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Designed by Heinrich Vollmer at Erma Werke, the fully automatic Maschinenpistole (machine pistol) 40 was an improvement on the MP 38, which had suffered serious problems with misfiring. Constructed with stamped sheet metal, the MP 40 was a very economical weapon to manufacture.
The MP 40 was adopted in 1940 and was usually allocated to German unit leaders. It was known as a reliable weapon in the field, and was often prized by Allied soldiers.
Approximately one million MP 40s were produced between 1940 and 1944. The MP 40 is often inaccurately referred to as a "Schmeisser" even though weapons designer Hugh Schmeisser had nothing to do with its design or manufacture.
Caliber: 9 mm
Length: 32.75 in.
Weight: 8.75 lbs
Magazine: 32 rounds
Rate of Fire: 500 rpm (cyclic), 150 rpm (effective)
Range: 330 feet
Muzzle Velocity: 1250 fps
The MG34 was used as the primary infantry machine gun during the 1930s, and remained as the primary tank and aircraft defensive weapon. It was intended that it would be replaced in infantry service by the related MG42, but there were never enough of the new design to go around, and MG34s soldiered on in all roles until the end of World War II. It was intended that it would replace the MG-13 and other older machine guns, but these ended up still being used in WWII as demand was never met.
Changes to the operating mechanism improved the rate of fire to between 800 and 900 RPM. .
The new gun was accepted for service almost immediately and was generally liked by the troops. It was used to great effect by German soldiers assisting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. At the time it was introduced it had a number of advanced features and the GPMG concept that it aspired to was a influential one. However the MG34 was also expensive, both in terms of construction and the raw materials needed (49 kg of steel) and it was unable to be built in the sorts of numbers required for the ever expanding German army. It also proved to be rather temperamental, jamming easily when dirty.
The MG34 could use both magazine-fed and belt-fed 7.92 mm ammunition. Belts were supplied in 50-round single strips or 250-round boxes. The drums held either 50 rounds in the standard version, or 75 in the "double drum" version. Early guns had to be modified to use the drums by replacing a part on the gun, but this modification was later supplied from the factory.
In the light machine gun role it was used with a bipod and weighed only 12.1 kg. In the medium machine gun role it could be mounted on one of two tripods, a smaller one weighing 6.75 kg, the larger 23.6 kg. The larger tripod, the MG-34 Laffette, included a number of features such as a scope and special sighting equipment for indirect fire. The legs could be extended to allow it to be used in the anti-aircraft role (and many were), and when lowered it could be placed to allow the gun to be fired "remotely" while it swept an arc in front of the mounting with fire, or aimed through a periscope attached to the tripod.
* Caliber: 7.92 mm
* Load: continuous belt feed (50 or 200 round strips) or 75 round beltless saddle drum
* Action: selective fire, air cooled
* Rate of fire: 800 to 900 round/min
* Weight: 12.1 kg (26.7 lb)
* Weight with tripod: 19.2 kg (42.3 lb)
Unlike the Americans, the German Army did not employ light, medium or heavy machine guns in World War II, but instead standardized on one machine gun, the Maschinengewehr 42, which was the successor to the more complicated and difficult to manufacture MG 34. The weapon entered service in 1942 and over the next three years approximately 400,000 were manufactured by companies including Mauser Werke AG, Gustloff-Werke, Grossfuss in, Magnet and Steyr-Daimler-Puch.
The MG 42 was reliable, powerful, lightweight, easy to service, and fairly inexpensive to produce. It had few weaknesses, although its high rate of fire did cause significant vibration which could throw off a gunner's aim. The MG 42's barrel could be swapped out and replaced in 30 seconds or less.
The MG 42 was designed to operate in two modes. When used by an infantryman the MG 42 was equipped with a bipod and was considered to be in light machine gun mode. It could be configured for heavy machine gun mode by mounting it on a tripod and fitting it with long-range sights.
German units often organized themselves around the firepower that the MG 42 could provide, and almost all rifleman were tasked with carrying ammunition for it. With its extremely high rate of fire the MG 42 required a significant amount of ammunition to keep it in operation. The MG 42 was often operated by a three-man crew; a gunner, a loader and a spotter. The gunner was usually a junior NCO, as it was too valuable a weapon to be placed in the hands of anyone less experienced.
The United States Army's current M60 machine gun is based in part on the MG 42 design.
Muzzle Velocity: 2477 feet per second
Weight: 25.3 lbs.
Length: 48 in.
Rate of Fire: 1200–1800 rounds per minute
Effective Range: 547 yards
The Mauser Karabiner 98k was the German army's standard rifle during World War II. Although officially designated as a carbine (karabiner), the 98k was only slightly shorter than the Gewehr 98 and Karabiner 98b, the World War I era rifles that it replaced. The "k" in 98k stood for kurz, the German word for "short."
The bolt-action 98k was based on a Mauser Standard Model and went into production in 1935. The 98k was considered an accurate and reliable weapon, and approximately 14 million of them were produced before the end of the war.
The 98k probably would have been replaced by the Sturmgewehr 44 had World War II lasted longer.
Caliber: 7.92 mm
Muzzle Velocity: 2,477 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 15 rounds per minute
Magazine: 5 rounds
Weight: 8.6 lbs.
Length: 43.7 in.
Effective Range: 875 yards
Type Assault rifle
Date of design 1943
Service duration July 1944 - May 1945
Cartridge 7.92 x 33 mm
Rate of fire 500-600
Muzzle velocity 685 m/s
Effective range 300 m
Weight (Unloaded) 5.22 kg
Length 940 mm
Barrel 419 mm
Magazine capacity 30
Viewing sights Blade front
Tangent U-notch rear
Number built 425,977
The MP43, MP44, and StG44 were names for a nearly identical weapon with only small production differences and dates. The last, the StG44, was called "Sturmgewehr" literally "Storm rifle", or more commonly translated as assault rifle. It combined the traits of submachine guns (SMG) and automatic rifles. The translation "assault rifle" became very popular to describe this class of weapon, but it was far from being the first of this type.
It chambered a shorter version of the standard 7.92 mm rifle round, which, in combination with the weapon's design allowed it to be used like a SMG in close quarters but with greater accuracy and range then a SMG for farther targets. However, it had much less range and power than regular rifles of the day; fortunately, at that time, much of the fighting was taking place at closer ranges such as in towns, cities, and wooded areas. It had much less range and power than battle rifles, the standard of the day, but most shooting took place at the relatively short ranges it was useful at, anyway.
It was a popular weapon—much of the army was armed with either submachine guns or bolt-action rifles—but only a limited number of soldiers were issued the semi-automatic rifles. There was also a distinct lack of a dedicated light machine gun (LMG). The MG34 and MG42 had versions that were meant to serve in this role but they were on the heavy side for a LMG. The Stg44 was not a light machine gun, but it did fill the need for a light automatic rifle that offered mobile suppresive fire, like the Bren, while at the same time offering much of the convenience of a SMG or light automatic rifle such as the US M1 Carbine.
A light automatic rifle, the FG42, was available for paratroopers as a semi-automatic rifle and light support weapon. However, it was produced in only a few thousand units because it was not economical to manufacture and due to internal politics of the Nazi government.
The Soviet Union, who also had lacked large number of deployed LMG's like the BAR, was quicker to adapt the concept. The AK-47 used a similar sized round and followed the design concept, but was internally (mechanically) different. It was with this weapon that the English term 'assault rifle' for intermediate automatic carbines rose to greater prominence, and has since has been retro-actively applied to earlier weapons in this category. While the name originated from certain English translations of Sturmgewehr, the weapon itself did not mark the invention of the weapon concept of an assault rifle.
The German Panzer force at the start of World War II was not especially impressive. Only 4% of the defense budget was spent on AFV - production. Guderian had planned for two main tanks, the Panzer III was in production but the second support tank with a 75 mm gun was not. Designated the Panzer IV design work had begun in 1935 and trials of prototypes were undertaken in 1937, but by the time of the invasion of Poland only a few hundred 'troop trial' models were available. The development work was then halted and limited production began by Krupp in Gruson, Essen and Bochum in October 1939 with 20 vehicles built. Even that low number could not be sustained however, production dropping to ten in April 1940.
Nevertheless the number of available Panzer IV's (211) was still larger than that of the Panzer III (98). There were also technical problems with the Panzer III, it was widely considered to be under-gunned with a 37 mm KwK L/45 and production was split between four manufacturers (MAN, Daimler-Benz, Rheinmetall-Borsig, and Krupp) with little regard for each firms expertise, the rate of production was initially very low (40 in September 1939, 58 in June 1940) - taking until December 1940 to reach 100 examples a month. The Panzer force for the early German victories was a mix of the Panzer I and Panzer II machine-gun only light tanks, and Czech tanks. By May 1940 349 Panzer III's were available for the attacks on France and the Low Countries. A few elite divisions were somewhat better equipped with the new tanks and they featured prominently in the newsreels and photographs of the invasion.
The actual invasion, the Blitzkrieg, was an amazing success due to tactical innovation rather than tank quality. Guderian, von Kleist and other commanders such as Rommel broke the hiatus of the Phoney War in a manner almost outside the comprehension of Allied commanders. In actual tank-on-tank encounters the German armor performed poorly, in one particular encounter near Arras the 7 Panzer division was badly mauled by the 'Matildas' of the British 1st Tank Brigade, one British tank carried on operating after fourteen hits by German 37 mm guns.
The recognition that the Panzer III was under gunned was already present during its conception and its design included a large turret ring to make it possible to fit a 2250 ft/s (656 m/s) 50 mm KwK L/42 gun on later models. In July 1940 the first 17 of these models were being made, too late to see action in the final weeks of the Battle of France. Designated the Panzer III Ausf. F, other changes included upgrading the Maybach engine and numerous minor changes to ease mass production.
The King Tiger?s 88mm main gun has a muzzle velocity of 1000m per second when firing armor piercing rounds. It was highly accurate and able to penetrate 150mm of armor at distances exceeding 2200m. Since the flight time of an armor piercing round at a range of 2200m is about 2.2 seconds or less, accuracy and correction of fire against moving targets is more important than with older anti tank guns. This made this heavy predator ideally suited to open terrain where it could engage enemy tanks at long range before the opponent?s weapons were even in range.
For the chassis, much has been learnt from the sloped armor design of the Russian T-34. As with the Panther, the King Tiger was to have sloped and interlocked front and side armor. The front armor was 150mm thick and the side was 80mm thick. Both firms Henschel and Porsche submitted their own designs.
Porsche designed the VK4502 (P) chassis which was built on the previous VK4501 (P) design of the Tiger 1. The codename VK was for Volkettenfahrzeuge or "fully tracked experimental vehicle", 45 means a 45 ton class and 01 represents the first model. The VK4502 (P) chassis had a similar outlook with the Tiger 1, sharing many similarities such as the suspension and automotive parts. Two designs were submitted, the first one having its turret mounted centrally and the second had the turret mounted towards the rear with the engine in front. However, it used copper for the electric transmission which Germany was in shortage of. This design was rejected and did not enter production.
The Ho XVIII was basically shaped like the Ho 8, with aerodynamic refinements for a Mach speed of 0.75, 6 jet engines, and was intended to be used as a bomber with a 4000 miles operating range, which indicates and intent to bomb America. The idea behind it was probably to carry an atomic bomb to New York or Washington, but luckily for the allies, the bomb was still only theoretical, the engines probably could not have lasted the journey, and the plane could not possibly have been completed before Germany surrendered.
Reimar Horten says in his biography:
"Our final contract; to develop a six jet long range bomber, was received on March 12, 1945."
"To gain some experience with large flying wings, I had proposed to double the size of a Ho III, equip it with six 640 HP pusher engines, give it an endurance of 20 hours at 500 km/h, and the ability to carry a few bombs. Such an aircraft would be useful in the North Atlantic war. The official argument against it was that "our bombers already do 500 km/h!"
"The order to proceed with the building of the Ho XVIII came, despite my arguments that preliminary calculations were not completed. Construction was started in Kahla near Weimar in April 1945."
Much too late again. Construction was never finished.
Originally posted by warpboost
What do you all think about the stories of Viktor Shauberger and the repulsine technology he supposedly invented which is what powered nazi flying saucers/foo fighters?
[edit on 16-8-2005 by warpboost]