Tag Archives: StG-44

City saves history by turning over rare StG 44 to Navy museum system

A police department in Virginia sat on a seized German military rifle for almost a decade before moving to turn it over to a military museum.

The gun was mailed home by a GI from Europe in 1945…

The Chesapeake Police Department seized a Sturmgewehr 44 in 2009 from a felon that could no longer possess the firearm. Seeing that it had historical significance — the StG 44 is considered by many to be the first true “assault rifle” due to its select-fire design and use of an intermediate cartridge — the agency rendered it inoperable and this week moved to have the City Council approve donating the piece to the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

The resolution was approved 8-0 last Tuesday without discussion.

More in my column at Guns.com

 

A galaxy far, far away

I just realized that the Rebel “A295” blasters from Hoth (Episode V) are actually modified German StG44s and resin repros. As that part of Star Wars saga was filmed in Norway, wonder if they were just recycled from the ones handed in there in 1945…

Arve Juritzen, Norwegian rescue skier and later noted author, with a vismodded StG-44 as a “Hoth rebel” during filming in Finse, Norway

German soldiers from 1st Ski Division (1. Skijäger-Division) armed with StG 44 Sturmgewehr 44 in Pripyat, Ukraine, February 1944

175 million self-loading military rifles made since 1896– and most are likely still around

AK-47 style rifles accounted for almost half of the global production of self-loading rifles over the past century according to the study. (Graphics: Small Arms Survey)

AK-47 style rifles accounted for almost half of the global production of self-loading rifles over the past century according to the study. (Graphics: Small Arms Survey)

A new study released by the Small Arms Survey found that over half of all autoloading rifles ever made for military use are either AK-type or AR-10/15 type designs.

The 60-page study was authored for the Geneva, Switzerland-based SAS by N.R. Jenzen-Jones, director of Armament Research Services, an international policy-neutral technical intelligence consulting group.

The effort concentrates primarily on military arms issued as a primary combat weapon and not those built or marketed to the civilian or law enforcement user. As such it includes select-fire and automatic magazine-fed rifles such as the AKM and semi-auto battle rifles such as the M1 Garand made after the advent of smokeless powder. Excluded were crew-served weapons.

Starting with the Danish Navy’s order of 60 Rekylkarabin carbines in 1896 and moving forward, the study concluded some 175 million self-loading rifles have been produced for military use since then, noting this figure was “conservative.”

More in my column at Guns.com.

Hodgepodge

The 1977-78 Ethio-Somali War, best known as the Ogaden war, saw a strange coalition of 40,000~ Soviet-Chinese-Romanian armed and equipped Somalian Army troops led by Gen. Muhammad Ali Samatar and assisted by another 15,000 irregulars of the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF) invade Ethiopian territory which at the time was kinda sorta supported by the U.S..

However, in one of the odder moments of the Cold War games, the Soviets and U.S. switched the teams in the beginning of the 1st quarter of this match and soon the Somalis were backed by Uncle Sam while Moscow moved to back Ethiopia with the help of direct Warsaw Pact intervention including highly trained 20,000 troops and experts from Cuba, East Germany and the USSR.

As the U.S. didn’t come close to offering the same level of in-game support (it was the Carter years), the Somalis got spanked in a big way.

And this picture points to why:

One of the more famous photos of the Ogaden war, this picture shows a female WSLF fighter with a WWII StG-44 assault rifle

One of the more famous photos of the Ogaden war, this picture shows a female WSLF fighter with a WWII StG-44 assault rifle. Behind her is a bizarre assortment of twentieth century military firearms: an Italian Beretta M1938A submachine gun, an Egyptian Hakim rifle, an Italian Modello 1891 cavalry carbine, a Spanish Coruna 98/43 rifle, an American M14 assault rifle, two Czechoslovakian vz.52 rifles, and a French MAS-49/56 rifle. The Italian weapons probably dated to Italy’s control of Somalia in WWII. How the others ended up with the WSLF in the 1970s is anybody’s guess. The Hakim and the 98/43 were not common export rifles and the M14 was still in active US Army use when this photo was taken. Logistics for the WSLF must have been a nightmare as none of these weapons shared ammunition and some of the ammunition types, like the StG-44’s Kurz round, were obsolete.
(Source for quote above WWII after WWII)