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"German WW2 infantry weapons - quantities & first use? " Topic

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Mick in Switzerland15 Jul 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

I have been researching quantities of German weapons produced in WW2 to try to gauge what weapons were common.
I am trying to find details of how many were made, when they were issued etc.

This the information that I have found so far – does it appear plausible?

Luger P1908 – left over from WW1 – quantity unknown
Wather P38 450,000 produced

Karabiner 98 kurz started in 1936, with the adoption of the 7.92×57mm Mauser. About 14,000,000 produced
Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 First issued in 1942 but only about 10,000 produced.
Gewehr 43 G43 started in 1944, about 400,000 produced
StG 44 started in 1944, about 450,000 produced

MP 38 and MP40 Maschinenpistole 40 – MP38 was built in small quantities and replaced by the MP40 of which about 1,100,000 MP40 built

MG32 Maschinengewehr 34 started in 1935, about 575,000 produced
ZB-26 Czech Light Machine Gun (like Bren gun) – captured weapons used by Germans
MG42 Maschinengewehr 42 started in 1942, about 425,000 produced

Anti-Tank Weapons
Panzerfaust about 6,000,000 produced.  Start 1943 mostly Panzerfaust 30 until mid-1944 then Pazerfaust 60. Panzerfaust 100 produced from late 1944
Panzershreck = 289,151 produced from about 1943



79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2017 8:22 a.m. PST

The 14 million K98s are certainly accurate.

The MG 42 started production in 1942 -- not 1945.

I am not quite sure what you are after. Based on numbers and production dates, you can tell what was common and when they went into service.

A squad leader is probably going to have an MP 40. A machine gunner is going to have a 32/42 (both gunner and assistant will have a pistol) and the rifle team will have K98s.

The Germans also used Czech small arms, and they cranked 60K Hi Power pistols out of the FN factory in Belgium.

Mick in Switzerland15 Jul 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

Thanks for the comments. I corrected the typo about the start date for Mg42.

I am working on updating some painting and modelling guides.

I want to check that the data that I have found is plausible because it has come from a wide variety of sources Wikipedia, Books other websites.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2017 12:34 p.m. PST

Perhaps worth remembering that is is more true the closer you get to Spandau and the closer you get to the regular army. WWII Germany is a huge user of foreign-made weapons--and foreign soldiers, come to that. Volksturm, the higher-numbered Waffen SS and troops at the end of long supply lines were sometimes startlingly different.

A friend of mine who was a 54mm modeler told me he once saw four different helmet patterns in a single photo of 1939 Germans.

shirleylyn Inactive Member15 Jul 2017 4:11 p.m. PST

I have done alot of studying of the Waffen ss, and I can tell you, "Higher numbered" divisions certainly DID NOT get more/better weapons.

In fact, the Waffen ss quartermaster(General Lohr) was ordered to work with his counter part in the Army(General Schweitzer), and the Army quartermaster made sure the ss got the same as the army.

The Army quartermaster was also put in charge of the Paratrooper divisions and the Luftwaffe field divisions. Again, they were armed pretty much the same.

Rommel was said to be quite angry over the fact that what he considered "poor" and "useless" divisions in France were armed like the battle hardened units. He knew the "useless" units would not stand and fight.

One thing he wanted to do was take machineguns from the "poor" divisions and give them to the better units so the squads could have 2 MG teams like the panzergrenidier squads, which had 2 MG42's. Rommel understood that the Kar98, while a fine rifle, had its day, and he wanted the reliable units armed with as many Stg44's, the new G43, and MG42's as he could get. He was quite impressed by the M1 rifle in Africa, and wanted his units armed with the best Germany could produce.

Rommel also went to bat for the para divisions when he was asked by Goring what he could do to help reguarding the para and field divisions stationed in France. The desert Fox replied: The para divisions should be armed. The field divisions should be given shovels to dig trenches and fox holes for the paratroopers.

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