisman (Lee Marvin) and Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) leave the underground shelter, their Walther P38s change to Luger P08s.

Luger P08 - 9mm.
Reisman (Lee Marvin) and Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) with Luger P08s.
Reisman (Lee Marvin) peaks around the corner with his Luger P08 at the ready.

Machine Guns

Browning M1919A4

Several times the Browning M1919A4 is used in the film. First it is seen carried in a jeep by the blue team during the war games. Two are used during the assault on the mansion, one used by Roscoe Lever (Stuart Cooper) and Seth Sawyer (Colin Maitland) near the front entrance and the other manned by Tassos Bravos (Al Mancini) to combat the approaching German vehicles.

Browning M1919A4, fitted with bolt latch - .30-06.
Archer Maggott (Telly Savalas) rests his hand on a Browning M1919A4 during the war games.
Lever (Stuart Cooper) mans an M1919A4 near the main entrance while Sawyer (Colin Maitland) holds the belt box.
Sawyer (Colin Maitland) fires the M1919A4 at the Germans.
The two fire the M1919A4.
Lever (Stuart Cooper) grins in satisfaction after taking out a German vehicle with the M1919A4.
Bravos (Al Mancini) fires the M1919A4 at the German vehicles.


Samson Posey (Clint Walker) mans an MG42 to combat the approaching German vehicles. The gun is fitted with a 50 round drum. The same gun is seen mounted on a German vehicle but not clear enough to see.

MG42 - 7.92x57mm.
Posey (Clint Walker) loads his MG42.
Posey (Clint Walker) fires the MG42 at the German vehicles.
A nice side shot of the MG42 when Posey (Clint Walker) takes cover from a German vehicle firing the same weapon.

MG 34

An MG 34 is seen fired from a German vehicle before members of the Dozen knock it off the bridge with their own vehicle.

MG 34 - 7.92x57mm.
A gunner fires an MG 34 from an armored vehicle (a modified British Daimler Scout Car)
A better shot of the MG 34.


Mk 2 hand grenade

Several members of the Dirty Dozen keep Mk 2 hand grenades hanging on their belts, most notably Robert Jefferson (Jim Brown) and Archer Maggott (Telly Savalas). While on the roof, Glenn Gilpin (Ben Carruthers) gets stuck after having a leg break through the roof on his way to disable the alarm tower. Immobilized, he throws two Mk 2 grenades at the tower to destroy it instead. When preparing to blow up the mansion, Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) and his men dump bags of Mk 2 grenades down the vents and then dump gasoline to make the building itself a bomb.

Mk 2 hand grenade.
Mk 2 grenades are seen on Jefferson's (Jim Brown) belt. Having his magazine pouches (20 round Thompson magazines) on the small of his back makes reloading take longer and is not tactically sound. All the Dozen do this.
Mk 2 grenades are seen on Maggott's (Telly Savalas) belt.
Maggott (Telly Savalas) lays on a bed in the mansion and plays with a grenade as we see how crazy he really is.
Gilpin (Ben Carruthers) throws two Mk 2 grenades at the alarm tower.
Sgt. Clyde Bowren (Richard Jaeckel) trips and drops his bag full of Mk 2 grenades.
Reisman (Lee Marvin) drops grenades down the vents.
The Germans in the shelter pathetically try to push the grenades back up.

Webley & Scott Signal Pistols

Samson Posey (Clint Walker) fires a Webley & Scott No. 1 Mk. III* Signal Pistol into the air to signal to the others that the Germans have arrived.

Webley & Scott No. 1 Mk. III* Signal Pistol - 1 inch - brass frame and barrel
Posey (Clint Walker) fires the signal pistol into the air.

25 Pounder artillery guns

During the war games, the Red team fires on the Blue team with artillery that appears to be British 25 Pounder guns. Dale Dye mentioned in the DVD commentary that the chromed barrels for these artillery pieces make it more likely these guns were used for parades instead of actual combat operations. At the time of World War II, these guns were standard field artillery pieces not for the US, but for the British army. Presumably the proper American equivalents (105 mm guns, as the closer equivalent, for instance) were unavailable, the movie being filmed in the UK.

The red team fire the 25 Pounder guns. The chromed barrels indicate that these guns would more like to be used for parades, and not active duty.
The red team fire the 25 Pounder guns.
The red team reloads the 25 Pounder guns.

40mm Bofors AA gun

When the remaining members of the Dirty Dozen try to escape in an armored vehicle, they look back to see it is towing a German Anti-Aircraft (AA) gun. Victor Franko (John Cassavetes) then jumps off and removes the hitch. The AA gun appears to be a Bofors 40mm Anti-Aircraft gun.

Bofors 40mm L/60 AA gun in a Boffin mounting - 40×311mmR
The group looks back at the AA gun.

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