Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by war hawk, Jan 7, 2009.
What is the best ww2 infantry weapon in your opinion.?
For taking out other infantry, the MP44 hands down. Had this gun come into play earlier than late 44, it may have even been decisive in the volume, range and accuracy of fire a squad could put down if mass produced and put into the hands of more soldiers than the Waffen SS.
I always liked the the STG 44. I think the M1-Garand qualifies.eep:
My two supplied weapons were a Colt .38 revolver and a Sten 9mm with "upgraded" wooden stock, complete with oil bottle and pullthrough, looking like the blunt end of a SMLE 303, which it probably was.
I was lucky never to be called to use them in anger.
I do not like the Sten with a wood stock.J.M.O.
yup, good call.
I love my Garand ($12.00 through the NRA in the 1960s!), but its big fault is that it will bust your thumb in a merciless way. However, its other and potentially deadly fault, is that when you've shot your 8th round, it ejects the empty clip with a clearly audible sound, telling anyone within hearing that, "I'm dry".
We can base questions about the "best" infantry weapon on style, "cool" factor, looks, etc. I prefer to answer this question based on history of use.
The best infantry weapon of World War 2 was the Number 1 Mk 3* SMLE manufactured at Lithgow, Australia.
The first strategic defeats handed out to both German and Japanese forces during World War 2 were handed out by men carrying rifles made at Lithgow.
I remember reading years ago about an exchange that reputedly took place between Montgomery and Eisenhower in the lead up to the D Day landings. Montgomery appeared worried about something, Eisenhower asked if there was anything Montgomery needed to allay his fears about the upcoming operation. Montgomery replied there was, but Eisenhower didn't have what Montgomery wanted. Eisenhower scoffed at this and said he would get Montgomery whatever he wanted. Montgomery smiled and said "a Division of Australians?"
For sure. That thing is a beast.
Well I heard that it was just as the invasion started and matters were pretty tense in the Command bunkers and Montgomery's Chief of Staff apropo of nothing suddenly said " I wish we had that Australian 9th Division today." The 9th Division had held Tobruk against Rommel even without aerial or armored superiority and then met the Afrika Korp full on up at the coast at El Alamein. They fought each other to a standstill, neither being of much use at the end of it all. German prisoners said it was just like the Eastern front at it's worst. But it had soaked up the Afrika's Korp main effort and whereas the 9th Division could and did lay down for a long, long rest the Germans were faced with weeks of a fighting retreat.
And while I am on the subject of Tobruk I reckon there is a book on the relationship between the RHA and the 9th Division. There could not have been a better relationship between two arms as occured at the time Each complemented the other in the areas of endeavour that counted. I reckon there is a book in there somewhere and if so it must happen quickly while the survivors remain.
And more. I entered the Town Hall of a lonely small outback town in South Australia and there, almost out of sight on the wall was a plaque commemorating a local citizen who had won the Bisley shooting competition. Imagine the competition standards of the time, when the Empire was at it's greatest , all those shooters in India for a start and yet this obscure militia marksman beat them all. As I left the town it dawned on me that the terrain and climate was much that of Libya. Most country towns had rifle clubs that were popular and highly competitive. So when the storm troopers were left behind by the Panzers they were in a killing ground that was much like that of back home for the defenders. You could imagine hundreds of Australians well hidden from fire and view just relentlessly picking off the Germans who were exposed and unable to see their enemy.
So I personally doubt that anything was really said on D Day about the 9th Division, one Divisision would not have made that much difference. Perhaps a throw away remark to Chester Wilmot the Australian reporter which has been parlayed up ino being something significant but they would surely have been more useful in Europe than dithering about on the edges of the great Pacific War, not that that was their fault.
And to respond to the original aim of the topic I reckon the best infantry weapon in WW2 was the little pack howitzer of the Japanese in the Pacific Islands. Light enough to be carried easily when broken up in its component parts they caused much angst amongst the Australians and Americans. The Aussies then produced the 25 pounder light which didn't work at all. Still too heavy and the blast without the blast shield concussed the firers. Two are on display near where I live and are much revered for no good reason.
Although STG44 isn't my favorite by appearance, it is no doubt the best infantry weapon of its time. It is the first true assault rifle in the history. Too bad, Hilter once again was responsible for the delay of its production... his effort was always counter-productive.
I found this video of STG44. A real one. This gun is very accurate at medium distance, and it has good fire rate. Pretty sure every German soldier with a rifle would rather hold one of these.
From what I understand, only 400k or so STG44 were ever produced during WWII. If they had the production started earlier and made millions, do you think it would have made some kind of impact in the war?
The Bren gun deserves a mention, it was re barrelled in the 1950's to take the NATO 7.62mm round and remained in service into the 1990's
Didnt the GIs take advantage of this though by hunting in pairs? one would fire his shots till his clip pinged and as soon as the enemy stuck their heads up - BAM, his waiting partner picked them off!
My fave weapon? Another vote for the STG44. Makes you realise that without Hitler messing up production, German weapons technology may well have won that war for them..
Personally I prefer MP 40 [Maschinenpistole 40] for its light weight,simple but effective mechanism and obviously of its power.Though it has some other variations,still I prefer it[MP 40] for its dual-magazine and better r.p.m with its moderate muzzle velocity.
Widely used by Wehrmacht infantry men & Waffen SS soldiers.Oftenly used on open-top armored personnel carriers like sdkfz 251 half-tracks .
It had a forward-folding metal stock,the 1st of its kind,made it shorter in over all length.
But it wasn't for a hard combat.The only thing of it I dislike most is its naked-barrel[un-insulated].
While a very good weapon,I have to disagree with you,and go with the PPSH-41,with greater ammo capacaity,and ruggedness.
Are you referring to the 70mm battalion gun?I saw one of those at the Patton Museum at Fort Knox.
Hard to narrow down to a single "best" one.For rifles,I'd go with the M-1 Garand,with machine guns,the MG-42,and Submachine guns,the PPSH-41.For man portable AT weaponry,I'd go with the Soviet 14.5mm AT rifle.It had minimal penetration,but they could go anywhere,and the Ivans had plenty of them.
Got to be the ´Panzerfaust ' for me ! Simpleto use and best of all , chuck the launcher away afterwards and does what it says on the tin .
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