Keep in mind that although the first select fire rifle was invented in the late 1890s, they had a very poor record of reliability and accuracy, both critical issues for a general issue weapon. Full auto weapons firing pistol cartridges were not considered accurate or powerful enough for use as a main battle rifle. Germany was operating under severe restrictions as to what it could produce under the terms of the Versailles Treaty and the economic crisis that followed WW1. The Mauser 98 was the standard weapon of most armies in the world, the US was the first to have a semiautomatic general issue rifle, and the Germans were already deep into the war by the time the USA entered the war in late 1941. Although they had some of the best designers and engineers on the planet at the time, once you commit your assets to supporting a war, you are pretty much locked in. Once we started around-the-clock bombing of the European mainland and those assets became increasingly difficult to maintain in operating condition, it was hard to change and update designs that were already in place and fight a war on two fronts at the same time.
It's easy to look back and ask "what if" questions, but the facts are what they are. The Germans had the European continent pretty well tied up until the USA started into the whole fracas, and even for 3 years after that. They had pretty much locked up the natural assets and the manufacturing facilities of the entire continent. So although things were tight, they had all of the goods and the capability to produce military hardware until we bombed the factories into rubble. Our manufacturing facilities could not be touched, and we had the natural resources to produce equipment and supply all the Allied combatants. Pretty hard to compete with that.
Last edited by Scorch; March 12, 2013 at 11:19 AM.