SMALL ARMS IN WEHRMACHT

FG42.jpg

The FG 42 (German: Fallschirmjägergewehr 42, “paratrooper rifle 42”) is a selective-fire automatic rifle produced in Germany during World War II. The weapon was developed specifically for the use of the Fallschirmjäger airborne infantry in 1942 and was used in very limited numbers until the end of the war.

It combined the characteristics and firepower of a light machine gun in a lightweight form no larger than the standard-issue Kar 98k bolt-action rifle. Considered one of the most advanced weapon designs of World War II, the FG 42 influenced post-war small arms development, and most of its design was copied by the US Army when they developed the M60 machine gun.

The weapon system underwent continuous development. Its expedited development, remedial changes to the original design and ever-changing Luftwaffe requirements resulted in a myriad of variants. Post-war literature typically identifies three versions, however the Germans did not give them separate designations; the “Model I”, “Model II” and “Model III” were never officially referenced and period documents simply refer to the weapon as the “FG 42”, and the reference was always made to the latest production model.

FG 42

45 comments

  1. ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · May 14, 2017

    Yes, these amazing predecessors.

    1) The Assault Rifle select-fire configuration (Not to be confused with Automatic Rifle Designation). The primary weapon of choice adopted by all armed forces of the world. Note that the Russian AK47 was engineered in retaliation to the STG44 considering how effective it was at mowing down Soviet soldiers, at the time who could only respond with single fire weaponry.

    2) I don’t have to emphasize to how indispensable Infrared illuminated nightvision has become for both warfighter and hunter alike. We human beings do not have inherent naturally occurring ambient light illumination whatsoever! Despite what some delusional Autists might claim.

    *Fun fact during WW2 there was a wide rumor among the British that eating carrots would permit Anti-Aircraft Gunners to shoot down German planes in the dark.

    3) The MG3 was so versatile it was copied by the U.S. for use by the U.S.M.C., although widely replaced by the M249 SAWS and HK121 for the Bundeswehr. More importantly the role of belt fed machine guns LMGs to modern fire team configurations or more specifically the Automatic Rifleman class to the U.S. and the Waffenspezialist class with German armed forces.

    Mauser Engineers who worked with the Sturmgewehr projeckt during WW2 continued their work with Heckler & Koch post WW2 to this day. H&K Firearms are the living descendants of this legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

      Thanks. About Heckler & Koch G3 (known as M75 in Denmark)
      The origin of this rifle can be traced back to the final years of World War II when Mauser engineers at the Light Weapon Development Group (Abteilung 37) at Oberndorf am Neckar designed the MKb Gerät 06 (Maschinenkarabiner Gerät 06 or “machine carbine device 06”) prototype assault rifle chambered for the intermediate 7.92×33mm Kurz cartridge, first with the Gerät 06 model using a roller-locked short recoil mechanism originally adapted from the MG 42 machine gun but with a fixed barrel and conventional gas-actuated piston rod. It was realized that with careful attention to the mechanical ratios, the gas system could be omitted. The resultant weapon, the Gerät 06H (the “H” suffix is an abbreviation for halbverriegelt or “half-locked”) was assigned the designation StG 45(M) (Sturmgewehr 45(M) or assault rifle) but was not produced in any significant numbers and the war ended before the first production rifles were completed.

      Sturmgewehr 45

      The German technicians involved in developing the Sturmgewehr 45 continued their research in France at CEAM. The StG45 mechanism was modified by Ludwig Vorgrimler and Theodor Löffler at the Mulhouse facility between 1946 and 1949. Three versions were made, chambered in .30 Carbine, 7.92×33mm Kurz as well as the 7.65×35mm cartridge developed by Cartoucherie de Valence and adopted in 1948. A 7.5×38mm cartridge using a partial aluminium bullet was abandoned in 1947. Löffler’s design, designated the Carabine Mitrailleuse Modèle 1950, was retained for trials among 12 different prototypes designed by CEAM, MAC, and MAS. Vorgrimler later went to work at CETME in Spain and developed the line of CETME automatic rifles.
      Germany eventually purchased the license for the CETME design and manufactured the Heckler & Koch G3 as well as an entire line of weapons built on the same system, one of the most famous being the MP5.

      In 1950, Vorgrimler moved to Spain where he created the LV-50 rifle chambered for the Kurz cartridge and later, the proprietary 7.92×40mm CETME M53 round. At this point, the rifle was renamed the Modelo 2. The Modelo 2 drew the attention of the West German Border Guards (Bundesgrenzschutz), who sought to re-equip the newly formed national defense forces. Not willing to accept a cartridge outside of the NATO specification, the Germans asked CETME to develop a 7.62×51mm version of the rifle. The resulting CETME Model A was chambered for the 7.62×51mm CETME cartridge which was identical in chamber dimensions but had a reduced-power load compared to the 7.62×51mm NATO round. Further development of the rifle with input from H&K produced the CETME Model B which received several modifications, including the ability to fire from a closed bolt in both semi-automatic and automatic firing modes, a new perforated sheet metal handguard (the folding bipod had been the foregrip in previous models), improved ergonomics and a slightly longer barrel with a 22 mm rifle grenade launcher guide. In 1958, this rifle was accepted into service with the Spanish Army as the Modelo 58, using the 7.62×51mm CETME round.
      In 1956, the Bundesgrenzschutz canceled their planned procurement of the CETME rifles, adopting the Belgian-made FN FAL (G1) instead. However, the newly formed West German Army (Bundeswehr) now showed interest and soon purchased a number of CETME rifles (7.62×51mm NATO chambering) for further testing. The CETME, known as the Automatisches Gewehr G3 according to German nomenclature, competed successfully against the Swiss SIG SG 510 (G2) and the American AR-10 (G4) to replace the previously favored G1 rifle. In January 1959, the Bundeswehr officially adopted the CETME proposal. The West German government wanted the G3 rifle to be produced under license in Germany; purchase of the G1 had previously fallen through over FN’s refusal to grant such a license. In the case of the G3, the Dutch firm Nederlandse Wapen en Munitiefabriek (NWM) held production and sales rights to the CETME design outside of Spain. To acquire production rights, the West German government offered NWM contracts to supply the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) with 20mm ammunition. Production of the G3 was then assigned to Rheinmetall and H&K. The latter company already had ties to CETME, and had worked to further optimize the CETME rifle for use with the full-power 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge (as opposed to the downgraded CETME variant). In 1969, Rheinmetall gave up production rights to the G3 in exchange for H&K’s promise not to bid on MG 3 production. Later in 1977, the West German government ceded ownership of G3 production and sales rights exclusively to H&K.
      Initial production G3 rifles differed substantially from more recent models; early rifles featured closed-type mechanical flip-up sights (with two apertures), a lightweight folding bipod, a stamped sheet steel handguard, a wooden buttstock (in fixed stock models) or a telescopic metal stock. The weapon was modernized during its service life (among other minor modifications it received new sights, a different flash suppressor, and a synthetic handguard and shoulder stock), resulting in the most recent production models, the G3A3 (with a fixed polymer stock) and the G3A4 (telescoping metal stock). The rifle proved successful in the export market, being adopted by the armed forces of over 40 countries. Of that figure, 18 countries undertook domestic production of the G3 under license. Known manufacturers of the weapon included: France (MAS), Greece (Hellenic Arms Industry), Iran (Defense Industries Organization), Luxembourg (Luxemburg Defense Technologie), Mexico, Myanmar, Norway (Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk), Pakistan (Pakistan Ordnance Factories), Portugal (FBP), Saudi Arabia, Sweden (FFV), Thailand, Turkey (MKEK) and the United Kingdom (Royal Ordnance).

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      • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

        Heckler & Koch G3

        Liked by 1 person

      • ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · May 14, 2017

        Yes, the STG45 never saw the light of day beyond conceptualization instead West German forces used the STG44 well until the mid 1960s. Thank you for the extensive and detailed legacy following WW2 into present.

        Liked by 1 person

      • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

        MP5

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    • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

      Heckler & Koch MP5

      The Heckler & Koch MP5 (from German: Maschinenpistole 5, meaning Submachine gun 5) is a 9mm submachine gun of German design, developed in the 1960s by a team of engineers from the German small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH (H&K) of Oberndorf am Neckar. There are over 100 variants of the MP5, including some semi-automatic versions.
      The MP5 is one of the most widely used submachine guns in the world, having been adopted by 40 nations and numerous military, law enforcement, intelligence, and security organizations. It is widely used by SWAT teams in North America.
      In 1999, Heckler & Koch developed the Heckler & Koch UMP, the MP5’s successor; both are available as of 2017.
      Heckler & Koch UMP

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  2. ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · May 14, 2017

    Walther MP5, not as famous as the iconic MP5 more than likely due awkward sights and a less than spectacular folding stock however aesthetically feels more like earlier WW2 era stamped sheet metal weapons,

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    • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

      I believe you are right, but the gun in picture also look old!

      Heckler & Koch (H&K), XM8

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      • ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · May 14, 2017

        it is from the 1950s so it predates the MP5 however I like the design quite a bit more sans the stock and sights. As you can deduce I am not too fond of the XM8 design philosophy however I appreciate the innovation.

        Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

      It looks like it is from here:

      Heckler & Koch MP5 comes in compact version, too!

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      • ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · May 14, 2017

        Yes I am quite fond of the compact configuration with fore-grip, it fits considering the role of that firearm, close quarters dispersion i.e. urban environments or corridors.

        Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

      They each have their pros and cons. The small one would go well with a G3, G36 ore even a MG3 in SHTF. As a car driver the small one makes great sense, too!

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  3. Rudolf · May 14, 2017

    MG-42 Squad/Platoon machine gun. A splendid example or reliable, rugged, modern, lethal weapon. I had a great direct experience with it, though chambered with cal 7.62 Nato, as standard ammo for the ‘western block’. Which, together with a heavier roller locker elastic mass made the overal shooting cadence slower.
    You could shoot with great precision at good distance. All you needed was a Servant carrying ammo, and, when possible, a spare barrel. The institutional doctrine wanted us to engage fire when lying in the field, spending short burts against the final target, which had to be reached via armonic, tactical moves tuned with the rest of the assault platoon. When finally on the target, we were allowed to perform a specific mopping, by directly shooting from the side.
    http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=64

    Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · May 14, 2017

      Thanks, for the link. I got a free number when I was at session, at that time I didnt feel like volunteer.
      They call it, the Hitler Saw. They wanted to replace it a few years ago, but found out that they still need it. The fact that we still use it in the same way as they did back then, is a testament to its success as a weapon and to its 8-10 men Squad/Platoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rudolf · May 14, 2017

        Absolutely. It is a multipurpose great weapon I have managed to carry along in exhausting but thrilling assaults.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Rudolf · May 14, 2017

    Reblogged this on rudolfblog.

    Liked by 1 person

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