U.S. Intelligence Report on Sturmgewehr 44

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by DAVIDICUS, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #1 DAVIDICUS, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
    This is interesting. U.S. Intelligence published a report in April, 1945 concerning the Sturmgewehr 44. The report was compiled from German sources (captured German documents, spies, information obtained from prisoners of war) and engineering tests of several of the weapons. The following are noteworthy excerpts from the report:



    Limitations

    In their attempts to produce a light, accurate weapon having considerable fire power by mass production methods, however, the Germans encountered difficulties which have seriously limited the effectiveness of the Sturmgewehr. Because it is largely constructed of cheap stampings, it dents easily and therefore is subject to jamming. Although provision is made for both full automatic and semiautomatic fire, it is incapable of sustained firing and official German directives have ordered troops to use it only as a semiautomatic weapon. In emergencies, however, soldiers are permitted full automatic fire in two- to three-round bursts. The possibilities of cannibalization appear to have been overlooked and its general construction is such that it may have been intended to be an expendable weapon and to be thrown aside in combat if the individual finds himself unable to maintain it properly.

    ...

    All things considered, the Sturmgewehr remains a bulky, unhandy weapon, comparatively heavy and without the balance and reliability of the U.S. M1 Carbine. Its design appears to be dictated by production rather than by military considerations. Though far from a satisfactory weapon, it is apparent that Germany's unfavorable military situation makes necessary the mass production of this weapon, rather than of a machine carbine of a more satisfactory pattern.



    Incidentally, similar intelligence reports concerning the Kar 98 and MP 40 adjudged those weapons to be without any negative characteristics whatsoever.
    .
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  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Not suprising. In line with Germany's attempts to "make weapons of the next war to use in this war" concept (if there was such a thing stated). Similar to the Me-262, Advanced U-boats, Anti-aircraft missles, V1 and V2,ect. The ideas/concepts were solid but the debugging and development required to make them reliable across all aspects was not avaible in terms of time. Possible the same with regards to materials (at least in the engines for the 262).
     
  3. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Now, during my military service in mid 70s, not as an infantryman but as a pioneer/combat engineer even if Finnish army doctrine for pioneers was nearer to German assault pioneer than US combat engineer doctrine, we were trained to use our assault rifles Rk 62s mostly as semi-automatic/self-loading rifles. Only during the last phase of assault (the mad rush of last 20-40m) or during trench clearing or the last phase of enemy assault we were supposed to use automatic fire. So not so different to that of German instruction in 45. I would have picked up Sturmgewehr 44 rather than M1 Carabine.

    Juha
     
  4. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    I doubt the materials available in the final stages of the war took full advantage of the design's qualities.
     
  5. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #5 DAVIDICUS, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
    "Only during the last phase of assault (the mad rush of last 20-40m) or during trench clearing or the last phase of enemy assault we were supposed to use automatic fire. So not so different to that of German instruction in 45."

    Unless you assume that the last phase of an enemy assault or trench clearing is the "emergency" referenced in the report and unless your weapon was incapable of sustained firing which necessitated that directive, then it actually would be quite different.

    I have read the reports (two of them) on the MP-40 and both state that it is reliable. The directive to refrain from full auto fire unless absolutely necessary does not appear to be addressed to tactics but operational limitations of reliability.

    "I would have picked up Sturmgewehr 44 rather than M1 Carabine."

    Have you ever fired or even held an M-1 Carbine? The 15 round capacity was its only shortcoming as the full auto version was issued in 1944. It had about 1/2 the weight of the Sturmgewehr 44. Have you ever carried a rifle in combat? Also, the M-1 Carbine is not stamped from sheet metal and featured the tried and true reliable and accurate Garand action.

    The Sturmgewehr 44 was the first of a new type of primary fighting rifle and the design philosophy as well as elements of its design itself were copied by the hugely successful AK-47 which our soldiers and Marines face even today. For this reason, I believe a myth of awe and wonderfulness has grown around the rifle.
     
  6. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    No, it did not. The actions are very different, the M1 Carbine was developed by David "Carbine" Williams, the Garand by John C Garand. The carbine uses a short stroke gas piston and the rifle uses a long-stroke piston.
     
  7. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I do believe that the M1 Carbine could be described as the first successful "assault rifle" although I was not very fond of it in the service.
     
  8. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #8 DAVIDICUS, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
    "The actions are very different."

    Very different? The short stroke piston does not relegate it a non-Garand action. The M-14 also has a Garand action although it is different as well. Manually operate and look at the actions on an M1 Garand, an M-14 (uses a short gas expansion and cut-off system as opposed to the Garand's longer rod/piston) and M-1 Carbine. Anything look similar? Now contrast these with any other rifle actions.


    Wikipedia:

    Winchester hoped Williams would be able to complete various designs left unfinished by Ed Browning. Williams insisted on the incorporation of his short-stroke piston in the existing design. After the Marine Corps semi-automatic rifle trials in 1940, Browning's rear-locking tilting bolt design proved unreliable in sandy conditions. As a result, the rifle was redesigned to incorporate a Garand-style rotating bolt and operating rod.
    ...
    Contrary to popular myth, Williams had little to do with the carbine's development, with the exception of his short-stroke gas piston design. As a matter of fact, Williams went about creating his own design apart from the other Winchester staff. Williams' final carbine design was not ready for testing until December 1941, two months after the Winchester M1 Carbine had been adopted and type-classified. None of William's additional design features were incorporated into later M1 production.
     
  9. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    "I do believe that the M1 Carbine could be described as the first successful "assault rifle" although I was not very fond of it in the service."

    I think we touched on this in another thread but I don't recall now. What did you find objectionable about the M-1 Carbine?
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Davidicus
    no I haven't hold M-1 Carabine and I have not been in combat, but Rk62 was our personal weapon and I carried it around through my military service.

    Now Sturmgewehr 44 was heavier than M-1 but it also fired heavier bullet with higher MV, so it was more powerful and had double of magazine capacity.

    Juha
     
  11. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    It's a "Garand" action if John C Garand designed it or if it was copied from his work (Like the Ruger Mini-14). The M1 Carbine was not a Garand action, it was as you quoted, a Winchester and Williams action. You might as well call an SKS a Kalashnikov action even though it offered a different bolt design (tilting rather than rotating) and was designed by Simonov.
     
  12. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #12 DAVIDICUS, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
    By Garand action, I meant the M-1 Garand. I thought you understood what I meant as you responded that the actions are "very different" and we were talking about designs and not designers.

    It was copied from the M-1 Garand design and other than the short stroke piston, which doesn't render it not a Garand action any more than the M-14 is not a Garand action, Williams played no role in the design. On a related note, Garand did not design the short gas expansion and cut-off system on the M-14 which is different than the M-1 Garand. Are you now going to assert that the M-14 is not a Garand action too? As you are well aware, the M-14 is coped from the Garand design too.

    That goes for the Mini-14 too. It was not designed by Garand but copies the Garand design in so much as that was the basis for the M-14 but there are some differences between the Mini-14 gas system and the M-1 Garand gas system as well. However, like the M-14 and M-1 Carbine, it is also a Garand action and as you have pointed out, since they were copied from Garand's design, they are Garand actions. (It's a "Garand" action if John C Garand designed it or if it was copied from his work (Like the Ruger Mini-14).

    Juha, the extra 15 grains of bullet weight and 250 fps doesn't confer any advantage in terms of lethality.
     
  13. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    What did Garand design on the M1 Carbine? Nothing. What did he design on the M14? A lot. Giving him credit for the carbine is credit where credit is NOT DUE. If the Carbine used his design, he should have sued winchester for violating his patent.

    True, it would add range if it were similarly accurate, but it probably was not, considering the roughly steel stamped construction.
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Davidicus, there was an article in the "American Rifleman" a while back that related the same information you posted from Wikipedia. I don't remember the details but "Carbine" Williams was a troublesome fellow and other people were responsible for completing the design of the M1 Carbine. I originally trained with the Garand and qualified "expert" on the KD range. The Garand I used in basic was very accurate and seemed to fit me well. I had never fired a big bore rifle, (although had much experience with a 22 LR and twelve gauge Model 97 Winchester) and was astounded at the accuracy of the Garand out to 500 yards. Later I qualified with the M1 Carbine, 1911 Colt and the M14. I was never in combat but the Carbine seemed to small for me, stock, length of pull and I felt it was not very accurate. I knew about it's ballistics. IMO it is not adequate for Whitetail Deer and I felt it would not be effective much beyond 100 yards, if that. Obviously, it would be better than a pistol, which it was originally designed to replace but then again it was not as handy as a pistol to carry. The M1 Carbine was a good first effort but I would have made it a little larger and chambered for a round with a little more power. In combat, all things being equal I would have rather carried a model 94 Wichester in 30-30.
     
  15. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #15 DAVIDICUS, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
    "What did Garand design on the M1 Carbine? Nothing. What did he design on the M14? A lot. "

    John Garand played no role in the design of the M-14. Garand designed the T-20. It was scrapped. The T-25, designed by Earle Harvey, is what culminated in the M-14. The design of his M-1 Garand was largely copied. The M-14 has a different gas system designed by others.

    John Garand played no role in the design of the Mini-14. The design of his M-1 Garand was largely copied. The Mini-14 has a different gas system designed by others.

    John Garand played no role in the design of the M-1 Carbine. He submitted a prototype for a full auto model which was scrapped. The design of his M-1 Garand was largely copied. The M-1 Carbine has a different gas system designed by others.


    Once again, the M-14, Mini-14 and M-1 Carbine all have gas systems that are different than the Garand. None of these different gas systems were designed by John Garand. Your point is that the M-1 Carbine is not a Garand action because of the short stroke gas system. The M-14 utilizes a short gas expansion and cut-off system that is different too. The Mini-14 uses a different gas system as well. You believe the Mini-14 is a Garand action (It's a "Garand" action if John C Garand designed it or if it was copied from his work (Like the Ruger Mini-14).

    You are illustrating my point. How is the Mini-14 a Garand action? Garand did not design it. It uses a different gas system designed by others. How is a Mini-14 a Garand action but not the M-1 Carbine?

    I repeat from another post:

    Manually operate and look at the actions on an M1 Garand, an M-14 (uses a short gas expansion and cut-off system as opposed to the Garand's longer rod/piston) and M-1 Carbine. Anything look similar? Now contrast these with any other rifle actions.

    You can include the Mini-14 in the mix as well as all are Garand actions by design.
     
  16. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    This isn't my best area but I am not aware of any full bore rifle that could be used in full auto mode with any success. My limited understanding is that they tended to use use 3 shot bursts.

    I certainly could be wrong on this.
     
  17. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    Renrich, I remember your discussion of this now.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Since StG-44 was copied*, either as an concept, or as-is, for more then 60 years, I'd say that was a way to go. M1 Carbine was rarely copied.
    If US infantry-weapons experts looked to find an over-weighted rifle, they could pick Garands.

    As for bullet with with twice the energy being 'not that more powerful', I found this funny at least.

    Re. AK-47 being a direct copy of StG-44: it was not.

    *actually, russkies did have working examples of an assault rifle back in WW one, so one may make it's own conclusions
     
  19. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #19 DAVIDICUS, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
    "Since StG-44 was copied*, either as an concept, or as-is, for more then 60 years, I'd say that was a way to go."

    Agreed. And like many excellent final products, (AK-47 and family) initial models that they evolved from often leave much to be desired.

    "M1 Carbine was rarely copied."

    The M-1 Carbine was never copied. It did not represent a new kid on the block design like the Stg 44 from which copying sprang. The M1 Garand played that role. The M1 Carbine was a copy of the basic Garand design. And keep in mind that the M-14 (also a basic copy of the M1 Garand design) is still in service today and as a battle rifle and DM rifle, is superior to the AK-47. That's the thing to keep in mind. The two rifles are designed for different roles. One for battles over longer distances out in the open (Battle Rifle) and the other for closer range battles where overall length can hamper maneuverability in tighter areas like street fighting (Assault Rifle).

    The Germans had determined that most engagements were at less than 300 meters with the vast majority less than 200 meters. Don't get too caught up on energy and power of cartridges. The 7.62 NATO has nearly twice the power of a 5.56 NATO cartridge but it is not much more lethal. In battle, if you could hit someone center of mass with a 100 grain bullet at 1,000 fps, there was a good chance they were gonna die as even through heavy clothing, such a bullet could still penetrate more than 12". The .30 Carbine can muster the same energy at 350 yards. A hot 9mm Parabellum out of a submachine gun, at about 150 yards.

    Glider, with battle rifle cartridges like the .308 Winchester, I would agree. I have a Springfield M1A (basically a semi-auto M-14) and I don't think a full auto version would have much of an advantage.
     
  20. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Davidicus
    if M-14 is so great gun, why US Army went to M-16 after they got experience with AK-47 in Vietnam and why Israelis based their Galiel? assault rifle on our Rk62 and didn't develop a battle rifle from M-14?

    Juha
     
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