Thread: 9mm vs.45
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Old August 19th, 2005, 09:59 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,147
I couldn't wait to get my copy of Sturmgewehr and was Googling for some stuff. I found this interesting page:

According to that page, the MKb42(H) fired from an open bolt. I had no idea, but that certainly makes sense as the MKb42(H) arose out of a machine pistolish type of design.

A very interesting part of that page states:

With a good number of positive evaluations on hand, Hitler did a complete about face with respect to his opinions of the MP43. On April 6, 1944, Hitler issued the following decree:

"a) The former MG42 is to retain the same designation
b) The former self-loading rifle, known as the Gewehr 43, shall receive the designation Karabiner 43 (K43).
c) The former new MP, known as the MP43, shall receive the designation MP44.

By mid to late 1944, it was clear that the tide of the war had turned against Germany. As a result, official efforts to exploit the propaganda value of new weapons resulted in another change in model designation. In December 1944, the official nomenclature of the MP44 was changed to Sturmgewehr 44 (StG44) - "Assault Rifle 44." While no different, other than markings, from the MP44 or MP43 (with the exception of a degraded finish common to all late war German weapons), the idea was to lead the public into believing that this was one of many decisive secret weapons that would lead to ultimate victory.
So this is yet another story on how the name "Sturmgewehr" came about. Some say "Sturmgewehr" was a ploy to try to get Hitler to accept the new weapon by giving it a very impressive name and make him believe it was a true rifle and not an attenuated rifle. Others say Hitler himself coined the name when he realized how effective the weapon was on the battlefield. Now this page says "Sturmgewehr" was a ploy to raise public morale.

I don't know who's correct, but I do know that "gewehr" is used for artifice in all three stories and not because of technical accuracy. But the name certainly stuck.
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