What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
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What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby Brian_Ghilliotti » 16 Jun 2017 00:14

If Hitler sped up the development of the STG 44 assault rifle, so it's final version was introduced to the battlefield earlier than 1944, could it have affected the outcome of the Eastern Front? If so, how?

My position is that the Soviets would have quickly developed their own assault rifle, especially if they realized that the STG 44's the Germans were using were beginning to slow entire fronts.

All that would be required to produce their own was to capture an STG 44, either left behind on the field or handed over by a surrendering soldier, and reverse engineer it. Any advantages offered by the STG 44 would be short lived and would require quick exploitation.

If that was the case, then the real question is how would the outcome of the Eastern Front be different if both armies used assault rifles on a large scale?

Another variable to consider is how much earlier would this weapon end up being introduced to the front in this alternative historical timeline?

If it was in 1942 or early 1943, I would guess that the Soviets would have had to fight much harder to regain territory.

I would guess large scale deployment of automatic rifles may have turned the Eastern Front static, on the basis (again) that the Soviets would quickly just captured, replicated and mass deployed then as well. With slowed, static front, perhaps it would have given the Germans more time to develop their other 'wonder weapons' such as the helicopter, more effective ballistic missile systems, or even nuclear weapons, etc. that could have also significantly effected the war's outcome. Again, the allies would have just responded by developing their own similar weapon system.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby Gustav_SC » 12 Jul 2017 03:52

I like WWII rifles. I collect them. Having a functional StG44 in my collection is a "holy grail" dream.

However, rifles just weren't the decisive weapon on the Eastern Front. Tanks, air superiority, artillery, machineguns + logistics and supplies of reinforcements and new troops.

The Wehrmacht could have been armed with the StG44 in every rifle platoon starting from 1939, with no enemies able to copy it, and the result would have been substantially the same, in my view.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby stg 44 » 05 Oct 2017 17:25

Just found this thread and have an answer for you: Hitler historically slowed down adoption of the StG44 by 12 month at a minimum:
https://books.google.com/books/about/St ... uCAAAACAAJ

So it could have really been available for mass adoption in late summer 1943 had Hitler accepted the weapon rather than waiting until the last 10 months or so of the war to accept it. The Soviets wouldn't have been able to adopt an assault rifle in the course of the war due to manufacturing constraints and design issues; despite having the 7.62x39 round, cribbed in concept from the 7.92 kurz, since 1943-44 they didn't develop the AK-47 until 1947 and the SKS wasn't adopted until 1949. The RPD came about before the end of the war, but in too small of numbers to matter.

Remember the Soviets captured the prototype/pre-production test models used for combat trials as early as 1943, so were fully aware of the potential of the intermediate round and assault rifle before any mass adoption of the StG44 was possible with the historic time line. Yet they didn't field their own assault rifle until post-war. They also were the ones that suffered at the hands of it the most starting in at least late 1942-early 1943.

Anyway, while it would hardly be a war winner (at least by then) it certainly would have increased casualties for the Allies quite a bit and somewhat improved the German small arms/ammo position compared to the historical situation. Likely it would have also influenced the Allies a lot more to develop their own version post-war, rather than go with the M14 and 7.62 NATO silliness. The FN FAL was originally chambered in 7.92 Kurz and they thought the Germans had gotten the future of small arms calibers 100% right. They were strong armed by the US to adopt the heavy 7.62 Battle Rifle round instead, which even put the kibosh on the British .280 experiments and the EM-2 rifle adoption.

There is no way from 1943 on that any sort of rifle would have made the Eastern Front static, but it would have increased Soviet casualties substantially, as small arms actually accounted for a substantial number of casualties in the East relative to other fronts due to the huge territory covered relative to heavier weapons. On other fronts in Europe there was a much higher density of force which allowed for greater concentration of artillery, so it accounted for more casualties there, just like in WW1. Also the Germans were putting so much of their propellants and explosives into FLAK and V-missiles by 1943-45 that artillery really got starved on all fronts, which made small arms that much more important in terms of inflicting casualties in that period, which would make the StG44 more critical if it replaced the Kar98K and MP40 in nearly all roles due to the greater performance of the weapon system/round relative to those two other weapons in the actual realities of the battlefield. Plus then it helps save materials over all relative to the full powered 7.92.

As to the impact on the battlefield of the weapon historically:
http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display. ... icles=2549

If something like the STG44 had been available in 1939 then it is arguable that the cumulative effect might have changed the result or dragged out the war due to increased Allied/Soviet losses and lowered German ones due to greater tactical success. Adopting something like the Vollmer M35 pre-war was possible, as was chambering it in 7.92 Kurz. Though the system might not have worked out great in the field due to the type of gas system used, it would have paved the way for the StG44 when it was available.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby CroGer » 12 Nov 2017 00:46

Something else would have also happened.

Late in the war the Reich lacked basically everything to supply their army, including firearms.

From the book "Sturmgewehr!", here's a comparism of how costly the small arms production was:

Comparism: Material used in kilogramm - Man Hours - Price (Reichsmark)
K98: 12,2 - 20 - 70
MP40: 10,7 - 15 - 60
G41: 15 - 32 - 150
G43: 14,7 - 29 - 150
Stg (early 1944): 12,5 - 19 - 66
Stg (late 1944): 10,9 - 9 - 49,5

It's not only the effectiveness on the battlefield that could have changed something. The Stg was both the most effective and cheapest firearm they had.


And here's something how the Stg was received.

Early 1944 the GendInf did a survey on how the Stg performs.

7.000 Stgs were tested by troops on the eastern front. The alloation was:

Hgr South Ukraine: 240
Hgr Northern Ukraine: 612
Hgr Mitte: 3.845
Hgr Nord: 2.325

Here are some of their questions of the GendInf & answers from the soldiers:

1) can the STG replace the MP40 & K98?
All but 5th Jaeger Division of Hgr Mitte answered with yes. 5th JgDiv answered 80% MP40

2) what was the experienced effective range in semi auto and full auto?
All gave the effective ranges of semi auto at 400-600 meter for both semi&full, but the 5th JgDiv again, who answered with 200 meters

3) Can the Stg reduce the number of LeMG required?
Answers differed. 19 units answered "yes", 5 answered "No"

4) How much ammo is suggested per rifleman?
21 units answered "720", one answered 540, other answers ranged between 1000 and 1500

5) How much ammo is necessary?
Answers ranged from 180-360

So the german troops loved this weapon. Delaying the entire intermediare cartridge- and assault rifle-programm was one of Hitler's many mistakes.
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby Plain Old Dave » 12 Nov 2017 16:01

The first question that has to be asked is, did Germany have the industrial infrastructure to in football terms call an audible in the middle of a war and adapt a completely new infantry shoulder arm using a completely different cartridge?

Italy struggled with the change from 6.5 to 7.35, and the Carcano was more or less rechambered.

Japan struggled with logistics, having the Type 38 6.5 and the Type 99 7.7. Their separate 7.7 machine gun cartridge complicated affairs, too.

Even the US, industrial superpower that we were, struggled some with the M1. While the gas trap was replaced with the iconic gas cylinder prewar, the seventh round stoppage problem was solved during the war and the M1 was never really a "sealed pattern," as minor problems were discovered and solved continuously during the War.

Germany had a smaller industrial base and the StG was considerably more intricate than the Garand, as were all the German selfloaders. Even IF development and production had been moved to the left, teething problems in this exceptionally complex design are an issue that needs consideration. The StG could have easily earned the same reputation with the Heer and SS the M16 has with US veterans of the Vietnam War; a needlessly complex rifle that is prone to failure in battle.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby CroGer » 12 Nov 2017 17:00

Plain Old Dave wrote:The first question that has to be asked is, did Germany have the industrial infrastructure to in football terms call an audible in the middle of a war and adapt a completely new infantry shoulder arm using a completely different cartridge?

Italy struggled with the change from 6.5 to 7.35, and the Carcano was more or less rechambered.

Japan struggled with logistics, having the Type 38 6.5 and the Type 99 7.7. Their separate 7.7 machine gun cartridge complicated affairs, too.

Even the US, industrial superpower that we were, struggled some with the M1. While the gas trap was replaced with the iconic gas cylinder prewar, the seventh round stoppage problem was solved during the war and the M1 was never really a "sealed pattern," as minor problems were discovered and solved continuously during the War.

Germany had a smaller industrial base and the StG was considerably more intricate than the Garand, as were all the German selfloaders. Even IF development and production had been moved to the left, teething problems in this exceptionally complex design are an issue that needs consideration. The StG could have easily earned the same reputation with the Heer and SS the M16 has with US veterans of the Vietnam War; a needlessly complex rifle that is prone to failure in battle.


The main problems that Germany had with the STG was the production of Ammo. I haven't read anything about the Stgs failure in battle. Troops that were prefererd with the allocation of the STG were the new Volksgrenadiers, so young, inexperienced soldiers.
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby Plain Old Dave » 12 Nov 2017 19:54

Couple questions to followon.

1) How many makers made the StG? A major issue with US subcontracting was issues with contractor-made parts and weapons.

2) How widely was the StG deployed? The gas trap system and seventh round stoppage issues didn't come up til the Garand started being widely issued to the US military.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby CroGer » 12 Nov 2017 20:53

The Stg was probably the most throroughly tested weapon of the Third Reich, especially because Hitler didn't like it.

Above I posted a test of 7000 STGs on the eastern front, it included a questionaire, and the reaction to that weapon was 99% postive, with that 1% only being the 5th Jaeger Division, who judged it as just a replacement for 80% of the MP40. But all other sections agreed that it could replace both the K98 and MP40, part of the questionaire was if the MP44 could replace in part the MG42, and even there about half answered with "yes".

But here's another series of tests, conducted in July/August 1944 in Greece

Dust tests:

Tested: three models from Haenel and Erma

60 shots fired with each weapons under different circumstances.
5 x semi automatic
3 short burts
the rest fully automatic

1) Dust test

a) Dustiness: low. Functioned flawlessly
b) Dustiness: middle. Function flawlessly
c) Dustiness. strong. Haenel: 1 failure to eject, the rest flawlessly. Erma: flawlessly

On the next day the test was repeated, the weapons were not cleaned.

a) Dustiness: low. flawless.
b) Dustiness: middle. flawless
c) Dustiness: strong. Erma: flawless. Haenel: 1st test: shots 1-5 flawless, shot 6-7 failure to lock, 8-60 flawless
Haenel: 2nd test: shots 2-3: failure to eject, 4-30 flawless, 31.-33 failure to eject, 34-60 flawless

Next they did mud test, and the weapon performed very well. Failures could easily be fixed. Cleaning after was easy.
Next they did dust&rain tests. So they poured dust and water over the weapons. The weapons only failed when it was dirtied strongly, but even then cleaning and getting it fully functional again was relatively easy.

Then you asked the question about the producers.

Haenel: 185.000
Sauer & Sohn: 55.000
Erma: 104.000
Steyr: 100.000
Mauser: 172 (highest serial numbers)
DKK: 898 (highest serial number)

The problem was the supply with ammo. The goal of the Reich was to produce 200 million rounds per month at first, with 400 million being the ultimate goal.
In 1944 though, they only managed to produce 580 million rounds. Over the course of the year 1945, the monthly production of 8x33 was around 100 million per month, with the numbers of course dropping from march on.

Now, there a 530+ page book about the weapons. There are at least a dozen versions and several dozens of proposals of how to simplify the production.
Overall, the weapons was well receivered by the Wehrmacht, while Hitler and his minions nagging about it.
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby Plain Old Dave » 12 Nov 2017 21:47

Well, testing is one thing. However, actual deployment in combat is something altogether different. I return to the Garand; it was HEAVILY tested in the 1920s and 30s, before adoption in 1936. The gas trap didn't become an issue til after Garands were issued to regular infantry, Bit of further research indicates the 7th round stoppage issue was solved in later 1940-41. Again, after testing and issue to line infantry.

However, the M1 encountered minor upgrades and modifications over its service life, examples:

The shaping of one particular cut on the operating rod caused the rods to crack when rifles with the earlier op rods were used to fire rifle grenades. Rectified by issue of 1903 Springfields as an interim measure to fire rifle grenades pending redesign of the operating rod and modification of existing op rods; "uncut" op rods are prized by collectors.

Earlier Winchester manufactured M1s had a squared off cutout in the receiver for the operating rod to travel in, causing battering and cracking of the receiver. Solved by changing the cut during production.

The earlier forged trigger guard was replaced with one made of flat spring stock, improving fit of the barrel/receiver group to the stock group.

Three different rear sight assemblies.

From the numbers you posted, the total StG production run was roughly where Springfield was with Garands in the Spring of 1942, and the running production changes I listed all became issues AFTER that. There's just not a large enough statistical model to say the StG would or wouldn't have been a reliable battle weapon for regular issue.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby CroGer » 12 Nov 2017 22:23

The M1 carbine is a formidable weapon, I fact I would call it my favorite. Unfortunately, I'll never be able to fire an STG, since all of them in europe seem to be in museums, with the rest being brought to the USA.

But if you are a gun enthusiast like me, you probably know Forgotten Weapons and InRangeTV. They have several videos on this gun.

As a side note the problem was that Hitler's rationale failed. In WW1, the german infantry apparently didn't use their rifles a lot since it was too cumbersome, they used handgrenades and pistols when storming trenches. Defense was done by MG.

So Hitler thought that rifles wouldn't be important in modern warfare, everything was centered around the mobility of the new army and the leMG (MG13/34/42). So soldiers basically carried their rifles in the same caliber as the LeMG for suppressing fire when the MG-gunner is reloading, or to supply more ammo.

That worked until they were on the russian front. The soviets quickly figured out, that if you take out the MG-Gunner with a sniper or mortar, and the NCO - who was the only one with an SMG - the rest of the squad would be almost defenseless against a bunch of soviets closing in with SMGs.
Then they encountered a lot of close range fighting in urban and forrested enviroments.
So Hitler's reaction was the ill-fated semi-automatic rifle programm & more MP40s.

I doubt a rifle would have been a game changer. When your the enemy has air superiority and you ran out of fuel, the game is over.
But like said several times, the Stg's advantage was not only it's versatility, but also simplicity. Some of these weapons even pop up in africa and the middle east today.
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby Plain Old Dave » 12 Nov 2017 22:30

So Hitler thought that rifles wouldn't be important in modern warfare, everything was centered around the mobility of the new army and the leMG (MG13/34/42).


This is the biggest issue with the OP's thesis. German battlespace doctrine was always predicated on volume of fire, not on the initiative and ingenuity of the individual soldier; German infantry was used to exploit advantages created by heavy weapons or tanks instead of heavy weapons and tanks being used to support the infantry as US doctrine has historically called for. Where a more effective individual weapon may make an advantage for the US, for Germany it's really a negligible advantage without a complete redraft of warfighting doctrine.

I have been discussing the Garand, not the carbine. The M1 Carbine experienced similar modifications based on post-adoption field experience, but that's another story.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby CroGer » 12 Nov 2017 23:07

Plain Old Dave wrote:
So Hitler thought that rifles wouldn't be important in modern warfare, everything was centered around the mobility of the new army and the leMG (MG13/34/42).


This is the biggest issue with the OP's thesis. German battlespace doctrine was always predicated on volume of fire, not on the initiative and ingenuity of the individual soldier; German infantry was used to exploit advantages created by heavy weapons or tanks instead of heavy weapons and tanks being used to support the infantry as US doctrine has historically called for. Where a more effective individual weapon may make an advantage for the US, for Germany it's really a negligible advantage without a complete redraft of warfighting doctrine.


No, you misinterpreted what I said. There was no problem with the "ingenuity" of the german soldier, it was a rationale drawn from the WW1-experience.
It's actually quite the contrary. What has been a strong point of the German Army has been the "Auftragstaktik"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission-type_tactics

And part of taditional german armies have always been the "Jaeger", small groups of light infantry and snipers. It's so german that in some non-german countries they use the german word for it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%A4ger_(infantry)

Then in WW1 you had the stormtroopers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stormtrooper

and the shock troops

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_troops

It also doesn't change that german soldiers as individuals were heavily trained.

You seem to be pretty.... uhm, how do I say it, without getting warned... "guided by propaganda", of the american soldier being just like in "Saving Private Ryan", and the germans basically being robots who only follow orders.
That is Spielberg and Propaganda. Ingenuity and inpredictability has always been one of the strong points of the german army.

But then their supreme commander was an austrian WW1-private

Edit:

you shouldn't overlook the german influence on american tactics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich ... on_Steuben
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby Plain Old Dave » 13 Nov 2017 06:23

CroGer wrote:
You seem to be pretty.... uhm, how do I say it, without getting warned... "guided by propaganda", of the american soldier being just like in "Saving Private Ryan", and the germans basically being robots who only follow orders.
That is Spielberg and Propaganda. Ingenuity and inpredictability has always been one of the strong points of the german army.


I take my sourcing a bit further back than a 1990s movie that artificially inflated M1 Garand prices.

There was an article in a WW2 era Infantry Journal that stated as the official position of the Infantry School at Ft. Benning that the primary weapon of the US Army was the individual soldier.

Cited here:
http://www.trailblazersww2.org/history_ ... ucture.htm

And the "company line" at the General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth at the time was that the purpose of tanks, artillery, and machine guns were to support the Infantry in the advance. This is why the US Army more or less entered WW2 with WW1 surplus supporting weapons; the Germans were way ahead of us on what's now called "combined arms doctrine." Army doctrine was that the Infantry would win wars, just like they had at Cantigny and the Argonne, in Cuba, at Shiloh and Gettysburg, at New Orleans, and at Yorktown, the Cowpens, and Lexington and Concord. Therefore, a 1941 US Army rifle company with brand-new M1 Garands and a weapons platoon with WW1 surplus or designed beltfed medium and heavy machine guns. And the WW1 designed Browning Automatic Rifle.

Moving on, though, Alvin York, demonstrably the equal of over 150 German soldiers, was born less that 100 miles from where I type. He captured 132 and killed between 25-50 more. An expedition in recent years explored the ground where he performed the deeds recognized by the Medal of Honor and recovered over 40 rifle shells fired from the same M1917 30-06, and over 20 .45s from the same 1911. All he would say in later years about that day in the Argonne:

"I don't know how I could of missed at that range."

York was raised along the Cumberland Plateau at the turn of the last century. And in a part of the US noted for expertise with firearms, York was very well known in his community as being a crack shot. His riflery put money in the York family purse and more often than not food on the table; Alvin York was known as one of the few people in Fentress County that could make beef shoots into honest work. The Texas Rangers never looked for people that could shoot like New Yorkers, and to this day there's an annual shooting match in Pall Mall called the Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial Shoot.

http://www.fentresscouriernews.com/23rd ... -march-28/

The expedition:

http://www.sgtyorkdiscovery.com/

They published a book with a lot more of the "back in the weeds" forensics like the fact that they can source specific found cases to certain pistols and rifles, substantiating the Medal of Honor writeup.

Said writeup:

After his platoon suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading seven men, he charged with great daring a machine gun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine gun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.


He actually charged several MG nests; the expedition found several locations with deteriorated Maxim gun belts and large amounts of 7.92 brass. And nearby piles of 30-06 brass from the same M1917.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby CroGer » 13 Nov 2017 18:43

Plain Old Dave wrote:
CroGer wrote:
You seem to be pretty.... uhm, how do I say it, without getting warned... "guided by propaganda", of the american soldier being just like in "Saving Private Ryan", and the germans basically being robots who only follow orders.
That is Spielberg and Propaganda. Ingenuity and inpredictability has always been one of the strong points of the german army.


I take my sourcing a bit further back than a 1990s movie that artificially inflated M1 Garand prices.

There was an article in a WW2 era Infantry Journal that stated as the official position of the Infantry School at Ft. Benning that the primary weapon of the US Army was the individual soldier.

Cited here:
http://www.trailblazersww2.org/history_ ... ucture.htm

And the "company line" at the General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth at the time was that the purpose of tanks, artillery, and machine guns were to support the Infantry in the advance. This is why the US Army more or less entered WW2 with WW1 surplus supporting weapons; the Germans were way ahead of us on what's now called "combined arms doctrine." Army doctrine was that the Infantry would win wars, just like they had at Cantigny and the Argonne, in Cuba, at Shiloh and Gettysburg, at New Orleans, and at Yorktown, the Cowpens, and Lexington and Concord. Therefore, a 1941 US Army rifle company with brand-new M1 Garands and a weapons platoon with WW1 surplus or designed beltfed medium and heavy machine guns. And the WW1 designed Browning Automatic Rifle.

Moving on, though, Alvin York, demonstrably the equal of over 150 German soldiers, was born less that 100 miles from where I type. He captured 132 and killed between 25-50 more. An expedition in recent years explored the ground where he performed the deeds recognized by the Medal of Honor and recovered over 40 rifle shells fired from the same M1917 30-06, and over 20 .45s from the same 1911. All he would say in later years about that day in the Argonne:

"I don't know how I could of missed at that range."

York was raised along the Cumberland Plateau at the turn of the last century. And in a part of the US noted for expertise with firearms, York was very well known in his community as being a crack shot. His riflery put money in the York family purse and more often than not food on the table; Alvin York was known as one of the few people in Fentress County that could make beef shoots into honest work. The Texas Rangers never looked for people that could shoot like New Yorkers, and to this day there's an annual shooting match in Pall Mall called the Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial Shoot.

http://www.fentresscouriernews.com/23rd ... -march-28/

The expedition:

http://www.sgtyorkdiscovery.com/

They published a book with a lot more of the "back in the weeds" forensics like the fact that they can source specific found cases to certain pistols and rifles, substantiating the Medal of Honor writeup.

Said writeup:

After his platoon suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading seven men, he charged with great daring a machine gun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine gun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.


He actually charged several MG nests; the expedition found several locations with deteriorated Maxim gun belts and large amounts of 7.92 brass. And nearby piles of 30-06 brass from the same M1917.


I don't want to pretend like I am an expert in american war tactics and strategies.
Just some notes on where the early german doctrine came from.

First of all Germany had a problem before 1933. It had to maintain an army of 100.000 men. With such an army, even Poland would have been a threat. So the army worked on measures of how to compensate the possible numerical advantage of alien forces.
This is actually where the idea of a select fire rifle originated from. The german army concluded, that they could only compensate the numerical advantage when the individual soldiers weapon was both semi-automatic rifle and light machine gun.
The problem here was
a) the low budget
b) infighting in the german high command about what the characteristics of that weapon had to be (main gripe was the cartridge)
c) an almost typically german conflict between the demands of the "old guard" and desktop generals in the german high command, and the firearms engineers. Or, more precisely, they wanted something that would shoot the 8x57, be a machine gun and semi-automatic rifle at the same time, and only weigh 4 kilos - in the mid 20's

Btw: they actually made such a weapon, but two decades later: the FG42. :milwink:

In the end, it just gave birth to the MG13 in 1930, which was the predecessor of the MG34.

Now I am not sure what you allude to when you say that "the US army was build around the individual soldier" and "that the infantry would win battles".

a) the US army had time to prepare for their war against Germany
b) the US army could rely heavier on CAS and military vehicles than the german army.

It should be self-explanatory that the "combined arms doctrine" was dropped as soon as the OKH realized that they were significantly getting low on tanks, airplanes and fuel.

The german army of the second half of the war heavily relied on the individual soldier. For example: since they couldn't outproduce the USSR with tanks, they developed the "Panzerfaust", which had a range of only 50-150 meters, depending on type. So one sorry bastard had to close in on a tank, shoot a recoiless rifle at it, and haul a***.
The last plan for the "Volksgrenadiers" was to arm them primarily with Sturmgewehrs, Panzerfausts, handgrenades, with the K98 only being used as a weapon for snipers or as a grenadelaunchers, supported by the Volkssturm, armed with whatever shoots.

Btw. every army has their war heros.

I think the discussion is pointless. An select fire rifle as the primary weapon of the individual soldier was an idea from the 1920's. The STG was, as the Panzerfaust and the various "Volkssturm"-weapons, born out of desperation, when the Third Reich had nothing else to rely on but men, with their individual qualities.
42y old Croatian-german, studied history & social sciences (sociolology, economics, politics) between 1999-2006, grandson of two WW2-veterans, feeling and thinking more croatian than german, politically libertarian.

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stg 44
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Postby stg 44 » 23 Nov 2017 21:02

Plain Old Dave wrote:Germany had a smaller industrial base and the StG was considerably more intricate than the Garand, as were all the German selfloaders. Even IF development and production had been moved to the left, teething problems in this exceptionally complex design are an issue that needs consideration. The StG could have easily earned the same reputation with the Heer and SS the M16 has with US veterans of the Vietnam War; a needlessly complex rifle that is prone to failure in battle.

The StG44 was made with stamped metal parts and was ridiculously easy to make, which is why they wanted it over say the Vollmer M35. It as far less complex than the Garand to make and keep operating.
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In no way was it anywhere as unreliable as the M16 was initially in Vietnam. In fact the most complicated part of production was making enough ammo for it. In terms of mass production it was even easier to make than the AK-47, but not as reliable. I too have the book "Sturmgewehr!" and there was no indication it was any less reliable than any other German self loading weapon and in fact considerably more reliable than say the G41 and probably even G43.


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