The Sturmgewehr 44 was developed from the earlier Haenel MKb 42(H) "machine carbine" prototype. During development the project was hidden from Hitler, who had ordered it cancelled, by referring to it as a submachine gun (Maschinenpistole); during this time it was known as the MP43 and MP44. When the deception was discovered (supposedly due to an officer requesting "more of these new rifles") it was demonstrated to the German high command, and Hitler himself re-named it the "Sturmgewehr." This literally translates as "storm rifle;" this is storm as in "to storm a castle," hence the translation "assault rifle." The three versions were essentially minor updates for production purposes.
The claim that the StG-44 was the first assault rifle is a contentious one; other weapons which could be termed early assault rifles have existed before (for example, the Russian Fedorov Avtomat). Rather, the StG-44 was the first to be mass produced, and the first to be referred to as an assault rifle. While the StG-44 was well received by troops and is often depicted as some kind of superweapon in modern videogames, it suffered from a number of issues throughout production. The materials used in the mass-production StG-44 were of poor quality due to war expediency, and British analysts (who praised the earlier MP43) found the bolt could be totally immobilised by pinching the sides of the receiver with the fingers of one hand, while the rifle could be totally destroyed by the simple act of leaning it against a doorframe and then knocking it over. The stock was prone to breakages, and American analysts criticised the 11.5 pound weight of the loaded weapon as excessive considering the relatively small round used, comparing the StG-44 unfavourably to the M1 Carbine.
Because of its manufacturing costs, which prevented speedy wartime production, the StG 44 was scheduled to be replaced with the Sturmgewehr 45, but the war ended before the new rifle could be issued for field trials. Due to administrative errors and the chaos of the war, around one hundred thousand StG-44s were never delivered to the front lines and were seized by the Soviet army from depots and warehouses after the war ended, ultimately being provided to client states: this is why StG-44s are not an uncommon sight in conflict zones even today. These surplus StGs were sufficiently common that they were often visually modified to stand in for M16s in Soviet-era Russian movies.
Some of surplus StG-44s have now been converted in Russia into civilian semi-auto rifles named "MP44-O" ("O" is abbreviated from "охотничий", i.e. "hunting"). Also, new semi-automatic civilian reproductions of the MKb 42(H), MP 43/1, and StG 44 are being manufactured in Germany today by Sport Systeme Dittrich.
(1943 - 1945)
- Type: Assault Rifle
- Caliber: 7.92x33mm Kurz
- Weight: 10.2 lbs (4.6 kg) unloaded
- Length: 37 in (94 cm)
- Barrel length: 16.5 in (41.9 cm)
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,247 ft/s (685 m/s)
- Feed System: 30-round detachable box magazine
- Fire Modes: Semi-Auto/Full-Auto
The Sturmgewehr 44 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|Show Title||Actor||Character||Note / Episode||Air Date|
|Mission: Impossible||guards||"The Exchange" (S03E12)||1968|
|Born by Revolution: On the Night of the 20th (Rozhdyonnaya revolyutsiey: V noch na 20-e)||A Soviet soldier||Seen in documentary footage||1976|
|Mirage||Regimantas Adomaitis||Frank Morgan||Visually modified to resemble M16||1983|
|Mirage||Ints Burans||Ed Black||Visually modified to resemble M16||1983|
|TASS Is Authorized to Declare... (TASS upolnomochen zayavit...)||Nagonian soldiers||Visually modified to resemble M16||1984|
|Confrontation (Protivostoyanie)||A Soviet soldier||Seen in documentary footage||1985|
|Band of Brothers||German soldiers||Seen on wall in "Curahee" (Ep.1), used in "The Breaking Point" (Ep.7)||2001|
Haenel MKb 42(H)
|Higher Principle (Vyssí princip)||Jan Skopecek||SS man||1960|
|Death Is Called Engelchen||German soldiers, Partisans||1963|
|On the way to Berlin (Na puti v Berlin)||German soldiers and officers||1969|
|Game Title||Appears as||Mods||Notation||Release Date|
|Killing Floor||"MKb42"||Added in a patch in 2012||2009|
|Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad||"MKb 42(H)"||2011|
|Killing Floor 2||"MKb42"||stocks removed and are fitted with bayonets||2016|
|Sniper Elite 4||"MKb 42"||2017|
|Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade||Kerberos members||1998|