France gets the MAS-40 into service a year earlier

What if France managed to get the MAS-40 in production in May 1939 and had a substantial number, say 100k, of them in service in time for May 1940?
IOTL only about 50 were made before France surrendered, none seeing combat:
The MAS Mle 1940 would have been a classic rifle to rival the Garand if it had been adopted in any quantity. The weapon was extremely reliable, experiences fewer than 5 stoppages in a thousand rounds (which rivals bolt actions rifles) and could sustain nearly twice the rate of fire of the contemporary MAS Mle1936. It had two significant advantages over the Garand and later German autoloading rifles: it was extremely simple to clean and maintain, and its magazine could be topped off during lulls of close combat. The MAS Mle 1940, because it was designed in tandem with the Mle 1936, shared many parts with that rifle to save money. Stocks and hardware were nearly identical and used the same manufacturing tools. The entire magazine element was the same with interchangeable floorplates, springs, and followers. The Mle 1940 used the same bayonet as the Mle 1936 and even the stacking hooks were identical.
Let's say since the TL is moved up on their production that this is the production situation as of May 1939:
In 1938 MAS finished the prototype of the new rifle, designated the Fusil Semi-Automatique (FSE) MAS Mle 1938 (not to be confused with the submachine gun of the same name), which was modified in 1939 with plans for serial production by 1940. At the time the MAS Mle 1936 rifle was being produced at around 5,000 units per month. The MAS plant established plans to split that production capacity with the new Fusil MAS Mle 1940 with a goal of adding 1,000 autoloaders per month, this quantity reducing number of bolt actions being produced by this much.
How does this impact proceedings of the 1940 campaign and thereafter? Might this influence the British to pursue the prototype that would become the SLEM-1/FN-49?
 
What if France managed to get the MAS-40 in production in May 1939 and had a substantial number, say 100k, of them in service in time for May 1940?
IOTL only about 50 were made before France surrendered, none seeing combat:


Let's say since the TL is moved up on their production that this is the production situation as of May 1939:


How does this impact proceedings of the 1940 campaign and thereafter? Might this influence the British to pursue the prototype that would become the SLEM-1/FN-49?
Possibly influence the UK - especially if it proves as robust as it the MAS49/56 and if the plans and some of the plans and possibly jigs made it to the UK

.303 or 7.7x56mm rimmed is 78.11 mm (3.075 in) over all length -

7.5 x 57mm mas mod 1924 is 76.00 mm (2.992 in)

(Mauser 7.92 x 57mm is 82.00 mm (3.228 in) )

I'll tell you who it would influence - the Germans

They struggled to make a decent SLR early war and might just keep the rifle in production - were was the main production for the French Rifles?

Paris?
 
I wonder if the Germans are the more likely to pick up the MAS-40 after the Armistice, and really after Op. Attila. Basically seize and use all the guns and ammo themselves. They would have seen first hand how effective the gun was. It would complicate their already tangled logistics train, but there would be a real gain.

They also would like to seize as many of the tools and dies as possible. How big of a re-engineering project would it be to chamber the gun for the 7.92 round the Germans used elsewhere?

Would the British be of two minds on this weapon? Meaning that the soldiers in the field could appreciate it's great utility; but the leaders back home noting that it didn't alter the outcome of the Battle of France and we have all of these SMLE's that work so well, and twenty mega-tons of .303 ammo.
 
Possibly influence the UK - especially if it proves as robust as it the MAS49/56 and if the plans and some of the plans and possibly jigs made it to the UK

.303 or 7.7x56mm rimmed is 78.11 mm (3.075 in) over all length -

7.5 x 57mm mas mod 1924 is 76.00 mm (2.992 in)

(Mauser 7.92 x 57mm is 82.00 mm (3.228 in) )

I'll tell you who it would influence - the Germans

They struggled to make a decent SLR early war and might just keep the rifle in production - were was the main production for the French Rifles?

Paris?
What's ironic is the Germans captured the intact production lines and prototypes, examined them, and then did nothing with it.
The factory that designed and made it was MAS, based in Saint Etienne:
In what was to become Vichy territory:

I wonder if the Germans are the more likely to pick up the MAS-40 after the Armistice, and really after Op. Attila. Basically seize and use all the guns and ammo themselves. They would have seen first hand how effective the gun was. It would complicate their already tangled logistics train, but there would be a real gain.

They also would like to seize as many of the tools and dies as possible. How big of a re-engineering project would it be to chamber the gun for the 7.92 round the Germans used elsewhere?

Would the British be of two minds on this weapon? Meaning that the soldiers in the field could appreciate it's great utility; but the leaders back home noting that it didn't alter the outcome of the Battle of France and we have all of these SMLE's that work so well, and twenty mega-tons of .303 ammo.
I doubt they'd want to mix up their logistics any more than they already were. Though with firsthand combat experience who knows. The SVT-40 made a pretty big impact on them, which resulted in the ripped off G43 rifle.

I'm not sure how much it would really take to reengineer them, but the French and German cartridges were significantly different; it wasn't just length, the French case was also wider. So they'd have to both rechamber then and switch out the barrel. I think the cartridge pressures were roughly the same, but the Germans used only their heavy 198 grain bullet from 1933 on for rifles, because out of the shorter 24 inch barrels of the K98k (the MAS40 used a 22 inch barrel) the flat base 154 grain bullet produced too much of a fireball and noise at the muzzle because the extra gun powder in the smaller bullet version of the cartridge didn't burn off in time, as it was designed to work in the 30 inch barrel Gewehr 98. The French used the 'balle C' flat base 140 grain bullets for rifles and reserved the long heavy boat tailed bullets for MGs. So I'd imagine that the Germans would have reengineer the French guns pretty significantly to get them to work with German ammo. However this was actually done with a very similar rifle which also used the gas impingement system:
The Hakim Rifle is a gas operated semi-automatic rifle. It was originally designed by Sweden and produced as the Ag m/42 for the Swedish Army. The tooling and design were later sold to Egypt, and the Hakim was produced there during the 1950s and early 1960s.

While the Ag m/42 fired the 6.5×55mm cartridge, Egypt owned large stockpiles of 8×57mm Mauser ammunition, much of it left behind from World War II. To take advantage of the large stockpile, the Hakim was further re-engineered to accept the larger cartridge, which also necessitated the addition of a permanent, non removable muzzle brake to help reduce the concurrent greater recoil.[4]
The French 7.5mm cartridge case had about the same dimensions as the Swedish 6.5.
Also apparently the Hakim used the heavy 198 grain bullet ammo, so with the muzzle brake it could work very well.


The problem for the Brits is that they need a lot more weapons ASAP and developing a new semi-auto rifle in 1940 is not a priority. Maybe if it were ready by 1942 they'd have enough breathing room to do so, but since the SLEM-1 wasn't ready then and the designer didn't pick it back up until 1943 after evacuating in 1940 from Belgium that wasn't in the cards IOTL. But then he didn't really have the impetus to do so until the British asked for it.
Part of the issue was the British waiting to decide on 7.92 Mauser (already in production for the Besa MG) as their future ammo (until the infantry board decided in 1946 to make the .280). I suppose had the British decided earlier on what they wanted they could have made it work and then banked on capturing stockpiles of German ammo (which they did quite a bit of in Africa and Italy IIRC) to make up for their limited domestic production of that type. I think it would be very doable for them if they wanted to, the issue is making them want to. I thought having the French get it in service and the Brits seeing the advantage it gave, plus it's reliability and ease of maintenance would help push them along that path even if they have to use 7.92 Mauser for it.
 
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According to our lord and savior Gun Jesus, the MAS-40 tooling was disguised as MAS-36 tooling by the factory workers in Saint-Étienne in order to hide it from the Germans.
 
According to our lord and savior Gun Jesus, the MAS-40 tooling was disguised as MAS-36 tooling by the factory workers in Saint-Étienne in order to hide it from the Germans.
Really? Do you have the video? I'd like to learn more. From what I had remembered I thought he said the Germans did example the MAS-40.
 
According to our lord and savior Gun Jesus, the MAS-40 tooling was disguised as MAS-36 tooling by the factory workers in Saint-Étienne in order to hide it from the Germans.
Which wouldn't be possible if the gun had been in service during the Battle of France in 1940. Would the Germans scoop up the tooling in 1942 when they overrun Vichy?
 
Which wouldn't be possible if the gun had been in service during the Battle of France in 1940. Would the Germans scoop up the tooling in 1942 when they overrun Vichy?
They overran the MAS factory in 1940 and then stripped much of Vichy territory of anything useful before they gave the territory back.
 
I wonder if the Germans are the more likely to pick up the MAS-40 after the Armistice, and really after Op. Attila. Basically seize and use all the guns and ammo themselves. They would have seen first hand how effective the gun was. It would complicate their already tangled logistics train, but there would be a real gain.
While it would probably be too far-thinking to expect of Nazi Germany, perhaps manufacturing their own copy in France just for troops stationed on the Atlantic coast would have been worth it - thus making sure all the ammo goes only one way, into the least critical theater, while providing that theater with a better gun.
 
It would be called MAS-39.


That being said, it really depends on the German exposure to the gun. If German casualties are more significant than OTL and their analysis of the campaign proves that the gun is the cause, then yes Germany might try to do something.
But, I doubt it. Because it's the new toy, elite active force will get it first, and they were mostly with the 1st and 7th Army. And those 2 were neutralize pretty early during the campaign.
 
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I imagine Britain will be much more interested in putting the FN design team to work designing the SLEM1 and that it is likely to enter service, at least with the Para's and Commandos.
 
I imagine Britain will be much more interested in putting the FN design team to work designing the SLEM1 and that it is likely to enter service, at least with the Para's and Commandos.
Apparently they loved the Garand in Korea and mutinied when they were taken away and were to be replaced with Enfields after the UK got it's supply shipments in order.

Though likely I'd bet money on the British just adopting the Garand due to L-L and the unlimited supply of US ammo and rifles later on.
 
Though likely I'd bet money on the British just adopting the Garand due to L-L and the unlimited supply of US ammo and rifles later on.
When the US wasn't able to supply all its own troops with them before 1943? The US Marines didn't steal the Dutch East Indies Army's Johnson Rifles sitting in warehouses for no reason.
 
When the US wasn't able to supply all its own troops with them before 1943? The US Marines didn't steal the Dutch East Indies Army's Johnson Rifles sitting in warehouses for no reason.
Apparently the Brits got some for Torch. Really though, they didn't need them before 1943 even if they would have been useful in the desert, so I don't necessarily think it would be that big of an issue waiting. It would help simplify logistics in Italy and beyond if they did adopt it, especially if they could adapt the Bren gun to .30-06.
 
If the Germans were to adopt someone else’s rifle they were more likely to select the Polish wz.38M, which was already in 7.92mm.

Ultimately it wouldn’t matter much. The main firepower of the squad was in the light machine gun, Self loading rifles were better than bolt action rifles, but not that much better than a combination of bolt action rifles and submachine guns. The latter was much easier to make. The squad would actually be better off if the money was used for a second light machine gun,
 
Apparently the Brits got some for Torch. Really though, they didn't need them before 1943 even if they would have been useful in the desert, so I don't necessarily think it would be that big of an issue waiting. It would help simplify logistics in Italy and beyond if they did adopt it, especially if they could adapt the Bren gun to .30-06.
Britain has a large armaments industry with a distinguished history, other than as an emergency measure to meet a dire need it's not going to reequip the Army with American made rifles. If the Army wanted Garands Britain would buy the tooling to build them themselves.
 
If the Germans were to adopt someone else’s rifle they were more likely to select the Polish wz.38M, which was already in 7.92mm.
Forgot about that one. It is surprising that it was lighter than the MAS40 despite having a gas piston. But did the Germans ever actually capture one?

Ultimately it wouldn’t matter much. The main firepower of the squad was in the light machine gun, Self loading rifles were better than bolt action rifles, but not that much better than a combination of bolt action rifles and submachine guns. The latter was much easier to make. The squad would actually be better off if the money was used for a second light machine gun,
Depends. You're right about the LMG at the time, but SLRs did give a pretty decisive advantage over bolt actions and in the end more versatile than the SMG. SMGs really were only effectively out to 100m, maybe 150 or 200 if the situation was right and gunner an expert. The biggest limitation for SLR in this period was using full powered battle rifle ammo rather than intermediate caliber cartridges. For instance I'd bet an SKS could outgun a Garand at most normal combat ranges and even then was only limited by the magazine capacity.

Britain has a large armaments industry with a distinguished history, other than as an emergency measure to meet a dire need it's not going to reequip the Army with American made rifles. If the Army wanted Garands Britain would buy the tooling to build them themselves.
Probably not otherwise they would have, though it is surprising that they didn't try to make their own in .303, there is really no reason it couldn't have while modifying the magazine capacity so they weren't limited to the 8 round en bloc clip. Not like they hadn't done that in 1914:


 
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Depends. You're right about the LMG at the time, but SLRs did give a pretty decisive advantage over bolt actions and in the end more versatile than the SMG. SMGs really were only effectively out to 100m, maybe 150 or 200 if the situation was right and gunner an expert. The biggest limitation for SLR in this period was using full powered battle rifle ammo rather than intermediate caliber cartridges. For instance I'd bet an SKS could outgun a Garand at most normal combat ranges and even then was only limited by the magazine capacity.
The thing is soldiers rarely fight one-on-one. At medium range the LMG dominates. US Army doctrine says one BAR is worth five Garands. One Bren is worth ten SMLEs. American troops sometimes overran Germans who hadn’t fire a shot from their rifles. Their MG34 had comparable firepower to a BAR and a squad of Garands. It’s cover fire from the LMG that allow the squad to maneuver in close. At close range the SMGs had superior firepower so with enough of those the squad is well equipped for the job.

Self-loaders are more versatile, and all things being equal they are a little better. But they are much more difficult to make compared to SMG and bolt action rifles (which most armies already had plenty of). WWII was a war of production numbers. For large armies the self-loader wasn’t as cost effective as buying more SMGs and LMGs. Unless you were the United States.

As for the Polish rifle, yes they were captured by the Germans. I believe there is still one or two in Germany.
 
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