Grey Zone, The

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The following guns were used in the movie The Grey Zone

The Grey Zone (2001)

Contents


PPS-43 Submachine Gun

Used during the revolt, the recognizable folding metal stock appears to have been repaired by sandwiching the bars with wooden pieces, thus making it a 'hybrid' metal/wooden stock weapon. Since the PPS-43 submachine gun was not issued in the numbers of the PPSh-41, one wonders where the Jewish prisoners took this weapon. However, German troops captured a number of PPS-43, which are mainly used by SS subdivisions. So the presence of PPS in Auschwitz may well be justified historically.

Soviet PPS-43 Submachine Gun - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
GreyZone-PPSH41A.jpg
GreyZone-PPsh43WoodStocka.jpg

Maxim MG-08 Machine Gun

Rather unusual choice for a belt fed in this time period, German soldiers bring up several Maxim MG08 guns to fight the rebellion at the death camp.

Maxim MG08 on 'sledge' mount - 7.92x57mm Mauser
GreyZone-MG 01a.jpg
GreyZone-MG 02a.jpg

Karabiner 98k

Some of the SS guards can be seen having Karabiner 98k during the revolt in the camp.

Karabiner 98k - German manufacture 1937 date - 7.92x57mm Mauser
GreyZone-K98A.jpg

MP38

Some of the NCOs are seen carrying and firing the MP38 in the film.

The MP38. The sub-machine gun of the German Military Before 1940. It was still used in small quantities in 1941 and 1942.
GreyZone-MP38A.jpg

MP40

Some of the SS guards can be seen having MP40s during the revolt in the camp.

MP40 submachine gun - 9x19mm

Walther P38 Non-gun

Also referred to as a 'flash paper gun' these blank fire only weapons are used when in close proximity to an actor. Seen in this film in the several scenes where SS guards are executing prisoners. Usually the camera films them from a distance or odd angles to disguise the gun flash's different appearance from a real gun firing blanks.

In a truly disturbing and difficult to watch scene, guards execute a lineup of women and girls, one by one, with a 'flashpaper' blank-firing P38 nongun, in the background. The SS officers in the foreground wears a strange looking uniform, resembling a Swiss Army uniform that had 'Waffen SS' insignia sewn on.

Walther P38

All German officers and NCOs are equipped with Walther P38s. Actually an inaccuracy in the film is that the P38 is really common, even in the hands of enlisted men, which is completely incorrect.

Walther P38 WWII dated with black grips - 9x19mm
SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt (Harvey Keitel) uses his Walther P38 - 9mm
SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt (Harvey Keitel)'s pistol locks back after one shot, indicating that only one round was in the gun, which is unlikely.
Wearing a helmet that is way too small, an extra dressed as a German soldier fires his P38 in the final battle. Like so many of the other P38s in the film, the gun locks back empty after one shot is fired, again, indicating that the pistol was loaded with only one blank.

In a somewhat weird sequence, SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt (Harvey Keitel) can be seen using a Walther P38 to kill a girl at the end of the movie as other SS guards stand by and looked perplexed.

SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt (Harvey Keitel) prepares his P38 for the final shot - 9 mm

Trivia

Wardrobe review

Despite harrowing scenes and good acting, the costuming left something to be desired. The German uniforms were surprising bad in this modern WW2 themed movie. The Helmets were Spanish army and were for the most part way too small. The uniforms were brown (probably unmodified Swedish uniforms), not feldgrau (Field gray) which is actually a greenish grey which would have been correct. The SS officers uniforms were really bizarre, (looking a lot like unmodified Swiss uniforms), they looked more like something out of Starship Troopers than a World War 2 movie. Also the soldiers were wearing the wrong gear, but this mistake is common amongst War movies about Nazi Germany. Only films like Saving Private Ryan try to get things right with the wardrobe. ~ MPM2008




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