Thread: 9mm vs.45
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Old August 29th, 2005, 07:36 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,160
I love this part of Sturmgewehr!:
Because it seemed impossible to invent an automatic rifle which would be suitable for infantry fighting, a German Lieutenant Colonel named Merkatz tested Mauser and Luger pistols fitted with shoulder stocks, longer barrels, and devices to permit selective fire. As recorded in a letter from the In2 to the IWG dated January, 1923, these trials had been unsuccessful because the light weight of these pistols meant that it was impossible to keep them directed at the target when firing on full-automatic.

The consequence was the development of the MP18/I, a heavier weapon which became the first submachine gun to be used in infantry action. Like the Luger and Mauser pistols, it fired the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, but due to the heavy weight of the bolt no special locking device was necessary. Compared to the G98 and the Mauser semiautomatic rifle the MP18/I was shorter, and due to the 32-round magazine magazine and the full-automatic function, much more effective in close combat. However, the G98 still had to be used for actions exceeding short ranges, because the effective range of the 9mm cartridge was limited to not more than 200 meters (656 feet).

That confirms my personal belief that the development of the machine pistol was more of a desperation move than anything else. That part is funny, but this part is even funnier:
Another disadvantage was the tactical deployment specified for the MP18/I. Like the MG, it was used as a crew-served weapon, each submachine gunner being accompanied by six soldiers carrying reserves of ammunition. It was planned to integrate one submachine gun team, consisting of one MP18/I gunner and six carriers (equipped with G98s) into each infantry company, but the end of the war in November 1918 prevented the realisation of this plan, which actually would have created additional problems with respect to the commanding of the infantry firefight, because there would have been an additional weapon to be directed beside the G98 and the MG.
That shit can't be true, can it? A crew-served machine pistol? Who thought up that one? LOFL. Now I've seen it all. So not only were the men who invented the machine pistol looney tunes for thinking the idea would work, they had hairbrained ideas for how to employ it as well. When it rains, it pours.

I'm a bit disappointed Stumgewehr! uses the term "submachine gun" instead of "machine pistol". I wish whoever translated this book stayed with "machine pistol". I believe J.T. Thompson coined the name "submachinegun" to describe his Thompson machine pistol, and I think Thompson was going for something catchier than "machine pistol".

I much prefer "machine pistol" and think it's more precise and technically accurate than "submachinegun" or "submachine gun". After all, "submachinegun" could even cover weapons like the modern squad automatic weapon, which fires a lesser round than the modern rifle round. "Submachinegun" is a nebulous term and I think "machine pistol" is much nicer.

But otherwise this book is tip top thus far.
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