“Schmeiser”: the main machine of the Third Reich


Soviet cinema made this machine a symbol of wartime. Gunners in black helmets marching through the captured city; guerrillas, with the characteristic bang, shot German column. Each image flickers legend “Shmayser”. A machine with its roots in the days of the First World War brought innovative solutions to the development of weapons but left a lot of questions in history.


Prerequisites for creating submachine guns emerged during the First World War. The first samples were made already in 1915, but for the most part, they were only a conventional lightweight machine guns. In 1917, the German gunsmith Hugo Schmeisser (Hugo Schmeisser) patented his own version of the pistol pulemeta- MP-18, which represented the successful combination of form carbine and pistol mechanics, such a decision was the basis for future gun machine guns. In turn, the MP-18 was adopted and managed to get on the battlefield, but not for long.

Schmeiser or Formel

Germany was defeated in the war, but the development of the submachine guns in the country have not ceased. Although the terms of the Treaty of Versailles the production of many types of weapons in Germany was banned, machines continued to be produced as a weapon to the police. The coming to power of Hitler gave the German engineers a new impetus to the development. In 1938, the German company ERMA received an order to develop the machine for the army. The work was conducted under the direction of renowned designer Genriha Folmera, who has long worked on such weapons, the result was the legendary “Schmeisser”, rather MP38. It is noteworthy that the development of the ideas discussed other German designers, including the notorious Hugo Schmeisser, but he had no direct bearing on the development machine.

War dictates changes

At the time of its introduction, MP38 was a real novelty. Machine made entirely of metal and plastic, which reduces its weight and cheaper to manufacture. For the first time on German submachine gun folding stock was used, which provided benefits to crews and paratroopers fighting vehicles. In addition, the machine has a relatively low rate of fire of about 600 rounds per minute, which significantly increases the precision and accuracy. modernization MP 38 was carried out by 1940: a new machine MP 40 is almost no different from its predecessor, but it was he who, in view of simplification of production, became a massive machine gun the Wehrmacht from 1940 to 1944 was produced about 750 thousand weapons.