The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Curios and Relics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 12, 2013, 11:16 PM   #26
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,559
Quote:
Every combatant of WW2 that started out with a 6.5 cartridge adopted a 7.7 or 7.35 to replace it, or fielded MGs in .30 or 8mm rather than use their own standard infantry cartridge for that purpose.
this is completely false. Sweden stuck with 6.5x55, and that 7.35 was scrapped and Italy reverted back to 6.5x52.
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 12:56 AM   #27
RJay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,698
The Germans knew full well what the US was developing in the matter of small arms. There were a vast number of both spies and neo-Nazi's( such as US ambassador to Britain Joseph Kennedy ) Before the outbreak of the war there were a vast number of German sympathisers around to pass information back to the Rhineland
__________________
Ron James
RJay is online now  
Old March 13, 2013, 12:57 AM   #28
Rainbow Demon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
My words
Quote:
or fielded MGs in .30 or 8mm rather than use their own standard infantry cartridge for that purpose.
Note I said "OR".

Sweden used the 8X62 Browning MG cartridge for its belt fed MG.
This was basically the same as the later 8mm-06 sporting cartridge though more heavily loaded . The larger case was used to push heaviest 8mm long range bullets.
They also equiped MG gunners with Mauser rifles chambered for this odd ball cartridge.
http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artikla...e/gev39_40.htm
There were 8X58 caliber MGs in use as well.

Sweden was officially a Neutral party not a combatant.
https://www.google.com/url?q=http://...EvNPWhTcH41g9w

Italy used 8X59RB medium and heavy Machineguns, the Reveli model 37 was the standard Italian heavy machinegun.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breda_M37
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breda_38
The conversion to 7.35 was forestalled by economic concerns not because they did not want to complete the switchover.
Carcano rifles used by Italian troops on the Eastern front were converted to 7.92X57.

Quote:
After reports of inadequate performance of the 6.5×52mm Mannlicher-Carcano at both short and long ranges [1][2] during the campaigns in Italian North Africa (1924-1934), and the Second Italo-Abyssinian War (1934), the Italian army introduced a new short rifle in 1938, the Modello 1938, together with a new cartridge in 7.35x51mm caliber.
Quote:
Weeks, John, World War II Small Arms, New York: Galahad Books, p. 47: the 6.5mm's blunt bullet and relatively low velocity also gave poor long range performance in machine guns, compared to the cartridges used by most other nations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.35%C3%9751mm_Carcano
Notice how those who used the 6.5 got their rear end handed to them when the real fighting took off.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; March 13, 2013 at 01:30 AM.
Rainbow Demon is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 06:31 AM   #29
zincwarrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2011
Location: Texas, land of Tex-Mex
Posts: 1,289
Quote:
In most cases american sea power proved to be of extremely limited use in neutralizing Japanese island defenses.

Weeks of bombardment at Iwo Jima had almost no effect on Japanese military capabilities.
True that. Of course the Japanese used a tunnel system that would have made Giap envious.

Now the interestig side question should be - how come they didn't go with the select fire model of the M1 carbine when it was being developed (it was an option first considered). I'd rather a full auto capable M1 carbine (even if kep at 15 rounds), then a big heavy Garand anywhere but out in the French countryside.
zincwarrior is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 07:04 AM   #30
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,320
"Every combatant of WW2 that started out with a 6.5 cartridge adopted a 7.7 or 7.35 to replace it, or fielded MGs in .30 or 8mm rather than use their own standard infantry cartridge for that purpose."

Except that neither Japan nor Italy were able to complete their change overs and, in Italy's case, actually had to backtrack and withdraw the 7.35 and replace them with 6.5s due to logistical issues.

And both the Italians and Japanese fielded machineguns in 6.5mm as well as guns in heavier calibers... same as the United States and the British.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 07:14 AM   #31
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,320
"To think Germany needed to completely rebuild after WWI is a little bit of a stretch."

The Germans had to go from a 100,000 man army, with equipment for such, to an army of 3.5 million in less than 4 years.

Providing that much equipment while increasing your standing military by 35-fold - which is, I content, a virtually complete rebuild of Germany's military - would put a TREMENDOUS strain on just about any nation's indistrial infrastructure.

The only nation that could TRULY absorb that kind of demand and still have more than enough left over to provide huge amounts of equipment and weapons to the other allies was the United States.

Remember, too, the state of Germany's airforce, navy, and tank corps in 1935... Largely non-existent.

So it wasn't just the Army that had to be rebuilt, and product being manufactured for those forces means less available indistrial space to devote to the manufacture of weapons to replace the K98k.


"As was mentioned, most European armies used the Mauser design."

Uhm... The French didn't, the Dutch didn't, Norwegians didn't, the Danes didn't, the Soviets didn't, the Greeks didn't...

Granted, the Poles, Czechs, and Belgians did use Mauser rifles that were very similar to the K98k, but in order to take advantage of that production you have to A) be at war, and B) have the standing army necessary to prosecute that war and conquor that nation (or in the case of Czechosolvakia, the standing army to annex the nation).

Then you have to convert those production facilities to manufacture the rifles you want, OR you're in the somewhat untenable position of arming occupation troops with locally produced rifles (as they did in France and a number of other nations) to free up standard service weapons for troops in front line areas.

It's really a catch 22 of sorts, and not a particularly satisfying situation as the Germans found out when they were forced out of France.

Large numbers of their occupation troops were armed with French weapons in French calibers, and once the facilities to produce the ammo for those weapons were lost, those troops quickly became ineffectual until they could be rearmed.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.

Last edited by Mike Irwin; March 13, 2013 at 07:26 AM.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 09:56 AM   #32
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,944
To clear up a few points: The 1st Marine Division went ashore at Guadalcanal with most units armed with the M1903 Springfield rifle. My brother-in-law was with the 3rd Marine Division on Bouganville, approximately in the same time frame, and had the M1 Rifle.

As to the M2 Carbine vs the M1 Rifle, no contest. I could drop an man at 600 yards with an M1, or kill him by firing through 1" of steel at closer ranges. In the jungles of the South Pacific, the penetration of the M1 was of far greater value than the pipsqueak M1 carbine round.

A friend of mine told me of his platoon leader putting three rounds from his carbine into an overcoat clad Italian soldier before the Italian soldier killed him. My friend put out the Italian's lights with one shot from his M1.

As to the M1's en bloc clip, it was much faster to reload an emptied M1 than it was to reload a magazine fed M1 or M2 carbine.

During WW II in Europe, the "fire and maneuver" principle was used in the attack. One squad laid down covering fire at about 300 yards as the other squad moved forward. The crack of rifle bullets overhead does tend to make one keep his head down.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 10:08 AM   #33
Colokeb
Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2008
Location: west
Posts: 86
Speaking of spies

My parents reported a German short wave radio operator in Milwaukee about 1942.

And my future grandmother in law had a farm se of Grafton Wisconsin on the south side of the Milw. River. They leased riverbank land to a German group who built cabins.

Before the War they became a Bund and were marching in their settlement. So the feds came and relocated some of them. But I saw them there in 1965 enjoying retirement years.
Colokeb is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 10:20 AM   #34
zincwarrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2011
Location: Texas, land of Tex-Mex
Posts: 1,289
er what?
zincwarrior is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 11:04 AM   #35
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,559
alright Mike makes a couple more very solid points. however you did forget a couple though one wasn't exactly a major player, italy and finland also did not use a Mauser rifle either.

and it wasn't just the french rifles that Germany repurposed that they got caught holding, Austrian M95s, Russian 91/30s and SVT40s(they captured so many of those that they even gave them a german designation), and Italian Carcanos which out of desperation they tried converting too 8mm to try and give their troops anything that could shoot a bullet they could manufacture.

to claims of the M1/M2, the M1c was never meant to be a hard hitting, armor piercing machine of death. it was supposed to be a light weight alternative to the M1 garand for soldiers that already have a bunch of weight to pack around like radio operators and artillery spotters. the 30 carbine may have had limiting stopping power but it was a hell of a lot better than swinging a pair of binoculars to defend yourself. a full auto version offered little advantage over the thompson sub machine guns except for lighter weight and the people normally issued a M1c were not very likely to have to use it in combat unless things were going badly, giving them a spray and pray weapon was just not a very popular idea.

EDIT: also wikipedia is not the best place to quote information from, anyone can edit the information therein so if I really wanted to I could say that the K98K was developed in Narnia and fired rainbows... the information was written by guys just like you and me and unless they were actually part of those councils that decided to convert to a different caliber then they have no idea what the true motivations were.
Quote:
Notice how those who used the 6.5 got their rear end handed to them when the real fighting took off.
Japan started the war by trying to take out the US' entire pacific fleet because they knew that they didn't have the resources to compete with the US in a long term war, they started WWII with about a year and a half's oil reserves... lucky for them their fleets were pretty much sunk by the end of 1942 so they had less demand for oil.

Italy was a tiny military force compared to just about any of the other major players in WWII, they had very few tanks, planes, and a very small almost nonexistent navy. these nations were not defeated because they used a 6.5 caliber bullet, they were defeated because they were outnumbered, outmaneuvered and lacked any sustainable natural resources.

the US has been using the 5.56 for about half a century now and just about all of those people we were fighting favored various 30 calibers and I can't think of a war that we have had our, and I quote, 'rear ends handed to us'

and I also missed who was talking about spys?
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.

Last edited by tahunua001; March 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 12:29 PM   #36
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,320
"however you did forget a couple though one wasn't exactly a major player, italy and finland also did not use a Mauser rifle either."

I went with nations that were tacitly enemies of Nazi Germany. I didn't include Hungary or Roumania in my list, either.


As for the M1 carbine, it was NEVER intended to be a front line combat weapon.

Its original purpose was for it to be issued to troops whose duties put them in proximity to the combat area, but who normally would not be engaged in the normal duties of the infantry soldier -- cooks, truck drivers, artillery, etc.

Regarding the M2, I personally am not entirely sure as to why it was ever adopted. It never proved to be particularly more useful than the single-shot version.


"the US has been using the 5.56 for about half a century now"

Well don't you know that the VC handily threw us out of Vietnam because of that teeny tiny little bullet?

And you know why that is?

Because they had .30 caliber weapons!!! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!

Sigh.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 01:49 PM   #37
Rainbow Demon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
Both Japan and Italy discovered the short comings of the 6.5 cartridges they were using before WW2 even got started. The Italians found the 6.5 did not have enough long range punch when fighting far less sophisticated foes in Africa during its colonial incursions. The Japanese found their Type 30 with round nose bullet was not up to snuff when fighting Russia before WW1, then improved the bullet and cartridge for the Type 38 and again found it lacking in penetration of obstacles when fighting the Chinese.
In both situations the Italians and Japanese defeated their enemies, but in spite of relatively weak small bore cartridges rather than due to them.
Lack of range and/or penetration cost lives that need not have been lost and made their job a bit more difficult.
Both militaries attempted to completely replace the 6.5 with a circa .30. Economic concerns rather than satisfaction with performance led to retaining obsolete weapons, just as the U S retained the M1917 for non combat use and the British continued using the SMLE till supplies of No.4 rifles were available.

In Afghanistan the U S and UK troops have on occasion found themselves out ranged when Taleban opened up from 600+ yards with 7.62X54r rifles and MGs.
Otherwise why the rush to produce 7.62X51 Designated Marksman rifles and reissuing of 7.62 LMGs to suppliment the 5.56 squad autos?

A 6.5-6.8 weapon with the best modern projectiles and propelents may be barely adequate for the conditions that are becoming more and more common, but the .30/7.62 MBR cartridges are already enough gun for the purpose.

The 5.56 has its zone, which is not much more than spitting distance against unarmored foes with a clear shot or very light cover. One could do near as well with an M1 Carbine or PPSH in those conditions.
Effective body armor has all but killed the SMG as a battlefield weapon, and improvements in body armor is on its way to doing the same for the intermediate cartridge assault rifles.
As for vehicles, even some civilian auto and truck bodies can be a tough target for the 5.56, and it doesn't take much to hillbilly armor a vehicle to withstand fire from assault rifles. Even WW1 era light armored cars would be proof against almost all modern intermediate cartridges.

The U S military's Urban fighting technical manuals reveal the shortcomings of the 5.56 very nicely.

PS
To better understand why bullets of less than .30 are a dead end for infantry use, take the .30-06 AP bullet as an example. Weights for these were given as 165-168 gr with full steel core.
The longest and heaviest 6.5 military FMJ bullets of the time were around 156 gr with a lead core. How long would a 168 gr steel core 6.5 bullet have to be, and how far would it have to extend into the powder space to maintain the standard OAL of that cartridge?
The longer an AP core is the more likely it is to break apart if it hits at an angle.

The 7mm ran into its own problems when it was found that you couldn't pack a sufficiently large tracer or incendiary charge in the small diameter bullet for anti aircraft or aerial guns.
Once a bullet diameter reaches a certain lower limit bullet construction has to become more and more exotic to maintain the necessary level of performance.
If depleted uranium bullets were available in 5.56-6.8 they might match the penetration power of the cheaper electronic furnance steel core of .30 AP.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; March 13, 2013 at 03:25 PM.
Rainbow Demon is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 05:39 PM   #38
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,559
am I the only one that thinks this train has derailed
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 05:52 PM   #39
pathdoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2013
Posts: 498
It has, true - but some of the stuff along the way has been fascinating.
pathdoc is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 06:12 PM   #40
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,559
good point... still getting way off topic...
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old March 13, 2013, 06:50 PM   #41
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,666
Quote:
Originally Posted by pathdoc
It has, true - but some of the stuff along the way has been fascinating.
Agreed. Speaking of which...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisTx
Two reasons...daytime American bombing, and nighttime British bombing.
FWIW many military analysts and historians have argued that the joint US/UK heavy bombing campaign was largely ineffective at crippling German industrial production, or at the very least, was very inefficient in terms of Allied lives lost and resources expended.

The basic problems were that precision targeting was unfeasible using the technology available at the time, forcing the Allies to rely on volume instead, but this didn't work well either because of the technical limits of the aircraft being used. The amount of fuel required to reach the targets limited the bomb load, and the Americans made things worse by weighing down their bombers with lots of gun-wielding crewmen (who would prove to be very ineffective at warding off attacking fighters). Although the number of Allied heavy bombers built during WWII seems staggering in hindsight, it was never enough to put more than a few bombers over a few targets at any given time.

The bombing campaign didn't become effective until relatively late in the war when the Allies finally began fielding effective fighter escorts at around the same time that the Luftwaffe had to start fighting off the American and Commonwealth land invasion. Another reason for the increase in effectiveness was that the Luftwaffe (and the Japanese) never effectively dealt with the fact that it's easier to replace airplanes than to replace pilots; by this time, their aircrew training resources had been stretched past the breaking point, and they were sending increasingly younger and less experienced pilots against seasoned Allied aircrew.* IOW the bombing campaign didn't begin working until German defeat was becoming inevitable regardless of the bombing.

Ironically, many analysts have concluded that the bombing campaign probably hastened the German defeat for a major but unplanned reason: the Germans attempted to defend their cities with thousands of AA batteries, but the Allies could only bomb a few cities at a time, so tens of thousands of men and light artillery pieces spent most of their time silently guarding an empty sky rather than shooting at Soviet tanks on the Eastern Front.

*On a related note, in terms of lives lost and resources expended versus damage inflicted, the oft-maligned Japanese "kamikaze" anti-ship suicide attacks were actually MUCH MORE effective against the US Navy than conventional air attacks. Besides requiring less pilot training, an airplane can carry more bombs vs. fuel when it doesn't have to come back, and an attacking airplane presents less of a target when it approaches a ship head-on and doesn't leave, rather than flying over and away, thereby giving the gunners more chances to shoot at it!
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is online now  
Old March 13, 2013, 08:07 PM   #42
Rainbow Demon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
Quote:
EDIT: also wikipedia is not the best place to quote information from, anyone can edit the information therein so if I really wanted to I could say that the K98K was developed in Narnia and fired rainbows... the information was written by guys just like you and me and unless they were actually part of those councils that decided to convert to a different caliber then they have no idea what the true motivations were.
While Wiki has its limitations, those entries that quote sources and provide links are still useful, so long as you already know what you are looking for.

I've spent much of my online time for the last ten years or so finding and studying authoritative sources on the effectiveness of rifle cartridges, written by British and American military surgeons and eye witnesses in war zones, as well as major figures in designing military rifle bullets and civilian authorities on sporting rifle and military cartridge development and testing.
Most of these sources are in public domain and can be downloaded in PDF form for close study.

As for the Swedes deciding that the 6.5 was too light for long range machinegun use, that should be obvious.
The 6.5X55 is the best of the 6.5 military cartridges, yet it had its limitations, and WW1 made this clear enough even to non combatant countries on the sidelines.
When you go from round nose bullets to spire point you either drop some weight or you increase the length of the bullet. When bullet length increases you either find a better propelent or reduce powder charge to avoid excessive pressures.
A .30 cartridge can handle a 175 grain spire point just fine without excessive pressures, same for the .303, because both were originally developed to use 220-225 gr bullets. Reducing weight allowed full powder capacity.
Going from a 156 gr round nose in 6.5 to a spire point meant 140 gr was the heaviest you could use without reducing powder capacity.
Much the same applied to the 7X57, which started out with a 175 gr round nose.

The 175 gr .30/7.62 is the best compromise if you want true long range performance. A lighter bullet may reach that far, but not retain enough energy to produce a deadly wound, especially if the enemy has any respectable body armor, which is available to all but the poorest third world armies, or even light cover.

If the military insists on close quarter full auto capability for an infantry rifle, then its time for some serious R&D on weapons designs.
The Russians developed an odd looking but effective full auto rifle some years back. I personally don't like the look of those, over engineered and gawky, but highly controllable in burst fire.

The 5.56 will be around for many decades to come, but is likely to be relegated to PDW status as better weapons and cartridges are developed.
Rainbow Demon is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 09:27 AM   #43
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,944
Mike Irwin said:
Quote:
As for the M1 carbine, it was NEVER intended to be a front line combat weapon.
I understand that, and am well aware of the fact. My response was in rebuttal to those who thought it a better weapon in close-in or jungle fighting.

However, while I was in Korea I did pick an M2 carbine for patrols along the DMZ. Often fitted with the grenade launcher for flares or smoke grenades.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 09:56 AM   #44
Pilot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2000
Posts: 3,712
What about the STG 44? Did this represent a change on philosophy, and tactics for German infantry? Yes, it came late in the war, and not in as great numbers, but it was a revolutionary firearm.
__________________
Pilot
Pilot is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 01:50 PM   #45
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,320
No one is saying that the German army didn't have the ability to develop/field new weapons.

It would have been, however, very difficult for the Germans to totally re-equip their military with the STG-44 at any point in its development, although it would have been somewhat easier to do given its greatly simplified manufacturing requirements -- very little precise forging or stamping, mostly stamping and welding...

An entire Wermacht armed with STG-44-type firearms would have been a very frightening thing indeed.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old March 14, 2013, 02:10 PM   #46
RJay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,698
Carguychris, thanks for the post, WWII proved one military fact, all the bombers in the world can not occupy not hold territory. Until the very last Germany was turning out vast amounts of war materials, last year of the war I believe they turned out 10,000 fighters, yet there were a number of Senior British ( and a few Americans ) who believed that conventional bombing would force the Germans to the table.
The STG, like the M1 Garand needed a couple more years of shakedown. before it was a perfected weapon . Reports from the users in field were not very complimentary, like all new weapon systems, it had a lot of teething problems. One after action report from a German paratrooper condemned it and it's designer to purgatory.
__________________
Ron James
RJay is online now  
Old March 15, 2013, 09:55 AM   #47
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,839
The explanation is actually simple...

The reason the Germans did not develope and field a semi auto rifle as their main service rifle is economics. They had the 98 Mauser, and more importantly, they had the means to make 98 Mausers.

Yes, Hitler (and some others) felt the 98K was perfectly adequate and discouraged further rifle developement as a waste of resources.

The time, effort and money needed for a semi auto rifle was better spent designing and making tanks, aircraft, machine guns, and even U-boats.

Also don't forget that up until the end of 41 the Germans had been winning everywhere, and it wasn't until 43 that it was clear to some Germans that they would not win the war. Some Germans, especially the leadership never did believe Germany would not win, until the last few months of the war...

When you are winning, there is no pressing need to develope the next generation of weapons. When you are losing, its generally too late. THis is Victory Disease.

Germany, despite the fame of its Panzer units never was able to convert their armies fully to motorized transport, either. Horse drawn transport and artillery was the majority throughout the entire war. The success of the fully motorized units fully overshadowed the fact that the bulk of German land forces were not much ahead of WW I units in anything other than radios and machineguns.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old March 15, 2013, 10:07 AM   #48
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,559
since we keep circling around and around to what Hitler felt was necessary, has anyone ever picked up a book entitled 'my tank is fight'?
mostly it's very implausable prototype weapons of WWII and well over half the book details weapons of Nazi Germany alone.
Tanks the size of battle ships
submersible cruisers
infrared targeting systems

this is where Hitler thought Germany was going technologically but there was no room for a semi auto?
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old March 15, 2013, 03:22 PM   #49
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,839
Some of my other hobbies...

Are model building and the study of WWII, particularly the arms, armor, aircraft, and other equipment used, by all sides. I have an extensive reference library, specializing in armor & small arms, and have a good friend who's library dwarfs mine, his specialty being aircraft, mostly.

Have never heard of that book you mention, but I do have lots of others, including ones written by the actual people involved, so I'm fairly confident of the accuracy of the information, cross checked with many other sources.

The history of the German war machine in WWII is a fascinating, complex and often bewildering story. Sometimes, it boggles the mind the obvious things they overlooked, or even forbid, balanced against some of the clear genius and innovation of some of their designs.

A great deal of effort was wasted in design and production of a bewildering array of vehicles, for example. And on top of the Nazi bureauacracy is Hitler himself, who made decisions on all kinds of things from overall campaign strategy to literally miniscule equipment designs.

When the rearming of the Wehrmacht began in earnest (1935), Hitler's plans were not to go to way before 1945. The navy would have been built up to where they actually could have cut off the convoy lifeline to England, instead of nearly being able to do so. The rest of the military would have been similarly powerful.

But that's not what happened. Hitler saw an opportunity, gambled, and went to war much earlier than planned for. And the Germans themselves were surprised at how successful they were, in the beginning. They had the resources and organization to conduct a "short, victorious war". SO did the Japanese. They didn't get it. What they got was a protracted fight against an enemy who would not surrender or condone an armistice. And so, after initial successes, things turned the other way for them, and lead to their ultimate defeat.

US manufacturing capacity, and our unique geographical position meant that our access to resources and industrial base was largely un-interruptable. That alone would have given the Allies the ultimate victory, but it was aided by numerous blunders wasting what resources the Axis had.

Also note that it took us almost two years from the actual start of our direct involvement in the war (free from interference with our industry and resources) to fully convert America to the "Arsenal of Democracy". And that our entire nation was actively involved, with rationing and resource collection drives (metal, rubber, etc.)

Example: in Germany, tanks were built by the makers of heavy equipment and locomotives. Firms with long experience building things slowly and "properly". In the US, while pre-war tanks were often built by these kinds of industry, we switched production over to the automotive industry, who had experience with building lots of units quickly. And we made a serious effort to maximize the ease of mass production.

On the other hand, some of the things the Germans learned from "modern" war they took advantage of more than we did. Small arms, being one example.

Prior to WWII, all nations built their arms the "old fashioned way". They built them like civilian guns. Wood & steel, fine machineing, capable of giving decades or longer of good service. Doing it this way takes time, money, and skilled craftsmen (another scarce resource). Modern mobile warfare eats things at unbelievable rates. Not just men, but their machines as well. The lesson it taught was that lots of "good enough" was better than fewer of "the best". And sometimes the "best" wasn't really the best, either.

Germany found out in WW I that the P.08 Luger wasn't all that good a combat pistol. But Germany armed their troops with them in WWII, not dropping production until 1942. Why? Because they had the machinery and skill to make them, and it wasn't until halfway through the war the cost/benefit shifted enough to make them abandon production in favor of other things. The MG 34 is a fine design, but the MG 42, with its stampings is cheaper faster,and easier to make, and works as well, if not better in combat.

The Mauser bolt action was "in the bank" so to speak, and all Germany needed to do was ramp up the production lines to have good, servicable bolt actions, in quantity. Much better for a dictator wanting an "instant" army than taking the time, and cost to develope a better (semiauto) rifle, and get the bugs worked out,and then get it in mass production.

When it comes down to it, the Germans were perhaps the greatest toymakers of WWII. But they wasted so much on making toys that either didn't work well, weren't used right, or didn't work any better than what was already in production that they never had as much of what was needed as they wanted, overall.

We made our share of boneheaded choices as well, but in the end, our's didn't hurt us as much as theirs did them.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old March 15, 2013, 04:24 PM   #50
Winchester_73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,859
So how many of you served with the Wehrmacht or fought against the Wehrmacht?

I see a lot of expert opinions being offered here.
__________________
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
Winchester_73 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.16015 seconds with 7 queries