How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
ozunasawai4
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How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by ozunasawai4 » 17 Mar 2020 08:22

I'm curious about approaches that Axis and/or Allied armies took to making use of captured equipment against their former masters such as armour and small arms. Was this equipment usually run into the ground before being discarded, or were attempts made to maintain or reproduce parts and ammo types? Where there strict guidelines put in place, or did practice vary widely according to local situations?

Hisname
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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Hisname » 17 Mar 2020 12:48

Russian Pzb-39:
In general, the rifle is the same as the German, with the exception of small parts.
From the photo and especially the external differences are easily determined.
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Last edited by Hisname on 17 Mar 2020 12:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Hisname » 17 Mar 2020 12:51

One more thing:

Naturally, cartridges were also made for them))
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Hisname
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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Hisname » 17 Mar 2020 13:05

Documents:
Just how will you translate it ....
Even knowing the Russian language, translating is not easy, due to the poor quality of the photo.
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Poot
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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Poot » 20 Mar 2020 00:36

ozunasawai4 wrote:
17 Mar 2020 08:22
I'm curious about approaches that Axis and/or Allied armies took to making use of captured equipment against their former masters such as armour and small arms. Was this equipment usually run into the ground before being discarded, or were attempts made to maintain or reproduce parts and ammo types? Where there strict guidelines put in place, or did practice vary widely according to local situations?
I've seen many photos of troops using small arms from the opposing side, like German troops adopting SVT-40 rifles and PPSh SMGs. Based on other aspects of the photos, these all appear to be relatively early in the invasion of the USSR, though. Ammo and spare parts would have been available for awhile, but as the front line moves forward, they would inevitably get further and further away from any link in the supply chain that could reliably source spare parts, components and even ammo, to say nothing of performing maintenance and repairs on the weapons. The majority of captured rifles (after the annexation of Czechoslovakia) appear to have been used to equip second- and third-tier units operating in occupied territories and performing uncontested duties, like guard duty and staffing batteries on the Atlantic Wall.

There are a number of other photos out there which show captured armor. In some cases, they have been written on to note that they were to be shipped off to be T&E'd by Ordnance staff. Using something like enemy armor invites a lot of danger from your own air cover, for obvious reasons. In most cases, it appears that captured armor was sent back to be studied and evaluated for weaknesses, and possibly to inform the development of counter-measures and new production friendly armor to combat the threat.

Pat
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Sid Guttridge
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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Mar 2020 11:36

For the Germans it was very practicable, as over 1938-42 they over ran their enemies' depots and armaments factories, so spare parts were available and even some new production.

In the period between initial occupation and converting the captured machine tools to producing their own German designs, they often continued local production runs. For example, in 1942 the 7th and 8th W-SS divisions were largely equipped with newly produced Czech weaponry.

German small arms ammunition was also compatible with much of the weaponry used in Eastern and Central Europe, especially the widespread Czech products.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Poot
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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Poot » 20 Mar 2020 18:44

Sid,
No question that using captured stuff was practical. Czech Vz.24's are seen frequently in early Barbarossa (and before) photos, but German produced weapons predominate after that. The German Ordnance treatment of captured weapons was an evolving process with some very inauspicious beginnings, so the ability of unit armorers to keep up with, say, spare parts in 1942 for captured Norwegian Krags for a unit in Minsk was nowhere nearly as simple or straight forward as supplying and servicing a unit using K98k rifles at the front. The 7th/8th WSS don't really represent typical distribution, though. Look at the Beutepanzers used in Yugoslavia vs. the use of more current and capable types used almost anywhere else.

The 'Rifle Crisis' of 1941-42 resulted not only in streamlining production, but removing K98k rifles from units that could otherwise have used captured rifles, as many did.
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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by jeffreyd357 » 23 Mar 2020 13:49

Just look at all the field guns captured from Soviet armies that were reused and repurposed as antitank weapons i.e f-22 USV 76mm . They had manufactured ammo for these conversions as well for their Marders for example.

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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Mangrove » 23 Mar 2020 19:03

ozunasawai4 wrote:
17 Mar 2020 08:22
Was this equipment usually run into the ground before being discarded, or were attempts made to maintain or reproduce parts and ammo types? Where there strict guidelines put in place, or did practice vary widely according to local situations?
Much of the Finnish war effort during the Continuation War was made possible by using Soviet weapons captured during the Winter War and 1941-1942. After the Winter War, 37 % of the light-machine guns in use were captured Degtyaryov. After 1941, over half of the light-machine guns issued to the troops were Degtyaryov.

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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by Sheldrake » 23 Mar 2020 21:51

ozunasawai4 wrote:
17 Mar 2020 08:22
I'm curious about approaches that Axis and/or Allied armies took to making use of captured equipment against their former masters such as armour and small arms. Was this equipment usually run into the ground before being discarded, or were attempts made to maintain or reproduce parts and ammo types? Where there strict guidelines put in place, or did practice vary widely according to local situations?
There are several different circumstances

1. Locally some troops might acquire equipment that they then used until it fell apart, or they ran out of ammunition. Soldiers picked up small arms they liked. In WW1 Germans used Lewis Guns whenever they could. IN WW2 British troops used MG34 and MG42 if they could get the ammunition. There is an account by a Maori Corporal veteran from Italy in which he says they did this. An armoured battalion of the Coldstream Guards had a Pz V Panther named "Cuckoo" Germans used T34 and Shermans. Tanks are harder to maintain for any length of time.

2. Sometimes there was enough enemy equipment and resources to equip whole units. The New Zealand Division operated an 88mm Gun battery in Tunisia, the Australian Rats of Tobruk formed their desert artillery from captured Italian equipment, and less successfully the British 3rd Armoured Brigade was equipped with M13/40 tanks. These were operated until the ammunition and spare parts ran out.

3. The Germans made widescale use of captured Belgian, Czech, French, Italian and Soviet equipment. They had so much material that it made sense to devote industrial capacity to make spare parts and ammunition. Much of the German army on the Atlantic Wall was equipped with captured material, including the rebuilt 21st Panzer Division. There were German factories turning out Russian 76.2mm and 122mm Artillery ammunition and a factory in Paris dedicated to supporting the 21st Panzer Division. The Germans were also saddled with a fleet of miscellaneous motor vehicles that were a nightmare to maintain.

4. Sometimes there is a piece of equipment so good that a side copied and manufactured it themselves. The Germans were so impressed with the Soviet 120mm Mortar that they built their own. The 25 litre/5 gallon German fuel container was so good that the British and Americans copied this highly engineered design and named it the Jerry Can. (This was a case where the German habit of over engineering minor pieces fo equipment paid dividends. James Holland draws attention to the ridiculously over engineered gas mask case. The attention to design applied to the humble fuel container meant that in North Africa the Germans could travel 25% further than the British with the same amount of packed fuel as one oin four British flimsy tins would leak in transit.)

5. Sometimes one side was so impressed with captured material that they would redesign it improve on it. The Germans were so impressed with the T34 that they decided to make a German version. However, German design approaches meant that the end result was much better engineered, but also more complicated and expensive , and called the Panther. The British were so impressed with the Germans 9mm MP 40 that they designed theior own take on the MP40 using the same ammunition. British design approach was based on "value"-, rather than ,"over"- engineering, the result was the Sten gun. ;)

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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by LineDoggie » 25 Mar 2020 05:17

Sheldrake wrote:
23 Mar 2020 21:51
ozunasawai4 wrote:
17 Mar 2020 08:22
I'm curious about approaches that Axis and/or Allied armies took to making use of captured equipment against their former masters such as armour and small arms. Was this equipment usually run into the ground before being discarded, or were attempts made to maintain or reproduce parts and ammo types? Where there strict guidelines put in place, or did practice vary widely according to local situations?
There are several different circumstances

1. Locally some troops might acquire equipment that they then used until it fell apart, or they ran out of ammunition. Soldiers picked up small arms they liked. In WW1 Germans used Lewis Guns whenever they could. IN WW2 British troops used MG34 and MG42 if they could get the ammunition. There is an account by a Maori Corporal veteran from Italy in which he says they did this. An armoured battalion of the Coldstream Guards had a Pz V Panther named "Cuckoo" Germans used T34 and Shermans. Tanks are harder to maintain for any length of time.

2. Sometimes there was enough enemy equipment and resources to equip whole units. The New Zealand Division operated an 88mm Gun battery in Tunisia, the Australian Rats of Tobruk formed their desert artillery from captured Italian equipment, and less successfully the British 3rd Armoured Brigade was equipped with M13/40 tanks. These were operated until the ammunition and spare parts ran out.

3. The Germans made widescale use of captured Belgian, Czech, French, Italian and Soviet equipment. They had so much material that it made sense to devote industrial capacity to make spare parts and ammunition. Much of the German army on the Atlantic Wall was equipped with captured material, including the rebuilt 21st Panzer Division. There were German factories turning out Russian 76.2mm and 122mm Artillery ammunition and a factory in Paris dedicated to supporting the 21st Panzer Division. The Germans were also saddled with a fleet of miscellaneous motor vehicles that were a nightmare to maintain.

4. Sometimes there is a piece of equipment so good that a side copied and manufactured it themselves. The Germans were so impressed with the Soviet 120mm Mortar that they built their own. The 25 litre/5 gallon German fuel container was so good that the British and Americans copied this highly engineered design and named it the Jerry Can. (This was a case where the German habit of over engineering minor pieces fo equipment paid dividends. James Holland draws attention to the ridiculously over engineered gas mask case. The attention to design applied to the humble fuel container meant that in North Africa the Germans could travel 25% further than the British with the same amount of packed fuel as one oin four British flimsy tins would leak in transit.)

5. Sometimes one side was so impressed with captured material that they would redesign it improve on it. The Germans were so impressed with the T34 that they decided to make a German version. However, German design approaches meant that the end result was much better engineered, but also more complicated and expensive , and called the Panther. The British were so impressed with the Germans 9mm MP 40 that they designed theior own take on the MP40 using the same ammunition. British design approach was based on "value"-, rather than ,"over"- engineering, the result was the Sten gun. ;)
STEN was really a no frills Lanchester, itself a British copy of the MP28 to the point of being able to use the same magazines.
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Re: How practical/viable was the use of captured equipment such as enemy vehicles and small arms during WW2?

Post by ROLAND1369 » 25 Mar 2020 15:04

I would point out that the problem with using the MG 34 and 42 would not have been Ammunition as the British made and used 7x92 MM ammunition for their BESA tank Coaxial MG. The problem would have been belts. The BESA used a different belt. The MG 34 and 42 used a reusable belt which was reloaded with individual rounds. This belt was good for only 10 reloadings and thus belt supply, not ammunition would be the limiting factor. In the case of the sten the magazine was dimensioned so that the Sten could use German MP38/40 magazines while the MP38/40s could not use Sten Magazines. I have never seen a report on the reliability of Stens using MP 38/40 magazines however the word reliability and Sten are seldom used in the same sentence.

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