Home:  Other Weapons: WWII GERMAN MP 40 MACHINE GUN, 1942


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The MP40 is descended from its predecessor, the MP38. The MP36, a prototype made of machined steel, was developed independently by Erma's Berthold Geipel with funding from the German army. It took design elements from Heinrich Vollmer's VPM 1930 and EMP.
Vollmer then worked on Berthold Geipel's MP36 and in 1938 submitted a prototype to answer a request from the German Armament services for a new sub machine gun, which was adopted as MP38. The MP38 was a simplification of the MP36, as the MP40 was a further simplification of the MP38, with certain cost-saving alterations, notably in the use of more pressed rather than machined parts.

Other changes resulted from experiences with the several thousand MP38s in service since 1939, used during the invasion of Poland. The changes were incorporated into an intermediate version, the MP38/40, and then used in the initial MP40 production version. Just over 1 million would be made of all versions in the course of the war.

The MP40 was often called the "Schmeisser" by the Allies, after weapons designer Hugo Schmeisser. Hugo Schmeisser himself did not design the MP40 but held a patent on the magazine. He designed the MP41, which was a MP40 with a wooden rifle stock and a selector, identical to those found on the earlier MP28 sub machine gun. The MP41 was not introduced as a service weapon with the German Army, but saw limited use with some SS and police units. They were also exported to Germany's ally, Romania. The MP41's production run was brief, as Erma filed a successful patent infringement lawsuit against Schmeisser's employer, Haenel.
This made at Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, Steyr, Austria

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