August 19th, 2005, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
I read in this month's American Rifleman
that Collector Grade Publications has released a new book on the development of the StG44:
Here's the description:
Sturmgewehr!-From Firepower to Striking Power
by Hans-Dieter Handrich
Deluxe First Edition, 2004
600 pages, 392 illustrations
The author, a prizewinning German military historian, has spent years researching original documentation held in the military archives of Germany and elsewhere to produce the entire technical and tactical history of the design, development and fielding of the world's first mass-produced assault rifle and the revolutionary 7.92x33mm kurz cartridge.
It has been said that Adolf Hitler was the greatest general the Allies had during World War II, and several examples of his fatefully bungled tactical decisions are discussed. None was perhaps more significant than his refusal - on three separate occasions during 1942 and 1943 - to sanction the adoption of the intermediate-calibre assault rifle as the general-purpose infantry weapon. Its acceptance and fielding thus proved to be a long, tortuous and never-fully-completed process, and, as a measure of the complexity of the story, in all of German small arms history, no weapon was renamed so often within such a short period of time.
Its ultimate name, Sturmgewehr 44, was belatedly bestowed in October 1944 by Hitler himself after his early failures to appreciate the advantages of the assault rifle had delayed the programme for a full year, and by the time he changed his mind, a general rearming was out of the question. Nevertheless, the Sturmgewehr was by far the most important and influential small arm and cartridge of World War II.
Every book I've read from CGP has been superb in almost every way, from technical details, to photograph quality, and historical accuracy, so this one should be good. These are not Ian Hogg coffee table books or Jane's Infantry Weapons
type of books. The next time I see this one at a gun show, I'll probably pick it up. I really do want to read about the real story behind the StG44's development.