At 1:26:28/2:56:12 in A Bridge Too Far, Maj Gen Urquhart and his squad or platoon (I'm uncertain which term) are behind enemy lines and trying to dodge Germans. But why didn't they silence or suppress their weapons? Doubtless they wouldn't desire Germans to hear gunshots that'll just attract more Germans to Urquhart's hide-out.

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  • 3
    Watching too many fantasy sneaky beaky movies! Not standard issue I'm afraid. Jan 17, 2023 at 19:28

3 Answers 3


Silenced pistols DID exist during World War II. Silencers were regularly used by agents of the United States Office of Strategic Services, who favored the newly designed High Standard HDM . 22 LR pistol during World War II. They just weren't widespread devices. also alot of pistol ammo in those days were subsonic, thus noise wasn't much of a major issue.


Silencers and suppressors weren't all that effective in World War II compared to now. They also reduce muzzle velocity, which means they reduce accuracy and range, and they have a limited durability.

As such they weren't general issue - some commando and other special forces did receive suppressed carbines - but during the war, Allied paratroopers were not kitted out all that differently to regular infantry.

  • Some suppressors actually increase muzzle velocity. it depends on the type. If it's a separate suppressor screwed onto the barrel it allows gas pressure to act on the bullet slightly longer which equals very slightly faster bullet. If it's integral to the gun and the barrel vents into it or it uses rubber wipes it probably does reduce velocity
    – Dave Smith
    Jan 20, 2023 at 13:05

Since the paratroopers drop was so massive, they figure out that it will be spotted as soon as they approach DZs.

So what's the point in adding extra gear to paratroopers?

  • No, It's not that, it is that it isn't standard issue unless you are in the kind of service that the other answers have already mentioned. Jan 17, 2023 at 19:31

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