Infantry


Infantry Weapons of World War II.

British infantry in action

British soldiers in action in France.

In whatever military services the fresh recruit is constantly been trained in making use of a single essential type of service rifle, no matter what his final job could be. In the course of WW2 it was as a fact as it is today, however the rifle with which the unique recruit might be trained wide-ranging quite a lot. According to the specific army, the recruit could have been equipped with a venerable old-fashioned while in other armies he could have equipped with a polished cutting edge design embodying all the sophisticated, for the guns vise in WW2 different drastically.

On one side of the level there were the ancient bolt-action firearms which had been being used since well before World War One ; as well as the opposite were the modern self-loading or automatic weapons that finally resulted in the earliest of just what are currently called assault rifles. There were not one of the second operating when the WW2 began in 1939, but as world war 2 continued the initial functional types of such firearms arrived on the scene operating.

These types of weapons offered the infantryman a significantly improved firepower ability, however it wasn’t prior to the real assault rifles appeared from around 1943 onwards that the complete massive step coming from the steady but very slow single shots of the bolt-action firearm to the full automatic fire of the assault rifle was completely recognized. The bolt-action guns were generally good and reputable firearms, however they were missing the shock effect of an assault gun fired in the fully automatic mode.

Thus WW2 was a war of adaptation for the common infantryman. When WW2 began, typically all he had available was a bolt-action firearm of a well-tried however usually aged design. The moment the war was over each individual soldier had no less than a foretaste of what the future had in look available as the assault rifle. There were several strange digressions on the way, like the underpowered US Carbine M1 as well as the brilliant but complicated German FG 42. Some armies, for example The United Kingdom, didn’t make the changeover and depended upon the Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifles all the way through, however the progress towards the self-loading or assault rifle continued to be there.


Organization and Equipment of a German Infantry Division

German heavy machine-gun

German heavy machine-gun in the Western Desert.

The most important formation in the German Army was the division which could be one of five basic types: infantry division, motorised infantry division, panzer (armoured) division, light division and mountain division.

Infantry divisions had been raised in Wellen (waves) and the divisions of each wave varied to some extent in size, organization and equip­ment carried, depending upon their purpose and the availability of men and materials. The 35 divisions formed as part of the original ‘wave’ had a total strength of nearly 18,000 men each while those of the next wave were about 15,000 men strong. Divisions formed in the third and fourth waves had considerably less artillery support than the earlier formations.

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The division comprised three infantry regiments (each of approximately 3,000 men) and one artillery regiment plus supporting divisional units. Contrary to the practice in most armies, the engineer battalion and the reconnaissance Abteilung were combat units, and, being equipped with flamethrowers and anti-tank guns, often led assaults on enemy positions. The Abteilung was a unit of varying size, between the regiment and the company, battery or squadron. It approximated to the British battalion, artillery regiment or tank regiment.

Another feature of the German Army was the decentralisation of heavy weapons within the division so that each regiment had its own anti-tank and infantry gun company.
The regiment possessed its own headquarters with a staff company and signals, bicycle and engineer platoon. In the battalion there were three rifle companies (about 180 men with an anti-tank rifle squad); a machine-gun company with three machine-gun platoons (12 men and two heavy machine guns each), and a heavy mortar platoon of three sections each with 19 men and two 8.1 cm mortars. The division of the battalion into one machine-gun and three rifle companies was the pattern in the first wave divisions while in later waves there were four ‘mixed’ rifle companies.

German WW2 steel helmets

German WW2 steel helmets: left a tropical helmet (Afrika Korps), right the well known standard steel helmet Model 1940.

The firepower of a regiment was as follows: 26 heavy machine guns, 85 light machine guns, 18 x 8.1 cm mortars, 27 x 5cm mortars, 12 x 3.7cm anti-tank guns, 6 x 7.5cm inf guns, 2 x 15cm inf howitzers.

The artillery regiment was divided into three field artillery Abteilungen each with three four-gun batteries of 10.5cm gun-howitzers. The medium artillery Abteilung was originally a non-divisional unit attached to the artillery regiment, but later became an integral part of first wave divisions.


German Volkssturm Weapons

Volkssturmkarabiner VG-45

The arming of the German Volkssturm (People’s Storm, the equivalent of the British Home Guard) in the last war phase. Volkssturm rifle VG-1, VG-2, Volkssturm carbine VG-45, MP 3008. The German Volkssturm was mainly intended to fight tanks and was… learn more

Smith & Wesson Revolvers

Smith&Wesson Model 1905 ‘Victory’

Smith & Wesson Revolvers M1905, M1917 and 0.38/200 from World War One and Two. History, development, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3D model. In the middle of the nineteenth century, widespread revolvers with cartridges in a rotating drum behind the barrel… learn more

BAR

BAR

BAR – Browning Automatic Rifle, US light machine gun or assault rifle from both World Wars. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) Type: heavy automatic rifle or light machine gun. Browning M1918 in World… learn more

Panzerschreck

3d model of Panzerschreck

88 mm Raketen Panzerbuchse 54 anti-tank rocket launcher Panzerschreck or Ofenrohr. Panzerschreck 88 mm Raketen Panzerbuchse 54, Ofenrohr. Type: Anti-tank rocket launcher. History: Panzerschreck (Tank Terror) or Ofenrohr (Stovepipe) was a shoulder fired rocket launcher inspired by the US Army’s… learn more

MG34

3d model MG34

Germans standard machine gun Maschinengewehr MG34. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Maschinengewehr MG34 Type: Machine guns History: In 1930 the Solothurn Company of Switzerland produced a machine gun known as the MG30, which they offered to the… learn more

Russian revolvers and pistols

Russian Nagant revolvers and Tokarev automatic pistols of the First and Second World Wars. History, development, specifications, statistics and pictures. Revolver Model 1895 Nagant Model 1895 Nagant Type: Revolver. Belgian Nagant Revolver The Nagant Model 1895 revolver was originally a… learn more

Vickers Gun

Vickers Gun

British Vickers machine-gun from both World Wars. History, development, service, specifications and pictures of the heavy Vickers gun. Vickers Gun Type: heavy machine-gun. History Great Britain was among the first countries where the Maxim machine-gun was introduced after a demonstration… learn more

Sten Gun

3d model Sten Mk 2

British machine carbine Marks 1-5. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model of the standard sub machine gun of the British army in WW2. Sten gun, machine carbine Marks 1-5 Type: sub-machine gun History In the summer of 1940… learn more

Panzerfaust

3d model Panzerfaust 60

One-shot recoilless anti-tank launcher. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Panzerfaust 30, 60, 100, 150, 250. Type: light, one-shot recoilless anti-tank launcher History: The appearance of heavy Russian tanks KV-1 and T-34 in 1942 led to a demand… learn more

StG-45 and successors

Sturmgewehr 45 (StG-45)

StG-45 or Sturmgewehr 45 (assault rifle) and its modern successors G3, CETME, HK33, G36. History, development, service, specifications and pictures. Sturmgewehr 45 (StG-45) Type: automatic rifle. History Towards the end of World War II all armed forces had recognized the… learn more

British Revolvers

British revolvers of both World Wars: Webley .455in, Fosbery, Webley .38in Mk 4, Enfield No.2. History, development, specifications, statistics and pictures. Pistols Webley .455in, 0.38in Mk 4, Fosbery, Enfield No.2 Type: Revolver. Webley .455in revolver The 0.455-inch cartridge used by… learn more

PIAT

PIAT

Projector Infantry Anti-Tank (PIAT) of the British Army in World War II. History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3d model. Projector Infantry Anti-Tank (PIAT) Type: light anti-tank weapon. History The ‘Projector Infantry Anti-Tank’ became known under the short name… learn more

Springfield M1903

3d model of Springfield rifle.

US Rifle cal. 30, Springfield M1903. History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures, and 3D model of the American infantry weapon. Springfield M1903, US rifle cal .30 Type: Infantry rifle. History: Although the M1 Garand was the standard rifle of the… learn more

FG-42

FG-42

German Parachute Troops Automatic Assault rifle FG-42 (Fallschirmjagergewehr 42; FjG42). FG-42 (Fallschirmjagergewehr 42, FjG42) Type: Automatic assault rifle. History: When the MP43 development began, the German Parachute Troops took an interest in it, since they felt that a selective-fire weapon… learn more

Fallschirmjaegergewehr 42

3D model of FG42

German Fallschirmjaegergewehr 42 (FG-42, FjG42) Part II. back to Part I: FG 42 (Fallschirmjaegergewehr 42) Manufacture and service of the Fallschirmjaegergewehr 42 For the Fallschirmjaegergewehr 42 (parachute gun 42) most of the parts were punched from sheet metal. The first… learn more

PPSh

Original WW2 Russian PPSh-1941G sub-machine gun.

Russian sub-machine gun PPSh-1941G of the Red Army in WW2. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. PPSh-1941G Type: Sub-machine gun. History: The Russians collected their first experiences with sub-machine guns during the Spanish Civil War. Since the mid-twenties… learn more

PPS-41 Shpagin

3d model of PPSh 41

Russian sub-machine gun PPS-41 Shpagin (Part II). Production, service, pictures, 3D model and video. back to PART I of PPS-41 PPS-41 Shpagin production and service The Russian PPS-41 (or PPSh-41, PPSh-41G) sub-machine gun used stamped steel for the body and… learn more

Beretta sub-machine guns

Italian militiaman of the fascist Legion Tagliamento

Italian sub-machine guns Beretta Model 1938A and Model 1942. History, development, service, specifications, statistics and pictures. Beretta Model 1938A, 1942. Type: sub-machine gun. History The Beretta sub-machine gun originated from a semi-automatic carbine from 1935. But this weapon of the… learn more

Battle Pistol

original Battle Pistol

German ‘Kampfpistole’ (Battle Pistol) and ‘Leuchtpistole’ (Signal Pistol) of WW2. History, development, specifications, statistics and pictures. Kampfpistole, Leuchtpistole. Type: Battle Pistol, Signal Pistol. History Like any other army, the Wehrmacht used a 27mm caliber smooth-bore signal pistol to fire a… learn more

MG42

3D model MG42

German machine gun MG42 History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures, video and 3D model. MG42 Type: light or heavy machine gun History: When the production of MG34 models was obviously insufficient for the German Army’s needs, a new design of… learn more