What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

If Hitler sped up the development of the STG 44 assault rifle, so it's final version was introduced to the battlefield earlier than 1944, could it have affected the outcome of the Eastern Front? If so, how?

My position is that the Soviets would have quickly developed their own assault rifle, especially if they realized that the STG 44's the Germans were using were beginning to slow entire fronts.

All that would be required to produce their own was to capture an STG 44, either left behind on the field or handed over by a surrendering soldier, and reverse engineer it. Any advantages offered by the STG 44 would be short lived and would require quick exploitation.

If that was the case, then the real question is how would the outcome of the Eastern Front be different if both armies used assault rifles on a large scale?

Another variable to consider is how much earlier would this weapon end up being introduced to the front in this alternative historical timeline?

If it was in 1942 or early 1943, I would guess that the Soviets would have had to fight much harder to regain territory.

I would guess large scale deployment of automatic rifles may have turned the Eastern Front static, on the basis (again) that the Soviets would quickly just captured, replicated and mass deployed then as well. With slowed, static front, perhaps it would have given the Germans more time to develop their other 'wonder weapons' such as the helicopter, more effective ballistic missile systems, or even nuclear weapons, etc. that could have also significantly effected the war's outcome. Again, the allies would have just responded by developing their own similar weapon system.

Brian Ghilliotti
 
If Hitler sped up the development of the STG 44 assault rifle, so it's final version was introduced to the battlefield earlier than 1944, could it have affected the outcome of the Eastern Front?

No. Small arms haven't been the decisive weapon since (at least) the 19th century, and it isn't that much a step up from the submachine guns already produced en masse. The Soviets use tanks, artillery, and operational maneuver to beat the Germans back as per OTL.
 
A potential new cartridge for the M-2 or a bigger magazine for the M-1 would be a response from the West.As for the East the Soviets issue more submachine guns to the troops and instruct their troops to close rapidly.
"You only need to close to 50 yards,Comrade Stalin can run that distance in under 20 seconds.You wouldn't want to disappoint Comrade Stalin would you?"
 

RousseauX

Donor
especially if they realized that the STG 44's the Germans were using were beginning to slow entire fronts.
Prob not, the main reason is WWII was really decided by armor, airplanes and artillery.

If you think about it, it make sense, a single artillery shell packs way more firepower than what infantry rifles can fire for like a long time

also, even infantry squads the most important thing wasn't the rifles, it was squad weapons like the HMG

on the western front US infantry squads used semi-autos+2 automatic weapons (BAR-1918) vs German squads with 1 MG-42 + bolt action rifles, so the US had much better rifles but they still underperformed vs German squads and had to resort to air support/arty to shift them. The reason being that 1 HMG was outputting more firepower than a squad of riflemen were.

basically what I'm saying is that automatic rifles are overrated in the WWII context
 
The main outcome of an earlier development is that the weapons name would be different. It would either be an StG 42 or StG 43 depending on year of introduction.
 
My big issue with this kind of thread is: How?

How do you possibly speed up research; development, production and deployment of firearms or any other piece of kit?

In the case of the StG 44, there are several variables at play: R&D concerning intermediate cartridges and lengthy testing versus what's already available, R&D concerning lightweight automatic firearm design, and then updating the designs through trials and competition with other designs. Germany had been looking into intermediate cartridges since the early 1920s (with calls for such starting towards the end of WW1), but the 7.92x33mm was only designed by the late 1930s. Design for what would become the StG 44 started in the early 1940s and one of the first successful prototypes was the MKb 42. It had its issues and despite its promises, Hitler tried to kill all firearms R&D, but it only very briefly (if at all) stalled development and even field trials continued. By 1943, the first MP 43s, which would become the StG 44, were made and deployed. I seriously don't know how such a tight timetable can be shortened. Even if Hitler doesn't interfere, it really doesn't change much.

Finally, and more importantly IMO, is that rushed designs are almost inevitably garbage and I could only imagine that rushing the StG, a very new design in military firearms development, can any successful if the design was worse. It's not like thr Sten or something; a submachine gun can be significantly simpler than an assault rifle can be without being unusable.
 
'If Hitler sped up development and production of the stg 44 assault rifle' then the simple answer is that there would be more of them. There was no true engineering novelty in the design, just a serious change in tactical thinking.

However. This is the same Germany that was desperate for any personal weapon drawing on a huge variety of captured and obsolete foreign rifles just to give soldiers something that went bang. The Commonwealth had the SMLE, the USA transited to the M1. Even the Soviets really only alternated from the Mosin Nagant (yes I know they tried a few semi autos) with SMGs. The list of issued German weapons would fill this entire page with text from old Norwegian rifles to captured Carcanos. Often rechambered for the 8mm Mauser but often in the original loading making ammunition logistics a nightmare.

The STG 44 was no super weapon. Better to have than a 98k but small arms stopped being any sort of game changer ever since machine guns came in and artillery got recoil mechanisms and could fire repeated rounds without re laying and they stopped being decisive in the Second Schleswig War in 1864. By the 1880s they were all of similar performance across the board in all being magazine rifles with ranges exceeding any practical use. Also, if someone is making STG 44s then they are not making something else. In total war choices are either/or not and/or.

Diverging somewhat from the OP; I would argue that Germany would have been better served with good simple SMGs in 9x25mm Mauser to support the MG42/44 but this has been discussed elsewhere. The Hungarians were on the right track in the end which only needed a production cheapened version and could have been done in the 1930s.
 
My big issue with this kind of thread is: How?

How do you possibly speed up research; development, production and deployment of firearms or any other piece of kit?
For something "technical" :
I've read that a czechian, Karel Krnka, as well as a swiss, Friedrich Wilhelm Haber, were working on what we call today "Kurz-Patronen" used with shortened rifles already in the late 90ies ... of the 19th century.

For what happened in Germany :
There was already in 1918 a study by some expert of the "Gewehr-Prüfungskommision" (Rifle-Testing-Comittee), that stated the necessity to develop short-cartridges.
Ofc the military big-whigs opposed strongly. not due to costs of R&D, producing new weapons as well as new cartridges, but because of ... need to change of new training manuals, manuals on tactics (beside the need OF new tactics) and not at least : change of traditional "present arms" and similar procedures.
So : no development, report shouted down and forgotten

For almost the same reasons proposals in the late twenties were uniformly rejected by the Reichswehr officials - later on equally used arguements.

In 1935 the well known and respected weapns contructor Heinrich Vollmer presented a well-working weapon for a fully developed short-cartridge : the Vollmer M35 for the Geco 7.75X40.5, gas-operated but without boring the barrel , as requested/demanded by the militaries still later on.
It was tested in several versions from 1935 up to 1938 - privatly funded - privatly developed - privatly further developed - privatly (by the manu-factory) built (therefore the rather high prices for the prototypes, as every piece was "handmade").

However successfull these tests were, the Wehrmacht decided in 1938 for a new development contract for a new short-cartridge, which resulted in 1939 in the well known 7.92x33mm cartridge by Polte.
And in 1940 Mr. Hugo Schmeisser received a new development contract for a new weapon, first presented in 1942 -> STG-44.

IMO there are a lot of opportunities to have an assault rifle ready for distribution at least in 1942, if not already in 1939 ... IF you find/create a POD for getting it ordered. ... and someone "persuading" the generals of its tactical soundness.
 

Deleted member 1487

Prob not, the main reason is WWII was really decided by armor, airplanes and artillery.

If you think about it, it make sense, a single artillery shell packs way more firepower than what infantry rifles can fire for like a long time

also, even infantry squads the most important thing wasn't the rifles, it was squad weapons like the HMG

on the western front US infantry squads used semi-autos+2 automatic weapons (BAR-1918) vs German squads with 1 MG-42 + bolt action rifles, so the US had much better rifles but they still underperformed vs German squads and had to resort to air support/arty to shift them. The reason being that 1 HMG was outputting more firepower than a squad of riflemen were.

basically what I'm saying is that automatic rifles are overrated in the WWII context
You say that, but what details remain about StG 44 use in the field indicate that small units equipped with them were able to gain firepower dominance over larger Garand equipped US units (IIRC it was squads vs. US platoons).
https://books.google.com/books?id=T...4KHTebADkQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=stg 44&f=false
 
Ideally, if you could accelerate development far enough in advance of the war, you could have something like this ready for 1940 and use it to make Sea Lion possible.

Don't worry, I'll show myself out now.
 

marathag

Banned
If Hitler sped up the development of the STG 44 assault rifle, so it's final version was introduced to the battlefield earlier than 1944, could it have affected the outcome of the Eastern Front? If so, how?

My position is that the Soviets would have quickly developed their own assault rifle, especially if they realized that the STG 44's the Germans were using were beginning to slow entire fronts.

OTL the USSR, with plenty of STGs captured, made millions of SKS semiauto rifles with fixed magazines and charger loading, and the RPD squad automatic with belt feeding from a drum.
The 7.62x39 round was greenlit in late 1943

Then the AK was designed in '46-47
I'm not seeing the USSR changing course with STGs showing a few years earlier
 
Ideally, if you could accelerate development far enough in advance of the war, you could have something like this ready for 1940 and use it to make Sea Lion possible.

Don't worry, I'll show myself out now.

My God. Marine mammals with assault rifles. :shudder:

300344.jpg


The British wouldn't stand a chance.
 

Deleted member 1487

OTL the USSR, with plenty of STGs captured, made millions of SKS semiauto rifles with fixed magazines and charger loading, and the RPD squad automatic with belt feeding from a drum.
The 7.62x39 round was greenlit in late 1943

Then the AK was designed in '46-47
I'm not seeing the USSR changing course with STGs showing a few years earlier
Not sure the SKS was influenced by the STG44, given that it was designed in 1943:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SKS
I know there were prototype STGs in 1942 that were used at Kholm, not sure if they were captured though, same with the MP43. The RPD design also commenced in 1943.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPD_machine_gun
 

Deleted member 1487

If Hitler sped up the development of the STG 44 assault rifle, so it's final version was introduced to the battlefield earlier than 1944, could it have affected the outcome of the Eastern Front? If so, how?
The more important doable things would have been a PAW 600 early or perhaps more important a manportable recoilless rifle like the Carl Gustav:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Gustaf_recoilless_rifle
It would have been much better than the Panzerfaust, Panzerschreck, Puppchen, and even PAK 36 with Stielgranate. Arguably as good as the PAK 38 for different reasons (lower range, but much smaller/lower weight, man portable, and FAR cheaper).
Since there was already the LG 40:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.5_cm_Leichtgeschütz_40
Making it lighter with lower propellant and lighter was doable. With that then Allied armor is in trouble due to being able to be targeted by infantry at much greater range.
 

marathag

Banned
Not sure the SKS was influenced by the STG44, given that it was designed in 1943:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SKS
I know there were prototype STGs in 1942 that were used at Kholm, not sure if they were captured though, same with the MP43. The RPD design also commenced in 1943.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPD_machine_gun
I really don't think SKS was influenced all that much by the Germans, since they already had a working tilting block bolt with the SVT-40, and were thinking about intermediate cartridge before they knew of the STG
 

Deleted member 1487

I really don't think SKS was influenced all that much by the Germans, since they already had a working tilting block bolt with the SVT-40, and were thinking about intermediate cartridge before they knew of the STG
Plus already had the Federov Avtomat, which I think was a bigger influence than the STG on Soviet firearms.
 
A potential new cartridge for the M-2 or a bigger magazine for the M-1 would be a response from the West.As for the East the Soviets issue more submachine guns to the troops and instruct their troops to close rapidly.
The USA might speed up SMG development, to replace the Thompson, emphasise the programme to fit the Garand with a 20rd box magazine and maybe work on a decent LMG.
 
You say that, but what details remain about StG 44 use in the field indicate that small units equipped with them were able to gain firepower dominance over larger Garand equipped US units (IIRC it was squads vs. US platoons).
https://books.google.com/books?id=Tn2ICwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=stg+44&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpgrzts8PUAhVMFj4KHTebADkQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=stg 44&f=false
I suspect that much of the firepower dominance was down to the Germans having proper light machine guns.
 
I really don't think SKS was influenced all that much by the Germans, since they already had a working tilting block bolt with the SVT-40, and were thinking about intermediate cartridge before they knew of the STG

The SKS-45 was a scaled down PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle.

I seem to remember infantry small arms caused only 10% of battlefield casualties in WWII. Divisional artillery caused half, mortars, tanks, grenades made up the rest. In some battles the humble mortar was the most effective. On D-Day the 120mm mortar caused most of the allied casualties, despite a plethora of expensive artillery in possession by the Germans.
 
Top