THE PEACE THAT WASN'T----------------Wars following the Second World War
Weapons of the Police and Auxiliary Forces in Malaya
The Malayan Emergency----------Britain: 1--CT's: 0
French Indochina 1945-1954 Au Revoir Colony!
Vietnam War Rations -Upheaval from Within
Russia in Afghanistan
Troublespots in the making----------------Upcoming Articles
Links More places to do a Recce' on the matter and more...

Even though standard police kit and weaponry were the norm at the outbreak of hostilities, much military kit and a staggering array of weapons found their way into the police and auxiliary forces in Malaya during the emergency.

Webley Mk IV Revolver in .38/200 Caliber
4 Inch barrel, as used by police forces

Standard police weaponry in theatre consisted of sidearms, which included various Webley, Enfield and Smith and Wesson revolvers, supplemented by by a few rifles issued for riot duties (generally No1 MkIII* ex-army rifles) and a limited number of STEN Smg's for prison guards and such.

With the outbreak of hostilities, and the fact that the police were generally outgunned by the CT's and other bandits, police weaponry changed.
Second line weapons like Sten Mark II Smg's, Riot Shotguns (generally US or Belgian made Browning Patent Autos and Winchester/Remington pump guns) and some Light machine guns were provided.
Due to the need for a light internmediate weapon and the proximity of friendlies in many urban encounters, quantities of US Made .30 M1 Carbines and later M2 Carbines were added to the inventory for police detachments.

Jungle Squad Paraded for Pre-action Inspection
Note "uniform", kit and single-shot shotguns

At the same time, so-called native contingent "Police Jungle Squads" were formed from the local populace. Due to the initial uncertainty of their intentions, many of these squads were armed only with single-shot break-open 12 bore shotguns hastly purchased from the US, and existing stocks of both 12/14 bore Greener riot guns and Enfield .410 Bore single-shot conversion guns. This not only ascertained their loss in case of a change of heart and subsequent engagement against British elements, but also helped cost and supply shortages at bay.

While the police in Malaya was going through its bitterly needed arms upgrade, many of the local farmers formed mutual defense groups which, in conjunction with the police and military, patrolled and secured plantations, roads and otehr strategic points.
Initially, the local defense forces were armed with weapons readily at their disposal, such as various hunting shotguns and rifles, and a few handguns. As the conflict widened, these groups not only purchased vast quantities of small arms from abroad, but also received military supplies of BREN LMGs and Stens, as well as supplies of older Mk6 .455 caliber revolvers.

Webley MK6 Revolver in .455 Caliber
Great insurance against bandits!

Iban Tracker and British troops confer on patrol
Note extreme light order of kit carried

The last groups in the list of uncenventional combatants in Malaya are local trackers and tribal volunteers/mercenaries who for one reason or another fought alongside the British. Foremost among them were groups like the Iban trackers, who initially were armed only with single-shot shotguns, but who proved their temper and allegiance to Britain and Malaya so thoroughly, that they were actually uniformed (to the degree that they would tolerate), armed and equipped by the British Army, mostly with weapons one genration behind current issue (No1 rifles when the No4 was general issue; No4 rifles when No5s and SLRs were standard issue etc.)

Email us at: