The German Army was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles to have SMGs. Nevertheless, design and manufacture went on, sometimes under the cover of Swiss or Swedish companies. In 1938, the Army officially adopted the successor to the MP18 & MP28, the MP38 («Maschinenpistole 38» - machine pistol 38), manufactured by Erfurter Maschinenfabrik Geipel GmbH. Some minor changes produced the MP40 which is operationally the same as the MP38. Both the MP38 and the MP40 are blowback operated, full auto only submachine guns. The MP38 uses receiver made of machined steel, while the MP40 features a stamped receiver and a stamped magazine veil to make the gun cheaper. The charging handle (located at the left side of the receiver) is used as a safety, locking the bolt in forward or rearward position when placed in cut slots in the receiver. Both guns fire from the open bolt and feature a special rate of fire reducer, that results in very controllable rate of fire of some 400-500 rounds per minute. It features a folding-stock (without, Rcl. is -4). The MP38/40 is probably the most recognizable German weapon of WWII. Originally it was intended for parachutists and tank crews. It was such a satisfactory gun that by the end of the war, it sometimes was the major armament of an entire squad. Americans usually call the MP40 a «Schmeisser» despite the fact that Hugo Schmeisser had nothing to do with the design, which was from Heinrich Vollmer working for Erma (Erfurter Maschinenfabrik) whereas Schmeisser worked for Haenel. In 1945, Hugo Schmeisser disappeared after the Russian occupation; maybe his name was too well-known.

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