Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

German assault rifle

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by EagleSquadron12, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. EagleSquadron12

    EagleSquadron12 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Hughes Springs, Texas
    Hitler had put in an order that no more rifles were to be made...he instead wanted Machine Pistols aka MP.

    One company that I can't remember the name of had already made a rifle that they redesignated the MP43. Hitler discovered this deception but liked the design enough that they were able to tweak the design and change the name to MP 44. It would later be designated the STG 44 once it's capabilities were realized.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,573
    Likes Received:
    1,474
    Location:
    London, England.
    It was Haenel who made the MKb 42(H) which was later designated MP43. Walther were also working on their own design, some elements of which were incorporated in the final production model.
     
  3. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Germany
    He was known as a K 98k-Fanboy. Is this true that he gave orders to stop the production?
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,220
    Likes Received:
    1,837
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    On the earliest weapons that can really be described as the 'Sturmgewehr' we now know:
    The Haenel work on selective fire carbines that eventually fed Sturmgewehr design was commissioned by the state (In the form of the WaA & WaPruf) in 1938.
    Their earliest direct progenitor was the open bolt sMP42. The s standing for 'schwere/heavy', renamed for political/procurement reasons 'MK42' (Karbine), and then MKb42 to avoid confusion with traditional nomenclature (MK - traditionally MaschineKanone).
    A tortuous tale then proceeds - further confused by Walther also working on the same project, the different weapons officially being MKb42(H) & MKb42(W)

    The detailed history of all this nomenclature to-ing & thro-ing is all rather... German. Though it is interesting if you've ever been intrigued by how the conflicting technological/tactical 'R&D' departments all fitted together and squabbled for influence. Not so much worse than any other nation's similar behind-the scenes battles, but coloured by all that Totalitarian state/Fuhrer business.

    So to 'What Hitler did'... or didn't:
    In April '42 - He'd specifically banned further work on these types of weapons (loooong story - Goering... FG42, behind-the-scenes battles etc. etc.), though the order was skirted around by those who saw potential, helped along by encouraging troop-trials that went ahead as scheduled one day after the ban order.

    Nov. '42 - 'Denkschrift uber Maschinenkaribiner' - was a report submitted to the OKW (loose term). An enthusiastic stating of the case for the weapon, containing trials results and references to what the opposition was working on.
    Adolf said no. Citing doubts about sustained fire for rifle work, belief in SMGs, complications of new ammunition and cynicism about the 'blow & stab' nature of the thing (lovely phrase... makes the point of what was being investigated though).

    So... double-banned; but the people working on it still thought they were on the right track and discretely carried on (even placing a tentative 'order' for 20k rifles, so sure were they of eventually getting through) until eventually persuading the FuhrerBegleitBattalion to stage a demo for Adolf in December.
    A realistic assault was demonstrated to high staffers. The umpires declared less losses than K98 would have meant, all looked good & Adolf himself was scheduled to attend a second show.
    He never turned up. A memo from his ADC saying that the project was not official so not on his itinerary did...

    Production started properly. Troop trials began. Some front issue. (Sort of brave from the chaps involved, who saw the need in the face of official objection).
    In another attempt to get the project supported MKb42 & MP43 were fielded in a demo of Feb '43:
    View attachment 25492
    Apparently Adolf was a bit cross... 'You come with the same stuff again which I do not want to see anymore, even though you give your baby a different name' (MP43 was technically a new variant, but Hitler objects to the whole concept). The Wapruf Section Leader for the project was returned to Berlin and the Fuhrer/Speer repeated an emphatic ban citing preference for the G43 along with weight & ammunition objections.

    Triple banned - Still they carried on!

    Eventually, as the thing was even going into series production and stopping that would mean scrapping tons of already made parts, Adolf relented in March '43.

    (I'm no auto-retentive expert, by the way - I just have a very nice book on it!)



    What makes the whole tale (which gets far more byzantine in detail than the above summary) so interesting to me is that persistence of the technical/tactical chaps getting through even in a dictatorial environment.
    Whether it was easier to play silly-buggers regarding weapons in general, or there was genuinely substantial leeway given to anyone with scientific solutions, or even if it's all a sign of slightly chaotic General Staff when a political leader interferes so personally I don't know, but it's always intriguing stuff. (To the extent I still open Sturmgewehr threads, despite the hundreds already out there. So many of which are just, well, 'over-excited').
    Personally, I get the impression that on this score Adolf was still a WW1 Infantryman at heart. 'The rifle' being so dear to his view of fighting men that he found it far harder to accept dramatic evolution of it than he might regarding other types of weapon.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. EagleSquadron12

    EagleSquadron12 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Hughes Springs, Texas
    He did indeed try to stop production of new rifles...he let Kar 98s keep being made tho
     
  6. EagleSquadron12

    EagleSquadron12 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Hughes Springs, Texas
    What's funny though is that the STG 44 was basically reimagined in the AK 47 and a little bit in the M16...pretty cool stuff
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    My Dad didn't talk about the war much, but one evening 50 or 55 years ago we were watching a TV show based on WWII, called "Combat." I was always trying to prompt my Dad to tell me about the war, and I said something about how those poor Germans only had bolt action rifles no better than our own deer rifle, while the American soldiers had the Garand. I was rarely successful when I prompted him about the war, but this time he talked a little bit about the weapons. I remember him saying that they had a rifle much like the Garand, but with magazines (I'm sure he meant the G43), and then he said they had another really fearsome rifle that he called the "Buck Rogers" rifle. (Buck Rogers was a sci-fi space hero that dates back well before my time.)
    Anyway, he said that they picked up those Buck Rogers rifles and used them whenever they had the chance - until they ran out of ammo presumably. I remember getting eviscerated on a gun forum many years ago for telling that story because "the US Army would never allow a GI to use an enemy rifle, for these reasons; blah, blah, blah..." Basically, I was full of shit, or my Dad was full of shit making up a war story.

    Years later I came across this photo. It was taken near LaGlieze and is a 30th ID soldier (Dad's unit). This GI is either 119th or 120th Regiment, and is obviously carrying an STG44, the Buck Rogers rifle.

    View attachment 25494
     

    Attached Files:

  8. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Germany
    Why not pick up enemy rifles and use them? Usually you find ammo too and that's at least a relief for the home front.
    The StG 44 seemed to have no futuristic sound, more a usual SMG.

    I've heard that using a picked up MG 42 usually resulted soon in friendly fire. US soldiers were trained to eliminate these weapons at first and went nuts when hearing it.
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Yes. Those are the reasons I was told that using enemy weapons was never allowed. The people telling me that were Vietnam era vets, and those reasons are solid and surely true in the Vietnam era army. Yet, in WWII the TOE became more of a suggestion than a standing order in most fighting divisions. If you could "find" extra AT guns, BARs. LMGs for a unit, then you used them whether they were authorized or not. The 82nd Airborne (General Gavin) put out a standing order to pick up every Shreck and Faust his soldiers could find. He even sent detachments to ordnance disposal units and basically stole them under threat when he could. German rockets simply had more bang for the buck than the American bazooka, and he didn't give a damn about the TOE for his units if certain German weapons gave his men an edge.

    I doubt those STG44s were used for long because of the ammo question. Even the German army had a perpetual ammo shortage. 8mm Kurz ammo was hard to find.
     
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,220
    Likes Received:
    1,837
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    I'd forgotten the Buck Rogers name, KB. Great stuff.
    The very thing that first led me to buy a shiny book on the StG.
    What a convoluted subject a round's development and introduction can be. I sort of thought I vaguely got it, but the more you enquire on such things, the more you appreciate what a massive endeavor even considering changes to that most basic of infantry tools is.
    I still don't pretend to understand smallarm ammunition, but it's definitely fascinating stuff.
     
  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    It was just a great leap in weapons development - in real war, you can't see a man at 800 yards, so why equip your soldier with an 800 yard weapon? Shorten the case, use less powder and make the bullet lighter (less recoil) and then you have a shoulder fired weapon that is actually controllable. Is a 180 grain 8mm slug at 2700 feet per second more lethal than a 123 grain 8mm slug at 2200 feet per second? Yes, but not enough to discard the other advantages, especially with full metal jacket military ammo.

    The real advantage (compared to some of the faster subgun rounds) is that spitzer slug. The M1 Carbine has near the velocity of an AK or STG Kurz round, but because of that round-nosed pistol slug, it slows quickly and becomes ineffective at medium ranges. The 7.62 Tok round (and the subguns it was used in) are probably a better example. That round is pretty fast - 1650 fps, but again, because of the round nosed pistol type slug, it has no range.

    The Russians certainly jumped on that German idea quickly. Post-war, the British also wanted to go to a shorter .280 (7mm) slug and the original FAL (L1A1) was designed around that idea. The FAL itself is derived from the STG44, though most people don't realize that. It was the damned Americans who bullied NATO into the 7.62x51 round, which just isn't controllable in full auto in any of the rifles designed around it. Except for Chuck Norris, he can shoot an M14 one-handed while smoking a cigar and stroking a models butt with his free hand.
     
  12. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    36
    You are correct KB, I don't think soldiers would engage their enemy at 800 yards with their rifles, maybe with a heavy machine, but usually at this range if they spotted enemy activity they would call in for artillery fire or use their mortars.

    I had a similar experience in the early 1970s, I was only about eleven or twelve at the time and a family friend who happened to be an ex-para said that the US M1 Rifle was inferior to the SMLE because it was no good at long range fire, I recall saying to him that if was the enemy that was closer to me what I would be concerned about and I would feel better with a automatic weapon rather than a single shot rifle.
     
  13. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,775
    Likes Received:
    313
    I don't care what standard infantry cartridge you talk about (30/06, 8X57, 303 or 7.7X58), their bullets all started dropping dramatically after going 300 meters. Hitting a standing enemy beyond that distance is in the realm of hitting the lottery and damn few enemy infantrymen stood around when the lead was flying.! Not to mention that the standard rifle round was hardly a thing of great accuracy anyway. At 800 meters the average soldier would be hard pressed to put a round into an area the size of a soccer field. With the adrenaline flowing in rivers, most soldiers would be doing well to hit his adversary at 200 meters but just might hit 10-25% of their shots inside 100. However, let's remember that small arms fire has more effects than just puncturing enemy soldiers. If you can put our enough weight of fire you can dominate the battlefield by keeping defending troop's heads down or making attackers go to ground. That's were the MG and the AR were came into their own. Besides, the more lead thrown downrange, assuming it's aimed more or less correctly, the greater the statistical chance of an enemy being hit. When I was in the service we were told that a tripod mounted M-60 MG could put accurate fire out to 600 meters. However, that was in a defensive position with a well-made range card that had accurate ranges on it. Of course one had to see the enemy out there and that often wasn't possible. In most infantry situations the AR is the way to go for those carrying individual weapons
     
  14. Owen

    Owen O

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    621
    Here's another but I imagine you'd have seen it since then.


    [​IMG]

    and


    [​IMG]
     
    George Patton and KodiakBeer like this.
  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    I've never seen those. Any clue as to what unit these men are in? The second photo may be posed because the ammo pouches are too short to hold STG mags.
     
  16. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,174
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    There appears to be two STG44 mag pouches under his right arm, attached to his belt. I believe all German mag pouches had slots for set of three magazines -- interested how there's only two here. Possible that the third pouch was removed for easier fit/carry when attached to the hip?
     
  17. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,329
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Good eye! So, probably not a posed picture. What do you make of his overalls? Is that a tanker thing, or perhaps an Airborne thing?
     
  18. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,174
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Pure speculation here, but I'd say he's a tanker. I haven't seen any photos of infantry types wearing overalls. It would seem more likely for a tanker to be using a captured weapon as the occasions on which it'd be fired in anger should be lower than for a regular infantryman, which negates some concerns regarding exhausting of ammo supply.

    More pure speculation: I find the mag pouch interesting -- given that the standard German model was a triple pouch and this is only a double, it would seem as though this fellow cut it down (presumably to fit better on his belt). If true, that would imply that the gun was being used as his "issue" rifle. Why go to the trouble of cutting down captured German equipment if you're just going to pose with it, or carry it around for a short period?
     
  19. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,775
    Likes Received:
    313
    Is that soldier even American? IIRC, didn't the USA outfit the Free French and Italian forces? I'm looking at the beard and I've never seen an American soldier of that era with a van Dyke. Certainly, they had beards after several days on the line without opportunity to shave, but this beard looks like it's his permanent look and I don't think beards were kosher in American forces.
     
  20. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,573
    Likes Received:
    1,474
    Location:
    London, England.
    On p.101 of Robert Bruces' book 'German Automatic Weapons Of WWII' ( Windrow & Greene, 1997 ) the soldier holding the MP44 is identified as Sergeant Oakley M. Ruth. The photo was taken by a US Signal Corps photographer in Chateau-Salins, France on 13 November 1944. His unit is unconfirmed, but Bruce posits the theory that, judging from his clothing, he may be an armoured vehicle crewman.
     
    Owen and von Poop like this.

Share This Page