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Submachine guns of World War II


Erma MP38 - 38/40 - 40

The MP38 (Machinen Pistole 1938 SMG 1938) was the first political SMG 2nd generation; a revolutionary weapon. Not the result of the weapon itself on the battlefield; similar to the old 1st generation models. But because its manufacturing system made it much easier and cheaper to manufacture in mass, which had an obvious impact on production and war economy.
The box is manufactured in stamped sheet metal, easy to get, in the breech block a basic turning was used, most of the external areas were such or as much it for her. Instead of stock and forearm made of wood, metal and plastic are used.
Mechanically, it was a submachine gun with recoil system of common masses. Through slot mounted lever, you could get pretty dirty, but the gun showed remarkable tolerance and mechanical reliability against it.

Once in service, a dangerous defect is discovered; Once armed the gun, a blow or strong tremor could cause tripping. What caused accidents. To fix it, he practiced a slot above the position of Insurance in the breech block, for which a pin was inserted. Those who took this amendment were called MP 38/40.

From 1940, he began distributing the MP40. For the soldier who was equal to the MP38 / 40. But it was produced with an even simpler and cheaper manufacturing system. It can be mounted on almost any basic workshop.

At the end of the war they had produced over one million MP38, MP38 / 40 and MP40. Massively being used with good results on all fronts. Allied soldiers also appreciated, reaching use they captured.

Caliber: 9mm Parabellum Length: 83.3 cm. (63 with folded butt) Barrel: 25.1 cm. Weight: 4.7 with full magazine. Cadence: 500 dpm Supply: straight metal Chargers 32 9mm Parabellum cartridge.

Bergmann MP34-35

During the 1st World War, it became clear the need for a rapid-fire weapon small and manageable, for use in the attacks on the trenches.
In 1918, the Germans began to use the first effective gun, the MP 18 (Machinen Pistole 1918, SMG, 1918).
It was a weapon recoil mass manufacturing quality (and expensive), with solid metal turned parts stock and handguard well finished wood. It proved effective although the end of the Great War prevented that year was very decisive.
Over time the MP18 was versioning and improved and used by many countries, including the MP 28. With the adoption of straight chargers, capacity from shot to shot, bayonet hitches, bipods, a new targeting system …
In 1934 came a new version, where the pressure on the trigger decided the rate of fire; low shot to shot, squeezing more “in depth” burst.
This model MP34 and MP35 improved version, called the attention of the SS with its mechanical set reliability when mounting a bolt rear and side mounted no. The SS could take weapons on their own suministadas part of the German army, and throughout the war came the MP35 for the SS. Although the need for weapons that never made exceeds the efficient and much cheaper MP38-40 army.


Type 100

Despite the experience of the war in China and imported models for evaluation. The Japanese did not develop a submachine gun production until 1942 and was never able to meet the demand of the military even close. Thereby placing the Japanese soldiers at a disadvantage compared to their enemies.

This gun, 1st generation, was the Type 100 (100 Shiki Kikanshoju). It turned into an effective weapon, but with peculiar features. The charging system was complex to make sure the cartridge was completely in the chamber before they could release the firing pin, as dedida supposed to be extra security. The interior was plated to protect it from wear. The targeting system, bayonet cap and the muzzle brake were probably too elavorados for that type of weapon. Since 1944 the third version of the weapon and included important changes to simplify manufacture. Although they never succeeded anywhere near the required production figures.


Beretta 38A

In 1938 the Beretta factory began distributing in series to the Italian army a model developed in 1935. The Beretta 38A. SMG is trats a 1st generation of orthodox system. But manufacturing and excellent finishing. The gun was very neat and very reliable mechanically and accurately. Even despite being a weapon of war, the exterior finish was careful. Over time some concessions to the cheaper and faster production were made, but few and minor Giving rise to the model 38/42.
These excellent weapons were highly coveted by Allied soldiers, who used them if they could.


PPSh 41

Manufactured by millions, this model of emergency was the typical Russian submachine gun World War II. Giving an excellent result.
The PPSh-41 (Pistolet-Pulyemet Shpagina Obrazets 1941g; Submachine Shpagin 1941), was designed by Giorgi S. Shpagin in 1940 and supplied en masse to the Red Army from 1942, since the German invasion prevented it was before.
Designed specifically for mass production, it was built from large factories to small workshops, nearing the end of the war to exceed 5 million.
Simple design and an Orthodox recoil mass was manufactured in stamped steel and solid wood. All of which made him very hard, durable and reliable. While manufacturing base bolts, welds and punched, did easy and cheap to produce.
The gun had a very high cyclic rate of fire of 900 rounds per minute, which joined the Chargers 71 0 75 cartridges, gave a great firepower. Although recoil caused the breech block had a leather cushion or felt had mouth downward and compensator úsase mouth.
Nicknamed “Pah-Pah-Shah” by Russian soldiers, it was an excellent weapon. Especialmetne in the extreme cold of the Russian winter.
The Germans used because of its performance, and came to provide 7,63mm Mauser caliber ammunition that could be used to recalibrate them and even some lots to 9mm


The Pistolet-Puyemet Sudareva Obrazets 1942g (PPS42; submachine Sudarev 1942), was designed and built during the siege of Leningrad by the defenders. Made with the most limited resources, the gunsmith IA Sudarev achieved a weapon made from simple, robust and effective metal stampings. Based on recent testing prototypes directly in the field and aim the comments.
After lifting the siege, the Red Army took note of the success of such a simple weapon. And with minor modifications as mass produced as PPS43



The designer of arms John Thompson developed a “trench sweeper” to sell it to the army during World War 1. However, ironically, the weapon was ready to be distributed on November 11, 1918. That is, the same day that ended the Great War.

After that, the Thomson submachine gun was pulled on the civilian market, eventually getting orders from police forces and unrewarding acceptance among gangsters. Thus, Thompson became an icon of the war between mafias and the law at the time of Prohibition.
They usanron some Marines in Nicaragua in 1927 with good results, and a year later the Navy adopted a slightly modified version called M1928.
With the outbreak of World War 2, in 1940 the massive military production ended in the hands inglesas.Al ent US in the war began in 1941, he began producing UAN simpler and cheaper version of manufacture. M1 1942. With a more reliable and inexpensive straight charger, a simplified mechanical system and eliminating extra side. By the end of that year he had already been simplified further in the M1A1.

Although allowed cuts down the cost of each submachine $ 200 to less than 70 in 1944, the simple but sufficient M3 worth only $ 10 a unit. So it was replacing Thompson, to the chagrin of the soldiers.

M3 “grease gun”

The “grease gun” as the soldiers called contemptuously by their appearance, and appeared shortly after entry into the US war. It was the American quivalente the British Sten, ready to be made quickly, easily and cheaply fastened.
It was a weapon in which the production was simplified to the extreme, and despised soldiers against Tompson. Although cumplia decently.
However, the use of low quality materials and poor manufacturing, gave the soldiers more than a problem of strength and reliability.
In 1944 combat experience and a cheaper manufacture even it resulted in the M1A1. Basically the same gun with slight modifications, such as exposing the total length of the lid closes expulsion, allowing your finger to push the armed avoiding controversy

United Kingdom


This British weapon, designed for a cheap, fast and easy to manufacture weapons, is the classic example of primitive SMG and no frills but it works.
Based on the German MP38 and simple, English in a few weeks brought even more spartan Sten. Made with a steel tube, stamped sheet metal parts and easy to manufacture, based on bolts, bolts and welds. Of the Sten Mark I were manufactured in a short time 100,000. The Mark II was even more simple, without metal stock, and became the “classic” Sten. The barrel of this could be removed and the mouth of the magazine turned to be silenced to prevent dirt. The Mark III was even simpler with añón that could not be removed. The Mark V and are manufactured with more care in the sights and accessories and would be used after the war

Waffen-SS troops in marshy ground. They are armed with the MP40 machine pistol. By this period of the war the MP38/40 submachine gun was manufactured in great numbers and issued to squad leaders, senior
NCOs and front-line officers. It was regarded as one of the most effective submachine guns ever produced and used extensively within the ranks of both Heer and Waffen-SS

Despite overwhelming superiority of the enemy the Germans still fought fiercely and determinedly, especially during urban fighting. Here in this photograph a squad leader armed with a MP38/40 submachine gun has captured a group of Russian soldiers during heavy intensive fighting inside a town.