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

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

Post by PunctuationHorror » 22 Oct 2021 18:27

To what extend could/would it affect German casualties? Losses in infantry-heavy combat would have been reduced noticeably, I guess. Losses inflicted by artillery etc. would remain the same. Or are they somehow connected?

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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?

Post by stg 44 » 22 Oct 2021 23:55

PunctuationHorror wrote:
22 Oct 2021 18:27
To what extend could/would it affect German casualties? Losses in infantry-heavy combat would have been reduced noticeably, I guess. Losses inflicted by artillery etc. would remain the same. Or are they somehow connected?
As I alluded to with the whole 'vicious vs. virtuous circle' comment likely with more casualty inflicting ability/increased efficiency in combat would result in substantially lowered casualties. Assuming that 24% small arms losses ratio holds in reverse I suppose, crudely speaking, unit losses among those with the STG would have at least 50% lower casualties from enemy small arms. Especially given that the only Soviet weapon that could match the STG in firepower was the SMG which had at best half the effective range of the STG.
I'd imagine artillery losses would roughly remain the same.

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

Post by PunctuationHorror » 25 Oct 2021 17:36

Thank you.

Next question that comes into my mind: How long would the Soviets need to catch up with the development of their own assault rifle (not necessarily meaning the AK47)?

Sooner or later they would capture some STG-44s. If they would have simply copied it - could they have produced it?

Would/Could their production numbers have outproduced german ATL STG-44s production numbers?

Which helps to answer the bigger question how long the advantage by an earlier STG-44 could last.

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

Post by stg 44 » 26 Oct 2021 03:28

PunctuationHorror wrote:
25 Oct 2021 17:36
Thank you.
On second thought about artillery casualties being potentially linked to small arms improvements arguably it could given that the infantry company often acted as escorts for artillery spotters. I can't quantify it really, but say your infantry companies are twice as successful (or even 50%) that would enable a spotter to do their job more effectively and be less likely to get killed. So maybe 1-5% more effective as a guess.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
25 Oct 2021 17:36
Next question that comes into my mind: How long would the Soviets need to catch up with the development of their own assault rifle (not necessarily meaning the AK47)?
Considering the requirements for the RPD and AK-47 were issued in 1943, same with the 7.62x39, but they didn't enter into production until after WW2 I'd say several years. Especially the ammo, as they didn't have a rimless cartridge to make into a 'kurz' version and the 7.62x39 used a totally new case design, which could only be introduced after the war. They could not field an assault rifle in WW2 and would have to stick to the PPSH smg family due to the production considerations and economic damage they had suffered and were recovering from for 10 years after the war (at least).
PunctuationHorror wrote:
25 Oct 2021 17:36
Sooner or later they would capture some STG-44s. If they would have simply copied it - could they have produced it?
They captured one historically in early 1943 and couldn't copy the stamped sheet metal construction. Though they denied it extremely fervently ultimately it is likely that Schmeisser, who helped develop the STG-44 and was forced to work on the AK-47 project by the Soviets after the war (this is well documented), who ultimately got the design to work. So no even with a milled version they wouldn't have it introduced during war time. They couldn't even get their own RPD design introduced during the war despite it being ready in 1944. More than the gun design it was the ammo that presented a problem, which I addressed above. A totally new cartridge case requires a substantial investment in new production machinery they couldn't afford in WW2 given economic constraints and the overall importance they gave to small arms designs. By 1943 they were more concerned about making the PPSH cheaper rather than introduce a totally new cartridge/weapon combo.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
25 Oct 2021 17:36
Would/Could their production numbers have outproduced german ATL STG-44s production numbers?
0 for the reasons above.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
25 Oct 2021 17:36
Which helps to answer the bigger question how long the advantage by an earlier STG-44 could last.
Through the entire war since the US ordnance bureau even after the war refused to accept the assault rifle concept until Vietnam and the Defense Department forced it on them. The British despite offers of a bunch of better US fire arms (like the Garand) refused to expand their existing small arms suite and had the same issue the Soviets did vis-a-vis a rimless full sized cartridge case that could have been shortened to a kurz model. If they refused the Garand over ammo/production differences they aren't adopting an assault rifle. Plus from what I understand the EM-2 design they did briefly adopt in 1947 (IIRC) was, and I quote: "A bag of shit" since it didn't get a proper development cycle by that point and there were ammo feuds with the US. So yeah, the Allies weren't going to field something like that, especially given the US and Soviets refused to even enhance (let along replace) their existing MGs during the war for fear of production disruptions and the UK had similar issues regarding potential small arms improvements.

Germany though was forced to focus on cheap fire arms and ammo and just so happened to have the ability to shorten their existing cartridge to do so.
Plus they needed a technical edge, since unlike the Allies they couldn't rely on weight of numbers or material, so had to accept production disruptions if it netted them an advantage good enough to justify it. Though the STG was designed to minimize production disruptions and be cheaper than an MP40 to make. The STG 45 cut that even more and had that been available in late 1942 would have been a huge advantage, since it was super cheap, apparently quite reliable, and very easy to make. Plus the operating system made the MG42 much cheaper and even more reliable when adapted into the MG45.

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

Post by harry2 » 20 Feb 2022 15:00

Russia was too big with too many people......the Germans could've had AK 47s and it would not have changed anything

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