Some 5.5 million M1 Garand were manufactured for use by US forces in World War II. Both the troops and the generals loved it, General Patton calling it the greatest battle implement ever designed. The gas operated semi-automatic went through a long development process in the 20’s and 30’s by its French-Canadien designer, John Garand. One the eve of US entry into World War II, the rifle went into mass production in 1940 and by the end of 1941 the Army was completely equipped with M1s. Troops liked its accuracy, rate of fire and overall dependability in field conditions. The Army would use the M1 as its primary rifle until 1959.