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Maschinenpistole 1938 : the MP-38 submachine gun

Germany was undoubtedly one of the first and most active nations to devote research to short, maneuverable weapons with high firepower. The objective is to be able to saturate an opponent even at a short distance while maintaining mobility and speed. Such a feat was impossible with only duty equipment before the beginning of the Great War.

At the cutting edge

From the beginning of WWI, the need for light weapons with high firepower was partly met by handguns. The Luger P08 pistols were equipped with a shoulder stock and a 32-round drum magazine, the Mauser C96 pistols were also distributed in this configuration but with a lower firing capacity.

In 1916, German combat theory was adapting to the reality of the conflict and mobile troops engaging beyond the “no man’s land” were created. The famous Stosstruppen were endowed with light equipment, explosives, pistols and light machine guns, but all this equipment did not yet meet the needs expressed by the troops. The study of a real submachine gun was soon to be launched. The other belligerents had a partly similar approach, the desire for an automatic assault weapon. France developed, albeit with a different logic of use, the CSRG-15 machine gun called “Chauchat” and Great Britain the Lewis machine gun.

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    Julien Lucot

    Julien Lucot is an enlightened gun lover and a French shooter who has written numerous articles in the French firearms magazines. Enthusiastic and open-minded, his thirst for discovery is matched only by his joy of sharing.

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