During World War II, the weapons that were used were revolutionary for their time. Many automatic and semi-automatic weapons were introduced into this war. Both the Axis Powers and the Allies used and developed many weapons to use in combat. Let’s focus on some weapons used by Nazi Germany.
One of the most commonly used weapons of the German army during this time was the MP40. The MP40’s full name is the Maschinenpistole .40. It is a fully-automatic submachine gun. The MP40 is the most manufactured weapon for the German army of WWII. Originally, there was the MP38 model. The MP38 was an amazing design, and was going to be used as the standard weapon for German infantry and mass produced. Unfortunately, it was too expensive at the time to be mass produced. The design was so good, that they had to find a way to keep the general schematics of the weapon, but make it affordable to make and manufacture. The MP40 was the solution. It used compressed components and was made from welded steel, making it more affordable to mass produce. In addition, the MP40’s modified design was to cut back on the bullet jamming the MP38 had.
Another weapon used by the German’s during this time, was the MG42. The MG42’s full name is the Mashinengewehr 42. It is a fully-automatic machine gun. It was nicknamed “Hitler’s Saw”. The MG42 was another improved weapon. Originally, there was the MG34, which had many flaws for use in combat. One, just like the MP38, it was too expensive to mass produce. Two, it had problems enduring muddy conditions. Three, not only was it too costly to make, but it also took too much time to manufacture them. Just like the MP38, the design was impressive enough to be thrown away. The MG42 was the solution. It could fire 1,200 rounds a minute and was a suppression weapon. Unfortunately, the improvements did not help with the jamming. However, the locking mechanism was redesigned and reloading was made quicker. Also, the MG34 wasn’t entirely replaced, just not as common as the MG42. Because of this, the ammunition and beltings stayed the same, so the ammunition could be used between both of them. The power of MG42, along with its better design and mass productivity made it the preferred choice. The devastating power and damage of the MG42 caused a universal fear in American soldiers.
Another widely used firearm in the German army during WWII was the Walther P38. The Walther P38 was a sidearm. It is a semi-automatic pistol. The full name is the Walther P38 (Pistole 38). The Walther P38 was such a success, that is replaced the famous Luger P08. After years of toying and experimenting with the P38, it was accepted and used in 1940. The Walther P38 became a souvenir weapon by the Allies. Carl Walther designed and made the first German self-loading pistol in 1908 called the Walther Model 1. His son Fritz took over after his father’s death. He continued to further the technology of self-loading pistols. He created the first pistol to have both a single and a double action trigger finger. The German army requested a more powerful 9mm pistol, so he developed the P38 in 1938. As I mentioned earlier, the gun took a while before it was widely accepted.
There were many technological advances of weaponry during World War II. Each side had their own weapons and tools. Nazi Germany had many weapon modifications made during this time period. Though their weapons were powerful, they still weren’t a match for the Allies.