Maschinenpistole 43, Maschinenpistole 44 and Sturmgewehr 44
Images of the MP44
Country Of Origin
Date Of Introduction
Rate Of Fire
500 rounds per minute
More Information *
The Maschinenpistole 43, Maschinenpistole 44 and Sturmgewehr 44 (MP43, MP44 and StG44 respectively) were names for a light automatic rifle developed for Germany during World War II as part of the Maschinenkarabiner (machine carbine) program, and developed from the Mkb 42(H). The many names of the Mkb 42(H)'s successor result from the complicated events in the bureaucracy of the Third Reich.
The MP43, MP44, and StG44 were names for nearly identical weapons with only small production differences and dates. The last, the StG44, was called Sturmgewehr (assault rifle). It combined the traits of submachine guns and automatic rifles. The translation "assault rifle" became very popular to describe this class of weapon.
It was chambered for the 7.92 x 33 mm cartridge, also known as 7.92 mm Kurz (German for "short"). This shorter version of the standard 7.92 mm rifle round, in combination with the weapon's design, allowed it to be used like a submachine gun in close quarters but with greater accuracy and range than submachine guns in longer range engagements. However, it had much less range and power than regular rifles of the day; at that time, much of the fighting was taking place at closer ranges such as in towns, cities, and wooded areas.
When the StG44 was introduced, much of the Wehrmacht was armed with either submachine guns or bolt-action rifles such as the Karabiner 98k. Only a limited number of soldiers were issued semi-automatic rifles. German doctrine did not include a dedicated light machine gun (LMG). The MG34 and MG42 were meant to serve this role but they proved too heavy and tended to be utilized mostly in prepared emplacements. The StG44 was not a light machine gun, but it did fill the need for a light automatic rifle that offered mobile suppressive fire, like the Bren, while at the same time offering much of the convenience of a submachine gun or light automatic rifle.
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