They were utilizing captured equipment

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

The Germans had variety in their weapons also, but for a different reason than Italy, Dunlap notes — they were utilizing captured equipment:

Having Europe pretty well pocketed in 1941, the Nazis could afford to be choosy. After 1942 they could not be quite so hard to please. However, the Afrika Korps did have quite a collection of small arms, which we persuaded them to turn over to us, bit by bit, in the course of time. Being wise in matters of ordnance, Jerry did not devote much of his time to second-rate stuff, or items which were hard to supply. No French or Russian rifles ever came in, for instance. If such equipment was kept at all, it probably went to the German home guard, along with their own obsolete rifles and machine guns.


The eagle-and-swastika Nazi stamp will be al’ over everything.


The 98K’s started out with stocks of good European walnut but ended up with anything handy to the sawmill. I have a new rifle, dated 1942, which has a stock of beech. One of my friends sent home a later rifle with a laminated, or plywood stock.


The German rifle is practically a twin in dimensions to its cousin, the 1903 Springfield.


For some reason the Germans were addicted to installing a metal fitting in the buttstock, with a small hole passing completely through the stock. This aperture was originally invented for the purpose of providing a perfect fitting for passing a rod through to lock in rifle racks at night. It can and has been used for many things, including that purpose, but also to receive organizational insignia; spring catches to hold the weapon tight in vehicle racks; to hold the point of the firing pin when taking apart the bolt mechanism; and to hang the damned gun on a nail when you have a wall with a nail in it. This aperture fitting does not weigh much or take much of a cut in the stock, but it cannot help but tend to weaken it a certain amount.


Later on they may have gone to web slings. We did. They are better, in my opinion, for military use than leather, though the best of all materials was the Japanese rubberized canvas. It won’t rot, mold, mildew, get slippery or stretch.


  1. Adar says:

    Germans at Dieppe were second rate troops and using second rate captured weapons. Not the gun itself but the man behind the gun and how it is used. Best of the British Empire troops at Dieppe beaten handily by the German almost with leisure.

  2. Bruce says:

    Dunlap always spoke up for the strong points of Japanese small arms.

  3. Alistair says:

    Wikipedia says nothing about German troop quality at Dieppe; Looks like an ethnic German Bodenstandig Regt, which implies reasonable if not good quality at this stage of the war. The overall force ratio on the beach was definitely favourable to alerted, unsuppressed, defenders in fortifications.

    Find a less confounded example.

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