“Enemy Weapons” of Germany – Part V

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Back to our regularly scheduled blog…

We like finding English-language information on foreign military arms, and we ran across a particularly interesting example of just that recently. The British government printed booklets during WWII describing enemy arms for the education of its soldiers – and they give us good insight into what was being used in the field. Well, this particular one is specifically about some less-common weapons used by the Wehrmacht (click to download the whole PDF):

Enemy Weapons - German Infantry Engineer and Airborne Weapons (English, 1943)
Enemy Weapons – German Infantry Engineer and Airborne Weapons (English, 1943)

It covers the MP18/I, MP28/II, MP34 (both Bergmann and Steyr varieties), MG34S, MG34/41, MG42 (which was new at the time of printing) rifle grenade launchers, 8, 10, and 20cm mortars, and the airborne 75mm recoilless rifle:

German 75mm LG40 airborne recoilless rifle
German 75mm LG40 airborne recoilless rifle

Actually, it has more information on the LG40 than anything else – lots of detailed and disassembled pictures. If you have any interest in this sort of thing, definitely download the PDF and have a look.

Also, I’m sure we’ve all heard at one time or another the old myth that Russia (or someone) adopted the 7,62×39 because it would let them use NATO ammo but NATO couldn’t use theirs? Total bunk…but occasionally there is a case for ammo interchangeability. Appendix A of this booklet has a neat chart showing which countries’ mortar ammo is compatible with which mortars:

Mortar ammo compatibility chart
Mortar ammo compatibility chart (click to see full size)

I can’t say I’d ever thought about it much, but it would be good info to have out in the field.

And one last picture of a neat weapon for good measure – the German 20cm (that’s just under 8 inch) spigot mortar:

German 20cm spigot mortar
German 20cm spigot mortar