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euclid
09-25-2008, 03:09 PM
I'm looking for some information on WWII guns. I want to arm a German soldier at a check point (in 1942) with a rapid-fire hand-held machine gun. Not a heavy machine gun on a stand, and not a single-shot rifle. Something like a "sten" gun (or an Uzi, nowadays). I think the Wehrmacht had this type of weapon; I've seen them in the movies.

What were they called?

When did they come into service?

waylander
09-25-2008, 03:18 PM
What you are looking for is the Schmeiser machine pistol, weapon 184 here
http://www.rememuseum.org.uk/arms/submachg/armsmg2.htm

euclid
09-25-2008, 03:27 PM
What you are looking for is the Schmeiser machine pistol, weapon 184 here
http://www.rememuseum.org.uk/arms/submachg/armsmg2.htm

Thanks again Waylander.

:)

Chase
09-25-2008, 08:39 PM
Just adding to Waylander's excellent post.

Waylander's suggestion to use the Erma--either the MPE (wood stock and forward pistol grip, side 9mm magazine) or the MP38 pictured as "weapon 184" (all stamped metal, folding wire stock, straight under 9mm magazine often used as a front grip)--is good. They were both erroneously called "Schmeissers," though Hugo Schmeisser was not the Erma's designer.

Both Erma's MP (maschinenpistole) 38 and MP40 (manufactured in '40) were in German army hands in 1941.

But your guard could have carried an actual Schmeisser Maschinenpistole, pictured as weapon 181.

Developed in 1918 and despite the Versailles Treaty, the Bergmann MP18 (known as "das Schmeisser") had been in German police hands in the inter-war years of the '20s and '30s. It was secretly manufactured outside Germany for the Third Reicht and was the machine pistol in widest use until 1945.

Sarpedon
09-25-2008, 08:58 PM
But in 1942, machine pistols and similar weapons were not in high production; When Albert Speer took over as minister of armaments in 1943, he drastically increased production.

I think prior to then, they were only issued to elite troops, like paratroopers. I know the MP40 was originally designed for use in tanks.

Chase
09-25-2008, 10:57 PM
But in 1942, machine pistols and similar weapons were not in high production; When Albert Speer took over as minister of armaments in 1943, he drastically increased production.

I think prior to then, they were only issued to elite troops, like paratroopers. I know the MP40 was originally designed for use in tanks.

So what I'm assuming Sarpedon is saying (I know--shouldn't assume) is that if you still want your guard armed with a maschinenpistole, it would be more credible to have him be a former German policeman (deutscher Polizist) whom might have retained possession of an older MP18 (weapon 181) after morphing from cop to security.

The 9mm Luger ammo would have been as plentiful as any, and that scenario jibes with my admittedly inexpert historical sense.

MelancholyMan
09-26-2008, 12:09 AM
Just to throw in my 2cents, if your guard is carrying a handgun it would have more than likely been a Browning HighPower, manufactured by FN in Belgium. It was the only firearm mass-produced by both sides during the war and incidentally, still in production today. In all likelihood he would NOT have a Parabellum style Luger though just about all European small arms of the day (and today as well) were chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge.

euclid
09-26-2008, 10:58 AM
But your guard could have carried an actual Schmeisser Maschinenpistole, pictured as weapon 181.

I think my soldier is Waffen-SS. And I think he will carry a Schmeisser 9mm Parabellum MP 28 II (weapon 182 on the REME web site). For the book, I will simply say that he carried a "Schmeisser 9mm machine pistol". I may allude to its destructive power somewhere much earlier in the book (during the MC's training, perhaps).

What gun did Clint Eastwood use in "Where Eagles Dare"?

Sarpedon
09-26-2008, 05:11 PM
You mean his pistol, or his machine pistol? I'm pretty sure he was using an MP40 as a machine pistol.

Its been a long time since I saw that film. In fact, I saw it before I started being a WW2afficianado. Gotta love the Allister Maclean adaptations.

Would Waffen SS troops be guarding a checkpoint? That seems like Heer work to me. (unless the checkpoint were near an SS headquarters or camp or something) Where is the checkpoint?

tallus83
09-27-2008, 06:49 AM
Schmeisser was a generic term used for the MP38 and MP40. A soldier in 1942 would have either of these two weapons versus an MP18 or 28.

To get more precise information on weapons please go to WWW.feldgrau.net.

euclid
09-27-2008, 01:13 PM
Schmeisser was a generic term used for the MP38 and MP40. A soldier in 1942 would have either of these two weapons versus an MP18 or 28.

To get more precise information on weapons please go to WWW.feldgrau.net. (http://www.feldgrau.net.)

I Took a look around that forum. Couldn't find any basic information about the forum. What is its central theme? WWII? Warfare generally?

It looks interesting. Thanks. :)

Chase
09-27-2008, 07:32 PM
What gun did Clint Eastwood use in "Where Eagles Dare"?

I'll leave the difinitive, no-room-for-variance pronouncements of what a German guard would or would not have carried to WWII buffs.

However, as luck, fate, coincidence would have it, Where Eagles Dare played last night on Turner Classic Movies channel. I had fun watching a favorite.

It must be remembered that a 60s movies is no hallmark of historical accuracy, but this response is to the specific question asked above. The weapons used by Major Smith (Burton) Lieutenant Schaffer (Eastwood) inside Schloss Adler were Erma MP38 machine pistols and Walther PPK pistols fitted with silencers.

Nearly everyone in the castle carried similar machine pistols, and its difficult to tell the MP38 from the MP40, because improvements were largely internal, but my basis for naming the ones Smith and Schaffer used in the pivotal dining hall scene were the slightly narrower muzzles and larger front sights of their MP38s.

Im surprise PPKs were fitted with silencers, as the floating barrels are more difficult to thread and remain functional. A propmaster would have found it easier to silence the solid barrel of a Walther P38. Oh, well, no one thought to consult me in 1968, ha ha ha.

Gestopo Major Hapen, the Nazi you love to see get taken down, brandished a Parabellum P08, which was taken over by General Carnaby/Corporal Jones.

tallus83
09-27-2008, 08:45 PM
Feldgrau.Net is about the German Army, Navy, and Air Force in WW1, inter-war years, and WW2. More emphasis is placed on WW2 as you will see. All aspects of the Wermacht are covered in the various forums, from individuals to units and their histories.

The main spotting difference between the MP38 and MP40 is the ribbed receiver housing on the MP38. This was changed on the MP40 to reduce cost and production time.

Youtube has several military films dating from WW2 that give a brief explanation of the major german infantry weapons. Pistols, Kar98K rifle, MP38/40, grenades, MG34 & 42, and mortars. You may find this information helpful. Search under German Infantry Weapons.

euclid
09-27-2008, 10:14 PM
Gestopo Major Hapen, the Nazi you love to see get taken down, brandished a Parabellum P08, which was taken over by General Carnaby/Corporal Jones.

First, I think the major your are referring to was an SS man (not Gestapo). Second, I thought we agreed that I couldn't call the Luger a Parabellum, as the Parabellum is the 9mm cartridge used by the gun - not the gun itself. Remember my original text called it a Parabellum and you shot this down in flames.

Now I'm confused. :)

Chase
09-28-2008, 02:01 AM
quote=euclid;2794939]First, I think the major your are referring to was an SS man (not Gestapo). Second, I thought we agreed that I couldn't call the Luger a Parabellum, as the Parabellum is the 9mm cartridge used by the gun - not the gun itself. Remember my original text called it a Parabellum and you shot this down in flames.

Now I'm confused. :)[/quote]

The first nit-picker in the nit-pick game never stands a chance.

However, the following quote comparing the book and the film entitled Where Eagles Dare may help clear up the Gestopo/SS discussion as having two sides (or not):

"The film and novel are reasonably close. The principal difference is that the novel is less violent than the film, and, in particular, one scene, during the escape from the castle, where Smith saves a German guard from burning to death, presaged the non-lethal thriller vein MacLean explored in his later career. In the novel, the characters are more clearly defined, and slightly more humourous than the fast pace of the film and the grim acting of Burton and Eastwood portrayed.

"Two characters are differently named in the film: Carraciola is called Ted Berkeley and von Brauchitsch is named as Major von Hapen of the Gestapo (Despite von Hapen's uniform having SS collar flashes, this is correct as Gestapo officials also held SS rank; less credible is the fact of a Gestapo major sporting a "von" before his surname). A budding love story between Schaffer and Heidi was also cut."

As for parabellum, the term as always been a confuser. The word was contrived by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM), a German manufacturer of weapons and ammunition, for promotional purposes. Its very loose Latin meaning is "for war," and this company was bent on cashing in on all the military action of the early 1900s.

At first and in between German wars, ammunition was their forte, so they hung their logo "parabellum" on the two ammunition specialties made for the pistol designed by Georg Luger they promoted. DWMs nomenclature of the 08 Pistole and all the ammunition made for it (once quite varied) always includes the logo "parabellum."

But it never quite caught on. But DWM is still at it. All 9X19mm ammo made by DWM almost always has "PARABELLUM" stamped on the case head. But most everyone else who manufactures 9X19mms stamps them "9mm Luger."

The point I tried to make (sorry it was considered shooting the writer down in flames--won't happen again) was that outside DWMs nomenclature charts and ads, "parabellum" is a term most associated with the ammunition still made by the company, not the distinctive Luger pistol.

But I have to admit just because a term isn't in popular use doesn't mean an interprising author can't give an out-of-place term new life.

Look at cordite. We always see it written where its reek denotes gunfire. Never mind that cordite propellant was used in larger aircraft cannons and only made it into smallarms ammunition briefly in the British .303, which were mostly destroyed after the desperate economic experiment produced ammo that didn't work well. Who cares that it doesn't even smell like either old-fashioned black powder or modern smokeless powder? Cordite still reeks in noir print.

Let's not even think of the term "automatic-revolver" made infamously popular and mostly laughable by Hammett using the obscure .38 Webley-Fosbery to kill Archer in The Maltese Falcon.

My thinking now is that parabellum deserves the same chance to make it big in fiction.

euclid
09-28-2008, 03:07 AM
Hi Chase, I'm happy to be shot down in flames if what I write is inaccurate, or whatever. Thank you for setting me straight.

Now, where are we? Can I call this gun a Parabellum (as in the original extract) or can't I? What's important here is that I use the term which a German Army Leutnant would have been most comfortable with in 1941 or 1942. My preference is for the term Parabellum if it can be used to describe the gun.

I bow to your superior knowledge of the film and book of "Eagles", but if you are right and that guy was a major (actually SS-Sturmbannfuhrer) in the Gestapo, then I think someone (Alistair?) goofed, because his function in the film was an SS officer's one. The Gestapo, as I understand it, were just glorified gophers in police uniforms, who executed orders generated by the SS.

:)

MelancholyMan
09-29-2008, 05:11 AM
Now, where are we? Can I call this gun a Parabellum (as in the original extract) or can't I? What's important here is that I use the term which a German Army Leutnant would have been most comfortable with in 1941 or 1942. My preference is for the term Parabellum if it can be used to describe the gun.:)

The pistol was known as a P08 Parabellum which is drawn from two Latin words: Para - prepare, and bellum - war. Prepare for war. It was a pre-World War I design and was out of favor in WWII except as a status symbol and war souvenir. It is called a P08 Parabellum and the cartridge is known as 9x19 Parabellum. But look on the bottom of a 9mm case today and it is stamped '9mm Luger,' Not 9mm Parabellum. Things change. I have no idea what soldiers at the time would have called it.

Yes, it is a beautiful pistol but not a very good shooter and very expensive to produce with many machining processes necessary. It is also tough to field strip and has A LOT of small, difficult to handle parts. I had one once and it is a bitch to work with. The P-38 is a MUCH better design (one of the best) as is the Browning HiPower (IMHO the best) which were favored by the SS because it was a truly excellent design. As for a guard, a guard would probably have carried a K-98 Mauser and no sidearm at all.

Don't fall into the popular history trap of sticking a 'German Luger' in his holster just because the character is wearing a German helmet. Then again, don't agonize over it either. Should your book actually be published some day, and I hope it is, the reader will pretty much skip these wonderful details we spend so much time researching.

Sarpedon
09-29-2008, 05:54 PM
The Gestapo was originally the Prussian secret police. You see, Germany was a relatively loose confederation of states. For example, in World War 1, when Hitler, an austrian, wanted to serve in the German army, he wrote for the permission of the ruler of Bavaria to serve in a Bavarian regiment; the various german states had their own armies, though they were equipped to the same standard. The uniforms were also slightly different. Prussia was the dominant component of Germany, with the biggest army, and most powerful state apparatus. This changed after the war, but the individual german states preserved their independance to a degree not commonly appreciated these days.

Anyhow, back to the Gestapo; At first they were the most efficient secret police service in Germany, so the Nazis made heavy use of them, and eventually let them operate throughout the country. At first they were under the control of Goring, but as he fell out of favor, they were came under Himmler, who also controlled the SS. That is why the two groups are frequently confused. Himmler was actively trying to create a 'state within a state' complete with his own police force (the Gestapo), army (the SS), schools, farms, and of course the slave-run factories. To dismiss the Gestapo as gofers is probably not correct.

MelancholyMan
09-29-2008, 06:29 PM
The Gestapo was originally the Prussian secret police. You see, Germany was a relatively loose confederation of states. For example, in World War 1, when Hitler, an austrian, wanted to serve in the German army, he wrote for the permission of the ruler of Bavaria to serve in a Bavarian regiment; the various german states had their own armies, though they were equipped to the same standard. The uniforms were also slightly different. Prussia was the dominant component of Germany, with the biggest army, and most powerful state apparatus. This changed after the war, but the individual german states preserved their independance to a degree not commonly appreciated these days.

Much like the South and indeed, the entire Union prior to the Civil War.

Cool! I didn't know that about the Gestapo being the Prussian SP. Prussia is located in Modern Poland and their still pissed about it.

tallus83
10-06-2008, 05:26 AM
Euclid,

They would have refered to it as a pistol. Nothing fancy or long, just a pistol. If you wanted to refer to it by a name, then you could refer to it as a Walther, since the Walther P08 was the standard-issue sidearm of all three german military branches.

euclid
10-06-2008, 10:27 AM
Euclid,

They would have refered to it as a pistol. Nothing fancy or long, just a pistol. If you wanted to refer to it by a name, then you could refer to it as a Walther, since the Walther P08 was the standard-issue sidearm of all three german military branches.

What about "Luger"?

Sarpedon
10-06-2008, 06:25 PM
Didn't Luger make the ammunition, and just about every gun company in Europe make their guns compatible with Luger's bullets? Thats the impression that I got. Luger of course also made pistols, but they were expensive compared to the Walther. I think.

tallus83
10-09-2008, 05:52 AM
I'm sorry, I must correct myself. It was the Walther P38 that became the standard german sidearm in 1938. It was still possible to find Lugars, but they were not standard-issue. Almost the same way that the standard US sidearm was the Colt.45 automatic, but some people carried .38 pistols instead.

I think it would depend on your character. Does he have a personal reason to carry a non-standard weapon. It's really up to you. Your typical german officer of low rank is going to have a Walther. He would have to purchase the Lugar out of his own pocket.

euclid
10-09-2008, 11:54 AM
I'm sorry, I must correct myself. It was the Walther P38 that became the standard german sidearm in 1938. It was still possible to find Lugars, but they were not standard-issue. Almost the same way that the standard US sidearm was the Colt.45 automatic, but some people carried .38 pistols instead.

I think it would depend on your character. Does he have a personal reason to carry a non-standard weapon. It's really up to you. Your typical german officer of low rank is going to have a Walther. He would have to purchase the Lugar out of his own pocket.

That was helpful - thanks. Your spelling "Lugar" is that cirrect?

Tiger
10-10-2008, 01:46 AM
Didn't Luger make the ammunition, and just about every gun company in Europe make their guns compatible with Luger's bullets? Thats the impression that I got. Luger of course also made pistols, but they were expensive compared to the Walther. I think.


Georg Luger designed the P08 parabellum.

I believe his pistols were first chambered for the necked down 7.65 mm Mauser ammunition. Rather, the subsequent 9mm ammo was necked up after US (yes US) Military testers complained about the small caliber. 9mm ammo was adopted by Browning and even Mauser.

tallus83
10-11-2008, 05:27 AM
Go with Luger. I've seen it spelled more as Luger, than Lugar.